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Localism in the Age of Trump


Localism in the Age of Trump

Richard Heinberg

2016 will be remembered as the year Donald Trump—a wealthy, narcissistic political novice with a strong authoritarian bent—was elected president of the United States after campaigning against economic globalization. The events are fresh enough in many people’s minds that feelings are still raw and the implications are both unclear and, for many, terrifying.


I was already thinking localism in Portland, Oregon, Northwest, West i.e. Regional and then national localism. For the sake of the planet we all need our communities to produce what we need get the rest regionally and/or nationally and when have to buy internationally. We need to start depending on ourselves for what we need and doing without all that other crap except for fruit and veggies in the winter but we could locally build more green houses.

Big agriculture in both plants and animals need to be done away with for the most part. They are killing the soil and us people with all their chemicals and non variety plantings and seeds. Our soil is depleted and cannot absorb carbon like a healthy soil.

So much we could do for ourselves.


Local efforts to feed those who decline to participate in the conservation of white privilege's traditions of domination (the American way of life that is not negotiable) make all the difference. We must live so the life system provides for us. That means providing for it.

White privilege has driven US politics since Nixon's Southern Strategy resulted in corporate rule and endless copies of billionaire Massa in complete ownership of US government, resulted in Massa winning .
the Civil War, which is why this time feels so rotten.

Calvinism is the theological belief that God loves the prosperous and doesn't love the poor, the basis of Massa's religion of never-ending war on the poor, the weak, the Other. Here in Texas, it's the gospel of prosperity that pumps up mega-churches and religion addiction. This will be a major front in our liberatory evolution out of slavery mode. Liberation is inside work, not "out there." That's Paulo Friere's "cop in the head." The part of liberation that matters most is freeing ourselves from linguistic captivity, a matter of "beliefs" that trump life. Beliefs are dead people's ideas, and unfit for present circumstances.

What we liberate ourselves from is the worship of tradition - Massa's tradition, the beliefs our social conditioning in Massa's behalf imposed on us without our consent. We have been mistaken for slaves, and PR does the rest.

Because if we don't liberate ourselves from this social sludge, we become Trump when we come to power. Friere was Brazilian. He spoke from experience.

"Out there" is the havoc of the global death throes of white privilege. "We don't care if we're supreme, long as we get all the money so we can get to another planet to fuck it up, too." It's been decades of the weaponized economics called everywhere in the world but the US until recently by the confusing term "neoliberalism," the driver of the never ending war of economic conquest euphemistically called "the war on terror." The terror is dispatched from the White House.

Terror is a bankrupt country when you lack the money to leave.

Today's slaves are everyone who has to sell their labor in the corporatist (Mussolini's spin of "fascist") wet dream of a free market. The slaves are everyone who wears the shackles of linguistic bondage and thinks the crap they see on TV is real. I suppose it is real to those yet to attain ecological literacy and its practice of examining patterns in the life system.

The bottom line now, I think, is preserving enough of the life system for those who escaped The Rapture (voluntary Christian genocide?) to make a living fair to all life forms who contribute to ecological production after European-Americans give up on the worship of the traditions of white privilege and join the life system in avoiding the Sixth Mass Extinction. We can, with ecological design, construct our vision of ecologically sound lifestyles that position us to do the ecological work the life system evolved us to do, and we can come out of Massa's collapse, after his cold, dead fingers can no longer sustain their millenniums of grip on power (or the curtain parts, exposing the desperate old white guy trying to stay in the saddle by using terror) stronger people grounded in life rather than in the ideology of separation from life, more free, and joyfully comfortable in the ecological niches that give us a place we know is home, a place from which to live as we were meant to live rather than how we were forced to live. Then we know what to do next, how to do it, and who's going to do what.

Because every living thing has a mind, and we need to respect, to honor it, to stay on this planet.

That's localism, to me: getting clean of western culture and taking time to know the life system, and how to cooperate with it, how to live in symbiotic relations with it. Localism starts in Zone Zero, where Freire's cop lives, until we roust him, perhaps to convert him, perhaps to kill him, but surely to expose and render harmless his belief system.


I believe that to survive the Global disasters to come, we have to do one of two things....either plan globally, with all other regions, to pre build cities for refugees, including water and food. Or we need to retreat into local regions that grow their own food, allowing them to adapt the food to the weather. Water supply will be a problem but there are so many garage inventors with so much creativity that I am hopeful for our future. We need to plan now, The People will survive. Some time in our Past we were down to 10,000 individuals in the whole World and Cheetahs were down to one pair. I hope Mother Earth still loves us a little.