'Dys'-organisation literally means 'we have no interest in creating an organized structure' for our work. We are not interested in forming a group as, in our view, that would create obstacles to achieving our aims. What we are interested in is sharing our resources in order to address the contradictions not only within society, but also within the environmental movement.
It's this latter objective which sometimes makes our approach rather controversial.
Today the 'mainstream' environment movement has been captured by the economic dialogue of government and politics – wrapped within the dialogue of lobbying and marketing within which such debates take place in the media.
Mainstream campaign groups have become trapped, unable to act against the modern 'suicide cult' of economic growth because they cannot elucidate the ideas at the heart of the opposing contention – of ecological limits, lifestyle change, and, as the most direct route to achieving that, economic degrowth and adopting a more simple lifestyle.
One of the main reasons for that is their need to utilize a large amount of resources to keep their organisations functioning.
The Free Range Network are a 'network' because that enables co-operation without the need to maintain an organisation. By lending our individual resources to the Network, we create the capacity to undertake work in common. At the same time, this gives us freedom as individuals to work on the issues which drive our own interests.
This is the question we see asked in the media every day – with a variety of answers depending upon the political persuasion of those making the point.
Thing is, is that fundamental question correct?
Change is not "thing"; change is a difference in human consciousness, the understanding of which creates physical change in the way humans act towards each other and the world around them.
Change happens when we realize that we are able to do something, or we are convinced that what we have been doing is wrong and must do things differently. But for this change to happen, the idea has to precede the deed, and the deed must be practical.
You could, for example, create massive change by doing nothing; if 'doing nothing' broke you out of a cycle of actions which trapped you in a pattern that was not helping you progress.
The difficulty is that so much of the change that is talked of today is built around "things" – either: Building them or building something to replace them; or buying them or buying something to replace them. Even 'green' ideas have largely become a construction or consumption agenda, rather than minimizing our use of resources by changing our lifestyle.
Rarely do we ever see an argument about "not having" growth or development, and instead dismantling systems or technologies which are creating problems in the world today.
That's because, irrespective of whether you're a right-wing capitalist or a left-wing trade unionist, the only conception of change in society is built around the production, acquisition or possession of "stuff". Alternately, that the only measure that government has of improvement is throwing more money at a problem, rather than changing the way that policy is enacted.
In a world which values "stuff", unless you change the fundamental metrics which we use to value society, you can only measure change in terms of a change in "stuff" – and striving to "have more" of it.
Those values change when we as individuals start to change our personal values, and then express them in public; to accept that the simplest solutions may be 'less', or to 'do nothing'.
What the latest research around ecological limits tells us is that the 'stuff-based' model for a happy life is flawed; the whole thing, not just the elements within it. Consequently encapsulating change as a consumption or development agenda fails to address the root causes of the crisis.
Even the green movement has been caught up in this vacuous debate. Instead of arguing for changes in the level of overall consumption, today the green movement looks to 'sustainable' or 'green' consumption – despite the evidence on the impacts of that policy which indicates it will not create sufficient change to address the problem for which it is being undertaken.
Change has to be a process of consciousness; a process of accessing the objective information on the state of the world around us, and then finding ways to express that new understanding through change in our own lives.
Change happens when people act differently; not 'think', not 'lobby', not 'petition', but actually 'do'?.
The strength of that change tends to be more wide-ranging and permanent when that change comes from their own choice, rather than it being enforced upon them.
The Free Range Network and the Free Range Activism Website exists to communicate the information, and understanding of our modern world, required for people to define their own solutions. And from that process of personal action, to create more widespread change from the grassroots.
How we do that depends on the context:
Fundamentally then, the Free Range Network aims to create 'change' not directly, but through enabling others to express their own desire for change using the information or materials which we supply to them. We do not enforce what that change is; our aim is to supply the means whereby people able to express themselves to make that demand for, or better still create, change.