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An October Manifesto: a Life in Empire Essay

Our societies don’t have to be this messed up.

We can learn from past mistakes.

We can stop operating out of sheer ego-protection and fear.

We can choose to not preference the making of money over the well-being of community.

We. Can. Do. This.

We all play a part in upholding the churning of oppressive systems, especially those of us in the middle and upper economic classes. Especially those of us who are able bodied and neurotypical. Especially those of us with white skin.

We consistently place too great of a burden on the poor, disenfranchised, and otherwise marginalized people.

Those of us who live relatively comfortable lives must choose to give up some measure of our comfort. We must choose to actively lobby for a world that will better serve – rather than punish – communities that are currently at risk and under pressure.

We can topple the towers of government and greed.


By taking the power from those who have it.

By holding corporations accountable.

By firing every single person in government who is not acting in the interests of the well being of this planet and all the beings on it.

By insisting that share-holder’s interests are less important than healthy communities.

By insisting that those who are most adversely affected by our current systems be given some of the benefits of these systems as an interim step toward changing those systems.

By asking counsel from those most adversely affected by our current systems on how to both dismantle these systems and create systems that foster greater strength, longevity, and support for all.

By offering fair exchange of whatever the current currency is within those systems to those most adversely affected, as payment for their insight and time.


We can foment revolution. And by revolution, I mean a complete overhaul of how our society is currently structured, root to branch.


We can:

Educate ourselves on the horrors of the prison industrial complex and the realities of policing.

Lobby for the abolition of police and prisons.

Listen to and amplify the voices of those most affected by these systems.

Brainstorm with as broad a coalition as possible on varied solutions for true community safety, mental and emotional health, and economic security.

We can:

Remember that collectively, we have power.

Working as individuals, on individual actions, is one small part of the picture, but must be seen as a strategy in the service of joining our personal power with the power of the group.

Remember that working together, our power increases.

Share skills, ideas, food, and laughter.

We can:

Insist that making money not be the driving force behind all business choices.

Insist that community well-being, and the well-being of air, water, soil, and all the creatures of the earth be paramount.

We can:

Work to dismantle our current interlocking systems of oppression, knowing that this will take time.

Simultaneously, use what power and resources we have within these current systems to ease suffering and inequity, while remaining conscious that this is not a long-term solution.

Remember that stop-gaps and bandages are sometimes necessary to treat the proximate – and very real– symptoms of our current damaging systems.

We can:

Stop giving our power away to those we currently name as being “in power” but who only further erode community well-being. This is not power. This is manipulation and oppression.

Choose to give power, strength, and backing to community organizers, and to groups working toward community safety and community well-being.

Choose to give power and backing to to those who serve to create art, and beauty, and health, and teaching, and resource sharing.

We can:

Involve ourselves to the best of our abilities with groups –however imperfect– who are doing the work of fostering community health and well-being, or who are actively working to dismantle current, oppressive systems.

We can:

Remember that working organically takes time.

Remember that taking time means also taking care of our own needs as well as being attentive to the needs of others.

Share resources.

We can:

Remember that there is always room to celebrate joy.

Remember that, in fact, what we are building toward is greater joy, and therefore, supporting anything that fosters joy is part of the revolution.

We can:

Pick ourselves up when we fall.



Raise each other up.

Ask for help.

Offer help.

We can:

Re-evaluate our values.

Learn to love one another and ourselves better and better.


Revolution is possible. Every single day.

14 October, 2017


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