FOOD, SHELTER & LOVE
Becoming an integrated human being.
My first stage of waking up was a feeling in the guts. I knew early on that something was wrong with the world, hence with me, but I didn't have enough knowledge to reflect on it consciously.
The second stage of my waking up was getting knowledge to be able to name the problems and reflects on them consciously. I travelled the world, read many books on many topics ranging fron economics to spirituality and permaculture and sustainable off-grid living.
Last year (February 2014), I was given the opportunity to give a Tedx talk in Queenstown. I told the story of my personal path and how I ended up playing piano in the streets, but mostly, I shared my vision and understanding of the mechanisms of our world.
What do we truly need in our lives? Mathias Lefebvre at TEDxQueenstown
I explained that all I truly need is Food, Shelter and Love, and that I can get most of it from the land, the problem being that I have to purchase a land, which involves money and thus work, meaning we are all forced into working in order to get sorted with our basic needs, and that is slavery. If what we need is food, and we have no chance to get that food without working for money in exchange for it because the land isn't freely accessible, than we live in slavery. The same holds true for our homes and the land and ressources we need to build them.
These are the three systems we need to create an abundance of food, an abundance of homes, and an abundance of connectedness and community feeling. This is the solution. We can grow food everywhere effectively and chemical free, for all, that is simply healthy. We can build sound homes that are chemical free, healthy and from almost unprocessed materials such as wood, clay/earth, sand and stones. And we can implement systems that bring dignity to all human beings by covering everyone's needs. We can do all of this together and thus be part of a larger group, be connected, work for one another's abundance and well being.
FOOD, SHELTER & LOVE
Food grows for free, providing you plant the seeds and in the right soil. Otherwise, it actually grows while being unattended and continuously. I am always amazed when I go into my vege garden, I always seem to harvest more and more, while I do nothing for it to grow in the meantime. I just pay it a visit to plant new seeds and harvest my daily greens.
Imagine that food was growing everywhere, in and around your house, in and around your town, on every parking lot, grassy walkway, park and gardens, window sills, rooftops, literally everywhere. Wouldn't that be abundance ? Wouldn't that be true security ?
Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes: TED TALK
Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
"Growing your food is like printing your own money"
But it's even more than printing your own money, it's the perfect alternative to the standard chemically treated and GMO foods, which induce many health issues we only start to be aware of.
Cuba is the perfect example of feasability: they transitionned from a chemically based agriculture to a permaculture model, chemical free. In fact, the oil crisis forced them to, but as a reward, they figured out it's all the healthier and merrier, and most of all, they show the way. If you have the time, I recommend you watch the full documentary (53min).
Jacques Fresco is an inventor and thinker who spent most of his life designing a different world. A world of ressources scientifically managed to serve all of humanity without discrimination. His project, seen by the many and well heard of, is called the Venus Project. I recommend you watch the full documentary - Future by Design - to let yourself inspired. Here is a short sample, on money and food:
Jacques Fresco about money
"We must declare the Earth's resources common heritage for all the world's people"
FOOD, SHELTER & LOVE
I believe in a similar way, we can build homes really easily, really cheapely. In fact, we can do it with the resources we have around us, found almost as it is in nature. We can build with wood, earth and clay, sand and stones, very sound and efficient homes. I have myself buit a tipi in two months, helped built straw bales homes, and most of all, visited villages and homes that have entirely been built with nature's ressources, for virtually no money. Check my visit in Eourres, France.
Natural Building: 6 weeks in 60 seconds
Seth's Straw Bale Construction Techniques
Jon Jandai is a man from Thailand who reckons life is easy. He figured out that if he built himself a home out of natural elements, it would only take 3 months and thus save him 29 years and 9 months worth of working and saving money to pay for a standard home in town. He saw that the birds were making their nests in 3 days, and he simply wanted to be as free as the birds. He has so far built himself 5 beautiful and natural homes for each of which he doens't have a mortgage!
On our travels in Thailand, my partner and I attended a 10 days Permaculture Design Course at Panya Community, next door to Jon Jandai's village, which we visited with great interest. His Tedx talk is the first TED talk I watched online, a few weeks after we met him.
He grows his food and built his home and spends the rest of his time teaching or speaking the advantages of the model as well as building techniques and spreading seeds. He pretty much embodies my ideal model of life. Now, it might have been different for him to transition onto that model because he lives in Thailand, and it is well known that Thailand is much more flexible about building codes and what you can or can't do altogether.
Life is easy. Why do we make it so hard? Jon Jandai at TEDxDoiSuthep
"Building your natural home is like printing your own money"
FOOD, SHELTER & LOVE
Participatory systems, cooperative systems such as participatory democracy, where everyone can be involved into every process of research, study and decision process to executing those projects and decisions. Such a horizontal hierarchy are emerging in many places such as in companies run as cooperatives and in some little villages and towns such as Marinaleda in Spain.
In Marinaleda, "there is hardly any unemployment or police and you can build a house for free. This 3000 inhabitants town is only ruled by mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo. He performs community service initiatives alternatives to capitalist consumerist formula. This clashes with the more conservative parties and the most liberal of Spain...".
" ...the land is communal property. Unlike the rest of Spain, where the housing crisis is very strong due to speculation, with 216 daily evictions on average, Marinaleda has a self-building house programme that allows everyone to build their own house with a 15 Euro rent per month. Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo is the charismatic mayor of the city, in charge since 1979. He is well known in Spain for his commitment to the Andalusian peasants and his fight against capitalist economy. The political system of Marinaleda provides a direct and participatory democracy, all decisions are made by the community by means of popular assembly. In Marinaleda there are no priests nor police, and it is the community itself that takes care of any possible conflict. The city also counts with strong social measures, such as a nursery for 12 euros per month and a swimming pool for 3 euro for the duration of the summer. Notwithstanding the context of strong economic crisis, the socialist utopia of Marinaleda still provides a model of sustainable development alternative to capitalism."
Sources - Dailymotion, Youtube
"The land is communal property"
It just seems to make sense that at some stage, we are getting over it being blindly leaded. We get sick of it, and wake up from our apathy. It makes sense to run ourselves openly and consciously. We have now tried and tested the leaders-in-charge "version", and we can conclude that IT DOENS'T WORK. Something else is needed, something different. I believe it is participatory democracy, systems and companies: everyone is involved, how can it be wrong ?
There are many itiniatives out there showing a general movement of people towards all three systems, naturally as they appear to work efficiently: Permaculture, Natural Building and Participatory systems. Slowly but surely, we are getting there.
How We Live: Journey Towards A Just Transition
EDGE Plenary Film 2015 - Better, Not More
"Here is an inspiring five-minute video about the quest for a new post-growth economic system. "Better, Not More," was produced by Kontent Films for the Edge Funders Alliance, and was released last week at a conference in Baltimore. The video is a beautiful set of statements from activists around the world describing what they aspire to achieve, especially by way of commons". Source
The wealth of the commons
"We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of “progress” and governance. In short: how they’ve built their commons."
"The commons is less about ownership as we usually understand it than about stewardship. Ask indigenous peoples if they “own” the land and they will reply that the land owns them."
"Think like a commoner" by David Bollier.
We built a andian tipi and lived in it. Empowering and rich experience.
Films for action: A huge database of movies and documentaries about everything you should know. Very valueable website.
"The wealth of the commons": Book: "Over the past few years an explosion of innovative activism, scholarship and projects focused on the commons has been gaining momentum around the world. This growing movement consists of activists fighting international land grabs and the privatization of water; commoners collectively managing forests, fisheries and farmlands; Internet users generating software and Web content that can be shared and improved; and urban dwellers reclaiming public spaces. The Wealth of the Commons brings together the most vibrant strands of this burgeoning international work into a single volume, revealing the significant potential of the commons as a new force in politics, economics and culture."
"Think like a commoner": book by David Bollier about the commons: "In our age of predatory markets and make-believe democracy, our troubled political institutions have lost sight of real people and practical realities. But if you look to the edges, ordinary people are reinventing governance and provisioning on their own terms. The commons is arising as a serious, practical alternative to the corrupt Market/State. The beauty of commons is that we can build them ourselves, right now. But the bigger challenge is, Can we learn to see the commons and, more importantly, to think like a commoner?"
Natural homes: a whole website about natural building, natural homes, with many examples and pictures to make you dream of beautiful nests. It is too a network for natural homes lovers and builders.
The Venus Project: Jacques Fresco has spent many years designing a new world made of scientific resources management and fairness. He has a clear point on human mechanisms and needs. His work is gigantic and deep, but mostly inviting, inspiring!