The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
December 2, 2018
If you like being a peon, a serf, or a slave, by all means, continue on with business-as-usual. Your corporate overlords are delighted to exploit you. They’re thrilled at the prospect of profiting off your descendants for all eternity. But their hourglass is running out of sand. The planet’s ecosystems are collapsing. We will not last long as underlings. This is a paltry comfort as we slide toward mass extinction.
If your heart rebels against this fate, you must stir yourself to action. You must weigh the peril of our looming future against the dangers of resistance. Your fear of repression from our known tyrants must be measured against the threats coming from forest fires, floods, hurricanes, droughts, famines, and mass poverty. As bad as it is, it can get worse. And it will. To resist is to live. To believe in life and to cherish humanity is survival.
The problem is that many of us have become comfortable with the status quo. The brutalities of the present are as familiar as an abusive partner. Leaving them takes more than courage. It takes vision for a better future.
We must dare to ask – and answer – the question: who and what will replace the corporate overlords?
The answer is a long-cherished dream of humanity, a once robust vision of self-governance and real democracy. History is written by the conquerors, and the dominators’ history books obscure our understanding that we used to govern ourselves. From kings to nobles to plutocrats to corporate overlords, those who pillage, plunder, oppress, and enslave have rewritten the story of humanity. They claim we must be ruled by a wise (and hopefully benevolent) overlord. This is a lie. Once upon a time, in a history forgotten to contemporary humans, we made our decisions together. Archeology points to a time before conquest and violence. It shows graves of egalitarian wealth, no man or woman richer or more noble than the rest. It tells of a time before patriarchy and war. The history books rarely mention this … or any other real democratic and shared decision-making systems throughout the centuries. The dominators’ history will wax poetic about kings and emperors, warlords and nobles. It will leave out the history of the Norse “Things“, the randomly-selected government positions of Greece, the Commons of Europe, the consensus-based organizing of movement groups, the longevity of numerous anarchist collectives, and the tribal democracies of the Iroquois, Wabanaki, and others.
We need to know these stories. They are the complex and varied answers to our question of what comes after the revolution. We know if will not be – cannot be – more of the same. The current systems of elitist power have squandered their legitimacy to rule. From the first charters of companies like the East India Company, they have enslaved, massacred, destroyed, exploited, extracted, starved, impoverished, overthrown, oppressed, poisoned, robbed, humiliated, and murdered anything that stood between them and their greed.
Continuing to tolerate them is a death sentence. Resisting them with organized nonviolent struggle is the most courageous and sensible response. The full arsenal of nonviolence must be deployed: we must build robust alternatives to corporatism and capitalist-consumer culture, organize widespread participation in alternative economies like gifting, sharing, commoning, trade and barter, time banks, local currencies, and more. We must wrest the state apparatus out of the hands of oligarchs and corporatists using electoral, legislative, and direct action to pick away at the structural and systemic injustices that keep elites in power. Problems like voter disenfranchisement, money as speech, the two-party duopoly, gerrymandering, and more must be challenged and transformed.
We must use coordinated strikes and boycotts in the economic sector to limit the power of corporations over people and planet. We must support and join cooperatives, democratizing the means of production. We must make corporations accountable to citizens and citizen legislative bodies. Local communities must be able to halt the poisoning of the land, water, air, and people.
We cannot sustain this predicament of corporate overlords and serfs. It is rebel or die. I know what I choose. Do you?
Author/Actress Rivera Sun syndicated by PeaceVoice, is the author of The Dandelion Insurrection and the sequel, The Roots of Resistance. Website: http://www.riverasun.com
The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection and the sequel, The Roots of Resistance. 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.
From the archives:
Letter to Tim Cook, Other Ultra-rich CEOs and Hedge Fund Titans, by Ralph Nader
‘Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts! + Shopping as an Act of Resistance
Our Way Of Life Must Die — Another World Is Possible
MFTN: ‘Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts!
John Pilger: The New Rulers of The World
Beyond Voting by Howard Zinn + What Else You Can Do: 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action by David Swanson
“Be Realistic–Demand the Impossible!”
Chris Hedges: Know That If We Resist We Keep Hope Alive
Shifting Systems With Nonviolent Strategy + Think Outside the Protest Box by Rivera Sun
If This Is The Last Century Of Capitalism, What Will Replace It? by Pete Dolack
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Thank you for reblogging.
Cool article! I really like it.
(just a bit confusing is the part that starts with “Author/Actress Rivera Sun…”; I suppose those are recommended readings but without any intro, so at first I thought Rivera Sun was the author of this piece, then the list went on looking like a second article of sorts, only to be followed by a comments section for the first article, meaning the actual article that is so cool but later devolves into this unannounced further readings list, if I am not mistaken)
Not sure what you mean by “second article” and “followed by a comments section for the first article” and “unannounced further readings list”?
Yes, Rivera Sun is the author. She created the character, The Man From the North, in her Dandelion Insurrection trilogy. This is explained in the post in the bio section.
Well, that non-introduced list of links is so long that it looks like it might be a post in itself (a “second article”). It would be less confusing if it started with an explanation of what it is, such as “Related posts:” or “Further readings:” or such. Then chance visitors unfamiliar with the local layout could be more likely to find the comments section far below.
I hope this makes it clearer what I was trying to say.
Do you mean the previous post links listed at the end of the blog under “From the archives:”? Yes, the list is longer than usual since the older posts don’t receive as much attention as they used to do as Google de-ranked most “socialist” blogs/websites starting last year. As Dandelion Salad has many new readers, I thought I’d post links related to each post that they may have never seen.
Point taken, thank you, that the list is probably too long.
I love Rivera Sun, and her books are must reading. But aren’t you folks at Dandelion Salad overlooking something? http://po.st/Books_One_And_Two
And if you’d like a compelling article to precede the author promo at the end, take your pick…
Excellent. But I always find something to argue about, don’t I? This time, I’m a little uncomfortable with the sentence
“We must use coordinated strikes and boycotts … to limit the power of corporations …”
I think that is a measure which is too small to be useful. I am becoming doubtful of the usefulness of doing anything short of total revolution.
And I finally am starting to get an idea of how we start the revolution. The first step is to write a constitution (or declaration of revolution, or other document). It must be totally different from any document that anyone has ever written before. It will inspire people to organize around it.
But I am NOT calling for a “constitutional convention.” If we have one of those, it will be taken over, either by the plutocrats or the “libertarians,” and it will just make things worse for the people.
No, what I have in mind is more like this: Individuals such as Lo Daniels and Rivera Sun and Chris Hedges and Paul Street and Peter Joseph and Charles Eisenstein will start writing, and posting online, suggestions for =pieces= of the document. It’s actually better if they don’t try to write the whole thing. At least, not all at one time. We need lots of people contributing ideas, commenting on ideas, discussing ideas — not in a room somewhere, but in public, over the internet. I’m hoping a single document will emerge from the mass discussion.
I’m also hoping that the document will entail major changes in our way of life, not just the parts that we have heretofore seen as the province of “government.” I don’t want just “government” — I want “community.”
But not everyone will agree what the changes should be. For instance, I want an end to private property (because I’m convinced that private property leads inevitably to vast inequality and plutocracy), but I’m well aware that that isn’t yet a majority opinion. How will we deal with our disagreements? I don’t think that a simple “the 51% gets to override the 49%” is a happy solution. We need something better than that. We need some way that people can live separately enough so that, to a large extent, they both get what they want. And more importantly, we need to care for and understand each other enough so that most of the time, we end up wanting the same things.
Peter Joseph, really? Haha.