“The assimilationist movement is running us into the ground.” – Harry Hay
Today, the stock market faced another decline, as investors picked up their moneybags and moved them elsewhere. Business is losing confidence in the United States, and its government’s failure to seriously grapple with the debt crisis hasn’t helped matters. Oddly, the bone that Congress and the President threw to the rich and to multinational corporations has either backfired, or has been cynically snatched with the intention of exacting more punishments to get further concessions from a bleeding empire. Money doesn’t care about anything – people, the environment, nation states. Money cares about acquiring more capital, and the United States is being mined mercilessly – and so far successfully – for it.
Canada is doing better because our economy is resource-based. China and other countries are doing well because their economies are built on manufacturing. Paradoxically, the US is doing poorly because its economy is built on money. Financial institutions, borrowing and lending, debt servicing, and essentially printing money to pay for it all. Heaven help the United States when its currency is no longer the reserve currency of choice. In fact, heaven help Canada, as well. In Europe, in Canada, but most deeply in the United States, individuals, government, and even financial institutions are stimulated into buying that which they cannot afford. On purpose. On purpose, so that there can be more debt, so more money can be printed, so more can be loaned at interest, so things can be bought, so more debt can be made…and so on and so on and so on. It’s a vicious cycle of unsustainability. And yet everyone seems to have bought into the delusion. And why not? It is not in the economic interest of the indebted to inquire into the origin and future of their indebtedness.
We all know how this story will end – at least in broad strokes. What we don’t know is whether (yet again) society will govern events or allow itself to be governed by them. Will we plan for the future and the consequences of our actions? The current crisis, like the environmental crisis, is the product of a mistake that humanity makes repeatedly – namely, assuming that the path of least resistance will work out alright in the end. This is a collective abdication of responsibility, occurring either because people are apathetic, or feel genuinely helpless. We have to get over this. Responsibility begins with the individual, moves to the tribe or the family, branches into communities of communities, and thus spans a globe. And being aware of the problem, of the unsustainability of our current system, how can we evade the ethical imperative to act? For it is we, the falsely affluent of the so-called “developed world,” who have the most profound moral responsibility to renounce and to renew.
The building of new intentional communities – spiritual, economic, and relational – is an integral part of renunciation and renewal, and an important witness to others that there is another way. And that way can either come gently, or it can come hard. It is an important principle of the Faerie ethos that one consult one’s conscience on matters affecting one’s relationships. It is important, because it is the way we learn to view others as subjects, rather than objects. To do so is to take a spiritual, intimate, and magical stand against collective madness, biocide, genocide, and suicide. In this way, Faerie community offers a witness to the world.
What do you imagine when you imagine a Faerie-based intentional community – a Faerie sanctuary? I imagine an island of sustainability, built on the currency of love. Fuelled by our Faerie identity as a “circle of loving companions” (to quote Harry Hay), we would share ourselves with one another – body, mind, and soul. As for our collective labour – what we couldn’t make or grow, we would try to either do without or purchase locally, preferably for barter. Does this mean giving up on the Money Concept? Yes and no. People need products. People need infrastructure. People need technology that they cannot produce at home or in small-scale communities. But I am convinced that there’s a better way of controlling and managing research, production, distribution, and disposal of goods, and the development and deployment of services – which is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about economy. Time and energy is rarely freely given, and the ability to purchase that which makes life more comfortable is the tried and true way of getting people to surrender both. What is the better way? That way is to re-imagine what it means to “need” something, and to re-imagine what makes for a “comfortable life” with which we are to be compensated.
The most comfortable life is a life filled with love, and with meaningful productivity.