It seems to be off-limits to even ask why so much poverty and misery exists amidst a world of plenty. And the core tenant of capitalism – that labor is directed toward profit – remains unexamined.
The simple reality is that the work we do keeps society functioning. Yet, we don't control the products of our labor. Our labor, instead of being something that benefits ourselves and our communities, only makes someone else rich.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up