Ideology and Ecology: A Matrifocal Existence
Article ID: 13069
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: May 17th. 2009
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The universe is a reflection of self, and that reflection stands alone. But it can also be contorted and skewed by the powers of hierarchy, oppression, institutional disinformation, and ideological absolutism. These realities impede human quality of life and inherent human free will; it impedes both individual and collective human vitality. Observing that we live in an unsustainable society that has done little but to mimic other failed societies, we need to do something to help and protect ourselves because for the last 10, 000 years centralized societies have been failing en masse with enormous ramifications, and there is no reason for us to think that is going to change.
We need to pursue action in creating a culture that works, and that's not just for us but also for generations to come; I think permaculture, sustainability, and recreating ideologies that respect the natural world should be the primary focus.
Today, an institutional separation between human ideology and the human relationship to global ecology has changed the dynamic of how human culture is created, destroyed, and changes in general. The present dynamic that defines our culture is between our ideology, our institutions, and our ecology. For example, ecology is turned into resources, and resources into institutions, and institutions into ideology. It is arguable that the lack of large social institutions prior to the agricultural revolution allowed for those cultures to be relatively permanent and sustainable. Due to their sheer diversity these culture forms were versatile and adaptive to their environment.
The dynamic that formed culture then was solely between a culture's ideology and its ecology, and through that dynamic a more immanent and engaged relationship was formed between humans, their natural environment, and their ideology. This relationship evidently allowed for a non-hierarchical, egalitarian and matrifocal social structure that had relatively no unsustainable impact on the physical world and on human existence as a whole.
I think these kinds of societies were the only ones that actually exercised free will without being a detriment, or causing harm, to themselves and other forms of existence; doing as they would and harming none.
Ever since 8, 000 B.C.E. totalitarian agriculture, paired with totalitarian ideology, have ultimately worked as regressive powers that have stifled the vitality and freedom of humanity. It is no coincidence that societies that host absolutist ideologies have been the most militaristic and patriarchal, and it is also not a coincidence that those same societies and their institutions assume dominion over their natural resources, the people that inhabit their territory, and the religion that they practice.
Dominance-based ideology and institutions work hand in hand to create an obstacle between the individual and their natural place in the world. For example, in these societies, an arbitrary surplus of food creates a superficial carrying capacity that works to stimulate population growth, which cannot be sustained without misappropriating natural resources. This makes an individual involuntarily dependent upon that state because the appropriate amount of resources are displaced and ecological carrying capacity is no longer in balance with the size of the population, notwithstanding the fact that most people are no longer encultured or educated in a way that allows them to survive from directly harvested resources.
For example, the specialization of trade and the division of labor, which began after the agricultural revolution in 8, 000 B.C.E., arbitrarily increased the interdependence of those societies causing them to have too much dependence on one resource or skill for export or domestic consumption, and it also caused the individual to become even more dependent upon the state and its institutions because they lost the versatility of being able to independently sustain themselves. This accompanied the implementation of statecraft knowledge, and it exemplifies the fact that true wisdom is vulnerable and cannot be proselytized.
This is what something that is very wonderful about our ancient Path; the wisdom in these sustainable culture forms evidently did not allow for the regulation of other culture forms, but the unsustainable culture forms and their perception of knowledge and power, at times, almost completely destroyed the former.
These authority structures dominate knowledge, craft it for their own agenda in order to justify their actions, and propagate it as reality to manipulate masses of people. This is why having dominance over an ecology helps ensure dominance over an ideology; a surplus of resources equals a higher number of people, which allows a state to propagate and craft more knowledge.
Knowledge is the basis for pervasiveness; therefore, this cycle begins again and exponentially increases the power of the state and further separates the individual from any natural state of being.
Most hierarchical political paradigms in history have had absolutist motives behind their ideology and their appropriation of ecological resources. This includes the political (i.e. institutional) motivation for large-scale warfare, slavery, extortion, oppression, genocide, and ethnocide etc. These things did not exist prior to 8, 000 B.C.E., and they are not a reflection of what the will of humanity is.
True humanity is about 'Being, ' not knowing or having. I think that is exemplified in the ancient accounts of the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, whatever the interpretation, I think there is a common theme that outlines the Tree of Life having precedence over the Tree of Knowledge. Not coincidentally, that oral tradition is believed by many scholars to have begun at the same exact time that the Agricultural Revolution did: 8, 000 B.C.E.
Presently, free will exists in a very protracted form. We have the free will to act only within the parameters of a failing culture form. You could say, "I have the free will to be an independent person and act only upon my beliefs and my judgment." But people are always environmentally and socially dependent, and they always have been; we are social beings, and when the social, political, and institutional constructs around us do not represent our individual beliefs and judgment, our 'free will' to act upon them is compromised. So to say that you are completely free, independent, and ethically responsible for everything you do -in our culture form- is to say you are free to react to your circumstances as an individual.
Many people, for example, look at the ability to sustain economic independence as a personal freedom, yet that freedom is often gained by compromising their values. For instance, most people do not agree with the fact that their taxes, wages, and services pay for and render environmental degradation, unjust wars, and arbitrarily support an unsustainable and doomed infrastructure.
Social responsibility is accepting the reality that we all take a part in these things and have a responsibility to change them. Progressive insight is recognizing the homology between the individual and the natural world; to deny the virtue of one is to deny the vitality of the other.
I think 'free will' is not reactionary; it is radical and unrestrained. We talk about human potential and individual empowerment as if they are personal matters, but for those things to happen we need to realize that those freedoms are only as true as their implementation; freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Is it free and empowering to have a job, and a quasi-professional life where you have to misrepresent who you really are, your personality, in order to be a more proficient or affective employee? Is it freedom to be relegated to the value placed upon us by our present society and for our worth and stature to be based upon the occupation, vocation, or profession in which we find ourselves? Is it exercising human potential that millions of people across the globe are subjected to poverty or are displaced by war and genocide?
Is that freedom? .. and even if I have a semblance of freedom while others don't I cannot say that my conscience is free. I cannot say that I could manifest that individually because we are all connected in integral ways. I think that if we want freedom we can no longer be passive recipients; in order to have freedom we must first find ways to be socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and communally independent without hierarchy, institutions, and infrastructure.
Anthropologists have evidence that prior to 8, 000 B.C.E. every human alive shared an equal quality of life, which has never happened since, and their lifestyles were the most leisurely in human existence. Families were families and people were real people with real needs, which brought people together. Compare that with our world of vanity and excess. People start treating each other in the ways in which they need them: as vanity and excess.
I think part of human potential and empowerment is the ability to live lives of quality, to live in harmonious coexistence with each other and the physical world, to have free will.
~all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals~
Part of the thesis originated from Alverson's Cube: an explanation of the dynamic of institutions, ideology, and ecology.
Copyright: my own; it started for a paper for a philosophy class.
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