Okay, Anarchist might be a bit of an exaggeration. After years in Idaho doing Potato Harvest and an unpaid summer internship on a farm, I can tell you two things for sure: I have MAD respect for farmers and I am CERTAIN that farming is not the job for me. It’s fun and glamorous for a while, you really connect with your inner child while grubbing in the dirt, baking in the sun, picking up an apron full of eggs. What’s not glamorous is the splinters, the dirt that never comes out from under your nails, the looonnnnggggg hours. Farming isn’t like a normal job. No matter how hungry you are or how late it is, you’re doing what you’re doing until it’s done. If you leave a job half-done, leave some food out overnight, it’s wilty and useless the next day. So when I tell you that the life of constant fear, lack and struggle for resources that would be anarchy PLUS the need for long farming hours in order to survive? No, thank you. I’ll take our Government, corrupt as it may be. And really, compared to some governments, it’s really not that bad, overall. Some recent events notwithstanding. But we’ll come to that.
So, maybe I have never been a true “Anarchist,” but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Conscientious Non-Voter. It all started when my Dad showed me this picture:
It really stuck with me. I didn’t watch TV much growing up (and still don’t) and so the nuances of what was going on in the political arena were lost to me. At the end of the day, my life was more or less the same, no matter who was running the Government.
The desire to never vote was cemented even more firmly when, shortly after turning 18, my Dad asked me if I was going to stand in line for two hours to vote just so I could cancel out his vote. Well, I lived in IDAHO so the chances of my Democratic or Independent vote making a difference sat right between zero and none. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to vote. And I never have. For reference, I am turning 32 next week. This speaks to the need of reform of our voting system. This will be covered at a later date.
My disillusionment with the political system became further entrenched when I moved to Spain to do the last year of my undergrad. This was circa the European Crisis and Spain, Italy, Greece and Ireland were hit hard. I was shocked by Spain’s response. Once or twice a month, a “Manifestación” would be declared, our classes would all be cancelled, and fifteen to fifty thousands angry Spaniards would flood into the Central Plaza. This is where all the political buildings were located. They would loudly express their desire to be rid of The King and his elephant hunting trips. The wish to stop supporting the Catholic Church with their tax dollars. They would demand that welfare be restored, education be funded, that the rich stop getting tax breaks while the poor’s taxes continued increasing…You know the story.
And you know what? Nothing happened. The media, by and large, censored the protests. They would mention in passing that a protest had occurred. But that was it. No attempt to dialogue, to discuss possible solutions, to discuss the impact it was having on the people. Simply a statement of fact and then on to the next day’s weather forecast.
We live in a blessed time, in a blessed country, where on top of some unbiased reporting, we also have access to uninhibited Social Media. I’m sure that given Trump’s current disposition, if he had any power of censoring everything we’re saying, he would Kim Jong-Il us in a heartbeat. But we are just too many, too aware. Media outlets like Facebook are aware that if people realize the extent to which they are being censored, that they will just switch over to another platform, causing the platform they lose to miss out on millions in advertising revenue. However, I started Twitter-ing during this most recent fiasco because of the amount of censorship I perceived to be occurring on Facebook.
I was on crutches with a broken foot so I didn’t make it out to many rallies. But I watched carefully from home, and enough information came through that I knew that things were bad. That protests continued, day in and day out. I contrasted this to my time in Spain, where protests were ineffective because they were announced in advance and lasted only one day. The Government could choose to ignore them, knowing that it would be business-as-usual the next day. But the fact that many of us no longer have jobs to go back to, the fact that we are stir crazy for some kind of excitement, some kind of interaction has pushed us to an incredible time and place where we continue to demand change. And we’re getting it. We’re succeeding. The fact that we are addressing the issue of white privilege head on, after hundreds of years of institutionalized oppression, shows just how powerful we are. As long as we keep protesting.
I will cover systemic racism and how it’s led us to where we are today in a later blog post. For now, I’d like to continue on the topic of decisive actions we can take in order to maintain our momentum. Race is not the only systemic inequality we face. Women, immigrants, LGBTQ+, minorities, old people, young people, really, so many people are facing wild injustice at the hands of White Males.
This is just a fact — they have created a system that is stacked in their favor. People who are discriminated against cannot advocate for their own rights — those rights must be granted to them by the system which is in power. As you know, that system is composed of 90-95% White Males.
The sad part is that it doesn’t seem like oppressing us is making them any happier than it’s making us. They are often angry, sad, discontent and feel disconnected or lonely. We feel those same feelings, but we can cite the lack of equality, justice or resources in our lives. Even though we know, intellectually, that money doesn’t buy happiness, these people continue to stockpile it in hopes that….what? After their next billion stacked on the back of others they will finally feel an evil sense of glee?
Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of appreciation. Dale Carnegie, in his famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, tells us that honest, sincere appreciation is something we crave “almost as much as we crave food.” Carnegie goes on to warn us that, we should always make sure to be appreciative and not flattering. The difference between these genuine appreciation and flattery is summed up nicely by Carnegie: “One is sincere and the other insincere. One comes from the heart out; the other from the teeth out. One is unselfish; the other selfish. One is universally admired; the other universally condemned.”
We can agree that the huge income discrepancy and resulting power discrepancy prevents true happiness both in ourselves and our rich counterparts. They have too much to be satisfied. We don’t have enough to meet our needs. This results in “us,” the poor minority, often colored, to pursue alternative ways to earn a living, often by crossing a boundary that makes the wealthy few feel that we are cutting into their personal livelihoods. Although even if we stole rampantly, this would not destroy their bottom line, they apply a “Slippery Slope” mentality to this issue. The thought process assumes that if one of us finds some way to cheat the system, that everyone else will adopt that method, and they will wind up destitute, unable to care for their private jets, nannies and children. So instead of letting it slide, they create regulations designed to “make an example” of the offender. They reason that the fear that going to jail for stealing from Wal-Mart and then stamping us with a permanent black mark will be enough to deter us. They fail to realize that we are doing this not to challenge them but simply so we can care for ourselves and our families.
So if we can’t wrangle their riches from them, how can we convince The Institution of White Males to willingly give us money? To unlock their vaults and redistribute their billions so we can all survive without having to resort to a life of crime?
The answer, again, comes from Dale Carnegie. We have to create something they want to be part of. We have to show them that having one less zero in their bank account actually means MORE happiness, not less. And when they give to us, we have to give them genuine appreciation. Many people get rich simply because they NEVER SPEND THE MONEY THEY EARN. They have found, over the years, that the bitter sense of being taken advantage of, of having worked for years for something the other person didn’t cherish, of being made to feel like a walking wallet, is unbearable. Being lonely and rich is better than being poor and used. I’m sure you have felt this way at sme point in time. And for them, this justifies locking themselves up, lonely, counting their riches. Hoping someday they can buy happiness with it.
Since 2020 seems to herald the end of the world with every news update, there has been a trend toward generosity, towards giving. The fear that they may soon be facing their Maker has compelled many people to open their hearts and their wallets. In this crucial time we can, and should, leverage the rich minority’s temporary loosening of their financial vice grip to create a system that, once established, will become self-sustaining. A system that will create immense joy, beauty and happiness. And should the World choose not to end this year, will spring us forward to future readiness.
In an effort to make my voice count, I have joined “The System,” and registered to vote. I have also begun writing to my Congresspeople, City Councilors, Mayors, Podcast Idols and anyone else I believe may listen, in an attempt of creating a system where the rich seamlessly give, be appreciated, and see the immense growth and progress that comes from their funds. This is what I have been saying.
As you read, I want you to think of three things: 1) Can you imagine living in this world? What would it be like? How would it change your day-to-day activities? How would you feel? 2) What are some potential barriers you see to creating this system? 3) Is this something you would be willing to share with others? Is it clear enough, desirable enough, that you can find yourself behind this cause?
Please feel free to reach out to me, all of my contact information is included at the bottom of this letter. Thank you very much for your time, your hope and your dreams.
Now, on to the good stuff…
In these times of crisis, we are so grateful to you, our elected officials, for being so open to making the bold changes necessary to achieve true progress. As it becomes more clear that we need to do something drastically different, we turn to you to identify and create a new infrastructure that somehow instantly deals with centuries-old conflicts. I can only imagine how overwhelming the whole situation must feel right now. I bet it is so difficult to find unique solutions that satisfy everyone. I fully believe in your capabilities. Since things are happening so quickly, I wanted to submit to you a project that my colleagues and I developed while writing our Master’s Theses.. We study Global Change Management at the University for Sustainable Development in Germany. This is an evidence-based, multifaceted approach that we developed in order to deal with nationwide crime, rampant unemployment, extreme political unrest and a very unstable economic situation. In our scenario, these changes were prompted by an unexpected climate disaster. However, the pandemic has caused almost the exact conditions of our theoretical scenario. This year has been astounding because it follows our modeling and this strategy becomes more relevant as the months go by. I submit it to you for your consideration.
As we discuss cutting the police budget, it is crucial that we redirect at least a portion of it to dealing with the root causes of crime: anti-social behavior (lack of community), poverty/unemployment/underemployment (no way to make a meaningful living), low self-esteem (no feeling of support, belonging or importance),drug or alcohol abuse (often related to having no coping tools or hobby), lack of positive role models, low education (often related to feeling what they learn is school is useless OR lack of access to education), family violence (often due to parental frustration due to lack of support/feeling they have too much on their plate), mental or physical illness (often related to lack of exercise, healthy food or mindfulness/coping techniques). We developed a solution that resolves almost everyone of these issues.
After a seed investment, it is a self-sustaining economy which supports people, their passions, their connections, and their well-being in such a way that boundaries caused by race, religion, gender and age fall away effortlessly. We shift the focus onto what people accomplish, how they accomplish it and who they help along the way. When we are engrossed in learning, creation and collaboration, the color of the other person’s skin, the God they worship and how old they are become as important as what position they like to sleep in. When you’re not focused on those things, they don’t matter. The most productive way we can convince people to bring their focus away from those things is to give them the tools, resources and incentives to create. We have a system for that, and we would love your help getting it started here in our very own hometown.
In order for people to self-govern, they need to feel as though they are part of something. Something they support so strongly that they will regulate and protect it. This must be a system which supports their dreams, beliefs and ideals.
In a country with so many diverse types of people, creating a system to do that may seem impossible. But it’s not. Today, we will discuss a system that taps into our most innate human desire: the desire to create an empire. Whether we look at the Legions of Rome or the modern American household, we see that we all want to leave a legacy. This new legacy must be different. It must not be built on the backs of others. It must be built on collaboration. We no longer need it to suppress and alienate others for the sake of achieving our aims.
Ultimately, this outdated mentality is what brought us here today. What we are seeing now are vestiges of old beliefs that told us we had to see blacks as property so we could exploit them. A latent fear that if we allow blacks and minorities to have the same privileges and resources that we have, that there won’t be enough to maintain our own small empires, with their many luxuries and conveniences.
We base our identities on the things we own. In doing so, we have created a fear that if those things are taken from us, we will cease to be anything. So we struggle, day in and day out, going to jobs we hate, feeling a deep sense of emptiness, eagerly awaiting the weekend. We can’t wait to let loose and forget how much we hate our lives. We constantly dangle a carrot in front of ourselves, telling ourselves that if we save enough to buy that truck, house, boat or other item, that we will suddenly achieve happiness.
We are shocked when it doesn’t work. Once we buy that thing, we enjoy it for a while, show it off to our friends, and sooner or later we find that it didn’t bring us the deep sense of fulfillment we were searching for. So we begin the process again, a constant loop where we force ourselves to do a host of things we don’t like so we can purchase things we don’t need. Over and over again.
What if we could escape from that? What if we could redefine ourselves by the things we love, the things we create and the people we help? I know it sounds utopian, but we are living in an amazing time in history where those things can – and must be – our empires.
My name is Roslin Castell. I drove here from Salt Lake City to talk to you about a system where, for a fraction of what we have been spending on policing, we can implement a system that allows people to create their own legacies. To be recognized for their talents. To learn, to grow, to connect, to become something truly great. A system that will give them something to do, a way to find their purpose, their place and their passion. A means to find fulfillment and to be recognized. A system that not only protects communities, businesses and people, but also protects our planet.The idea I’m suggesting is something totally different, something totally new. Just like defunding the police, it is essential if we hope to progress.
It has never been done before, and it may take some patience and fight and tuning to get it exactly right. However, once we create it, it will sustain itself, creating health and wealth as it brings us into the future.
This system is called Slightly Social Club. It is a hybrid community center, healthy living center, entertainment center and continuing education center.
At Slightly Social Club, we believe creativity is not just for children. It’s how we find ourselves, relieve stress and form lifelong relationships. We believe the ability to showcase and improve our talents, to get feedback and to be recognized is the key to creating worthwhile lives. Evidence also shows providing access to fulfilling pastimes and supportive communities reduces crime, depression, anxiety and suicide.
We believe that true health comes not from a pill, but from forming a mindful relationship with yourself, your body and your peers. We believe true happiness can only be achieved when a person has friendships and support. People need to be involved in a community that consistently motivates them to pursue their dreams and try new things. A community that encourages them to expand their skills so they can turn their dreams into reality.
We believe that uniting people based on their passions, aspirations and goals is the best way to overcome barriers created by age, race, gender, and religion.The only way we see to achieve true progress is by creating a system that looks at the beauty people have inside of themselves. A system that rewards them for their art, music or other passions; a system that judges them based on their skills, their kindness and their compassion. For the stories they can tell, the emotions they evoke and the way they bring out the best in other people.
We imagine a future where creativity is the new currency, where people are able to travel where they wish and pursue their passions easily, without having to work for years at jobs they hate. We have created a framework that makes this entirely possible.
We are living in an age of reinvention. We are living in a time of uncertainty where jobs are threatened by outsourcing or automation. Instead of fearing these changes, we can invest in a system that can’t be automated. A system where people, in being creative, by doing the things that make us feel most alive, can truly find happiness and security.
The changes are already happening; we can’t continue consuming as we have in the past. We are coming to realize that having more stuff only placates us for so long. We can choose to ignore them. We can wait for crisis, unemployment and crime. Or we can take proactive measures to ensure we stay one step ahead.
We can choose to put a Band-Aid on the problems of today. Or we can choose to build a bridge into the future. That bridge is connection. That bridge is creation. That bridge is Slightly Social Club. Thank you.
Is this something you would consider funding? Why or what not? I would love to discuss further with you. Please reach out to me when you find it most convenient. I have poor reception at my house so if I don’t answer, if you could kindly leave a voicemail or send me a text I will get back with you ASAP. Thank you very much for your time.
Roslin T. Castell