By Gwyllm Llwydd
As down as the times seem, there is hope, and there is a road forward. For some of us, who have been pushing against the wheel for decades, it seems the go to place at time ends in dispair. This is natural, the Dharma Wheel turns slowly, and we are caught up in Indra’s web. Yet, every action of kindness, every gesture of love pushes the wheel, and it reverberates into the future, a message that will touch so many that we will never know.
Here is to all of you who continue in the great struggle to make love visible in the world, to bring justice, to bring life, to save our dear Mother Earth.
We can do this.
Please read the following:
“Freuchen tells how one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, he found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly:
“Up in our country we are human!” said the hunter. “And since we are human we help each other. We don’t like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.
… The refusal to calculate credits and debits can be found throughout the anthropological literature on egalitarian hunting societies. Rather than seeing himself as human because he could make economic calculations, the hunter insisted that being truly human meant refusing to make such calculations, refusing to measure or remember who had given what to whom, for the precise reason that doing so would inevitably create a world where we began “comparing power with power, measuring, calculating” and reducing each other to slaves or dogs through debt. It’s not that he, like untold millions of similar egalitarian spirits throughout history, was unaware that humans have a propensity to calculate. If he wasn’t aware of it, he could not have said what he did. Of course we have a propensity to calculate. We have all sorts of propensities. In any real-life situation, we have propensities that drive us in several different contradictory directions simultaneously. No one is more real than any other. The real question is which we take as the foundation of our humanity, and therefore, make the basis of our civilization.”
― David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years
“The Dawn of Everything” – David Graeber & David Wengrow
“They are also difficult to reconcile with archaeological evidence of how cities actually began in many parts of the world: as civic experiments on a grand scale, which frequently lacked the expected features of administrative hierarchy and authoritarian rule. We do not possess an adequate terminology for these early cities. To call them ‘egalitarian’, as we’ve seen, could mean quite a number of different things. It might imply an urban parliament and co-ordinated projects of social housing, as with some pre-Columbian centres in the Americas; or the self-organizing of autonomous households into neighbourhoods and citizens’ assemblies, as with prehistoric mega-sites north of the Black Sea; or, perhaps, the introduction of some explicit notion of equality based on principles of uniformity and sameness, as in Uruk-period Mesopotamia.
None of this variability is surprising once we recall what preceded cities in each region. That was not, in fact, rudimentary or isolated groups, but far-flung networks of societies, spanning diverse ecologies, with people, plants, animals, drugs, objects of value, songs and ideas moving between them in endlessly intricate ways. While the individual units were demographically small, especially at certain times of year, they were typically organized into loose coalitions or confederacies. At the very least, these were simply the logical outcome of our first freedom: to move away from one’s home, knowing one will be received and cared for, even valued, in some distant place. At most they were examples of ‘amphictyony’, in which some kind of formal organization was put in charge of the care and maintenance of sacred places. It seems that Marcel Mauss had a point when he argued that we should reserve the term ‘civilization’ for great hospitality zones such as these. Of course, we are used to thinking of ‘civilization’ as something that originates in cities – but, armed with new knowledge, it seems more realistic to put things the other way round and to imagine the first cities as one of those great regional confederacies, compressed into a small space.”
― David Graeber, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity