We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life After Capitalism, Part 3

from The End of Capitalism. The concluding segment of the interview with Alex Knight.  

Assuming his theory is correct about the demise of capitalism, he avoids being prescriptive about what life will be like after capitalism except to offer some broad features. For more specific descriptions of new societal organizations, I refer you to the models on the upper right hand side of my blog. [down from there now]

I especially like his metaphor of working people's relationship with the ruling capitalist classes as that of an abusive relationship with a spouse, and the similar recommendations about getting out of this relationship in order to heal.
I see capitalism as a system of abuse. The system grows by exploiting people and the planet as means to extract profit, and by refusing to be responsible for the ecological and social trauma caused by its abuse. Therefore I believe any real solutions to our problems must be aligned to both ecological justice and social justice. If we privilege one over the other, we will only cause more harm. The planet must be healed, and our communities must be healed as well. I would propose these two goals as a starting point to the discussion.