The Cost of Opting Out

Let’s continue to build gardens and live in walkable neighborhoods, but we should also recognize the sociotechnical structures that prevent fundamental change. Opting out of fast food and cars would undeniably help the environment and society, but to ask any one individual to forego the efficiencies of modern life is a demand on their own personal resources. Instead of asking individuals to give up their Facebook accounts and their cars, academics and activists need to find new ways of providing the same or comparable services that embody a different sort of politics. Build a world where Facebook is obviously the inferior mode of communication and fast food just seems gross. It means building the capacity for critical human engagement outside of the confines of capitalist notions of efficiency.

The Cost of Opting Out, on how individualistic non-participation fails as a critique and corrective of problems in modern society.