Hey y’all; I’ve seen a lot of posts today about people concerned about the future of their housing, as we get closer to the eviction moratorium ending. I just want to share that I’ve lived in housing, I’ve lived sleeping on city benches, I’ve lived in tents deep in the “wilderness.”
The biggest threat to your long-term and immediate survival is a lack of imagination. Stay childlike; stay evergreen, and you might meet these threats well-enough to meet the next.
Planners are called upon to address injustices and the traumas they create in our communities. The practice and pedagogy of social work offers three valuable concepts to help in that effort.
It’s interesting seeing how everyone but the privileged are adapting to for the future.
LONGREAD: Three families. Three languages. One goal — to speak through the generations.
'(E . `(Max ,O'Mancer)) (@firstname.lastname@example.org): “In the future (after the Great Collapse), linguists will puzzle over the apparent erasure of a handful of names were singled out in English as 'taboo'. Trying to interpret incomplete records, the...”
from the album the garages kill the gods
Thanks to @email@example.com for recommending “Fight Gods” by the Garages. A wonderful way to bring the day into a feeling of optimism.
No comment, just really encourage folk to watch and listen.
Land back. Water back. Medicine back. Ceremony back.
- Land back. Return control of the material world to all those existing in it. No more rulers, no more prioritization of human needs. Mitakuye oyasin: we’re all relatives, all of us on this Earth, and it’s only by establishing that as our explicit relationship that we’ll be able to adapt.
- Water back. Once we’ve taken control of our material world, we have the freedom to shape it in ways that benefit us all. The ecological projects of Indigenous peoples dwarf the engineering of colonial cultures in longevity and scale: let’s get back to actually developing our planet as a home.
- Medicine back. With control of our material world and the ability to change it, we can finally start working to build up “medicine:” for our physical bodily health, but also all things we might need medicine for. In some implementations of Lakota belief, all things are medicine: they help or hurt our health, as a person and as people. This doesn’t clash with many colonial philosophies, which say that all that happens in a world, and all the actions a person takes, helps shape that person’s identity. But unless we’re in control of our world and actions, we can’t really start to shape our own identities. Without land and water back, we can’t really make good medicine.
- Ceremony back. Sometimes when talking to despondent colonists I’ll highlight that in some ways, it’s never been easier to be a human person: with the human-caused collapsed of our climate, the “meaning of life” is self-evident: mitigate that disaster. Even the most anti-human humans are motivated to act against it, enough to prevent the extinction of all life on Earth, and most of us are motivated to act against it because we think human life is worth continuing into the future, for various reasons. But this “meaning of life” is hopefully, temporary: it can be fulfilled by the return of indigenous ways of handling land, water, and medicine. With its fulfillment, we’ll again have a terrifying freedom to seek out our purposes, as individuals, community-members, and a species: to develop our own ceremonies that impart meaning into our lives, based on our lives, not (once again) the needs put on us by either an exploitive group or their emergencies.
Listen to your elders. Before I go further into the above, I want to pause and offer some words of caution, for those who are preparing to start performing some form of one of the four actions above. That is, if you’re, today, starting to change your relationship with the kyriarchy: listen up: listen to your elders.
There are a lot of people in the same position as you, who are going to reach that same conclusion, today or sometime this week. And with the exact some confidence as they endorsed things like electoralism and reform, they will now endorse radicalism. They won’t stop and talk about how they’ve changed their mind, because they probably don’t see it as a change of mind: they see it as the external world having changed.
I’m afraid that wasn’t expressed clearly, and it’s an important notion for me to convey here, so let me try again: People who are radicalizing this week believe that the world has changed, this week, in some way that means reform is impossible and radical action is what can work. This implies that all existing radicals are still wrong, because they radicalized “too soon,” and it doesn’t consider what’s far more likely: we all have different knowledge and experience that informs how we view the world, and there’s no real “too soon” or “too late” to radicalize.
Unfortunately, these new radical folk are going to be very enthusiastic, the same way almost everyone who’s discovered a new trendy hobby is. Their approach to discussing this issues is likely going to treat everything as new and surprising, and will erase the perspectives of others, that these are just continuations of systems that have been in development for centuries.
Try… not to give them too much of your attention, as loud as they are. Listen to the folk who have been rejecting reform and working toward radicalism for decades: they’ve got experience and knowledge that y’all, no matter how enthusiastic, aren’t going to have. I don’t necessarily even mean stuff like how to treat tear-gas; that stuff can be learned from a pamphlet.
I mean how they choose to frame the contemporary events in their town; how they talk about the new buildings, how they talk about TV shows, all of it is going to be fundamentally scoped by their experience that means it will all be… different than what new radicals are saying, which is, despite their sudden shift in opinion, still coming from a person informed by years of active Collaboration.
And beside: these new radicals who were advocating to vote yesterday… were wrong. They were consistently wrong about many fundamental claims about our world, down to the legitimacy of the U.S. as a government. And now they want you to listen to them like they weren’t loudly wrong just yesterday.
Anyway: I’ve been an on-the-ground radical for like, three presidents, and I see this every time there’s some push into fascism that even the most patriot American can’t help but feel funny about. Folk who were so adamant that they were right about reform are now going to be very adamant they’re right about shit like y’all getting mass-arrested, or some other nonsense. They’ve made their persona or career around being loud, not right: tune out and pay attention to who’s been calling this shit the longest. (Hint: it ain’t me, I can just type fast and turn a phrase. Seek out and listen to Indigenous Elders, especially women: they’ve been actively tasked with keeping their heads on straight no matter how wonk our society gets.)
Now, back to the topic-at-hand: a step-by-step guide for going into our future.
I know it might seem silly to say that there’s a four-step plan we can follow to fix the world, but… I don’t think it is: the world is… if not simple, it is finite. In truth it’s actually just two steps: fix the Earth and fix our relationship with it.
And thanks to the anthropogenic dissolution of our climate, fixing the Earth is… if not easy, it’s hard to do wrong, and we have a convenient step-by-step for getting started there, too: 1) Reduce, 2) Reuse, 3) Recycle.
But that’s only half the picture: to reduce material use, we have to innovate new ways of using what we have; to reuse waste we have to innovate new ways of repurposing scrap, and to recycle we have to innovate new ways of deconstructing materials, which might mean innovating new ways of constructing things. (And I’m looking at genuine reuse here: using produce crates to hold dirt in place, , not taking an old hubcap and turning it into a clock that requires a new little plastic and metal timekeeping mechanism.)
So, let’s bring it all back together:
How can you work to take or return control of the material world to its peoples?
If you’ve got land, give it back. If you’ve got money, gift it back. If you’ve got hoarded wealth, relinquish control. It is time y’all reckon with that shit. I know white queers looking to buy land; Looking to buy more homes. Y’all better be turning around and giving y’all’s other homes back to the folx whose land you’re occupying. If not, you’re trying to make a profit and keeping access to housing away from those who can’t afford housing. If not, you’re keeping land and housing away from Black and Indigenous people. And y’all have excess money. Y’all have excess land and homes. Excess is capitalism. Hoarding resources is colonialism. Take the financial hit and gift land and homes to community. We know y’all will be fine without that money. And even if you’re not, you’ll be fine long-term becuase you still have acess to jobs, land, housing, healthcare, and resources that we (the queer BI people) would never have. So y’all better re-think putting that house for sale. Y’all better rethink buying that other house on stolen land. Y’all better rethink buying stolen land. Y’all better rethink that savings account. – @phaggotplanet@Instagram.com
And to cut off the people who read that and immediately go “I won’t put myself in poverty for social justice,” here’s an anonymous quote:
“This is about reparations and understanding that the comfortability afforded to you by your savings account is not about you pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and then donating to “marginalized communities” (as if we depend on you to donate to us to keep us afloat) – but that your ability to save and hoard wealth, while not the same as the ultra-rich, is still part of a settler colonial framework that is built on stolen land and labour and ultimately protected by violent forces such as the police, borders and military. If you can’t understand that your hoarding of wealth is not benign but rather a part of an overall project, then I’m not sure where to begin. No one, I assure you, is asking folks to enter willingly into poverty. What is asked is simple – to examine the ways that you are able to build wealth on the backs of others & recognize that if you are truly in this for change and not just talk, then that comes with relinquishing of comforts that you may take for granted.”
Now, I recognize, a lot of people reading this probably don’t have much, if any, hoarded wealth. But some of y’all do, and a lot of y’all are living lives that are set up to protect you from poverty only by participating in a system that lets others hoard your wealth.
But to the rest, “give up your excess” borders on a rude suggestion, I think, so thank you for bearing with me while I got it out of the way. (If you do have some excess, I’ll happily take it.)
A lot of y’all are trying to figure out how to build wealth, not just without choosing to build it through the exploitation of others, but because you cannot access those opportunities. I’m in a similar position, but I’ve been in it for, well, two presidents, so I think I can help. I think I know a lot of things y’all should be learning to do, if you want to take control of the material world around you, regardless of what control others give you. Learn to make fires, clean water, save seed, make dirt, cook a meal for a hundred people, tell stories, keep a child company while others look for their guardian. I’m working to create resources that will encourage the development of that knowledge.
But, I’ve been in this position for two presidents: I’ve lost a lot of that novice perspective, and I’m not sure what else folk might need to know that I’m forgetting. So, I’m asking all of you who have the energy: think about what you reckon I might know, that y’all might want to know to improve your future. And let me know what you come up with.