Daniel West: Open Sovereignty & Walden Labs

Cultural Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
Dan West
Dan West

I can understand why regular people aren’t interested in your vision. They’re too busy making ends meet, worrying about how to pay the bills and what to eat for dinner. As HDT writes in Walden, “The necessaries of life for man…may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success.” Most people are still struggling to secure these necessaries.

But I think open source technologies and concepts such as holistic thinking and permaculture is the way to most effectively secure the necessaries of life for man, for all men.

As for people with power, people who could actually change things, I think they simply don’t want this. Because what you’re proposing with Open Source Everything would shift the power balance greatly. Here’s a quote from one of the founders of permaculture, Bill Mollison, that I think says it all: “We know how to solve every food, clean energy, and sensible shelter problem in every climate; we have already invented and tested every necessary technique and technical device, and have access to all the biological material that we could ever use. The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy, and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves.”

Back in 2014 I was exploring a concept I call Open Sovereignty (check out opensov.org for the unfinished website), which is about building open local institution and production systems to break free from centralized institutions (even today’s so called “democracies”) that are ultimately controlled by the financial and political elite. I never got around to making it public or finishing it because I was, and still am to a certain degree, too busy about securing the necessaries of life.

Right now I’m working on WaldenLabs.com where I spread ideas and raise awareness about self-reliance, decentralization and open source.