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Paul Kingsnorth on conscientious objection to the Machine

Paul Kingsnorth, saying something similar to my post from yesterday:

The alternative [to living for the Machine] has always been the same, for millennia, across the world. The alternative is self-denial. It is living within limits, refusing to consume for the Machine, refusing to give the Total System what it wants. It is planting your feet on the ground, living modestly, refusing technology that will enslave you in the name of freedom. It is building a life in which you can see the stars and taste the air. It is to live on the margins, in your home or in your heart: to scatter the pattern. It is to speak truth and try to live it, to set your boundaries and refuse to step over them. It is to be a conscientious objector to the Machine.

You will never do this perfectly, and you should never try. This is not a puritan endeavour. It is a rebellion: a mode of existence-as-resistance. It is hard and messy and ongoing and to even begin it is a victory. To do it alone is a deep achievement; to do it with others, to build a community around it if you can, may help. To understand the nature of the Total System, and then to do what you can in your own life to resist it, and refuse to feed it: this is the work. See it as a crusade to ‘save the world’ and you are doomed; nothing so bombastic can ever be within our power. But see it as an escape hatch and maybe you can begin to reclaim some measure of human freedom.

Also, his reminder that “this is not a puritan endeavour” reminds me of this post where I discussed Jack Leahy’s idea of “hypocritical asceticism”.

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