What we are doing
The following is an excerpt from Miki’s newsletter (March 2022):
One of the main appeals of capitalism is the illusion of freedom: “if I only have enough money,” so goes the narrative, “then I can do whatever I want.” Across our ailing planet, billions of people are now orienting to this narrative, placing the making of money in the position of highest goal. All of us, not only big corporations, build transactional, instrumental relationships and often aim to externalize the costs of our activities, including making even the cost to ourselves invisible to us.
I am calling it an illusion because we live on a finite planet, where the only outside input is sunlight. Only temporarily can any of us pull ourselves away from that thick web of mutual impacts that being part of the biosphere means. Our collective misguided effort to control rather than surrender to life is now threatening us and the entire biosphere. Pulling “out” of our interdependence doesn’t change its reality; it only means that what we do has worse impacts.
Our ancestors knew that. The overwhelming majority of them, as well as many billions still at the present, have lived in what in English is known as “the commons,” a word that doesn’t have easy translation into many other languages. This kind of life, which our group is aiming to revive and adapt to our current conditions and limitations, means binding ourselves on the material plane both to each other and to the material elements – land, other living beings, and all else – that sustain our capacity to live. It is precisely this way of living that capitalism opposes, as it keeps us oriented to each other and to land rather than to the market. This is, also, why establishing the capitalist social order, both initially in Europe and anywhere else where the transition happens, has come about through immense violence, and requires ongoing violence, often invisible to those who benefit from capitalism – which is most of us who have access to this newsletter – to sustain.
We are choosing to move towards togetherness, towards sharing all our resources and making all our decisions together, creating “no exit” conditions, reframing choice as being within togetherness rather than at odds with it, and exiting the market as much as our smallness and dependence makes possible. This choice is grounded in our belief that a global transformation is necessary and that pockets like ours that consciously take on showing the possible are part of what might support that in happening. We bring to this our experience, especially of the last nearly a year, of managing to maintain high trust and togetherness amongst us. I believe this is an essential ingredient. We are determined, and we are sufficiently like-minded to boldly move forward with this impossible task. None of us know what would work, if anything, to turn around the march to extinction. This is our attempt, and we surrender to it with clarity and lots of humility.