Consider the present situation. The Industrialized World wakes up to find itself in a quandary. Perhaps the technological confrontation between the two ideologies of Communism and Capitalism, known as the "Cold War", was mearly a device for global control that was expedient and advantageous for the regimes which held the rest of the world at nuclear ransom. We are told that the "good guys" have won, and that the world is now safe from the threat of the "evil empire". We find ourselves left with only one Superpower, which has taken upon itself the job of enforcer for a "New World Order". But what is the nature of the victory that this New World Order has brought us? The ozone layer is still depleted, and continues to become thiner and thiner. People are still starving in the world, while food is rotting in warehouses. A deadly disease is ravaging the continent of Africa and threatens the very fabric of the industrial populations, and the Last Superpower, our Superpower, refuses to spend even a fraction of the amount that it spends on nuclear weaponry, on finding a cure.
We ravers, as a new breed of individuals, have a unique chance to make a difference in the world we live in. Most of you, for better or worse, who are reading this, reside in the United States or some other industrialized nation. You probably came across this at a rave or house party. Some of you have had profound experiences of togetherness and and a sense of community while attending events such as this. What we need to do as a group is to expand this feeling out into our lives and into the global community. As a group, we are incredibly diverse. We are multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-talented. We are artists and engineers, dancers and bankers, doctors and lawyers, scientists and mystics. In many respects, we are the "result" of the goals of the 60's. We have learned to interrelate, communicate, and party with each other across lines of race, gender, class and sexual preference. We all have come together under one "House" to share a few moments in Eternity before we go back to our jobs in the "real world". Consider what the "real world" would be like if part of our jobs were to spread that sense of Unity and Togetherness that we experience within the Rave "Family", to others that we come in contact with. We who live in the industrialized nations have access to incredible technologies, these technologies, like all forms of power, can be used to harm or to heal. The choice is left up to you and me to decide, right now, how our current and emerging energies, wealth and technologies will be used.
Over the last 40 years, the Dominator culture has developed a paradigm, often referred to in military circles as C^3 I, or Command , Control Communication and Intelligence. The doctrine of C^3I has grown up from the early work of Norbert Wiener who coined the word _cybernetics_ [from the greek kyberne-te-s; to pilot or steer] to refer to the "comparative study of the automatic control system formed by the nervous system and brain and by mechanical-electrical communication systems". Early cybernetics research was used in WW II to develop swivel and turret systems for anti-aircraft gun platforms. It laid the foundation for the advent of the digital computer. Subsequently, C3I was developed as a way to manage and control everything from the outcome of battles to the deployment of disaster forces, to the missions of the space shuttle.
We have a chance to transform and mutate this technology of control and domination, into a technology of sharing and cooperation. What is needed is a new paradigm based upon the cybernetic model, but with the additional ideas from Deep Ecology, Distributed Systems Theory and the "New Physics". For lack of a better term, I refer to this as C5I2 - Community, Consensus, Cooperation, Communication, Cybernetics, Intelligence and Intuition.
The old C3I is a vertical control structure. Information passes from a select few at the top, down to the masses at the bottom. The new C5I2 is a horizontal control structure. Information passes from small groups to other small groups through what some call the Web, an interconnected communications network made up of mail, word-of-mouth, phone-trees, VCRs, FAX machines, audio cassettes, free software and computer networks. Control is not centralized in one person, group or place. Each person is individualy responsible for their piece of the whole. If for some reason, they are unable to be responsible, their immediate group will assist them. Groups assist and interact with other groups and communities to form a Web of control and responsibility that is much more powerful then just having individual "leaders".
When we come together for a ritual such as a Full Moon Rave on a remote beach, we are creating what author Hakim Bey calls a Temporary Autonomous Zone. A rave creates a TAZ of relatively short duration, only a few hours, but during that time, we are functioning at the level of _Community_. In the area that has been appropriated, a separate code of ethics and behavior can be enacted. The Authorities are troubled when it becomes apparent that sections of society don't want or need their policing activities. It is not part of their model of society to have a gathering of several hundred people from diverse backgrounds and classes without the eruption of violence and exploitation. The Authorities are frightened because they are not needed; which means they no longer are in control. Think about the ramifications of this.
The strength of a TAZ formed by rave activity is not measured in how many people possess weapons or how well they can out smart or out flank the police, but in how well the group can function as a community, reach consensus during a crisis, and cooperate to insure the safety of each and every member of the group. When we are raving, it is important to remember that if we don't want to have the authorities at our events, then we, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US, HAVE TO BE THE AUTHORITIES. This does not mean that we should have "raver police forces", that's the old, Dominator way of thinking. What needs to happen is that we have to be just a little bit more AWARE of what goes on around us, and learn to take care of people in our immediate "family" as well as looking out for others outside of our immediate circle of friends. If we want to have parties in remote or underground locations, we need to be able to handle minor emergencies like administering first-aid, CPR and being able to "talk down" someone. This is what building Community is all about.
Consensus and Cooperation go hand in hand with Community. Consensus means collective opinion or general agreement, it doesn't mean that you have to have the same beliefs as your group. What it means is that you are willing to support the general direction that the Community is going in or, if you feel strongly about something, that you take responsibility for getting your point across. With Communities that work by consensus, the whole group cannot move forward unless EVERYONE agrees or at least agrees to allow movement, (i.e. steps out of the way). This is not the same as attempting to change an agreed upon decision once it has been decided, but it can include forming a contingency plan if you feel that the decision is "doomed to failure". The former is sabotage, the latter is supportive. The majority opinion of the group also has a duty not to " bull-dose" their opinion over the minority. Remember, one person who firmly holds their ground should be enough to stop what ever the majority decision might be. That is the essence of consensus. Cooperation insures that individuals or sub-groups don't abuse their powers of veto or opinion, this is not an easy thing to achieve in practice and is the major place that consensual governments break down.
Communication and Cybernetics constitute the areas of opportunity and challenge for our group. The creative and dynamic use of these technologies will make the difference between a "flash in the pan" fad, or a serious contribution to global culture that we could make as the _CyberTribe_. It is not necessary for each and everyone of us to be a Hacker or "Computer Geek" but we, as a group, should all strive to become "computer literate". Just as you don't need to be an auto mechanic to drive a car, you don't need to be a programmer to be skillful at the use of computers. As the realm of computers and telecommunications continues to merge, computer literacy will become as important as standard literacy is today.
The CyberTribe exist today. All over the world, thousands of ravers communicate daily via e-mail over an international computer network called the INTERNET. They do everything from exchanging information on the latest _techno_ trax, to planning and organizing raves, to discussing the Scene, politics, and the ultimate meaning of life. E-mail has turned out to be an invaluable tool for keeping in touch with folks in our "family" as well as the worldwide "Family". It also is a great aid at building consensus and cooperation. _Virtual sites_, such as the VRAVE telnet port, function 24 hours a day and provide a meeting place where ravers from all over the world can meet, share ideas and socialize. When Personal Communicators (pagers that can send and receive data) come on-line in the near future, the CyberTribe will be able to communicate with each other at the speed of light. At no other time in history has a movement had the facilities of high speed communication at their disposal; this is significant, but technology alone is not enough to make a difference. Each and every one of us must strive to become more aware, and more loving. Not because our parents or some other authority want it, but because it is necessary if we, our movement, and our House (planet) are going to survive in the coming years.
Intelligence and Intuition are the glue that binds these diverse areas into a functioning, organic whole. Intelligence as we use it here, is the accumulation of knowledge. On a mundane level, it is knowing the laws, behavior, policies and procedures that the Authorities will utilize in their dealings with us; for example the techniques the Milwaukee Police used to bust 950 people at a rave last year and the legal strategies the ravers used to combat this type of harassment by the police. (400 people pleaded not guilty and the charges were dropped, the Milwaukee raver community is now filing a class action suit against the City for civil rights violations) On a higher level, it is learning about the nature of the environment around you, which includes everything from paying attention to and caring for your body (It's your piece on the monopoly board of life) to learning to care for the Planetary environment. We are at the vanguard of western culture, both socially and technologically, and as we gather and use Intelligence information we must temper it's use with Intuition.
Intuition can be summed up most simply by the phrase "Do the Right Thing". If we look deep into our Hearts, we can always find that place where we know what the next step is. It may not be the thing that our parents or our teachers or our leaders may want or tell us to do but it is the thing that will always feel "right". Sometimes it is hard to tune into this place and find where our Intuition speaks to us. Sometimes you have to just be still, but it is always there. When people as a whole are acting from combined Intelligence and Intuition, laws become unnecessary because it becomes obvious what does and doesn't work.
One way to look at all of this is to view C5I2 as the technology behind Temporary Autonomous Zones, and to see the CyberTribe as a step towards the realization of Global T.A.Z. networks. The economic and social strategies for this type of network are already being practiced on a basic level. What we need more of is, "Family values" but not the family that the dominator culture speaks of, but the Global Family. This type of awareness can start with your own individual "rave" family and spread out from there. There are simple things that each of us can do that increase the economic strength of the CyberTribe, like buying from other people in the "Family" as much as possible, bartering for goods and services with other Family members and offering discounts. These activities help to circulate our available monies within the CyberTribe and gives the Tribe better overall buying power when purchases have to be made "outside". It also makes it more difficult for opportunists to exploit the trends and creativity that we have as a group. As we grow older and the Web becomes stronger and more extensive, economic prosperity will extend with it.
It's up to us to pick up the pieces of a post Communist/Capitalist, Us/Them "Dominator Culture" world and transform it into a "Partnership Culture" world of "Global Unity with respect for Cultural Diversity". It can be done, but it will take work, mostlikely all of our lifetimes at the least, but when all is said and done, we will leave to our children, an intact planet which, will be back on the road to health and prosperity, rather than a sick, dying, world, flitting from crisis to crisis, awaiting the apocalypse. The choice is ours now, as we gather together in our dance rituals to build "the feelings of togetherness, instill courage and break down emotional and mental barriers".
Remember in the months and years to come as this tapestry that we call the Scene unfolds...
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