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Below is a short excerpt from Samuel Alexander’s new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction – a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ – which envisions a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, the book provides a written documentary of the economy, culture, and politics of the community. In the following excerpt, taken from Chapter Five, we read about the ‘Charter of the Deep Future.’

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During the Great Disruption our community faced some very hard questions about how we were to live. In particular, we had to make democratic decisions about how we were going to structure our economy, how we were going to govern social relations, and what values were to shape and define these efforts. It was decided that we should work toward creating a constitutional document that would state, in the clearest terms possible, the kind of society we wanted to live in. This document was not intended to end our political debates, but to provide a starting point, a framework within which we could debate and move forward. It is reproduced in its entirety below, as it serves as the best summary of our social, economic and political vision.

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Charter of the Deep Future

Enough, for everyone, forever

We affirm that providing ‘enough, for everyone, forever’ is the defining objective of our economy, which we seek to achieve by working together in free association.

We affirm that everyone is free to create as an aesthetic project the meaning of their own lives, while acknowledging that this freedom legitimately extends only so far as others can have the same freedom. Freedom thus implies restraint.

We affirm that our inclusive democracy does not discriminate on such grounds as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality, politics, or faith.

We affirm that generations into the deep future are entitled to the same freedoms as present generations.

We affirm that respecting the deep future requires maintaining a healthy environment.

We affirm that technology can help to protect our environment only if it is governed by an ethics of sufficiency, not an ethics of growth. Efficiency without sufficiency is lost.

We affirm that maintaining a healthy environment requires creating a stationary state economy that operates within environmental and energy limits.

We affirm that a stationary state means stabilising consumption and population, transitioning to renewable sources of energy, and adapting to reduced energy supply.

We affirm that strict limits on material accumulation are required if a stationary state is to maintain a just distribution of resources and avoid corrosive inequalities.

We affirm that property rights are justifiable only to the extent they serve the common good, including the overriding interests of humanitarian and ecological justice.

We affirm that a stationary state economy depends on a culture that embraces lifestyles of material sufficiency and rejects lifestyles of material affluence.

We affirm that material sufficiency in a free society provides the conditions for an infinite variety of meaningful, happy, and fulfilling lives.

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Read more about Entropia here or get yourself a copy.

4 Responses to “Charter of the Deep Future: Enough, For Everyone, Forever”

  1. Patricia

    Really “civilisation” !!!!, I am mexican and english is not my mother language, I really don´t care a lot of the spelling but in the cover of your book !!!! I think that if you are capable of writing a book you have to check the spelling before you published.

    Reply
  2. Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor

    ‘civilisation’, with an ‘s’ is the British way of spelling the word. ‘civilization’ with a ‘z’ is the US way of spelling. The author of the book is from Australia, a country which, by and large, uses the British way of spelling, along with New Zealand.

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  3. dean

    Patricia! As Craig has explained, there is British spelling and then there is American spelling.

    From Wiki: In the early 18th century, English spelling was not standardised. Differences became noticeable after the publishing of influential dictionaries. Today’s British English spellings follow, for the most part, those of Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), whereas many American English spellings follow Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).[1]

    Webster was a strong proponent of English spelling reform for reasons both philological and nationalistic. Many spelling changes proposed in the United States by Webster himself, and in the early 20th century by the Simplified Spelling Board, never caught on. Among the spelling reform supporters in England, the influence of those who preferred the Norman (or Anglo-French) spellings of words proved to be decisive. Later spelling adjustments in the United Kingdom had little effect on today’s American spellings and vice-versa.

    The spelling systems of most Commonwealth countries and Ireland, for the most part, closely resemble the British system. In Canada, the spelling system can be said to follow both British and American forms,[2] and Canadians are somewhat more tolerant of foreign spellings when compared with other English-speaking nationalities.[3] Australian spelling has also strayed somewhat from British spelling, with some American spellings incorporated as standard.

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