[act-ma] 5/17 Chris Carlsson (Critical Mass/Process World) on NOWTOPIA (Fri)

alexander alexander at endless-knot.com
Mon May 12 18:44:38 PDT 2008

Saturday, May 17
7:00 pm
Lucy Parsons Center

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  
it. As capitalism continues its inexorable
push to corral every square inch of the globe into its logic of money  
markets, new practices are emerging that
are redefining politics. In myriad ways, people are taking back their  
and technological know-how from the
market and in small under-the-radar ways, are making life better right  
In doing so, they hope to set the
foundation--technically and socially--for a genuine movement of  
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  
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  
from below to reshape our assumptions
about science, technology and human behavior.

Chris Carlsson is a San Francisco author, Nowtopian, outlaw bicyclist  
wannabe vacant-lot gardener. He has
edited four collections of political and historical essays. His most  
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  
San Francisco.

The Lucy Parsons Center
549 Columbus Ave
Boston's South End
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