BETTER PRINCIPLES MAKE BETTER COMMUNITIES
by PIERCARLO BORMIDA
Delivered at the first N-AM International Conference, Madrid, Sunday 18th June, 2017
I think that personal experience, however small, is always a good start to change the world around us. I was born in Southern Europe, in the Piedmont that was once part of Savoy, and which was still the land of Celts and Ligurians. The Romans managed to subdue the populations that lived in this region, but they could not completely change their character and attitude. The strong bond with the earth remained, although many centuries later they tried to destroy it with factories and industrialization. And above all with television and its surrogate model of man: a consumer slave of progress and economic well-being, faithful to globalization. But this vision has begun to take a downturn, it is in the eyes of everyone, otherwise we would not be here to talk about it. The tribal spirit that keeps pulsing in our veins has arisen in some of us, perhaps still few, but the fact is important in itself. After spending several years around the world first and then in the city, I felt the need to change direction. Or rather, to go home. Meanwhile, that house that once belonged to my ancestors had been sold, so we, me and my partner, had to look for another one that would suit us. We found it in the Piedmont Langhe, rooted in the history of the place and the surrounding nature. The primary factor that made us decide in this sense was a slow but inexorable detachment from contemporary society: the way I have been living until then was not that of a real man, the real man is the one who was asleep somewhere in the depths of consciousness. That is why the return to nature and its rhythms marked by the elements, from the cold of winter that tempers the soul to the summer heat that grows the fruits of our garden becomes a “rule.” In the manner of ancient monastic orders, land and spirit, a social model that does not need anything else. Over the next 10 years the world will have to face a number of overwhelming problems: overpopulation, lack of oil and raw materials, climate change, reduced food production, drainage of drinking water sources, unbridled globalization, colossal debt. the system is most likely destined to collapse. So, we have to find solutions to survive. The media, the blind dogmatism of economists, an incompetent and destructive political class focused on defending its privileges, a world based on capitalism, serve only and exclusively to distract the public. But societies change because new ideas appear. The two main trends of the Left (Social Democracy and Communism) and the two main trends of the Right (the one that excludes any state intervention in the economy and the one that sees it as necessary to overcome the crisis) are culturally united by a positive assessment of the system of industrial production. Yet, if we think of our ancestors there was a time when a different lifestyle was possible, a time when man was part of nature: in the center was the earth.
But how did we get to this point?
The war on farmers started in England in the 1700s with the emancipation of enclosure laws, which obliged to encircle open fields and common lands to allow the adoption of agricultural techniques aimed at increasing the agricultural yields, in a word to “grow”. Being good at nothing perceived as an anthropological impoverishment, along with the identification of the concepts of “new” and “best”, are the distinctive features of the perfect compulsive consumer that the growth economy needs. “Our country just buys… It’s just a big market of neurotic people all the same, poor and rich, who buy, buy, know nothing, and then they throw away and then buy again. Money is something abstract and religious at the same time, an end, an investment: “I have money, to buy stuff, how good I am, how my life has been successful, this money must increase “(Goffredo Parise, 1974). All this has to change: a system based on this kind of principle cannot last, and above all it cannot guarantee any prosperity or peace. We need to rethink a model integrated with the environment, a model that can meet the needs of the community.
The National-Anarchist community.
The finalization of the economy to subsistence, the predominantly agricultural connotation of the economy, the persistence of craftsmanship and exchanges based on gift and reciprocity, are the founding characteristics of the communities. The etymology is made up of two Latin words: the preposition cum, which supports the complement of companionship, and the name munus, which means gift, not so much of things but of time. The economy of the gift does not exclude merchandise exchanges, but they have a scope which is limited to goods that are not self-produced and do not exchange in the form of a gift is derived from the sale of surpluses. As a result, it does not turn around and does not need much, so behavior patterns and lifestyles are characterized by sobriety. You do not buy more than you need and you do not waste anything, so that none is missing the essential. The socio-environmental context of livelihood economies is the country (the community) where limited groups of families derive most of their vital needs from agriculture in the surrounding countryside and from the resources of the territory (wood, building material, spontaneous fruits). Economies which are therefore poor but not synonymous with misery, as in the city. Engaging in industrialized countries to end the growth economy, rediscovering the importance of self-production for self-consumption, traditional agriculture, crafts, community relations, gift economy, sobriety, respect for the Earth, the symbiosis that binds humanity to chlorophyllic photosynthesis through the breath, beauty, contemplation, and spirituality. This recovery of values and patterns of past behavior is a necessary condition to reduce the ecological footprint of the human species and to allow more equitable sharing of resources among peoples: only a decline can lead to these assumptions and guarantee a more sustainable and therefore possible future. We must abandon the pathetic attempts to rebuild the left (bankruptcy) because if the finalization is the growth this goal is surely best represented by the right. It must be understood that greater equality between humans can only be achieved if one pursues greater equity in the relationship between the human species and the other living species. Only if you stop believing that the construction of a steel mill is a step forward because it raises the number of occupants, even if the air gets intoxicated, pollutes the water and increases the incidence of cancer diseases, even if it devastates the seafront and the forms of life that live in it, the surrounding farmland and the forms of life that populate them, with immature environmental failures. Modern capitalism, the most peculiar and harmful social structure of human history, identifies progress with the most rugged competition and rivalry; The social status with the accumulation of wealth. This is the current picture that distinguishes us. Co-operation by virtue of competition, was the motto of pre-capitalist communities. In organic society, often illiterate or tribal, dominance was virtually absent. The principle of the irreducible minimum was almost the only axis on which the community was founded: the right to live was not questioned within the community itself. Together with substantial equality, the art of persuasion, and the conception of diversity seen as complementarities, organic societies were also based on the usufruct: objects were not owned but were, on the contrary, available to individuals and families of a certain community as needed. In that time nature and society were one, a fade-in, intimately perceived as the sense of belonging and the sharing of ancestral costumes. This nature was by no means the devitalized entity of today, subject to technical research and manipulation.
It was instead made up of wild animals also organized along lines of kinship such as human clans, living forests as places that can offer protection, cosmic forces such as winds, rains, sun and light. Nature permeated the community as a parental lineage that kept individuals and generations united. Mutual loyalty as a bond of blood was the organic source of community continuity. It was blood-related affiliation, determined by having both ancestors and descendants in common, as to whether an individual could be accepted as part of a group, with whom to marry, what his responsibilities were. It was through the biological reality of these blood constraints and genealogy that nature had penetrated into the fundamental institutions of tribal society. The lineage defined the individual and the group, as well as the skin marks the limit that separates one person from the other. This does not mean denying any technological development: there is no purely technical progress and a society must be able to refuse a “more advanced” technique if the social consequences or those of other type are negative. Technology is always the result of a choice and therefore every new technological choice is to be screened by society as a whole and not by the narrow economic or scientific elites of the community. One of the pillars on which the ecological superficial movement is based is that the environmental crisis is a technical matter, that can be solved with further technological progress, without any change in the mentality or economic system. Unlike deep ecology, it emphasizes value choices and believes that the environmental crisis is produced by a rooted ideology of consumption and production. This type of ecology is for us a national anarchist source of inspiration. As growth prospects, deep-seated partisans are not aiming at a bland reform of today’s society, but to a radical downsizing of our civilization through responsible global ecopolitics. Ecology must be metaphysical and not just scientific, it must be ecosophy. The solution is first and foremost political, and if you want to hope to overthrow current trends (Trump docet) you need a common front between those who fight for the individual and those who fight against the system. Most institutions are anti-ecological agencies. The crisis of living conditions on Earth could help us choose a new path with new criteria of progress, efficiency and rational action. Reform or Revolution? I propose a revolutionary transformation accomplished through many small steps in a new and radically different direction. But revolutions do not start by themselves, let alone by entrenching ourselves behind a computer. We fight the war by shopping! We can boycott multinationals who choose to annihilate us without buying their product, as well as we can mislead the political system by not voting. In the biological sphere, if humanity wants to avoid being replaced by a different species, the struggle against nature must end. In this way, thanks to an increasing sensitivity for ecosystem relationships, humans can live by modest material means (where modest is not synonymous with poverty!) and achieve a greater goal. If we do not solve the problem of the relationship between man and the ecosystem, we will never get rid of the problems that afflict us. Everything is connected because we’re all linked, not just among humans, but among all species. So, once we begin to think that we are not above nature, but we are part of it, we will begin to understand that our problems can be solved, which is not an isolated issue. It’s all connected “(the video-documentary Racing Extinction shows it very well). “We need to know better about man, the health that comes from living by nature, the harmony between Blood, Soil and Cosmos, the Reform of the Purpose of the Nation’s Life, Knowledge and Life, the Law of Living,” Rudolf Steiner said in the years of Hitler’s Germany. Without being intimidated by the Nazi party, German organic farmers made a real campaign to bring Walter Darré and his department on their side inviting them to their farms. In 1940, he became convinced of the superiority of organic agriculture (organic-dynamic, or biodynamic). After Hess’s defeat in Great Britain, Heydrich and Hitler banned the anthroposophic society: but part of the Nazi elite continued to support Steiner and the anthropophytes, including Darré, who criticized Hitler’s military conduct by announcing the defeat of Germany by having ” Betrayed the ideas of Blood and Soil.” After the end of the war, those Nazis sent their children to the Steinerian schools.
The problem of oil and the response of substitute energies.
Coal, natural gas, nuclear power, nuclear fusion are all temporary solutions and above all damaging to the environment: each of these solutions presents problems that are difficult to solve. Nothing escapes entropy. There are more realistic hopes focusing on renewable energies supplied by wind, water, plants and sun:
– Well-managed woods
– Biofuels (beet, canola, sugar cane, etc.)
– Solar power
– Wind energy
It is Interesting to note that, as in the Abu Dhabi emirate, the Masdar initiative provides for a total investment of $ 200 billion by 2020 in the production of renewable energies. In Europe there is Baltic One, a project linked to wind farms that is expected to feed more than 340,000 homes. But high technology is not the only way to change things. The more traditional technologies are often more likely to rehabilitate dying or damaged ecosystems, or to improve their activity. Livelihood farming based on permaculture and biodynamics requires low water, fertilizers and pesticides consumption. Permaculture, whose concept has been popularized by agronomists such as David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, makes it possible to create an agricultural land that resembles the existing natural relationships between different plants, making them at the same time very productive. Mollison asserts without hesitation that “he sees no other solution (political-economic) to the problems of mankind than the formation of small responsible communities, committed to the application of permaculture and the appropriate technologies. Days of centralized power are counted, and a new tribalization of society is an inevitable process.” A project aimed at reducing inequalities among humans should presuppose the dismantling of harmful industries and the recovery of subsistence farming by selling surpluses with the aim of achieving maximum self-sufficiency (based on horticulture, permaculture, biodynamic). After the collapse of the USSR, North Korea and Cuba found themselves without oil or agricultural aid. North Korea, with its centralized and statist structure, has faced a famine that has caused millions of deaths. Cuba, liberalizing agriculture, maximizing agricultural land (on roofs, palaces, parks, abandoned land, etc.) and using permaculture techniques has succeeded not only in allowing the population to survive, but also in increasing the Production and quality of food. In the building, passive houses allow you to use the sun light and heat as it used to be in the traditional way. These techniques had been abandoned due to cheap heating and air conditioning. Modern architecture has built difficult buildings to heat, cool and ventilate. Personally, I am convinced that the recovery of ancient and solid homes, which have weathered the climate and the wars of men, are a good starting point for our self-reliant self-sufficiency. In the field of housing construction, where we have not settled in old farms, we can make our own bio-building baggage. There are several solutions to build our own farmhouse at almost zero impact, it’s up to us to choose how to use our energies. Personally, I think it is very interesting to think of straw houses and raw land. The houses of this type are made by using 100% recyclable and in-house materials, guaranteeing energy saving and exploiting the natural insulating properties of straw and wood. This makes life completely wholesome thanks to the high breathability of the materials, the absence of stagnation of internal moisture as well as no energy interference on people for the absence of iron and cement. Thermo-acoustic insulation, resistance to earthquakes and longevity are elements to take into account.
We have to change the mindset we got inculcated with: let’s start with the concept of efficiency.
The ecology of a prairie, where many varieties of flowers and herbs maintain a fertile and healthy soil, is not efficient: only one species grown in single crops is certainly efficient, but in an illusory way. In fact, it will deprive the soil of its nutrients, ease the erosion and ultimately destroy this land for a long time. Nature, on the other hand, is totally ineffective from this point of view, and it is vital for that! A very interesting example combining nature and food needs in an inefficient way (but absolutely productive!) Is the so-called “Food Forest”, also called forest garden, edible forest and vegetable garden. Food Forest is a multipurpose and multifunctional cultivation in which wood, fruit plants, medicinal herbs, vegetables and so on are located in synergy with spontaneous plants and animals. It can be done in a corner of the garden or in extents of very large terrain, you can also convert an existing forest or orchard. Virtually it is a gardening or management technique of orchard / garden that simulates a forest ecosystem by cultivating on several layers (herbaceous, shrubby and arboreal). The fruit trees are upstairs, while below there are edible berry shrubs, perennial and annual plants. Together they create relationships to form an ecosystem that can produce high food production with less maintenance. It is said that in Italy a few centuries ago a squirrel could move from Apulia to Aosta Valley without ever landing. Italy, if there was no man, would be a forest and the more we want to get away from the forest system, the more we need to put energy into the system because nature does not return to its original form. That is why a Food Forest can be a great way to produce food by using little energy. Another important point is enough: measuring one’s life by quality rather than quantity standards, with regard to relationships rather than things, is one of the keys to happiness. To hell with the Pil, isn’t the Bhutan’s system, which points to happiness as a well-being index of its inhabitants, much more reasonable? Imagination, rejection of constraints and dogmas complete the picture. We must return to live with more simplicity and frugality, which is not synonymous with poverty and misery!
Just have what you need and do not want what you do not need. The indispensable elements for a successful independent community are seven:
3. Health and Hygiene
7. Social Link
Water: Being close to a source of water (river, lake, etc.) is a good starting point to establish a small community. There are several possibilities in the market for using it both as a source of energy and as an indispensable element of life: we humans are made up of a large amount of water after all (the water content gradually decreases by an average of 75% About 50% in old age)! So, we think of a Phyto-purification plant that will provide purified water to recycle for agricultural purposes. The ideal solution is to have pure spring water, use solar energy and recycle 90% of your wastes. They consume mostly organic foods, heat water through solar energy and use natural and biodegradable products to clean. A meeting place where you can approach sustainable lifestyles and conscious nutrition is an excellent starting point for getting to know the thinking model of a national anarchist community. Respect for the environment, nature, people and for all living things is at the center of our ‘utopia’.
Feeding: Proper nutrition is crucial. I personally adopted a vegan regime after having had a brief vegetarian transition. The motives are many, and not all, anthropocentrically healthy. But we’ll talk about it later. Getting food is one of the most felt needs: the goal is to produce as much as possible for our needs. Avoiding buying manipulated industrial food and full of preservatives is one of the first goals to keep in mind, consequently using seasonal vegetables and fruits as much as possible at KM0 if we could not fully satisfy our needs. The biggest change we have to do is from consumption to food production, even if on a small scale, in our gardens. If only 10% of us do it would suffice for everyone. From here comes the futility of revolutionaries who do not have a vegetable garden and who depend on the system they attack. There is no other path than that of cooperative productivity and community responsibility.
Health and hygiene are in step with each other and are a consequence of choosing how to nourish ourselves: great tips are in fact available to everyone in search of the word “hygiene” (sunbathing, therapeutic fasting, etc.). Cleaning is of course fundamental, but let’s remember that if we opted for a vegan diet the dirt we pick up in the garden and especially the one that gets stuck under our nails provides abundantly for our vitamin B12 intake. So, wash your hands, yes, but not in a compulsive way. Physical culture inevitably comes to the fore if we choose to take the path of life in nature: do not think about gym or fitness, in the country physical activity goes through a real body work only by cultivating a vegetable garden, deforesting or keep a forest clean, take care of animals and your own home with ordinary and extraordinary maintenance. Closely related to these fundamental features is spirituality: without a sincere return to the balance of our mind and spirit we will not go far. Contact with nature is a master and is the foundation on which to lay the cornerstone of our community.
Energy: Coming to energy, a small corner of paradise completely self-sufficient from the energetic and economic point of view, built directly by those who live in it is the dream of many of us. To accomplish this, it is not enough to imagine it, but a lot of knowledge is needed. First of all, what are we talking about exactly? Energy? Electricity? Heating? Or anything else? Before answering these questions, we need to be sure of which lifestyle and level of comfort we want to achieve or whom we want to satisfy. If our home is in a very hot area (Mediterranean, for example) our problem will be to protect us from heat. If we have chosen a temperate or colder area (mountain or hill, for example: and this is my case!) We will have to think about how to warm it up in the winter. It is clear that the first choice has its advantages, especially of economic order. After evaluating several options, we have now chosen a heating system based on a wood boiler: living near a very woody forest and being a short distance away from a decentralized country where there are still woodcutters, it seemed to be the less expensive and more acceptable solution at the moment. We get part of the wood needs from the cleanliness of the property and part of it we buy from the co-inhabitants of the country, triggering and fuelling an economic engine of the indigenous social fabric in which we find ourselves. We also looked at the possibility of a geothermal system, but at the moment it is still a project in the drawer. It should be said that wherever there are economic possibilities, it is one of the most intelligent systems to make themselves self-sufficient: but what does it consist of? Geothermal energy is the energy generated by geological sources of heat and can be considered a form of alternative and renewable energy if evaluated in a short time. It is based on the principles of geothermal energy, or on the exploitation of Earth’s natural heat (geothermal gradient) due to the thermal energy released by the natural nuclear decay processes of radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium, naturally contained within the Earth (core, cloak and earth crust). From the point of view of the generation of electricity, geothermal energy allows the natural forces to extract a large amount of renewable and clean energy. An additional advantage is the possible recycling of wastes, thus helping us to save. Drilling is the greatest cost; In 2005, geothermal energy cost between 50 and 150 euros per MWh, but it seems that this cost has dropped to 50-100 euros per MWh in 2010 and is expected to fall to 40-80 euros per MWh in 2020. In relation to the generation of thermal energy geothermal (low enthalpy) has many advantages: economy, environment, security, availability and architecture. Alternatively, there are today several solutions related to wind power (produced by the wind) and solar energy. Depending on our geographical positioning and orientation, once again, we must make the right considerations. If we want to fully cover our energy production needs, we need 35 m2 of panels (example valid for a typical family home). However, the problem is the night: in the absence of sunlight, we will no longer have electricity. Consideration should therefore be given to the use of expensive batteries, or the connection to the power grid, thus frustrating our goals of full autonomy. A hybrid solution is expected to connect to the power grid, but backed by backup batteries, to be used only in case of an emergency. Or we can re-evaluate Gandhi and his rejection of electricity: “We will have nothing to do with the shining splendor of crystals, and, like in the past, we will wicker with our cotton and we will use hand-made sub-cups like lamps. In this way, we will save our eyes and our money and thus achieve self-government.” Consequently, without necessarily becoming primitivists, we share Gandhi’s condemnation of the consumer society and exalt an ideal of frugality and voluntary simplicity.
Knowledge: knowledge is the neuralgic point for choosing to live independently and with a look at a sensible ecological society. And knowledge is translated with the term culture: I mean not only a beautiful library, but a realistic predisposition to learn everything that may be needed for life in line with our principles. We do not only think about what we like, we reflect on what our culture defines. The usefulness of this culture is not only that of a pastime, it must be preserved from destruction and convey it to future generations. Knowledge and wisdom will help both us and our extended community recognize what is really important. Their broadcasting brings us to the organization of what we can call a community school, where energy is aimed at teaching young people who will be the future of the community itself. Far from the Indoctrination of State Schools!
Defense: A first approach is to wonder how to keep our community safe? And above all by what to defend it? It is evident that more than animals and natural events we refer to the threat of our fellow men, the greatest danger remains the man. A compact community is the best possible defense. Being alone is still our weak point: that is why it is good to maintain good social relationships with the neighbors, not to let us be carried away by easy instrumentalizations, but try to put to fruition our experience and that of those who preceded us. That is why in times of crisis like this, it is good not to isolate ourselves completely. Accepting the fact that having to defend ourselves is our own right and a duty towards ourselves and our loved ones. Common members of the community must be able to be prepared in the event of an external attack, so it is best to cultivate a good physical culture, practice self-defense with martial arts and know how to juggle weapons (not just firearms). Knowledge of the territory is of course very important; hence excursions are suggested to everyone. Likewise, an easily accessible community system (castles, farms, etc.) is a great deterrent towards potential aggressors.
Social Link: I deliberately left this point as the last because it allows us a series of reflections and a major development. “We cannot eradicate the individual from the community, because, as the anthropologist Werner Schiffauer points out, “collective identity and individual identity are inextricably linked.” Raising and ethnic crucifixion expropriate individual identities from collective identity, causing a state of precariousness, highly stressful, in individuals. Such a situation raises irrational recovery, true or false, of group membership in a process of frenetic ethnocultural self-reliance (think of the US or the former USSR, detested by decades of mass deportations and today shaken by endemic inter-ethnic struggles). The overwhelming, incontrovertible, widespread return of a series of racial issues is undeniable, especially in large urban agglomerations; National-anarchist communities can be the positive answer to the problem. Tribal and ethnic understanding must not be a taboo, as it should not be a preconception. As we have already said elsewhere, the community can be based on any principle of belonging (food choice, sexual orientation, religion, etc.), but in this context, I would like to focus on ethnicity, obviously far from being labelled as racist. Ethnicity is a more concrete and less abstract concept than race. It is historical, dynamic, complex, rich: it encloses culture and nature, genetics and environment, myths and destiny. Ethnicities are coached by common history and passions, ways to feel and see the world, affinity with blood and ties to your own land. Each and every one belongs to an ethnic group and it belongs to us. There are micro-ethnicities and macro- ethnicities, almost like a system of Chinese boxes (e.g. Tyrolean and German). Nature – understood in a much wider sense than merely biological – binds us from birth with wires that we can certainly break, but that we often contribute to reinforce. Man’s propensity towards auto segregation, not imposed, but spontaneous, seems to be an anthropological constant (see “Racial Separatism” on N-AM Manifesto). Man has, since its inception, been a social being, in which sociality, however, is extrinsic to the double compulsory binary of cohesion and exclusion: the search for a center and a boundary that defends, imposing “limits”, preventing Chaotic contacts that generate anxiety, stress, conflict. These behaviors are the expression at the human level of a trend pervading living nature in a global way: we are talking about tension towards differentiation. In its cyclical process, life creates a series of differences, aspires to give a specific form to both collective bodies and individuals: heterogeneity constitutes its law, while macrophysics predominates homogeneity. Just think of the incredible richness and variety of animal and plant species and the differences that we ourselves can find not only in physical features but also in behaviors among the animals that are familiar to us. The living is characterized by being individualized: the difference between subjects and groups increases with the increase in the level of complexity. Any organism, as long as it lives, wins the forces of homogenization and levelling, resisting the “entropic fatality”, that is to say those forces that dominate inert matter and which result in a loss of dynamical ordering factors proper to the system. As physicist and epistemologist Stéphane Lupasco wrote, biological death equals a fall in the size of the physical, homogeneous, level systems. If one reflects on what is laid, it will be obvious to consider personality as the most complex and profound expression of this natural tendency to differentiation, whose power is incontrovertible. When we speak of personality we refer, of course, both to the, most notorious, individual one and to that of the groups, the nuclei of subjects belonging to the same species, which join together, separating from their allies, and maintaining cohesion long enough in time. The flocks of primates, or other zoological orders, reject outsiders, even the conspecific ones, and maintain a high degree of behavioral “conformism” within the group: individuals who deviate too far from preconceived behavioral charges, even in consequence of the after-effects of an illness, are violently assaulted by their former companions, as it has been observed by famous ethologist Jane Goodall.
“The group is compact against the outsider,” says Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt. With suggestive words, Robert Ardrey reminded us that “as a member of a herd, a flock or a class or herd or noyau, the social animal belongs to a group differentiated by all the other groups, and within it it conquers a Territory or a social rank, or a place on which to perch or rest, recognized as its own, distinguishes it from all the other members of the group and thus obtains an identity. ” Differentiation always traces two levels, the individual and the community, complementary to each other. Generally speaking the livings do not like to mix and, if they do, they follow the rules that nature has imposed. It is interesting to point out that even the results of studies of child psychology and human ethology converge to outline a similar picture. It should be stressed that the rejection and the sense of strangeness towards the other, which is unknown to us, are much more rooted towards individuals belonging to our own species rather than towards members of other species: the child is much more intimidated by the presence of foreign humans rather than of wild animals, albeit not well-known (in this sense, antispecism is absolutely consistent with human nature). Konrad Lorenz, in his main text of ethological philosophy, The Other Side of the Mirror, wrote that “cultures that have reached a certain degree of reciprocal differentiation behave in a manner similar to that of different animal species, but closely It is important to emphasize the close degree of kinship, because it has never happened, as we know, that, due to a divergent evolution, two cultural groups have differed so ethologically and ecologically from the point of view of to be able to live peacefully next to each other in the same area, as they do, for example, different kinds of ducks with a total lack of relationships and without entering into mutual competition. ” Two points must be highlighted at this point: geographical proximity and partial similarity as essential factors of competition and clash. In particular, the tensions arise not because they are too different, but because they are still too similar, and thus deal with the same ecological niches. Adapting to a number of norms within the group, which inevitably involves conformism, becomes a cementing and discriminating factor towards the outside. The global village metaphor needs to be replaced with that of an ocean (nature) in which many boats sail. Meltin’pot, says Eibl-Eibesfeldt forcefully, is antibiological, unworkable without strong coercion, operating only in a totalitarian context: nothing is more distant from the national-Anarchist vision. Therefore, all human cultures tend to separate themselves, isolate themselves from one another, acting as if they were different biological species. We are certainly in the presence of a cultural development, but its bases are biological, that is, the above-mentioned tendency to reject outsiders and to establish and defend their own specific identity. Different species are no longer interfacing, different communities no longer produce overlapping cultural heritage. If it is the break-up of something qualitatively “different” to form a specific ethnic identity, it seems illusory to believe that such a traumatic event can easily be forgotten and settled under the reassurance of welfare: this can happen for a minority of people within the community or, even more easily, if they are separated from it, but not for the majority, which will always remain sensitive to the “mythical” recall: the voice of heredity, a decisive imprinting. In theory, watering every community identity would seem to be the best solution to overcome racial tension, as the causes of tensions will be lacking. Only individual identities, tolerable in an atomized society like ours, would remain. But we forget that the tendency to group, to self-assimilate, is not part of the past history of western men or of the contemporary so-called “primitive” tribes only, but it belongs to the human being in his perennial integrity; it constitutes, in fact, an essential, non-accessory element that qualifies us.
The emergence of new clusters in cosmopolitan cities, as we have already mentioned, still proves it today! It reveals the existence of a complex series of bio sociocultural events that contrast the “ideological” tendency, prevalent in mass societies, among which the internal contradictions of the global homologation process must be noted. Of course, speaking of identity must not lead to misunderstandings: we are far from considering this term as the expression of a closed, static, fatalistic reality. We consider it in a dynamic, open, interactive way: it is a perennial nucleus that is known to be an ever-new “form”, adapted to changing times and external conditions. We could call it a harmonious law that determines certain structures or, if desired, certain proportions, but that can extrude itself in a thousand different ways, renewing itself. Different ethnicities, both biological and cultural, closely related and intertwined, have very different concepts and perceptions on basic, central elements of everyday life such as privacy, interpersonal distances, environmental order, property, boundaries. Their symbolic universes, which go far beyond sociological analyzes, are very different: an open or closed door, a look, a silence, a gesture, have not mutually overlapping meanings between different cultures, meaning the latter term in an anthropological sense. We are, therefore, in the presence of semantics often lacking in mutual tonality, even though they are neighbouring ethnicities. The role played by certain factors may be diametrically opposite. The creation of differentiated ethnic-cultural communities, separate national anarchist communities, should among other things allow people who live there to interact, to know each other, to create ever-widespread ties, following their own rhythms and customs, inverting the processes of mutual extradition so widespread in mass civilization: the creation of micro-communities would be very profitable even in contexts free from ethnic tensions. In fact, the process of progressive loosening of interpersonal bonds is a tremendous problem, which makes the megalopoles unobtrusive, leading to the mechanization of social relationships and hence to an increase of violence typical of those environments which are populated by anonymous subjects, disconnected from each other and from the context.
On the historical strength and disruptive power of the ethnic group, Michael Walzer has written very lucid pages on “MicroMega” when he noticed that tribalism, or ethnicity, has been the protagonist of recent history, having largely fed antitotalitarian and anti-communist fight. “If peoples are admitted to politics, they will come to you by marching for tribes, bringing with them their languages, their historical memories, their beliefs, and loyalty. Tribalism indicates the attachment of individuals and groups to their own history, culture and Identity and attachment is a permanent feature of social life. ” This leads to a challenge with uncertain outcome, with which we have to measure ourselves in a proactive way; which means to abstain from any purely repressive, sterile hypothesis, but adopt the perspective of a global integration of human complexity in an order of things that stimulates and assists the personal and collective growth. To live between different people, respecting each other and maintaining our identities is possible; But it needs a general framework in which to integrate, regulate and harmonize migratory flows, without forgetting that the return to a libertarian and anarchist conception of politics could offer a unifying point that would create the conditions for a fair coexistence between multiplicities linked to one superior symbolic unit. The freedom to remain what we are and at the same time to live with others while maintaining the inevitable tensions at physiological levels is an ambitious but concrete goal: to inherit and transmit. In some cases, all this can be frayed, paired, and so we talk about sleeping ethnicities; In other cases, it is very alive. In synthetic terms, Anthony Smith’s definition of those ethnic groups, that keep on being active on the history scene, is based on five points:
1. Owning specific origins
2. Having knowledge of your past
3. believing in one’s own destiny
4. Having a specific collective culture
5. Sharing a singular community solidarity.
Collaboration with other people in the community is therefore fundamental, in those still “conscious” it is innate. As it is the individual experience of its members, it would be impossible to get to be experts in everything, better to specialize in a branch and ask for mutual assistance in other fields. The idea of Otto Strasser makes conveys the idea perfectly: Volk, the people who form the community, must be based on a peasant middle class capable of expressing every other social and intellectual activity: worker-peasant, intellectual-peasant, soldier- farmer. Personally, I am fascinated by medieval monastic-chivalrous communities, I believe that the normalization of the planet must be fought by small and self-centered communities spiritually and economically, strongly cohesive with common goals. A society without roots and without spirituality cannot withstand long, it is an absolute priority to focus on alternative housing systems. It is not just about changing our way of housing but also of living: improving social relationships, producing goods in the respect of the environment, and avoid pursuing the sole purpose of profit. The benefits are numerous: sustainability from the point of view of housing and food, ethical and integrated jobs in the local socio-economic context, cultural socio-economic activities of communities that bring added value to the quality of life, new way of living and building and incentive for self-building. Until now, right-wing forces have embarked on non-scientific nationalism, or, to say it better, on a sentimental patriotism and a jumble that dragged them to the worst imperialist aberrations; and all this gives rise to real national interests. Left forces, blinded by class problems, have not studied national affairs for a long time, and where they did, we think of Stalin, they have made confused, unrealistic and largely false attempts (Francois Fontan, Movimento Autnomista Occitano). National-Anarchism is the answer that combines ethology and ecology, nation and society.
How does this reflection relate to the ecological environment?
I agree with Murray Bookchin when he says that most of our ecological problems have their roots in social problems and the current disunity between humanity and nature can be traced essentially to social conflicts. I do not think there can be balance between humanity and nature unless there is a new equilibrium within society. It is necessary to honestly address the fact that if we do not transform society in a libertarian sense, the attitudes and institutions that make us mad at the ecological disaster will continue to operate despite all the efforts that can be devoted to reform the dominant social system. The ecological implications of these systems are even more important than their economic determinations, as they involve the destruction of ecological values such as complementarity, mutual support, sense of limitation, a deep sense of community and an organic conception based on unity in diversity. These values and institutions in which they are embodied are now replaced by competition, selfishness, unlimited growth, anxiety, and purely instrumental rationality, in other words by the belief that reason is nothing more than an “instrument”, a “dexterity” in adapting the means to the ends and not a character inherent in an orderly and understandable reality. This vast array of “modern” categories, which plays an alienating role in both our human interrelations and in our collective relationship with nature, finds its most poignant expression in capitalism – both Western private capitalism and Eastern bureaucratic capitalism – that is, in a system of “grow-or-die” (i.e. endless capital accumulation as a function of survival in a competitive market), which threatens to destroy the whole biosphere unless it is replaced by a new radically different social setting. Such social transformation does not simply imply the establishment of new economic relations related to ownership or control of property. It involves the acquisition of a new anti-authoritarian sensitivity, the development of new technologies that harmonize our relationship with nature and not the other way around. If the ecological movement retreated from the social arena, seeking a “healthy” private life, or, if naively, it turned to pure electoral practice in search of influence and power, the loss for all of us would be irreparable. We have seen the so-called “green” Europeans making continuous compromises with the dominant social system in order to acquire “power” with the only result of being progressively absorbed by the same power they sought to transform. Ecological thinking can now provide the most relevant synthesis of ideas that has been seen after the Enlightenment. It can open prospects for a practice that can really change the whole social landscape of our time. It is urgent and of vital importance not to allow an ecological way of thinking and the resulting movement to end with degenerating into new forms of state-politics and partisan tournaments on the one hand and / or in mystical and spiritualistic ways carriers of quietism and social passivity, on the other. There is a way, which is neither the one of conventional policy – that is, state politics – nor that of mystic quietism: it is the direct policy, the “basic” policy, founded on community mobilization and municipal federalism, a federalism that can put in jeopardy the centralization of statalism and the capitalist concentration that marks our age in a nefarious way. The truth has never been simple, one-dimensional. It is often a thin red thread, so to speak, that links respect for the environment, human and animal differences, ethical, political, and reasoning. Capitalism has separated itself from the human race as brutally and cruelly as it has separated society from nature. That nature too is a victim of this competitive, accumulative and expansive social fury should be obvious, unless there is a strong tendency to trace the origins of it to technology and industry as such. Many associate this change to technology. But very few reflect on how deep technology is transforming the world, the objective and factual reality of people, in the guise of consumers, citizens and voters. On the speed of flight and willpower of technology and its continuous evolution, numerous books have been written in recent years that propose new conceptual and cognitive tools to better understand technology and / or suggest a critical reflection useful for a different and more aware use of technology and to better understand its effects on the future evolution of mankind. That modern technology exalts certain fundamental economic factors, namely development as a rule of life in a competitive economy and the commodification of mankind and nature, is a clear fact. But technology and industry as such do not transform any ecosystem, especially soil, watercourse, and even the oceans and the air into a mere exploitation. They do not monetize or give a price to anything that can be exploited in the competitive struggle for survival and development. Talking about “growth limits” in a capitalist capital market does not make any sense, as it makes no sense to talk of the limits of war in a war society. The moral scruples which today give voice to so many wise environmentalists are so naive as multinationals are foolish. Capitalism cannot be “persuaded” to put a brake on its development, just as one cannot “persuade” a human being to stop breathing. Attempts to realize a “green” or “ecological” capitalism are condemned to failure because of the very nature of the system, which is a system of continuous growth. With globalization, there is even the mutation of the Homo oeconomicus in Homo miserabilis, the destitute man: growth and development make “poisoned poors” out of all individuals, says Serge Latouche. In fact, the most fundamental concepts of ecology, such as attention to balance, harmonious development towards greater differentiation, and ultimately evolution towards greater subjectivity and awareness, are radically opposed to an economy that homogenizes cities, nature and individual, and that pushes humans against each other and against nature, with a ferocity that will eventually destroy the planet. For generations left thinkers have preached about the “intrinsic limits” of the capitalist system, the “internal” mechanisms that would inevitably lead to self-destruction. Of course, capitalism completely embodies the Bakuninian concept of “evil,” without being “socially necessary”. Capitalism derives its strength not only from its ability to produce and consume, but also from deceiving individuals and manipulating the well-founded criticisms that have been levelled at it. After the capitalist system, there are no other “turning points” in history. It marks the end of the path of a long social development in which good has been permeated by evil and irrationality has prevailed over rationality. For society and the natural world, in fact, capitalism is a point of absolute negativity. It cannot be improved, reconstructed or renewed, simply adding a fashionable prefix (“eco-capitalism”) to the end. The only possible alternative is to destroy it because it embodies all the diseases of society that have afflicted “civilization” and polluted all its conquests.
The defense of the landscape against rationalistic deformation must be radical: said with Tuscan anarchist Mino Maccari, “the city of art is the city of the country”, the countryside is in fact artistic without monuments, it is a work of art, a piece. Let us be inspired by nature and its laws. Agricultural practice should not be seen solely as a set of techniques with a production goal, but it should take into consideration the whole environment in which it is inscribed, with a real sense of ecology. It must be a regenerating force. Environmentalism as a movement is fortunately in crisis: its adherence to superficial ecology that does not question the fundamentals of our society, but believes that simple adjustments must be made to it, has failed. Environmental movements did not succeed in their relations with state power. They have sold whole forests in exchange for some symbolic stock, immense wilderness in exchange for some national parks and large portions of coastal swamps in return for a few hectares of intact beach. I find that the answer to the present planet’s death must necessarily go through deep ecology (Arne Naess’ definition), which always claims that it is necessary to rethink the evolution of society, which does not necessarily have to develop. Indeed, it must find a modus vivendi with the nature of the holistic type, of interaction and respect. Deep ecology therefore raises development as a necessity, in favor of another model of life, no longer anthropocentric. It is clear that nowadays the only prophetic model of ecology cannot be the superficial one, but the deep one, which can be integrated into certain aspects of the social one. Moreover, superficial ecology is an invention from whole cloth that has nothing to do with the fathers of environmentalism, such as Thoreau, Emerson, Muir, Whitman, who are certainly more assimilable with the canons of profound ecology. It also appears clearly in the eyes of those who are attentive to the things of this world, that there is no other development other than the one currently in progress. And sustainable development is a contradiction in terms: either choose development or choose sustainability. Both do not live together. It is no wonder, therefore, that those who want to engage in the environmental field today do not delegate to associations that appear old in their structure, contradictory and delayed in time: choice is ours, absolutely ours and anyone else’s.
I want to close my intervention by opening a parenthesis that I consider to be of primary importance for a sustainable future of our communities: the choice to consciously feed, therefore the vegan one. The reasons are many, but I think it’s possible to sum them up in three points.
Health: Even before the love for animals or the Earth, the reason why a person should become a vegan is their health. Eliminating meat and dairy products means reducing the amount of fat we take into our body, thus eliminating the major sources of occlusion of the arteries that lead to stroke and heart attacks, but also the main sources of obesity. According to the latest statistics, vegan people have a percentage of obesity ranging from 5 to 20% less than those who eat meat. In addition to the scale, also the rest of the body benefits of this diet, like the enormous reduction in the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. The vegan diet is a complete nutrition: from protein to vitamins, it is all in nature, you just have to know where to look. Legumes are rich in proteins, except those of animal origin which in fact do not serve the human body; without neglecting the economic aspect of the diet: the vegan diet is in fact extremely cheap. Cereals, legumes, and vegetables give the right nutrients to us humans (we are frugivores) at a lower cost compared to animal foods. If we succeed in producing part of our food we also have control over what we actually eat!
Pollution due to farms: the damage caused is multiple and related to various issues. Waste of resources and inefficiency – The problem of livestock farming from an environmental point of view is that they consume much more calories from vegetables than they produce in the form of meat, milk and eggs: as “machines” (because it is considered in herds) that convert vegetable proteins into animal proteins, are completely ineffective. As a result, much more resources are consumed to produce animal food than those needed to produce vegetable food. This huge waste of resources is one of the least publicized, but the most devastating consequences of the much-decanted “Livestock Revolution”. It is undeniable that this waste of resources causes enormous environmental impact on the planet.
Soil degradation – Soil degradation is one of the most serious problems that modern agriculture faces. While serving from 20 to 1000 years for the formation of one centimeter of ground, wind and water erode 1% of the planet’s soil each year. It is generally not known how animal breeding is one of the factors that contribute to erosion. When a pasture is over-exploited, the livestock compacts the soil with the hooves and rips the vegetation that holds the soil together, thus causing erosion. Intensive farming, on the other hand, destroys the ground because the cultivation of feed grain, necessary to keep this industry, requires a lot of cultivable land. Consequently, the world’s per capita arable land continues to decline steadily. An extreme example of soil degradation is the phenomenon known as desertification. Agriculture can contribute to desertification either directly, through damaging agricultural practices such as intensive cultivation, overfishing of pasture land, and endangered use of water, also indirectly, when land is deforested to create new cultivable lands or new pastures for livestock.
Deforestation – In just ten years (from 1990 to 2000), the Brazilian Amazon has lost a forest area equivalent to two times the size of Portugal: the vast majority of this area has become grazing for cattle, domestic consumption and forest product exports to Europe, Japan, USA. The annual rate of deforestation continued to increase in the following years and in 2002 it increased by 40%. 10% of the deforested area is used for the cultivation of soybeans (used as animal feed in intensive breeding), the rest is reserved for pasture; After a few years, the area is facing an irreversible process of desertification, so it is necessary to break down a new portion of forest, in a vision circle that degrades the environment more and more. Between 1997 and 2003, the volume of bovine exports from Brazil increased by more than five times; 80% of this increase in production took place in the Amazon forest.
Chemical Pollution – Humans have been farming for more than 10,000 years, but over the last 50 years, growers have developed a heavy dependence on synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Harvests actually absorb only one-third to half of the nitrogen applied to the soil as fertilizer: unused chemicals contaminate soil and water. Given that, according to FAO statistics, half of cereals and 90% of soya produced in the world are used as animal feed and that these chemicals are mostly used in single crops for the production of animal feed, it is clear That the greatest responsibility for this enormous use of chemicals is in the practice of livestock farming. If land was used to produce food for direct human consumption, sustainably, using rotational cultivation, much less chemicals would be needed.
Energy use – Conversion from fodder cereals involves a huge loss of energy, especially if cattle are used for conversion. The average amount of fossil fuel required to produce 1 kcal of protein from meat is 25 kcal, or 11 times as much as that needed for wheat production, which is about 2.2 kcal. The ratio is 57: 1 for lamb meat, 40: 1 for beef, 39: 1 for eggs, 14: 1 for milk and pork.
Water Consumption – Water Consumption is one of the major causes of environmental impact of livestock farming. Agriculture, mostly devoted to livestock and feed, consumes more water than any other activity in the United States, and generally uses 70% of the total water used in the world. The water required to produce various types of vegetable food and forage varies from 500 to 2000 liters per kilo of harvested product. Livestock uses only 1.3% of total water used in agriculture; However, if the water required for grain and animal feed is also taken into consideration, the amount of water required is considerably higher. Despite the variability, both in the estimates of water consumption and in cultivation methods, there is unanimous and wide evidence that leads to the unmistakable conclusion that the production of animal food for human consumption requires 3 to 50 times the amount of ‘Water needed to produce vegetable food.
Waste Disposal – When animals are bred with traditional methods, their deerings are considered to be of great use – a key element in rotating farming systems that produce a wide variety of food and maintain healthy and fertile soil. However, as many animals are raised in a too small area, the surrounding environment cannot dispose of all the defects produced. This is what happens every day in intensive “groundless” breeding, so widespread in developed countries and rapidly expanding in developing ones. Liquid and semi-liquid cuts of livestock contain levels of phosphorus and nitrogen above the norm because animals can absorb only a small portion of the amount of these substances present in their feed. When animal excretions filter through watercourses, the excess nitrogen and phosphorus in them ruins the quality of water and damages aquatic ecosystems and wetlands. Approximately 70-80% of the nitrogen supplied to cattle, pigs and laying hens by feeding, and 60% of that given to “meat” chickens is eliminated in stools and urine and ends in diving courses, water.
Global warming and acid rain – Global warming is caused by energy consumption, given that in the modern world, primary energy sources are high-carbon fuels which, if burned, emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. As noted above, livestock breeding is one of the major causes of increased fuel use. But livestock also emits greenhouse gases directly, as a by-product of digestion. Cattle emit a significant amount of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the air. Research in the United Kingdom indicates that fermentation in the stomach of cattle and sheep is responsible for 95% of methane produced by farms, while the remainder is caused by debris. The same study shows that one-third of the country’s total nitrogen oxide emissions derive from animal leaching, while 39% of ammonia emissions are caused by breeding animals. In addition, the high ammonia content of animal waste is one of the main causes of acid rain.
Ethics: From the ethical point of view, eliminating the whole of the flesh, on average, allows you to save life and combating the daily holocaust that causes the extermination of 64 billion animals each year to produce meat, eggs and cheeses.
I think this analysis is enough to realize the seriousness of the problem.