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Greenpepper Project Launches "Life Beyond the Market" Issue

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  • stevphen shukaitis
    ... Greenpepper Project Launches Life Beyond the Market Issue Greenpepper Magazine (www.greenpeppermagazine.org), an Amsterdam based autonomist and direct
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 11, 2004
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      :: Please Forward Widely ::

      Greenpepper Project Launches "Life Beyond the Market" Issue

      Greenpepper Magazine (www.greenpeppermagazine.org), an Amsterdam based
      autonomist and direct action oriented magazine, is proud to announce the
      release a special issue on the theme of “Life Beyond the Market.” The
      issue covers a wide variety of topics from gift economies and gender to
      Yugoslavian worker self-management, community currencies to the occupied
      factories of Argentina, critically interrogating existing realities and
      practices to draw out the liberatory possibilities contained within.

      Released to coincide with the Life After Capitalism gathering in New York
      City, the issue features contributions from an impressive array of
      international organizers, activists, and writers. Collaboratively designed
      and edited, the issue seeks to redefine and expand the bounds of activist
      media projects through developing new approaches to communicating radical
      politics, shaping and forming languages of autonomy and aesthetic
      possibilities.

      For more information about the Life Beyond the Market issue please
      contact: stevphen@....

      Greenpepper Project
      www.greenpeppermagazine.org
      CIA Office
      Overtoom 301
      1054 HW
      Amsterdam The Netherlands
      +31 (0)20 779 4912
      US Phone: 973 985 3786 (until the end of September)


      Living Liberation Now! Post-capitalist Economics and the Possibilities of
      the Present

      Between forgotten past and utopian future the insurgent multitudes seem to
      lack a present, a praxis for the immediate realization of desires and
      liberation from the fetters of the rationalized spaces created by the
      market and the state. Confronted with the demands of “what are you for?”
      the necessity of articulating and implementing living alternatives to
      present systems of domination becomes all the more pressing. For it is not
      a present that we lack, but rather a critical focus drawing from existing
      practices in the present to construct future realities.

      But before beginning formulating visions of what a post-capitalist society
      might look like it is necessary to briefly consider what is economics.
      Economics is general describes the social relations of production,
      distribution, and consumption of social goods that reproduce a society.
      Under western capitalism it is the dismal science: the technical forms of
      knowledge necessary for creating and maintaining spaces of control through
      forms of imposed market relations and exchange, an elaboration of
      production based upon the maximization of one value, profit. Economics
      constitutes the almost religious, mystical, and unquestioned cornerstone
      of a worldview that naturalizes market relations as an outgrowth of a
      particular conception of human nature, one which underlies claims that all
      other possible forms of human relations are unwise at best and more than
      likely totalitarian. It is the elaboration of forms of knowledge necessary
      for the subsumption of all social life and value within the gridded spaces
      created by processes of quantification and measurement through market
      exchange.

      But capitalism does not and cannot totally colonize existing social
      realities. There still exist spaces and cracks in the sterile projections
      of control the twin forces of the state order and the market create. Here
      are located organic orders and practices that constituted and supported
      life before the existence of the market, underlie and continue to support
      the social order, and are constituent of life beyond the market. In these
      spaces, which contain everything from gift giving practices to community
      currencies, self-managed factories to barter networks, it possible to form
      new social relations and build the beginnings of new conceptions of
      community and social interactions.

      The question of what life beyond the market might look like then involves
      the articulation of a different conception of economics, of the means
      through which a liberatory social order might reproduce and support
      itself. This is not a question of coming up with impossible projections or
      blueprints that can be implemented “after the revolution” or any other
      real or imagined historical rupture, but rather the process of seeking out
      the cooperative projects and processes that already exist through out the
      world and history to build links and networks between them.

      It has been observed that is it easier for many to imagine the end of the
      world than the end of capitalism. Such is not an accident, but part of
      naturalizing and reifying certain forms of social interactions, rendering
      impossible the existence of alternatives, of any other possibilities. By
      examining existing cooperative economics structures and practices, forms
      of non-alienated production and experience, a sense of possibility is
      restored. Rather than an impossible imagined and projected total rupture
      we find a multiplicity of revolutions of and within daily life,
      anti-environments and spaces of possibility that contain within themselves
      incipient forms of a new world. Rather than adopting the optics of power,
      the perspective that claims triumphant capitalism has ended history, such
      a perspective recasts the multitude of existing cooperative economic
      practices as possible nodes in forming rhizomatic networks whose spread
      that can produce ruptures and breaks in the colonization of daily life by
      the market enabling the emergence of another social order, one that
      acknowledges human dignity as a higher value than unquestioned pursuit of
      personal profit.

      Is this utopian? Yes, but it is a utopia not of distant and imagined
      futures, but rather one that starts from the practical realities of
      everyday to imagine the possibilities of other worlds hidden and
      constrained by the imposition and gridding of our social worlds by
      capitalist relations. Beneath the factory the forest still grows. By
      framing and considering these questions and concerns in such a way it will
      be possible to shift the terrain of debate and discourse of the creation
      of a post-capitalist world from the realm of abstract imagined
      impossibility to the liberatory possibilities located within the present.
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