Majrelende

Majrelende wrote (edited )

Not at all.

I do have a speculation: maybe it would have to affirm their beliefs in incrementally shifting ways. Say they're white supremacists, then keep posting things in a positive light about traditions that might push their comfort a little, like borderline "white" people that maybe aren't on their radar. Surprising things, like ancient European society and permaculture systems, that could lead into parallels between ancient Europeans and other indigenous traditions, slowly bending and breaking their sense of superiority. Then maybe they would start getting a little into indignation about how these fine traditions were ploughed over by "impure influences" or other such BS. Then to take the momentum of this indignation and dig deeper a little bit, then a little more. I'm sure they would still need a foreigner scapegoat, emphasising the indigenous European ancestry, then keep laying a little bit of information, a little more at a time. Begin parallels with the subjugation of other indigenous peoples, not their main scapegoats but people they haven't heard enough about maybe to have feelings against. Slowly, gradually, never against the grain, but never with it either. Not asking questions, just bending the rules until they bend the other direction. Eventually if this isn't just a fancy of mine, then they should be talking about the "savage" statist conquerors lording over the "civilised" anarchist societies. It'll be ridiculous, but what could one expect?

I don't think it is worth the effort though. It would be demoralising and laborious to go through and measure the bigots' reactions to the information.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

Edit: We should live with uninhibited compassion, not eat whoever we wish as long as we can suppress our compassion for that being! I really miscommunicated that, and deserve some of the ridicule that came. Now my response and explanation would be more complex after the discussions that came out of this post.

Having natural emotions means retaining our inclination to compassion and not suppressing it. Speciesism and all other forms of bigotry require the repression of that compassion in order to function.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

If we are able to let go of our speciesist tendencies, then we can come to the conclusion that cats do have their own forms of written communication. That is, marking one's territory. While the urethra rather than the hand is used to write, and the nose rather than the eyes to read, and, of course, their writing is nowhere near as complex in terms of expression of ideas as our own, we should not expect, as some do, that their conceptions of writing are directly comparable to our own, nor that conceptions of written language which differ from our own should not be given equal respect.

A hierarchical ranking of cats' territory-marking as inferior to human written language would be unwarranted, and false.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

We're approaching this from very different angles. You are looking for an objective measure of pain, and that measure is similarity to the measures that indicate that a human is in pain. But something is obviously happening when a plant is hurt, and neither of us has access to the experiences of plants.

Is that particular experience pain? Because of our lack of access to plant experience, that is a question of belief. You see no reason to believe it is pain; I see no reason to believe it is not. Thus, it is a free choice to have compassion or not have compassion for plants; the question now is the effect of our believing or not believing.

Imagine there are two towns. In one, everyone has compassion for plants; in another, no one does. In the first town, people are careful to only do as much harm to plants as they need; in the other, people take freely, and only have mercy on the plants as far as it benefits them immediately. I think the first will be more beautiful, its people happier and healthier, with less hunger, and as a whole, moving through the world with kindness and grace. Look at the second town, and you have most places in the civilised world.

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Majrelende wrote

Thank you for your thoughts, and you don't need to be sorry about my confusion. It was thought-provoking, and I can also be a pedantic about these things and not pay enough attention to the original meaning. Maybe I will write a post on its own about interdependence/independence. It's probably too much to put down here.

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Majrelende wrote

Plants don't have mouths, they have roots and leaves, but we still recognise they eat, even if it is of a radically different sort to our eating.

Let's consider. We have mouths, we seek out nutrients and energy with our limbs and put them in our mouths. Why? Because we don't want to be hungry, and we are pleased by eating.

We also feel pain, and that causes us generally to recoil or escape, because we are animals and we can move. Plants, when they are hurt, begin making new growth at a more rapid rate, and as I understand it, such injuries encourage them to produce toxins in order to deter certain types of herbivory. Isn't that enough like human pain to qualify?

If not, then do butterflies not have wings because their wings aren't the same as bird wings?

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

I have some experience with communal cooking. Everyone's dietary needs were taken into account in the process, and a small rotating group would take care of the cooking, making it possibly a very ethical and sustainable option. I think I remember Kropotkin promoted it in opposition to restaurants.

Prepackaged food is not really eating without aid because someone had to make and package the food, and thus someone is aiding, whether one comes into contact with them or not. On the other hand, people used to use birch bark for this purpose in place of plastic, which also slowed decay, reducing the need for refrigeration. I think there is much creativity that is possible in this manner.

Much of modernity seems to be based on the illusion of self-sufficiency, which sounds ridiculous at first, but I think it is true. People try so hard to do things by themselves, and that means lots of machines, mechanisation of everything, but however much we don't want to bother or deal with other people we never were meant to do things all by ourselves. I think so much has to do with the horrific interpersonal relations that come with civilisation, the oppression and inequalities and power dynamics present in almost every interaction. Even as a mostly able person (not without problems, but still) I don't see how I (or most people) could honestly live entirely self-sufficiently like modernity seems to suggest in an illusory fashion, except maybe the "man of the hole" or similarly skilled.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

we discuss whether these substances provide any empirical or logical evidence for “plant consciousness”

Consciousness is subjective experience!

You cannot prove by material means whether another organism is conscious or pain-feeling or not; there is no physical evidence. If you doubt this then you are unable to conceive subjectively of consciousness; thus you are either not sufficiently self-aware, or not sentient at all. I believe the former to be a far more likely option.

The decision of who is to be considered conscious or sentient is one made by society; it is a line drawn precisely where it is convenient to draw such a line in order to classify certain beings as objects of no moral consequence, so as to justify the treatment of them as such. Children, slaves, women, etc. have all been put through that objectification.

I cannot objectively prove to you that I subjectively feel (pain), and I do not think I need to do so. It is ridiculous to require the same test (objective, material proof) of plants. Their pain is perhaps not the same as ours, but the assumption is baseless.

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Majrelende wrote

Animals feel pain, plants feel pain, I don't doubt that mushrooms do, and probably all sorts of microbes.

How natural does it feel to you? I choose what I eat based on this. I cannot imagine myself slaughtering goats, for instance, and thus, because it is unnatural for me, I do not eat goats. Eating greens and fruits and seeds is a completely different case, because it does minimal harm to the plants. Harvesting whole nettle stalks for spinning into yarn, I try to do it carefully so as to hurt the plants minimally. I dig parsnips sparingly and with gravity, but I know that the bare soil will help the next generation to survive.

My suggestion is eat who you can eat without guilt, in the manner you can... and not invalidate any organism's pain for their difference.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

Makes sense. I'm just defending independent people who find some meaning and direction in the teachings Jesus, not the institutions that organise worship.

We could argue whether or not the Old Testament is or is not a defining feature of Christianity, but I don't remember the first three books of the New, the accounts of the life of Jesus, (I haven't read anything after them) ever defending slavery, and for that matter they seem to be much against family values.

Again, though, I think people can take many things out of the doctrine. Some will taint it and do horrible things in its name, some will refine it and thus find wisdom and gentleness. Whatever books a person likes to read, their character is what matters in the end.

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Majrelende wrote

I feel the same way. I need hope, on a level beyond the intellect, and every day I am looking out the window, sometimes wandering around, searching for it. These times are always ones of despair; the only way I can be happy is to trust in fate for a while, and find hope in the unknown.

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

Christianity (I'm defining it broadly) is not a monolith, often but not always institutionalised, often but not always used to justify terrible things.

I'm not familiar with the genealogies but what I do know is that Jesus took every attempt to distance himself from his family, and called himself "Son of Man", to support the idea of all of humanity as being one family, undivided. ("Our father"? Not "my father"? This makes me think the idea of children of God isn't meant to be exclusive.) I think it is unfair to completely condemn the diversity of beliefs that followed in the wake of the life and death of Jesus on the basis of abusing a particular collection of teachings.

I'm not going to claim that Christians generally are anarchists--that would be a fine no-true-Scotsman--but I think that the teachings of christianity are far less authoritarian, and far less monotonous, than what you are describing.

There are problems with the monotheistic model, especially based around the conceptual "father", but for the differences disregarded here, one might as well equate green anarchism with ecofascism, or with the kind of libertarian socialism you are always laughing at.

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Majrelende OP wrote (edited )

Reply to comment by Antarchtic in Saturday free talk by Majrelende

A little like caffeine, but clearer and shorter-lasting, so it doesn't impact sleep unless you drink it late. It seems also to particularly encourage physical activity. Is it just suggestion? Maybe partially, but I think there is something to it.

They are also supposed to cure scurvy, but you probably have heard that.

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Majrelende OP wrote (edited )

Thuja is interesting. I think it has potential for a place as a stimulant somewhat similar to coffee or tea, growing in cold climates. They seem to be ubiquitously grown as "ornamental" plants, so they can be easily encountered, and possibly propagated. I have sown some cuttings in a covered tray - without much hope of success, but I've been reading about propagation, so hopefully the techniques there will be helpful. Maybe I will try "Forsyth's cutting-pot".

Usually I might take a leafy section 2-3cm long, and use only that much for a day's worth of tea, typically in a single mug-full. Such a tea is adequately flavourful. Also, too much causes headaches, and very excessive quantities (with which I have no experience - as in the concentrated oil) are supposed to cause convulsions and death. Whether due to that knowledge or to any inherent properties, compared to caffeine they seem entirely non-addictive.

I've also been experimenting with charcoal for potted plants (such as the alliums I described propagating in a former post). A mostly-charcoal potting soil seems harmful to the plants, but there seems nothing wrong with sprinkling it on top. The peeled garlic centres seem healthiest and most vigorous, seeing as they have not been cut like the shallots and onions. The latter, when peeled entirely of their skin for better contact with the soil and then divided, seem to put out better roots.

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Majrelende OP wrote

Since you commented I have been doing what research I can, and I am indeed extremely interested, but the only Vajrayana-knowledgable people I ever knew to be here (and if I understand right it has to be taught personally) were not staying in the region, just passing through. Maybe I will do some experimentation along those lines? Or do you have different ideas?

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Majrelende wrote (edited )

Primitive communism, class structure

I'm currently reading about something like that in Clastres's *Society Against the State--how "primitive" communist societies prevented class structures from forming by preventing accumulation of power.

In many such societies, the leaders (such as chiefs) cannot accumulate power, because the little power they are granted is on the grounds that they give what they have, when it is asked of them. Thus, accumulation of material wealth cannot be simultaneous with power, which is the origin of class; other people will not follow you unless you are poor.

This is like the supposed oppression of the bourgeoisie: it is a constant destroyer of class structure. If communism is happening, then the people have to "oppress" their leaders, whoever they are, lest even one is tempted to form a class structure.

The ruling class is not a set of people; it is rule, it is synonymous with the state. Whoever leads and oppresses, is said to rule; whoever rules, is the ruling class. Communists must do away with the ruling class; they thus must do away entirely with the concentration of power.

How, then, is communism not anarchism?

Preconditions for anarchy/communism

In the olden days of communism, there was long distance trade, but overall people existed in tightly knit bands or villages. When cities were formed, with kings and priests and so on, these village societies were disrupted and replaced with the city, the first form of mass society wherein you do not know the people around you personally. This trend has only continued through to the present day, as even friendships and family relationships are dissolving, or being commodified, or transferred to public or semi-public relationships through social media.

People despise those who control them. Every schoolchild gets a feeling of excitement when the teacher leaves the room: we are all born wanting not to be oppressed. However, in a mass society where people's lives are ultimately controlled by those they do not personally know, there can be no personal social consequences for being an asshole and accumulating power. And in addition, the powerful (currently, the capitalist class) are thus able to recruit cronies to manage and enforce their system on everyone else, and milk the working classes' labour in the process.

I think the last hope for communism is the gradual collapse of mass society through disasters and destruction of infrastructure caused by global warming, making friends, and taking control of our own lives in our own regions. We should utilize the weakening of the state in order to attack and create partially self-sufficient, free communist village societies. Aiming for anything larger is foolishness, and will lead not to communism but to an evolved form of capitalist tyranny.

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