The City: Time to Turn to One Another

April 15, 2014 1 Comment

At IISC we are orienting our selves towards the City.  These are the places where most human beings will live.  They are the theater of human struggle, and thus for liberation.  And as Jen points out, they just might be the key to sustainability.


Inequality is tearing our society apart.  Oligarchy’s global claw back has been relentless, and potentially self-destructive.  We are governed by moneyed interests and the precariat have been abandoned.

Cities are trying to respond, notes a recent NY Times article:

But economists from across the political spectrum warn that the policy choices available to local governments might, at best, do little more than soften the blow from rising inequality.

The article focuses on policy solutions, and those are indeed few at the local level.  But I wonder if it is time to rethink the progressive tendency to demand federal solutions.  Have things changed so much, has our national government been so thoroughly coopted, that we might be better off demanding local control?

Even more interesting, and part of what I see IISC contributing to, are solutions that do not depend on policy.  Or solutions that can be followed by policy.

In this peer-to-peer revolution that has been unleashed by our technological breakthroughs, how can we turn to one another at a much larger scale than was ever thought possible?

As coordination costs drop to unprecedented levels, what are the possibilities for our mesh economy?  For our sharing economy?  For local alternative currencies?  For regional food security?

This coming together can change us.  Let us seek to stop working within the constraints of a system that has become obsolete.  Let’s take matters into our own hands.  Let us turn to one another, change the city and change the world.

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