Revolutionary Positivity: An Editorial Statement

Better Worlds, Brighter Futures strives for revolutionary social and environmental change. We do this through analysis of our present situation both locally and globally (economics, politics, pop culture, etc); through education both online and in real-world study groups (affinity groups); and through organizing collectively to move toward the better worlds and brighter futures we wish to see. We refer to the plural to recognize the diversity in struggles and visions that move us toward a unified goal of liberation.

Better Worlds, Brighter Futures recognizes the power of the negative in all its senses and across all aspects of contemporary society: in the hyper-individualistic ethos that rejects community and solidarity for greed and egoistic self-interest; in the prevalence of apathy and cynicism among society and in pop culture; in the rise of backward political and religious ideologies that promote domination and inequality; and in systems of economy that deprive people of their dignity and the full value of their labor.

Better Worlds, Brighter Futures believes that the task of the revolutionary today is, in Hegelian fashion, to tarry with this negative. It is not enough to offer critique. Our engagement with the negative is defined through positive affirmation, recognizing that the critique of a thing is inherent in the alternative presented. Through this process we define the superiority of our ideas as against the current status quo. Rather than being anti-capitalist we advocate collective and communal methods of production and distribution. Rather than being anti-statist we advocate horizontal, directly democratic forms of decision making. Out of these alternatives a vision of the new world arises.

Better Worlds, Brighter Futures’ impetus to revolutionary struggle is fundamentally ethical. The ecological crisis presents both challenge and opportunity. It is a problem that demands immediate solutions not above or separate from those needed to alleviate the exploitation and suffering of the world’s working class. In social ecological terms: the domination of humanity over nature is rooted in the domination of human over human. Therefore the truly ecological society is simultaneously the liberated, egalitarian human community.

Contributors to Better Worlds, Brighter Futures practice a prefigurative politics, embodying the ideals inherent to ethical revolutionary struggle, and filling concepts of solidarity, community, care, and intimacy with meaning. Projects arising out of our lived values serve to improve the lives of the working class under capitalism while creating new models of infrastructure and decision-making necessary for a sustained oppositional movement. We strive to develop systems of community and solidarity to eliminate scarcity and unnecessary suffering of all people.

We live in an age of absurdity. In a period of material abundance we suffer from scarcity of imagination. As Slavoj Zizek has observed, it is easier for most to visualize the end of the world than even small reforms to the institutions of capitalism and the state. The power of the negative perpetuates the notion of capitalism as the “end of history,” – meaning that such a system is the pinnacle of human achievement and further development is impossible. Yet alternatives exist.

We are idealists. We are utopians. We unabashedly write recipes for the kitchens of the future. Yet our idealism is tempered by that which can exist concretely. Our utopia is the society that can, ought, but also must be created, given the extremity of ecological and societal circumstance. We articulate ourselves positively. We are optimistic, but not naïve. We are ethical in thought and action. We are prefigurative in action and relation. We have higher standards for ourselves, each other, and our world. This is Better Worlds, Brighter Futures. 

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