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06/21/2006 Archived Entry: "Visiting the Left"

It's funny. Back when Bill Clinton was in office, I was repeatedly called a "right-winger" because I disagreed with many of the Dems policies (duh). That's also when I first became interested in guns and preparedness -- typical right-wing fare. Since Dubya has been running things (well, Cheney, actually), I've found myself more interested in things like co-housing, biodiesel, alternative energy ... and I've gone vegetarian (yeah, yeah, spare me the insults).

Not surprisingly, I'm regularly called a commie, even though I still have my guns and bug-out bags ... and the same convictions as I had in the Clinton years. The only rationalization I can come up with is that I more closely identify with -- and listen to -- the group out of power, since the group in power inevitably defends the most vile atrocities "their guy" perpetrates.

Since becoming involved in "lefty" interests, I've discovered a couple things.

The biggest thing about the Left: they seem to be more willing to make personal sacrifices for their principles than the Right is. Whether it's paying a premium for "fair trade" coffee, refusing to eat animal products, or bicycling to help the environment, they DO instead of just talking about it. Nice (except, of course, when "doing" involves "making laws so other people have to do this too").

The Left is also much more community-oriented. Sometimes this is bad (think: UN), but on a local scale, it offers up some community concepts that mesh nicely with gulching. One example is the afore-mentioned co-housing. Another one is Freeganism.

"Freegan" is a combination of "Free" and "Vegan". The Freegan.info website states:

After years of trying to boycott products ... many of us found that no matter what we bought we ended up supporting something deplorable. We came to realize that the problem isn't just a few bad corporations but the entire system itself.

Freeganism is a total boycott of an economic system [whereby] instead of avoiding the purchase of products from one bad company only to support another, we avoid buying anything to the greatest degree we are able. (emphasis mine)

The site has some great information on recycling, minimizing waste, producing locally (thereby less dependent on "the system"), working less (aka voluntary joblessness) and other topics which fit very nicely into a gulching scenario. If you can get past the veganism and the Help-I'm-Being-Oppressed attitude, you might find it of use.

Posted by Debra @ 12:51 PM CST

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