What is PostRev?

Modern radical political theory suffers from a lack of vision.  There are many extremely well written analyses of the problems of modern societies.  However, there are comparatively few works describing the specifics of what a better future would look like.

Most works about new societies or better ways of organizing specific aspects of our current one are often filled with vague descriptions.  Most often, they describe their societies as the lack of certain negative qualities of our current world: no war, racism, sexism, hunger, poverty, etc.  But what do these worlds actually look like?  What would people’s day-to-day existence consist of?  Would a world lacking all these negative qualities be a utopia, or would there still be many unresolved social problems?

There is already a wealth of information about what a Post-Revolutionary society would look like from looking at intentional communities.  Many of these communities were formed specifically to address the elimination of many of the negative aspects of dominant culture, and have over decades of work established many systems and structures to that end.  This blog will focus on many of those systems.

Intentional communities of course are still a part of the larger global system.  The State still has jurisdiction over them, they are still dependent to varying degrees on external economic conditions, are still taxed, and so on.  While not free from the larger forces of dominant culture by any means, many intentional communities are relatively free to organize their internal structures as they wish, often largely ignored by the outside power structure, or sometimes are even able to achieve some degree of independence on their own.  Even while being negatively affected by dominant culture, many of the internal systems can help to mitigate or even eliminate many of those effects, and help to create a more positive conduct of life.

Working theories and practices about daily life in a post-revolutionary society are essential to the success of progressive and revolutionary goals:

  • These practices give us the vision of the world we are trying to create.
  • Having clear goals are essential for planning successful strategy and tactics, something that has often been overlooked in the struggles of the past decades.
  • Working models of post-revolutionary organization that exist on a small scale in pre-revolutionary society can be tested, revised, deployed, and consolidated while related struggles are waged to bring the rest of dominant culture to the point of being able to organize using similar models.  Instead of cutting off the head of the king and then wondering what should be done next, many working and well-tested models will already be available to choose from and adapt to local conditions.
  • The entire planet does not need to be involved in one unified strategy and tactic, coordinated by the Leadership.  Some people can focus on making these smaller working models of positive societies.  Others can focus on actions to move the part of society in which they have influence closer to their goals, and others still can try to alleviate the suffering of those who still are firmly entrenched in dominant culture.  Diversity of tactics and a multitude of alliances are needed.

What’s the deal with the title of the blog?

Because of intentional communities’ ability to internally organize based on these positive progressive or revolutionary goals, I am referring to these places as examples of Post-Revolutionary societies.

By “Revolutionary,” I mean groups or communities that are organized to achieve goals that are typically considered to be the ends of leftist ideologies (broadly defined), such as collective control of the means of production, equitable distribution of goods, egalitarian political organization, and other progressive social innovations.

By “Post-“, I wish to emphasise that many of these ends have been realized in these societies to a large degree.  I also want to draw attention to the methods in which people can get to a point where it could be considered that they have accomplished many of these major revolutionary goals.

“Practice” is used in multiple senses of the word at the same time.  It refers to the repeated actions, experimentation, and revisions that one must engage in to master a complex task, as in, practicing for the creation of a post-revolutionary society.  It means the action or process of doing something, as in, the practices of living cooperatively.  Finally, I also mean “practice” in the post-structuralist sense, which looks at how power is formed and functions by our everyday practices, how that constructs our identities, and to what degree post-revolutionary societies have the ability to intentionally shape these forces.


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