Community


When did our society become a huge population of individuals and no longer groups of communities?  When did paying for social structure become a huge debate?  When did we stop caring about our neighbors and our families?  When did charity become a bad word?

I am seeing the social structures around me crumble.  I hear people screaming about paying taxes, yet they can smoke and drink and drive fancy cars.  Do you not care about the child that did not choose to be born?  Do you blame them for the mistakes of their parents?  As a child I was never exposed to the ugly side of things.  My parents raised me in the middle of no where, we had our own issues out there, but if the government tried to enforce stuff, be certain that shots would have been fired.  I understand my parents fear.  As a parent myself I faced the same fear.  For me, though, I chose to face it head on.  I moved my kids to the ugly city.  I put them on public transit, in city public schools and forced them to live in the ugliness that is life.

I do not often complain about being poor, in fact I do pretty good in poverty, but I also understand that my vision of being poor is nothing like the rest of the world faces.  Last summer I saw some of the poorest communities in the US.  I saw places where dirty energy was the only way to keep food on the table.  I saw places where the government was so focused on repression that it could not embrace growth. Areas that felt that focusing on stoic laws was more important than supporting schools and social amenities.  I also saw incredible love and giving on the part of the people.  People who had nothing but gave anyway.  It is amazing to see these things firsthand.

I am voluntarily choosing to live in abject poverty for the next two years.  What does this look like?  It looks like eating meat when offered, because being a vegetarian is just not feasible.  It means eating many more beans than I care to consider, because that is what is available.  It is using outdoor toilet facilities, which will look much like a hole you squat above.  It will look like, do not swim in the lake it is full of parasites.  It will look like damn it, I got a parasite now my insides are twisted up.  It will look like caring that the neighbors have no food, or their child is sick.  It will look so much clearer than we ever saw.  It will make paying taxes look like a picnic and paying to support our community as a grand gesture of gratitude.  It will look like life outside of ourselves.

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My anti-capitalism goes beyond the ideology of the system.  My anti-capitalism is about how we treat each other based on social status. How we view each other based on skin color and ethnicity.  It goes beyond all of this, I loathe the idea that we have somehow forgot how to share.  How we have become selfish bullies fighting for the last doll in the toy box.  How we have forgotten how to play nice with others. How we see ourselves as superior, yes I loathe all these things.  I am certain they existed in my childhood, we were just so protected we never saw it.  I face the future with Eyes Wide Open!

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