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+1 vote
For example "Oh you don't like the oil/gas industry? You drive a car don't you?"
knowing that if everyone bought a car and drove one as often as i do (many weeks i log more miles on foot than in a vehicle), the oil and auto industries would be going bankrupt within a couple of years....and feeling prepared for (and rooting for) the demise of those industries and all that would come with it (higher gas prices, less new cars available, more of my movement done on foot, etc.)....and the fact that the coercion of the state for my very survival depends on those industries to a certain extent (a pretty large one that i continually seek to reduce)....

2 Answers

+3 votes
i don't think actual reconciliation is possible, and i long ago accepted that. but to give it a shot ...

by recognizing that a world dominated by mass society, capitalism and industry leaves virtually no alternatives for the survival of those opposed to said institutions.

it is no different, to me, than trying to reconcile utilizing the state (eg, food stamps, medicaid, roads, heating assistance, ...).

it is an ethical dilemma to some, but no longer to me (usually). i accept that i cannot survive in this world (the one created and perpetuated by those institutions) without participating to some extent in their processes and products. i am fortunately able to minimize that in my own life, because i have made huge changes in my life (and lifestyle?) in order to dramatically reduce my need for such. not unlike the point ba@ made in the comment above. and let me make clear that those changes were NOT a hardship for me at all. just an adjustment.

many of those opposed to the institutions mentioned (at least many i have known) are just as addicted to the comforts, amenities, entertainment, etc that those institutions provide, as folks not opposed. far too many people look only to big-picture, mass-driven (and mass-defined) changes; and refuse to make such changes in their own individual lives.

we all make our choices. hopefully they are thoughtful, and maybe once in a while they can even be truly reconciled with our desires.

it is my desire that ever more individuals would choose to simplify (and in the process, take far more control of) their lives and consciously reduce the extent to which they are dependent upon those things they oppose.
by (13.4k points)
i want to add a little something...

many self-proclaimed environmentalists (from al gore to vandana shiva) - who assumedly oppose the destruction of the environment being executed by the institutions mentioned - fly around the world frequently in order to spread their gospel. surely they recognize their hypocrisy. yet they continue to do it, all the while encouraging others to cut their carbon footprint. a perfect example of the "do as i say, not as i do" that is so prevalent among so-called "leaders".
+3 votes
Long answer: I navigate this by doing what I can to live to my ideals as best I can in the moment, while also recognizing that I live in a world ruled by and filled with things I hate.

I live in a place where not working is not an option for me currently. My job requires a car, and in that car I log thousands of miles driven per year (honestly tens of thousands- purchased two years ago 24000 miles lower on the odometer). It pays the bills which allow me the capacity to engage in the anarchist projects I do, while not feeling shitty about the work I do. Do I like cars or petroleum extraction? No, but I use both.

I am writing this on my space phone which is built with rare earth minerals whose acquisition required environmentally destructive industry and (most likely) slave labor. Its operation requires a network of advanced technology only in existence due to the military industrial complex. I use it, but that doesn't mean I don't want to destroy the MIC, see the total liberation of all enslaved everywhere.

This question is like when people think they've got the 'gotcha' for John Zerzan because he does a radio show, uses the internet, and wears eye glasses (as I do). It is based in the assumption we feel the need to be pure, which is really assuming a moralism I, personally reject. As I've said elsewhere, I prefer an ethical framework not based on morals (good/bad) but on the knowledge that as much as "no compromise" is a catchy slogan, even the folks who say it (and I am not above having said it before) are still implicated. It isn't about being good for me, because I don't think it is very realistic to be good. It is about doing what I can to live and not feel totally shitty about myself, and I want to live (at least most of the time).

Short answer: I drink (see answer #1)
by (22.1k points)
the jz glasses reference made me think of the shadow puppet show that the bastards put together at the feral visions gathering in southern oregon back in maybe 2003 (and they did it again at the bastard conference). it was pretty entertaining, and sometimes rather pointed.

in a way, my short answer would be the same as yours, ingrate (except pot rather than alcohol). i realized many years ago that my "situational depression" can sometimes be triggered by situations broader than "where am i gonna get the money to fix the truck". and when i realized that herb is a huge help with that depression, i started growing it. if i need medication to enjoy life, i sure as hell don't want to depend on others for it.
im happy to see someone on here critique the "no compromise" bullshit, because living like that is completely impossible unless you live completely by yourself and you eat off food from the woods
@Nihilist - I still hold a "no compromise" perspective about my beliefs, but there is an asterisk that has to do with all the people I know who have gone to prison, all the actions that took more effort than was worth the payoff, as well as my willingness to endure the horrors that some of my comrades have endured, for little to no substantive change. I am still (at least theoretically) in favor of a no compromise perspective (as opposed to, what? vote a bit?!), but I know that attacking in the moment or going for the low hanging fruit is not always effective.
not sure if this is what you mean ingrate, but we you describe sounds like what i think of as strategic thinking.

there is absolutely a part of me - a part that in a previous life was much more prominent - that has a pretty serious no compromise attitude. it is what led me, almost 20 years ago, to recreate my life on uninhabitable land in the harsh, remote high desert. as close to truly "off the grid" as i've ever experienced. and it did require a good bit of the kind of diy living that nihilist referred to. which was actually a positive to me. the more direct control i have over the conditions of my life, the less i need the shit that is institutionally provided to (shoved down the throat of?) society.

the only problem i really have with the idea of "no compromise" is its proximity (in my mind) to dogma. it seems to imply a seemingly conscious disregard for context. which i see as a constraint on my ability to act in whatever way i deem appropriate in any situation. which is of course not to say there are no "principles" that inform my actions. but principles to me are merely guidelines of a sort, not internal laws. "no compromise" sounds pretty rigid to me these days.
I would add, as well that "no compromise" assumes that one has the right answers from the start. That while your principles might be in the right place, your praxis will change.  That there is little room for growth, changes in circumstances, etc. You know, the whole: we do the best we have with what we have and what we know and the time, and when we know better we do better.

And there's a purity that is unsustainable. My experience is that when such standards are impractical it opens up and "all or nothing" mindset that eventually leads to burn out. (We all the know the vegan who couldn't keep up the diet for whatever reason, and next thing we know is eating McDonalds.)