Outside the Circle

Cindy Milstein

Paths toward Utopia

(Written in 2009; forthcoming in 2012 in Paths toward Utopia: Graphic Explorations in Everyday Anarchism, a book of picture-essays with Erik Ruin on PM Press)

Paths are never straight lines. They zigzag, journey uphill & down. But when we put our best foot forward, we just might venture in utopia’s direction, toward a world from below, by & for all.

We bike together, make food together, sing or read together & laugh. We open free clinics & infoshops, liberate houses, create public art & take care of each other. We make decisions collectively & self-manage. These are, just maybe, the hardscrabble paths toward utopia.

We turn stoops into agoras,
overgrown lots into community farms,
foreclosed buildings into homes & social centers.

We reclaim space,
& then try to expand this new commons.

We deschool & unschool,
write & share our own literatures,
set up free universities, bookfairs & study groups.

We rethink education,
& then try to school ourselves in freedom.

We socialize creativity,
uncouple art from commerce,
experiment with do-it-ourselves culture.

We reappropriate the imagination,
& then try to make our ethical yearnings into lived realities.

We form affinity groups,
cooperative self-organized projects,
directly democratic assemblies & confederations.

We reconstitute our power,
& then try to make it ever-more horizontal.

We gingerly find stepping-stones to more marvelous destinations. Then strive to cobble together whole landscapes out of nonhierarchical practices. We kick broken glass from our way. Sometimes get lost. But the precarious passage itself is our road map to a liberatory society.

We hold hands, desiring to traverse anew. When darkness descends, we build campfires from the embers of possibility, & see other flames in the distance.

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2011 by in Essays.
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