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Our starting point is to acknowledge and understand where we are in the midst of the meta-crisis: ecological collapse, climate change, rising inequality, authoritarianism, institutional racism & patriarchy, and other systemic issues are all part of a complex web of intersecting, cascading crises stemming from the globalized growth-based economic system. 

Published May 8, 2024

The modern incarnation of this system – neoliberal capitalism – is based on an underlying logic of separation from each other and the living world. Embedded within this logic is the false assumption of human exceptionalism (i.e. anthropocentrism), rationalist-materialism and entitlement-based exploitation. The neoliberal system, and the meta-crisis it actively perpetuates, is not something that lives outside of us: these logics and systems operate within us, and through our relations, institutions, cultures, practices, norms, narratives and beyond. 

We offer a seemingly bold proposition, yet at its core, post capitalism(s) are rooted in shared values like humility, curiosity, reciprocity, compassion, interconnection, solidarity, interbeing/interbecoming and collective liberation. We suggest that the transition begins with ontology: shifting our gaze of reality itself and developing ongoing spiritual/political praxis – what we refer to as onto-shifts

Similarly, what we refer to as post capitalism is not the next ism to come after capitalism, socialism, or any other structure. Rather it is a container for life-affirming values, such as those listed above, to be lived and expressed within and through us, our communities, our cultures and the systems we co-create. 

This issue will deepen an exploration of how wealth itself can be a transition pathway to alchemize and heal capital,  putting money and wealth, in all its forms and expressions, in service to the living world. While we recognize shifting ontologies and cultures is often a multi-generational process, we call for the use of capital to liberate capital in the short window of time remaining where capital, in its current forms, is still “valuable”.  

This issue will explore these propositions in greater depth and through the lens of narratives.  Narratives matter. They frame how we perceive the world and what is possible; they expose the deeper logics and blindspots; they travel through memetic biographies; and they are transmitted through others like diseases or inoculations. 

Narratives can and do catalyze demonstrative change. We offer an evolving narrative of wealth to include a new/ancient/emerging common sense understanding of the essence and function of wealth. We recognize that changing the narrative without changing the praxis is hollow, and that changing our praxis without changing the narrative can be ineffective. 

For us, healing wealth is a process not an endpoint. An essential part of this process is to view wealth as a transition pathway, for money to flow in service of Life.  As we suggest above, this requires shifts in our perceptions and ways of living beyond the binaries of the individual versus the superstructure, us versus them, rationality versus intuition, the transcendent versus the immanent, human versus the world. The former serves as the neoliberal focal point of healing, focusing on the latter omits our responsibility or recasting our gaze and interactions with the living, responsive, dynamic, and animistic forces of a living cosmos. 

In order to address our current meta-crisis, we will require deeper notions of restoration and living in right relation, cultural transformation, the co-creation of life-affirming structures, and regenerative infrastructures, and ultimately the (re)cultivation of life-force itself. We are fractal manifestations of a nested whole. 

We, nor any of the authors in this issue, claim objectivity or neutrality. We believe in multiple, simultaneous, subjective ontologies. Our antidote logic to the “monoculture of the mind”, to borrow Vandana Shiva’s phrase, is a polyculture of perspectives. Many tongues, many voices, many lenses, many layers of entanglement to be excavated. We gesture towards other ways of knowing, being, sensing and relating to the world. 

We believe the process of healing wealth (including resources, ourselves, ancestors, relations, biomes, ecosystems, etc.) involves moving from the pathologies of colonial capitalism and control to a plurality of post capitalist, liberatory ontologies. It requires embracing contradictions such as using capital to liberate capital or surrendering and evolving our current narratives and life practices through walking towards the unknown. 
This will require alchemical acts. Our ultimate aim is to transmute the poisons of capitalist modernity, including its ultimate abstraction and mediation, capital itself, into medicine, perhaps even into the ultimate medicine: water. May the dams of wealth flow into the places that need it the most.