Most of our problems today are the result of an economy focused on extracting value. Clear cutting forests, over fishing and industrial scale agriculture that extracts ecological value; dull office work and assembly lines that extract labor value; and the colonization of our social networks and physical communities that extracts social value. When value is alienated from its source of generation, it is hard to repair the damage. Even bureaucratic communism tends to extract value. A better model can be found in the Indigenous traditions that replaced value alienation with value circulation. These “bottom-up” systems for returning value in unalienated forms can be developed using technologies such as peer-to-peer production, platform cooperatives, computing for community-based economies, agroecology, and new forms of “DIY citizenship” ranging from feminist makerspaces to queer biohacking. We refer to these as technologies for generative justice.
For all three categories (labor value, ecological value, and social value) we can define generative justice as follows:
The universal right to generate unalienated value and directly participate in its benefits; the rights of value generators to create their own conditions of production; and the rights of communities of value generation to nurture self-sustaining paths for its circulation.