I Retreat

“He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”

Sun Tzu The Art of War

I retreat!  What else is there left to say or do?  Climate change, race relations, women’s rights, inequality, religious freedom, education, or lack thereof.  What else is there left to say? Is a powerful book going to steer humanity in the right direction? Is a compelling T.V. show, or movie going to spur the population into action?  Will a horrific atrocity marked by death and despair awaken the collective ambition of the people? I fear not, because we’ve experienced all of these things, and they have only led us here.  Here, to this awful convoluted and seemingly irreparable place in time.

So what else is there left to say, what else are we left to do?  We are rapidly approaching the 500-year flood stage, drowning in a river of complacency. A rushing river, rapidly rising and seeking to smother humanities hopes for survival. I am not speaking figuratively.  These threats are not imaginary. They are real, and they are at our door knocking, vigorously knocking.

We will undoubtedly be hailed as the most ignorant people in all of history. We quarrel as nations, ethnic groups, political groups, religions, sexes, races, classes, like bitchy teenage girls.  Meanwhile, our habitat, our homes, our institutions, our traditions, and our cultures burn wholly from grand monuments down to ashes.  What else is left to say? All of these things are known, well know by the masses. Their impedance to progress is also known. But for a few, there are no impedances, only tolls.  And their purse is so fat, that once we, humanity becomes an impedance to them they will walk over our head and feet to a new land. Far from where we, who remain behind will ever be able to find the gate.  Do you understand that? Ayn Rand spoke to it, way back in 1957, but this is a “brave new world,” a world where outlandish fiction of centuries past is quickly becoming a reality, a mantra, sadly even a blueprint, savage.     

People fight and protest in the streets, they covet their vote, and they don their garbs of tribalism.  But there is a powerful tribe. A ghost tribe that lives in the shadows, and plays invisibly on all sides for their own selfish benefit.  And from the shadows, these ghosts control the earth. Whole countries are in the dark, hundreds of years after the invention of electricity; because that is what the ghost tribe allows.  The do no lord over mere territories or bodies, or constituents such as this tribe or that tribe, but they rule over all regions, all bodies, all lands. Their weapon was once made of gold, and at that time it was mighty.  At that time, we were few, and they were less dependent upon us for their riches. But since that time they have ignorantly misstepped out of greed, and now their weapon is made of paper. Paper that is reinforced by nothing but confidence.  

If a tribe, if humanity is to rise up and dethrone this ghost tribe, then all confidence in a paper sword must be lost.  Seasons of struggle, and pain, and lack are coming to all, except the ghost tribe. Too many have already been wading in lack sometime now, and it will not cease soon. Complacency will not inoculate anyone from what lies in our near future. This fire has already been lit, and it will burn. Will it be fueled by our pain, by our sacrifice, by the blood of our children, our brothers, our sisters; for the enrichment and delight of a few.  Will it be powered and perpetuated by the calculated ignorance of our youth, by the illusory drugs of entertainment and desire?

Or will that fire burn with our contractual obligations to the past. Will it burn with the paper that their swords are made of. Burn classism to the ground.  Burn racism to the ground. Burn plutocracy to the ground. Burn deception to the ground. Burn tribalism to the ground. Let it burn, and we will be burned too. But if we are lucky, we will escape with our lives, and with a scarred but healing earth to inhabit.

“If the mind is willing, the flesh could go on and on without many things.”

Sun Tzu The Art of War

Retreat.  You will die in the streets fighting this battle.  This war is not won by fighting, this war can only be won by the will of the people.  Personal sacrifice, emancipation, minimalism, reengineering of self. Victory in this stage of our modern war is found through these and other like principals of withdrawing.  A sword is of no use, the enemy is too powerful. Retreat and the enemy will be decapitated. Their strength is our compliance and our participation. Retreat to self-sufficiency, to family, to simplicity, to lack. Retreat, your efforts are futile.  

-Aaron Carroll    

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”   

Sun Tzu The Art of War

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