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News :: Education : Environment : Organizing : Politics : Technology
Chris Carlsson presents Nowtopia
12 May 2008
Outlaw bicycling, urban permaculture, biofuels, free software, even the Burning Man festival, are windows into a scarcely visible social transformation that challenges politics as we know it. As capitalism continues its inexorable push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money and markets, new practices are emerging that are redefining politics. In myriad ways, people are taking back their time and technological know-how from the market and in small under-the-radar ways, are making life better right now. In doing so, they hope to set the foundation--technically and socially--for a genuine movement of liberation from market life.
Saturday, May 17
7:00 pm
BOOK PARTY / FORUM
Lucy Parsons Center

Nowtopia
How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists & Vacant-lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today

Chris Carlsson

Outlaw bicycling, urban permaculture, biofuels, free software, even the Burning Man festival, are windows into a scarcely visible social transformation that challenges politics as we know it. As capitalism continues its inexorable push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money and markets, new practices are emerging that are redefining politics. In myriad ways, people are taking back their time and technological know-how from the market and in small under-the-radar ways, are making life better right now. In doing so, they hope to set the foundation--technically and socially--for a genuine movement of liberation from market life. The social networks thus created, and the practical experience of cooperating outside of economic regulation, become a breeding ground for new strategies and tactics to confront the everyday commodification to which capitalism reduces us all.

In Nowtopia, Chris Carlsson uncovers resistance and rebellion amidst fractions of a slowly recomposing working class in America. Rarely self-identifying as mere "workers," people from all walks of life are doing incredible amounts of work in their "free" "non-work" time in order to create immediate practical improvements in daily life. And, these myriad initiatives constitute a thorough-going refusal of politics and economics as usual. In Nowtopia, Marx's concept of the General Intellect is freshly applied to the disparate initiatives that are percolating largely out of public sight. Building on the investigative methodology developed by autonomist Marxists in Europe and the U.S.A., Carlsson recontextualizes the so-called "middle class" as an example of working class recomposition. With the practical rebellions outlined in this book, Carlsson posits a deeper challenge to the basic epistemological underpinnings of modern life, as a new ecologically-driven politics emerges from below to reshape our assumptions about science, technology and human behavior.

Chris Carlsson is a San Francisco author, Nowtopian, outlaw bicyclist and wannabe vacant-lot gardener. He has edited four collections of political and historical essays. His most recent book, After The Deluge, is a utopian novel of post-economic San Francisco. He was one of the original founders and long-time editor of Processed World magazine. He also helped to start the Critical Mass bicycling movement in San Francisco.

The Lucy Parsons Center
549 Columbus Ave
Boston's South End
www.lucyparsons.org
See also:
http://www.lucyparsons.org

This work is in the public domain
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