What’s going on here?

Hey, everybody!

Long time no see, to those returning. Nice to meet you, to the new folks.

Welcome to the new incarnation of Heisei Democracy: a resource for leftist thought and action.

Some history: back in the mid-aughts, this site was a blog about my life in Japan and related pop culture fixations. The site grew, some other great contributors joined on, and for awhile it was a real passion project for us.

Regular updates dwindled in 2008 and never really returned. If you’re here from that era, I’m sorry for ghosting. Burnout and subsequent retreat into MMO life was a hell of a thing.

It’s been quite awhile since I dusted off the old post button, but I’m here to say that as of today HD is back — and making the ultimate content pivot to surviving the apocalypse.

The past six years or so have been an eye-opening experience. American politics playing out against the backdrop of a climate crisis and an ongoing pandemic have accelerated a thought process that was always lurking in the back of my mind, and what it comes down to for me is this:

Capitalism has failed.

The logic of unending growth and extraction that it relies on is killing us, and killing the planet.

The only way to ensure our collective survival is to abolish or fundamentally change existing structures, and build new, resilient modes of relation that can stand independent of a system that’s collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions.

It’s either (some form of) socialism or barbarism, and I’m picking the side that lets me sleep at night.

Cards on the table: I’m white, non-disabled, relatively neurotypical, and cis-passing. These privileges inevitably inform my perspective, and I’m hella late to this party. I’m not any sort of authority here. I’ll be doing my best to elevate voices that have been leading the way for a long time, and reinforce and illuminate projects already in progress.

I’m just one very online person, but my hope is that by gathering resources and sharing the thoughts I’ve had over the past several years I can be of some use in helping others think through what the fuck is going on in the world right now, and help us figure out a path forward.

The plan is to produce a series of personal essays, alongside reviews and shorter pieces that highlight important work that’s going on in leftist spaces online and on the ground in community. I live in Seattle, so I’ll also be devoting space to local issues both for readers who happen to be in the area and as an example of the sort of opportunities for action that exist in many cities.

If any of this sounds interesting, by all means stick around — glad to have your company. This is where I’ll be posting primarily, but I can also be found on Twitter (for the time being) at @heiseidemocracy. 

Until next time: a better world is possible. Let’s build it together.