May 6th. Chungju, South Korea.Our daughter Miru is now 4 months old and a wonderful baby. Having the responsibility of an infant changes priorities, and in this month's post Kamiel sketches, with some revolutionary fervor, what we envision for the future: A modest piece of rural land to live responsibly, invite our fellow idealist travelers, and create a base to return to.
After years of traveling the world, it is not easy to re-integrate and continue with the conventional way of life. Especially if you have worked in the poorer parts of the world, and have experienced the squalor and misery people have to endure, it is difficult to adapt to industrial society with its culture of incredible convenience and laughable complaints. We haven't lived in our "own" place since 2009, but because we have a baby now, we feel we need a modest place we can call home - and when it's just a place to return to after yet another journey.
We have met many travelers and traveling couples along the way, and some of them probably find themselves in a similar predicament some day, so this month's post focuses on creating a little more stability in our existence as global people. We would like to buy a small piece of land in the Spanish countryside with a dilapidated house on it to renovate, a place where we could live in peace, and where (we hope) national or local authorities don't impose their absurd laws. We would like to have a place to return to from our travels; to take our responsibility for a younger generation and help them: There are so many young talented people who could be creating wonderful things, but are working in mind-numbing call centers instead just to pay their rent. We could help them. We envision a network of places, "safehouses against capitalism" as you may, that "belong" to a tightly knit network of idealists working together on a better future and helping each other to prevent our brothers and sisters from being enslaved by the system.
We need all the freedom we can get, and we need to share it in order to forge a viable solution. As more and more people are involuntarily spat out by the system and looking for alternatives, we must be ready for them. We should welcome them with open arms into our sustainable communities (= communities built in a way that doesn't deplete the earth's natural wealth). We hope that social networks will evolve and something like an open, free, directory will emerge. Something like the yellow pages/phonebook/directory of e-mail. Facebook is hopeless in this respect, as it is more and more a corporate advertising scheme rather than an open avenue for people to organize.
When I created www.kindmankind.net in 2011, I hoped enough people would use it to justify further development, but it has remained small. But it still exists and I can recommend it. What I hope to emerge in the coming years is a truly open system that answers queries like
- "Which other open-minded people interested in permaculture, vegetarianism, and self-reliance are there within a 20 mile radius from where I am?" or
- "Which other activists against global capitalism or the suppression of women can I find around Berlin?"
Once that new digital reality has been established, the real reality will quickly follow suit, and budding communities of diverse idealists will be more and more coherent because people can now find others who really think alike. This will enable them to be much stronger and, as we move into the third decade of this century, I envision resilient communities in Europe to be a well-established, laudable and politically recognized way of life.