Greetings, siblings. I apologize for the extended lack of SCIOPSes. I slipped away while the internet wasn’t looking. I hid as long as I could, and I dared not attract its gaze with a single email.

As I do most years, I retreated from the USA nation-founding holiday and found my redoubt in the forest. In the past I’ve been vague about this ritual, but now I will admit: I go to the annual Rainbow Gathering. I’ve been embarrassed to say it, and if you know what a Rainbow Gathering is then you’ll understand why.

If you don’t know, allow me to drop any pretense of career aspirations and tell you: it’s the coolest thing in the world. It’s also stupid and broken and I hate it.

The Gathering – the “Annual Gathering of the Tribes of the Rainbow Family of Living Light” – is, as you may suspect, some hippie crap. Ostensibly it’s a loose coalition of people and groups who come together to pray for world peace on the 4th of July.

In reality, it’s a combination cook-out, festival, and refugee camp. Thousands of people build a shantytown in the national forest, scorning the cops and locals who would like the opportunity to deny them a permit, and have a week-long party centered on a day of silent prayer on the 4th. It’s the furthest you can get in the USA from the bombshells bursting in air, and despite its incredible amount of flaws, I think it prefigures a future politics of peace.

At the very least, it clarifies a lot of the problems we’ll be dealing with in the coming decades: How do we distribute resources in the absence of money? How do we rebuild our infrastructure for a low-oil economy? How do we deal with parasites and predators in our communities? Where do we draw our boundaries?

I’m still rolling across the plains toward home, and I have more questions than answers right now. I’m certainly glad to be moving at speed away from anything that might be considered a “drum circle”. But I think those gosh darn hippies just might have something to teach us. I’ll let you know next week, as SCIOPS returns to the cruel and punishing schedule of practically once a week.

Thanks again for reading,

– Max


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