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[liberationtech] Decoupling from current power structures

Sebastian Benthall sbenthall at
Tue Jun 18 22:08:34 PDT 2013

I recommend reading Fred Turner's *From Counterculture to Cyberculture* for
interesting context on the ideological connection between sustainable
independent communities and tech culture.

Long story short, in the 70's the Whole Earth Catalog connected
back-to-land communes with recent tech research. Then the communes all
failed and the countercultural element within the cyberculture community
turned from radical independence to radical interconnectivity.  This was
about the time of the rise of the first virtual communities.  These
communities were way more successful than the isolationist ones.

Taking that as a model, maybe rather the right way to think about it is:
how to build an alternative distributed economy for food and shelter that
is not tied to centralized power structures.

While hardly radical, you could argue AirBnB does this sort of thing for
housing by disrupting centralizing limits on rented homes.

But that doesn't seem to be what you are getting at exactly.  Seems like to
decouple from the mainstream economy you would need to be able to both
incentivize production/appropriation of shelter (or food) into your
alternative system, and then create a mechanism for distribution that works
efficiently without just reproducing the problems of the market system we
already have.
On Jun 18, 2013 10:48 AM, "phryk" <input at> wrote:

> On Tue, 18 Jun 2013 09:40:23 -0400
> Bruce Potter at IRF <bpotter at> wrote:
> > in a nation of 300 million, and a global system heading for 10
> > billion, I don't see it.
> I didn't mean decoupling everybody at once. I am talking about
> loosening our dependance on them by introducing systems by the people
> for the people that would make at least the base needs of food and
> shelter available to people.
> Obviously this would be really small at scale, at least at first.
> You could for instance form a small community with the goal of
> providing shelter and food for everyone in an automated way.
> You wouldn't even need to declare your independence from the government
> or anything but just build it in parallel.
> If this at some point actually gets to the point where it works
> efficiently, it could simply be scaled up.
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