Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Retreating with friends from the various blogs to a spread somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, working collaboratively to produce food, raise families, and sustain knowledge and ideas in the face of coming doom. I expect more and more of this kind of thinking as people contemplate the future and witness the decay of information and the decline of knowledge that many of you have so well described.

At the same time it's worth considering that we've already built many of these kinds of ETopias through sites like this. I'm just a lurker here (I post as "eugene" at Daily Kos but have lurked here off and on since the place opened) but have been part of other dKos-spinoffs that were, I would argue, attempts to create this kind of self-sustaining, knowledge-preserving communities.

Moving that into the real world presents many difficulties, especially here in the neoliberal 21st century. But it's a project worth investigating.

As to Canticle, the book is fascinating on a number of levels, not the least of which was the effort of the very Catholic William Miller to reconcile his faith to the modern world. The insight of Canticle is that modern civilization rests on some rather Medieval foundations, and that when modern civilization faces terminal crisis (nuclear war, Peak Oil, climate change), it will return to those foundations through Medieval practices and ideas but also Medieval institutions.

What I find so interesting about your ETopia concept, or the others I've kicked around with my own circles, is the attempt to preserve modernity not in its use of the land, its dependence on extractive capitalism, but instead in its intellectual resources, its cultural produce. It's an effort to either find ways to make our current civilization sustainable by evolving new technologies to allow us to survive in small communes (and here I think of both the European usage of "commune" as well as the American '60s usage); or to return to a pre-19th century lifestyle that forsakes most of the modern technology but refuses to return to the ideas of a more Medieval era.

My fiancee is a librarian, an archivist by specialty. The question of information preservation in the digital age is one they grapple with regularly. They haven't yet come up with answers, but it may be worth investigating their discussions.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 02:45:45 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series