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Cultural Activism, Post Capitalism & Kenotic Anarchy

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Arlyn Culwick's presentation at the Johannesburg New Ideas for Africa session on 20th October 2009.

Arlyn is founder of Kenosis Transport Services, an initiative that aims to destabilize what he believes is a corrupt and exploitative taxi industry, it empowers drivers, and makes money. The big idea:

1) Buy taxi
2) Pay off taxi
3) Transfer ownership to the driver
4) Repeat steps 1-3
5) Destabilize a dirty monopoly

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Cultural Activism, Post Capitalism & Kenotic Anarchy

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Why do anything?<br />Why do business?<br />On Kenosis Transport Services<br />Cultural Activism<br />What’s the best way to do business?<br />
  3. 3. Why do anything?<br />Kenotic Anarchy<br />If you love, it entails two things:<br />Martyrdom<br />Anarchy<br />Anarchy-as-kenotic (& kenosis-as-anarchic) <br />‘Kenosis’ – literally, ‘self-emptying’; unselfcentredness.<br />
  4. 4. Why do business?<br />Post-Capitalism<br />What’s the point of a business?<br />What is the most valuable/important thing a business can do?<br />To benefit the world (i.e. people, society, everything else) maximally.<br />Therefore, be oriented around this objective.<br />
  5. 5. Kenosis Transport Services<br />Pick an enemy...<br />The taxi industry is exploitative, murderous, corrupt, etc.<br />Subversion...<br />Work out a way to destabilise it.<br />Buy taxi<br />Pay off taxi<br />Transfer ownership to the driver<br />Repeat.<br />
  6. 6. Kenosis Transport Services<br />Practicalities:<br />Decentralised<br />Everyone involved is empowered (trust, stability)<br />Network organisation<br />Taxi bosses can’t identify an opponent.<br />Viral growth<br />Unstoppable cultural growth dynamic.<br />
  7. 7. Cultural activism:<br />Culture as sign-networks<br />Everything is exchange (commodification)<br />Everything is communication (meaning)<br />Everything is in flux<br />Trip the right switch, & you get what you want.<br />i.e. commodify the right thing, and beneficial change happens...<br />
  8. 8. What’s the best way to do business?<br />Post-Capitalism<br />Premise: the world as commodification:<br />Anything can be given in exchange.<br />Workers give time, consumers give money, <br />Capitalists give universals.<br />Commodify wisely, and maximise value income.<br />
  9. 9. Capitalism...<br />Capitalistic efficiency:<br />Earn money without selling time<br />Replication<br />Economies of scale<br />Capitalistic pitfalls:<br />Priority mistake: maximise turnover no matter what.<br />Exploit anything (people, land, society) to achieve this.<br />Disregard one’s benefit/harm to the world.<br />Compete blinkeredly (self-oriented approach)<br />
  10. 10. An alternative:<br />Priority shift: aim to benefit the world as much as possible<br />Ensure stability and growth (otherwise everyone suffers)<br />Don’t sell anything that isn’t extremely and uncontroversially beneficial.<br />Set up internal structures that benefit all concerned.<br />Empower anyone involved as much as possible.<br />Let people own their jobs, the means of production, the profits, and set them free from wage-slavery.<br />Make it self-stabilising<br />Minimise bureaucracy & work with trust relations that are self-generating.<br />

Arlyn Culwick's presentation at the Johannesburg New Ideas for Africa session on 20th October 2009. Arlyn is founder of Kenosis Transport Services, an initiative that aims to destabilize what he believes is a corrupt and exploitative taxi industry, it empowers drivers, and makes money. The big idea: 1) Buy taxi 2) Pay off taxi 3) Transfer ownership to the driver 4) Repeat steps 1-3 5) Destabilize a dirty monopoly

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