Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Emerald Belt Project (Dreaming Is Free)

I get a lot of flack for being a pretty negative prick, and rightly so. I could probably sniff out a conspiracy at a goddamn Easter egg hunt. If you read my last three posts in a row, you'd probably think I wrote them with a loaded revolver in my mouth. If you read the last six, you'd probably fight me for the piece so you could put it in yours. What can I say? What do you want from me? I'm an obese, fluid, basket case who cant even take his own junk for granite. So, yeah, I'm a bit edgy. You try being fucking chipper under those circumstances.

But it is important, even for a genderfucked, post-goth, drama-queen like myself, to at least make an attempt to look on the bright side. The best way I know how to do this is to dream. After all, as Debbie Harry once mused, dreaming is free. Only, as an unrepentant Marxist and anarcho-syndicalist, my dreams are a little bit different, to say the least, and my favorite dream is what I like to call the Emerald Belt Project. Now, I'm not exactly a political scientist, so don't give me shit about the logistics, after all this is dream, not a goddamn manifesto. Manifesto's are for people without ADD.

It all starts with the collapse of the American Empire, which, lets face it, is an inevitability. All capitalist societies are built to self-destruct. It's a system built on the naive premise of never ending expansion on a planet with a finite amount of space and resources to expand upon. A capitalist state has know choice but to become an empire in order to feed it's perpetual fix for growth. And all empires inevitably collapse beneath their own weight, just like Chris Christie. No one can eat the entire worlds supply of cannolis and live to tell about it.

Signs of this collapse are everywhere, from the Great Recession to our loss of influence on the global stage to the fact that even the most ignorant of American's doesn't take our three ring circus of a plutocracy seriously anymore, I mean, shit, they even elected one of the clowns to be the ringleader. The cracks are all there and growing larger day by day. It's simply a matter of time before those cracks become breaks and those broken pieces disintegrate like sand between Uncle Sams bloody finger tips. To most people this all probably sounds pretty terrifying. But to a degenerate like myself, it sounds better than Christmas fucking morning. It's what I've been waiting half my life for.

My dream is to take advantage of this chaotic opportunity and gather the continents leftist malcontents, be they communist, anarchist, socialist or libertarian, provided that they're all anti-statist in nature, and unite them under one banner. Then, together, we repatriate my local Rustbelt ruins along the Great Lakes, forgotten cities like Erie, Cleveland and Detroit, with nothing to offer but abandoned land and untapped opportunity. Here we make our stand and create a confederacy of stateless artist colonies with the backbone of a new post-capitalist economy built on an industry I can only describe as AgriPunk.

With literally thousands of square miles of unused indoor factory space we could create the worlds largest hydroponic grow operation on the planet with the Great Lakes serving as a near bottomless source of irrigation. With this we can provide ourselves and a hungry globe with a huge cache of organic fruits and vegetables, and naturally enough cannabis and opium to put those sheep-shagging warlords in Central Asia out of business for good, thus turning the Rustbelt into the Emerald Belt.  All governed democratically through an interwoven network of grass roots syndicates and workers councils, making leaders as obsolete as the empire they once served. Income taxes will be replaced with union dues, standing armies and police forces will be replaced by local civilian militias and apartment complexes will become autonomous communes for the workers.

The profits made from herbs and narcotics alone would provide more than enough capital finance for a vibrant network of free autonomous social welfare programs like schools, clinics, hospitals and nursing homes as well as public transportation and infrastructure projects, centrally funded through the councils and syndicates but independently and democratically run by the communities that utilize these services.

As for all the empty lots, warehouses and abandoned homes, these will be forfeited to any rugged settler or collective with the balls and brains to rebuild them and create mutualist homesteads. Living off the land and devoting themselves to the creation of life and art, rather than the soulless management of pointless government bureaucracy and multi-national corporate servitude. The result? Something like L.A.'s fateful South Central Farm or Copenhagen's Freetown Christiania times a million. Miles and miles and miles of gigantic social art projects with their artists living inside them, all governed cooperatively without a single banker or IRS man breathing down their necks.

There would be a central, gold-backed, currency, mostly for trade purposes, but people would be free to make their own money and decide what it's worth. Or they can simply barter and trade goods for services. And this would be just one of many utopias stretching across the post-American Western Hemisphere. Classic Liberals and more market oriented anarchists may set up their own independent projects in New England or Alaska. Primitivists might do the same in the Pacific Northwest. More traditionalist paleoconservative minded folks could set up their own colonies in Utah or Montana. And so it goes. Libertarian communist campesinos in El Salvador. Black nationalists in Mississippi. Indigenous tribalists in the Badlands. A colorful collage of radical experiments in direct democracy competing peacefully for the favor of a populace free to pick and choose which society makes sense to them.

What's missing from this picture?  Give up? War. With no more standing armies and stateless nations to small and decentralized to dominate even their own populaces let alone anyone else's, wars will be rendered to relatively minor skirmishes between tribes and militias. There would still be violence. There will always be violence. But without the apparatus of a centralized state and with communities busy with the joyful work of their own self determination, war as we know it may simply cease to exist.

I know, I know, it sounds nuts right? But why not? Why not dream big and swing for the fucking fences. Everything new started out as something "crazy", from Maknovia and Catalonia to Chiapas and Rojava. I'll fully admit to not having all the kinks worked if you'll admit to being at least a little intrigued by my wild dream. And by all means, feel free to punch wholes in it. But the Emerald Belt Project is what I dream about when I grow weary of dead girls and bad leaders and, like I said, dreaming is free.

Dream big, dearest motherfuckers. Only dreamers can change the world.

Peace, Love, Empathy and Anarchy- CH

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