Creating global prosperity without economic growth

This article was originally published on Bronislaw Magazine, under a Creative Commons License. 

Acorn community is composed of 30 adults running an enterprise and sharing land and income. This essay describes the personal experience of living in this commune that wants to change the basic tenets of capitalist economic system and work organization.

“Relationship represents the greatest challenge for the individual, for it is only in relationship to others that unresolved problems still existing within the individual psyche are affected and activated. (…) The friction that arises out of relating with others can be a sharp instrument of purification and self recognition if one is inclined to use it.”  – Eva Pierrakos

Introduction and the question

Talking about my writing project, people often reacted with the binary type of thinking: the change of the economic system is either possible or impossible, the latter opinion represented by the majority of my interlocutors. Instead of this question that can only lead to an impasse, I propose to explore the possibilities of transcending the system in the present moment. The examples of intentional communities and alternative work organization can reveal what kind of human development would be needed as a path towards a postcapitalist life and economy. Pre-capitalist indigenous communities were able to organize their lives differently and had a different culture. Emotional and mental capacities can change over time. So there is no natural way people are but we are conditioned by the present culture and socialization. Communities create certain culture and individuals within communities evolve by participating in them. On a small scale, through building spaces of collective autonomy, systemic change is happening already now. 

Acorn Community postcapitalist commune

What is the personal experience of living in a community that wants to change the basic tenets of economic system and work organization? Certainly, each community is different and the individuals living there determine the atmosphere, so my description cannot serve as a base for generalization. Some parts of the text have been already published in three on p2p Foundation Blog articles elaborating on different aspects of the community organization. In this article, I add some aspects that may be of importance for the people considering joining or creating a community, such as human relations, living standards, and free time activities. [Read more…]

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