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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Environmental activism needs its own revolution to regain its teeth

Click here to access article by Charles Secrett from the Guardian. 

This piece from the liberal Guardian skirts on the edges of the fundamental conflict between the system of capitalism and environmental safety. But by doing so, it provides a valuable path to lead any reasonably intelligent person to that ominous conflict and the need for system change.
Protest tactics do raise public awareness, win the occasional policy battle, save threatened sites or get dangerous products banned. They are still necessary. But they are not sufficient to alter the destructive path travelled by virtually all governments and most corporations. They are defensive moves against the unremitting pressure of market forces and the priorities of mainstream political parties.

Something much more powerfully proactive is required to persuade the majority to change course before it is too late – something that stirs up a social force to match (peacefully) the citizen revolutions overturning the established order across the Middle East. The movement has the resources to do so. But does it have the ideas and the will?
Clearly, environmental activism must join with social justice activism to create a real social revolution.