Solar Punk

A meta-modern approach of hope for the aftermath of a doomed civilization

To be frank – the belief has taken hold in me, that this civilization construct as we know it, approaches the end of its cycle. The dysfunctionality of it I find difficult to ignore and I know many others see it this way too. The narratives of system collapse do resonate with me to some extent. The unraveling of civilization I imagine will provide us with quite challenging experiences of the cataclysmic category and I must admit, that some part of me feels excitement about this. 

Some cultures include in their mythology the representation of forces of destruction and creation that alternate in cycles, which gives them a sense of normality to the events we might be facing in this decade of transformation. Our culture with its narrative of linear progression has difficulty making sense of and accepting cycles of destruction, death and involution.

In this deteriorating world we still have options, albeit not many, but few are available to us. Certainly, we can get very depressed about the impending doom catalysed by climate change and the social disruption it will probably unfold and we can indulge in hedonisms to distract us from it and party hard until the end. Looking at the deterioration of our planet and the billions impoverished and in desperate conditions, we can get angry, take it to the streets and demand change and call for accountability by the people, institutions or system we deem responsible. We can indulge in narratives about conspiracies out of fear of a turn towards a totalitarian dystopia of the Chinese surveillance capitalism flavour. And we can also adopt a more ironic stance on it all, and take it into our own hands to seed the path for a new version of human civilization which may flourish on the ashes of the neoliberal capitalist patriarchal global system. 

Humanity will start solving their problems, the day they seize to take themselves too seriously.

Principia Discordia

Cultivating a humorous playfulness about this all, has helped me not to lose hope in the possibility of a golden age kind of future, even though big parts of my system sometimes scream at me: We are so doomed! I have accepted that it might get ugly before we can make it better.

A rather new movement based on the “Metamodern Solar Punk Manifesto” by Joe Lightfood has caught my attention and sparked the part of me that still has hope and optimism in her heart. I have picked up some of those thoughts as they highly resonate with me.

Enter the Metamodern Solar Punks 

Solar Punks adopt a serious playfulness or playful seriousness about life and the dance of existence and the integrative both/and thinking that allows to merge different perspectives and look for the synthesis. 

Solar Punks know that in the face of utter meaninglessness, we need to be craftful with the creation of the narratives that will inspire the resolve to act towards the change we want to see in the world. 

Solar Punks have enough touch with reality to realize how dire the shituation of the survival of the species on this planet looks but remain upbeat and hopeful that we can turn shit around, even if we need to manage deterioration first. 

Solar Punks choose to believe that we can develop as a species and evolve our culture in a way that we integrate the wise use of technology and reconnect with nature in  a synergistic way. That we can develop cybernetic systems of self-regulating autonomous but interconnected communities and act as a global civilization stewarding the planet without centralized systems of mass control. 

Solar Punks choose to foster a narrative of hope for a brighter future by taking action towards radical change and not wait for authorities and power holders to do so while falling into despair or gloom. 

Solar Punks integrate the perspectives of both science and spirituality to make sense of the world and do not shy from using ritual and reconnect to the rhythm of cyclical living. 

Solar Punks understand that we need to overcome hyper-individuality and alienation and that our nervous systems have not evolved past tribal structures and that we need to reinvent some form of tribes four our systems to fully feel safe and flourish. 

Solar Punks understand that a healthy society builds upon healthy relationships and we need to upgrade our ways of relating to each other, to the land and to the cosmos and we can do so by integrating the wisdom of indigenous cultures from the past, that were more attuned to their environment. 

Solar Punks understand that we need to experiment with different containers for social interaction to find more nourishing solutions than a society built upon the notion of a nuclear family. From these experiments in temporary autonomous zones, we can establish a mycelial network of regenerative and visionary communities to spawn a new civilization. 

Solar Punks create game worlds of infinite games, with the purpose of continuing to play, to exchange the finite games of winners and losers putting more value on ingenuity, generativity, interdependence and community with an emphasis on environmental regenerativity, subsidiarity and social justice. 

Solar Punks accept that game worlds always come with hierarchies, but try to build growth hierarchies instead of dominator hierarchies, fostering social cultural environments that foster individual autonomy and collaboration, unity in diversity and egalitarian distribution of power. 

This game world we inhabit faces a huge transformation, and how well the human race adapts to these changes still remains to be seen. Facing this unknown, I choose to play with those that also see the possibility for a regenerative civilization. Those who see this planet as a gem and us as its stewards. 

The Solar Punk narrative offers the inspiration to pursue a change, for a future where humanity makes a wise use of our god-like technology. In this future we build our habitats in a synergistic manner with the land and environment, and manage the resources at our disposal in a way that provides for a good living for all creatures that cohabit on this planet. 

In the face of the doomsday scenario memes spreading through our media-narratives, we can choose to remain upbeat about our chances for human development and evolution. The world as we know it might crumble and dissolve before our eyes, yet I firmly believe that these states of chaos act as a powerful catalyst for evolution. If we surf the waves coming our way, we might have some fun on this wild ride. We might even come out on the other side of it, having evolved into a new stage of civilization. 

You might judge this as a romantic stance on a crisis, but I have been through a few of my own and from each one I emerged a different person, much wiser and much more integrated. 

You might judge me as a dreamer – but I am not the only one. We can dream a different world into existence. 

Will you join the Solar Punk narrative or wait for cyberpunk dystopian narratives to take over our reality?