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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Small Town America: Racial Apartheid, Cultural Decay and Neoliberalism

Click here to access article by Vincent Emanuele from TeleSur.

This community organizer in Michigan City provides a disturbing graphic description of cultural decay in an advanced capitalist country--the USA. He tells of his experience in a campaign to elect a progressive to the local school board while knocking on doors and meeting residents face-to-face. It became clear to him that in this advanced stage of globalized capitalism Michigan City can be found in many areas of the world.
After several weeks of knocking on doors, it occurred to me that the landscape of Michigan City would look quite familiar to those living in deindustrialized regions around the globe, from Lancashire to Latin America. A loss of viability and hope plagues people around the world. Michigan City is just one example. At the same time, it's a case study in neoliberal globalization. This small, yet common midwestern city represents the very worst of global capitalism: violence, drug abuse, prison-executions, privatized commons, casinos, clinically depressed citizens, empty factories, hyper-materialist consumer products, crumbling infrastructure, racial apartheid, environmental devastation and the list goes on.