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Change Team and Same Team

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This is for those who think there is something wrong with the way we live, believe it can be fixed, and are doing what they can to fix it. For these, this is something to consider.

In the name of simplicity, let’s pretend there are two teams. There is the change team and there is the same team. The change team wants change. The same team wants to keep things the same. Let’s also assume at eighteen years of age you get to choose a team. And yes, if you decide not to choose you are defaulted to the same team, though you might have decidedly less stuff :)

The same team is offering food, clothing, shelter, sex, and other basics at slightly above subsistence amounts in exchange for wage slavery and imaginative obedience. Imaginative obedience means that same team members do and think what they are told so as to keep things the same. And oh, they do offer a small percentage some a chance for higher than subsistence amounts of stuff as a motivation to work harder and/or smarter, but never enough to overcome the need for imaginative obedience.

The change team is offering a vision of what life could be like under some utopian way of living, free from imaginative obedience and subsistence. They are offering ideas or at worst the feeling of an idea. Oh, and to join the change team you’d better have figured out how to get all of the stuff you need for living because they are not really going to help you on that because the same team has the majority of the stuff.

Which would you choose?

This, I believe, is one way of expressing the current state of the change team.

Still, there are crazy people like me who join the change team because of the belief that it won’t always be the way it is and that the same team has it wrong. And yes, the change team is at present made up of unorganized viral like structures within the same team :)

What is the point of sharing the naked situation of the change team?

Because it points to one aspect of membership that will need to be addressed in moving any change agenda forward.

The change team must at some point be make or be able to make some kind of similar offering that the same team is with respect to the basics of material living. Whatever change team model is accepted, it must include a paid path to join. That is whatever one can produce or contribute to the change has be enough for that person to live off of. 

The reason for this is simple. Material beings need material to survive. People are more likely to listen and/or join if they can see that their immediate survival needs are met. This is a requirement even if one is called to great sacrifice for change team.

Finally what does one do with this freshly exposed need to provide basics to team members? What is the reason to even share this seemingly grim state of affairs?

I would suggest the following:
* Keep the assistance idea to be included in whatever model you are considering proposing to the change team.
* If you have materials to offer any change team members, do so.
* Think about ways in which you could move materials such that this offering to change team members and recruits is possible even before a workable model is worked out.
* The assistance idea is one that can most clearly starve the same team of the labor upon which it feeds.
* People are still joining, albeit in small numbers, despite the grim state of the change team. This could be pointing to how bad it really is on the same team. 

Social digestion of these ideas is the best way to improve upon them. All criticism is welcome. I’ll figure out what is helpful and what isn’t :)

 

Discussion 38 Comments

  • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

    Are you talking about how to transition from one state of affairs to another?

  • James Coleman 10th Apr 2019

    I am thinking about current state of affairs. How many of us will continue to work on this problem without recompense? Once a model is chosen it will still take some time, I imagine, to "jump start" the new economy. This is getting a little ahead of things I think.

    Let's say I work for Amazon in the warehouse. What is there for me in the new economy at the beginning? How do I contribute? How do you get me to stop working for Amazon and join the new economy? This is what the assistance idea attempts to address.

  • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

    So, your talking about transitioning from one economy to the other?

  • James Coleman 10th Apr 2019

    I am talking about one aspect of the transition from one economy to another. There are many aspects to consider in the transition (i.e. all of the models you shared). Additionally, I am trying to start a conversation on/keep at top of mind what can be done now by anyone considering participating in a transition.

    Every revolution I can think of was funded, top down or bottom up, mostly top down. Dalio can write all he wants about the ills of capitalism. I don't see him setting up shops in urban neighborhoods that educate workers on what they can do, like for example, taking over an industry and then shutting it down until demands are met. If access to the change team is not as easy signing up for the same team military, it will remain a no contest for those feeding the same team leaders.

    Time for me to relax. Getting heated works against clarity.

    I personally am much less interested in the models and more interested in creating the mind set that supports/looks for/understands the need for new models and is willing to invest what they currently have, whatever that is, into seeing a transition happen.

    Knowing the models is VERY important. I am not downplaying that at all. They will give me clarity on what actions now support movement toward the transition.

    Trying to remain clear in what I share :)

  • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

    But if you don’t know what your transitioning to how can you transition?

  • James Coleman 10th Apr 2019

    One can start to support activities that are anti whatever is happening now. A full model is not necessary to begin withdrawing your support for what is currently happening. i.e. civil disobedience and the related.

    • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

      Yeah, but civil disobedience, Dave Jones ruptural type work, or any action does not NECESSARILY mean those involved know what comes next and or on the same page in this regard. This was quite true of those deeply involved in the Occupy movement when asked about what they wanted for the future. Some had not even given it a great deal of thought, others were not necessarily convinced capitalism and markets were all bad and needed replacing other than say reform and regulation, and others were very anti-capitalist but maybe not in total agreement as to what to replace it with and I am sure there were a few Parecon advocates there.

  • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

    transitioning happens over time. Got to lay ground work, strategise etc..Gar Alperovitz says much of the work the NSP does is foundational on which the new movement for a new economy can emerge, on which people can rebuild and reorganise according to more fair, just and participatory systems. Push for it, using whatever means...inside or outside regular channels. It’s not like someone offers someone some sort of bribe or it’s a quid pro quo thing...it’s a societal, participatory thing. Not dissimilar to introducing a new green deal through regular political channels. People draw it up, show it to the people and the people decide whether it’s good enough to vote in. But of course revolutionary change is different in the sense that it could occur outside of regular channels and it could be quick or slow. But hopefully some movement grows around a particular compelling vision and it agitates and pushes for change. There will be sacrifices for sure, major changes to adjust to etc., but that’s generally accepted. That’s why it’s so hard to do and why the vision must be clear, coherent and convincing...compelling and possible...and then everyone helps in building strategy to achieve the end goal.

  • James Coleman 10th Apr 2019

    None of that precludes anyone from doing something now. Don't see why there would be any contention in doing things to weaken the current system...

    • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

      There isn’t...doing things NOW is exactly what the Next System Project and CommonsTransition is about. In fact it’s what most movements are about, solidarity economics and such. P2P stuff, open source stuff. Sharing economies, gift economies. Simplicity folk are doing stuff now. Zapatistas, Rojava, Kerala, Catalonia Cooperative, Preston England, Cleveland’s Evergreen Coop, parts of Venezuela and I’m sure many other places...some others are mentioned in CommonsTransition literature. Coops are about that. Mondragon is about that. Any self-managed company could attempt, internally, to introduce balanced job complexes for members now if they chose.

  • James Coleman 10th Apr 2019

    thanks for the feedback...I will update the copy to clarify this concern!

  • Boulder Dash 10th Apr 2019

    Chapter six of Schweickart’s After Capitalism is devoted to getting from here to there, from capitalism to economic democracy.

    Something like Schweickart’s model or ideas is, it seems to me, the most likely type of future economy...however, impending climate catastrophe places severe limitations on it as many believe much more drastic measures must be taken if we are to avoid EXTINCTION.

  • Alex of... 10th Apr 2019

    hi James C.. i'm around here sometimes, but currently pretty busy in a mix of basic life stuff as well as some pursuits on the table. thought i'd weigh in with a couple thoughts..

    you:
    "I personally am much less interested in the models and more interested in creating the mind set.."

    not you:
    "But if you don’t know what your transitioning to how can you transition?"


    i consider these things a bit of a balance and tend to resonate with some of the NSP efforts, language, actions.. that is, more than a lot of other pursuits. nothing ever really seems to be sufficient of course.

    as far as mindsets, i've boiled it down sometimes to two basics.

    one, ecological sustainability. there's some different interpretations on that, but it's at least clear that dependence on continuous use of finite resources (such as oil), and consumption of more than can replenish itself (such as fish), is a pathway to problems. plus, we need to understand and respect how ecosystems work as to not horribly disrupt other things by use of one thing within. chain reactions. petroleum/CO2, of course a biggie, but plenty else small and large.

    two, non-exploitation of other human beings. that could also be interpreted in different ways. i'll leave it that for now.

    as for number one, we've reached an unprecedented point of consumption, which is not even balanced consumption on a global-regional level, much less individual and local levels in a hi-tech industrialized nation such as the USA. far worse disparity on the global level i'm sure you know. to create some kind of sustainability, use of resources must have some form of regulated use to keep us from 'tragedy of the commons'. there are some.

    as for number two, i would consider it to be less exploitive, or more fair, when use of resources is also less disparate. less exploitive tends toward maximizing quality of life for all, as i see. and as you know, some individuals benefit far more from the use of resources AND the labor of others to create their living standard.

    i probably point to labor more than anything else, as the primary place to focus. that is, worker-ownership changes the power structure of wealth and decision-making from the more common hierarchical forms.

    that is something that can help build a mindset and experience as well as feed and clothe. without diving too deep on my more extended thoughts on that, how familiar are you with some of the existing cooperative models? or, what is your current impression of that kind of economic and decision-making shift?



    side notes:

    https://thenextsystem.org/about-next-system-project

    "Working with a broad group of researchers, theorists and activists, we are using the best research, understanding and strategic thinking, on the one hand, and on-the-ground organizing and development experience, on the other, to promote visions, models and pathways that point to a “next system” radically different in fundamental ways from the failed systems of the past and present and capable of delivering superior social, economic and ecological outcomes."


    Democratizing Labor, Capital, Democracy

    http://ouleft.org/wp-content/themes/wpremix3/images/AfterCapitalism.pdf

  • James Coleman 11th Apr 2019

    Thanks for the jumping into the conversation.

    My general comment is that I am looking for a way to help myself and the amazon worker right now where I am/we are. The theories of myself and any other academic are of little value when I have material responsibilities that I am trying to meet and the way that I interact with the system doesn't seem to supply my need.

    There are lots of responses to this including personal responsibility, choices, etc. I am not discounting them.

    BUT, when we know the system is bad for a lot of people and can't offer some kind of immediate relief other than ideas, to me it is not very different than going to church.

    I am not faulting anyone with this criticism. I am looking for those things that can be done locally with what people have. This is what is important to me.

    Even if I wanted do get involved with any of these other radical communities, how to do it is not really straight forward. It is not as easy as going down to the local Army recruiting station and signing up.

    I am arguing that if it is not that easy there is no real offering to those getting crushed by the system. I want to develop some kind of offering to those getting crushed now. Even if it merely a mental toolset that allows them to slowly withdraw their consent and redirect portions of their labor/spending such that some industries die and that others rise in service to their needs.

    I am grateful for finding this community. I did not realize how much has been done and how much others are doing. But when I walk outside my house and talk to people all of this here is not remotely in the consciousness of 80% of the people I meet. The rest feel powerless or will have one conversation and get back to their regularly scheduled program.

    Basically, I am spending my time thinking about this issue more than about how I get more money for myself. I find the latter empty and without value. How I wish I could turn this off, be like the other 80% and just enjoy life serving a system that only seeks to exploit. Or like the rest and just accept the exploitation and drudge on.

    It is very different responding to the actual heart cries of participants vs the theoretical offerings of some future state.

  • Boulder Dash 11th Apr 2019

    Yeah, get your frustration...always gaps between theory, vision and practicality...between ideas and actuality...from one region where change is happening and another where it isn’t...find some group that satiates that desire in your locale...build your own...start a coop...everyone involved in this kind of stuff knows it’s hard and frustrating...not like signing up for the army...the NSP and CommonsTransition are operating from a more practical perspective but it takes time...they’re aware of most of the things you’re raising...it’s hard to convince people about the need for change, let alone agree on what to change to, let alone to commit to involvement etc...

    Alex is probably better in this area...I just like to read.

  • Alex of... 11th Apr 2019

    i hear ya, as well James C. i mention worker-ownership models as they are not theoretical. they are, however, too few (imo). the potential of what can be transitioned by their expanded existence, is partly theoretical.

    theories on post-capitalism tend to point toward more "level" influence and outcomes. it seems that is also what you are aiming for, rather than the owner/wage-slave dynamic much of our society operates on (correct me if i'm wrong). those theories also tend to have strong roots in the history and ongoing development of worker-cooperatives. we can see from those existing models it is not just an abstract idea that people can function just fine without masters in or over the workplace. are there cultural myths to be shattered there?

    i too am interested in the developement of more toolsets that help establish a mindset for systemic change as well as tangible ways to direct energy or get oneself fed while creating a less exploitive world.

    i would suggest the Amazon wage-slave go become a worker-owner instead, but where is the option? and if that option is sparse, what is the option then? i can only suggest it needs to be created based on the success stories of existing entities, and has far more potential than fights for minimum wage hikes. i would say that the political organizing around minimum wage is valid but should be consistently building a connection to the need for worker-ownership, which it more often does not.

    and while i can also say it not just a distant utopian vision, it is also not a solve-all. but, as i see it is both the most necessary component of serious transition away from capitalism (or other top-down systems), as well as perhaps the most neglected by the activist community as a whole. i might say we need to move from beggar activism to replacement activism.

    a book or stack of books on the capitalist afterlife, i agree, is unlikely to inspire the average wage-slave. but if those visions or theories are built around democratizing our labor and wealth, then there is a tangible opportunity to implement that into a large portion of our economic activity sooner than later. huge amounts of money and energy are spent on protest. but, why not on creation?

    what about replicating and expanding on this?..



    (and.. is there a way more of us can feed ourselves now by placing energy into that?)

  • Boulder Dash 11th Apr 2019

    As to the stack of books I’ll just add that it obviously those trying to implement change often write them. They obviously want people to read them. The same with debates, discussions and essays one finds all over, at Z, the NSP and CommonsTransition.

    Information dispersal is absolutely necessary. That’s what is happening here. Conversation, sometimes frivolous, sometimes brutal appearing hostile, sometimes in between both. I suppose, assume, presume, James, you wish people to listen to you, to read what you write about your ideas...which remain theoretical until otherwise implemented. Without the spread of ideas, then nothing really happens. Even something practically implemented must be brought to the attention of a wider public to show what is possible. But that practical implementation requires further analysis and critique for things to further improve.

    In the end, there is never ever any separation whatsoever between the intellectual and intuitive, the theoretical and the practical. Even the existence of thoughts, colours in the head, gravity and other unseen forces that show action at a distance and quantum entanglement , prove that nothing is separate.

    But sometimes for the sake of clarity one needs to isolate systems from others to understand them better and maybe improve on them if they are human made. This is perhaps why, and this is merely a thought, my own theory, that the bizarre non linear nature of the dream state, even the daydream, won’t do while awake and trying to survive. Some things, perhaps always being generated in the head, get shifted into the background, the subconscious otherwise one’s existence would be constantly in jeopardy.

    • Boulder Dash 11th Apr 2019


      As to the stack of books, I’ll just add that obviously those trying to implement practical change often write about them.

  • Alex of... 11th Apr 2019


    my favorite book on utopia..

    I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

    • Boulder Dash 11th Apr 2019

      Excellent choice.

    • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

      Reminds me of a time I was at a pub and some trouble broke out. I wished I had a bat then, that night!

    • Alex of... 12th Apr 2019

      in the sequal, our main character has to come to deeper terms with his initial solution to having his utopian dreams crushed. what seemed to be accepting the real world and taking matters into his own hands, soon led to a pattern of simply bashing at everything that approached, driving him into isolation.

    • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

      Cool. Heading down Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane territory, or even Marvel.

      His last bashing was exhausting. He felt nothing. He remembered the exhilaration of his first and subsequent bashing’s. The thrill had indeed gone. Thunder broke out and rain came down. Hard and fast. He just stood there for a while, his bat touching the ground. It was getting dark. He needed a drink. He moved off slowly, slumping slightly forward, his bat scraping along the ground, it was truly over, he thought. He released his grip on the bat and it fell to the ground and rolled into the gutter. It was dark now. A lightning crack caught a glimpse of his silhouette for a moment, a sixtieth of a finger snap, as he shuffled away leaving behind only rain, hard and loud. He was truly alone now.

    • Alex of... 12th Apr 2019


      Lucille

    • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

      https://youtu.be/ouQ1_8acmZ4

  • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

    The point is, that maybe in a future world, a society built around and that fosters equity, solidarity, diversity, self-management and sane sustainable ecological relations, where the time spent at socially necessary actual work has been reduced, because it can be, to half or a third of what it is today, we will be able to let the mind run free.

    To indulge what was previously unindulgeable. To remain longer in dream states or crazy thought patterns because it’s ok and safe to do so...same optimal level health care is freely available to all at the same cost. Where educational institutions allow the free association of thought, creative indulgence in what previously was seen as useless and pointless, because we fuckin’ can and it won’t cause a murder.

    All the things that the current system disallows by virtue of its institutional structure, that prohibits the flourishing of our species being.

    Free improvising is my contribution to that state of being where creativity is unimpinged, dialectical, dialogical, a celebration of the sub-genius, that holds the genius at arms length as if to say, “no wait your fucking turn, this is my time you little shit.” And that time can be any time you wish, not dictated by a history, carved and shaped by absurd economic structures that favour a few, by luck at root, and subsequently maintained by force, presented to you on a platter by a bunch of self appointed wankers as unquestionable? Fuck that.

    Free improvising is about listening not tapping your foot or fucking. Not about wafting off into some hyper-sentimental imagining ignited by some standard harmonic and melodic perfect storm proven, through much expensive scientific research, to bring one to tears. Nah, it’s about doing, free from any possible commodification at all. Separate from The Spectacle.

    It’s about honesty (and sabotage)...and acknowledging that maybe your fucking dog could do it, but he didn’t did he, and if he truly can do it, send him on down, we’d dig it if he wants to play with us.



  • James Coleman 12th Apr 2019

    I like the idea of free spaces where you don't have to wait in line...I think kids would benefit most from this and be able to find themselves with more confidence without the need to compare.

    I am actually less interested in my own ideas than in living out some alternative method/model. I haven't found one that seems to be worth investing in/moving my family for/etc. There are a lot of variables to fill in.

    At the same time, I am interested in something that can work in Morocco as well as it can work in the US. Not that it is done the same way, but that the underlying principles work to produce something valuable in many different ways.

    Improvisation is key...love the idea.

    The information dispersal is necessary. Progress is slow. Even if I had the $20 million trust fund, it would still be slow. I just want to play my part to put it on/keep it on track as is dictated by the consciousness I allow to flow, or refuse to fight, however you'd like to put it.

    I'd like to be able to offer ideas on both fronts, top/down and bottom/up and see how they converge.

    I am confident however that the old ways of doing things, of trying to promote change are dead and that something else must take their place as people, workers and owners alike, decide that they don't want to live like this anymore...kind of like waking up a bunch of drug addicts, though admittedly, the metaphor goes a bit far :)

  • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/faculty/pages/wright/ERU.htm

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasContents&Preface.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh1.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh2.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh3.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh4.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh5.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh6.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/faculty/pages/wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh7.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh8.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh9.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh10.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasCh11.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasConcl.pdf

    https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Published%20writing/UtopiasBibInd.pdf

  • Alex of... 12th Apr 2019

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" ?

  • Boulder Dash 12th Apr 2019

    http://www.iopsociety.org/download/file/DEBATE-WITH-SCHWIECKART-AND-ALBERT_12-04-2019_21-42.pdf

  • Boulder Dash 13th Apr 2019

    http://www.iopsociety.org/download/file/TCM-Victory-Plan-1_13-04-2019_21-12.pdf

  • Boulder Dash 17th Apr 2019

    https://thenextsystem.org/sites/default/files/2019-04/RightToOwn_web_80.pdf