Take Back Work: Surviving Well

Image: Creative Commons    Some rights reserved by Tanja FӦHR Image: Creative Commons Some rights reserved by Tanja FӦHR

Ready to continue in our dialogue about what Gibson-Graham, Cameron, and Healy mean by take back the economy? In order to do that it is helpful to use their words:

For us, take back the economy through ethical action means:

  • Surviving well together and equitably;
  • Distributing surplus to enrich social and environmental health;
  • Encountering others in ways that support their well-being as well as ours;
  • Consuming sustainably;
  • Caring for – maintaining, replenishing, and growing – our natural and cultural commons; and
  • Investing our wealth in future generations so that they can live well. (pg. xvii)

An interesting thing about this passage is that it is in fact the framework for their whole theory. In relatively few words they have simply laid out a road map for how to sustain change that is ethical and just.  This just might be a framework for how we can understand how to popularize economy. By that I mean, it is a way for us to deconstruct a complex myth with awesome and awful impact – the economy – and turn it into pop ed workshops and activities where we can understand our experience and share our stories about how we have experienced the impact of capitalism and have been a part of diverse alternatives. These six points can become a way for us to move forward in deepening not only our understanding of how to de-centre capitalism but also how to transform our thoughts into action.

Let’s take a quick look one idea from Chapter 2 Take Back Work: Surviving Well.

One of the exercises suggested in this chapter is to take a 24 hour clock and block out how we are spending our time – How much time is spent in rest, paid work, unpaid work, and however else we might see your time being used for things like recreation.

When an exercise like this happens as part of self-reflection some interesting things come up like do I define cooking meals for my family as unpaid work or do I see the activity as nurturing relationships and want to see that as a separate block of time on my clock or do I see it as recreation because I am a foodie.

Where things get really exciting is when we do this exercise as a group. Why is it that you put travel to and from work as unpaid work and I see it as part of the job? Wow! You put lifelong learning as a block of time in your clock. I have been neglecting that part of my life.

The things that might come up in our conversation about work life balance are almost limitless. Dialogue is a wealth of information about how we can create the kind of sustainable change that we want to see happen in our communities and our world. And that is the revolution that the authors invite us to be a part of – building community economies.

Interested in reading the book yet? I hope you are.

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