I had a friend suggest that I share the ways that I’ve explored to opt out of oppressive systems driven by consumer-based colonial capitalism, so I’m going to try and write more about that and less about how fucking confused I am about the world.
Years ago I wrote a year-long guide called “52 Ways to Be Green” that was a happy, hippy, sugar coated set of instructions to help interested folks take steps to stop destroying the planet. I wrote 52 articles, each focused around a specific task, made 52 blog posts, added 52 newsletter articles, and shared it around. I think maybe 50 people participated and very little feedback was given. It took me a lot of time to create and had very little impact. So I’m a bit hesitant to put time and energy into a prescribed list of to-dos for people looking to opt out, because my experience with this approach is that it’s not effective. People are only ready to take steps and action when they are self-motivated.
I think instead I’ll talk about different areas that I’ve explored and questions I’ve unearthed (many of which don’t have answers). Here’s the list of what I think I’ll talk about:
- Unschooling vs. Education
- Gardening vs. Food Systems
- Buy Nothing vs. Consumerism
- Anarchism vs. Democracy vs. Communism
- Gift/Barter Economies
- Self Employment and Grind Culture
- Raising Free People
- Mutual Aid
- Individualism vs. Community
- Police and Carceral Abolition
I need to say, though, that all of my thoughts come from the perspective of a white, straight and CIS passing person holding immense privilege. This privilege allows me the time, money, space, and safety to explore these topics and issues that those facing systemic discrimination cannot always afford.