Recent events have completely exposed the limits of individual agency, creating a powerful demand for squad-based forms of resiliency.
Squads are both a product of—and a response to—contemporary social atomization. The trope of “getting a place upstate” signifies young city-dwellers’ desire for new kinds of squad-based homesteading. HOMESQUADING is a modern day back-to-the-land movement—swap Whole Earth-inspired post-war communes with post-internet surf clubs microblogging the virtues of cooperative housing, permaculture gardening, and solar-powered mesh networks.
Whether bound together for survival or for lols, the squads formed by today’s crisis will be resilient. Distance is no longer a barrier with the closeness of network space—soon vital culture will be predominantly enacted by fictive kin. Group collaboration is now the strong default, putting squads at the center of social, cultural, and economic life. To paraphrase Bill Bishop: today people are born as individuals, and have to find their squad.
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