February 29, 2020 is Leap Day — could we use our extra day for something extraordinary and powerful instead of the same old same old? The capitalist/industrial system wastes our time, strips life from the earth, centralizes power into a few hands, and extracts the meaning and pleasure from our lives.
While most of us yearn for a different world, it’s hard to know how to fight back or how to make a difference. You can’t revolt alone, and the structures of oppression and destruction are designedto feel inevitable, unavoidable and overwhelmingly powerful.
Nonetheless, the world is always changing. Empires alwayscrumble to dust eventually. And yet slavery and monarchy didn’t replace themselves. Someone or a small group of people have to take the first terrifying step off the sidewalk and into the streets to force change.
Rebels are just regular folks the day before an uprising — worried about the rent, full of contradictions, unsure what to do next. Revolt transforms the lives of those who make it. It clarifies the meaning of our lives while it heals and transform us. There is nothing like the electric experience in the streets when the crowds advance, the police flee, and anything is possible.
The right time to begin revolt is right now, but the precise day is arbitrary. The correct conditions already exist and have been present for some time.
We need to openly discuss and challenge power and refuse to be consumers, viewers and objects to be managed. This goes way beyond just the distribution of resources — instead, its time to question whether resources, alone, is what life is really about. We demand a world organized around being awake and engaged — where we pursue intimate knowledge of others, ourselves and the world around us rather than getting distracted by treats distributed to keep us obedient and on-task.
Shifting the focus from things and entertainment to DIY experiences is what the world needs now to prevent the technological system from destroying the earth. Life is too short and the world too beautiful to spend more time muddling through accepting the compromises of the corporate system and waiting for something better — far off in the future. We don’t have enough time left for that anymore.
Working in tiny collectives, nurturing gardens and bike coops and art spaces is vital to the struggle, but it just isn’t enough as the earth slides towards extinction. It’s time to attack and defeatthe structures of power. We’re not going to get burned out or tired once we start winning.
Leap day offers an extra day and invites us to shake off our routine, but any other day could work just as well. The global system — while vast — is fragile and vulnerable. Alternatives to the system of ecological devastation and economic inequality exist — cooperation, local control, sharing, living in harmony with the earth.
This year, consider February 29 as an experiment and an invitation. How do you really want to live? What would you do if you were living life like it really mattered? Would you go to work like normal, or can you think of something better? This leap day can be a universal general strike and uprising for a world worth living in, but its up to you, your friends and the whole world to take that first step. Leap for it.