How can we create a new world if we live submerged in it? Is it possible to press Ctrl + Alt + Del on life keyboard and start all over again? Or is it possible to take some steps towards a more just life for ourselves and our loved ones with small radical actions?
Walter Benjamin warned us almost a century ago that “there is no outside of capitalism”: in its global, post-industrial form, capitalism is not only a system of economic exchanges, but the subordination of any intangible value to the logic of production and consumption. The Apocalypse will not be in the form of a fanfare of demons and dragons, but of a reality show with worldwide audiences: a slow but unstoppable deterioration of consciousness, which will eventually lead to its collapse.
Is it possible to face in a less dark tone a geopolitical and economic reality that does not seem to offer many alternatives for a life that is conscious of the environment and respectful of the other beings (human and non-human) with whom we share the planet?
A radical way of facing the problem, paradoxically, seems to be to stop being part of the problem.
This sounds easy (and, as we will see, it has a significant class bias), but perhaps we should gradually consider that cosmetic changes to the face of capitalism cannot forever mask its brutality and the reproduction of its inherent cruelty. Finding the alternative will be finding the tangent: disconnecting from the Matrix could start with one (or more) of the following points to exit the system:
1. Stop feeding him
What do we understand by system? The power system: the government, the institutions, everything that organizes and administers forms of exploitation. To stop feeding the system is to put distance between you and those forms of power. This distance can be created in many ways: boycotting brands that affect the environment or produce social inequality, ceasing to participate in elections, or simply reducing your digital footprint: the information you give Facebook about yourself also feeds the corporate machine.
2. Improve your health
In addition to economic dependence, dependence on the health infrastructure is a powerful pillar of control. The rhythm of city life deteriorates the body at great speed, either due to the poor quality of food or the difficulty in exercising. A balanced diet and constant physical activity will allow you to have health and strength to seek utopias (?).
3. Grow your own food
A small community garden can be the difference between food independence and energy underdevelopment when GMOs invade everything. The rise of organic markets brings a class bias to food sufficiency, but it is not about buying organic for fashion, but about taking charge of what we put on the table. A minimal investment and the right information is all you need to start your urban garden.
4. Become your own bank
Taking charge of your own economy requires nothing more than reading a few books on the subject and being disciplined with finances. Starting a community savings cooperative and managing a common fund with family and friends will allow you to acquire the financial strength that the banks have taken from us through capital speculation.
5. Practice bartering
Barter is just one of many alternatives to the use of money that allow economic transactions. The model of cooperation or exchange to create self-sustaining companies does not sound so far-fetched when the members agree on their true needs. The truth is that we need food, a home, leisure, entertainment, etc., etc., but we do not need money. Money is one way to get what we need, but it is not the only way.
6. Become a producer
Companies buy raw materials, add value to them, and then sell them at a much higher price. Why? Because added value allows even a narrative (such as artisan making or philanthropy) to make a product more expensive. Learn to create something with your hands: something useful, something beautiful, something that you can sell or exchange for something useful and / or beautiful. Let's stop buying and start building (the world of the future does not come canned).
7. Get involved in your children's education
Homeschooling is one of the most radical steps that can be taken to get out of the system, but the truth is that it is not very viable in some countries. If you need to send your children to a “normal” school, be sure to talk with them; remember your own education: school is made to condition and instruct, not to teach to think. If the system does not change within our own lifetime, perhaps our children and their children will have a solid foundation if we relearn to be family.
8. Get involved in your own education
You learned to believe in a country, in a god, in a way of life in society. That society, that god, and that country crumble around you. What to do? In addition to learning the essential elements of survival in new terms, it would be good if you also cultivated a critical mindset and a diverse sensibility: think about whether you would more like to participate in a solemn and severe revolution or a truly joyous and inspiring revolution. Think about where you would like your loved ones to live. Think
9. Do volunteer work
Our society has failed because it entirely delegated the care of everything to the government. If you want a better world, build it. Do more than donate a few pennies each month to feel better about yourself. Learn something; teach something.
10. Practice civil disobedience
H. D. Thoreau affirmed that the free man (and woman) should stand up to the law when it is unjust: it is their duty. We live in a society that turns a blind eye to inequality, poverty, hunger, and that solves social crises with television programs. We are transforming ourselves into image-consuming beasts, while becoming increasingly alienated from one another. Get independent from traditional media. The old strategy of "divide and conquer" is still effective in the case of media alienation: turn off the television, participate in campaigns in favor of your community (preferably not organized by the government), stop fantasizing on the Internet and go out transform the world. Maybe we still have time.