[quote=“bereal, post:14, topic:1182”][quote=yarrow dreamer]My life experiences have shown me that I can wish for people to change til I get blue in the face, but I can’t hand them a prepackaged gift epiphany that will fit. Sometimes folks need to bump into change on their own.
Also, I’ve had the experience of folks not ready to hear “the civ” challenged who find anything contrary to it “condescending”. It makes them feel bad!
You’ve hit on the exact reason why I believe in materialism - that reality shapes consciousness. I do think it can go the other way as well, but not NEARLY to the same extent, particularly on a social level. I support the book distribution idea, because I believe that many people out there are receptive to these ideas, but just haven’t heard them yet. But I also believe that those who do not want to change their mindset, who aren’t open to these ideas, won’t change no matter what we do.
I believe that most people don’t WANT to hear these ideas, because most people have been so completely brainwashed by this culture. They identify with it enough to feel personally threatened by anything that challenges it. As DJ said, “the civilized will smile while they tear you limb from limb”. I don’t blame them, because we have very strong herd tendencies in our nature, like many other animals. So much of our personalities, our behavior - our identity - is shaped by those around us. Most people would find it extremely difficult to go against the grain, and most would never want to. For these people, who I believe make up the vast majority, they would only reject civ once the majority around them reject civ.
Yes, fringe ideas can become the mainstream, over time, but the more they threaten the dominant culture, the more effort is made to wipe them out. Only rarely do subversive ideas become mainstream - and pretty much always the process of becoming mainstream changes them, domesticating them so that they no longer represent a threat.
I totally agree with this, and think this describes well why we need to both reach out people with these ideas, and do the direct action necessary to materialize the ideas (another description of materialism = physical actions change reality, not ideas). But getting the ideas out there (propagandizing) becomes necessary in order to get more people to take action. In this way it represents an important stage in the process.
I hear what you’re saying about the materialism vs. idealism thing… and the more I think about it, the more I realize that they are equally important to think about right now, and that it is totally dependent upon who you are for which paths you pursue in your actions for change. The point we seem to be getting to in this thread is that for many people, materialism initially shapes consciousness through sensory input, but over time, civ’s assumptions about the material world have turned into subconscious ideas that have been further entrenched into the subconscious by other people’s ideals and threats of violence… and a collective delusion and its new social structure results.
And as I have personally been discovering through reading this thread and others, I think the key to unlocking the collective delusion is therefore in the hearts and minds of the dissillusioned as they use their most powerful tool (their spirit, personality, physical skill, whatever) to restore the hearts, minds, social structure, and land around them. But the system is of course not very receptive to change. It is because of this that I try not to let anger and frustration in civ flow through my interactions. It is more helpful for me to think of civ as a prison or matrix and to think of myself and everyone else as slaves of that same system. When you are angry at a thing which you are part of that has no currently visible alternative, and you let that anger show by directly accusing the your fellow prisoners as perpetrators and guardians of the system, it will usually only serve to alienate yourself further and not add a bit of understanding of civ to your mindset.
However, if the appeal of tribalism grows through increased understanding, and the disillusioned grow in numbers, it will become easier to make “material” changes and living alternatives for the new “converts” to join in. This seems to be happening already, which is why this site makes me hopeful. Unfortunately for me, I live in a particularily unreceptive social climate. I lived in the Pacific NW for a year and the atmosphere was definitely a bit more receptive (socially and physically) to different ways of living than the east coast where I live now with my family. I think my most effective tactic right now is to try to reduce my physical dependence on the system (very difficult), while attempting different ways of “converting” other people. I eventually hope to seek out or encourage people to live in “occupational tribalism” like Daniel Quinn described in Beyond Civilization.
One thing I have difficulty understanding about the Jensenian view of change is how or why,at this point in time, we should/could be putting our efforts into physically assaulting civilization. The size and hierarchical structure of civilization makes it way too powerful at this point in time (in my mind) to attack physically. I think DJ’s anecdote about the “environmentalist Star Wars” makes some good points about the lack of effectiveness of environmental protesters, but real life is not a fantasy movie and civilization doesn’t have an easily targeted “self-destruct” button. Plus, us “rebels” are still too small in numbers and unorganized and the “storm troopers” include our friends and family!
I’m sure I need to read more Jensen… but I would encourage people to read or re-read and promote Daniel Quinn when approaching the especially civ-minded. The thing I like about Quinn is that even if he doesn’t necessarily convert people completely over to “Rewilding,” he at least allows them to challenge their own basic assumptions about that type of lifestyle. I think what I want to focus on in the waning days of civilization is to effectively challenge those assumptions in the best ways and in as many minds as I can. We know that either way,civ will wither on its own,so let’s build and “advertise” the alternative…then at some point we can adopt the Jensenian “strategies” to stop a resurgence of Civ.
So,in conclusion,I think both “strategies” are important… depending on the time and situation.