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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Why small-scale alternatives won’t change the world

Click here to access a book review by Michael Ware of Greg Sharzer's No Local posted on Climate & Capitalism.
Against a backdrop of global climate disasters, financial panics, and inequality, localism — the creation of small-scale local systems of production and distribution — seems to make sense. Start small and stay close to home; forge community ties, grow your own food locally, and create alternatives that can eventually replace the current system of global capitalism with a sane, sustainable way of life. By providing this alternative, the local will overwhelm global capitalism. Death by a thousand cuts. But can the power of global capitalism be undone through establishing bike paths, cooperatives, bartering, alternative local currencies, community gardens, and small businesses?