Your Plans For Revolution Don’t Work. Nothing We’ve Tried Works.
Caitlin Johnstone

I don’t know the answer either. In fact, I’ve been enjoying my retreat lately to a super yin space because otherwise I was gonna gas myself. I’m letting go of trying, screechingly, Twitteringly, to find the answer to the question of what’s next.

I read a really interesting article recently by anthropologists David Graeber (he of “bullshit jobs” fame) and David Wengrow. Something they said, about the evidence that certain civilisations have had not one way of organising themselves but a multiplicity, depending on the circumstances, has held my interest ever since.

“Quite independently, archaeological evidence suggests that in the highly seasonal environments of the last Ice Age, our remote ancestors were behaving in broadly similar ways: shifting back and forth between alternative social arrangements, permitting the rise of authoritarian structures during certain times of year, on the proviso that they could not last; on the understanding that no particular social order was ever fixed or immutable. Within the same population, one could live sometimes in what looks, from a distance, like a band, sometimes a tribe, and sometimes a society with many of the features we now identify with states. With such institutional flexibility comes the capacity to step outside the boundaries of any given social structure and reflect; to both make and unmake the political worlds we live in. If nothing else, this explains the ‘princes’ and ‘princesses’ of the last Ice Age, who appear to show up, in such magnificent isolation, like characters in some kind of fairy-tale or costume drama. Maybe they were almost literally so. If they reigned at all, then perhaps it was, like the kings and queens of Stonehenge, just for a season.”

What if the answer to “How do we organise ourselves?” is more a Heinz 57 varieties situation rather than a one-size-for-eternity ideological monoculture?