Building a foundation for a new world free from the market life.
We are tinkerers and smiths working in the waste streams and open spaces of late capitalism, conjuring new practices while redefining life’s purpose.
Engaging with technology in creative and experimental ways, Nowtopians are involved in a guerrilla war over the direction of society. In myriad behaviors and in small, “invisible” ways, Nowtopians are making life better right now — but also setting the foundation, technically and socially, for a genuine movement of liberation from market life.
As capitalism continues its inexorable push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money and markets, while simultaneously seeking to colonize our very thoughts and control our desires, and behaviors, new practices are emerging that are redefining politics and opening spaces of unpredictability. Instead of traditional political forms like unions or parties, people are coming together in practical projects.
The same inventiveness and creative genius that gets wrongly attributed to capital and business is being applied to planetary ecology. Acting locally in the face of unfolding global catastrophes (many avoidable were we really to try), friends and neighbors are redesigning many of the crucial technological foundations of modern life. These redesigns are worked out through garage and backyard “research and development” programs among friends using the detritus of modern life. Our contemporary commons takes the shape of discarded bicycles and leftover deep fryer vegetable oil, of vacant lots and open bandwidth. “Really really free markets,” anti-commodities, festivals and free service, imaginative products of an anti-economy, provisionally under construction by freely co-operative and inventive people. They aren’t waiting for an institutional change from on-high but are getting on with the building the new world in the shell of the old.
— Chris Carlsson, from Nowtopians in Degrowth: Vocabulary for a new era.