Partner & Head of Strategy, Purpose | Co-founder, The Rules
intro’d to Alnoor via social good summit:
1. tech is only 10%
2. put people and systems at center
3. don’t be afraid to be called a conspiracy theorist
only by challenging the root causes that we can actually see the world we want
Co-founder, Executive Director – The Rules (www.therules.org)
we have the power to change the rules…
Alnoor’s work focuses on the intersection of political organizing, storytelling and technology. He is a founding member and the Executive Director of /The Rules (/TR), a global network of activists, organizers, designers, coders, researchers, writers and others dedicated to changing the rules that create inequality and poverty around the world.
Various First Nations traditions of North America have specific and long established lore relating to cannibalism and a term for the thought-form that causes it: wetiko. We believe understanding this offers a powerful way of understanding the deepest roots of our current global polycrisis.
Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan).
It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live.
Wetiko short-circuits the individual’s ability to see itself as an enmeshed and interdependent part of a balanced environment and raises the self-serving ego to supremacy. It is this false separation of self from nature that makes this cannibalism, rather than simple murder. It allows—indeed commands—the infected entity to consume far more than it needs in a blind, murderous daze of self-aggrandizement. Author Paul Levy, in an attempt to find language accessible for Western audiences, describes it as ‘malignant egophrenia’—the ego unchained from reason and limits, acting with the malevolent logic of the cancer cell. We will use the term wetiko as it is the original, and reminds us of the wisdom to be found in Indigenous cultures, for those who have the ears to hear.
Wetiko can describe both the infection and the body infected; a person can be infected by wetiko or, in cases where the infection is very advanced, can personify the disease: ‘a wetiko.’ This holds true for cultures and systems; all can be described as being wetiko if they routinely manifest these traits.”
By contracting new relationships with others, with Nature, and with ourselves, we can build a new complex of entanglements and thought-forms that are fused with post-wetiko, post-capitalist values.
We have to simultaneously go within ourselves and the deep recesses of our own psyches while changing the structure of the system around us. Holding a structural perspective and an unapologetic critique of modern capitalism—i.e., holding a constellational worldview that sees all oppression as connected—serves our ability to see the alternatives, and indeed, all of us, as intricately connected.
Plato believed that ideas are the ‘eyes of the soul.’ Now that the veils obscuring wetiko are starting to be lifted, let us give birth to, and become, living antigens, embracing the polyculture of ideas that are challenging the monoculture of wetikocapitalism. Let us be pollinators of new memetic hives built on altruism, empathy, inter-connectedness, reverence, communality, and solidarity, defying the subject-object dualities of Cartesian/Newtonian/Enlightenment logic. Let us reclaim our birth right as sovereign entities, free of deluded beliefs in market systems, invisible hands, righteous greed, chosen ones, branded paraphernalia, techno utopianism and even the self-salvation of the New Age. Let us dance with thought-forms through a deeper understanding of ethics, knowing, and being,23 and the intimate awareness that our individual minds and bodies are a part of the collective battleground for the soul of humanity, and indeed, life on this planet.
And let us re-embrace the ancient futures of our Indigenous ancestors that represent the only continuous line of living in symbiosis with Mother Nature. The dissolution of wetiko will be as much about remembering as it will be about creation.
Angry Progressive (@WhiskersCrowley) tweeted at 6:36 PM – 16 Mar 2017 :
Memory, Fire and Hope: Five Lessons from #StandingRock by @alnoorladha
https://t.co/QuHKLTjgZy via @TheRulesOrg #NoDAPL https://t.co/X9p7hU3LTc (http://twitter.com/WhiskersCrowley/status/842535068665102336?s=17)
the forced closure of the encampment is simply the latest chapter in a violent, 500-year-old history of colonization against the First Nations. It is also the latest chapter in the battle between an extractive capitalist model and the possibility of a post-capitalist world.
1. There is a global convergence of movements – Over 300 North American tribes had came together for the first time in history. Standing alongside them were over 100 Indigenous communities from all over the globe. A contingent from the Sami people, the Indigenous peoples of Scandinavia, had traversed the Atlantic to show their support the day I arrived. They were joined by black bloc anarchists, New Age spiritualists, traditional environmentalists, union organizers and ordinary Americans who have never attended a protest……various movements from around the world including the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, the Pink Tide in Latin America, the landless people’s movement from India, the anti-austerity movement in Europe, the global Occupy movement, and the countless “awakenings” spreading across the African continent are uniting as expressions of the same impulse: a belief that the neoliberal capitalist system has failed the majority of humanity and a new world is emerging.
2. A more holistic activism is emerging – ..Charles Eisenstein ..we will receive an invitation to .. ‘the deplorables.’ ..Pancho Ramos-Stierle : ‘Brother, your soul is too beautiful to be doing this work.’..stare hate in the face …hold a compelling invitation to the haters to fulfill their beauty.”
3. Occupation of space is a critical tactic – ..a physical spectacle that forces the corporate media to tell the stories it would otherwise like to ignore. It creates networks of solidarity and deep relationships that span beyond the time and space of the occupation..
4. We are Nature protecting itself – ..Although Indigenous peoples represent about 4% of the world’s population they live on and protect 22% of the Earth’s surface. Critically, the land inhabited by Indigenous peoples holds the remaining 80% of the planet’s biodiversity…During COP 21 in Paris, Indigenous youth groups carried banners that read: “We are Nature protecting itself.”
5. There is a common antagonist – ..the deadly logic of late-stage capitalism…a cannibalistic global economy that requires perpetual extraction, violence, oppression, in the service of GDP growth, which in turn, benefits a tiny elite at the expense of the world’s majority….a Algonquin word, wetiko, that refers to a cannibalistic spirit that consumes the heart of man..We are not just fighting a pipeline; we are fighting the wetiko spirit that has taken hold of our planet like invisible architecture
Wetikois inherently anti-life. And what we are all fighting for is a new system that recognizes our interdependence with the Earth and with each other, and that allows our highest selves to flourish.
I talk w/ @alnoorladha, head of the activist collective @TheRulesOrg on a NEW @RedactedTonight VIP! [WATCH]https://t.co/NZSIsSN4cW
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/LeeCamp/status/843265767558729729
5 min – the way the econ os works is the opposite of the way we’re told..says it’s a merit system.. if you do this.. will get this.. but .. rewards those who best perpetuate its logic.. so people at top.. are best reps of a psychotic system..
7 min – they’ll tell us.. as will the gates of the world.. that what they’re doing.. they have to feed the world.. but actually the world is being fed by small holder farmers.. we’re getting 70% of world’s food from small holder farmers.. they’re using 30 or 25% of the world’s resources.. big ag is using 75% of the world’s resources and only producing 25% of the world’s food.. so it’s not an efficiency argument.. it’s really about increasing global gdp.. and that’s the mo
8 min – the thing we’ve got to understand then.. is that every dollar of wealth created by definition is creating inequality.. because 93 cents of it ends up in the hands of the 1%.. and every dollar heats up planet.. based on fossil fuel econ.. so more growth isn’t going to save us
growth is a misnomer.. it’s really cancer… growth is good.. ie: as a child.. but when reach age 18.. do you want to continue to grow.. exponentially..?
10 min – w/o fossil fuels how to fuel world.. and w/o gmo corp seed ownership how are we going to feed the world.. this is the bill gates argument..
..and of course they’re blinded to any other reality because privilege is a blinding constraint..
11 min – anyone who feels uncomfortable with the way the system is working is finding a common home in that ideology.. because what standing rock really was/is is a ceremony/prayer and has revitalized.. non-violent direct action.. it’s brought together communities like never before… making us re conceptualize our way of life.. not just corp power vs people power.. it’s life vs anti life.. it’s spiritual
13 min – even occupy.. we didn’t have a pov .. besides policy.. why are we here.. where are we going.. wasn’t in the discourse.. standing rock is really shifting that.. to a more.. original wisdom
14 min – hopeless ness is the privilege of the rich
next 20 yrs
let’s go with just a couple.. ie: short bit
15 min – not against electoral politics.. but it’s within broader system.. constrained.. by being members of a global system.. the one party planning..the neoliberal party.. which is corporatist and extractist and short-termist and live denying..
alnoor’s bit ends at 16 min
If the rules are to be changed, we cannot expect the system to autocorrect. We must change them manually.
Aggregate economic growth does not translate into less poverty.
We become connected, in very real and actionable ways, by a realization that we are all being screwed by the same basic set of rules.
Most importantly, we start to see new and different solutions. Ideas that previously seemed to only mitigate one problem can start to be seen to mitigate all.
As we contract new types of relationships, with each other, with our communities, with nature itself, we will usher in new types of social relations based on a vast range of diverse and mutually supporting solutions that will render the old paradigm, with its slavish adherence to ideas like perpetual growth, wholly obsolete.