Unlearning The Language of Capital - An Interview with Professor Nancy Roach

Geoffrey Miller & Emily Noelle Morabito - Philosophy & Culture

The way that we think about time often dictates the way that we spend our days. In response to a piece on Biophilia Theory by Emily Noelle Morabito, Nancy Roach from The Parsons School of Design had a few ideas about how we might be able to think about time in a less structured, more meaningful way. The following is an interview transcript with Nancy in which we discuss, among other things, her own process of unlearning the capitalist language of time by using metaphors to understand her own experience of time. As a result, the way Nancy approaches each core aspect of her life has fundamentally shifted; resulting in a more conscious approach to each action and interaction she experiences. In a crisis-filled world with more and more demands for our attention each day, the practice of reorienting the way we think about time will become an increasingly crucial endeavour.

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GEOFF: So this all sort of started because I was reading your emails between you and Noelle and I was really interested in the idea of unlearning capitalism. So for those that may not have seen those emails and might not know what it's about. Can you talk a bit about what you mean by that and why you think it's a valuable exercise?

NANCY: Yeah, so when I read your email, I tried to think about it without thinking about my answers and one thing that I wanted to do was that I realized I had a narrative in my head about why I was thinking about that. And I wasn't sure if the narrative matched reality.

So actually what I did was I went back and reread my journals to see if the narrative in my head actually matched in any way, the narrative of the story of why I was thinking about this. And I think what I'll say is. There's a set of interlocking situations, which made me start to think about this.

And it depends how far we want to go back. So at the time I started being aware, that I was going to do something about it, is different than the time I started thinking about it. So the time I started becoming aware that I was going to do something about it has very much to do with this confluence of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter.

We were home, the world was coming undone. We were living in extreme uncertainty and as a white woman, the scales were falling from my eyes to some extent because of Black Lives Matter; because of participating in the protest because of George Floyd's killing and the kind of reckoning that it caused in the country.

My niece has started a book club, you know, to try to kind of unlearn what had been learned as a way of breaking the cycle that you in some way, realize you were participating in, but felt powerless to stop that participation. And so I would say those are the two things that came together that allowed me to actively do something about, but it wasn't when I started thinking about it.

I started thinking about it because I have 17 year old twins, a boy and a girl, and they're at this incredible school. We were just speaking about Hunter college High School, and it's an incredibly rigorous education, but also like a really classical education in the sense that they started in seventh grade.

They'll go year 7 through 12. They are getting the full education; music, arts, theater, science, math, history, English. And it's a very thoughtful education in the sense that they look at primary sources, they're being treated like college students in the sense that they need to look at primary sources and investigate history.

I have a boy and a girl, and it became apparent after a few years in the school that the school was serving my son better than it was serving my daughter; that he was thriving and she was not. Academically she wasn't struggling, but as a human being, she wasn't thriving in the culture of the school.

I couldn't figure out what it was, why that was, because on the surface level, the education is so great. Like, what was it? And it happened as they got a little bit older and I became aware that my son was getting plucked for a lot of leadership opportunities. And my daughter wasn't.

I couldn't figure it out because I'm an education person, so I'm like, the education is good. So what's going on? What's the culture that's serving one kid and not another. And I had this inkling that it had to do with capitalism because of other things, in terms of my participation in this school, my watching how the leadership and the principal handled issues in the school.

I just began to think that there was something about the education that was capitalist; that I didn't understand.

That's as far as I could get, in other words, I felt something was wrong, but I couldn't name what was wrong. I couldn't pull apart what was wrong. And that gets to your later question of, well, we didn't mean to learn these systems. We didn't mean to internalize them. So how do we undo them if we unconsciously internalize them and didn't mean to? So I would say I had been stuck in that place for many months and at the limit of my own ability to deal with them.

My lazy Googling about education and capitalism and my lazy library search about education and capitalism didn't produce anything that I felt I could follow. And I just let it sit. So that's really the start. And then we get to this weird historical moment of Black Lives Matter and the pandemic.

And what happened was, the pandemic and zoom made it possible for me to enter spaces I hadn't entered before and that were different than the spaces that I had been in my whole life. So I'm white. I grew up in a very segregated suburb. I've lived in New York city all my life, but as you know, New York is quite segregated in terms of its neighborhoods too.

And suddenly I had entered into spaces that were really dominated by African-American scholars, thinkers, activists, artists, and I could sit and listen and immediately I could see that it was different than anything I had ever experienced. I'm 53 years old. I noticed first off, people listened.

So when people spoke, they were given the time to say whatever they wanted to say and people weren't rushing to jump in. They weren't rushing to figure out where they fit into what the person was saying and ignore everything else. Literally people just spoke and you could palpably feel the other people listening. And this shouldn't be so radical, but to see people radically listening to one another was really different.

~~~

GEOFF: Just to follow up on that. What do you think it is about an event being run online, as opposed to in person that might make it more accessible to people? Especially when it's events that they're not traditionally the type of event they'd go to in person.

NANCY: Yeah. So I have a family, right. So first of all, one of the events recently was Cornell West and Eddie Glaude Jr talking about his new book about the last thing James Baldwin ever wrote and at that event, I got to pay what I could. So money wasn't a barrier, I could have gone for free, but I didn't need to go for free, so I paid. I have two kids and I live in Queens and there was no way that event was going to be held in Ridgewood, Queens.

If it was in person I would have had to pay, I would have had to know. I would have had to know in time to get tickets before it got sold out. And I'd have to say to my family, I'm not going to be home for dinner, you know. It would have necessitated many hours of work on my part to get there.

It would have been an hour and a half on the train each way. There would have been a need to get in there early, waiting for it to start. I hate doing anything at night. And at this event there were like eight times the number of people participating from around the world than if it were in person. So you don't have that limit in people as well.

And nobody can interrupt. There's no cell phones. They can't see us. Everybody is wearing what they want to wear in their pajamas. God knows where they are; in their bed, on their phone.

It's so freeing, you know?

NOELLE: Yeah, that's a really interesting insight. I've been thinking about this new online space in terms of accessibility from a disability standpoint as well, because Access-A-Ride. I mean, getting anywhere for a person in a wheelchair is so impossible. They literally call it Stress-A-Ride.

NANCY: Yes. I have many experiences with Access-A-Ride with my father.

NOELLE: Because you have to schedule it two hours in advance. You don't know when they're going to show up, you don't know how long it's going to take you to get somewhere. It's a whole thing.

NANCY: You have to wait outside, no matter what the weather, no matter what your disability is.

EMILY: Yeah, whether it's raining, snowing. It's ridiculous. And I've had zoom meetings with some of my friends in wheelchairs, and I think they're really thriving in this facial and online community because. They don't have to worry so much about taking an hour to get dressed, an hour to wait for Access-A-Ride outside in the heat.

NANCY: And it doesn't require a reordering of existing society, so it doesn't require the office to reorder its physical space or its expectations.

EMILY: And I'm thinking about my friend Q, who works as the Disability Coordinator for the MTA. I mean, when he sits in a wheelchair, like looking at somebody on zoom, nobody knows. So everybody treats him with the same respect that they should anyways.

NANCY: That's interesting. So it's leveling, literally leveling in that way, too.

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GEOFF: In a similar way to what you were talking about with your kids' schools. For many of us learning capitalist rhetoric wasn't necessarily a conscious decision and it was pretty much the result of education systems and the cultural paradigms we grew up in.

So what sort of advice would you give to someone who's found themselves at that point and they've sort of realized that they're very driven by a language that they don't necessarily agree with. What can they do about that?

NANCY: Yeah, I think that it's, for me, it's really essential to what motivated me to undertake the actual change. So if you really want to change, it has to become very conscious.

And for it to become that conscious, you have to be really motivated. And I was really motivated by my children. So I think I am utterly un-unique in the fact that a few months into the pandemic pandemic and Black Lives Matter; identity falling apart, certainty, falling apart. People were finding as I was, you have all this time, and yet it's accompanied by a sense of despair that nothing is getting done, that you're not using it well, that you know, all of those feelings of 'how come with all of this space and time, nothing seems to have changed'.

And I felt it was worse than nothing had changed. I have two children. I could see the way this was going, this is not over in two months, I understood. So as the news came in from China, I first thought, okay, two months in we're back to normal, we can do anything for two months. And I think that has to do with how the media told this story, which I know you get to later, how do I want the media to change?

I think the media told a very irresponsible story. A very uncontextualised story and the story I think most people took away was 'okay, it'll take two months to get it under control and then we'll go back to our lives'. So I think March 15th is more or less when the city shut down.

I don't know the exact date, but people were just like, 'just gotta get through it. Just got to get this through'. And you know, and I think it's after May 15th after those two months, whatever it is that people really started to understand, 'oh, okay, this isn't ending'.

We keep kicking it down the line and at that point, I felt so unprepared to understand what was going on. I decided to find a book about the history of the 1918 pandemic, because I thought, 'well, it's not like humans have never experienced a pandemic'. I had never experienced a pandemic and I kind of wanted to know, what are the historical social, cultural implications of a pandemic?

So that I could try to think ahead for my kids, because what I saw was everything they had worked and planned for was pretty much going to fall apart. And how could I help them navigate that? Right. And I can't help them navigate it if I can't navigate it.

And I was aware of my inability to navigate it. I had an encroaching depression and I thought ‘who had time for that’. Like, I just didn't have time for that. So that's what inspired me to think about why I was feeling this way. That's where the time came in, that I have all this time, but I'm not using my time well or managing my time well, or being productive or I couldn't account for my time.

And it just became incredibly apparent that all of that language was capitalist language and that I needed another language because capitalist language wasn't serving me. Right. I did things all day. I had lists, but I felt like shit at the end of the day. And that doesn't make for a good parent. That doesn't make for a person who says, 'okay, none of us were expecting this, but that's not what life is'. Life isn't what you're expecting, life is adapting to what happens and I needed to adapt. So that was sort of the motivation behind it. And the awareness that if this was an issue of time, my language around time, wasn't serving me well. It was making me feel bad and I needed another language for it.

And you know, that comes back to how I think. I think like the English teacher that I am, I think like the former film editor that I am, I think like the artist that I am from working at Parsons and I thought, 'let's take apart the language' and to take apart the language, you first have to notice the language.

So if I was going to give advice to people, I would say, pay attention to the language you use and challenge it, investigate it, and see what you can replace it with. So I started simply. That first step is always observing, right? If you went through a Parson's education, that's the first step. The first step is what do we already know?

So I thought about what I already knew. I knew I was unhappy. I knew the language that I already used. And then I thought, 'well, I have to observe this'. And so I started to observe every time I try to think about it, a word would come up and I'd have to stop and say to myself, is that a capitalist word? Where does that word come from? Does that word serve me? If it doesn't? What can it be replaced with?

GEOFF: Just to follow up on that point. Would you attribute the change in lifestyle from the stay at home order, for actually starting to observe it? Or do you think it's something that would have inevitably happened?

NANCY: I think I credit it totally to the stay at home order because I live a relatively solitary life in the sense that I teach and I write. And so, I think what is different is that my kids were home all the time. Right. So normally if I'm bumbling through, they're not around to watch me bumble through because we're not all in the same space. School day they're out in the world, right. I only have to get it together by the time they come home.

Whereas now they're kind of observing me in my environment. So what am I teaching them about the way that I'm living as we all live together in this new way of continuing to learn, continuing to work?

So I think that I have to credit it entirely to the pandemic, because I'm pretty sure these are thoughts I had before without having to deeply do something about it. Without feeling compelled, to sort of act and change the way you think about it. Which is why I wouldn't answer the question about what to do without telling you why I was compelled because I don't think people change unless they're compelled.

And I tend to be compelled by my kids. In other words, we can all live with our own faults, like literally forever. It takes deep, deep love to want to change those faults. And for me, my kids are that source of love and my husband before me, that forces radical change. And I think to broaden it, what is so beautiful about Black Lives Matter is that it's no longer enough for me to do that in the context of my family.

Now I have to also do that in that context of my community, that Black Lives Matter has sort of opened up in me, the possibility of a radical love that used to be contained in my family, shared with my students, right, because that's how I teach. But now it has gotten bigger. Like, that's not enough anymore.

It's gotta be, it's gotta be the world. And that speaks to how I've started to rethink this time and approaching the day, you know, and the language around time.

NOELLE: Yeah. And I experienced that early on with all of the protests, because I was actually upstate with my friend and I was hearing reports of these protests.

I had a couple of good friends get arrested for like, putting themselves in front of black bodies to form a barrier. And I was like, 'Holy shit. Like, this is bad. I am needed here'. So I came back and the first protest that I went into, I was doing first aid because I was an outdoor guide and so those skills are like something that I felt were useful.

So I went in prepared to see like a war zone and people getting hurt and beaten by cops and it was completely peaceful and it wasn't anything like what the media was portraying it to be. The next couple of times, I didn't even go back with a backpack of first aid stuff, because I was like this isn't heated and 99.9% of people were wearing masks.

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GEOFF: Yeah, I was also thinking it's the most interesting sort of real world experiment we have for the effectiveness of masks, you know. Like there have been protests for months in New York and we haven’t really seen any uptick in cases.

So along those same lines, if someone realizes that they use this language, that they don't necessarily associate with, what can they do if they, if they need to interact with people on a day to day basis that still use that language like a boss or coworkers?

NANCY: Yeah. So I think that's a super hard one and I think you've caught me right at the place that I am. I think we only really talked about one step, which is the first step is observing the language you use. But the second step, which we kind of skipped over is coming up with your own metaphors.

And then that's where all the fun, really creative stuff happens where my metaphors don't have to be your metaphors, but if you're going to replace capitalism as a framework, what is it going to be replaced with? And I think until somebody does the work to replace it for themselves, they can't actually take that next step and think about how that replacement interacts with the world, because you don't know why you have to.

So that's the point where Noelle and my conversation started; it started with my replacement. I didn't even like the word framework because framework made me think of something very linear. You know, I thought of scaffolding and that seemed very rigid and linear and male and capitalist to me.

And so I had to start with, 'well, what would mine be? That isn't a framework. What are other systems?' And that's how I got to cycles, right. Because that's kind of female and flow and biology. And what could I pull on from biology? And the thing I gravitated towards was water. It was easy for me to come to when I caught myself thinking about productivity and hierarchy and spending and gaining and losing; all these things that we do around time. Water and particularly rivers turned out to be something useful to think about, to reorient the way that I was approaching my day and to think of time as an environment that I moved through. And how was I moving?

So I took it away from something that was a commodity to be bought or sold or spent or accounted for and began to think of it as an environment. And then observed myself moving through that environment. Was I rushing? And then that, of course, when you start to do this, like rivers have all this great language that I didn't know about.

So a bend in a river is a meander. That's where that word comes from. I had no idea, right? There's something called an Oxbow where an Oxbow is an arc where silt and rock start to pile up. And I've found that really useful because you know how, like you go into it a day with an intention and you think that the river is going to flow this way.

And then all of a sudden four unexpected hours have gone to something that you didn't plan for. I started to think of that as an Oxbow where all the sand and rocks were washing up on the shore and before the river metaphor, that would have been a failure at the end of the day. I would have failed because my list said I was going to do A B C and D and in fact, B took up the whole day.

I had half assed A and I didn't even get to C, D E F G H. And so then I'm a failure because I didn't get through my list. As opposed to a river metaphor where it's like, 'no, this is just what happens sometimes rock and sand pile up on the shore'. And there's this great other thing called an Oxbow Lake.

An Oxbow can get so piled up that actually gets cut off from the river and it turns into a bow shaped lake. So now at the end of the day, when I find myself in an Oxbow, I say to myself, 'okay, that happens. I'm just going to rejoin the river, as long as it hasn't become a Lake'. In other words, as long as I haven't cut myself off these other things that matter to me. 'Okay. That happened'. And it's just humane.

NOELLE: Yeah that makes sense. When I lived in South Carolina, I worked for a couple of years as an outdoor guide. So I was facilitating kayaking trips for people, being a river guide and like learning the waters. So, when you first told me about your river metaphor, I started thinking about all these ways that I was trained to read a river.

And so if you are approaching a rapid and you're getting swept away, you pull off behind a rock in your river into what's called an Eddy, which is like the calm pool of water that rests behind where the rock is, so that you don't get dragged away. And I was thinking about obstructions on a river.

Like when something falls in a river and either sinks and becomes an obstacle or becomes something that you have to move around or it could become an Eddy that you rest behind or it floats and it continues to move with it. There's strainers, which are like trees that fall into the river and then their branches become like an obstruction so that when the water is pushing through, it can be something that you get stuck in.

So you're held behind a strainer, while the water keeps moving around you, and I feel like I've been stuck in a strainer. I was thinking about it. And I was like, 'this is such great language'.

NANCY: And, you know so much more about rivers so you can add so much more than I can, you know? And what's interesting to think about to me when you talk is the language you were taught to approach the river was for human use of that river, which again is commodifying the river.

But then the question becomes, 'well, what is it like from the river's point of view', the things that are rock, which is a respite or an obstruction for a human using or traveling that river, what is it for the water? For the sands and for the other creatures that live in it and on its banks.

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GEOFF: Just to follow up on that, seeing as you are a little bit further down the river in this process where you have your own language around looking at time as an environment.

How has it been having your own language around time while working with other people who use more traditional language? Have there been any miscommunications?

NANCY: So I would say it hasn't gone there because the only people I discuss this with are my children and my husband. In other words, in my role as a mother, helping them navigate their own issues around this. So it's been a very personal change and the way that it manifests in public space has to do with how I now think. So now instead of making to do lists, I now think of things in terms of purpose.

Right? And so I have identified four areas that I personally move through, which I consider my personal, creative, work and family. Creative work and actually my physical body. So creative work and exercise, that stuff, family stuff I do for my family work, the thing I get paid for and community, right?

So my life unexpectedly got taken over by community this summer, which I had no intention of doing. I’d been involved in a lot of activism happening at their school around diversity and it has been consuming. And it has been so personal and isolated in terms of me trying to get a hold of my own language moving through the day, that I am much slower to apply it to these broader communities in terms of how I interact in them.

It's such an internal process, that I would say, I have a lot of work to do in that area in terms of applying it in spaces that weren't created for it.

NOELLE: It's almost sort of a cultural, cognitive behavioral therapy. Here's an idea that exists, but we don't like that idea. So let's intervene.

NANCY: I think you're exactly right. I think personally it allows me to be disruptive. And feel confident in being disruptive in spaces where I was formerly subversively disruptive, if that makes sense. I can now be a little more actively disruptive to what I see happening. So, when I'm in public spaces now, I would say I'm a more careful facilitator of bringing out multiple voices.

I try to control myself a little bit more with all my chattiness till I'm really needed, right. To think of myself in a different place. But it is hard. I would say that when you want to think non-hierarchically and you go and you live in a hierarchical world, how do you still maintain power and effectiveness? Right. So. I think I have so much work to do there, but I will say that I have not yet done the personal work.

I've never been such an activist in my life. So the personal work is pushing me into spaces and conversations I wouldn't have been in and making me realize all the subversive ways I've already been doing this in the children's school and at Parsons, without it being as conscious as it is now.

GEOFF: Yeah, I really like that. I like to hear that at the very least, it's not a hindrance to you in the personal work you're doing in replacing the way you think about things.

NANCY: Oh, that's good. No, I find it very helpful actually. And especially with the difficulty of being in the other world, not my little private made-up world. So the difficulty of entering an activist communal space is that I suddenly have to deal with other human beings and other human beings are a giant pain in the ass because we're all just so crazy.

And, everything takes enormous amounts of time and you don't know what your place is and you don't know all those things that come up when you're working in groups that are so hard to manage. I find the river super helpful. So I got deeply involved in all this activist stuff, and it was really difficult for me to navigate because it's not my strength to work in groups or to know how groups function.

It's just not where I live. I was able to come back out of it and say, all right. I feel crazy right now and super anxious, but then I can look at my river metaphor and be like, 'Oh, well, you're in the rapids.'

Again. It takes out the blame of it being something wrong. This is my fault. I should know if I have all of that anxiety produced around engagement.

GEOFF: Did you find yourself being more conscious of how you've spent your time more positively and being more fulfilled with your time than you had otherwise and focusing less on wasting time?

For me, it's an incredibly conscious process. If I were to share my screen with you right now, I have documents where I track this stuff as a way for me to understand it. Because if everything stays in my head, we're in trouble. Right. It's a wonderful, but also dangerous space.

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GEOFF: Okay. This is quite an open ended question. If you had the opportunity to change something about the publishing and media industries, what would you want to want to do with it?

NANCY: So I'm completely ignorant of the publishing industry. So I can't help you there in terms of not having actual interactive experience with it. You know, the most obvious thing in the published industry is the domination of white voices is insane and unhealthy for all of us. And they are responsible for creating a singular narrative. You know, that idea of a single story that is so dangerous, I'm going to butcher her name, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, right?

The danger of a single story. They're responsible for that. And they're responsible for the deadening of all of us in that. But of course I haven't interacted with it personally. And the same goes for the media. Like I have canceled and restarted my New York times subscription out of just sheer anger.

But the only reason that I keep it is because they had started to make a space for black voices and those voices turn out to be worthwhile things. And I have to sift through a lot of shit, but it's still worth it to me. Something I feel is embedded in the media is that they don’t really take responsibility for the idea that they’re shaping the culture.

And they don't seem very reflective about the culture that they're shaping. That gets back to capitalism. Profit is your motive, right? As opposed to some other imaginative possibility of what you might want to do with this power you have of shaping stories.

And much of it is opinion under the guise of journalism with a narrow focus. The storylines feed the system of oppression in terms of the stories they tell about power and hierarchies and the stories they don't tell. I mean, I don't know if you experienced this Noelle, but one of the insane frustrations for me was taking part in all these protests and then looking, going to the news to try to see it, and then it wasn't there.

And if it's not in the news, It didn't happen for the millions of people that weren't there. That's so dangerous.

NOELLE: Sure. Like my parents were calling me when I got back here and kept asking, 'are you okay? Are you safe?' And I was like, what are you talking about? It was so peaceful and beautiful. And they're like, 'well, we're seeing videos of people smashing buildings and physically fighting the cops'.

NANCY: And then the question becomes, who was it serving? Why do they consider that a service? You know, it has to do with those hierarchies and concentrations of power and at the very top and unexamined life, which is a very dangerous thing.

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GEOFF: Okay, final question. At The Climatized, our focus is not just on predicting the future, but also talking about what we want it to look like as well; how we want to shape the future.

So if I said to you ‘Hey, you’re the president now , you can do whatever you want. What do you want the future to look like?

NANCY: I have a caveat for that question because I can't think that way, in a weird way. I can think for the place that I am in the moment and tell you what's on my mind at the moment, but I feel very uncomfortable anytime somebody asks me to make a proclamation.

From the time I was the smallest child, I could not fit into that kind of social situation, because I couldn't answer the question. What's your favorite color? I really did that. What's your favorite band? Like, I can tell you what I'm listening to now, but I can't make proclamations that I know in my own brain will come undone as soon as I learn something new.

And I think that might get at the heart of the world I want. The world I want is a world that is curious and imaginative where people are not attached to the systems that exist, but to some kind of ideal that serves all of us humanely and with some kind of love and respect.

Right. And so that takes detaching from the systems of thought, that we already have, with imagination, but there's no reason we have to be organized particularly around money. And if we are going to be organized around money, if you say that's just so fundamental to humans, something transactional then accumulation of wealth cannot be the goal.

A world where personal success is dependent on whether I’ve used my power for the benefit of myself, my family, my workers, my community, my country, my earth. You could still have all of them. It would not kill innovation. It would just change what the goal is.

Is the goal to make a singular person and their 12 shareholders, the richest people in the world, or is the goal to make us rich enough and make everybody else be able to survive? So I just think an imaginative approach to what success looks like would probably help, but it requires openness, imagination, and creativity.

And I think that's the power of having multiple voices. Multiple voices with multiple experiences allows for a more imaginative exploration of what is success. Yeah, I would like to redefine that. I would like to redefine that because I think if we redefined what success looks like, our institutions could make pretty small changes at every level that would make success possible for everyone as opposed to the field.

GEOFF: Do you see that more being more of an individual driven shift where one person has a power to make change to an organization and then the organization is better off as a whole, or do you see it being more of a top down organizational sort of change?

NANCY: I think all change is a confluence of both. But there is no change without bottom up pressure. Change is really hard to enact without a strong visionary leader. Right. So you need some combination of both. There's a teacher at the new school, Deva Woodley, who wrote a book, called The Politics of Common Sense. And she's basically a scholar who is looking at exactly what we're talking about, changing the framework to a framework of care.

So it's not an anti-capitalist, she's not trying to get rid of capitalism. She's just trying to change the focus of capitalism. So that it serves as a tool of care as opposed to a tool of exploitation. I don't know what she would say, but this particular book is about changing cultural narratives and how social conversation moves the mainstream.

Nancy Roach is a Writer, an Instructor at Parsons School of Design and a Documentary Film Consultant.

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Neoliberal Rationality is Incompatible with Climate Action

By Alexander Barnstone | October 25, 2020

The Incompatibility of Neoliberal Rational and Climate Action Alexi Barnstone – Politics & Economics “Neoliberalism— the ideas, the institutions, the policies, the political rationality— has, along with its spawn, financialization, likely shaped recent world history as profoundly as any other nameable phenomenon in the same period”  – Wendy Brown   Like other word-altering formations such…

Australia is Getting the World Cooked with Gas

By Bart Shteinman | October 11, 2020

Why bailing out the gas industry is a recipe for economic and environmental disaster.

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