To The Robber Barons (first letter)

 

Finally, after studying your messaging for most of my life, I’ve encapsulated the gist of it all below.  Here are five simple rules for everyone else to live by (while they still can) — please feel free to distribute this as widely, covertly and vigorously as possible:
1.  Be comfortable with lack of opportunity and mounting indignities.
The first step to becoming happy is to feel relaxed with injustice. Everyone is born with (and into) flaws. Nothing is perfect. Accept yourself and your lot, whether it be your debts, your nicknames, the horrifying addictions and debilitating mental illnesses within your family and wider community, the size of your genitals, etc. You have to accept yourself for who you are and love the horrible hand that has been dealt to you, by both chance and the systemic mechanisms put in place to enforce the status quo.
2.  Appreciate the absence of thought and verifiable information.
You will never be truly happy if you keep wandering outside of yourself, hoping to obtain whatever it is you don’t already possess, know or understand. The grass always seems greener on the other side of a fence but that doesn’t mean you should take it upon yourself to find out. If you keep expecting, wishing, hoping for something else, something more, and don’t feel happy with what you already have, you will always be miserable, as if something is missing from your life, as if life is something you aren’t already living. Worse, if you keep comparing what you know with what you don’t know, you will feel a sense of inadequacy that begins to inscribe you from the inside. If you can live simply and appreciate what is, if you can stop looking for what hasn’t been presented to you already, if you can acknowledge that everyone and everything is different and there can be no consensus concerning reality or what truly matters, if you can stop comparing yourself to what you could be, and what could be to what is, well then, perhaps, you will be able to die in peace.
3.  See the positives in food/water insecurity and the hostile abandonment of others needing these resources.
You will always run into unfortunate situations in life that are outside of your control. You can choose to feel sad, annoyed, angry, and/or stressed about the situation.  You might even reach out to others who are struggling in the hopes of forming organized resistance — or you can turn it around and focus on the positive. You can choose to be stuck in a bad situation or let go, move on, and start anew, with rapidly decreasing energy, health, agency and will. It’s a heck of a lot easier in the end.
4.  Forget accountability, transparency and concern for the common good.
Fairness and consensus make you feel secure and correct. But at the same time, with order and agreement you lose freedom. Confusing isn’t it? When you try to reform your life, situations, and sometimes wayward, selfish people, you do so to feel safe and form bonds of mutual aid on the right side of History. However, in trying to generate this solidarity and remake relationships to the benefit of everyone, you put yourself and your issues at great risk of criticism, ridicule, co-optation and debasement.  Your true desires and weaknesses are exposed, perhaps even to yourself.  Just let it go.
5. Drop resentments over climate change, ecological collapse, the sixth mass extinction, etc.
Most of the time, when you hold onto anger, you’re surrendering to something that burns you up from within. When you’re mad at someone or something, you’re inflicting pain upon yourself more than anything else.  It’s only when you learn to not feel or think anything, to not be outraged or joyous, grateful or ashamed, that your soul can be free from such sufferring. Only then will you be prepared for what’s coming next.
Well there it is.  You’re welcome.
ALSO — please don’t credit me. As you’ve demonstrated so ably, it’s best to keep a low profile while calling the shots.
jeremy