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Postcapitalising post carbon for the win

By Karun Cowper - posted Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Closer to home, Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale's message to the "Left Renewal" Greens faction for them to "find a different political home" if they wanted an end to capitalism can only be interpreted as him being an adherent to a similar sustainable capitalist framework.

For Di Natale, Gore and their ilk, who knows whether it is a message aimed at not appearing too radical or whether for them it's truly easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism? No doubt this sentiment speaks to the despair in the hearts of many a stalwart environmental (and social justice) campaigner resigned to the ongoing abject failures of the left and not feeling there is anywhere else to turn.

And sadly, apart from this sustainable capitalist delusion, for many all we have is opposition. Urgent, necessary, critically needed opposition. But where is our vision for a world beyond this opposition, beyond our current impasse? Where are our practical creative solutions in the here and now that will enable us to transition to a future that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling? Where is the ideological and economic framework that will lift our vision, our hearts and our feet on a trajectory towards meaningful victory beyond a single campaign? What is our narrative?


For me, the most hopeful narrative emerging is that coming together of various threads I have touched on above which we can call postcapitalist. My belief is that authentic green movements have a critically important role to play in this new economic movement. None more so than grassroots groups such as Friends of the Earth with their rhizomic practice of community organising.

In our campaigning, there are clear echoes in the way that we organise non-hierarchically, in our capacity to bring out the best in each other via Peer-to-Peer (P2P) governance processes and consensus decision making. In our cooperative use of collaborative technologies and digital media platforms and tools. In our sharing of common resources. In our practice of open sourcing our knowledge through citizen journalism, citizen science, grassroots educational resources and processes. In our Neohumanist values that recognise our precious environment as a commons to be cherished and managed for the welfare of all living beings. In our solidarity with First Nations and oppressed peoples around the world and our capacity to engage with them and invite their leadership in non-tokenistic ways. In our recognition that capitalism isn't working.

All of these above are common skills and practices to grassroots environmental activists and New Economy/postcapitalist movements. Postcapitalism is not about inventing something new or imposing unrealistic utopias but is about building on existing movements, emerging successes and resilient ecosystems. It's about prefiguring, as much as is conceivable, the lives we want in the here and about maximising progressive utilisation of both ancient and modern, physical and non-physical, human and non-human potentialities.

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For more information about the New Economy in Australia check out the New Economy Network Australia at .

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About the Author

Karun Cowper is a ratbag citizen journalist and activist based in Perth. He is a Friends of the Earth Australia operative and new economy, P2P, commoner tragic.

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New Economy Network Australia

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