Survival of the fearless.


s c e n a r i o

Imagine you are a Roman citizen around the time the Western Empire fell. And imagine that instead of despairing, you carry a small data storage device containing the best practices of viable communities all over the world: in effect, schematics for living together sustainably and in peace. Would several centuries of Dark Ages ever have happened?

We are not ancient Romans, but we live in a time of turbulence where clashing empires and dangerous technologies imperil humans and nonhumans alike. Given these threats, climate change, and the dwindling world supply of petroleum, no one knows what the community of the future might look like. We know only that civilizations and nation-states unwilling to lessen their impact on the degrading environment stand no chance of surviving the resulting ecological overshoot, let alone the post-oil world to come.

The bright side of so much uncertainty is that it reopens the question of what kinds of communities we really desire to live in. And if the future brings a greater emphasis on local living, low-energy frugality, and face-to-face opportunities for self-governance, a catalog of what works in such situations could help us face that future with less anxiety and greater hope. Conflict negotiation, indigenous practices, town hall democracy, bartered services, restorative justice, and symbolic reparation are only a handful of the near-infinite variety of community-building tools our species has had to invent for itself in the course of its evolution and diversification.

The goal of Opus Pax is to build a collection of these community best practices and make them available in one catalog for free downloading onto portable storage media like flash sticks, card readers, and even cameras and iPods. A wiki where readers can add comments and suggestions is under consideration.


p h i l o s o p h y

Our assumptions about this work are as follows:


c a t a l o g

The catalog is now under construction. If you would like to contribute something to it, check the list of open topics first and then contact us. If we include your contribution, you will be credited at the end of it unless you do not want to be. Because the catalog is in its first stages, feel free to suggest new topics or categories.


the origins - the words - the projects - the contributors - the survivors - the cosmographers

© 2004-2009, All rights reserved.