There are two ways to interpret “social transformation.”
In the introverted way, by pushing the membrane that we interact with society to the outer edges of our group, we are allowed to rewrite society within our membrane. We can do things like valuing all of our labor equally and see what effect that has. We can play around with what it means to be a contributing member of society and what society’s obligations to you are. The space afforded by that gives us more room to create our own culture and institute a more feminist space to deepen democracy. It gives us a lot of resources to create our own culture through these day-to-day experiments.
In the extroverted interpretation, how is egalitarian income sharing a viable revolutionary strategy? If we want to avoid the word revolution and be more specific: how is it a more viable strategy for liberatory social transformation? Here we have the value of the communes as laboratories of the future where we can try out our ideas about how to organize politically, economically, and socially to see what works and what doesn’t. The next step in that, is that we need to be publishing our results. As we experiment with things and as we find promising solutions to things that affect us as a society, we can serve as an example. By showing people these micro-societies that are working according to different rules, we can inspire people to think of their problems as not insolvable and to have hope and hopefully find inspiration in how to do that transformative work themselves. One of the classic arguments leveled at the radical, utopian left is that while all of their ideas sound wonderful and are nice in theory, they are completely impractical, and if they were ever practiced in a serious way, the society they would create would crumble into violent anarchy. Margaret Thatcher said, “there is no alternative” to capitalism. That capitalism is horrible, but the best we can hope for, is a perfect encapsulation of how many people feel trapped in capitalism.
Standing in deep solidarity with each other, we become stronger, and by standing together, we can become more effective agents of social change. Greater flexibility engendered by cooperation and the ability to decide what it means to be a productive, contributing member of society, allows members who want to participate in unpaid activism to engage in that activism if the collective values it and is able to support the group. A problem that often strikes activists and social justice groups is burnout. People are often contributing a lot of energy but not having their needs met so they have to drop out of the movement in sometimes-catastrophic ways. Supporting each other in this way allows us to be more creative with our activism by making it unnecessary for commune members engaged in activism to plug into a pre-existing organization for the sake of pay or an official position and instead allowing the commune member activist to work on their mission with greater flexibility and fewer constraints.