Poet, novelist, shamanic practitioner, devotee of the Goddess, health freedom activist, Michael Brownstein grew up rural. He is the author of three novels — Country Cousins, Self-Reliance and The Touch – and 11 poetry titles including World on Fire, a book-length poem about corporate globalization and consciousness change. His most recent book, Let’s Burn the Flags of All Nations, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and via your bookstore.
His YouTube channel has 20 videos of him reading separate poems from Let’s Burn the Flags of All Nations:
The Chemical Brothers include him reading on the title track of their latest album, “No Geography.”
Michael taught at Naropa Institute in its early years. He lives in the Catskill mountains.
His first glimpse of collective human destiny — urban version — came while taking part in the events of May ’68 in Paris (People pouring into the streets from out of nowhere without doubt or hesitation). He watched as those extraordinary three weeks eventually burned out because no plan lay behind the passion. But the Situationist impulse predating it provided its utterly unexpected character.
Here’s a description by Rene Vienet of how it was back then on the streets of Paris: “At about 9 pm the first barricades went up spontaneously. Everyone recognized instantly the reality of their desires in that act. The hierarchical pyramid had melted like a lump of sugar in the May sun. People conversed and were understood in half a word. There were no more intellectuals or workers, but simply revolutionaries engaged in dialogue. The streets belonged to those who were digging them up. Capitalized time stopped. Without any trains, metro, cars or work the strikers recaptured the time so sadly lost in factories, on motorways, in front of the TV. People strolled, dreamed, learned how to live. Desires began to become little by little, reality. For the first time youth really existed.”
“Capitalized time stopped…For the first time youth really existed…” What more is there to say? Michael is not an “-ist” of any stripe yet he knows an anarchist corrective to “modern civilization” combined with a spiritual practice is essential to release the capitalist stranglehold on our lives. Ever since the first Empires, way before the word “capitalism,” the same impulse of oppressors lording it over the oppressed has prevailed.
Michael is not interested in returning to a failed system of domination like communism but rather, via experiences with shamans and with the Grandmother, ayahausca, he knows the only way out of our synthetic urbanism divorced from nature is to learn from those who remain of our hunter-gatherer/forest garden past. The way, for example, Australian aborigines lived for 100,000 years until snuffed out by waves of criminals masquerading as a superior white race. (Concerning the ongoing plague of white supremacy, check out The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W Allen.)
His short list of heroes includes Rosa Luxemburg who gave her life for freedom.
“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” And “Freedom is always the freedom of the dissenter.”
“What presents itself to us as bourgeois legality is nothing but the violence of the ruling class, a violence raised to an obligatory norm from the outset.”
“Life is singing also in the sand crunching under the slow and heavy steps of the guards, when we know how to listen to it.”
Another hero is Abdullah Ocalan, inspiration of the Kurdish people, in prison for life in a Turkish prison. His vision of democratic confederalism inspired the creation of Rojava, the Kurdish enclave in Syria persecuted by the fascist Turkish state.
Here’s what Ocalan says:
“Democratic confederalism is flexible, multicultural, anti-monopolistic and consensus-oriented. Ecology and feminism are central pillars. In the frame of this kind of self-administration an alternative economy will become necessary, one that increases the resources of society instead of exploiting them. The state continuously orientates itself towards centralism in order to pursue the interests of the power monopolies. Just the opposite is true for confederalism. Essentially, the nation-state is a militarily structured entity. This process is not limited to their founding phase but rather it builds on the militarization of the entire society. The civil leadership of the state is only an accessory of the military apparatus. Fascist exercise of power is the nature of the nation-state. Fascism is the purest form of the nation-state. Democratic confederalism is a non-state social paradigm. It is not controlled by a state.”
Ocalan is quoted here at length because today many in the fight against medical tyranny have fallen into the trap of ultra-nationalism. They believe ventures like the The Great Reset are the only thing threatening their freedom and erroneously tie that freedom to the nation-state. This is a delusion. Nation-states are criminal enterprises in the hands of capitalists scheming for total control regardless of the consequences. They hide their agenda behind a fake patriotism allowing for unending war with other nation-states. Bill Gates may be a monster but he’s a capitalist success story!