Vision Statement

This is a blog written by Francois Tremblay.

This blog is based on the vision of a society without hierarchies (a hierarchy is defined as a system where control is systemic and directed). This is closely related to the Prime Directive (do not impose harm): everywhere we see imposed harm, we see hierarchies directing that harm, from poverty to crime to war and starvation.

The apparatus of society should not serve the interests of the elite, but rather the interests of every individual. Equality and freedom should be our guiding principles. Based on this, the institutions in such a society should follow the values and principles of consent, cooperation, liberty, human rights, justice, well-being, and respect of human nature.

Here are some examples of how this vision is instantiated:

Instead of government, local self-determination.
Instead of the country, small nested geo-political units.
Instead of the city, socialized land use.
Instead of capitalism, libertarian socialism.
Instead of law enforcement, enforcement of rules that protect everyone.
Instead of revenge, restitution and the elimination of the causes of crime.
Instead of organized religion, non-doctrinal religions.
Instead of schooling, cooperative egalitarian learning (see anarchist free schools).
Instead of the patriarchy, the elimination of gender.
Instead of parenting, communal child-raising that respects the human rights of children.
Instead of natalism, the recognition that children are entitled to the highest possible standard of health and love.

A vision inflames the imagination not just by rhetoric but by examples, either real or fictional. Real examples of egalitarian societies include the Zapatista and Freetown Christiania (both in present time), as well as the Spanish Revolution, the French Revolution of 1968, the Free Territory, and the Aymara people, amongst the most prominent examples. Fictional egalitarian utopias that are worth reading include The Dispossessed, by Ursula LeGuin, Woman on the Edge of Time, by Marge Piercy, and The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk.

For an explanation of the blog title, see this entry.

NOTE: The comments are moderated. If I ask you to provide an argument or address the contents of my entry many times and you continue to refuse to do so, don’t act all surprised when I ban you. I’m all for free expression, but I am not here to waste my time.

53 thoughts on “Vision Statement

  1. The Christian Conservative March 5 2009 at 23:27 Reply

    u dum lil fukr. u talk al dis sht bout my religon and my politcal vews. wel 1st off ur wrong, it been scientifcly provn dat god is reel and are cuntry is fkin amazin! ima proud christian, an a proud republikin, and basicily all dis is bulsht and u r a dum retard fagot.

    • Clyde Cash May 17 2011 at 3:34 Reply

      I spy a sock puppet, Goody Proctor.

  2. Steve March 25 2009 at 12:46 Reply

    I really like your sight and while and am also quite intrigued about VHEMT. I want to pursue that idea further as I definitely have leanings in that direction.

    As to the moronic asshole who commented above, either he is joking around or else he is a walking, writing billboard for VHEMT. When humanity is gone his freaking god will die with us. Good riddance. Unlike the first time we killed god, maybe this time he’ll stay dead!

    • 24engel December 27 2013 at 1:07 Reply

      If you think that comment was not trolling, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Do people seriously believe that comments like these are legit?

  3. Francois Tremblay March 25 2009 at 16:01 Reply

    Steve, did you read this entry I wrote recently:
    https://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/mankind-must-perpetuate/

  4. Andrea May 27 2010 at 10:54 Reply

    I feel that it is very likely that “The Christian Conservative” is really someone posing as so to make these two classifications look ignorant. I do think that it’s odd that you “heavily censor” your comments, yet leave this one. Are you trying to prove a point to your readers in hopes of stereotyping this idiot’s response?

  5. Stacy November 7 2010 at 19:05 Reply

    Hey, wondering if you could link http://www.c4ss.org on here! Thanks!

  6. lynx August 30 2011 at 17:34 Reply

    Are you a music fan? I’m looking for bloggers who might be interested in reviewing a new album (Anarchitecture) by Beltaine’s Fire, an anarchist folk-rap collective out of the San Francisco bay area. If you’re interested I can provide more info, if not I’m sorry to have wasted your time. Thanks for reading.

    • Francois Tremblay August 30 2011 at 17:41 Reply

      Nah, I don’t really have the readership to justify the expenditure. You’d be better off appealing to the bigger Anarchist blogs.

  7. lynx August 30 2011 at 17:55 Reply

    fair ’nuff. Thanks for the reply.

  8. Titanium Pen September 12 2011 at 3:37 Reply

    Hey, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! You can nominate others by just following the rules on this page. I’m sorry if this sounds like spam… :D

    http://anarchicmind.wordpress.com/2011/09/12/i-just-won-an-award/

  9. Argus September 25 2011 at 15:50 Reply

    Hi — I love your ‘sheeple’ cartoon header!

    Isn’t libertarian and socialist a contradiction in terms? (Apologies, I’m not well up on American linguistics).

    • Francois Tremblay September 25 2011 at 15:56 Reply

      Greetings my friend. I use various headers, but I tend to keep this one up the most.

      It is correct that Libertarian (capital L) and socialist is a contradiction in the American sense, yes. I am using libertarian in the traditional sense (as in anti-authoritarian), not in the American sense. See:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

  10. Dannny September 29 2011 at 13:16 Reply

    I’m not too pushed on the antenatalism stuff. As naive of me as it is, and I do know there’s no hope of success, I prefer to try keep going and inculcate whatever microscopic improvements in the human condition I can muster, rather than give up on the species completely. However, your discussion about the possibility of innate evil in humans is, in my view, spot on and filled with good thinking. I commend you on your efforts here.

    • Francois Tremblay September 29 2011 at 14:14 Reply

      There is no contradiction between improvement and the realization that procreation is wrong. We can do both at the same time.

  11. Lev January 4 2012 at 14:15 Reply

    You have the most ridiculous view of men. We’re apparently all evil perverts in your myopic eyes. You’re an idiot.

    • Francois Tremblay January 4 2012 at 15:38 Reply

      Thank you!

    • Francois Tremblay January 5 2012 at 1:08 Reply

      By the way, you do realize I am a man, right? Just checking.

      • Lev January 5 2012 at 19:17 Reply

        Why do you think so lowly of yourself? Why do you insist that you (along with every other man) are evil?

        • Francois Tremblay January 5 2012 at 22:47 Reply

          I don’t think lowly of myself. I have fairly high self-esteem, actually. I’m also pretty sure I’m not evil. Not sure exactly how you got to such a strange conclusion…

          • Lev January 15 2012 at 2:51 Reply

            You think all men are misogynists.

            • Francois Tremblay January 15 2012 at 2:52 Reply

              What? No… I’m not a misogynist. Projecting much?

              • bob May 16 2012 at 16:39 Reply

                i have no idea whether you are a misogynist or not – but you certainly come across as an idiot.

                • Francois Tremblay May 16 2012 at 16:43

                  You mean a “misandrist”? Silly bigots can’t even get their terms right.

          • David January 31 2012 at 6:34 Reply

            “I have fairly high self-esteem, actually.”

            Why? You are not a theoretical physicist or highly important mathematician. You need higher expectations.

  12. click May 3 2012 at 16:53 Reply

    After I open up your Feed it seems to be a ton of garbage, is the problem on my part?

  13. Engineering Student & Realist Critic September 28 2012 at 19:43 Reply

    Imaginative, and I sympathize with the underlying spirit of the piece. But if there are no laws how can you enforce the nondoctrinal religion, the communal childrearing, the anti-natalism, the end of capitalism, and the limits on geopolitical unit size? Do you honestly think that your non-hierarchical free schools will be able to train competent medical doctors and engineers in a timely fashion? Do you realize that cities are run strictly because they contain extremely complex and expensive systems that need constant and expert monitoring? That ceremonially eliminating gender (and I am all for LGBTQ rights) will mean little to human biological processes?

    • Francois Tremblay September 28 2012 at 19:47 Reply

      “But if there are no laws how can you enforce the nondoctrinal religion, the communal childrearing, the anti-natalism, the end of capitalism, and the limits on geopolitical unit size?”
      If you need to “enforce” them, then they are not necessary principles. The point is for people to agree on these values and construct a society based on them. If I can’t convince you of their validity, then trying to enforce them would only compound the problem, because now you’d hate me and would be even less likely to consider these ideas valid.

      “Do you honestly think that your non-hierarchical free schools will be able to train competent medical doctors and engineers in a timely fashion?”
      Yes, I honestly think that. There is no reason why a free school can’t teach anything that a hierarchical school can.

      “Do you realize that cities are run strictly because they contain extremely complex and expensive systems that need constant and expert monitoring?”
      Yes, I do realize that.

      “That ceremonially eliminating gender (and I am all for LGBTQ rights) will mean little to human biological processes?”
      Well, hopefully said elimination should be far, far more than “ceremonial.” Otherwise we haven’t really accomplished anything! Today’s supposed equality of genders is equally “ceremonial.”

  14. RJ Miller December 13 2012 at 6:18 Reply

    Are you the same individual that authored “But Who Will Build the Roads?”

    • Francois Tremblay December 13 2012 at 14:03 Reply

      Yes, that’s right.

    • Francois Tremblay December 13 2012 at 14:14 Reply

      By the way, I tried commenting on your blog, but it asked me to register and I didn’t see any register link. You might want to think allowing people to post without registering.

  15. awesomesauciness April 3 2013 at 13:29 Reply

    I followed you here from YSaC, and I see some pretty highbrow stuff. Of course, I’m merely a simple, Christian, conservative Texas woman, so what do I know? Anyway, loved your extrapolation on today’s post @ YSaC, and hope you come back to comment more often. :-)

    • Francois Tremblay April 3 2013 at 13:31 Reply

      Yea… sorry. I didn’t mean to associate my activities on YSaC with this blog. I won’t post my URL in the future. Thanks for pointing that out!

      • awesomesauciness April 4 2013 at 4:51 Reply

        No problem. You may find some compadres @ YSaC. At the very least, you will find some brilliant minds there.

  16. Amalga June 10 2013 at 20:54 Reply

    Instead of natalism, the recognition that children are entitled to the highest possible standard of health and love

    Natalism and children being in a standard of health of love are not mutuall exclusive, in fact they need ot be born for the second statement to make anysense

    So the “instead of” makes your statement incoherent.

  17. ellahawthorne100 August 15 2014 at 6:07 Reply

    This is pretty cool, Francois. My vision of a better world is just like this. I have a pretty clear picture of what a non-hierarchical school would look like, and I’m doing some reading on worker-run industries to help me visualize what non-hierarchical workplaces would look like. It can be really difficult to imagine non-hierarchical systems since that’s all most of us have ever had. Do you have a suggested reading list?

    • Francois Tremblay August 15 2014 at 13:52 Reply

      Thank you Ella. It seems we are fellow travelers (and btw, I got your question, as you’ll see in a few days, and I am interested in helping you out). If you have a good understanding of both these things, then you should have a good understanding of how it should work in general- eliminating power wherever possible, and when that can’t be done, recallable, rotating delegates.

      What you might want to do is read some of the fiction I’ve listed. I would recommend Woman on the Edge of Time, by Marge Piercy, insofar as she spends the most time looking at how her society is structured and so on. You could also read Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi, which is about the Aymara but discusses general principles of power centralization and dispersal through the examples of the Aymara’s political victories and defeats.

  18. ellahawthorne100 August 15 2014 at 14:14 Reply

    Interesting. Right now I’m reading When Corporations Rule the World by David Korten. It’s fantastic!

    • Francois Tremblay August 15 2014 at 14:20 Reply

      I read the summary and some of the reviews. How megacorporations became rulers of this planet. What a horror story… Where’s “Rowdy” Roddy Piper when you need him? :)

  19. Vlad August 14 2015 at 19:27 Reply

    Dear Franc,

    Apologies if this comment is not related directly to the subject matter of this blog. And if you are not the person who used to write for objectivethought.com, please, disregard all the following questions.

    Are you still interested in ‘Rational Spirituality’? A few ten year old on-line articles on this subject have been found, but all of them referred to objectivethought.com, which seems to have been terminated. It was written in 2003, “This is what I am doing with my research on Rational Spirituality – trying to build up a spiritual view of human behaviour and nature, our constructs and beliefs, the universe, and everything in between.” So, what was the outcome of that “doing”?

    From whatever has been read in your old articles, our views had very much in common (not only on this specific subject), which is not so common. And it would be very interesting and helpful to read the consistent exposition of your views on rational spirituality.

    Actually, all these vision statements will likely to remain wishful thinking unless certain inner transformation consistent with these principles takes place. And when (if) it takes place on a large scale, many of these statements can become as natural as the modern ethical, legal, economic, and political laws and principles, which are products of biological and social evolution of human species. Assumptions that humans can be somehow “organized” or even “self-organized” in a “better social order” is a very common and persistent opinion that has dominated virtually all social theories and movements. The main common issue with all of them seems to be that they are underestimate, mystify, or totally neglect the fact that any social organization is intimately related to and cannot be separated from the average level of development of its members. This is a subtle and very deceptive issue since most people are conditioned to think in a different way and have many prejudices about their “innate” abilities, “natural goodness”, altruism, etc. One of the greatest and rarely recognized fallacies of Marxism, which was a foundation of all its practical and unsuccessful implementations, seems to be the assumption made by early Marx that the working class possesses some special form of consciousness that should allow it to organize social life on the principles of socialism and communism. And it is this assumption, and not the principles themselves, that has apparently failed to pass the test of history. Implementation of different social ideas are similar to biologic mutations in the way that only those that fit the present conditions reasonably well will survive and propagate.

    Sorry for a long comment, which original intention was to find out about Rational Spirituality.

    Best regards,
    Vlad

    • Francois Tremblay August 14 2015 at 23:35 Reply

      Honestly, I haven’t pursued this avenue at all. In the meantime, I’ve become a Subgenius and a Buddhist (although as for Buddhism, I don’t believe in any of the supernatural stuff). I haven’t developed the “rational spirituality” view any further.

      I agree with your comment. I don’t think a better humanity can happen by any other way than an inner transformation of most human beings. But that’s been true of any social evolution, I think. So it’s not unthinkable.

  20. Vlad August 15 2015 at 1:31 Reply

    Between “thinkable”, which is, apparently, all this blog about, and “doable” is a vast difference. It is a matter of reasonable (verifiable and achievable during a life time) goals and methodology how to accomplish it. Original Buddhism, presumably, contained both, even though it cannot be separated from “the supernatural stuff” because the very notion of ‘suffering’, as in all Indian religious and spiritual traditions, was most likely understood as ‘transmigration’ (rebirth or reincarnation) and not as “natural” human suffering what most modern Buddhists assume explicitly or implicitly. It’s not to say that Buddhist methods and practices don’t have any desirable individual and social “side effects”, which many Buddhists achieve with various levels of success.

    Anyhow, if you are interested in a practical way of awakening or ‘spiritual realization’ similar to ‘rational spirituality’, something can be shared via e-mail. Also, the site nonsymbolic.org can be helpful.

    • Francois Tremblay August 15 2015 at 1:42 Reply

      Again, agreed! I leave the “doable” to others. I am only concerned with the ideas. Thank you for the link.

  21. Vlad August 15 2015 at 10:03 Reply

    For a materialist, thinking is a form of doing — “mental doing”. Of course, some ideas can conceivably materialize in some physical form and some may not. Regardless of this, even the most “fantastic” ideas (religious or otherwise) have their causes and serve their social purposes. There is no question about it.

    Just one point about “spirituality”, which is related to Buddhism as well. Spiritual awakening or realization is but a change of prospective or mental vision. So, technically speaking, no physical actions are required, even though mental states cannot be separated from physical and certain physical environments are more conducive for certain ideas to arise.

    The greatest paradox of spirituality might be that most people do not understand that ‘spiritual realization’ is not only a metaphysical concept or mystical phenomenon, but a radical transformation of the “entire mind” (mental deconditioning and reconditioning) bringing about ‘realized state of mind’ that can be absolutely practical and extremely beneficial for many people in everyday life. It is this radical mental transformation (completely changed ways of feeling, thinking and acting), which is both immediate and gradual, that signifies spiritual awakening.

    It’s an interesting twist that Rational Spirituality didn’t find a place in Franc’s social vision, but different people have different opinions, and this is perfectly normal as far as all actions, events, views, and ideas are perceived as natural, impersonal, conditioned, interdependent, equally legitimate phenomena, which might or might not be appropriate in certain circumstances from certain point of view. So, no “better dogmas” are produced for the sake of common good, equality, freedom, etc.

    All the best with a mental construction of a future society, which is certainly a challenging and socially valuable endeavor.

    Best regards and good luck,
    Vlad

  22. unabashedcalabash August 19 2015 at 1:37 Reply

    Hello, after checking out your blog I have a genuine question for you. Obviously I will take your answer with a grain of salt (if you answer), as in the end it’s my decision. But just out of curiosity.

    I agree with most of your vision statement (more than I agree with, say, Witchwind’s ideas of a world run by women–I don’t want to put down what she’s writing, at all, and agree with the basic concepts of power-sharing and openness within small, manageable communities, in which people are free to roam and meet and share with other communities, and perhaps even to cycle in and out of different communities, should they choose to leave the one they grew up in; as long as such people are contributing members this could be a form of international diplomacy, if you will; traveling bards, ambassadors, etc., linking communities all over the world–really there are so many ways this could play out in a world in which hierarchical structures have been dismantled, and hoarding resources/controlling the environment isn’t the driving force; I just think that such societies can include men, I haven’t given up on you all yet; nor do I think heterosexual sexual intercourse should be condemned and pathologized; that kind of thinking–that sex between men and women is always going to be bad–is part of what got us here in the first place, to the wonderful world of patriarchy and mixed messages).

    So, I agree quite a bit with your vision of an egalitarian society. The problem is, I don’t think, due to human nature, it’s likely we’ll ever reach it; even if we could, theoretically, I don’t think we’ll be around that long (again, due to some of humanity’s perhaps-once-successful-but-ultimately-maladaptive traits). Maybe what we need to do is focus on harm reduction in the here and now and the near future. I think to that end it makes the most sense to focus on one issue and put a lot of work into it (as someone once said, “Would you rather be really good at one thing, or adequate at a number of things?” Maybe more good can be done focusing on one thing at a time).

    I would like to focus on the advancement of women and feminism, as it’s such a personal topic for me; in terms of feminism, I have my own issues, and my anger and sadness at my own life experiences (which echo the life experiences of many women and girls) has shaped much of my feeling about that. But I honestly don’t know if it’s healthy for me to focus so much on feminism–if it keeps me stuck, in a sense, on that anger; and though I’m not sure I want children, and understand the antinatalist position, I think it’s natural to desire a companion (and to that end, I need to stop seeing men as the enemy, even if my fear of them is understandable). Personally I think women are complicit in the world of destruction and inequality in which we find ourselves. If nothing else we have been enablers; those who cry “victim-blaming” based on the idea of social conditioning (mass Stockholm Syndrome) would do well to remember that men are brainwashed by their upbringing and constantly culturally reinforced messages too, and that though they may benefit at the expense of women and children they often die in great numbers and earlier than women, and that in fact the appearance of benefit is carefully constructed to keep the hierarchical cult of masculinity alive but in the end only a very, very few of the world’s most powerful men really benefit, and only then at the expense of their ability to feel compassion, and always with the awareness that they must remain constantly vigilant to guard that which they have stolen. Really, in the system of global male domination called patriarchy, all other things being equal, women are denied their full measure of freedom and men are denied their full measure of humanity.

    And until we see a world in which no girl or boy is indoctrinated into the world of hierarchies and gender roles I refuse to give up on men as a group (and, perhaps idealistically, in that vein, on finding someone who I can love–and forgive, when he makes mistakes–without automatically casting him as the villainous ‘man’ or rendering myself automatically the ‘woman,’ weak and pliant, for that).

    If I can’t work with rape and domestic abuse survivors because it’s too painful for me, but nor do I agree with the most radical of radfems, who, it seems (understandably) have turned their backs on men, and (even more understandably) refuse to placate them during discussions of feminism–even though ultimately, unfortunately, it often does fall to the wronged to “be the bigger person,” as the person in the wrong is incapable of it, because that’s human nature too when our worldview is threatened (the backfire effect)–how can I work within the world of feminism and women’s rights? Stick only to subjects of how women are wronged financially, without any discussion of capitalism itself as an evil and a system we shouldn’t necessarily ascribe to (just as we shouldn’t aspire to hold any of the positions of ‘privilege’ men shouldn’t hold anyway, or otherwise participate in male-created hierarchies–a huge blind spot in white feminism, which always seems to me to ignore all the rest of the world’s inequalities in favor of just getting equal numbers of women–advantaged, white women–into those top spots in the upper echelons of power in a man’s tyrannical world)? Would it be wrong to try to appeal to men, as a feminist (and frame it that way)? Or best to just give up on it altogether…

    And I realize in saying that obviously it’s impossible to address one issue without addressing all the others (the basis of intersectionality; all equality comes from a root source of the desire to dominate, but different oppressions have different pretexts).Is it better to choose one issue–even an issue within an issue (like the issue of women’s unpaid domestic labor within the broader category of women’s rights), to avoid spreading oneself too thin? I don’t know.

    I have realized I can’t live with the cognitive dissonance anymore. I feel like that person who shamefully keeps her mouth shut when her heretofore enlightened-seeming friends start making racist jokes (I have been that person, and felt extremely uncomfortable, and still feel guilty about it). When we espouse certain beliefs but then live our lives in the same old unsustainable, oppressive, materialistic way, making token concessions to make ourselves feel better (eschewing plastic shopping bags and recycling, for example), aren’t we just the same as the person who doesn’t speak up when her friends are being racist, or even as bad as the man who does nothing when he sees his friends at a party abusing a drunken woman? Isn’t that what we are doing, by paying lip-service to our belief in equality and green living, and doing very little about it (and reading blogs and books is a step, but does not qualify necessarily as ‘doing something about it?’).

    I just feel like I need to make a big change in my life, in order to live with myself (a selfish desire, but also one that could be symbiotic, if I could do some good for others). Where do I start and what can I do? I have no idea…I am returning to the United States after living simply in a poor country for years, and I have such mixed feelings about it. I need to get involved in the community somehow, to help, to feel like I am doing something real, but I also want to stay true to my newfound (or at least newly defined) radicalism (and I will also need to work, to earn a living). Any suggestions?

    • Francois Tremblay August 19 2015 at 2:41 Reply

      Seems to me like you’re butting heads with the most fundamental question in radicalism- how can we live in, and support, the very system that oppresses and exploits us? If there was an easy answer, we’d all be doing it. People can practice many levels of detachment from the system, but there’s no way out (unless you’re really, really keen on becoming a hermit). Like you said, we are all complicit. We don’t really have any choice.

      I wish I had a good answer for you, but I don’t. Have you looked into possibly living in an Intentional Community? I know many of them are religious, but there might be something for you there.

  23. unabashedcalabash August 19 2015 at 1:42 Reply

    *Of course, that should be, “all inequality comes from a root source of a desire to dominate.”

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