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
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My only criticism of this fine article is the use of the word "consumerism". It seems to me that it is used to hide the system of capitalism, because capitalism is not something that the liberal British newspaper wants to challenge in any way. "Consumerism" elevates the practice of consuming to an ideology, but in fact it is only a necessary component of the capitalist system. So I think that this is another way, among many others, to deflect any examination of the system which provides the governing class with so much wealth and power.