• Kali

A Short Definition of Anticapitalism

Many of us are thinking about anticapitalism after a year of really intense shifts in work and life, and the ways that our organizations, workplaces, and institutions for the most part haven’t adapted to a pandemic (and were already ableist, racist, and obsessed with squeezing as much profit as possible from us before that).

Capitalism is both an economic system and a set of cultural practices that are based in extracting labor from people & resources from land. It’s rooted in settler colonialism and slavery. It accumulates an unthinkable (no, really, have you tried to think about what a billion of anything is?) amount of wealth for a few people. It erases relationships and encourages/requires us to act like we don’t have relationships much of the time.

Jen Lemen and Toi Smith are two people I’ve learned this definition from - their individual and collaborative work, including over at Business for the People is a brilliant gift to the collective (and to me, personally).

So, anticapitalism means being against capitalism. I think about it less like a tug of war, though, and more like letting the rope go altogether. Anticapitalism is rooted in dreams of a future and knowledge of present/past practices where the dominant economic system isn’t extractive, and where our security is rooted in our relationships and care for each other. Anticapitalist practice prioritizes people and the earth’s well-being over profit, questions business as usual, and finds ways to care for each other despite the systems telling us we should only be looking out for ourselves.

Less ideology and more how does this feel in your body?

Less change this thing and change your life and more that’s a systems problem, not a personal failing.

Less if you just try harder you can make it on your own and more it’s good when we’re together.

Here on the river, the shorelines are filled with seeds carried here by the overflowing water - a significant part of this ecosystem, and at the same time an abundance worthless to capitalism. And I don’t think I can say it any better than that.

If you’re interested in learning more about my coaching, or know someone who might want to work with me (angst about your job or what the heck you should be doing with your life is a good indicator), there’s lots of ways to connect with me - I send out bi-weekly email notes, have sliding scale monthly check-ins through Patreon, and offer 1:1 coaching work for people leaving their jobs, seeking career changes, working on writing or other creative projects, or who feel stuck around work or purpose under capitalism.

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