Roy Sesana – First People of the Kalahari, Botswana ~ 2005

Roy Sesana 2005

“My name is Roy Sesana; I am a Gana Bushman from the Kalahari in what is now called Botswana. In my language, my name is ‘Tobee’ and our land is ‘T//amm’. We have been there longer than any people has been anywhere.

When I was young, I went to work in a mine. I put off my skins and wore clothes. But I went home after a while. Does that make me less Bushman? I don’t think so.

I am a leader. When I was a boy we did not need leaders and we lived well. Now we need them because our land is being stolen and we must struggle to survive. It doesn’t mean I tell people what to do, it’s the other way around: they tell me what I have to do to help them.

I cannot read. You wanted me to write this speech, so my friends helped, but I cannot read words – I’m sorry! But I do know how to read the land and the animals. All our children could. If they didn’t, they would have all died long ago.

I know many who can read words and many, like me, who can only read the land. Both are important. We are not backward or less intelligent: we live in exactly the same up-to-date year as you. I was going to say we all live under the same stars, but no, they’re different, and there are many more in the Kalahari. The sun and moon are the same.

I grew up a hunter. All our boys and men were hunters. Hunting is going and talking to the animals. You don’t steal. You go and ask. You set a trap or go with bow or spear. It can take days. You track the antelope. He knows you are there, he knows he has to give you his strength. But he runs and you have to run. As you run, you become like him. It can last hours and exhaust you both. You talk to him and look into his eyes. And then he knows he must give you his strength so your children can live.

When I first hunted, I was not allowed to eat. Pieces of the steenbok were burnt with some roots and spread on my body. This is how I learned. It’s not the same way you learn, but it works well.

The farmer says he is more advanced than the backward hunter, but I don’t believe him. His herds give no more food than ours. The antelope are not our slaves, they do not wear bells on their necks and they can run faster than the lazy cow or the herder. We run through life together.

When I wear the antelope horns, it helps me talk to my ancestors and they help me. The ancestors are so important: we would not be alive without them. Everyone knows this in their heart, but some have forgotten. Would any of us be here without our ancestors? I don’t think so.

I was trained as a healer. You have to read the plants and the sand. You have to dig the roots and become fit. You put some of the root back for tomorrow, so one day your grandchildren can find it and eat. You learn what the land tells you.

When the old die, we bury them and they become ancestors. When there is sickness, we dance and we talk to them; they speak through my blood. I touch the sick person and can find the illness and heal it.

We are the ancestors of our grandchildren’s children. We look after them, just as our ancestors look after us. We aren’t here for ourselves. We are here for each other and for the children of our grandchildren.

Why am I here? Because my people love their land, and without it we are dying. Many years ago, the president of Botswana said we could live on our ancestral land forever. We never needed anyone to tell us that. Of course we can live where God created us! But the next president said we must move and began forcing us away.

They said we had to go because of diamonds. Then they said we were killing too many animals: but that’s not true. They say many things which aren’t true. They said we had to move so the government could develop us. The president says unless we change we will perish like the dodo. I didn’t know what a dodo was. But I found out: it was a bird which was wiped out by settlers. The president was right. They are killing us by forcing us off our land. We have been tortured and shot at. They arrested me and beat me.

Thank you for the Right Livelihood Award. It is global recognition of our struggle and will raise our voice throughout the world. When I heard I had won I had just been let out of prison. They say I am a criminal, as I stand here today.

I say what kind of development is it when the people live shorter lives than before? They catch HIV/AIDS. Our children are beaten in school and won’t go there. Some become prostitutes. They are not allowed to hunt. They fight because they are bored and get drunk. They are starting to commit suicide. We never saw that before. It hurts to say this. Is this ‘development’?

We are not primitive. We live differently to you, but we do not live exactly like our grandparents did, nor do you. Were your ancestors ‘primitive’? I don’t think so. We respect our ancestors. We love our children. This is the same for all people.

We now have to stop the government stealing our land: without it we will die.

If anyone has read a lot of books and thinks I am primitive because I have not read even one, then he should throw away those books and get one which says we are all brothers and sisters under God and we too have a right to live.

That is all. Thank you.”

Roy Sesana – First People of the Kalahari, Botswana

Roy Sesana

Creating food democracy in a hostile system

“… 5% to 50% happens like this: Local create a simple written pledge for a newly spawned local producers collective relating to non-use of synthetic chemistries and biologies (non-naturally occurring). Add the non-use of feed antibiotics, synthetic parasite controls, or hormones to stimulate production or growth.

Keep the pledge directly related to purity of food and not about “organic agriculture”. Let each farmer differentiate his name by his methods of production. This means locally you have a basic level bar to found the agriculture on that is production of pure wholesome food without putting un-natural synthetics into the environment. That is a springboard into permaculture, precision agriculture, organic soil management, and general agroecology.

In the producers collective develop a contrived economy of scale including shared labor, shared delivery trucks, shared marketing for direct to store and restaurant and CSA sales, but keep the product attached to farm name (traceability and farmer to consumer connection). Manage GAP and Modernization Act related protocols by collectively staying 10 steps ahead keeping it relevant to local and to true food safety. Work into the Act over time the monitoring for zero tolerance of pesticides and GMO’s in the local market.

Meanwhile let the big organic ag megaliths continue to produce pure non-local food to fill in the gaps while local ramps up. In the end all locale’s will be producing the bulk of their food and will be aware and buy the non-local primarily from organic producers. Conventional will try to pull their cards, but in the end poison free food that nurtures the environment can be had for all for real costs of production plus a margin associated to an economy of scale achieved by the collective.”

clatsk from mt

Voting Rights Extended to age 13…(super short)

I said shockingly: “Let’s now move for the full voting rights down to age 13.” I mean it and can support it. In short form, following is a key concept in empowering democracy.

Start by extending full voting rights down to age 13 in an unprecedented move to reach a societal artery vested in the future. Let’s further link full retirement acceptance to loss of voting right. The idea is to change the dynamic of how we perceive our contribution to the whole. Retirement should not only be acceptance of reliance on the system, but also on the younger people that make up that system.

Youngers are the vested builders of civilization. Elders are the equippers of the youngers and selfishness must end. Dependance on the youngers, at least politically, will tie the generational gap together again in the long run, without which we cannot build enduring civilization.

Elders should have amassed respectability and great wisdom. If they have, losing their voting rights will not affect their influence. If they have grown to retirement age without amassing respectability, their loss of influence is no loss to the whole.

Intro to the Pocket Revolution and non-disruptive activism

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Audrey monitoring drip tape installation with faithful the baby chick running behind.

The Pocket Revolution Demystified

“Pocket revolution takes no great risk, but mediates the risks we already face. It does not complicate or confuse, but rather deconstructs the complexity to find reason and benefit of local relevance.” Symbioticfuture ~ 2015

It’s an understood that those ambitious for power and wealth will often take advantage of others in forging opportunities to achieve their ends. It is just as understood and that so called evils of society will fill vacuums of power and create harm and oppression. Bitter or angry people will look for opportunities for revenge either on those they hate, or on the vulnerable people and beauty in their path. That said; the average of all humanity and life is empathy compassion and care for others. The average of humanity and creatures is ambition for prosperity and a drive to goodness, health, and stewardship. Is it not likely than, that poorly designed or previously manipulated systems are serving to amplify malice, oppression and greed while undermining the human desire for the simple good? Are we victims of systems? Certainly we are, but those are our human systems and if they are not there to serve for good, what are they there for? What is good? Societal good is healthy richly rewarding life available to those who have the slightest portion of ambition and will for goodness, without harm to others. In that is liberty, personal choice, diversity, and access to the basics that nature provides for vibrant health.

“It [pocket revolution] is a defiant action of local diplomacy to create contrived economy of scale and build intelligent prosperity.” Symbioticfuture ~2015

Can 200 people in a home create goodness? Resources can limit the societal good, but society today is more likely to limit the resources in a dance called supply and demand. It is a card to play, or a shackle of slavery if you will allow a stretch, which is controlled by legal and illegal cartels occupying contrived power vacuums. The fundamental resource of our living planet is the functional ecosystem which cycles, cleans and amplifies the production of all that life requires in an elegantly endless self repairing system for the diversity of life. It functions in so far as mass of life finds non-destructive contributory form and a relevant balance and even then demands the balance without apology. Parasites draw off and draw down the excess including any life out of balance. It is a system harsh in a way, and yet nothing more than governmental teeth to impose a fair and balanced equity on its subjects. This is the dance of life, that we have catastrophically disrupted to maintain the “endless growth” that is needed for our economic miracle to succeed. Our economic miracle cannot succeed for it is not a miracle it is instead a growing debt to nature and a drawdown of the fundamental resource of life. How far it can be drawn down, no one knows. Yet one thing within grasp is an analysis of whether the system as a whole is creating goodness equitably and in balance. Is our faltering freight train of industrial rampage creating gross national happiness, prosperity and a future for civilization?

No; unequivocally, the answer is a flat-out and blatant unquestionable no. Can we do better? We are repeatedly told that we cannot through fear and endless streams of confusion and turmoil experts contradicting experts with believable predictions of gloom and doom. We even have religious anecdotes suggesting it is a divine fate that we, willingly or unwillingly, will succumb to. Most choose than to live for today in a submission to command and dictate reveling in shallow rewards of colors, games, and magic machines with ever more labor saving devices that we give our endless gift of labor for. Deconstruct any single issue and it seems mystically simple, then move on to experts and debates of those more informed than yourself and we are left to assume that anything only seems simple because of the simple ignorance of the non-expert. Besides, we are tired and we need the extra hours to recoup with someone else doing the thinking and spoon feeding it back to us. It is easier that way. When it is confusing we can always buy something, or watch a game. If we are younger, we can play a game or perform some electronic cleverness with…er … I mean to friends.

“The old system steamrolls ahead as we, using the support offered by the old system, build the new in our best interests and in a global brotherhood of common interest with the diversity of other local communities across the globe.” Symbioticfuture ~ 2015

In nature we had basics and some would say the deep and enduring dream is to show what we can do with basics to create a prosperity and richness of existence worthy of our long 80 years of life. “Prosperity and richness of existence” in nature is called a niche. How do we hold our access? By filling a niche, that’s all. We carve out a clever or a brilliant niche according to our talent and ambition and we fill it with ourselves, our chosen support and companion creatures, and our friends and family. Find a place of value in the whole and you have life and health. If there is no niche, there is no life and health. And if the niche destroys its support system—ecosystem—there is no hope and no future.

“Pocket revolution is a compromise with preconception giving those we differ from in community the benefit of the doubt.” symbioticfuture ~ 2015

In our modern era, placeholders withhold the space and the basics for life; they reserve the niches and create artificial ones with artificial support systems that they control, and then they meter them back to those who concede and obey by labor in a dance called industrial civilization. Basics that the earth provides for free are withheld to use as a carrot to coax labor and energy from people. When the carrot becomes the only choice, they demand and it becomes the shackle of civilized modernity allowing for soft enslavement of the masses by those who hold power and therefore reserve access to the most basic resource convincing us that it belongs rightly and lawfully to them. This is accepted under several labels; Nietzsche’s right of the greater to control the lesser, fate, manifest-destiny, but more often now days it is called hopeless and helpless to change things. Those who previously prospered or successfully play the system, amass wealth and power and control of the vast width and depth of the earth’s “resources” and useful land. They print and loan back ‘paper power’ to buy trinkets major and minor and luxuries as the world has never seen before. The struggling are buoyed by their “prosperity” which is metered as a function of their docile submission of time, labor, and human energy. Wealth and Poverty are defined by the count of monthly “paper power”, access to credit, and the collected wealth of new trinkets or lack thereof. The theoretical goal is to employ everyone at a pay level that is defined by an ability to purchase that which is produced by the employing system even if it is with loaned ‘paper power’ paid back with interest. Employment means ability to borrow and repay over time and to buy a lifetime’s succession of product with money that pays for the labor and production of what is bought. This is also known as ‘alleviation of world poverty.’ It is the dance of our age, melancholy and wearisome as it may seem, it has plenty of fringe benefits also known as distractions, propaganda, entertainment, toys, and addiction. Dignity, self determination…hmm, well you can’t have everything, after all, if we upset the balance that ‘they’ have the world precariously maintained in, we might all suffer starvation, torture, or worse. You understand, the lesser of two evils: a life of servitude to build up the wealth and power of a few at the expense of the earths beauty and functionality and hope for future generations, to avoid that scary sort of monster of the implied reality we don’t understand but are constantly and systematically reminded of.

Pocket revolution is a quiet revelation understood in the soul of a people that life is too precious to be victims of past and present mistakes. It is a decision to act collectively in local community to create a local prosperity with strength of standing. The underlying assumption is in the intrinsic good sought by the average person and therefore the majority of people. Desire for good however, is not wisdom and clarity of vision and purpose, and this cannot be expected of the mass of people in organic form. Organization to empower a democracy that fulfills the soul desires of the people as a whole is through thoughtful evaluation and grassroots strategy. It is girded with ongoing stewardship and adaptation as we build culture locally that truly breeds dignity, liberty, self determination, prosperity, peace and amplified good in community and in sustainable ecosystem. The old system steamrolls ahead as we, using the support offered by the old system, build the new in our best interests and in a global brotherhood of common interest with the diversity of other local communities across the globe. Pocket revolution is a compromise with preconception giving those we differ from in community the benefit of the doubt. We understand that all of us will ere in assumptions, beliefs, and actions over our lifetimes, and aside from those effecting radical consequences to others, we owe fellow pilgrims grace and a space for their chosen route to life, liberty, and discovery.

What might the process look like?

“Then the complexity of the external top down imposition sloughs off like the scab of a wound leaving the renewed and self regulating community…” Symbioticfuture ~ 2015

Each community, in an allegorical sense, is a collection of tribes with different underlying assumptions and therefore a different path and motive. Pocket revolution requires that we look past our differences and alley with one another over commonalities, needs and the hope of a future for our children. What is crucial? What is crucial to me but not my right to impose on another? What is crucial to a sustainable and regenerative local culture with a future prospectus of overflowing prosperity? That is our commonality? Every community is different just as every situation and environment is different. What is crucial? What is crucial to our community, but of debatable consequence outside? What is crucial to us in the global reality that this world is a vast collection of communities just like us? What simple principles and compromises can we agree on with all the various local communities of the world to effect greater durability of our own local community and culture? You see? pocket revolution is an understanding that the greatest complexity is in the ideals of the individual, then progressively simpler to family, to “tribe” to community, to regional foodshed, to nation, and to the other collective tribes of world nations. By the time we get to the top and look, very little remains except an expectation of local stewardship and goodness driven governance. Even terms need not, in fact must not, be over defined.

Influence outside is gained not primarily by force of action, but by the sharing of local excess and success where it fits the struggles of another locale. Excess should be shared with an eye to prevent future lack in fellow communities by building up the degraded soils, hope, and ambition. This is one of the the sticky widgets of the whole deal. Local communities done right are balanced local economies complete with collectivism, cooperation, and competition balanced out by culture built out of an amalgam of intentional indigenization and the underpinnings of the people involved. Regionally, we share our greatest degree of excess in the local ambition, talent, food, fiber, and biomass region. Again the sharing beyond the locale should trail off in relation to distance and efficient trade routes. We may rather see, if not agreed upon in advance, outside communities as our productive competitors. No, that is not a good relationship outside of the locale’. The competition that we should revel in is to be the best stewards and the greatest multipliers of good. Again a sticky widget, we should agree upon in advance to promote transparency and honesty that we could be proud of something real and tangible, that we feel and secrete from the pores of existence. Simple local and regional competition, deemphasized but understood, patriotic pride in a job well done in so far as it makes its honest showing through the ebb and flow of prosperous and happy people excelling at life in the direction of their priorities toward the general stewardship is enough.

So pocket revolution changes our world but not by force. It is a defiant action of local diplomacy to create contrived economy of scale and build intelligent prosperity. Pocket revolution is soft activism, the kind that agrees on commonalities wherever there is the will, and never infringes or threatens liberty, dignity, or self determination. Pocket revolution takes no great risk, but mediates the risks we already face. It does not complicate or confuse, but rather deconstructs the complexity to find reason and benefit of local relevance. It creates more culture than system and more humanity than contrivance.

Where does it start? It starts with a change of perspective. It starts by leaving the self who was a victim and finding the heroic and active self. It progresses through reasoned strategy to simplified common needs and desires. Finally, one step at a time the local people build relevant prosperity, cultural values, and a supportive environment. Then the complexity of the external top down imposition sloughs off like the scab of a wound leaving the renewed and self regulating community, its nation, and its world. “If not me then who, if not now then when?” Pocket revolution bolters it with an emphatic ‘us’ coupled to the obvious ‘now’ and a grassroots strategy of ‘how’ that we can all understand.

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Stewardship Farm in May 2011

We dreamt now we do…

Holl_Faces-in-the-Fire

Frank Holl, Faces in the Fire, 1867

We live in a time when the world around us is not what we want it to be; even we are not the people we want to be. The scale of the disconnect is literally out of this world. To get up another day and do the basics of our life another day is often enough to count success. We do what we can with the cliff of issues in front of us. Just to not fall off that cliff and be dragged into the quagmire what so many are struggling within is often enough for today.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

I think it is time to change the dynamics of life as victims just simply getting by or making the best of it. Sure we could dream that it is all worth it for the ease of retirement, but is it? Is it like that? Or is the reality inverted and turned into a self propagating artificial real, holding humanity from the prize of this great life?

Agroecology: the new science…short and to the point

Dandylions

Resources were wrongly defined by the past several generations of our leaders and prominent men and women.

What we have been led to see as resources for our prosperity are often either pieces of an ecosystem, geological support for ecosystems, or the temporary non-renewable excess created by ecosystems. The keystone resource is clearly the ecosystem itself. This is what differentiates our planet and mystifies science as a beneficial but so far inadequate tool. Ecosystems are the resource that sustainably produces millions of useful deliverables from the most intricate of chemicals to the most robust of building materials and everything in between that pertains to our prosperity. It is through our contribution to the ecosystem that we, like other creatures can drive specific deliverables to excess for our use. Our work in natural systems is not as grunt laborers producing the amount of product relevant to the amount of energy we put forth, that would be more like the drudgery of our “modern” system. Our work instead is relevantly soft intelligent labor in the ebb and flow of an already functional and energy multiplicative system. When we design production, we should design in the biomimicry style, not for our standard 40% to 90% efficient system, but for 250-1000% efficient multifunctional symbiotic systems that benefits the whole at the expense of the sun.

landscape

“Ecology functions on excess energy flows not energy creation. The ecosystem is an energy capture, cycle, and upscale system for multiplying usable product exponentially through the diverse soft labor of millions of willing creatures, each for their own good and, by apparent design, for the good of the whole.” symbioticfuture ~ 2015

Ecosystems are always local, though undeniably linked globally. Rain, snow, wind, fire, cloud cover, ocean currents, waves, mineral collections, plant growth and the link to food for most species, sea level rise and fall, water traveling back to mountain tops and then flowing down again in rivers and streams is all solar effect with an occasional or locally understood geothermal input. Ecosystems function on the global circulation of solar energy effects, but they function as autonomous and unique local units that fit local specifics.

People belong in all ecosystems to which they find a productive symbiotic contribution that allows for their own prosperity to benefit the prosperity of the system. The higher the diversity of species finding a productive niche in the ecosystem balance the more productive, elegant, and durable the system. People are not an exception. Local knowledge and local connection is the meaning of indigenous. Local knowledge lost is a catastrophic loss. The ideal imperative of our time is re-indigenization and empowerment of durable, happy, and productive local cultures.

Maramures Hay

Renewed and redesigned cultures need to be generationally knowledge multiplying. We should not amplify differences and generational gaps, and we should understand the natural flow of knowledge and where it is typically lost. Our information systems, as the libraries of old, are not a replacement for generationally multiplying knowledge. Our info-tech. tools are a catalogue of knowledge that, though not necessarily locally relevant, can function as a builders toolbox in trial, error, adventure, and brilliance. Another tool is our tie to other individuals and communities around the globe; still another our science and systems of huge productivity turned rabid. We are in a position to build the greatest local civilization ever and we are the local communities that span the width and depth of the globe.

Ecology functions on excess energy flows not energy creation. The ecosystem is an energy capture, cycle, and upscale system for multiplying usable product exponentially through the diverse soft labor of millions of willing creatures, each for their own good and, by apparent design, for the good of the whole.

Ecology is grassroots.

maramures haystacks

Sexuality… an addendum to my previous post

Nexus Pictures 2385

Link  to: Previous Post Contextualizing Sexuality

This was a hard post to write. I actually see harm in caging up the instincts or covering over passion. It can be like a caldron of power that if covered festers into disease while liberated it completes the humanity. Objectification is what my article addresses. Sexuality is deeply spiritual just as it is an equally deep physicality. That is why it is so important. Turn it into another simple exhilaration and you lose. Contextualized sexuality is the trance of wild release and passion diving into a deep cloud covered valley in a faith of self abandonment that roars, dances, and revels in liberty almost disconnected from the material world; only the thread of fleshly instinct holds you to your material existence. Will you take that and objectify it or attach it to social discussion? Hell no, not if you connect with an ounce of your humanity. Flirting,… bring it on, its part of the dance, but that is communication of the human existence. Talking about sex in public, or even calling it “sex” at all, is like one revering a God, turning in the other breath and denigrating him in casual jokes. Revere your sexuality and society will win with you!

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