Towards Collective Liberation

Why running away from capitalism isn’t enough.


For most of my adult life, I have been anti-money. I just don’t like the stuff. It’s the worst part of capitalism, in my opinion. I honestly think we would all be better off without it, but I begrudgingly understand its uses.

When I think about a world without capitalism, I often imagine a world without money. Maybe we replace capitalism with a barter economy, or a more socialist economy where everyone agrees to distribute goods and services, or maybe we fall gently into a gift economy where folks just give what they have in excess. But the reality is that a world without capitalism might still be a world with money, just minus the excessive hoarding.

I’ve been thinking a lot about systems that exist outside of capitalism lately. This is a core tenant that connects the stories that are being shared in Novitas Magazine. Existing outside of capitalism feels like a tall order some days, and other days it feels super duper accessible, as if all we actually need to do is flip this switch. I mean, how hard is it to imagine a world where people don’t stockpile resources and material wealth? Most of us are already living this way. Is the secret to dismantling capitalism as easy as draining rich people’s bank accounts?

Obviously, there’s a bit more work to do: the bank accounts need to be drained and then not replenished immediately. We need to do more than just remove money from our lives. Shifting to a post-capitalist economic system requires a fundamental shift in our cultural narrative—a story that we’ve all been told from birth about things like the nature of success, what it means to live comfortably, and treating other human beings the same way that we would like to be treated. There’s a shift required from competition to collaboration, and what the value of “hard work” might mean.

Building systems in a post-capitalist society might be as easy as deprioritizing profit and growth. But I think there is actually a second, harder part that requires us to reprioritize well-being and connection.

When coming up with the qualifying criteria for what stories should be shared in Novitas, I knew they should be stories about people building systems outside the capitalism paradigm. This has been my passion—my rabbit hole—since I started this blog.

How do we parent outside of capitalism?

How do we exchange goods outside of capitalism?

What do our relationships look like outside of capitalism?

How do we govern ourselves outside of capitalism?

What is the value of work outside of capitalism?

How do we have our basic needs met outside of capitalism?

What does it mean to be in community outside of capitalism?

Answering these questions has helped build vision and provide clarity, but I learned over time that the rejection of capitalism wasn’t enough. You can just opt out in a vaccuum. There was still a piece that was missing.

You can’t just be opposed to something; you need to have a goal to strive towards and a direction to travel. Running away from capitalism wasn’t enough. I wanted something that we were clearly running towards. And so, the second part of the Novitas tagline: towards collective liberation.

Collective liberation is a concept rooted in social justice within the context of struggles against various forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, ageism, transphobia, and other systems of inequality. Rather than focusing solely on the liberation of one specific group, collective liberation recognizes that different forms of oppression are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. It acknowledges that no one is free until everyone is free and that efforts to fight oppression must be intersectional.

It’s clearly not enough to just move away from capitalism; we need to shift our cultural narrative to one of collective liberation. When we ground our solutions in the context of the liberation of all, the focus becomes clear.

These are the stories that I am so excited to share. They are stories, solutions, and approaches that recognize that none of us can be free until we are all free, and freedom will only be realized when we can fully dismantle the systems of oppression that are grounded in capitalism.

There are 10 more days of pre-sales for the first issue of the magazine. I’m eagerly awaiting a test print. If you’re like me and love the idea of holding a physical object in your hand so you can consume these stories and ideas offline with time for pause and thought, I’d encourage you to pre-order, as there will only be a limited number for sale afterwards.

pre order here

If you’re not able to order a print copy, don’t despair. I’m equally excited to share these stories online through the substack, blog, and podcast. The podcast, in particular, because we’ll have room to get deeper into everything. I’m really very excited.

The shift from late-stage capitalism to a post-capitalist society is not going to be easy. It’s not just about removing money from the equation. We may never get there (I’m honestly an eternal pessimist at heart…), but I know that if we have a fighting chance, the approaches we need to take have to be multi-faceted, chaotic, and from the ground up. Some approaches will involve protest. Some will involve healing. Some will involve violence. Some will involve re-education. All of them will require love, compassion, and connection. The ones I am enamoured with are approaches to building the new. We need these new systems—ones that are so approachable and accessible that the transition to them is as easy as breathing.

This is why I want to share the stories of those who are already on the ground, doing this work of building the new out of the ashes of the old.


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