Radical Joy

Intimacy starts with the ceaseless project of connecting to oneself as we move through the world and its endless combinations of variables. My version of radical happiness is nurturing this intimacy with myself as I do the same for others.

Living on the margins and connecting with marginalized folks, we find affirmative identification through our collective freedom struggle. This is radical joy. Through ephemeral, yet impactful moments in space and time we acknowledge that we are the experts of our own experiences. In so doing, we affirm one another’s humanity and nurture that humanity with great care and respect. These are amongst my most precious moments in life.

CoLET’s program areas are gelling around food, dialogue, reading, SaaS, and our ecological impact. As we implement these actions we work with a model of happiness that facilitates community and collaboration. We aim to feminize tech by working as a connector between radical groups and the technologies that are in alliance with their visions.

“It is clear that few emotions – joy or sorrow, love or hate, acceptance or rage – arrive in any pure form, untouched by hints of their opposite” (Intro in Radical Happiness).

If we are unhappy, we are treated as if this is an individual experience, putting capitalism’s focus on individualism at centerstage. Under capitalism, everything is commoditized, including our emotions. Sadness is marketed to us as an individual experience: take this pill and substitute your bad thoughts with good thoughts.

“It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces’ …in discussing Nazi extermination camps, Theodor Adorno argues that there is a straight line of development between the gospel of happiness and the construction of camps of extermination… that each of our own countryman can convince himself that he cannot hear the screams of pain.” (Chapter 2 in Radical Happiness)

We hear, see and feel the suffering of ourselves and others under this wildly anti-human time. Instead of looking to the marketplace for a pill or some other form of conspicuous consumption, we are procuring moments of happiness, love and affirmation by facilitating connections between ourselves and others. As sublime as individual joy can be, it is amplified and more powerful when it is shared as collective joy.

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