subsistence living

The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

ON OCTOBER 28, 1965

anonymous asked:

Funerary gardens

feed the living
to the dead
and feed the dead
to the living


like forests
keyhole transition
twilit and giving

given to mysterious
circumstance and

{like you anon}

they found one
this week 
only four
thousand years
old though
not very

younger than you
maybe, younger than
our connection, perhaps

i’ve no idea
who you are
nor what you’re about

but i am
ever wondering

One who seeks this world eats a lot, laughs a lot, and sleeps a lot, and his anger is a lot, too. He is pleased only a little. He does not apologize to those to whom he misbehaves, nor does he accept the excuse of those who apologize to him. He is lazy when being obedient [to Me] and courageous when disobedient. His hopes are high and destination is near. He does not hold himself accountable; he is of little benefit while being talkative. His fear is little and he is quite happy when it is time to eat. The seekers of this life do not express thanks at the time of ease, nor are they patient at the time of affliction. What people consider a lot to them is a little. They praise themselves for what they do not do; they claim what is not with them; they talk about what they hope; they mention people’s faults and hide their merits…

O Ahmad (S)! The countenance of the seekers of goodness and of the Hereafter is kind; their modesty is a lot and foolishness is little; their plotting is little. People are at ease on their account while their own souls are wearisome. Their speech is balanced. They hold themselves to account, wearing them out; their eyes sleep but not their hearts. Their eyes are tearful and hearts are in remembrance. When people are recorded as oblivious, they are written among those who remember. At the beginning of a bliss they praise [their Lord] and at its end they thank [Him]. Their supplication is raised with Allah, their speech is heard. The angels are happy on their account. Their supplication runs under the veils. The Lord loves to hear their speech just as a mother loves her child. Nothing distracts them from Allah for a twinkling of an eye, nor do they want plenty of food, or plenty of talk, or plenty of clothing. In their regard, people are dead while Allah is Living, Subsisting, Great. They call upon those who depart from them back to their generosity and seek those who approach them with kindness. Life in this world and in the Hereafter is one to them. People die once, while each of them dies seventy times a day because of self struggle and opposition to what he desires even though Satan runs in his veins. If the wind moves, it shakes them, yet when they stand before Me, they are like a strong building. I see their hearts being occupied by no human; therefore, I swear by My Dignity and Greatness, I shall let them live a good life.

—  Hadith al-Qudsi of the Ascension

anonymous asked:

It's been proven time and time again that the violent revolution we need in order to overthrow the ruling classes just isn't coming, and that after a brief surge of extreme protests, the majority of the working classes will go back to their lives and subsist, because financially speaking, they have no other choice. With that in mind, do you think it would be worth working for gradual change within the system, such as voting for the lesser of two evils rather than your ideal candidate?

absolutely not and lesser-of-two-evilsism has been torn to shreds time and time again. what this does mean is that mutual aid is just as vital as any form of violence



The crowlike tengus are known as a race of scavengers and irrepressible thieves. Covetous creatures predominantly motivated by greed, they are vain and easily won over with flattery. Deceptive, duplicitous, and cunning, tengus seek circumstances in which they can take advantage of the situation, often at the expense of others, including their own kind. They can be highly competitive, but impulsive and rash. Some claim their behavior is innate, while others believe their selfish mannerisms are cultural and developed as a learned adaptation that has enabled their people to endure through centuries of oppression.

Tengus are natural survivalists. For many, only theft and guile have afforded them the temporary luxuries other races take for granted. In the past, both humans and powerful races such as giants sought the bird-folk as slaves and servitors. Many tengus scavenged for survival, scraping for food in the shadows of cities or living as subsistence hunters and gatherers in the wild. Their descendants now struggle to find their place in contemporary society, often competing against negative stereotypes or driven to embrace them, and they rely on thievery and swordplay to get by in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Tengus are avian humanoids whose features strongly resemble crows. They have broad beaks and both their arms and their legs end in powerful talons. Though tengus are unable to fly, iridescent feathers cover their bodies—this plumage is usually black, though occasionally brown or blue-back. Their skin, talons, beaks, and eyes are similarly colored, and most non-tengus have great difficulty telling individuals apart. Tengus who wish to be more easily identified by other humanoids may bleach certain feathers or decorate their beaks with dyes, paint, or tiny glued ornaments. Though they are about the same height as humans, they have slight builds and tend to hunch over. A tengu’s eyes sit slightly back and to the sides of his head, giving him binocular vision with a slightly more panoramic field of view than other humanoids. Like many avians, tengus have hollow bones and reproduce by laying eggs.

Tengus live in close-knit communities in which they keep to themselves. In urban centers, they tend to group in communal slums, while those living in rural areas establish isolated settlements. Overall, they remain secretive about their culture, which is a combination of old traditions laced with newer bits of culture scavenged from the races common in the neighboring regions. Cultural scavenging also extends to language, and regional dialects of Tengu are peppered with terms and colloquialisms from other languages. Unsurprisingly, tengus have a knack for language and pick up new ones quickly.

Most tengu communities tend to follow a tribal structure. Tribal rules remain loose and subjective, and tribe members settle any conflicts through public arbitration (and occasionally personal combat). While every tengu has a voice in her society, in most settlements, tengus still defer to their revered elders for wisdom and advice.

Few races easily tolerate tengus. Of the most common races, only humans allow them to settle within their cities with any regularity. When this occurs, tengus inevitably form their own ghettos and ramshackle communities, typically in the most wretched neighborhoods. Regardless of their tolerance, most humans maintain as little contact with tengus as possible. Tengus occasionally make friends with halflings and gnomes, but only when they share mutual interests. Conversely, most dwarves have no patience for tengus whatsoever. Other races tend to view tengus in a similar fashion to humans, though many actively discourage them from settling in their realms.

+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, –2 Constitution: Tengus are fast and observant, but relatively fragile and delicate.

Tengus are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Tengus have a base speed of 30 feet.

Senses: Tengus have low-light vision.

Sneaky: Tengus gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.

Gifted Linguist: Tengus gain a +4 racial bonus on Linguistics checks, and learn 2 languages each time they gain a rank in Linguistics rather than 1 language.

Swordtrained: Tengus are trained from birth in swordplay, and as a result are automatically proficient with swordlike weapons (including bastard swords, daggers, elven curve blades, falchions, greatswords, kukris, longswords, punching daggers, rapiers, scimitars, short swords, and two-bladed swords).

Natural Weapon: A tengu has a bite attack that deals 1d3 points of damage.

Languages: Tengus begin play speaking Common and Tengu. Tengus with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except for secret languages, such as Druidic).

First of all, let us examine the criteria that define archaism: the
absence of writing and subsistence economy. Nothing need be said
about the first, since it involves an admitted fact: either a society
is familiar with writing or it is not. On the other hand, the relevance
of the second criterion appears less certain. Actually, what
docs “subsistence” mean? It means living in a permanently fragile
equilibrium between alimentary needs and the means for satisfying
them. A society with a subsistence economy, then , is one
that barely manages to feed its members and thus finds itself at
the mercy of the slightest natural accident (drought, flood , etc);
a decline in its resources would automatically make it impossible
to feed everyone. In other words, archaic societies do not live,
they survive; their existence is an endless struggle against starvation, for they are incapable of producing a surplus because of technological
and - beyond that - cultural deficiency. Nothing is more persistent than this view of primitive society, and at the same time
nothing is more mistaken. If it has become possible recently to
speak of groups of paleolithic hunters and gatherers as “the first
affluent societies,” how will “neolithic” agriculturalists be
described? This is not the place to dwell on a question of crucial
importance for ethnology. Let it be remarked merely that a good
many of those archaic societies “with a subsistence economy,” in
South America, for example, produced a quantity of surplus food
often equivalent to the amount required for the annual consumption
of the community: a production capable, therefore, of satisfying
its needs twice over, or capable of feeding a population twice
its size. Obviously that docs not mean that archaic societies arc
not archaic; the aim is simply to puncture the “scientific” conceit
of the concept of the subsistence economy, a concept that reflects
the attitudes and habits of Western observers with regard to primitive
societies more than the economic reality on which those
cultures are based. In any case, it is not because they had a subsistence economy that archaic societies “have survived in a state of
extreme underdevelopment up to the present time”. In
fact, it strikes me that, using this standard, the illiterate and undernourished European proletariat of the nineteenth century would be more aptly described as archaic. In reality, the notion of the
subsistence economy belongs to the ideological purview of the
modern West, and not at all to the conceptual store of a science.
And it is paradoxical to see ethnology become the victim of such
a crude mystification, something especially dangerous inasmuch
as ethnology has had a part in orienting the strategy of the industrialized nations vis-a-vis the so-called underdeveloped world.
—  Pierre Clastres - “Society Against the State”
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In this day and age, audiences seem to have a lot of things handed to them when watching a movie - whether it’s information imparted through exhaustive, lengthy exposition, or a barrage of sound, special effects and other cinematic paraphernalia that assault the senses. Viewers have grown accustomed to stories that are wrapped up neatly in a little bow at the end of a film, or a character’s motivations explained at great length, that when presented with a tale that is so open to interpretation and so defiant in its  challenging of traditional storytelling, it comes as a complete shock. Puzzlement was certainly what Glazer was going for, but not the kind that leaves viewers frustrated and shortchanged. His minimalistic approach to Under the Skin’s story was intentional because he understood the value of withholding information from the audience. The result was refreshing, and actually quite pleasurable, because not having all the answers yet feeling a sense of understanding towards the story, without necessarily feeling accomplishment over having finished a film, is an interesting place to be for a viewer.   

The sound design of this film was really the glue that held the film together, however. Mica Levi’s haunting score was a character all to itself. It was foreboding yet alluring, drawing the viewer in just like Scarlett lured her prey into her clutches. While the film already had such great atmosphere, it was the music that really served as the intellectual and emotional anchor for the audience. When words may not be enough (or completely necessary, as in the case of this film), music is more than ample as a substitute, because the marriage of sight and sound can be so much more dramatic than any verbal explanation. 

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Life goals are hard.

I’m watching a hell of a whole lot of subsistence television lately and it’s really fueling my life long desire to live away from people and to live off of the land more.  I’ve honestly been trying to grow my own garden since I was a child, but having no serious support, know how, and living in the city where folks will accidentally cut your fledgling garden down, it’s been more than a little difficult.

Just like how I moderately coupon now, I’m not looking for anything extreme the way I enjoy watching on “Alaska: The Last Frontier” and on “Ultimate Survival Alaska."  More so, I just want to move into a country-ish area, away from close houses and shared front porches.  I want to build a chicken coop and finally grow my own vegetables.  I want to fish for real and learn to hunt.

Add this to my growing obsession with tiny homes and I’m just set to buy some land, build a house, and just live there.

Mostly, I want to find my own happiness in an organic way and get away from working bullshit jobs I hate and spending time with people that I wish would all punch themselves in the face repeatedly.  Once I got that done, I could spend more time doing the things I love, like writing and napping.

This Is Not A Rant

I remember I had the opportunity of having tea with a prominent former Minister (he was an MP at the time of this story) at the State House in Ghana. He was a friend of a relative’s, and I was interning at a Ministry at the time so I thought it would be a good opportunity to ask some one-on-one in-depth questions about the current status of the economy and where he saw the country headed in terms of economic growth and development in the years to come.

Needless to say, he was a little less than interested in discussing the nuances of Ghanaian socio-economics and more pressed with trying to get me to sleep with his picture under my pillow (Don’t even ask guys…smh)

One ripped up photo and a declined invitation to have omutuo with him later, we were in his car headed back to my office. Finally interested in something remotely intellectual, he asked me about my future plans after finishing my undergraduate degree. I told him I planned to get my Masters and perhaps someday a PhD. He looked at me, laughed and said:

“Why do you need a Masters degree? Why waste your time in school? Look at me- I barely finished school and I have a car and a driver.”

I wish I had captured the look on my face. 

Fast forward to a meeting I sat in on where delegates of another country had come to learn from our ministry methods of financial forecasting (Feel free to laugh, I know I did). At some point in the meeting one of the foreign delegates asked, “so what kind economic modeling do you use here?”. The head of the department replied:

“Oh, you mean like Econometrics? No, we don’t use that stuff here.”

Another look I wish I had captured.

And I STILL haven’t gotten over the time when I asked for data on Ghana’s then GDP and was asked to check the World Bank website for the information. Here I was seated smack dab center in the ministry that was responsible for creating the country’s budget every year based on previous years income, and being asked to find out from Google just how much we made last year.

I’m not sure which of these instances made me realize that the idea of public sector fueled growth under the current leadership was a joke- A complete and utter joke. But I’m sure it was one of them.

Sometimes I sit down and think: I come from a country that went from producing and exporting excess electricity, to importing electricity from the very countries it once exported it to in less than a decade.

Where we educate and license hundreds (if not thousands) of doctors each year, but do not have the facilities and resources available for the doctors to do what they’re trained to do and save lives. 

Where we pay road taxes and levies, but can barely call those things we drive on roads. 

Where you can find a slum in one place, and right next to it a 3 storey mansion.

Where people are normally subsisting for an entire month on what I would spend for a single meal. 

Where the government is living and subsisting year to year not realizing there are generations yet to come who deserve a better life than we have now.

And I have to ask myself, where did we go wrong? What’s the problem? How could we have fallen so far so fast that we live in a country where whether someone lives or not may very well depend on whether or not ECG feels like the hospital deserves electricity at any given time?

Yes it’s partly the fault of our leaders. For such highly educated men and women (albeit this one MP from the story above), you’d think they’d understand that a dollar taken from National coffers means a dollar taken from somewhere that is crucial for the livelihoods of Ghanaians. We don’t pluck money off of trees! People don’t pay taxes for the sake of giving the government money. The money the government has is not for it- it serves a greater purpose. So when a minister steals $1000, that’s a $1000 less for school children’s textbooks in Hohoe. When an MP diverts $50,000 of constituent funding to his back pocket, that is one less paved road, and a dozen more car accidents and deaths. When a Regional Minister takes $1 million to build his house, or to pay for his children to study abroad, that’s a hospital suite with beds that could have held 200 people and saved 200 lives, or a well that could provide clean water to a village losing all its children to Cholera. Now, of course, not every leader steals, but the system exists in such a way that no one holds those that do accountable, for whatever reason. It seems our leaders cannot make the correlation between government funds and the actual lives of their fellow Ghanaians, because they live somewhat removed from the dire situations at hand. These crooked politicians don’t get that that child begging on the road- the same child they turn their noses up at- is there because he doesn’t have access to education that we could so easily provide him. The fact that our leaders cannot see the damage their mismanagement is causing our people, or that they see it and don’t care? It floors me.

But, for the most part, it’s on us. We have the power to elect these leaders and we have the responsibility to hold them accountable to their actions. It isn’t Ghana’s money that’s being stolen and mismanaged- it’s OURS. When you had to sit in that office all month and be stressed out by every known superior and work your ass off for a paycheck and it came and a third of it was gone…. guess where it went? To the government- and then, most likely, into someone’s undeserving pocket. So you have the right to be outraged that you have no electricity or no running water. What is the point of affordable healthcare if it can’t even care for your health?????

And not just holding our leaders accountable, but as young Ghanaians, holding our parents, our families and ourselves accountable too. When I found out how much the manager was paid at a family establishment, I nearly collapsed. I had spent 5 times that amount the day before, on two meals. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how he subsisted on that for a WHOLE month. I was campaigning for fair wages for the rest of my trip- No one in my family heard the end of it. For the rest of my stay I counted every penny I spent and never asked for more. We can’t expect our leaders to be fair to us if we also abuse whatever economic/social privilege we have ourselves over others. If you pay people a fair wage, they won’t have to beg or resort to crime to make up the difference, People less well off than you will begin to understand that they deserve more, and as such will demand more of their leaders, and the society will improve. Sometimes to see change you have to BE change. 

Elections are rolling back around. Please understand that while we can only protest what they do while in power, we have the power to choose who is in power. We have a responsibility to ourselves to choose responsible leaders- but not only to ourselves, but to the generations to come. We are not just living for here and now. It’s not just about us. Exercise your right to vote. Vote for people who make a difference- not just at the state level, but at the local levels too. Change really does begin at the poll.

And socio-economic growth isn’t just about voting. Not all of us have the power to vote in a Ghanaian election. But we all have the ability to invest- invest knowledge and productive resources back into our country. As much as the government needs to regulate equitable distribution of growth between regions and into the right sectors, we need a thriving private sector to bolster it. I don’t think there’s been a generation of brighter minds than the one that exists now, so Let’s build businesses and hire Ghanaians. If the government doesn’t have the resources to provide viable solutions to our problems like unemployment and electricity generation, let’s provide them ourselves. All over the world successful nations have learnt how to harness the private sector to make up for what they lacked in the public sector, and I know we can do the same. It will take some bright ideas, and a lot of collaboration and cooperation. We have the habit of starting businesses on our own, trying to run one-man shows and be the king of our empires, not realizing that any truly successful business has a lot of people pouring into it. For instance, instead of ten different companies making half-assed bicycles to create alternatives for environmental safety, a much better model could be created through collaborating and merging ideas and technologies that is most cost and product-efficient, and can be produced at a much larger scale because of that. It’s about time we stop thinking about self and ‘name’ when it comes to business and start thinking about working together to create the best solutions to the problems at hand. No one person has all the answers! . 

An accountable public sector lays the foundation, but a thriving private sector propels growth.

For those of us studying/working outside, I know the situation seems dire. I know returning to dumsor and a higher cost of living after how many years of continuous running water and electricity can be hard. But we ALL have a stake in the country. It’s not enough to travel back at Christmas to chill. Forget the Ghanaians who treat you like you don’t belong or look down on your opinions because they think it’s coming from a place of elevation. Ignore the “stay in your America” comments. The country needs us just as much as it needs them. We all bring important experiences and perspectives and understanding to the table. We can’t just watch from the outside and complain- Ghana doesn’t need spectator coaches (I sure as hell never want to be one which is why I refrain from talking about the issues). We all have to get our hands dirty to bring about the change we expect to see.

Research Tips: Post-Apocalyptic Life

Anonymous asked: I am writing a zombie post-apocalyptic tale of how a group of survivors on the Welsh/English border begin to adapt to rather old (outdated by nowadays standards) means of agriculture, construction and general defense. I was wondering if there were resources for the jobs and measures taken on farms say anywhere between 100 to 50 years ago, especially if the threat was other (abet shambling) human beings?

There are a few resource possibilities you can try:
  • Google “life on a 19th century Welsh farm” or choose a specific town on the border, such as “life on a 19th century Ludlow farm.” You could also try, “history of farming in Ludlow” or “history of farming in England.” You can also try something like, “life in a 19th century Welsh village.”

  • Search on Google for historical farms, or working farms with an educational component, in England or Wales. Many times these will reenact or reconstruct elements of rural or farm life which include things like construction, agricultural practices, and daily life. This information is often contained on a web page along with photos and perhaps even videos.

  • Welsh or English homesteading (smallholding) web sites, forums, and blogs. Homesteaders or smallholders are people who have returned to a simpler way of life. They often live on subsistence farms growing their own food and try to live as self-sufficiently and “off-the-grid” as possible. This would be very close to the kind of life the people in your story might live. Try searching for Wales or England plus the terms “smallholding,” “homesteading,” “self-sufficiency,” “survivalism,” or “hobby farming.”

I hope that helps! :)