“... keep going. We are in this together."
Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you turn on the news? Or look at social media? Or look out the window? Everything is awful, it’s getting worse, and mainstream liberals keep telling us if we just drive a Prius, or bring our own bags to the store, or “lean in” we can be part of the change we hope to see in the world.
It’s lies. All lies. We cannot buy our way out of this mess. Our individual actions are not to blame for the systemic crumbling of our freedoms and the ravaging of our planet. Large corporations engage in and promote the very things that we are being asked to manage. We are told to reduce/reuse/recycle; corporations continue to make things disposable, unfixable, and wrapped in wasteful packaging. We are told to eat more veggies, but our soil is poisoned, as is our water; food “deserts" are very real; and ingredients companies know are toxic are included in our food. We are told to drive less, but car companies refuse to decrease gas consumption in vehicles, oil companies get massive tax breaks, and few cities are developing true community-wide public transportation systems. And so on.
But we cannot just throw all efforts into the wind and stop giving a fuck. We still have our individual agency. Sure, not all of us can be Rhyd Wildermuth or Dr. Conjure. Where does one begin? If you’re reading Gods & Radicals, you’re likely ten steps ahead of most people. We all started somewhere. One step led us to another and another.
I didn’t always identify as an anti-capitalist. I still don’t feel like I’m doing enough to make positive change in this world. Yet, I look back at my life and I realize that the small steps I took led to bigger steps, and that this is possible for the people in our lives who might not yet identify as radical.
Below are a list of actions and choices that can lead to other steps. Some of these are relevant to some people, some are out of reach for others. Some of us do some of these things out of necessity, for others certain of these items might be life changing. This is not a complete list, but there is no complete list. As we saw with the popularity of Rhyd’s magical article “Garlic Bread of the Revolution,” there is a strong desire among us to begin where we are. Below is an incomplete list of ways to inspire you to begin!
Barter Read new literature - explore writers from other parts of the world; ask your favorite writers who they read Use and support libraries Walk/bike/utilize and support public transportation Own less stuff Share tools/start a tool library Buy what you can locally Homeschool/Unschool and/or support alternative forms of education in your community
Get healthy and strong, inside and out Find help for your trauma Join a mutual support group Learn to shoot Learn a martial art
Use cloth menstrual products and/or menstrual cup Use cloth diapers Homebirth and/or support midwives Breastfeed Babysit for a working family/babysit for meetings so working families can attend Use cloth toilet paper Compost Grow your own food Support Community Supported Agriculture/utilize or support community gardens Share land Share housing Work for equitable housing Host a clothing swap Make your own beauty supplies Learn first aid Make your own food Teach someone to cook
Support artists/crafters/thinkers/organizers Support trans rights and inclusion Support Black Lives Matter Support prison abolition Support the demilitarization of our police forces Support indigenous rights and decolonization Support disability rights
Practice polytheism, Paganism, witchcraft - remember that other religions also have radical communities within them Cast spells for the overthrow of oppressive systems Cast spells for liberation Cast spells for the protection of people on the front lines Cast spells for the protection of people supporting those on the front lines
Network with other like-minded folk, especially those engaged in projects different from yours Engage in mutual aid whenever possible Amplify voices that might not otherwise be heard Be quiet and listen to voices that are different from your own
Judge less, practice more
If you have, GIVE If you need, ASK
Many of these things do not look radical at all. Plenty of non-radical people do some of these things. Engage those people, because they are one step closer to being radical than they (or you) might think.
Most important of all: get rid of “all or nothing” thinking and start where you are. For those of you doing a few, some, most, or all of these things: keep going. We are in this together.
Niki Whiting Ruggiero
is a witch, polytheist, and mother of three.