The Future Remains Open
A new decade begins with planetary upheaval
Historic wildfires ravage an entire continent, scorching the land in a preview of what’s to come. Trigger-happy politicians prove eager to kickstart another war, just in time for election season. Scandals pile up, indifference mounts. The global economy churns on, stupidly and without remorse. With its latest products, Silicon Valley upgrades the emptiness. Meanwhile, each new scientific report draws the scheduled date of collapse closer.
While the architects of disaster hope to preside over the future, people everywhere have already begun charting their own course. 2019 saw the explosion of a new revolutionary sequence, with massive protests around the world demonstrating our collective ability to decide for ourselves what life could be, beyond the familiar catastrophe. Fiery nights lit by the rebuke of indignities, the refusal of the economy’s hold over our lives, utter contempt for the elites and the police, all suffused by generalized rage at the oblivion to which they consign us.
But if the present ruptures remind us that the future remains open, so too do they attest to the challenges before us. They are a lesson in what we’re up against, how far we still have to go. Power must be overthrown, and ecological destruction must be halted and healed. Technology must be freed from the grip of governance, and we must learn to live on a forever-altered earth. Old beliefs must be painfully shed, and new myths invented for a damaged epoch.
What happens in the next decade will be decisive. We are at the end of one world, and the beginning of the next.
Welcome to Territories, the Inhabit newsletter that’s been a long time coming. Every month, we will feature original content produced by a network of builders and fighters, makers and healers.
Territories exists to share tools that equip us for the tasks at hand, that better enable us to live and fight. Everything is fair game – the know-how of the streets, hands-on experimentation within everyday life, the emergent sensibilities of our time. We collect dispatches from worlds being invented here and now, so that our collective intelligence keeps deepening and evolving.
For our debut edition, we open with a firsthand account of the ongoing uprising in Chile, focusing on how neighborhoods are organizing themselves for a dignified life. Then we turn to an insurgent fitness guide made in collaboration with our friends at Ultra, emboldening us for the trials ahead.
Original reporting from the uprising in Chile
The ongoing revolt in Chile reveals both the misery imposed on us by the ruling class and the determination with which people everywhere are contesting their reign. Against an infrastructure holding our lives hostage, against an economy dooming us to sadness today and extinction tomorrow, Chileans of all backgrounds have thrown themselves into open conflict with the rotten state of things. The story of their rebellion is in the neighborhoods as much as the streets. Here, Emilio Brava recounts the eclipse of the world of the rich and the (re)emergence of dynamic new worlds. It’s a glimpse of our shared power, bound by communal commitments and ancient prophecy.
The rich think they are better than everyone else because they have everything, but they bought it all on credit, just like the rest of us. Now, thanks to this uprising, the Chilean economy is going into a recession. The government is trying to make us fear this recession to demobilize us. They say: ‘If your movements destroy the economy, it will destroy you as well.’ But they don’t want us to see that the economy is already destroyed. Living in this world requires a future that will never come to be.
A strength and conditioning guide for insurgents
From Chile to Beirut, from Paris to New York, we experience the insane demands placed on us by this world in the most intimate ways: in our hearts, minds, and especially our bodies. The cruelty manifests not only in the sudden flare-up or chronic conditions – illness, pain, depression – but in a perverse dispossession of our physical capacities, our inability to inhabit our bodies, to never feel at home within ourselves. This world doesn’t just make us sick, it makes us weak. This guide was designed to help us overcome these obstacles and put us in touch with our own power. Written by Mila, with design and illustration by Eros Dervishi, it’s a roadmap to building collective strength, whether we’re hitting the streets, hopping a turnstile, or defeating an enemy. And it starts with dwelling within ourselves and looking out for one another.
We feel stress every day, not just as an emotion but physically: as fatigue, pain, and inflammation. The conditions of our hellworld are set up to hold us in this state – driving in large killing machines across the city, we spend our days slaving away, only to return home exhausted and still drowning under the weight of financial responsibilities. Stress is not just “in our heads,” it’s real. This chronic underlying state of perpetual stress makes us feel like we’re headed towards death without ever having lived.
The next edition of Territories will appear in February. In the meantime, subscribe, share, and get in touch.
Want to contribute to a future issue? We want your stories of finding each other, about your hubs, experiments in everything from permaculture and food autonomy to technology that undermines their ability to control us. We want to know about new tactics you’ve experienced in the streets, about your forms of living together, about your communist tree planting projects, about your abortion and death doula work, about your strategy clubs. We want to share your blueprints and designs for autonomous infrastructure, water filtration, and shelters. We want to hear about your rural organizing, your experiments in health autonomy, your plans for soil remediation, your gatherings, raves, and communal dinners. And whatever else you think will help us walk the path together. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re on Path B,