A Call for a Decentralist, Self-Reliant, Earth-Centered Revolution

July 1, 1996

We are in the midst of an extraordinary moment in history. The "democratic" capitalist model is touting itself as the victor over the socialist model at a time when careful examination reveals it is leading to cataclysmic collapse. Virtually everywhere one looks within the United States, one can see advanced deterioration, usually severe in consequences, of ecological, social, economic, and political health, despite the 1990s economic boom. The majority, deep down, have little if any long-term faith in the "American system." There is grave depletion of spiritual values. Our so-called neo-liberal, free market economy knows no limits in its exploitation of physical, biological, intellectual, and socio-economic resources. It cares nothing for preserving the importance and wisdom of historical cultures. As the neo-liberal economics rapidly expands to envelop the entire world through the operations of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agreements on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), among others, and the global supermarket governing body, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the global gap between the haves and the have nots is dramatically increasing far beyond the already grave disparities.

Neo-liberal economics are predicted soon to be responsible for killing far more people in a short period of time from starvation and disease than from all of the 20th Century’s wars combined. The misery index for the vast majority of the earth’s people will advance beyond already incomprehensible, immoral levels. In addition to the virtual destruction of socio-economic, community, and cultural life, neo-liberal economics promises to greatly speed up the depletion of finite resources, including precious minerals, water, top soil, and clean air, and dramatically advance the toxicity of air, water, and soil infrastructures. If not stopped by the people, neo-liberalism seriously threatens to destroy habitability on planet earth for humans and thousands of other species absolutely essential for a dignified life.

Instead of adapting to Neo-liberalism’s dictates, it seems helpful to rediscover ancient, earth-centered principles that manifest in networks of decentralized, local self-reliant communities living in conscious harmony with the carrying capacity of each bioregion. Independence from nation-state governments, from national and international economic structures, and from far-away resources, becomes genuinely possible as we recover a responsible consciousness of living in locally self-reliant and earth centered "economics."


  1. The need for truly decentralized, participatory, biocratic (democratic structures are conspiracies of humans against nature) processes at every local level. This includes open and full participation by women as well as men, by all ethnic and racial groups, and by the "poor." And it means participation in the spirit of stewardship and sustainability for all of life and its sacred interconnectedness.

  3. The need for a movement, or front, distinctly separate from any political party, that can be free from the tenacious and seductive pressures to adopt and adhere to neoliberal economics. Instead, this movement must boldly be revolutionarily nonviolent in its representation of and advocacy for the people’s genuine interests quite apart from the needs of the nation state. The latter institution increasingly satisfies the powerful, but destructive, orders of the neo-liberal, global supermarket "free" economics, of limitless consumption and exploitation. Unity among popular sectors combating this anti-life economics emerges through the honoring of principled diversity.

  5. People empowered in networks of decentralized, locally self-reliant communities incorporating earth-centered (biocentric), sustainable principles within a bioregion, offer a primary alternative to neo-liberal economics. (See #5 below.)

  7. The importance of recognizing the need for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. We are all recovering from the crippling experience of many generations dominated by classism. racism, sexism, anthropocentrism (man centered vs. nature/earth centered), and nationalism. The arrogance of these selfish values have inflicted incredible pain not only on their victims but on the oppressors themselves, especially at the inner psyche and spiritual levels. Inattention to or denial of deep feelings of hurt and pain, beginning in early childhood, have generally been repressed and carefully disguised, though unconsciously, by layers of anger and rage. Being shielded from actually feeling these most primary of feelings has prevented most of us from walking a journey of full honesty with all our personal and structural relationships. It seriously interferes with efforts for conflict resolution and reconciliation. The new man and the new woman must become vulnerable at this primary level in order to complete the necessary revolutionary consciousness and courage to live out the alternative to neo-liberal economic threats to our extinction.

  9. The Mayan Indigenous (Zapatista) rebellion in Mexico offers us a revolutionary model that is prophetic. Democratic, verging on being biocratic and non-elitist, they promote a model of locally self-reliant communities independent from national power. They deeply understand the consequences of NAFTA (neoliberal economics) and therefore vigorously reject and refuse to abide by it. They are profound and tenacious advocates for the poor. And they deeply respect their native wisdom peoples and an earth-centered philosophy for sustainable living.



I possess much empathy for our extraordinarily difficult plight, and am in solidarity with a struggle for justice, healing, and evolution of a radically new vision. I know that the nation of my birth and upbringing, the United States of America, has brought havoc, suffering and destruction beyond comprehension. It is a sickening feeling to know this. I also know that the values and policies of my nation have destroyed or are destroying not only our souls, but our physical, emotional, and intellectual infrastructure of which we are a part and cannot live without. The earth can live without human kind. Human kind cannot live without the earth. We are part of nature, not separate from or dominant over nature.

So please, I pray, separate from our model. It is being offered, really coerced, upon the world as our "salvation." It clearly is not! It will continue to destroy social, cultural, community, and justice values. It will destroy physical, emotional, and psychological health. It destroys intellectual honesty and integrity. It destroys "democracy," biocratic processes, and social justice. It destroys nature and ecological health. It destroys spiritual essence. It destroys life itself!

We need to look deeply within ourselves and at our social relationships with one another wherever we are standing on the earth. An ancient wisdom resides deeply within our genetic code and within our suppressed memories and knowledge. Recovering historic consciousness of mutual aid is part of our hope and liberation. It is so simple as to almost elude our grasp. It is the most fundamental and powerful foundation of nonviolence. It enables us to boldly, but nonviolently, resist dependencies upon destructive values and structures, while experimenting with locally self-reliant community building. We are all in sacred interconnectedness with everything. Let us help each other take these empowering steps to our liberation through mutual aid and local self-reliance. Let us listen to the voice of Mother earth. She resides within us, and we within Her.

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