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Wealth is not Property

General Ideas
[Guest post by Ellen, a long-time reader of this blog that I’ve only just heard from recently. She makes a valid point, one I couldn’t have made better myself. It makes me happy that a woman is making it, although that doesn’t make it any less incendiary (for some people).]
Thank you for your series on Communities that Abide. I have been looking for a summation of successful and proven strategies for communities for some time. Reading your checklist was something of an “Aha!” moment.
Of course these communities on the whole chose fleeing from persecution. Their options were to fight, to flee, or to assimilate. Fighting back, statistically, would lead to them being destroyed. Assimilation would lead to them being destroyed in other ways, either by poisoned bodies, by military service, or by poisoned souls (for lack of a better term) which leads to suicide. So, the best option for an already autonomous and separatist group is historically to flee. That is what my great great grandfather who was born in Russia did. He fled with my great grandfather to the U.S., where he could practice his religion in peace.
Your article on What Comes First was spot on, and I couldn’t help but make the immediate connection between false tribalism and Facebook, especially for stay-at-home mothers. Without the games, which are entertainment that I do not need in my life, facebook is all about gossip, which is just as essential as learning the language of any place you go to as quickly as possible. However, Facebook arises to the level of false tribalism because it lacks the mutual obligation component necessary for real community.
I appreciated your comments about the Russians not passing money hand to hand, not holding conversations or transacting business over a threshold, and not leaving empty bottles on a table. These things have always made me uncomfortable, and I think I know why.
Thank you for sharing the video about gender roles in the communities that abide. I laughed when you said you would channel your wife to say that men were idiots so why would women want to be like them? My cultural upbringing within the US public school system has taught me that my highest aspiration in life is to become a powerful CEO of a company, or a highly paid corporate attorney. It also taught me that women who stay home to raise children are unpaid slave labor, second-class citizens. I had internalized that, and your words sparked an understanding that my priorities were all wrong. What was I thinking? I hated working outside of the home before I had children! Furthermore, in a 100 person community, when you are female, and you have, say, even as little as 4 children all spaced out 5 years apart or so, you’ll never be free from teaching them basic life skills, and by the time you are done bearing children, your children start bearing children, and you have to be there to support them with all of the overwhelming tasks that newborns create. The family/tribe is better off for that support that grandparents offer just by being around. Then there are many communal tasks which must get done, and sometimes females are just better suited for them, because of where the task is located, or because of the interruptibility of the task. That’s not a mark of inferiority of either gender, but simply a matter of practicality. I do not understand how some women get offended at not being allowed to serve in combat roles in the US military. Maybe it is because your womb is so valuable that we can’t risk you getting killed!
In my family, the same is true of the males, who we also cannot risk getting killed to enrich oil companies’ bottom lines, or be permanently damaged with PTSD because they are not psychopaths, who are the only people who can survive combat duty unscathed by permanent mental scars caused by what they were ordered to do. Asthma in the medical records does wonders at keeping people out of the military in the US, almost as good as religious pacifism. Perhaps the third reformed church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will be pacifist.
I cried when I figured out that it would be best for my family if I never worked outside the home again. Your recent series of articles have been helpful in replacing a bunch of stupid and nonsensical US cultural scripts in my head with something practical that works.
Communities consist, at their heart, of women and children.  A community which chooses not to bear children at greater than replacement rate is effectively choosing to die.  They will be overrun, one way or another, and cease to exist. Therefore, children, and the women who bear and raise them, become the focus of these types of communities as inevitably as a tactic of fleeing from persecution leads to not having strong ties to any one piece of land. Initially, when I read your series of articles on Communities that Abide, I thought that they were a bad idea because communities such as these would become genetically isolated.  Inbreeding tends to lead to all sorts of genetic problems over time, for example fumerase deficiency or tay sachs disease.  Further reading into the matter led me to understand that each separatist community has instances of genetic mingling with “outsiders” over the time span of generations.  It may be frowned upon, but it surely happens.
More importantly, wealth is people.  Most Americans have a very hard time wrapping their head around this concept.  They think I am talking about slavery (owning people) or something hierarchical, but I am not.  Your average public-schooled American thinks wealth is things.  They think that wealth is federal reserve notes, or stock certificates, or I suppose I have to include tangible holdable items such as gold bars, or title to 1000 acres of tenant-occupied commercial development owned free and clear within a large city, or luxury cars, or perhaps jewelry.  When I believed that wealth was things, and that my social status as a woman was tied completely to how much stuff I owned, then a couple of resultant beliefs naturally followed. First, I as a woman, I will choose to have as few children as possible, because children are a financial liability, and because every time I bear a child, my income potential as a female goes down.  Second, I will be angry at all of the men for not letting me have equal income earning potential, leading to depression.  See what happens when I believe that wealth is “things”?  My community dies out.
If, on the other hand, I believe, as many cultures throughout the world do, that my wealth is my family and my community, then some other beliefs and behaviors result. First, I will bear more children. Second, I will invest my time and effort in people, instead of maintaining the car/land/house/Internet game.  Third, it means that my social status and my value, as a woman, are completely divorced from my income earning potential. I am worthy because I am the heart and soul of my family and my community.  Fourth, this does not lead automatically to a kind of slavery where the woman is chained to the kitchen and must do what her husband says in the domestic realm. No, she is wealth, but in a way that does not make her property. It means that she is much more important and valuable than any property in the whole world. It means that if the house is burning down, and there is a billion dollars on the table and the wife is sitting next to it, the husband chooses to save the wife (or mother) over the money every single time. Coming from a place of values like that, why would I want to be “equal” in income earning potential? Such things are trivial and irrelevant. Wealth is in the people who are willing to do whatever it takes for you and for your community.
club orlov

7 Comments on "Wealth is not Property"

  1. TIKIMAN on Tue, 27th Aug 2013 12:22 pm 

    Wealth is coming home from your job, cracking a beer and having a home cooked meal.

  2. noobtube on Tue, 27th Aug 2013 2:51 pm 

    Yes, having a job…

    working for someone else…

    the 9-5…

    the commute, the paycheck…

    yes, that’s sustainable.

    Isn’t that the mentality that helped get us in this mess?

    There was a time when only the losers got jobs because they couldn’t take care of themselves.

  3. BillT on Tue, 27th Aug 2013 3:14 pm 

    Ah so easily forgotten is the independence once enjoyed by most of American’s. When they were self employed as farmers, blacksmiths, grocers, carpenters, doctors, etc. When there was no income tax or social safety nets that would never pay back what they paid in.

    Then they got lazy and left the thinking and profits to others who didn’t want to work, but just build factories for the farmers, blacksmiths, grocers, and carpenters to become the uneducated, unthinking drones of today. Now it is too late. They are wage/tax slaves to the man …

  4. TIKIMAN on Tue, 27th Aug 2013 5:30 pm 

    noobtube –

    Forcing banks to give 400k home loans to people maing 25k a year is what got us into this mess.

  5. actioncjackson on Tue, 27th Aug 2013 6:11 pm 

    We have been programmed since the ancient days of the first lifeforms, 3.5 billion years ago, to compete for the right of life. This is ingrained in us all, and no amount of wishing will change the fact that there will always be people willing to use force of strength to get what they want, or, just because they can. Exhibit the difference in male and female physiques. The fact of the matter is that males are stronger than females. Now the wishing part of the matter is the hope that males will exercise restraint and give up dominance in the household for equality. Anyways, my point is there are certain brutal facts of life that can’t be changed, and our history alone proves this. As far as the lack of community and the materialism of the US, it’s fallout from the same principle that has guided us from the beginning, dominance is being exercised by those in positions of strength.

  6. BillT on Wed, 28th Aug 2013 1:03 am 

    For a while, there were matriarchal societies and there are still a few today but they are in Africa. Males were to defend the tribe. Females, the actual producers, ran the rest.

  7. GregT on Thu, 29th Aug 2013 3:47 am 

    What got us into this “mess”, was industrialization, capitalism, and the international banking cartels.

    What COULD get us out of this mess, is the total collapse of modern industrial society, but that won’t happen.

    It would appear that ‘our’ programming has been a complete success, and we are now about to pay the consequences of ‘our’ own stupidity.

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