As I was writing that post I felt “privilege” wasn’t the word I wanted to use but I couldn’t find another word for it. “Luck” maybe? And what I meant to say is that the more “informed” people are more likely to rewild (in other words, look for an alternative that speaks to them).
Nowhere did I say anything about intelligence, only access to information. If you live in a state of socioeconomic oppression, you have fewer resources for getting informed. (I admittedly have a very dramatic imagination and I think globally most of the time, so my mental image of that kind of oppression was sweatshop labor. That kills me, to think of people who are in situations where they are consumed by meaningless work.)
In my experience, the information that was presented to me in college helped me, in the sense that I learned to be very critical of the status quo. I started to recognize larger patterns in society that I wouldn’t have seen before. All of those patterns point to the unsustainable nature of civilization. This is the “information” I’m talking about… take history classes for example. When you start to know enough about different times in history and you can start to compare them to your own surroundings and evaluate what’s going on in your own time. This is what I did, anyway.
Maybe it’s a bit different in Canada, but in the US I’ve noticed that a lot of people who don’t have much socioeconomic status, and a high school education that can only be called a “holding cell”, and their lives consist of working a job they hate to pay the bills, eating junk food, and playing video games. I grew up in a poor rural area with lots of failing family farms. This is what I’ve seen. I’ve seen people who don’t think they have any alternatives. Not for lack of intelligence, but for not getting the experiences and education they need in order to know within themselves that living outside the box is even possible. They don’t even see a box, so how can they see outside it?
I had a high school friend whose parents got the middle finger from the “invisible hand” of economics. Their farm was failing, and her home life was really stressful. To cope she turned to art and music. She wanted to attend an art school in Pennsylvania.
Well, she didn’t get into that art school and so instead she stuck around the area where we grew up, and around the same time got into a relationship with someone of bad character and her life became focused on that instead of art. She became pregnant and one night around midnight she was driving home and the car (who knows why) went into the oncoming lane of traffic and had a head-on collision with another car.
I don’t know what happened in that car. I know that you can drive down the road she was on, at that time of night, and not see an oncoming car for miles. Unless she was literally falling asleep at the wheel, I don’t see how she could have missed seeing the other car. Or maybe she was really drunk. Or she could have done it intentionally. All I know is that after the art school rejected her, she stopped looking outside of the box, up to the very end. A very intelligent, emotional girl who made the youthful mistake of putting all her eggs in one basket. And there was nobody in her life who could recognize how she might have felt about rejection from art school (her parents didn’t understand why she wanted to go), and point out other egg baskets, other alternatives. Even if I had been around and aware of what she was going through (and I wasn’t fully aware at the time, I was halfway across the state) I don’t think I would have been able to say what she needed to hear. Now that I’m older I think I see what was going on with her a little better.
I believe that if her family had been able to make ends meet a little better, her parents would have encouraged her to seek more alternatives. As it was, they were in their own “box” of being trapped by financial woes.