The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
January 26, 2014
The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. This article is one of a series written by The Man From the North, which are not included in the novel, but can be read here.
We have been losing ground. Corporate politics has invaded many sectors of our lives. In times of tactical retreat (in preparation for later advances), the military uses a tactic called blowing up the armory to describe a situation in which they will destroy any unsecured weapons and munitions to prevent their opponents from capturing them and using the arsenal against the retreating forces.
Those of us engaged in nonviolent struggle may look around at the innocuous weapons of our pamphlets and banners and dismiss this tactic as not applicable. This, however, is a mistake. The armories of nonviolent struggle are the social institutions that maintain the status quo of civil society. A treasure trove of resources is stored within these facilities: law, education, communication, transportation, wealth, authority, governmental processes, business, commerce, transaction, regulation, media, entertainment, and much more.
We must look starkly at the flailing status of our struggle: these institutions have been invaded by corporate control and extreme greed. We no longer have the option of blowing up these armories – too many innocent civilians are entrenched inside these conquered territories. Nonviolent struggle rejects the notions of “acceptable levels of casualties”. No loss of human life or causing of physical harm can be justified by the worthiness of our cause. We have never had the militaristic luxury of wanton destruction.
But neither can we be passive. The tools of our civilization are being forged into weapons of mass destruction. Our responsibility is clear. We must help citizens to safety. We must remove the arsenal from being used to cause harm to ourselves and others. We must strengthen and build up our own armories of resistance: independent institutions of governance, law, education, communication, information, transportation, and so on.
Furthermore, we must go into the conquered territories of our own society and seek out those who are courageous enough to join us. We must bring the invaluable munitions of skills and knowledge to our aid, encouraging the active participation of scientists, educators, analysts, writers, organizers, and technicians to leave the corporate-political regime and actively struggle for all of humankind.
Although I speak with military terms, I use such language only so that you will understand the ruthlessness of the war that is being waged against us. The corporate-political elite has bent the tools of civilization into the very swords with which they slaughter us. We must melt their swords back into ploughshares. The armories of civil society must be dismantled and reformed to our advantage. It can be done and this is how:
If our municipal corporations (known as city councils and county commissions) are being poised to uphold the domination of the corporate-political state, we should fearlessly use them as a bulwark against the onslaught of injustice even if it leads to the dissolving of the municipal body. In such cases, citizens must then, without hesitation or question, form a system of local self-governance, free from unjust laws or tyrannical destruction of life.
If our police officers are ordered to enforce the immoral, unconstitutional laws, then we must ask them to lay down their badges and stand with us as ordinary citizens. We must relieve them of duty if they comply with commands to use harmful and deadly force against those exercising their Constitutional Rights of Speech, Assembly, and Petition. If an entire police force is determined to maintain the power of corporate interests, then we must renounce their authority as illegitimate.
If our judicial system continues to repeat its long history of pandering to corporate interests to the detriment of the rights and well-being of the people, then we must ask our lawyers and judges to burn their licenses like draft cards, cast off the corrupted weight of precedence, and form arbitration courts such as those created by Gandhi and the Indian lawyers.
If our academic institutions persevere in bending to corporate financial influence, then our young adults must leave the universities and colleges. Similarly, if our public education system continues to allow standardized testing to shape our precious children into obedient soldiers, unthinking consumers, and corporate loyalists, then we must remove our children and ask the teachers to walk out with us.
If our banks maintain the devastating trends of elitist favoritism, political domination, and enforcing the systems of wealth inequality, then we must withdraw our money down to the last penny. We must remove our investments in corporations of tyranny and destruction. We must pressure larger investors to relinquish the privilege of profit that comes at the price of human suffering.
This list is only partial. It must serve as a start to your own strategic thinking on this subject. These actions are not light, nor easy. The ramifications are profound. The Dandelion Insurrection wages struggle within and without the armories of our civilization. We do so nonviolently, but with strength and determination. When our social institutions fall into destructive hands, then we must challenge our courage to the extreme, release the corrupt and conquered halls of power, retreat to higher ground, and wage our struggle from a foundation of strength.
Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to The Dandelion Insurrection, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. Website: http://www.riverasun.com
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The beginning of the answer to the police state and all that is on with the deal, meaning corporate corruption, and the list is extensive, the beginning of the plan for freedom from militaristic action upon targets of the enemy and the public, being City Councils and I suggest also rural, and County Commissions, is they are paid excessive salaries compared to the average wage earner, here in Daylesford, Australia, I believe the CEO, is paid somewhere between two hundred thousand to a quarter of a million dollars including perks, the average wage earner of say a cleaner here is $20.00 per hour, I realize from a American perspective $20, per hour is a lot compared to America, the cost of one kilo of kiffler potatoes, is often over $5. per kilo, cherries here are $19.00 per kilo, this is from Coles super market, and the cherries are sub standard often rotten and blemished and dried out.
The system is embedded with corruption that it is difficult to see how any change is possible, as a lower class citizen, meaning myself, Australia is the last place for radical change, as from my perspective they suffer extensively from inferiority, as a society, masked by a front of a bombastic attitude of self righteousness, and when ever bring any subject into focus, they know every thing, and yet they instigate little.
With a healthy arms manufacturing society, such as Britain, either manufacturing on British soil or having production abroad to avoid detection, as central to my theory of change, Britain who started the industrial revolution and contributed a significant quantity of militaristic weapons and distributed them world wide forcing other Nations to do the same, is for the British Establishment to change, from militaristic force and power, to a Holistic enterprise, as the evidence shows, the conditions have changed radically in the last 100 years and violence is no longer a viable exercise, in terms of a positive outcome for the Earths resources, and also as you can see in places such as Syria, the outcome of British policy is a major impact upon resources and energy use, and the scars psychologically will be permanent for centuries to come, you do not have to be a genius to work out that those in pursuit of authority and having mind sets that are recalcitrant, are as useful as the dinosaurs attempting to deal with today’s problem, facing us all.
Time to grow your own cherries (and other expensive fruits) at home in your garden.
All very idealistic, if only life were so simple? are you serious?
Yes, of course, I’m serious. I could not afford to purchase fresh organic fruits, so I grow raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Also freeze them to enjoy later in the season or in wintertime. I did buy the first raspberry canes, but received the blackberries from my neighbor, and the strawberries started out with ones from my mother’s garden. Ask anyone who grows berries, and they will surely share a cane or starter plants with you.
Photos from my garden:
You amaze me, I am in a part of Australia, Victoria, and land is big money, around where I live a block of land that is 5 acres, is 2.4 million dollars? maybe you should come here to demonstrate your theories, buying land here and growing berries as a return on what I consider inflated prices, the system is made this way to stop people like you growing your own food.
Intentions are noble, dealing with the practical applications is another world.
How much is arable land per acre where you live?
Don’t be so mean, Don. I’m sorry that land costs so much where you live. Do you rent an apartment? There are many things one can grow in containers. Also asking the person who owns the land if you and others can have a small garden. There are rooftops that are used for gardens in big cities, too.
I have a very small house and use both the front yard and back yard for my gardening. I do own the land fortunately.
There are many benefits living in a small town/city.
I own a complex, retiring from glassblowing several years ago converted my studio in to rentals, 2 separate units that are accommodation, one unit, to a taro reader, one to a electrician, one to a naturopath, and two massage units, and a home ware shop.
Here we have a group that is into vegetable and plant propagation in bits of land, like parks, and council bits of land, its a sort of people cooperative, at the moment I am helping a ex-lecturer, of English, now burnt out from academia, I am managing and creating a flat in her house to help her as she has no salary, to help her financially, it is unpaid other than a cup of tea daily, I have the job of walking a beagle, every day, which is the residue of what I got when the woman I was with for 12 years left me for another guy, in this case not a woman, I hope she has found happiness with her new arrangement, I now have more time to write on blogs such as yours, also and work out problems that are psychological, historical, economic, philosophy, and physics, and political and environment, my main direction is to question all secret services, such as the CIA, and organizations as MI5/6, I do not get much time to plant carrots, although, I have lemon trees, grapefruit, and some berries, my main fear is by chance meeting the insane, and general nuts, for some reason I am like a magnet to these freaks, I once dressed flamboyantly, a long time ago, I now am dressed more like a semi tramp, to camouflage myself as a non person, I do not drink nor take drugs, and by chance am celibate, my main problem is to know whether I exist or not, or if I do exist am not sure as to how I exist, it was only this morning walking the beagle, when I spoke to a woman I pass daily at the mystery garden here in Daylesford, and mentioned how on the whole animals were more intelligent than humans, she agreed, nevertheless, to exist in this type of world, must be of concern to not just myself but to others as well, also of concern is those who are educated at universities, although it is expected you become a better person for this, I believe their is another type of education outside this system that is superior, yes I expect you may well be correct that I am mean, I saw this in a mirror once when I was on LSD, and never recovered from this, any how if you have got through this, essay, good luck, don.
Thanks for sharing your personal experience and life with us, Don. Lovely that you have lemon and grapefruit trees, and berries, too.
You’re too kind, but thank you for the encouragement. I can only say in my defense, I try.
Trying is what we all need to be doing. Sounds like you are doing a lot for people in your community.
Our City Council and Mayor receive nothing; $0. The County Commissioners receive a salary but it’s not excessive at all.
As I stated here in Australia, the local councils are different from America, they are paid here big money as a civilian police force to make big money from rates of local residents to pay big salaries, they are paid to be officious and to be non cooperative with residents, they do not live in the community and are foreigners in spirit.
Don, I highly recommend connecting with active and successful Permaculture practitioners in Oz ~ there is a huge amount of material online these days.
Sounds like time for the people to take back their power.
One powerful aspect of effective nonviolent struggle is self-reliance. It has been found, all around the world, that the foundation of nonviolent struggle lies in the capacity of the people to conduct themselves with confidence, collaboration, and dignity in the face of oppression. Gandhi saw clearly that the Indian National movement would not succeed unless he could instill a sense of self-confidence in his people.
Here in America, we have similar problems. Ignorance, passivity, apathy, dogmatic self-righteousness, arrogance all abound in our country. If we are to succeed in building a movement, these core traits in our culture must also be addressed.
Fortunately, the very mechanisms of effective nonviolent struggle can often become teachers and healers. Moving into action is a remedy for apathy; working with others addresses collaboration; suffering the oppression of the state can bring one to humility; and maintaining nonviolent discipline is a potent teacher of moral fiber and inner character.
With nonviolent struggle, we develop ourselves as people and groups that are fit to govern ourselves. Then we wage struggle to achieve the social and political power to reflect that. It is an interesting process, to be sure.
PS The Australian climate change & environmental movement has been very interesting to watch from this end of the world. I admire the courage and perseverance of the people confronting massive power and facing great odds.
Well said Rivera.
The one single aspect of the “classic” American character that most everyone can admire and can strive to emulate, is that spirited “can do” attitude.
We’re already seeing how Green Building, Organics, Permaculture and the Community Transition movement are contributing so much vibrant energy these days, encouraging people to trust in their own initiative and work together, with Nature to mutual advantage and for long-term benefit.
Notwithstanding any legitimate caution about the way it is sponsored and organized, the TEDx series has also revealed a wealth of untapped innovative ability, and a plethora of stories that inspire, empower and guide.
I think Ellen Brown has the right idea: reclaim the banks and rebuild local economies, finance worker-owned and operated business, it’s all possible if we have the will to make it happen. Needs must.
Sure, we all need to get beyond the slogans and the cynicism of political marketing and PR, but ~ let’s just DO IT whatever “it” is!!
I haven’t watched this TedX talk yet, but I have seen guerrilla gardening in action. It’s not the answer to the world’s problems, but it is a release valve of creative resistance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQPZsD8nKu4&feature=youtu.be
Gardening posts on Dandelion Salad: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/category/food/gardening/