Theo Kitchener is creating the Realism For Idealism blog
0

patrons

$0
per month
Hi, I’m Theo Kitchener. I was an activist for twelve years. I worked on things particularly around environmentalism, community development, alternative economies, food security, civilisational collapse, system change, and self-actualisation. I’ve started and helped start several organisations, run hundreds of workshops, wrote articles/zines and was as much of a leader as you can be when trying to create systems without leaders.

I used to believe very strongly that if you designed non-hierarchical systems well enough, the good in people would win out and utopia would become possible. It was a beautiful idea, but after twelve years of trying to do it and continuously failing, I’ve since realised that humans have been too fucked up by this society’s ways for that to work.

I think the far left has put it’s idealism too far before it’s pragmatism, and also too far before it’s empathy. We ignore the reality that people have been traumatised and badly socialised by this society, and that that makes it next to impossible to interact in the ways we want to believe are possible. Not only is this unhelpful to our goals of changing the world, but sometimes we seem to actively make things worse. Regretfully, I have participated in parts of this and in many ways encouraged it over the years. Now I want to critique it and suggest alternatives.

I’ve definitely still got an optimistic utopian bent though. I believe that a world without poverty, war, runaway climate change, and with a lot of love, community, beauty, partying, nature, responsibility and fulfillment for everyone is possible. I just think now, that the way to get there is through realism – lower expectations of idealism in the present, in order to actually get somewhere close to where we’re aiming for. The rest can be figured out over the next 10-10,000 years.

I’ll be writing here about my new ideas about how to change the world, as well as such things as judgementalism, hope and grief about the world, conflict transformation, permaculture, burnout, system change, collapse preparedness, healing trauma, anti-oppression, democracy, emotional skills, climate change, transformative justice, liberation and utopia, activist culture, community, nonviolence, gender and feminism, non-hierarchical groupwork, relationship anarchy, divide and conquer tactics, emotional abuse, sharehousing, anarchism, climate change, revolution, communication skills, techno-utopianism, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethical consumerism, anti-fascism, and self-actualisation.

Much of it will be controversial because I’m more interested in what’s useful than with going along with everyone else. A lot of what I see going on in activist culture is antithetical to the ideals of activists. I’m keen to help us integrate our values and our practices, so we can actually have a chance at changing the system.

I also want to acknowledge that hardly any of the ideas I’ll write about here are my original thoughts. Most of it comes from the long political and personal conversations I have had with my best friend and intellectual collaborator Roger Sharp, as well as many with my partners, friends and fellow activists – truly amazing people with a huge amount of insight and knowledge (not to say that Roger or any of the others would necessarily agree with everything I say here). Most of the rest comes from books, zines and articles I’ve read. Mostly what I’m contributing here is about seeing what’s possible, seeking ways to make it real, evaluating different ways forward and synthesising the useful ideas.
Tiers
$2 tier
$2 or more per month
Thank you! Every couple of bucks makes a difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$10 tier
$10 or more per month
I'm so grateful for your support! Every tenner makes a big difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$25 tier
$25 or more per month
Thank you so very much!! Every twenty-five bucks makes a really big difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$50 tier
$50 or more per month
Wow! Thank-you! Every fifty makes a huge difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$100 tier
$100 or more per month
I'm a bit speechless here. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Every hundred bucks makes a humongous difference to me being able to do this work. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
Goals
$0 of $1,864 per month
I'd like to be making $400 a week to cover my basic living expenses, so that I don't feel the need to get a job elsewhere and I can devote all of my energy to this project. 
If you account for taxes and the patreon fees, that means I need to make $1864 per month.
1 of 1
Hi, I’m Theo Kitchener. I was an activist for twelve years. I worked on things particularly around environmentalism, community development, alternative economies, food security, civilisational collapse, system change, and self-actualisation. I’ve started and helped start several organisations, run hundreds of workshops, wrote articles/zines and was as much of a leader as you can be when trying to create systems without leaders.

I used to believe very strongly that if you designed non-hierarchical systems well enough, the good in people would win out and utopia would become possible. It was a beautiful idea, but after twelve years of trying to do it and continuously failing, I’ve since realised that humans have been too fucked up by this society’s ways for that to work.

I think the far left has put it’s idealism too far before it’s pragmatism, and also too far before it’s empathy. We ignore the reality that people have been traumatised and badly socialised by this society, and that that makes it next to impossible to interact in the ways we want to believe are possible. Not only is this unhelpful to our goals of changing the world, but sometimes we seem to actively make things worse. Regretfully, I have participated in parts of this and in many ways encouraged it over the years. Now I want to critique it and suggest alternatives.

I’ve definitely still got an optimistic utopian bent though. I believe that a world without poverty, war, runaway climate change, and with a lot of love, community, beauty, partying, nature, responsibility and fulfillment for everyone is possible. I just think now, that the way to get there is through realism – lower expectations of idealism in the present, in order to actually get somewhere close to where we’re aiming for. The rest can be figured out over the next 10-10,000 years.

I’ll be writing here about my new ideas about how to change the world, as well as such things as judgementalism, hope and grief about the world, conflict transformation, permaculture, burnout, system change, collapse preparedness, healing trauma, anti-oppression, democracy, emotional skills, climate change, transformative justice, liberation and utopia, activist culture, community, nonviolence, gender and feminism, non-hierarchical groupwork, relationship anarchy, divide and conquer tactics, emotional abuse, sharehousing, anarchism, climate change, revolution, communication skills, techno-utopianism, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, ethical consumerism, anti-fascism, and self-actualisation.

Much of it will be controversial because I’m more interested in what’s useful than with going along with everyone else. A lot of what I see going on in activist culture is antithetical to the ideals of activists. I’m keen to help us integrate our values and our practices, so we can actually have a chance at changing the system.

I also want to acknowledge that hardly any of the ideas I’ll write about here are my original thoughts. Most of it comes from the long political and personal conversations I have had with my best friend and intellectual collaborator Roger Sharp, as well as many with my partners, friends and fellow activists – truly amazing people with a huge amount of insight and knowledge (not to say that Roger or any of the others would necessarily agree with everything I say here). Most of the rest comes from books, zines and articles I’ve read. Mostly what I’m contributing here is about seeing what’s possible, seeking ways to make it real, evaluating different ways forward and synthesising the useful ideas.

Recent posts by Theo Kitchener

Tiers
$2 tier
$2 or more per month
Thank you! Every couple of bucks makes a difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$10 tier
$10 or more per month
I'm so grateful for your support! Every tenner makes a big difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$25 tier
$25 or more per month
Thank you so very much!! Every twenty-five bucks makes a really big difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$50 tier
$50 or more per month
Wow! Thank-you! Every fifty makes a huge difference to me being able to do this work full time. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter. 
$100 tier
$100 or more per month
I'm a bit speechless here. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Every hundred bucks makes a humongous difference to me being able to do this work. I appreciate your belief in me! I'd like to offer you the opportunity to send me feedback on my articles before they're published, and to have your name listed on my site as a supporter.