The Future Is Unknown, But We Know the Unsustainable Will Implode (April 23, 2012)
There are no apolitical “personal choice” acts; there are only profoundly political acts of resistance or complicity.
I don't how the future will unfold, not just because I'm an idiot but because it's unknowable. Though we cannot know the future, we do know two very important things: 1) that which is unsustainable will implode, and 2) the present Status Quo is unsustainable.
That ultimately leaves us with a single question: what are we going to do about it? In my view, it's not important that we agree on solutions--agreement would in fact be a catastrophe, for dissent and decentralization are the essential characteristics of any sustainable "solution." What is important is that we realize the future boils down to a simple choice: do we passively comply with the Status Quo feudalism or do we resist?
In my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation I summarize this thusly: There are no apolitical “personal choice” acts; there are only profoundly political acts of resistance or complicity.
The roots of this line of thinking go back to 1969 when at the age of 16 I discovered Jean-Paul Sartre's What is Literature? (print) (Kindle). This book inspired my goal of becoming a writer, and it's easy to understand why: Sartre's central argument is that among the arts only prose has the power to change our lives.
Amazon.com reviewer Riccardo Pelizzo summarized this concept brilliantly: "The function of a committed writer is to reveal the world so that every reader loses her innocence and assumes all her responsibilities in front of it."
These excerpts give you a flavor of What Is Literature?:
"The function of a writer is to call a spade a spade. If words are sick, it is up to us to cure them. Instead of that, many writers live off this sickness. In many cases modern literature is a cancer of words. There is nothing more deplorable than the literary practice which, I believe, is called poetic prose and which consists of using words for the obscure harmonics which resound about them and which are made up of vague meanings which are in contradiction with the clear meaning."
Reviewer Vasha7 made a critically important point about financial/economic freedom:
"Sartre asserts that if a writer is not fully committed to both political and more importantly economic liberty, he is internally at war with the fundamental free nature of literature."
Though people say a film, podcast, song or interview changed their life, prose retains a unique ability to not just to crystallize an emotional or intellectual recognition but to spark a chain of insights that illuminates a different path in life.
The goal of Resistance, Revolution, Liberation is to change your life in a positive fashion. Here is a key quote from the book:
This is the basic credo of liberation:
The inimitable Steve Jobs succinctly described complicity in his famous challenge to former Pepsi head-honcho John Sculley: "Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?"
Sugar water comes in financial and intellectual favors, too. A friend recently recounted a story from personal knowledge of an immigrant who started life in the U.S. renting a closet to sleep in and in the space of a few years moved into a posh home in Boston after making a small fortune wholesaling saccharine. This is of course the Status Quo's "American Dream": the big house, the Mercedes in the driveway, all achieved by whatever means or debt-loads are within reach.
That is the false choice provided by the Status Quo: do you want to buy/sell/drink sugar water or saccharine?
There is another choice: do we want to passively self-destruct in servitude to the Status Quo or do we want to join those with a positive vision for the future? Every act is a choice, and the future is in our hands.
Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change (print $25)
(Kindle eBook $9.95)
We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: though our financial system seems unsinkable, its reliance on debt and financialization has already doomed it.
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