There is nothing controversial or angry about the new We Are The World, and that may be one off its problems because syrupy high profile celebrity events are now co-opted corporate-embraced commodities in our commercial culture. They are almost an expected Made in the USA genre, slick and all too often self-congratulatory commercials for compassion. They are effusively praised by the powers that be who pat all the high-profile artists on their heads, and then, in the end, ignore their passion. They also become one-shot stories and marketing vehicles.
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