the systems we are building now are just transition steps, not the answer

wednesday, i was having lunch with andrew and in our wide ranging conversation i was sharing a lot about this past facing race (blog post coming soon via the css blog). one of the things i was fascinated by was some stuff adrienne said about winning and losing. basically, she was like… we have to shift our thinking from the frame and winning and losing being what matter. what should matter is that we’re headed towards more and more freedom. in that process we will win sometimes and lose sometimes, but that’s not what drives us. what drives us is the perpetual forward motion towards liberation.

and then andrew mentioned something he read somewhere that really landed with me. he said something to the effect of: what should think about the solidarity economy (and i imagine all other things similar to it) as transition from the world we know to the one we want. because most of us only know this world we have, we don’t know what the world we want fully looks like. most of us only have some ideas about how it might work, but we don’t have the full picture.

makes perfect sense to me and solves a couple of important problems i’ve thought of/had.

  1. in order to get to what we want, we have to build step by step. and along the way, the thing we’re building, take the solidarity economy for example, won’t be perfect. and it’s not intended to the new world. it’s intended to be better than what we have but not yet the full manifestation of what we want. we will begin to see the edges of what we really want by taking the in between step. this relieves some of the pressure from having to have all the answers or the whole picture before getting started with a new model. in many ways, this framing challenges “the next system” framing. i feel some folks in that space have begun to think “next system” means “final system” and that just doesn’t sit right with me (particularly because those folks are mostly cis het white dudes).

  2. it means we can all be critical of the system we’re currently building. no one has to hold onto it tightly because we all would agree that it’s just a step, not the end.

anyway, i love that framing and someday maybe me or andrew will find out where andrew read that idea.

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