As some people on libcom may already know I write a column in Black Flag magazine called Breathing Utopia, about the ways different workers see their roles and industries changing in a communist society. I'd like to expand it to book length.
I've been doing this for a few years now and the answers people come up with, often at very short notice, can be fascinating.
A librarian for example reckoned his industry would expand to provide expert help finding and sharing everything you might need once in a while, from books to heavy machinery.
An international development worker reckoned most of his industry was superfluous or even actively damaging - but some of it would remain.
A postie decided that an industry which transcended and linked local communities would have to be under the day-to-day control of its workers rather than communities, but would need to consistently integrate their demands and be ultimately accountable to them.
This kind of thing is important I think, because it brings the direct, practical expertise of working individuals to the question of what we'd actually want to see in that warm, fuzzy, post-capitalist society of our dreams. And because it shows our ideology very clearly for what it is, rather than what others would like it to paint it as.
It shows us as human beings who want to make the world a better place, rather than as just intractable opponents of the mainstream.
So with that in mind I'm asking for volunteers to talk about their industries under the banner of a few basic questions.
- What do you do?
- How does your industry function today and how is it structured?
- What would change now if you had the chance?
- What do you think might need to stay in the new utopia, and what would have to go?
- How would this reshaped industry be structured and how would it relate to the twin pillars of local community and wider society (eg. the postal worker above talks about how workers would need to balance the demands of local groups with the needs of everyone else)?
Have a think and if you fancy writing a few answers you can either post below or feel free to PM me! What I've found is that most industries have their own peccadilloes and follow-up questions, so I'll almost certainly give you a shout with follow-up asks.
Ooh, quick plug while I'm here, the next Breathing Utopia, along with the next Black Flag, is currently at the printers. Keep an eye out at London Mayday cos hopefully we'll be selling it there...