jean on a different game
jean fb share:
I was thinking today about my privilege in feeling confident about transcending capitalism.
I haven’t been a fan of capitalism since about 1993. And while I played the game well and seem to have kept my nose above water most of the time, I could never unlearn or forget the anticapitalist/ Marxist, postcolonial education I got in college.
In the 90s, I was published in a marxist literary journal while working in International Finance and thought it was totally hilarious.
The father of my kids loves garage sales and flea markets and I thrived on thrift stores. Anything is cheap if you wait for it in these secondary markets.
I worked in philanthropy, and I studied coaching. I broke my own limits of imagination and resourcefulness. And I shifted into valuing the gift economy much more, before we talked about the sharing economy. Years in social entrepreneurship and digital community…some of those years at or below the poverty line (goddess bless my kids for their patience). All leading to a commitment to P2P and most recently working toward Commons-based economies. I have been moderately wealthy at times, but also rather hand to mouth at others. I have seen how capitalism eats us all (but mostly the poor).
I am not trying to brag. These are simply facts of my life that lead up to a privilege of living beyond the patterns of capitalism. Things that make it easy for me to say that more of us could get more of our needs met in a 21st hybrid that moves beyond the political and economic systems of the last century. We can leave behind this rapacious capitalist form, but still have markets, and yet create more thriving (while also feeling safer!!!). I have been living into it, as much as possible, in various ways, my whole adult life. I am so ready for all of us to shift too.
I humbly apologize for being cocky about how easy it seems to just play a different game together.
then in comments:
I totally have the sense that everything we need is already around us just in prototypes.
Mutual aid is part. Cooperatives are another. (lots of businesses are coops but most consumers don’t notice. My insurance is a coop. Some of our city gets electricity via a coop. There are grocery and hardware stores, etc. I think it can be a hard slog to start things as a coop, but I want to see more guides on how to shift successful biz into one and now the time is prime.) We love our farmers markets and shop local. B corps and other ways of putting limits on businesses.
Getting our libraries to be sharing centers and maker spaces. Making agreements with neighbors about sharing a lawn mower or snow plow.
Disentangle from box stores, wall street, and the rapacious ways capitalism shows up.
Explore businesses that have odd models where basics are almost free but fancy features or high touch costs more.
jean’s response to this on fb:
that feels right for some domains but not all. I imagine different ways of acknowledging value fit to the constraints. Something enabling us to trade a rivalrous item like precious metals had much different constraints than my time cleaning your kitchen.
I feel like I could write for hours about the various opportunities and how they are already here but not scaled enough yet.
What I haven’t been able to nail yet is how these forms help us address supremacy. White, Male, heteronormative, neuro-typical etc being defaults and rigging the game. Some of it has to do with something bigger than these small plays… Something about truth and reconciliation. Restorative justice. Something that stops the “merit” game being so rigged and capitalism is this rapacious manifestation of that.
yeah that.. i don’t think those forms help us address supremacy.. i think that’s what the measuring ness does.. perpetuate supremacy.. we have to trust that people are enough.. no need to train/merit.. et al