Honesty, I’m trying to inspire you to support the UpTrees book fund. I’m elaborating on who I am and therefore what angle this Adventure book & manifesto will take. Does my particular view resonate? Do you like the way I write? DO you like the images? DO you like me? These are the questions an advertiser will ask. Suddenly I’m in advertising. Advertising for revolution, and a book containing conversations uptrees, photography and your drawings?!
I need your help!
So who is this Henrik ‘G’ Dahle writing a so called manifesto?
I’m a collector and assembler / creator. I take snippets of ideas and run with them. I harvest from what I see, hear, read and feel, and create a map of the ideas I think are right and just. This search for the truth or the way for us to go forward, to fix the problems comes from a well of irritation, anger and concern for the chaos needlessly thrust on us and that we collude with. ‘That it doesn’t have to be this way’. It comes from having vision and knowledge we can do things better. This is what most politicians or thinkers would argue motivates them too. The fixers (?). We all stand looking at the problems from a certain vantage point, the blind people touching different parts of the elephant and describing it in different ways, “No the elephant is like a snake, the end is soft and blows air”, another says “it is massive, expansive, is rough and dry”.
To get a clear picture of the elephant we have to communicate and share each other’s vantage point and perhaps that’s one of my projects. To gather the information in little taster parcels from the different blind people. I don’t have one project. I’m not a master of one subject. I’m not that focussed or disciplined, I’m interested in almost everything and my memory is appalling. The problem with these blind witnesses is when their description gets sullied by motivations other than to convey what they see with their hands. Their integrity is compromised by financial interests or the need to be right. An economist might only want to see one part of the system – that copper mining creates jobs and therefore builds schools, but chooses to ignore what the scientist is telling her from a different vantage point, that this kind of mining is giving the community cancer and poisoning the rivers. The whole system needs examining from all angles. You might call it being holistic. Whole istic. We need to do this now and then get the dead wood out of power unless they embrace the whole.
Am I stating the obvious?
A right wing politician believes that it’s about each person for themselves. Work hard and earn your right to comfort. Let the market decide. Freedom to exploit anyone and anything so long as they consent to your price. Competition is healthy because it drives innovation. Private enterprise will forge the solutions we need. If you use it, you pay for it. If you can’t afford it, you need to work harder. Freedom and biodiversity born out of competition are supposed to be good elements of this world view (although capitalism will necessarily swallow up smaller ideas and companies, homogenising as they grow), and… These ideas are born out of separatism; us and them. It doesn’t recognise that the system is a whole. It is fluid and all the parts of the elephant are actually connected. Global capitalism is a massive pyramid scheme. It works agains democracy since the individual at the top will necessarily have more power to influence government and where the energy in this crazy ‘civilisation’ flows, – which ideas get put in the elephant’s trough. That’s a big problem when democracy is based on informed decisions. This kind of thinking is fundamental to what I’m putting together in The Art of Climbing Trees along with a crap load of other tangental creativity.
…anthropology, education, media, trade, love, sacrifice, resurrection, renewal, gender, revolution, exploitation, climbing trees, nature, romance, waste, biology, poetry, collaboration, imagination, philosophy, sex, economics, play, inspiration, death, protest, birth, demographics, a general strike, a world general strike, transport, communication, science, experience, you, we, us…
I’m wandering off message: I’m the collector with ‘If only’ for a mantra. If only there was solidarity and love and sensitivity to the whole. And ‘there could be – if only’. I see a toilet seat and think – that can be better. It’s the same for rubbish collection and global harmony. It maybe my naivety that informs my ambition and a twinge of OCD that makes me re-imagine a toilet seat. The images of this elephant I’ve collected from various people UpTrees and the jumbled ideas of the elephant in my head will form this book.
It’s one thing to describe the elephant and there’s another to re-imagine it… and then what?
Ideas! There’s no shortage of them. Just looking at small collection of books on my shelf: Farewell to Growth, Six thinking hats, Small is beautiful, Eating Animals, Ecology Community and lifestyle, Letters to my grandchildren, The ecology of wisdom, Prosperity without growth, The world without us. A feast of good thinking and research squished onto the paper there and ready for me to eat. Books I’ve bought to help me fill in the blanks from my adventure UpTrees.
It’s still Mark Boyle’s MoneyLess Man that I’m on now and I’ll deliver something for you on that later. Two friends have already asked to borrow it having dipped into it for five minutes. It grabs you. He has a gentle and accessible way of writing. Amusing and challenging. All the writers of these books offer an insight into how the elephant could look ‘if only’… or demonstrate how it can look in micro. They tend to lean towards a softer more inclusive view of it. Perhaps they also acknowledge the calf hanging around, and the rest of the herd, and the lack of roughage for them to eat because the land is desertifying… etc. The world is growing more polarised they tell me. It’s either black or white these days. You’re either in or out, – a friend or an enemy. Personally I’d rather be a friend. I’d rather see that the herd of elephants and the blind folks touching them up are in it together. Are family. That sounds a bit wrong. I’d rather be aware of the three sides of the coin, what the coin is made of, who has handled it during it’s life time, who will handle it in the future, and if we can do with out it and all it’s three sides. I’d rather believe we can actually think and action our way out of this dead end. Guide the elephant out of the zoo and onto my dinner plate. No! Back into paradise. Right! We can do so much better and we all know it! So, the question is, do you want my elephant collage on your book shelf? Bear in mind this book will totally change your life. You’ll be happier, more intelligent…etc, and you will change the world after reading it!
Here’s the first manifesto post.