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, December 21, 2015

This is not a refugee crisis

Click here to access article by Paul Walsh from Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR).

I have been spending considerable time this morning reading many fascinating articles recently published in this new magazine published by ROAR. (We simply must support them.) The focus of this website and magazine is European politics from a left-wing perspective. And European politics are becoming inextricably connected with the Middle East hotbed of politics. This article really puts in graphic clarity the experience of Europeans with the current flood of refugees fleeing for their lives from ongoing wars in the Middle East to a safe haven in Europe.
The refugee issue is used by far-right, populist groups to build power and extend beyond their small base of supporters, especially in the few countries willing to open their doors, like Sweden and Germany. The issue is also used by domestic elites for political ends.

But do political leaders understand what is happening? We are moving towards a divided Europe: those who want to help, and those who want to hate—with the majority unsure and anxious. Grassroots citizens’ initiatives are working across these divides, growing from the soil of government failure. But grassroots initiatives have limited resources, and can only do so much.

This isn’t a refugee crisis at all; it’s a crisis of racism, of hatred, of information.