First, a note: There's something at thraeryn.red now. Not much, but it's there.
My buddy Bæ Grylls said something that caught my eye today.
Okay, razing everything to the ground and starting over isn’t a sophisticated enough solution for some of you but baybeeeeeee…
Reform doesn’t go far enough.
There are so many reasons why I agree with his statement, complete with examples. The world's societies may have started as simple recipes, but each and every one has, with time, become such a complex casserole that attempting to pick out the bits we don't like is a task that could take lifetimes.
As a start, discriminations of all sorts aren't just baked into our social structures; they were the primary ingredients of banking, policing, property ownership, and so many other aspects of our lives. Essentially, if you think of something most people would consider a foundational cornerstone of A Society, there is a historian, an anarchist, or an anarchist historian who can tell you exactly which people it was originally meant to keep under thumb, complete with references.
When we rebuild, then, a just new society would codify both equality and equity, perhaps by stating that no human being should be kept from the satisfiers of Manfred Max-Neef's Fundamental human needs1.
Oops – we need to come up with organizational structures to ensure easy and equitable distribution of necessary resources. Oops – those structures need to be subject to continuous community oversight. Oops – we should probably codify suggested penalties for failing those duties. Oops – we need people to enact those penalties. Oops – we need people to regularly review the nature of those penalties, ensuring they remain just, ensuring they don't harmfully prevent meeting the needs of the penalized, ensuring they remain limited in scope.
I could go on. Those fundamental human needs Max-Neef set forth are detailed and dense, and I am a high-school graduate sitting in a bedroom. We haven't even touched on thoughts of how we define a community: its size by population, its size by geographic distance, how the larger "communities of communities" that make up a society can prevent value drift – different communities emphasizing different needs and different methods of meeting them, to the point where two communities can look at each other and each feel the other gets it wrong;
If we start over – and we should start over, arguably across the entire globe – we need a goddamn plan. One created by a more diverse and thoughtful group than a bunch of white, well-intentioned land owners who read some Enlightenment authors, set down some guidelines, and spent the rest of their lives finding ways to weasel out of the principles they wrote.
We need historians to help past mistakes inform future ideas. We need community organizers from across the globe to offer suggestions and criticisms. We need specialists from various industries – farming, mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation, to name a few – to tell us what's possible, and how. People of every race, every social and economic strata, coming together to create something not "as good" as what we have now, but better.
The US – the world – needs to stop trying to pick the bits out of the casserole. We need to create a new recipe that almost everyone can appreciate and enjoy.
With all the people, time, energy, and resources necessary to even write that recipe, long before putting it into practice, we should've started decades ago. Our best hope, as far as this one man can figure, is trying to inspire more people to think about it now.
1 I chose this over Maslow's hierarchy of needs as it considers individuals, communities, and societies more completely.