Friday, May 4, 2012


There are a growing number of people who are considering ways of life that are some how grounded outside of mainstream modern life. Their reasons vary greatly. For some there is an apocalyptic fear that society is going to fail in a brutal way in our lifetimes; this could very well happen for many reasons - climate change, peak energy, peak resource, over population, change of empire regime - but this is not my reason for wishing to leaving mainstream life, if such a disaster happens leaving society (even preemptively) only offers a thin layer of separation from such events.

For others there is a moral imperative to not participate in various "immoral" acts upon which our way of life is built. Simply put one can not create, en mass, the American way of life without building it on actions which are not compatible with the commonly taught American sense of morality. There are untold many rituals in our society to off set guilt. From recycling to charity and hybrid SUVs  to ethically responsible coffee brands. We buy these things like Catholic indulgences, granting us release from moral responsibility. For people not satisfied with the consumer indulgent cleansing we also have various brands of amoralism and analytic distance to offer. Yet moral concerns are not why I want to leave mainstream society, it is hard to feel moral outrage about operating in a system which has no implicit layer of significant moral choice. Though American morals in word do not agree with American morals indeed, who knows another moral code to judge them from? Who judges the judge? As a mortal I have no place to impose moral judgments on a society, what knows man of true morality? to feel guilt about such things is only barely in my nature it seems.

But I have always, even before thinking of the issues discussed above, felt like it would be good to try something else. A life of philosophy and discussion has been appealing, and to be able to control the means of production of my own necessities would make things simpler, even if it would involve giving up the luxiouries I was subjected to of being an American. Yet even then I will still be an American, think like one, talk like one, live in America... all those things; just maybe I can live where I rarely have to encounter the baggage of that fact.