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Dear friends, last week, a horrid assault was perpetrated against the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, who had published caricatures of Mohamed, by men who screamed that they had “avenged the prophet”. A wave of compassion followed but apparently died shortly afterward and all...
In Plum Village, where I live in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to...
When every cultural force beckons us to hate, to harden our hearts and vilify the other, we must have the courage to look, deeply, with an intention to understand. To ignore the rage of the dispossessed, to dismiss it without understanding its roots, will not bring us any...
More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a man’s eyes for exactly four...
How capitalism functions like a religion Capitalism is not a religion, but there are two broad ways in which it is like a religion. In the ways that it encourages blind belief and discourages critical thinking. In the ways that it molds and influences social and...
As the editor of a progressive Jewish and interfaith magazine that has often articulated views that have prompted condemnation from both Right and Left, I had good reason to be scared by the murders of fellow journalists in Paris. Having won the 2014 "Magazine of the Year"...
Dystopian narratives have long been an alluring and thought-provoking form of entertainment, especially for those who take an interest in studying social and political structures. From classics like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World to the current hit, The Hunger...
Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us how to relax the bonds of anger, attachment and delusion through mindfulness and kindness toward ourselves. To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be...
It’s been said that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than it is the end of capitalism, so ubiquitous is the ideological project of neoliberalism in the modern world – like goldfish in a bowl that are totally ignorant of ‘water’, we often fail to notice how...
What a 13,000-year-old eucalyptus tree reveals about the meaning of human life.
Libertarianism is, in theory, no defender of the rich and powerful who must always be subject to market competition. As a libertarian who has engaged in countless classroom and online debates, I’ve often asked myself why other people cannot see that. However, I’ve come to...
One things that crops up over and over when someone on the libertarian right notices the outright hostility of anarchists when he appropriates the “Anarchist” label for himself is the accusation of “harming the movement” by not being willing to look past differences and work...
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how the diverse anarchist strategies could combine against our current class society. How every variation on the theme of “assert your freedom now,” from the anarcho-syndicalist direct action to Sam Konkin’s agorism, could combine in order to...
Editor's note: We found this article about Tucker relevant to today because his views represent such an interesting break from stereotypical views about socialism, markets, anarchism, and the 'left/right' associations we have with all these terms. For instance, that if you...
This is Part 2 of 3 articles in Generation Alpha's ‘Shades Of Green’ series. Read part 1 here.  In building a movement, finding common ground is paramount. When strategy-building becomes complicated by incongruent worldviews, then common ground becomes shaky or elusive at...
The word “anarchist” is thrown around a lot these days. When discussing their mild disagreements over foreign policy, healthcare, tax rates, gun control, immigration, torture, or the war on drugs, it’s not uncommon for a Republican or Democrat to hurl the word at each other...
“Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?” “In disputes upon moral or scientific points,” Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your...
First, the truth If you are naked, cold, and hungry, and somehow you get shelter, clothing, and food, you will feel better. Providing for these necessities creates a qualitative change in life, and could even be said to, in some ways, produce “happiness.” You...
Today is 9/11. If you asked me what my intention is for today it would be this: "to see the world with eyes unclouded by hate."
Here is one of those little things – tiny on the scale of the vast tragedies unfolding on Earth today – that got under my skin. A family living on wild land in Oregon in tipis, raising their daughter, is now threatened with eviction because the owners are forced to sell the...
Trauma runs through the narratives of both Israelis and Palestinians in the form of the Holocaust and the Nakba. But in order to rationalize their moral superiority, both sides actively deny the other’s suffering. This past month, watching the news has brought me to the...
No one with any sense who observes keenly the present condition of humanity, will deny the fact that the world today needs the religion. Why I say the religion and not a religion is because there are many religions in existence which might be called a religion; but what is...
Forget about solving climate change for a moment. Forget about all the problems we face. All of these problems are symptoms of a way of life that few of us are really happy with - especially when we have glimpsed the possibility of a world that could be so much more. We need...
In this epic moment of radical environmental and social disruption, the world is experiencing the dawn of a revolutionary transformation to becoming an ecologically literate and socially just civilization. The existential gauntlet is to make the shift fast enough to outrun...
An amazing cartoon made by Gavin Aung Than, which is inspired by this great lecture of the philosopher Alan Watts.
I've been reflecting on the principles of nonviolence that Martin Luther King Jr. learned during the historic yearlong bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. After Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus, broke the segregation law and was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955, the...
Joanna Macy urges radical transformation of our understanding of the self. Something important is happening in our world that you are not going to read about in the newspapers. I consider it the most fascinating and hopeful development of our time, and it is one of the...
.Gif by Daniel Stuckey Last week, in Beyond “Existentialism," the first installment of this series, I told the story of how I first encountered Terence McKenna. This week, I’ve organized a list of my 30 favorite Terence McKenna memes. McKenna defined a meme as “the...
These past several weeks have been riddled with news that could douse the flame of even the brightest of spirits. The relentless bombing of Gaza, the cycle of prejudice and violence that is drawing more and more of the world into its maw, the death spiral of Ukraine and the...
Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote that the philosophy and practice of nonviolence has six basic elements. Principle One: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It...
No person or group of people is ever one thing. Inside each of us are a thousand diverse aspects - evolving dimensions. So when we judge a person, cut off our hearts from them with a label or dismissal, we are killing the human being inside of them. We are interacting with a...
Without communication, no real understanding can be possible. But be sure that you can communicate with yourself first. If you cannot communicate with yourself, how do you expect to communicate with another person? Love is the same. If you don't love yourself, you cannot love...
Economic globalization obliterated traditional boundaries and created previously unimagined opportunities for collaboration and expansion. It also unleashed a series of unintended and problematic changes, exposing those with the least power to ecological devastation...
I've always been proud of Israel, but the brutal Gaza assault requires Jews worldwide to be honest, not nationalist My heart is broken as I witness the suffering of the Palestinian people and the seeming indifference of Israelis. All my life I’ve been a champion of Israel...
FEAR, PLEASURE, SORROW, thought and violence are all interrelated. Most of us take pleasure in violence, in disliking somebody, hating a particular race or group of people, having antagonistic feelings towards others. But in a state of mind in which all violence has come to...
Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living, and one of the wonders of the world. In eighty-one brief chapters, the Tao Te Ching looks at the basic predicament of being alive and gives advice that imparts balance and perspective, a...
Charles Eisenstein has a radical idea: instead of greeting violence with the threat of punishment and more violence, let's seek understanding instead. Rather than dehumanize our enemies, perhaps it is time to try compassion. The process of 'restorative justice,' Eisenstein...
I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said: "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” I think this is true, and I think the consequences of it being true are as pervasive as they are...
People who diligently follow their horoscopes may claim that it's all just good fun. But on closer examination, this claim falls flat. Here's why astrology is potentially damaging to our understanding of science, relationships — and even our place in the universe...
We need to recognize we share the planet with millions of other life forms   Time to celebrate! Woo-hoo! It’s official: we humans have started a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. Who’d have thought that just one species among millions might be capable of such an...
This is easily the best comic strip ever made.
Do you live in a developed nation or a developing nation? If your nation has an extensive system of roads, rail and airports, if it is fully electrified, if it is mostly urban and suburban, if modern medicine is widespread, if literacy and education are near-universal, if...
The peoples of earlier times prospered from the guidance of simple stories that offered answers to their deepest questions. We need those now more than ever. For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of...
My English friend Paul Kingsnorth was the subject of a long article two weeks ago in The New York Times magazine, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It ... and He Feels Fine.” A former editor of The Ecologist, Paul has gained new attention of late for his passionate and...
Having compassion leads to increased happiness, freedom from gender stereotypes, and better relationships with others. I remember being a very compassionate child. While watching "The Little House on the Prairie," I cried my eyes out when Laura couldn’t give Pa a Christmas...
 ...Internet after all is not without enemies…      The Internet has become the Archimedean point in our daily life. Almost nothing gets done without it nowadays. The more we rely on it, the more it seems impossible to live without it. It is undoubtedly the most reliable...
An obsession with growth has eclipsed our concern for sustainability, justice and human dignity. But people are not disposable – the value of life lies outside economic development Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a...
It’s been the thing lately, among certain establishment liberals, to dismiss libertarians as “Koch-funded shills.” We’ve heard a lot of it from Mark Ames and Yasha Levine at NSFWCorp, for example. This is stupid, first of all, because it’s historically illiterate. Free...
A strange thing happened during the October 2013 battle in the US Congress over a government shutdown and threat of default. The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, denounced the Republicans as “anarchists.” So did Elizabeth Warren, one of the most liberal Senators. As did...
Here in India, even in the midst of all the violence and greed, there is still hope. If anyone can do it, we can. We still have a population that has not yet been completely colonized by that consumerist dream. We have a living tradition of those who have struggled for...