TOTW: Time

Submitted by martasultan in Anarchism

The distro I’m a part of just hosted a discussion on some excerpts from The Old Calendrist on the oppressive nature of modern capitalist time and calling for a return to ways of keeping time before the current Gregorian calendar (you can find more of the piece here):

What do we want? We want those golden days of September stolen from us by the idolaters of science and rationalist utilitarianism. We hope that the restoration of sacred pagan time will induce a new wide-spread consciousness open to a radical critique of technology as alienation. Stage by stage we’d like to regress toward the status quo ante 1752. Abolish the Industrial Revolution and the post-Industrial reign of time as money. Abolish not only electricity and infernal combustion but also the steam engine. Bring back agrarian green artisanal social time. Abandon the Capitalist Hell Realm. And by the way, let’s also get rid of Daylight Saving Time. Down with all Time Lords. Free Time.

Humorous and nostalgic, the essays identify a problem that’s both abstract and intimately felt: that of time. Time is tied to all sorts of things that make life under capitalism unpleasant: the tyranny of the timeclock, the drive for efficiency, standardized measures which make our lives more easily monitored and controlled by bosses of all sorts.

Against capitalist time, the authors call for a multiplicity of calendars and a return to sacred time as a return to capital-N Nature:

“We advocate abolishing the Gregorian calendar because it has become the time-system of (post)industrial Capitalism, the reign of Work as alienation and the “cruel instrumentality of Reason.” We insist on a “return” to some holy and inefficient calendar--any system so long as it’s old--and we especially support the Julian calendar, which England and America followed till 1752. The point is to re-enchant Time itself, to make it sacred again, more in harmony with Nature, more “organic.””

What do you think of this as a potential model for anarchist time? What are other ideas for restructuring or disrupting time as it exists? Can “society” exist without one time to rule us all?


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