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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 14, 2011

A world in breakdown

by Paul Rogers from Open Democracy (UK).

I really don't like to post alarmist articles, but there are times when it is necessary to offset the complacency, the diversions, and reassurance of mainstream media in the face of alarming global trends. Many people here in the US need to wake up from their media-entertainment-induced stupor. 
The most harmful consequences of the world’s economic and environmental crises are likely to be felt in 2011, and to fall most harshly on millions of marginalised people. ...Some of the responses may coalesce into radical movements that will yet eclipse anything seen in the world’s financial hubs.

If and when that happens, perhaps it will be the beginning of the end of the stunning complacency that still grips banks, ministries, the financial establishments and their media. Even after the implosions of 2007-10, the elite belief persists that nothing has changed and nothing needs to change. The realities of the world’s combined environmental, economic and security problems say otherwise.