MHCC Independent Report – Fabio Poveda Interviews Alexander Baretich about Cascadia and bioregionalism.
In Regards to Political Secession and Working Within Corrupt Imperial Politics
By Alexander Baretich
I am actually against the current idea of political secession and the formation of yet another political party within the American-Canadian corrupt political systems. I believe a slave who feels that they need to ask for freedom from their master is never free. A political party would be stereotyped in the corporate media and at first might get a surge in support, but would hit a plateau in interest as it’s stereotyped into two seemingly conflicting images: “radical hippies in communes” and “gun totting racists and xenophobes.” I believe eventually professional or life-long Cascadian politicians would be the biggest obstacle to independence as they would privately see staying in the corrupt political system as a means for their own financial gain. I fear that such a political party would give false hope for reform of the corrupt system.
That all aside there are some things if changed or aspired to would get me to shift my stand on supporting a platform of political secession. I would support political secession if certain things were addressed and actually acted upon. If these (currently 10) specific things are not acted upon then I believe the movement of Cascadian independence is doomed to repeat what the US and other nation-states have become.
1.) That such a secession movement be focused on bioregional awakening
2.) That the movement be a decolonization movement, questioning and deconstructing the thinking of domination of Nature, the Earth and ourselves that we have inherited from “settler culture.” In essence it becomes a resistance movement that includes paradigm shift within us as well
3.) Solidarity with indigenous people in their struggles and acknowledgement of the sovereignty of the indigenous nations within the bioregion
4). Inclusion and active dialog with minorities and marginalized communities as part of the human landscape of the bioregion
5.) Confronting and resisting the current socioeconomic systems of the oppression
6.) Focus on building (birthing) a decentralized Alternative Infrastructure of Resistance and Resilience (A.I.R.R.)
7.) That the movement be focused on decentralization and community autonomy within a bioregional network
8.) Securing and creating culture of stewardship of the social commons (such as education, health and infrastructure) and natural commons (such as water, air, forests, ecological communities, minerals, soil and the Earth)
9.) Denouncing of Nationalism and Cascadia as a single nation, but acknowledging that many indigenous nations exist within that bioregion.
10.) If a secessionist political party was formed that it not focus on electing individuals to positions of power, but focused on issues such as decolonization and demonstrating the corruption of the dominant system.
Contains explicit content.
Alexander gives a lecture including the Dichotomy of Being, the Hegelian Dialectic, Romanticism, Nationalism, and the educational system.
“Caspar David Friedrich – Wanderer above the sea of fog” by Caspar David Friedrich – The photographic reproduction was done by Cybershot800i. (Diff). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and social critic, talks to Wallace about society, materialism, relationships, government, religion, and happiness.
This is the audio recording from the 3rd class of Cascadian Bioregionalism.
This is the first documentary we watched in class: Legacy – The Origins of Civilization – Episode 5: Central America, the Burden of Time
We are starting the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative with the goal of producing locally made Cascadian flags. Alexander Baretich who is one of the founding members of this cooperative is also the designer of the Cascadian flag. The goal of the campaign is to raise funds needed for equipment and materials for the production of high quality flags. There are at least four components to the goal of the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative: (1) to provide flags that are locally made, (2) comply with the original intent by the designer of the flag as a bioregional symbol, (3) receive the artist’s (designer’s) authenticity of quality and (4) provide an income for its cooperative members.
$5: Your name on our website
Your name will be publicly listed on our website as a supporter of small business and local economy, and you will have our utmost gratitude.
$10: A sticker!
Reproduction of items other than a digital version on computer or internet is forbidden unless with consent by designer.
$20: Sticker AND button!
$40: A lot of stickers and buttons!
You will receive your choice of five stickers and one of each button, your name on our website, and our utmost gratitude.
$60: A Cascadian Flag tie-dye t-shirt
You receive a Cascadian Flag tie-dye t-shirt, your choice of five stickers and one of each button, your name on our website, and our utmost gratitude.
Or this option of the styled conifer on the tie-dye shirt
$80: Cascadia as Fuck!
You will receive a ‘Cascadia as Fuck’ t-shirt (while supplies last), your choice of five stickers and one of each button, your name on our website, and our utmost gratitude.
$100: Cascadian Flag t-shirt
$120: Small Cascadian Flag
$250: Option #1 – Two t-shirts
$250: Option #2 – One t-shirt, one small flag
$250: Option #3 – Two small flags
$500: Local Business Contribution
This is for small, locally owned businesses only. You get advertisement as a small, locally-owned business on our website (CascadianFlag.com) and 3 decals to put on or inside your business. $500 or more contribution.
The Story of the Cascadian Flag
I, Alexander Baretich, designed the Cascadian flag in 1995. It was in the spring of 1995 which means this fund raising campaign for the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative takes place during 20 year anniversary/birthday of the flag. In the academic year of 1994-1995, I was doing graduate work in Eastern Europe studying nationalism and ethnic minorities. Though I totally love the people, cultures and landscape of Eastern Europe, I was deeply homesick for the forests of Cascadia, specifically the Willamette Valley forests I grew up around. The flag came to me as I sat on a “mountain” (a hill for Cascadian standard) overlooking a Medieval fortress and modern Eastern European city. I sat on a forested slope with my soon to be first wife after we were looking for wild boar. We found a lot of wild boar poop, but did not spot any of the animals. As we sat I told her how I wanted to show her my homeland and how I missed my forests. I started describing the landscape outside the bedroom of my family house in Portland. The deep green forest with the clouds or snow capped mountains in the distant horizon and since it was spring how there would be often a patch of deep blue sky above. In front of us was a pine tree and I explained that at my family house that would be a Douglas fir outside my old bedroom. Though since its conception I have designed variations of the flag with pine trees and cedars as well as oak. With the blue of the sky, white of the horizon and green of the landscape as well as the conifer tree in front of us the imagery of the Cascadian flag came into my mind. The image stuck in my mind. Our home, the bioregion of Cascadia, is of continuous cascading waters that flow from the cloud heavy skies and snowcapped mountains back to the Pacific. For Cascadia is a land of falling water from the Pacific to the western slopes of the Rockies where water take form as vapor and then rain and snow to run through creek and river back to the Pacific. Again all these colors and icon of the Cascadian flag become rich symbols of a dynamic bioregion. The blue is the lofty clear sky as well as the blue waters of the Pacific, Salish Sea and countless lakes. The symbol of white in the flag is for the transformation of H2O (water) as snow, clouds, mist and ocean foam which are the catalyst of water changing from one state of matter to another. From liquid into vapor (mist and clouds) and from vapor into solid (ice and snow) and melting back to liquid or vapor. The green is the forests and fields which too carry life giving water through our biodiverse land. The lone standing Douglas fir symbolizes endurance, defiance and resilience against fire, flood, catastrophic change and even against anthropocentric Man. All these symbols of color and icon come together to symbolize what being Cascadian is all about. So the flag represents the landscape, interconnected complex communities of the bioregion and the various forces from hydrological to tectonic that is reflective of the place we call Cascadia. Over the last decade the Cascadian flag has been nicknamed the “Doug” or “Doug flag” and has taken on a life of its own such as in sports and beverages, but always the original iconography of the flag reemerges to remind the bearer and observer that it’s a symbol of the bioregion.
The Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative and why is it important?
As a group, the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative, has come together to produce locally made flags and other items in support of
bioregionalism and celebration of the beauty of the bioregion called
Cascadia. All of the members have economically struggled and seek socioeconomic empowerment not just for themselves as individuals, but for the community as a whole. Of the four members of the cooperative there is Justin who works to empower workers in regards to socioeconomic justice; Robert who works in various campaigns with organized labor and social justice; DeAnna who is a self-employed tailor; and Alexander who teaches free classes on Cascadia and designs bioregional related art. Over the years, the production of the Cascadian flag has been outsourced outside of the bioregion and even to overseas markets which has undermined the
original intent of the symbolism of the flag as an icon of localization and love of the land. In 2011, Alexander Baretich temporarily “okayed” the production of the flag overseas with three stipulations: 1) that any overseas production be from a company that has relatively good standing in regards to human rights, labor rights and ecological awareness; 2.) that it be temporarily; and 3.) that out of bioregion production only happens as a local workers cooperative was started up to minimize the damage to the environment and to bring worker empowerment and socioeconomic justice to those producing the flag. Since that original “okaying” with a few individuals, other private companies and individuals who were not part of this understanding have ordered flags from overseas manufacturers to make profit while being oblivious to the original intent that the manufacturing and use of the Cascadian flag not be contrary to the ideas of bioregionalism. The Cascadian Flag
Making Cooperative seeks to produce flags and other iconic items within the original intent of the designer and to advocate for bioregional consciousness. The cooperative also seeks to produce the flag with the quality that satisfies the designer and give it that authenticity that it meets his desire as best as possible under the current conditions.
Why is this project so important?
Integrity is a crucial part of this cooperative and in protecting both the flag and its reputation. We are focused on both bioregional Integrity and creative Integrity of the artists’ intentions. Alexander Baretich has put it in creative commons so that the average person from the child drawing in a classroom to the weekend hiker can reproduce and fly the flag without the fear of some copyright restriction. While at the same time within that creative commons is the statement that the flag is not to be used for hate or exploitation nor against the ideas of bioregionalism. That the flag is a symbol of the bioregion and of bioregional principles. We, the members of the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative, are producing the flag to keep the integrity and authenticity of the artist. We are also continuously striving towards those bioregional principles. We seek to avoid the potential of mass marketing of this Cascadian icon as a product sold by “Big Box” stores or as an item of just banal consumption.
How you can help
Your contribution to the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative would have a major impact on both the cooperative and, we hope, a shift from outsourced flags to locally made flags. Hence one of our greater goals is a support of localization of the economy and a return to a bioregional conscious economy. This crowdfunding campaign gives us the chance to buy materials in bulk and equipment needed for such a project. Contributions would provide us a chance to compete with cheap outsourced knockoff copies of the flag. It gives us the chance to provide for the Cascadian population a high quality flag that is the designer’s standard of excellence. Reaching the donation goal would help with materials and equipment and yet surpassing that goal would provide the Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative the chance to go far beyond just the standard Cascadian flag. Alexander Baretich has various designs of the flag with pine, oak and other native trees as well as the Douglas fir on the Rainbow flag, a salmon on the blue, white and green tricolors and even a cannabis leaf on the tricolors. Also Mr. Baretich has designed a maritime or nautical Cascadian flag which he hopes to mass produce for ships and vessels. Contributions exceeding the Indiegogo campaign goal of $3,000 would also go into producing more variety of sizes of flags and more variety of materials such as silk and hemp. Of course the more contributions we receive then we can bring down the cost of the flag to the buyers as well as provide more variety. We also wish to provide flags to various merchants as a whole sale item.
About the perks or “thank you gifts” for your contributions
We have a lot of unique stickers and buttons that haven’t been published yet, for perks. These are all designed by Alexander Baretich. We also have a few t-shirts with different designs on them which incorporate the flag into the design in different ways, including the very popular ‘Cascadia as Fuck’ t-shirt designed by Antonio Zamora. This design integrates the Cascadian Flag in a heart, with the phrase “Cascadia as Fuck” (See Gallery). If we don’t reach our goal, the funds we raise will first go to the things that we need the most to produce the flags, such as paying for the screens, the customized screen printing table, and the fabric and ink. Our cooperative is not just about making the flag locally. It is also about empowering the members of the cooperative, and the community in general. Your contribution will make a major difference by allowing us to make different kinds of flags, with different kinds of material, and be more competitive with the flags that are not locally made. The cooperative is a model for the kind of economy we want to see in Cascadia, and the world. We believe all workers should be empowered in their workplace. This campaign will be one small step for our workers cooperative, one giant leap for our bioregion.
A journey of lessons
Over the last few years as Alexander Baretich has tried to bring together people for this project and cooperative it has come across a lot of hurdles. In the last year Alexander has brought together a team that is reliable and a group of advisors who are experienced in textiles and printing. The Cascadian Flag Making Cooperative now has a well-seasoned group who have the skills and knowledge to overcome unseen challenges that lay ahead and have that network of experts they can turn to for advice and skills in case other hurdles appear. Our biggest obstacle after raising enough money, is getting our equipment made so that we can screen print the tree on the flags. We do have someone ready to build it for us though.
Please support our efforts to make Cascadian flags that are local and has the quality and authenticity of the artist. We look forward to celebrating our beautiful bioregion with the tricolor Doug flag. Please be sure to spread the word of this Indiegogo and to share it in the various online and offline communities. Your support will make this campaign successful and reaffirm the integrity of the flag.
The documentary we watched during this class was Legacy – The Origins of Civilization – Episode 1: Iraq, the Cradle Of Civilization (Documentary).
Copied from Youtube:
Host Michael Wood traces the rise of both Asian and Western civilization in one global perspective in these thought-provoking videos. From the crumbling ruins in the Iraqi desert to those of Greece and Rome, viewers contemplate thriving cities and complex societies that have vanished, a reminder that other nations prospered for thousands of years. Now all that remains is their legacy. 1. Iraq: Cradle of Civilization After thousands of years as a hunter/gatherer, man built the first cities 5,000 years ago on the banks of the Euphrates River. Civilization as we know it began with the glorious cultures of Ur, Nineveh, and Babylon.