Extinction Rebellion, Fridays For Future, School Strike For Climate, Youth Climate Movement, Deep Green Resistance, Stop Ecocide, Decisive Ecological Warfare, and so on, are not a legal conflict. They are political insurgency.
For simplicity, let's pack them all together into one name: '(r)evolution'.
The bad news is:
As ruling systems try to suppress the insurgencies they engage in low-intensity warfare. In other words, we are already at war.
The good news is:
The states don’t know how to win this war.
“No state has ever defeated an indigenous insurgency.” - Jerry Boyle
The 'Jabberwock' is led by psychopathic personalities using 'single-mind' intelligence passing orders down through their hierarchies.
In comparison, the (r)evolution is open-source (leaderless), and uses many-mind (swarm) intelligence, which is nonlinear and which tends to generate an abundance of parallel (unpredictable/uncontrollable) actions.
Therefore, if the (r)evolution persists, the Jabberwock has no chance!
Persistence is enhanced through intelligent understanding of (r)evolution strategies and technologies, thus, this website, in which you will find the following sections:
WHAT IS IT REALLY ABOUT?
HOW TO DISARM A POLICE OFFICER
AND HAST THOU SLAIN THE JABBERWOCK?
HOW TO MANUFACTURE A TRIBE
RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING
1. General (R)evolution Strategies
(R)evolution increases the ability of individuals and small groups to accomplish tasks through rapid improvements in decentralized decision making, teamwork, nonlinear strategy, and the use of technology to access global networks.
Many-to-many collaborations enable small groups to radically increase their productivity in protests.
For example, if many small groups disrupt a system by attacking its weak points simultaneously in diverse modalities (such as walkouts, flashmobs, media campaigns, street theater pieces) this can multiply the effectiveness to achieve as much as a 1,400,000 percent return on investment. That is superempowerment.
(R)evolution gains diverse intelligences by remaining leaderless so it can be sourced by the whole swarm rather than by individual leaders.
Through self-organizing its nonviolent noncompliance with what-is-not-sustainable, (r)evolution acts in parallel through a large collection of small, superempowered groups.
These small groups can work together to take on much larger foes (usually hierarchies).
Open-source organizing enables high rates of wildly diverse innovation, increased survivability among the participant groups, more frequent protests, and an ability to swarm targets.
HOW CAN (R)EVOLUTION SOURCE A LONG-TERM SUPEREMPOWERED OPEN-SOURCE INSURGENCY?
A) THE PLAUSIBLE PROMISE Establish an idea that holds the open-source insurgency together. The plausible promise is composed of:
AN ENEMY The enemy serves as the target of protests. This enemy can either be perceived or manufactured (any group or organization that can be depicted as a threat, in this case: the Jabberwock.). The enemy can be any group that currently holds and exerts power: invader, the government, a company, an ethnic group, or a private organization. It’s all the Jabberwock.
A GOAL This goal animates the Teams. Because of the diversity of the groups and individuals that join together in an open-source insurgency, the only goal that works is one that is simple and extremely high level. More complex goal-setting is impossible, since it will fracture or fork the insurgency.
A DEMONSTRATION A successful demonstration proves the viability of the insurgency. People see it is actually possible to win against the enemy. The demonstration deflates any aura of invincibility that the enemy may currently enjoy. The demonstration serves as a rallying cry for the insurgency.
B) THE FOCO Every open-source insurgency is ignited by a small founding group, a 'foco' in guerrilla parlance.
The foco sets the original goal and conducts the operation that provides the insurgency with its demonstration of viability.
It's important to understand that in order to grow an open-source insurgency, the foco must follow a simple path:
RELINQUISH Give up any control over the insurgency gained during its early phases. In practice, this means giving up control of how the goal is achieved, who may participate, how to communicate, etc. The only control that remains is the power of example, achieved through the respect gained through effectively serving the goal. If ever a leader attempts to fork the protest, by trying to lead it towards an agenda or policy or politics only they care about, they should be ignored/rejected/blocked.
RESIST (RESIST YOUR GREMLIN'S HIDDEN INTENTIONS) This means: stay small. Don't grow the foco to a size that makes the original group easy for the enemy to target (allow very few new members in the first group). Further, don't establish a formal collection of groups, a hierarchy of control, or set forth a complex agenda. This will only serve to alienate and fragment the insurgency. In some cases, it will make the foco a target of the insurgency itself. It will also slow any advancement on the objective since it limits potential pathways of innovation that naturally emerge from a large, loose network of self-organized superempowered groups.
SHARE Rapidly give away your best resources, ideas, information, knowledge, recruits, etc. to other groups that join the insurgency. Share everything possible that doesn't directly compromise the foco's integrity (its operational security or viability). Expect sharing in return.
2. What Is (R)evolution Actually About?
(R)evolution is comparable to what we have seen in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc. Remember, these are actions that have already toppled governments.
The big difference between (r)evolution and those other protests is that (r)evolution is not directed at governments. It is aimed at companies, but not just any companies. It's aimed at the banks that own and run the global economy.
(R)evolution is replacing the heart of the global Capitalist system with a new human agenda on the planet.
(R)evolution ignores governments and standard political processes because:
Governments are much weaker than the global economy (they are bankrupt hollow shells of what they were at the end of the Cold War).
Governments are too ineffectual and/or corrupt to change anything even if they are coerced (see the US, Ireland and Greece for recent examples).
Too little will change even if the government changes parties (see the US for how lame politics and politicians have become).
What's the real goal of (r)evolution? It's a recognition that the center of world power doesn't reside in Washington or London or Moscow or Beijing anymore. It's in the executive suites and luxury resorts behind the global corporate hegemony.
(R)evolution dispenses with the middle men (governments) and goes straight after the real power to divest it of whatever credibility it still tries to claim.
The reason we are seeing this movement right now is because Capitalism, the last great ideological system, is in crisis.
This isn't merely a crisis of outcomes (economic depression, financial panic, etc.). It's a crisis of BELIEF.
While people generally believe in the idea of 'capitalism', a critical mass of people now think that the global capitalist system we currently have is so badly run, so corrupt, so terrible at delivering results that it needs either:
A) A complete overhaul, or
B) To be replaced with something new
Which equates to the same thing! Because the Jabberwock cannot be overhauled.
The Jabberwock cannot become anything other than a Jabberwock.
The concept that a person’s responsibility is subsumed by the corporation they work for (corporate personhood) or the government they serve (national laws, or the customs of the bureaucracy) or the general they take orders from ('just following orders') is a false paradigm. We live in a responsible universe. You are responsible for what you do or say, or don't do or don't say.
Believing in any false paradigm is still your absolute responsibility.
Believing in this particular false paradigm (the capitalist patriarchal empire - actually 3 false paradigms...) leads to global suicide.
It can help to consciously remember that:
The Rule of Law of Western Civilization is exterminating life on Earth at the fastest possible rate.
Anyone following the Rule of Law of Western Civilization is criminally insane.
Anyone defending the Rule of Law of Western Civilization has already forfeited their life.
How do you know you are thinking in this particular false paradigm? How can you detect if you are infested with the memetic viruses of the Jabberwock?
Here are some symptoms:
Assuming you must ignore social and environmental consequences in your decisions because they seem too expensive to consider.
Strategizing ways to externalize costs so that the general public, future generations, or third-world countries pay to deal with your toxic wastes.
Thinking you can manufacture a product without including its recycle costs in your manufacturing and pricing.
Thinking you can cut old growth forests in Borneo, make products with it in China, sell your products through Ikea or Walmart, and call this rape 'profit'.
Thinking that you can follow orders from a superior and kill people with robot planes in Afghanistan.
Thinking you can manufacture, sell, transport, or use depleted uranium weapons.
Thinking that it does not matter if you consume false-paradigm products. (If most people stopped using Shell Oil or McDonald’s hamburgers for two weeks these firms would be bankrupt.)
Thinking you can be pissed off at your neighbor without changing yourself.
Thinking you can order someone else to stop a third party from creating a better world and not face the personal consequences. (For example, thinking you can hire assassins to kill ecological activists in Brazil so you can increase your cattle herd.)
Here is an expample. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought he could have the owners of Zuccotti Park – Brookfield Properties – shut down #OccupyWallStreet early in the morning of 14 October 2011 using the ruse of 'cleaning the park'. He thought he could avoid the consequences of this decision. He was thinking inside the false paradigm.
#OCCUPY perceived the cleaning order as Bloomberg vs. #OCCUPY. One Mind vs. Many Minds. Linear Thinking vs. Nonlinear Thinking. From the very beginning Bloomberg had no chance. (This is true for whatever authority figure tries to subdue or suppress the people united.)
#OCCUPY took immediate actions to delegitimize the complaint that the park was dirty and unsafe. It brings in power-washers, brooms, and mops and as one body deep cleans Liberty Square. They even hired a dump truck! They even offered to let cleaners into the square to clean 1/3 of it at a time!
With the complaint delegitimized, #OCCUPY goes on the offensive. It personalizes the eviction move. It finds Bloomberg. He's at a gala dinner at Ciprianis (a Wall Street restaurant). They surround the restaurant and try to enter it to deliver a petition with 310,000 signatures. Bloomberg hides, departs from the rear. In short order the deputy mayor announces that the eviction is cancelled!
Remember, every situation is unique, but general group-intelligence strategies apply.
Here are some guidelines:
Go straight for the man.
Maximize the taint of an authority’s actions on his personal brand.
Blame him personally.
Pierce his shield of bureaucratic impersonality. For example, #OCCUPY branded the park eviction with the name: BLOOMBERG. This is a global stage. Let’s use it. The reputation of the president /mayor /CEO /general /police chief may not matter much to you, but it certainly matters to him.
Respond to his attack with lots and lots of flashmobs.
Go for non-violent system disruption.
Shut down bridges and major streets.
Overwhelm the system with actions of unprecedented speed and unpredictable volume.
As soon as the police arrive in force, disperse and reassemble at new locations.
Bikes plus Kids.
Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt.
More flashmobs equals more disruption.
As long as you are under attack in one place, keep the city tied up in knots at other places. NOTE: If they lock down your area, flashmobs are the best way to participate. (Plus, as an added benefit, in running from location to location you get some needed exercise!)
Connect with more people than him. Best way to do this: Eyes in the sky. Get cameras above your action with drones, for example. Stream the feed. The better the quality the more impact it will have. It will play across the world. Think about how important AJs video feed over Tahrir was when things got hot. Better yet, get AJ to cover it and stream it.
Success story. The flashmob tactic was tried in Panama a couple of years ago by the SUNTRACS construction workers union. With very small groups pre-planted all over the city they drove the police absolutely crazy. Police would show up at location A, the mob would disperse immediately, two text messages and then flashmobs would simultaneously block streets at locations B and C. This worked very well and with much fewer people than #OCCUPY has available.
Encourage multiple #OCCUPY flashmob teams to self-organize and operate in parallel!
Continue to exist.
Logistics are important.
Cold weather is coming fast, freezing your food, water, everything in a few weeks.
People in the (r)evolution will get tougher, but it eventually gets impossible with snow blowing.
Continue to exist, but consider abandoning the parks. Why not do the 'very-small-groups-pre-planted-all-over-the-city-for-flashmobs' tactic from warm apartments? Print an apartment hospitality directory, or put it online, like the Mennonite Your Way Directory http://www.mennoniteyourway.com
It’s time for tribal living.
Become 'Lady Randomfactor'. Many random events that are out of control will wear down and use up the Jabberwock’s resources.
Then become 'Lord Critical Mass'. Except, instead of every Friday, pick one random, unpredictable day (or a couple days) each week to (r)evolutionize with a critical mass of people (meaning, enough people to attract attention and cause an impact).
Five hundred police come out on Monday expecting the crowd from Sunday to still be there, but people have mysteriously vanished and downtown looks like a Police State. By Wednesday there are only fifty police left, and then suddenly thousands of (r)evolutionizers show up there, warm, fed, showered, shaved, and feeling quite chipper, even in the middle of winter.
4. A Taxonomy Of Action by Derrick Jensen
Deep Green Resistance News Service, the 12/04/2019 edition:
We’ve all seen biological taxonomies, which categorize living organisms by kingdom and phylum down to genus and species. Though there are tens of millions of living species of vastly different shapes, sizes, and habitats, we can use a taxonomy to quickly zero in on a tiny group.
When we seek effective strategies and tactics, we have to sort through millions of past and potential actions, most of which are either historical failures or dead ends. We can save ourselves a lot of time and a lot of anguish with a quick and dirty resistance taxonomy. By looking over whole branches of action at once we can quickly judge which tactics are actually appropriate and effective for saving the planet (and for many specific kinds of social and ecological justice activism). A taxonomy of action can also suggest tactics we might otherwise overlook.
Broadly speaking, we can divide all of our tactics and projects either into acts of omission or acts of commission. Of course, sometimes these categories overlap. A protest can be a means to lobby a government, a way of raising public awareness, a targeted tactic of economic disruption, or all three, depending on the intent and organization. And sometimes one tactic can support another; an act of omission like a labor strike is much more likely to be effective when combined with propagandizing and protest.
In a moment we’ll do a quick tour of our taxonomic options for resistance. But first, a warning. Learning the lessons of history will offer us many gifts, but these gifts aren’t free. They come with a burden. Yes, the stories of those who fight back are full of courage, brilliance, and drama. And yes, we can find insight and inspiration in both their triumphs and their tragedies. But the burden of history is this: there is no easy way out.
In Star Trek, every problem can be solved in the final scene by reversing the polarity of the deflector array. But that isn’t reality, and that isn’t our future. Every resistance victory has been won by blood and tears, with anguish and sacrifice. Our burden is the knowledge that there are only so many ways to resist, that these ways have already been invented, and they all involve profound and dangerous struggle. When resisters win, it is because they fight harder than they thought possible.
And this is the second part of our burden. Once we learn the stories of those who fight back—once we really learn them, once we cry over them, once we inscribe them in our hearts, once we carry them in our bodies like a war veteran carries aching shrapnel—we have no choice but to fight back ourselves. Only by doing that can we hope to live up to their example. People have fought back under the most adverse and awful conditions imaginable; those people are our kin in the struggle for justice and for a livable future. And we find those people—our courageous kin—not just in history, but now. We find them among not just humans, but all those who fight back.
We must fight back because if we don’t we will die. This is certainly true in the physical sense, but it is also true on another level. Once you really know the self-sacrifice and tirelessness and bravery that our kin have shown in the darkest times, you must either act or die as a person. We must fight back not only to win, but to show that we are both alive and worthy of that life.
Acts of Omission
The word 'strike' comes from eighteenth-century English sailors, who struck (removed) their ship’s sails and refused to go to sea, but the concept of a workers’ strike dates back to ancient Egypt...(Read the whole article in this PDF)
5. How To Disarm A Police Officer
These are notes from a video made 11 October 2011 (posted below), featuring Chicago lawyer Jerry Boyle of National Lawyers Guild giving a street workshop to #OCCUPYCHICAGO. It contains valuable legal and strategic information for protesters everywhere. It's an hour long, but completely engaging and well worth watching. It is included below, and also posted at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17807926 by Linda Ross.
Police are trained to think within five legal definitions of force:
Physical presence – a show of force is equal to the use of force.
Verbal direction – instructions and commands.
Empty hand control – no weapons. Physical contact.
Intermediate weapons systems – pepper spray, baton.
In an interaction with police, you have the power to determine to what degree of force the situation escalates.
This is a tremendous amount of power.
For example, if an officer speaks to you and you ignore him, you force him to escalate the force he is using with you. He must speak louder or get angry to get your attention.
Therefore, in non-violent (r)evolutionary actions, you can de-escalate force by looking police officers directly in the eyes.
Most police officers already sympathize with (r)evolutionary goals. You can demonstrate compliance with their physical presence and verbal direction by acknowledging them, listening to what they say, and repeating back what you understood (using a 'Completion Loop').
You do not necessarily have to DO what they say, but if you stay in relationship with them, acknowledging them, listening and speaking with them (perhaps even being kind to them) then there is a good chance the force can be kept at the verbal level.
You can also determine whether or not you will be arrested. If you do not wish to be arrested then create it so interactions stay within the first two levels of force. By the time an officer goes to the third level of force - empty hand control - and grabs you by the arm, you are already being arrested.
Police may be tired, angry, scared, or overwhelmed. They may regard dealing with street protests as a distraction from their true work of dealing with criminals.
Being frustrated, they may (unconsciously) wish to escalate the level of force in an interaction so that if they do go to the trouble of arresting you, you will be charged with a higher crime.
For example, police are trained in 'pain points'. If an angry police officer grabs you he may intentionally apply pressure at a pain point causing you to automatically flail about, which on a video would be hard to distinguish from resisting arrest or attacking the officer, which is an automatic felony charge for you. Your flailing is also a good excuse for him to use pepper spray, a knee, or his club on you.
Some people recommend that if you are grabbed you should go limp, but if you do, you will likely be trampled or dragged around and might get hurt.
If you already know a police officer might grab you in a pain point you can prepare yourself to not react aggressively no matter what.
Often, these days, to avoid escalation of force, white shirt police do the actual arresting, with blue-shirt police as their backups.
To disarm a police officer, use the first three levels of force on him before he uses them on you.
For example, at level one: physical presence, to maximize the apparent show of force at a scene, the police may be outfitted in riot gear, head to toe armor, shields, batons, helmets, etc. This is the police officer’s 'power costume'.
Well, you can wear a power costume too.
Consider this, if you wear a suit and tie, the police will have a very difficult time hitting you because blue-shirt police take their orders from people wearing a suit and tie.
If you wear a pink bunny suit, it will look very bad on TV seeing a police officer beating on girls dressed in pink bunny suits.
If you wear a V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes mask with your suit and tie they don’t know what you are. This is powerful.
Using the first three levels of force (presence of force, verbal direction, and empty hand control) on a police officer before he uses it on you, disarms him (or her).
It can look like this: When the police arrive, you scan the group and locate the highest ranking officer. Then, in your suit and tie you smile professionally, make eye contact, hold out your open hands, walk enthusiastically up to the him, shake hands and introduce yourself, “My name is David Applebee. I am a Possibilitator. If there are any problems here, let me know what I can do for you. I’ll be right over there.”
Physical presence, verbal direction, empty hand control. Sweet.
There is streaming media 24x7x365 (interviews, opeds, confrontation scenes, theater pieces).
There is legal support for dealing with the complexities of congregating and living in an urban, public space.
All of this is great and this experience will definitely pay off over the next decade as the global economy deteriorates, panics, and dissolves. Experiencing co-intelligent collaboration at sit-ins and festivals and marches indicates to newbies that resilient communities are possible. Actually they are thriving around the planet beneath modern culture's new radars.
The reason you are not living in a parallel-culture of archearchy already is that you cannot get there without preparations and without taking the 4 steps across the bridge to next culture.
What you can do now is leave the psychopaths behind because you have learned to consciously feel and can, as a result, detect psychopaths at a distance. Then, like a bullfighter, you can hold the red cloth to your side rather than directly in front of your heart... and let them go charging by you.
You can also prove to yourself that there are thousands of thriving parallel-cultures co-existing right now in the global ethnosphere. The marketing that the patriarchal empire does to promote the idea that modern culture is the dominant culture is just that, marketing.
The empire is in rapid decline. It is unsustainable. Just keep letting the empire slide out of your life like a lizard sheds its skin. Make your 3Cell. Bring as many of your friends along as you can.
Trying to fight psychopaths directly triggers their strong suit - stupid weaponized aggressions. It's what they are most afraid of being used on them so they use it on others.
What is even more lethal to psychopath-topped hierarchies is divestment. There are four powerful ways you can divest from supporting the capitalist patriarchal empire (and, by realizing the ways to divest you also identify the ways you support the Jabberwock by not divesting...):
By changing yourself and your life you have already slayed the Jabberwock. Instead of merely surviving in a survival-oriented culture, use your creativity to keep developing next culture lifestyles and connections.
You have heard, "Build it and they will come." Perhaps you have not heard, "If you don't build it, no on even has a chance of coming." So build it, even if it looks like no one is coming.
At the same time, the quicker western civilization Zombie culture is taken down the fewer species will be exterminated, leaving more life on planet Earth to regenerate ecosystems even if humans are gone. If you love life, then support groups like Deep Green Resistance with money and direct actions. Please.
How do you manufacture a resilient community that protects, defends and advances the interests of its members? You build a Tribe.
I spell the word 'tribe' with a capital 'T' to mean 'a tribe that has consciously built itself', 'a Tribe that knows it is one of the many possible Tribes that any human being can create and be a part of'.
Most indigenous tribes do not teach 'cultural relativity' so the word for 'person' in most indigenous languages means 'the real people' or 'the human beings', and the word for 'foreigner' means 'the edible ones'.
A Tribe (with a capital 'T') lives in the understanding that the construct the Tribe lives in together is 'bullshit'.
'Bullshit' is a technical term that means 'arbitrary', or 'fabricated out of thin air', or 'very relevant but not true'.
When you have experiential certainty that your own Tribe is a gameworld which you intentionally constructed out of a context, distinctions, thoughtware, Codex, Bill of Wrongs, and Rules of Engagement, then you do not have to go around inflexibly defending your Tribe to the death because you believe that IT IS THE ONE TRUE TRIBE that lives in the ONE RIGHT WAY, like happens in child-level religions.
You just made your gameworld up out of nothing! You are proud to say that it IS bullshit!
Taking ownership of your power to build a Tribe out of nothing, anytime, anywhere, with anyone, gives you the possibility to disidentify with, and reinvent, your gameworld whenever that would become necessary or desired.
Human beings have already known this for a long time, unconsciously, in our memetic structure. Tribal organization is the most survivable of all organizational types, being the dominant human cultural form for 99.99% of human history. Like a cockroach, it has proved it can withstand the onslaught of the harshest of environments.
Global depression? Economic collapse? No problem.
Coup? Regime change? No problem.
Inquisition? Cultural cleansing? Democide? No problem.
Climate change and collapse of global ecosystems? Well, don't kid yourself about this. You are one of millions of species of life on Earth, species which are going extinct - which means: killed off forever, never to live again on any planet - at the rate of 200 precious irreplaceable species per day. How long do you think before humans become the next species to go extinct if the fragile ecosystems that created and continue to support us are weakened or gone? Not as long as you might hope...
In the meantime you might want to think about moving out of the city and building a Tribe. I make this invitation in that particular order very much on purpose.
I have tried to 'build a Tribe and then move out of the city' a number of times. Each time we failed. Finally we figured out why. A Tribe that comes together in the city to talk about moving out of the city has already fulfilled its purpose: to be a group that comes together in the city each week to talk about moving out of the city.
That is the purpose of the city-dwellers. They were completely satisfied with the weekly-meeting Tribe. None of them actually wanted to move out of the city. They just wanted to talk about it.
If you are like most people in the 'developed world,' you don't have any experience in a true Tribal organization. Indigenous tribes were crushed in the last couple of Centuries due to pressures from the nation-state that saw them as competitors, and by the marketplace that saw them as impediments.
All you have now it is a moderately strong nuclear family (weakened via modern economics that forces families to split apart to 'earn enough money to survive'), a weak extended family, a loose collection of friends (a social circle of 'Facebook friends'), a tenuous corporate affiliation (as a slave, even if you are a manager or in the board of directors), and a tangential relationship with a remote nation-state (they will chase after you if they detect that you are not paying your taxes). This degree of connection, for many of us, is proving to be insufficient as a means of withstanding the pressures of the chaotic and harsh modern environment.
The solution to this problem is to build a Tribe... a group of people you are loyal to, and who are loyal to you in return. In short, the need for a primary loyalty to a group that really cares about your survival and future success.
To build a regenerative-culture Tribal, you need to manufacture 'fictive kinship', that is, you need to agree on 'the story of who we are together' as a Tribe... a Tribal identity. This is more than a brand. It is more than a 'mission' and 'vision'. Your Tribal identity emerges from the resonance that people feel towards the Bright Principles of your Tribe which provides energetic food that feeds their Being and gives them a real place to deliver the services of their Archetypal Lineage.
Here are some possible new identities to shift into as a story about who you are and what you are doing together to establish a basis for the existence of your next-culture (archearchal) Tribal gameworld:
Story telling. Shared histories and historical narratives.
Rites of passage to authentic adulthood (not just a driver’s license and the right to drink and vote) (for more on this see Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Somé, Secrets of the Talking Jaguar by Martin Prechtel, and Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings by Clinton Callahan). There are rituals of membership and life transitions. Membership is earned, not given due to the geographic location of your birth, or who your parents happen to be.
Obligations. Rules of conduct and honor. The ultimate penalty being expulsion.
Egalitarian and often leaderless organization. Sharing is prized.
Circular (Toroidal) organizational structures, not hierarchical.
Multi-skilled. Segmental organization (lots of redundancy among parts).
Two-way loyalty. The tribe protects the members and the members protect the tribe. If this isn't implemented, you don't have a tribe, you have a Kiwanis club.
The 300 million strong (R)evolution Tribes of Cultural Creatives seems to be building a stable and recognizable identity. We are experiencing in certain moments the bondedness of fictive kinship.
Our relationships and commitments to each other, and to our future together, are deepening.
Participating in (r)evolutionary gatherings, events, and initiations as your Tribe is a true rite of passage. (R)evolutionary spaces have protocols, customs, and rules of conduct which become apparent as you shift out of a shame-culture into an appreciation-and-personal-development-culture.
(R)evolution is egalitarian and leaderless. It is spread out over different geographies. Given the efforts that have been put in to keep (r)evolution growing, it appears that people have become loyal to the (R)evolution Tribe.
Keep sharing your new distinctions and the ways you got them. Soon you become a bridge to sustainable culture that other people can also cross.
We can only go there together.
8. The 'Evolution' Component In (R)evolution
If you look around and ask yourself, "What is the purpose of the Universe?" it does not take long to consider that the purpose of the Universe might be Evolution, particularly the Evolution of Consciousness. Particularly the Evolution of the Consciousness of Consciousness.
During the past 200,000 years, Gaia (the local field of consciousness of Earth) served the Bright Principle of Evolution and evolved a climate and ecological systems that could support a biological form complex enough to become aware that it was aware. Voila! The naked monkey experiment began.
There is great risk for Gaia in making this experiment. The risk is that the naked monkeys would avoid the first two initiations: I am not my body. And, I am not my mind/psychology/ego. As long as we lived in tribes and villages, adulthood initiations were central. Gaia had hope.
But then we invented agriculture which made it possible for some naked monkeys to shift out of living in tribes and start living in hierarchical structures within cities.
The city is a machine of war. This is because a city can no longer grow its own food nor survive with the material resources within the city limits. The city has to have an army that can conquer and enslave the surrounding areas to steal the materials and force the slaves to grow and deliver food to the city. Without that constant flow of food the modern city would die within three days. With war machine hierarchies in place, authentic initiatory processes could be forbidden and adolescents and psychopaths could take over and run the show. This has been human history for the past 6000 years.
Human beings only shift out of adolescence and begin the adulthood journey when forced to go through authentic adulthood initiatory processes. Why must they be forced? Because adolescence is too self-centered and greedy to give way.
6000 years ago, adulthood initiatory processes were banished from the newly expanding patriarchal cultures. Why? Because authentic adulthood initiatory processes easily identify psychopaths.
Part of the culture-shift occurring now is the natural emergence of 'archearchy' after matriarchy and patriarchy have run their course.
Archearchy is the culture of archetypally-initiated adult women creatively collaborating with archetypally-initiated adult men. Modern culture knows nothing about archearchy.
Modern culture cannot be 'fixed'. This is because modern culture is not broken.
Modern culture is doing exactly what modern culture is designed to do: transform nature into bank account numbers for the uninitiated at the expense of life on Earth.
Modern culture cannot be changed into archearchy any better than you could eat dollar bills for breakfast.
While modern cultures define adulthood by your physical age, archearchal cultures do not. Archearchal cultures understand that adulthood is a potential, not a given. In archearchy, adulthood is recognized in reality as it emerges step-wise during each successful completion of an authentic adulthood initiatory process.
Modern culture knows nothing about authentic adulthood initiatory processes. Initiations are not given in any modern culture education program, not even at the post graduate level.
In archearchy, the central value is not figuring out ways to get 'profit' for free, possessing properties, owning material goods, cleverly escaping responsibilities by externalizing costs to the environment, 'undeveloped' countries, or future generations. These are recognized as the adolescent values of the uninitiated.
In archearchy, the central value - and the currency of exchange - is authentic adulthood initiatory processes. Transformation is the path.
The Bright Principle of Evolution is once again welcomed into the center of human culture.
I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were.
This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a time that I acted as a violent agent of capitalism and white supremacy. Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer… so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.
But enough is enough.
The reforms aren’t working. Incrementalism isn’t happening. Unarmed Black, indigenous, and people of color are being killed by cops in the streets and the police are savagely attacking the people protesting these murders.
American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities and if you don’t believe it when the poor and the marginalized say it, if you don’t believe it when you see cops across the country shooting journalists with less-lethal bullets and caustic chemicals, maybe you’ll believe it when you hear it straight from the pig’s mouth.
WHY AM I WRITING THIS
As someone who went through the training, hiring, and socialization of a career in law enforcement, I wanted to give a first-hand account of why I believe police officers are the way they are. Not to excuse their behavior, but to explain it and to indict the structures that perpetuate it.
I believe that if everyone understood how we’re trained and brought up in the profession, it would inform the demands our communities should be making of a new way of community safety. If I tell you how we were made, I hope it will empower you to unmake us.
One of the other reasons I’ve struggled to write this essay is that I don’t want to center the conversation on myself and my big salty boo-hoo feelings about my bad choices. It’s a toxic white impulse to see atrocities and think “How can I make this about me?” So, I hope you’ll take me at my word that this account isn’t meant to highlight me, but rather the hundred thousand of me in every city in the country. It’s about the structure that made me (that I chose to pollute myself with) and it’s my meager contribution to the cause of radical justice.
YES, ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS
I was a police officer in a major metropolitan area in California with a predominantly poor, non-white population (with a large proportion of first-generation immigrants). One night during briefing, our watch commander told us that the city council had requested a new zero tolerance policy. Against murderers, drug dealers, or child predators?
No, against homeless people collecting cans from recycling bins.
See, the city had some kickback deal with the waste management company where waste management got paid by the government for our expected tonnage of recycling. When homeless people “stole” that recycling from the waste management company, they were putting that cheaper contract in peril. So, we were to arrest as many recyclers as we could find.
Even for me, this was a stupid policy and I promptly blew Sarge off. But a few hours later, Sarge called me over to assist him. He was detaining a 70 year old immigrant who spoke no English, who he’d seen picking a coke can out of a trash bin. He ordered me to arrest her for stealing trash. I said, “Sarge, c’mon, she’s an old lady.” He said, “I don’t give a shit. Hook her up, that’s an order.” And… I did. She cried the entire way to the station and all through the booking process. I couldn’t even comfort her because I didn’t speak Spanish. I felt disgusting but I was ordered to make this arrest and I wasn’t willing to lose my job for her.
If you’re tempted to feel sympathy for me, don’t. I used to happily hassle the homeless under other circumstances. I researched obscure penal codes so I could arrest people in homeless encampments for lesser known crimes like “remaining too close to railroad property” (369i of the California Penal Code). I used to call it “planting warrant seeds” since I knew they wouldn’t make their court dates and we could arrest them again and again for warrant violations.
We used to have informal contests for who could cite or arrest someone for the weirdest law. DUI on a bicycle, non-regulation number of brooms on your tow truck (27700(a)(1) of the California Vehicle Code)… shit like that. For me, police work was a logic puzzle for arresting people, regardless of their actual threat to the community. As ashamed as I am to admit it, it needs to be said: stripping people of their freedom felt like a game to me for many years.
I know what you’re going to ask: did I ever plant drugs? Did I ever plant a gun on someone? Did I ever make a false arrest or file a false report? Believe it or not, the answer is no. Cheating was no fun, I liked to get my stats the “legitimate” way. But I knew officers who kept a little baggie of whatever or maybe a pocket knife that was a little too big in their war bags (yeah, we called our dufflebags “war bags”…). Did I ever tell anybody about it? No I did not. Did I ever confess my suspicions when cocaine suddenly showed up in a gang member’s jacket? No I did not.
In fact, let me tell you about an extremely formative experience: in my police academy class, we had a clique of around six trainees who routinely bullied and harassed other students: intentionally scuffing another trainee’s shoes to get them in trouble during inspection, sexually harassing female trainees, cracking racist jokes, and so on. Every quarter, we were to write anonymous evaluations of our squadmates. I wrote scathing accounts of their behavior, thinking I was helping keep bad apples out of law enforcement and believing I would be protected. Instead, the academy staff read my complaints to them out loud and outed me to them and never punished them, causing me to get harassed for the rest of my academy class. That’s how I learned that even police leadership hates rats. That’s why no one is “changing things from the inside.” They can’t, the structure won’t allow it.
And that’s the point of what I’m telling you. Whether you were my sergeant, legally harassing an old woman, me, legally harassing our residents, my fellow trainees bullying the rest of us, or “the bad apples” illegally harassing “shitbags”, we were all in it together. I knew cops that pulled women over to flirt with them. I knew cops who would pepper spray sleeping bags so that homeless people would have to throw them away. I knew cops that intentionally provoked anger in suspects so they could claim they were assaulted. I was particularly good at winding people up verbally until they lashed out so I could fight them. Nobody spoke out. Nobody stood up. Nobody betrayed the code.
None of us protected the people (you) from bad cops.
This is why “All cops are bastards.” Even your uncle, even your cousin, even your mom, even your brother, even your best friend, even your spouse, even me. Because even if they wouldn’t Do The Thing themselves, they will almost never rat out another officer who Does The Thing, much less stop it from happening.
I could write an entire book of the awful things I’ve done, seen done, and heard others bragging about doing. But, to me, the bigger question is “How did it get this way?”. While I was a police officer in a city 30 miles from where I lived, many of my fellow officers were from the community and treated their neighbors just as badly as I did. While every cop’s individual biases come into play, it’s the profession itself that is toxic, and it starts from day 1 of training.
Every police academy is different but all of them share certain features: taught by old cops, run like a paramilitary bootcamp, strong emphasis on protecting yourself more than anyone else. The majority of my time in the academy was spent doing aggressive physical training and watching video after video after video of police officers being murdered on duty.
I want to highlight this: nearly everyone coming into law enforcement is bombarded with dash cam footage of police officers being ambushed and killed. Over and over and over. Colorless VHS mortality plays, cops screaming for help over their radios, their bodies going limp as a pair of tail lights speed away into a grainy black horizon. In my case, with commentary from an old racist cop who used to brag about assaulting Black Panthers.
To understand why all cops are bastards, you need to understand one of the things almost every training officer told me when it came to using force:
“I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”
Meaning, “I’ll take my chances in court rather than risk getting hurt”. We’re able to think that way because police unions are extremely overpowered and because of the generous concept of Qualified Immunity, a legal theory which says a cop generally can’t be held personally liable for mistakes they make doing their job in an official capacity.
When you look at the actions of the officers who killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, or Freddie Gray, remember that they, like me, were trained to recite “I’d rather be judged by 12” as a mantra. Even if Mistakes Were Made™, the city (meaning the taxpayers, meaning you) pays the settlement, not the officer.
Once police training has - through repetition, indoctrination, and violent spectacle - promised officers that everyone in the world is out to kill them, the next lesson is that your partners are the only people protecting you. Occasionally, this is even true: I’ve had encounters turn on me rapidly to the point I legitimately thought I was going to die, only to have other officers come and turn the tables.
One of the most important thought leaders in law enforcement is Col. Dave Grossman, a “killologist” who wrote an essay called “Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs”. Cops are the sheepdogs, bad guys are the wolves, and the citizens are the sheep (!). Col. Grossman makes sure to mention that to a stupid sheep, sheepdogs look more like wolves than sheep, and that’s why they dislike you.
This “they hate you for protecting them and only I love you, only I can protect you” tactic is familiar to students of abuse. It’s what abusers do to coerce their victims into isolation, pulling them away from friends and family and ensnaring them in the abuser’s toxic web. Law enforcement does this too, pitting the officer against civilians. “They don’t understand what you do, they don’t respect your sacrifice, they just want to get away with crimes. You’re only safe with us.”
I think the Wolves vs. Sheepdogs dynamic is one of the most important elements as to why officers behave the way they do. Every single second of my training, I was told that criminals were not a legitimate part of their community, that they were individual bad actors, and that their bad actions were solely the result of their inherent criminality. Any concept of systemic trauma, generational poverty, or white supremacist oppression was either never mentioned or simply dismissed. After all, most people don’t steal, so anyone who does isn’t “most people,” right? To us, anyone committing a crime deserved anything that happened to them because they broke the “social contract.” And yet, it was never even a question as to whether the power structure above them was honoring any sort of contract back.
Understand: Police officers are part of the state monopoly on violence and all police training reinforces this monopoly as a cornerstone of police work, a source of honor and pride. Many cops fantasize about getting to kill someone in the line of duty, egged on by others that have. One of my training officers told me about the time he shot and killed a mentally ill homeless man wielding a big stick. He bragged that he “slept like a baby” that night. Official training teaches you how to be violent effectively and when you’re legally allowed to deploy that violence, but “unofficial training” teaches you to desire violence, to expand the breadth of your violence without getting caught, and to erode your own compassion for desperate people so you can justify punitive violence against them.
HOW TO BE A BASTARD
I have participated in some of these activities personally, others are ones I either witnessed personally or heard officers brag about openly. Very, very occasionally, I knew an officer who was disciplined or fired for one of these things.
Police officers will lie about the law, about what’s illegal, or about what they can legally do to you in order to manipulate you into doing what they want.
Police officers will lie about feeling afraid for their life to justify a use of force after the fact.
Police officers will lie and tell you they’ll file a police report just to get you off their back.
Police officers will lie that your cooperation will “look good for you” in court, or that they will “put in a good word for you with the DA.” The police will never help you look good in court.
Police officers will lie about what they see and hear to access private property to conduct unlawful searches.
Police officers will lie and say your friend already ratted you out, so you might as well rat them back out. This is almost never true.
Police officers will lie and say you’re not in trouble in order to get you to exit a location or otherwise make an arrest more convenient for them.
Police officers will lie and say that they won’t arrest you if you’ll just “be honest with them” so they know what really happened.
Police officers will lie about their ability to seize the property of friends and family members to coerce a confession.
Police officers will write obviously bullshit tickets so that they get time-and-a-half overtime fighting them in court.
Police officers will search places and containers you didn’t consent to and later claim they were open or “smelled like marijuana”.
Police officers will threaten you with a more serious crime they can’t prove in order to convince you to confess to the lesser crime they really want you for.
Police officers will employ zero tolerance on races and ethnicities they dislike and show favor and lenience to members of their own group.
Police officers will use intentionally extra-painful maneuvers and holds during an arrest to provoke “resistance” so they can further assault the suspect.
Some police officers will plant drugs and weapons on you, sometimes to teach you a lesson, sometimes if they kill you somewhere away from public view.
Some police officers will assault you to intimidate you and threaten to arrest you if you tell anyone.
A non-trivial number of police officers will steal from your house or vehicle during a search.
A non-trivial number of police officers commit intimate partner violence and use their status to get away with it.
A non-trivial number of police officers use their position to entice, coerce, or force sexual favors from vulnerable people.
If you take nothing else away from this essay, I want you to tattoo this onto your brain forever: if a police officer is telling you something, it is probably a lie designed to gain your compliance.
Do not talk to cops and never, ever believe them. Do not “try to be helpful” with cops. Do not assume they are trying to catch someone else instead of you. Do not assume what they are doing is “important” or even legal. Under no circumstances assume any police officer is acting in good faith.
Also, and this is important, do not talk to cops.
I just remembered something, do not talk to cops.
Checking my notes real quick, something jumped out at me:
Say, “I don’t answer questions,” and ask if you’re free to leave; if so, leave. If not, tell them you want your lawyer and that, per the Supreme Court, they must terminate questioning. If they don’t, file a complaint and collect some badges for your mantle.
DO THE BASTARDS EVER HELP?
Reading the above, you may be tempted to ask whether cops ever do anything good. And the answer is, sure, sometimes. In fact, most officers I worked with thought they were usually helping the helpless and protecting the safety of innocent people.
During my tenure in law enforcement, I protected women from domestic abusers, arrested cold-blooded murderers and child molesters, and comforted families who lost children to car accidents and other tragedies. I helped connect struggling people in my community with local resources for food, shelter, and counseling. I deescalated situations that could have turned violent and talked a lot of people down from making the biggest mistake of their lives. I worked with plenty of officers who were individually kind, bought food for homeless residents, or otherwise showed care for their community.
The question is this: did I need a gun and sweeping police powers to help the average person on the average night? The answer is no. When I was doing my best work as a cop, I was doing mediocre work as a therapist or a social worker. My good deeds were listening to people failed by the system and trying to unite them with any crumbs of resources the structure was currently denying them.
It’s also important to note that well over 90% of the calls for service I handled were reactive, showing up well after a crime had taken place. We would arrive, take a statement, collect evidence (if any), file the report, and onto the next caper. Most “active” crimes we stopped were someone harmless possessing or selling a small amount of drugs. Very, very rarely would we stop something dangerous in progress or stop something from happening entirely. The closest we could usually get was seeing someone running away from the scene of a crime, but the damage was still done.
And consider this: my job as a police officer required me to be a marriage counselor, a mental health crisis professional, a conflict negotiator, a social worker, a child advocate, a traffic safety expert, a sexual assault specialist, and, every once in awhile, a public safety officer authorized to use force, all after only a 1000 hours of training at a police academy. Does the person we send to catch a robber also need to be the person we send to interview a rape victim or document a fender bender? Should one profession be expected to do all that important community care (with very little training) all at the same time?
To put this another way: I made double the salary most social workers made to do a fraction of what they could do to mitigate the causes of crimes and desperation. I can count very few times my monopoly on state violence actually made our citizens safer, and even then, it’s hard to say better-funded social safety nets and dozens of other community care specialists wouldn’t have prevented a problem before it started.
Armed, indoctrinated (and dare I say, traumatized) cops do not make you safer; community mutual aid networks who can unite other people with the resources they need to stay fed, clothed, and housed make you safer. I really want to hammer this home: every cop in your neighborhood is damaged by their training, emboldened by their immunity, and they have a gun and the ability to take your life with near-impunity. This does not make you safer, even if you’re white.
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE A BASTARD?
So what do we do about it? Even though I’m an expert on bastardism, I am not a public policy expert nor an expert in organizing a post-police society. So, before I give some suggestions, let me tell you what probably won’t solve the problem of bastard cops:
Increased “bias” training. A quarterly or even monthly training session is not capable of covering over years of trauma-based camaraderie in police forces. I can tell you from experience, we don’t take it seriously, the proctors let us cheat on whatever “tests” there are, and we all made fun of it later over coffee.
Tougher laws. I hope you understand by now, cops do not follow the law and will not hold each other accountable to the law. Tougher laws are all the more reason to circle the wagons and protect your brothers and sisters.
More community policing programs. Yes, there is a marginal effect when a few cops get to know members of the community, but look at the protests of 2020: many of the cops pepper-spraying journalists were probably the nice school cop a month ago.
Police officers do not protect and serve people, they protect and serve the status quo, “polite society”, and private [corporate] property. Using the incremental mechanisms of the status quo will never reform the police because the status quo relies on police violence to exist. Capitalism requires a permanent underclass to exploit for cheap labor and it requires the cops to bring that underclass to heel.
Instead of wasting time with minor tweaks, I recommend exploring the following ideas:
No more qualified immunity. Police officers should be personally liable for all decisions they make in the line of duty.
No more civil asset forfeiture. Did you know that every year, citizens like you lose more cash and property to unaccountable civil asset forfeiture than to all burglaries combined? The police can steal your stuff without charging you with a crime and it makes some police departments very rich.
Break the power of police unions. Police unions make it nearly impossible to fire bad cops and incentivize protecting them to protect the power of the union. A police union is not a labor union; police officers are powerful state agents, not exploited workers.
Require malpractice insurance. Doctors must pay for insurance in case they botch a surgery, police officers should do the same for botching a police raid or other use of force. If human decency won’t motivate police to respect human life, perhaps hitting their wallet might.
Defund, demilitarize, and disarm cops. Thousands of police departments own assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, and stuff you’d see in a warzone. Police officers have grants and huge budgets to spend on guns, ammo, body armor, and combat training. 99% of calls for service require no armed response, yet when all you have is a gun, every problem feels like target practice. Cities are not safer when unaccountable bullies have a monopoly on state violence and the equipment to execute that monopoly.
One final idea: consider abolishing the police.
I know what you’re thinking, “What? We need the police! They protect us!” As someone who did it for nearly a decade, I need you to understand that by and large, police protection is marginal, incidental. It’s an illusion created by decades of 'copaganda' designed to fool you into thinking these brave men and women are holding back the barbarians at the gates.
I alluded to this above: the vast majority of calls for service I handled were theft reports, burglary reports, domestic arguments that hadn’t escalated into violence, loud parties, (houseless) people loitering, traffic collisions, very minor drug possession, and arguments between neighbors. Mostly the mundane ups and downs of life in the community, with little inherent danger. And, like I mentioned, the vast majority of crimes I responded to (even violent ones) had already happened; my unaccountable license to kill was irrelevant.
What I mainly provided was an “objective” third party with the authority to document property damage, ask people to chill out or disperse, or counsel people not to beat each other up. A trained counselor or conflict resolution specialist would be ten times more effective than someone with a gun strapped to his hip wondering if anyone would try to kill him when he showed up. There are many models for community safety that can be explored if we get away from the idea that the only way to be safe is to have a man with a M4 rifle prowling your neighborhood ready at a moment’s notice to write down your name and birthday after you’ve been robbed and beaten.
You might be asking, “What about the armed robbers, the gangsters, the drug dealers, the serial killers?” And yes, in the city I worked, I regularly broke up gang parties, found gang members carrying guns, and handled homicides. I’ve seen some tragic things, from a reformed gangster shot in the head with his brains oozing out to a fifteen year old boy taking his last breath in his screaming mother’s arms thanks to a gang member’s bullet. I know the wages of violence.
This is where we have to have the courage to ask: why do people rob? Why do they join gangs? Why do they get addicted to drugs or sell them? It’s not because they are inherently evil. I submit to you that these are the results of living in a capitalist system that grinds people down and denies them housing, medical care, human dignity, and a say in their government. These are the results of white supremacy pushing people to the margins, excluding them, disrespecting them, and treating their bodies as disposable.
Equally important to remember: disabled and mentally ill people are frequently killed by police officers not trained to recognize and react to disabilities or mental health crises. Some of the people we picture as “violent offenders” are often people struggling with untreated mental illness, often due to economic hardships. Very frequently, the officers sent to “protect the community” escalate this crisis and ultimately wound or kill the person. Your community was not made safer by police violence; a sick member of your community was killed because it was cheaper than treating them. Are you extremely confident you’ll never get sick one day too?
Wrestle with this for a minute: if all of someone’s material needs were met and all the members of their community were fed, clothed, housed, and dignified, why would they need to join a gang? Why would they need to risk their lives selling drugs or breaking into buildings? If mental healthcare was free and was not stigmatized, how many lives would that save?
Would there still be a few bad actors in the world? Sure, probably. What’s my solution for them, you’re no doubt asking. I’ll tell you what: generational poverty, food insecurity, houselessness, and for-profit medical care are all problems that can be solved in our lifetimes by rejecting the dehumanizing meat grinder of capitalism and white supremacy. Once that’s done, we can work on the edge cases together, with clearer hearts not clouded by a corrupt system.
Police abolition is closely related to the idea of prison abolition and the entire concept of banishing the carceral state, meaning, creating a society focused on reconciliation and restorative justice instead of punishment, pain, and suffering — a system that sees people in crisis as humans, not monsters. People who want to abolish the police typically also want to abolish prisons, and the same questions get asked: “What about the bad guys? Where do we put them?” I bring this up because abolitionists don’t want to simply replace cops with armed social workers or prisons with casual detention centers full of puffy leather couches and Playstations. We imagine a world not divided into good guys and bad guys, but rather a world where people’s needs are met and those in crisis receive care, not dehumanization.
Here’s legendary activist and thinker Angela Y. Davis putting it better than I ever could:
“An abolitionist approach that seeks to answer questions such as these would require us to imagine a constellation of alternative strategies and institutions, with the ultimate aim of removing the prison from the social and ideological landscapes of our society. In other words, we would not be looking for prison-like substitutes for the prison, such as house arrest safeguarded by electronic surveillance bracelets. Rather, positing decarceration as our overarching strategy, we would try to envision a continuum of alternatives to imprisonment-demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance.”
(Are Prisons Obsolete, pg. 107)
I’m not telling you I have the blueprint for a beautiful new world. What I’m telling you is that the system we have right now is broken beyond repair and that it’s time to consider new ways of doing community together. Those new ways need to be negotiated by members of those communities, particularly Black, indigenous, disabled, houseless, and citizens of color historically shoved into the margins of society. Instead of letting Fox News fill your head with nightmares about Hispanic gangs, ask the Hispanic community what they need to thrive. Instead of letting racist politicians scaremonger about pro-Black demonstrators, ask the Black community what they need to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. If you truly desire safety, ask not what your most vulnerable can do for the community, ask what the community can do for the most vulnerable.
A WORLD WITH FEWER BASTARDS IS POSSIBLE
If you take only one thing away from this essay, I hope it’s this: do not talk to cops. But if you only take two things away, I hope the second one is that it’s possible to imagine a different world where unarmed black people, indigenous people, poor people, disabled people, and people of color are not routinely gunned down by unaccountable police officers. It doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, this requires a leap of faith into community models that might feel unfamiliar, but I ask you:
When you see a man dying in the street begging for breath, don’t you want to leap away from that world?
When you see a mother or a daughter shot to death sleeping in their beds, don’t you want to leap away from that world?
When you see a twelve year old boy executed in a public park for the crime of playing with a toy, jesus fucking christ, can you really just stand there and think “This is normal”?
And to any cops who made it this far down, is this really the world you want to live in? Aren’t you tired of the trauma? Aren’t you tired of the soul sickness inherent to the badge? Aren’t you tired of looking the other way when your partners break the law? Are you really willing to kill the next George Floyd, the next Breonna Taylor, the next Tamir Rice? How confident are you that your next use of force will be something you’re proud of? I’m writing this for you too: it’s wrong what our training did to us, it’s wrong that they hardened our hearts to our communities, and it’s wrong to pretend this is normal.
Look, I wouldn’t have been able to hear any of this for much of my life. You reading this now may not be able to hear this yet either. But do me this one favor: just think about it. Just turn it over in your mind for a couple minutes. “Yes, And” me for a minute. Look around you and think about the kind of world you want to live in. Is it one where an all-powerful stranger with a gun keeps you and your neighbors in line with the fear of death, or can you picture a world where, as a community, we embrace our most vulnerable, meet their needs, heal their wounds, honor their dignity, and make them family instead of desperate outsiders?
If you take only three things away from this essay, I hope the third is this: you and your community don’t need bastards to thrive.
For 50 days, the Protect Thacker Pass camp has stood here in the mountains of northern Nevada, on Northern Paiute territory, to defend the land against a strip mine.
Lithium Americas, a Canadian corporation, means to blow up, bulldoze, or pave 5,700 acres of this wild, biodiverse land to extract lithium for “green” electric cars. In the process, they will suck up billions of gallons of water, import tons and tons of waste from oil refineries to be turned into sulfuric acid, burn 11,000 gallons of diesel fuel per day, toxify groundwater with arsenic, antimony, and uranium, harm wildlife from Golden eagles and Pronghorn antelope to Greater sage-grouse and the endemic King’s River pyrg, and lay waste to traditional territories still used by people from the Fort McDermitt reservation and the local ranching and farming communities.
The Campaign to Protect Thacker Pass
They claim this is an “environmentally sustainable” project. We disagree, and we mean to stop them from destroying this place.
Thus far, our work has been focused on outreach and spreading the word. For the first two weeks, there were only two of us here. Now word has begun to spread. The campaign is entering a new stage. There are new opportunities opening, but we must be cautious.
How Corporations Disrupt Grassroots Resistance Movements
Corporations, faced with grassroots resistance, follow a certain playbook. We can look at the history of how these companies respond to determine their strategies and the best ways to counteract them.
Corporations like Lithium Americas Corporation generally do not have in-house security teams, beyond basic security for facilities and IT/digital security. Therefore, when faced with growing grassroots resistance, their first move will be to hire an outside corporation to conduct surveillance, intelligence gathering, and offensive operations.
Private Military Corporations (PMCs) are essentially mercenaries acting largely outside of government regulation or democratic control. They are hired by private corporations to assist in their interests and act as for-hire businesses with few or no ethical considerations. Some examples of these corporations are TigerSwan, Triple Canopy, and STRATFOR.
PMCs are often staffed with U.S. military veterans, and employ counterinsurgency techniques and skills honed during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or other military operations. And in many cases, these PMCs collaborate with public law enforcement agencies to share information, such that law enforcement is essentially acting as a private contractor for a corporation.
Disruption Tactics Used by Corporate Goon Squads
PMCs can be expected to deploy four basic tactics.
First, they will attempt to gather as much information on protesters as possible. This begins with what is called OSINT — Open Source Intelligence. This simply means combing through open records on the internet: Googling names, scrolling through social media profiles and groups, and compiling information that is publicly available for anyone who cares to look.
Other methods of information gathering are more active, and include physical surveillance (such as flying a helicopter overhead, as occurred today), signals intelligence (attempting to capture cell phone calls, emails, texts, and website traffic using a device like a Stingray also known as an IMSI catcher), and infiltration or human intelligence (HUMINT). This last is perhaps the most important, the most dangerous, and the most difficult to combat.
Second, they will attempt to disrupt the protest. This is often done by using the classic tactics of COINTELPRO to plant rumors, false information, and foment infighting to weaken opposition.
During the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, one TigerSwan infiltrator working inside the protest camps wrote to his team that
“I need you guys to start looking at the activists in your area and see if there are individuals who are vulnerable. They’re broke, always talking about needing gas money or whatever. Maybe they’re disillusioned, depressed a little. Life is fucking them over. We can buy them a bus ticket to any camp they want if they’re willing to provide intel. We win no matter what. If they agree to inform for pay, we get intel. If they tell our pitchman to go f*** himself/herself, the activist will start wondering who did take the money and it’ll cause conflict within the activist groups and it won’t cost us anything.”
In 2013, there was a leak of documents from the private intelligence company STRATFOR, which has worked for the American Petroleum Institute, Dow Chemical, Northrup Grumman, Coca Cola, and so on. The leaked documents revealed one part of STRATFOR’s strategy for fighting social movements. The document proposes dividing activists into four groups, then exploiting their differences to fracture movements.
“Radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists [are the four categories],” the leaked documents state. “The Opportunists are in it for themselves and can be pulled away for their own self-interest. The Realists can be convinced that transformative change is not possible and we must settle for what is possible. Idealists can be convinced they have the facts wrong and pulled to the Realist camp. Radicals, who see the system as corrupt and needing transformation, need to be isolated and discredited, using false charges to assassinate their character is a common tactic.”
As I will discuss later on, solidarity and movement culture is the best way to push back against these methods.
Other examples of infiltration and disruption have often focused on:
Increasing tensions around racist or sexist behavior
Targeting individuals with drug or alcohol addictions to become informants
Using sex appeal and relationship building to get information
Acting as an “agent provocateur” to encourage protesters to become violent, even to the point of supplying them with bombs, in order to secure arrests
Spreading rumors about inappropriate behavior to sew discord and mistrust
The third tactic used by these companies is intimidation. They will use fear and paranoia as a deliberate form of psychological warfare. This can include anonymous threats, shows of force, visible surveillance, and so on.
When other methods fail, PMCs and public law enforcement will ultimately resort to direct violence, as we have seen with Standing Rock and many other protest movements.
As I have written before, colonial states enforce their resource extraction regimes with force, and we should disabuse ourselves of notions to the contrary. Vigilante violence is also always a concern. When people seek to defend land from destruction, men with guns are usually dispatched to arrest them, remove them from the site, and lock them in cages.
How to Resist Against Surveillance and Repression
There are specific techniques we can deploy to protect ourselves, and by extension, protect the land at Thacker Pass. These techniques are called “security culture.”
Security culture is a set of practices and attitudes designed to increase the safety of political communities. These guidelines are created based on recent and historic state repression, and help to reduce paranoia and increase effectiveness.
Security culture cannot keep us 100% safe, all the time. There is risk in political action. But it helps us manage risks that do exist, and take calculated risks when necessary to achieve our goals.
The first rule of security culture is this: be cautious, but do not live in fear. We cannot let their intimidation be effective. Creating paranoia is a key goal for PMCs and other repressive organizations. When they make us so paranoid we no longer take action, reach out to potential allies, or plan and carry out our campaigns, they win using only the techniques of psychological warfare. When we are fighting to protect the land and water, we are doing something righteous, and we should be proud and stand tall while we do this work.
The second rule of security culture is that solidarity is how we overcome paranoia, snitchjacketing, and rumor-spreading. We must act with principles and in a deeply ethical and honorable way. Work to build alliances, friendships, and trust—while maintaining good boundaries and holding people accountable. This is the foundation of a good culture.
In regards to infiltration, security culture recommends the following:
It’s not safe nor a good idea to generally speculate or accuse people of being infiltrators. This is a typical tactic that infiltrators use to shut movements down.
Paranoia can cause destructive behavior.
Making false/uncertain accusations is dangerous: this is called “bad-jacketing” or “snitch-jacketing.”
Build relationships deliberately, and build trust slowly. Do not share sensitive information with people who don’t need to know it. There is a fine line between promoting a campaign and sharing information that could put someone at risk.
Good security culture focuses on identifying and stopping bad behavior.
Do not talk to police or law enforcement unless you are a designated liaison.
Secure communications are an important part of security culture.
Here are some basic recommendations to secure your communications.
Email, phone calls, social media, and text messages are inherently insecure. Nothing sensitive should be discussed using these platforms.
Preferably, use modern secure messaging apps such as Signal, Wire, or Session. These apps are free and easy to use.
We recommend setting up and using a VPN for all your internet access needs at camp. ProtonVPN and Firefox VPN are two reputable providers. These tools are easy to use after a brief initial setup, and only cost a small amount. Invest in security.
We must also remember that secure communications aren’t a magic bullet. If you’re communicating with someone who decides to share your private message, it’s no longer private. Use common sense and consider trust when using secure communications tools.
Security culture also warns us not talk about some sensitive issues, including:
Your or someone else’s participation in illegal action.
Someone else’s advocacy for such actions.
Your or someone else’s plans for a future illegal action.
Don’t talk about illegal actions in terms of specific times, people, places, etc.
Note: Nonviolent civil disobedience is illegal, but can sometimes be discussed openly. In general, the specifics of nonviolent civil disobedience should be discussed only with people who will be involved in the action or those doing support work for them. It’s still acceptable (even encouraged) to speak out generally in support of monkeywrenching and all forms of resistance as long as you don’t mention specific places, people, times, etc.
Security is a very important topic, but is challenging. There are so many potential threats, and we are not used to acting in a secure way. That’s why we are working to create a “security culture”—so that our communities of resistance are always considering security, assessing threats, studying our opposition, and creating countermeasures to their methods.
This article is only a brief introduction to the topic of security culture. Moving forward, we will be providing regular trainings in security culture to Protect Thacker Pass participants.
Most importantly, do not let this scare you, and do not be overwhelmed. Simply take one security measure at a time, begin to study it, and then implement better protocols one by one. We use the term “security culture” because security is a mindset that should be developed and shared.
Nobody can take your Authority away from you. Growing up in Modern Culture teaches us to give our Authority away.
Your Authority is the energetic substance inside you that allows you to make decisions, to change your mind, to take a leap, to feel your feelings, and so on.
The experiment is to do 16 hours worth of Rage Club so you can use your Conscious Anger to take back your Authority to even consider Slaying the Jabberwock.
After you have completed the last hour of your Rage Club, enter Matrix Code: SLAYTHEJ.01 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 5 Matrix Points.
ESCAPE THE THOUGHT PRISONS.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.02
Feelings are for handling things. They arise in the moment, provide valuable information and energy, and leave. Feelings last 3 minutes or less.
Emotions are for healing things. They are triggered in the moment, but come from past traumatic experiences.
To distinguish between a feeling and an emotion, ask yourself "have I felt this way before?" If your answer is yes, then it is most likely an emotion.
In this experiment to Slay the Jabberwock, start by going through an Emotional Healing Process with a Possibility Coach. Tell your Coach that you are shifting your Point of Origin from your parents' and Grandparents' context (from Modern Culture) to a different context.
Write an article about getting out of the belly of the whale. Write about your Emotional Healing Process. Be vulnerable about the secret punishments that you faced, or were afraid to face during your process. Write your article as a revolutionary act of saying what 'should not' or 'cannot' be said. Publish it on Medium.
Once you have published your article, enter Matrix Code: SLAYTHEJ.02 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
MAP THE SHACKLES.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.03
Take out your Beep! Book and write down a list of all the areas in your life where you are not being true to yourself. Where you do not have permission, where you are giving your Authority away. For example, you might have some debt with the bank, are working for a corporation, studying in University, etc. Where does Modern Culture own you?
Meet with your Possibility Team, and create a roadmap to escape the 8 Prisons of Modern Culture. Each of the prisons is made up of shackles from which you can start unhooking yourself.
After creating your own roadmap with the help of your Team, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.03 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
TELL IT LIKE IT IS: A TALK.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.04
Give a public talk promoting the benefits of Modern Culture.
Benefits examples: buying food grown anywhere in the world at any time of the day, having modern electronics, burning fossil fuels because it's great, mining as much of the minerals as we can because we deserve it...
Market 'modern civilization' to the audience.
Before the talk, pass recycled scrap paper made into balls for people to throw at you during the talk. Film the talk from behind the audience so you can see when people throw you paper balls. This is a detection mechanism for the Jabberwock.
Reserve the last 15 minutes for questions and rebuttal.
Publish the video, and enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.04 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 2 Matrix Points.
RADICAL SELF-RELIANCE TRAINING.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.05
Radical Self-Reliance means consciously choosing to rely on yourself. It means taking Radical Responsibility for providing for yourself, instead of relying on Modern Culture.
For this experiment, participate in a Technopenuriaphobia Recovery Training where you spend one or two weeks learning to make your own fire, shelter, gather wild foods and prepare them, make your own shoes and clothing, make your own soap and toothpaste, etc.
Once you have mastered your first skillset, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.05 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
GROW FOOD IN A TEAM.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.06
In this experiment, stop depending on the Jabberwock's industrialized and globalized food system.
Get together with your Possibility Team, and find a place to grow a garden. Learn what it takes to grow fruits and vegetables from seed to harvest.
At the end of the season, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.06 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 21 Matrix Points.
READ, TALK, TAKE A STAND.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.07
The ability of the Earth to sustain human life has collapsed or will collapse imminently. If Aliens were trying to destroy the planet, at what point would you Take a Stand to stop them?
The first part of this experiment is to read the book Endgame (both volumes) by Derrick Jensen.
Condense the entire contents of the books into a three-sentence paragraph. Memorize that paragraph. In the next online conference that appears, volunteer to do a talk about those three sentences.
Make it clear that you are not giving a talk because you are good about giving a talk, or because you care about the topic. You are Taking a Stand that the destruction has gone too far.
After completing the experiment, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.07 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
DEPAVE PART OF YOUR CITY.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.08
Depave part of your city as an experiment to slay the Jabberwock. It does not need to be a big part. Chisel the pavement down to the earth, and plant something there.
Do not get arrested. The policeman might say that you are defacing public property. In reality, you are the public. You can tell them that as the 'public', you prefer your property this way.
Doing this experiment might make you into a S.T.A.R.R.s Legend.
Enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.08 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
DOCUMENT AT A MINE.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.09
Modern Culture destroys and damages Gaïa, driving humans towards annihilation. This means that Modern Culture is ecocidal. Something completely different is possible. Gaïan Gameworlds are possible.
For this experiment, make a short documentary at a mine. Choose a mine from which are extracted some of the minerals or components of things that you own. For example, the steel from your pocket knife, the granite from your countertop or the special metals in your smartphone.
Check out what is really going on at the mine.
What is happening to the land?
Which machines are they using?
Where do the machines come from?
What fossil fuels are used?
Which chemicals are used in the process?
What are the working conditions of the people working at the mine?
What are the effects on the local communities?
And so on.
Publish your video on Youtube, and enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.09 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
DON'T JUST STAND IN LINE.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.10
Just like everyone else, you have the ability to become a space through which Possibilities come into the world. The number of Possibilities available to you at any given moment is infinite.
Standing in line is your chance. You might be at the grocery store, at the post office, the movie theatre, a concert, the bank... Wherever you are standing in line, turn around. Face the person behind you, and start a non-linear possibility conversation.
Talk about something that is not promoted by the grocery store, post office, movie theatre, Gameworld where you are standing in line. With the person behind you, create a completely different space that is more interesting than what you are standing in line for.
Make it so interesting that standing in line is more attractive than what you came here to accomplish in the first place.
After this experiment, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.10 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
GO OFF THE MENU.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.11
Once a day for seven days, go off the menu. At the restaurant, the store, the post office, etc. ask for a service that is not advertised. Offer to negotiate an exchange so you can get what is not easily provided.
- ask the person at the post office to tell you the story of how they met their partner.
- ask the restaurant waiter for something that is not on the menu, something they can make out of the ingredients that they have.
- when someone wants to have an argument with you, ask them to tell you about the scariest thing that happened to them.
- ask the grocery clerk to pay with laughing lessons instead of money.
After 7 days of going off-menu, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.11 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
BE A BUBBLE OF YOUR OWN CULTURE.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.12
For one week, carry a bubble of your own culture with you wherever you go. Keep the customs of your culture with you, and refuse to Be Adaptive to Modern Culture. Do this while staying in connection with the people around you. Experiment with staying in constant fascination at the culture in front of you, with respect and reverence for the intricate human creation that it is.
Take your time to share the customs of your culture. For example, when you are at the restaurant, you can say:
"It is a custom in my culture to order food by singing in poetry that praises the chef and to give the server a hug while we pay."
For one week, behave in ways that enliven the space of the culture you are visiting by behaving in the ways of your own culture.
Once you have completed this experiment, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.12 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
GIFT TO THE NEXT PERSON.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.13
Most of us learn to put our Center in our mind in order to survive in school in the Patriarchy. To Slay the Jabberwock, start healing from school. This healing process is empowered by the practice of Going Unreasonable.
Going Unreasonable means that you do something without giving intellectual reasons, logical explanations or intelligent justifications for what you are choosing, declaring or asking.
In this experiment, gift to the next person in line. If you are at the cafe, buy the next person's coffee or meal. At the restaurant, give the waiter extra money to help cover the bill of the next person.
Do this for no reason. Enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.13 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.14
Modern Culture is built on competition and hierarchy. Women compete for men's attention. People compete for the most powerful role in their corporate organization. Even capitalism is based on a limited number of resources and competing for them.
To Slay the Jabberwock, revoke competition.
Once a day for five days, stand at the plaza, the park, or any busy part of your city or town with a sign that says:
I revoke competition, I am giving my ideas away for free to YOU.
Do this for one hour.
When someone approaches you, show them how to ask for Possibilities. Ask people to tell you a short description of their problem, followed by the question: "Can you give me possibilities about this?" Do Possibility Speaking for 5 minutes per person.
Bring paper and pens so people can write down the ideas you give them.
Enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.14 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
Everywhere you go take a broom and dustpan and sweep. Do this on the sidewalk, in shops, in libraries, in corporate spaces, in schools, and so on.
People might say: "this is already clean."
Respond with something like: "this is an energetic broom. I am cleaning up this energetic space. If this was already clean there would be no slaves, no famine, no lithium batteries, no pollution, no overfishing, no mass deforestation, no people dying from cancer from eating mass chemically-produced wheat bread. I am cleaning up the messes with my energetic broom."
After one month, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.15 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
Sit down with your Beep! Book and write down the characteristics of this identity.
What kind of voice does the Jabberwock Slayer have?
What kind of things do they say?
What are the customs of the culture that they carry with them?
What are they like in a social setting?
What does the Jabberwock Slayer wear?
For three days, shift identity and dress as a Jabberwock Slayer.
Once you have completed this experiment, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.16 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
GO TO YOUR TEAM FIRST.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.17
The Jabberwock wants you to believe that you need It to survive. Your shoes are used up so you get new ones at the department store. Your toaster is broken so you throw it out and buy a new one online. Nobody in your house can stand listening to your singing, so you get music lessons. Going to the Jabberwock to fix your problem is the linear solution.
When you have sourced what you need 20 times instead of going to the Jabberwock, enter Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.17 in your free account at StartOver.xyz.
This Experiment is worth 1 Matrix Points.
BE NEXT CULTURE PRESS.
Matrix Code SLAYTHEJ.18
Discover when the next political speech is in your municipality, or from the president of a large company. Go to this speech as Next Culture Press. Find a lanyard. Take out some craft paper, and make yourself a PRESS PASS from Next Culture Radio.
Go to the front with the other journalists, and ask:
"How are you taking a stand against the wars that this country is involved in? What are you doing about my tax money being used to fund weapons that are sold to other countries? What are you doing to serve Gaïa?"