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24 comments

  1. Louise Holt says:

    Thanks for expressing life in process, Beth!
    I’m totally with you here, in all the complexity and paradoxical conditions of acting upon capitalism while acting from within it…
    These thoughts and sensations do call upon some physical spaces to unfold holistically as shared embodied everyday reality (daydreamings and cyclical practicalities happening within/as a collective space)

    Sort of vital embodiment of Littleredtarot, I guess?

    Let’s all do intense Littleredtarot processes all around us in these times of fundamentalist capitalism <3

    #metoo #fuckpatriarchy #towermoment #wakeupandsmelltheshit #love

  2. Holy cats, the garden metaphor works oh so beautifully here!

    When you mentioned that you’re trying to work an anti-capitalist model under a capitalist regime, it reminded me of something I’ve been mulling over for a while now: dis-identification. A professor friend of mine has spoken with me multiple times about how they’ve come to their own sense of identity far more through dis-identifying than anything else. Their tone was always somber, giving me the impression they’d prefer the option to just straight-up identify. But when I look around at my present culture and see the corruption and oppression at every corner – food, medicine, housing, education, personal liberty, etc. – I think, “Maybe dis-indentification is the next best strategy. Maybe dis-identifying is the bridging. Maybe we need to dis-identify, to break down, to compost this culture, before we can build the models we’ve been dreaming up.”

    We’ve been living with capitalism for over 500 years now. We can’t just wipe the slate clean and insert a new regime. I think it could be massively inspiring to apply to the garden metaphor here. If we’re given a trash lot but we need something continually nourishing, it’s not sustainably possible to clear the lot and start from scratch – we’ll starve before that happens. So how can we build the garden on the trash? How do we compost with what we’ve got?

    I love this tag and look forward to seeing where it goes, Beth!

  3. Casey says:

    Thank you, Beth! I find this not only comforting in business realms but also when it comes to grappling with personal ups and downs of navigating capitalism. Such a wonderful framework – thank you for your insight and transparency in the process!

    • Thanks Kortney! Yes I know of Feminist Business School and Jennifer Armbrust’s work, her Xanax American Express are helping me give this stuff a bit of form, especially in situating myself within the business.

      (Think in a future post about this I’ll list some resources I’m finding helpful and invite shares.)

  4. Artemisia Solstice says:

    Thank you for this. Since the beginning of starting my business I have strived to keep anti-capitalist and anti-oppressive values at the core, and it is one of the hardest things to do. It took so much for me to even validate for myself that I deserve the income I need to support myself and my 2-year-old. I grapple with these questions a lot, and I love the garden metaphor. It really helps me re-cast “failure” as just a learning opportunity. <3

  5. Love love love this analogy!

    Not just for business, but for life in general, really.
    When I look at my days/weeks/years, filled with alls kinds of different odd jobs, passions, hobbies, studies etc, it all feels so messy and unfocused…. but looking at it like a garden, it’s suddenly a lush, sprawling, colourful thing – with some parts lying dormant, some parts blooming, some parts perhaps dying off.
    Oh, and inhabited by animals, too! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And also very seasonal.

  6. This whole post, but especially this part, is super helpful to my current struggle to stay motivated as a writer:

    “I want my business to be a space that sometimes just holds me, that doesnโ€™t need me to be working in order to engage in it.”

    It’s so hard to give myself permission, let alone encouragement, to write for enjoyment in this productivity-worshipping culture.

    • Buying Xanax says:

      I had the same thought about my own writing while reading this. Lately I’ve been really struggling with the knowledge that I want to be a “successful” writer, but that consciously chasing publication makes my creative work suuuuuck.

      I’d like to define an alternate (parallel?) version of creative success, without trying to trick myself into believing I don’t also want to see my novels in a bookshop.

      • Yes!! it’s okay to want or need both of these things…it just sucks that in the current system one usually means sacrificing one for the other.

        (Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?)

  7. walter says:

    what great thinkings!!! an organization in the USA which I have been associated with describes itself as “mission-driven” and somehow sets itself apart from profit-driven although really, in order to advance a ‘mission’, one does have to bring in more money than one expends in order to have money to advance said mission… in that case, I’m not sure they’re quite making it work… but I do believe that you indeed are ‘mission-driven’

  8. Paypal Xanax says:

    I ran an ancap (anticapitalist) ‘business.’ It was collectively run. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but I left at the ten year mark and now, three years after my departure, it’s still running.
    It’s possible, but it isn’t easy.

    • Good to hear – thank you! I wonder if I am a bit afraid of cooperative/collective models because they can be messy, but I know in my heart they can be the very greatest structures for many projects.

  9. Isn’t it amazing how the Earth & nature can be used as a metaphor for so much in life. Perhaps because life is Life?? Definitely came at the right time for me as I prune back some areas of my business to provide space and enable growth in others. Thanks Beth <3

  10. I am so glad you are grappling with these questions, holding space for them, and bringing us along with you in thinking about them. My heart feels happy and hopeful just knowing you are there, doing this thinking and work.

  11. I love this metaphor – and your musings are I aspiring my own thinking about my own little garden, I mean, business.
    So much to think about, but this imagery suddenly helps things come into focus (and helps explain why I’ve been struggling with traditional business approaches!) Thank you ???

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