A politics of collapse?

This is the editorial of the May 2023 DA Quarterly

This is a prophetic book,” remarked Satish Kumar, founder of Schumacher College, about my new book: Breaking Together: a freedom-loving response to collapse. Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, Clare Farrell, said “if you want to save some of the world, but hate being told what to do, this book is for you.” Charles Eisenstein reflected that the book is part of a “healing movement” wider than the ecological. I was very encouraged to receive their advance endorsements, as the ebook went in at #1 on the Amazon bestseller list in the ‘political freedom’ category. You can read more about the book on my blog, and already order it here, if you use Kindle.

Although the hardback is not cheap (being aimed at organisations), the paperback is out on June 18th, and from July 10th the book will be free as an epub from the Schumacher Institute. That date marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Small is Beautiful by E. F.  Schumacher. I have come to regard that classic text as offering a coherent analysis that the environmental profession increasingly ignored as it became more compromised and self-serving. That day I will participate in an online Q&A with participants from the Deep Adaptation Leadership group on LinkedIn. If interested in joining us, sign up here.

I am focusing on my book in this editorial partly because it results from a hard two years of research. But also because I want to invite you to consider what a policy and politics agenda for collapse-anticipators could involve, if you haven’t done so already. You can get a summary of the ideas via a free audio of the introduction and of Chapter 1 on economic collapse.

I recently spoke with GQ Magazine about the writing of this book. The research process was not fun for any of us involved, because we were analysing so many interconnecting problems and discovering the limitations of so many proposed solutions. However, the second half of the book offers a positive way of making sense of this situation and celebrates the people who are responding creatively and courageously. I hope it will help more people move into a ‘post-doom’ mindset and experiment with different ways of living as a result. Some early reviews of the book are indicating that kind of impact. 

I will launch the paperback and audiobook of Breaking Together in the UK in Glastonbury Town Hall on June 18th (with speakers including Rachel Donald and Gail Bradbrook), and will also discuss it at a movie premiere in Berlin on August 1st.

If you are interested in joining others wanting to integrate these ideas into your own leadership, then I recommend the only academic course I am teaching this year, online in November with my University. To be updated on when the various book formats are out, and on my presentations over the next 12 months (in Italy, Belgium, and Indonesia), subscribe to my blog.

In this edition of the DA Quarterly, we provide summaries of recent publications and opinions that indicate a potential politics of collapse is becoming visible. That indicate the field of collapse-readiness is developing beyond psychological support, local ‘prepping’, and self-analysis. In addition, we highlight instances of censorship by Bigtech, which suggests an apolitical stance on collapse-anticipation would mean accepting it will be marginalised in public discourse. We append news from the DA Forum, which has switched to an entirely volunteer-led initiative. As it was designed to not become dependent on funding to serve its function of connecting people around the theme of collapse-readiness and response, I hope it will continue to provide a meeting place for people who come to this awareness and could use support in exploring what to do next. 

To keep producing the DA Quarterly we need some funds. Therefore, if you would like to continue receiving these summaries of key information in the broad field of societal disruption and collapse, please consider contributing to the DA Quarterly crowdfund (information below). If the target is not reached, this issue will unfortunately be the final DA Quarterly.

Warm regards,
Jem Bendell, Publisher, DA Quarterly

Our 2-week crowdfund ends May 30th.

We are crowdfunding a target of 3500 GBP to cover the costs to produce and circulate four issues a year. Unless requesting anonymity, every donor of a one-time gift of 50 GBP or more will be listed as a patron of the DA Quarterly in the subsequent issue. Every regular donor of 25 GBP or more per month will be listed as a patron in each issue, with a link to their relevant activities.

Any funds raised above 3500 GBP will go to educational activities for youth engagement in positive responses to an anticipation or experience of societal disruption and collapse (activities that will be reported on in future DA Quarterlies). Funds are managed by the Schumacher Institute, a UK-regulated charity. So please contribute, or encourage someone richer than you (by forwarding them this newsletter)!

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