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Childhood trauma and its consequences
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 Post subject: Counter Culture
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:21 pm 
I started a new topic as we are no longer discussing changes to the forum.

I agree with Hermit that the hunter gatherer existence was the only natural adaptation to this world. That's pretty close to the way of life that Jean Liedloff observed. But I do think it would be possible to create better social arrangements within the techno-industrial system. Equality, freedom, solidarity, peace and enough leisure time to pursue meaningful activities would be possible if political measures were taken to prevent exploitation of the weak by the powerful. Mojo said it too. Legislation to restrict the working week to a maximum of 30 hours would result in more jobs and more leisure time for more people, and fewer people in need of welfare handouts. But those who were raised to be greedy and selfish will fight it. It won't happen if the majority of college-educated white collar fodder are defeatist. Politicians will only change their policies if a large proportion of the population kick up stink. Feelingful parents are already fighting the education system by taking up homeschooling. The big challenge is to encourage more people to do the same and lobby for changes in working arrangements as well.

A painting by Mark Henson:
http://www.sacredlight.to/pages/land.htm

The description of the painting is grey text on black. It's easier to read if you right-click on the mouse and "Select All".

Dennis, the counter-culture, anti-corporate and anti-war sites I've visited have too much reading material and too many links. I'd like to find some oustanding examples that I could recommend to people who need to be woken up, but most of the sites I've found wouldn't interest casual visitors. For example, I myself got bored with Naomi Klein's blog a long time ago. In the beginning there was user participation but she soon got flooded. Do you know of any sites with an easy-to-digest presentation of counter culture ideas?
Quote:
On this forum I like to see a better understanding of the discoveries presented by Janov, Alice Miller, Ellie van Winkle and Jean Liedloff... Or anything else that connects to those discoveries.

I would like to find quotes from influential writers who are well known in today's world who present similar ideas. I can think of present day counter-culture writers who are saying the same as Jean Liedloff, but not many of them are well known to the public at large.

ian copeland


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:34 pm 
I believe that small autonomous communities in close contact with nature and face-to-face democracy and strong solidarity that eliminates will to dominate and competition would be ideal systems for transition towards hunter gatherer existence. They would also slowly repair the ecological damage by creating a permaculture inside and outside the former cities. Utilizing and recycling everything (for example humanure and graywater) they would ensure a complete economic autonomy without the need for outside inputs. Such community can exist without coercion and punishment, and can provide a true freedom. By freedom I mean the state of being in which every activity is qualitatively and quantitatively commesurate with it goal and completely dependent on individual will. It means directly satisfying your needs. That kind of freedom cannot exist in extremely crowded and complicated techno-industrial system which requires divison of labour, coercion, authority and mass control - sources of mass misery and suffering. Begging politicians for mercy and more free time just adds to the main problem - dependency and subjugation. You have to fight for freedom. Reforms are only temporary. If the system is forced to make changes by means of mass protest or strikes, it will only do so temporary in order to tranquilize the people. After it is done, the old ways will slowly find their way back, while the system occupies its slaves with new problems. The revolution is required and it will start when the critical mass of people refuse to be wage slaves and turn to their own resources and regain the lost knowledge of survival. It can be done in nonviolent way, simply by learning to be self sufficient. Very good books are available on this subject.
I think nothing can beat nature. Those who are born the natural way will continue to live in peace and harmony and there will be no mental disorders. Why to invent and pay for extremely expensive primal therapies when you can prevent the suffering by returning to nature.
I don't think it could be done inside some artificial communes, which are doomed to fail. I can be done individually by following example. people will leave the system when they are ready and make contacts with those who already live that way. Physicaly inside the society, but economicaly independent, they can create a powerfull propaganda of their philosophy and ideology, only if they are determined.
Many families already live like that and raise self regulated children who can continue their work. It is only necessary to form a political program including a rational psychologicyl and economical theory.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:28 pm 
Hermit wrote:
I don't think it could be done inside some artificial communes, which are doomed to fail. I can be done individually by following example. people will leave the system when they are ready and make contacts with those who already live that way.

Do you live that way yourself? If so, how do you access the internet?

Simple technologies exist to facilitate all recycling needs, but they aren't used to their full potential. Communication between communities via the internet would be easy using solar energy and batteries to power laptops and WiFi. In today's world it's possible to use compressed air to power lightweight vehicles:
http://www.theaircar.com/models.html#Mini

Corporate interests will fight it all the way. They want the consumerist lifestyle to remain - even it trashes the planet for their children's generation.

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It is only necessary to form a political program including a rational psychologicyl and economical theory.

Where can we find a charismatic leader who will launch this revolutionary program?

ian copeland


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:23 am 
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Hermit, I do agree with a lot of what you wrote but I don't believe in escapism as a way to restore the natural balance on this planet. I think it's too late for that. Don't underestimate the technology and the methods the establishment is using to protect and continue its power.

I still believe the pen is mightier than the sword, but swords have become guns and bombs and we still write with pens (okay, computers, but it's symbolic). Making an effort to write down the injustice that's being done in such a convincing manner that it reaches people directly, is what society needs.

Tools (and technology) are not necessary bad things. They make labor easier. Those people you think about of a time long ago, while living in nature, I'm sure their old days weren't so harmoneous. We need to learn to use technology in a sensible way. Why there's so much money spend on space exploration for example is beyond me. Not that I'm necessary against that sort of progress, but it's not a priority in this time. Maybe in 500 years. I don't understand the hurry, unless there's this crazy 'Let's do this before someone else does it' - concept.

Ian, you wrote:
Quote:
Do you know of any sites with an easy-to-digest presentation of counter culture ideas?


The only one in English I know is http://www.michaelmoore.com Others are more specified about a certain topic.

But the only counter-culture worth mentioning that has access to the media is on the Internet, hidden between all those blogs and forums. I'm disappointed with Adbusters. Their Forums are extremely infested with spammers for at least a month and they don't do a thing about it. I even sent them a fax this morning. Thinking about Roszak, perhaps Adbusters fell into the same trap; making their counter-culture a commercial slogan... to make money.

I've founded a very small magazine (in print) myself a year ago, in which there are 10 short stories, fictional and non-fictional but it has been very difficult to get people's attention without grabbing a lot of money for promotion. There's too much information out there and most of it you can't even call information but disinformation or plain rubbish. But I'm going to continue to offer an alternative for those who are interested because imagine growing up in a world where you don't see an alternative anymore.

Dennis


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:51 am 
It's obvious that I don't live the way I would like to. One of the reasons why I don't is because I plan to apply at Janov's primal center, what means I need money and job and so on. Living in this system did affect me a lot and I will use the same system to get well, if that is possible.
Living off the land and returning to nature was one of my earliest fantasies and I spent a lot of time reading about primitive societies, especially hunter gatherers which are the example of anarchism in practice. Descriptions of many of these early tribes closely match Janov's description of normal, or "integrated" people. Reich cited many resources on primitive peoples to illustrate his point on sexual health. Fromm wrote a lot about hunter gatherers to show that agression, hoarding, domination, etc., are not rooted in human nature. And finally Sahlins and many others came to argue that primitive people's lives were full of leisure time.
of course returning to hunter gatherer lifestyle is not realistic at this point, but slowly abandoning unnecesary technology and working on a sustainable agriculture towards self sufficiency is a real posibillity, an alternative to consumerism. Developing permaculture is also realistic, although more distant goal.
It's not about whether some technology is inherently bad or not, it's about inevitable consequences. Technology is not simply a tool, a neutral device. It is also a social relation. If some machines are going to improve this or that, well that's great but who's going to work? Who is going to waste his life working in factory? I'm sure there is enough complex technologies that can be used in recycling but why to create industrial waste in the first place. If we are talking about waste like human excrements, just read the Humanure handbook, it's a wonderfull piece of work. Sewers (which require technology) are unnecesary and harmful in the long run. It's all like setting up a nuclear reactor just to have electricity for hair dryer, while you could just dry your hair with a towel.
But still the main problem is the amount of labour. And you have to force people into schools and factories, it's not something natural to them. Domination of man by man becomes necessity.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:48 pm 
Hermit wrote:
of course returning to hunter gatherer lifestyle is not realistic at this point, but slowly abandoning unnecesary technology and working on a sustainable agriculture towards self sufficiency is a real posibillity, an alternative to consumerism.

I agree, and I would like to find ways to spread the word to as much as possible. I hope you will be able to reach your goal of attending Janov's Primal Center, but have you thought about how you will live afterwards? Janov wrote that becoming 'post-primal' doesn't help people live in an unfeeling world.

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If some machines are going to improve this or that, well that's great but who's going to work? Who is going to waste his life working in factory?

Small community workshops could replace factories if consumerism was abandoned as an economic system. Without the endless production of goods which are purposely designed to become obsolete or 'unfashionable' much could be achieved with very short working hours. In any case, more than 50% of jobs today are in the service industries. Recycling of metals and plastics can be done effectively with very simple technology. These alternatives are viable today.

It's a tragedy that so many people are too brainwashed by the mass media to realise that a golden age could be created within one or two lifetimes. I truly believe there would be less depression, emotional illness, psychosis, cancer and other degenerative lifestyle illnesses if our highly competitive economic system was replaced with a network of small, autonomous communities that only needed to trade essential commodities with each other.

Nothing new has to be invented except a different way of organizing the socio-economic system. The kibbutz system thrives in Israel, even though their nation is an aggressor towards neighbouring Palestine (stealing thier land).

I think there would still have to be a global system of justice to prevent armed conflict or the exploitation of one group by another. Even primitive hunter gatherer societies indulged in tribal warfare -- unless all the anthropologists who studied them in the 19th and 20th century were lying.

The biggest obstacle I can see is that the developing world is overpopulated compared to the available sustainable resources. The United Nations predicts that the world population will grow to 9 billion by 2050 (see http://esa.un.org/unpp/). Contraceptive pills have been available for 40 years, so more medical science isn't the answer. How can prosperous Western countries prevent them from pursuing conflicting goals through terrorism and warfare?

ian copeland


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:18 pm 
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Hermit wrote:
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Why to invent and pay for extremely expensive primal therapies when you can prevent the suffering by returning to nature.

Quote:
It's obvious that I don't live the way I would like to. One of the reasons why I don't is because I plan to apply at Janov's primal center, what means I need money and job and so on. Living in this system did affect me a lot and I will use the same system to get well, if that is possible.


It sounds contradictory. Could you explain this further?

Hermit, I also would like to know if your background is the working class, like mine. Before I was familiar with the primal methods, I also dreamed of living off the land, and be autonomous. But in my case I realized I was rejecting a lifestyle I grew up in, instead of choosing one I enjoy. I agree more with Ian that everything is present in our current society that can provide a healthy lifestyle, if only the resources were better divided and if 99 percent of the production of products we don't need was stopped. Until we have an economy based on sustainability and not on eternal growth, there will be little change.

By the way Ian, that's an interesting site about those cars running on air. Are those for real or is it a practical joke, a social experiment?

Have you heard of those laptops without batteries? So far, they will only be provided to third world countries and the cost is less that $100:
http://laptop.media.mit.edu/

Dennis


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:41 pm 
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"... cars running on air. Are those for real or is it a practical joke, a social experiment?"

They're real. I read many pages on the site. There have been articles in some motoring magazines, but not many. Maybe you already know it, but major oil companies have stopped large expenditures on oil exploration because there are no more reserves that can be extracted economically. They want to promote hydrogen cells which require expensive techology to produce, so that oil companies can stay in business by supplying them. The $100 laptop site is good news.

On a side note, faith in science is part of the mass media hype. It leads the credulous masses to believe that the answer for all social problems is science, more science -- instead of solidarity and political action. Divide and rule -- and provide brain medications for all the over-stressed white collar fodder. Let them eat books and argue amongst themselves. Telling people to go away and do more reading is what pedagogues do. It's no way to start a primal revolution.

http://adbusters.org/spoofads/misc/ethiceze/

I don't follow the forums on Adbusters. I only visit the site from time to time to check out new spoof ads.

ian copeland


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:17 pm 
The question of tribal warfare is a complex one. It is true that some hunter-gatherer tribes engaged in armed conflicts, but not all of them, and it was in many ways unlike civilized warfare. Those tribes who were known to attack others also shared many pathological traits that could be called ?seeds? from which things like possession, hoarding, market, subjugation of women, etc., sprouted. They were also clearly distinguished from pacified hunter-gatherers in works of most anthropologists. Many different tribes throughout the world become warlike (and therefore dominated by male principle) after contacts with genocidal and ethnocidal civilization. Our knowledge about true Paleolithic hunter-gatherers is very incomplete and distorted.
And Ian, to answer your question, after becoming ?post primal? I will probably return to my dreams and start an autonomous existence somewhere in the wilderness, with a piece of my own land, growing my own foods, gathering in the woods, occasionally hunting, replicating primitive skills. Unless I suddenly start feeling strong need for being with people, which I doubt.
I really do believe in primal therapy and I am quite enthusiastic about reliving traumas and getting rid of extra pathology and psychosomatic symptoms. I live in Croatia and biggest problem to me is immigrating to US and finding a job there, near LA, as a medical doctor preferably. And I think immigrating is the only option as completing the therapy would probably take many years. That?s my plan.
Dennis, my background is a lower middle class. And I grew up surrounded with compulsive, competitive and unfeeling individuals. It's something I would easily reject. The problem with Croatia is that it's a country in transition that has just began to develop and people are highly enthusiastic about material progress and are idealising western world.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:22 pm 
and, Ian, did you maybe watch the sf serial called "Prey"? I remember one character Ian COpeland who was progress orientated and wanted to bring down human species...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:39 pm 
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The question of tribal warfare is a complex one. It is true that some hunter-gatherer tribes engaged in armed conflicts, but not all of them...

Yes, I know that what you say is true. On the Primal-Page there were a couple of articles by neuropsychologist James W. Prescott. I visited his site and read some more articles. He studied anthropological data from 49 cultures and found that those societies which give their infants the greatest amount of physical affection have the least violence among adults:

http://www.violence.de/prescott/bulletin/article.html

I hope you will be able to fulfil your dream of an autonomous existence. I hope, too, that the rest of 'civilization' comes to its senses before it is too late to save the planet from environmental destruction.

I'm not into SF, so I'm not familiar with the character you mention, but he sounds like the ruthless, sociopathic business leaders who don't care if their DNA fails to produce grandchildren because climate deterioration and depleted natural resources made the world uninhabitable. All they care about is accumulating more money than they'll ever need in this lifetime.

ian copeland


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:50 am 
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Those hunters traveled where the food was. That was eventually a cause to start fighting with others who had better sources of food. When living on a permanent place and living off the land, what will you do when your harvest goes to misery?

Hermit, have you considered other primal therapies besides Janov? What about Stettbacher in Switserland? Have you read his book Making Sense of Suffering? Or are you familiar with Ellie van Winkle's self-help methods? (self-help doesn't mean that you have to be alone to help yourself, it's helping yourself with others you choose).

Ian, those cars with engines on air look realistic but it wouldn't be the first time if such a thing turned out to be a hoax. Let's hope this one is for real.

You also might want to take a look at this community in Denmark where they build ecological houses. Some of it is in English:
http://www.dr.dk/friland/index_english.htm
There used to be a TV series on it, showing its progress.

And here's a rich forum on Simple Living:
http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/simpleliving

Dennis


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:05 am 
Yes, I know J. Prescott's site, I read many of his articles. it focuses on body contact. I think there was also a link for psychohistory site, called Journals of psychohistory with Lloyd Demause's texts. very interesting,and shocking, especially history of childrearing although I think we can't know if those cruel practices actually penetrated every corner of the civilisation. There were a lot of communes, autonomous cities (like medieval free cities) and isolated agricultual societies that practiced direct, grassroots democracy, and provided their members with freedom. Some cities were known even to reject hierarchy and competition, and consisted mainly of artists and artisans that enjoyed their meaningful autonomous work. Kropotkin wrote about this, in his Mutual aid.

The main idea in the serial I mentioned was the evolution of a new human species with different DNA, hostile towards homo sapiens and much more intelligent. Character called Ian Copeland believed in technological progress, he isolated a H1N1 virus and planned to wipe out the humans with it. It was a nice serial, with a good actos also but a whole idea is a bit unrealistic.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:18 am 
Dennis, conflict over natural resources was non existent in hunter gatherer societies. They were also not territorial and warfare had a religious meaning. head-hunting, slavery, war, appeared in the most bountiful climates, and on the other side there were hunter gatherer living in the most unfavourable surroundings that never showed any signs of violence, for example !Kung, or Bushmen, and avoided conflicts with agricultural primitive tribes near their habitats. Pathological practices came with the onset of agriculture, and those violent tribes were never pure hunter gatherers, always were found to practice some sort of domestication.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:34 pm 
I am sorry, I forgot to answer your question. I haven't read those books you mention. I heard some bad things about Stettbacher. I know there are many cheaper primal therapies in the world but not cheap enough for me to risk wasting time with mock therapists. I believe in Primal center as the most reliable place to start with. Nothing is perfect but I would trust it more because it's a clinic in the first place, they have many experienced therapists, researchers, the greatest amount of material, recordings, and therapists discuss individual patients together. I have some friends in LA and cousins in Portland so it would be easier for me to immigrate and get organised in the US.


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