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

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Recommended articles for Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reformists (they were formerly called "liberals") such as Swanson view the system of capitalism as being like gravity--a fact of reality--instead of a man-made system designed to advance the acquisition of wealth and power by a small group. Thus to obscure reality, Swanson substitutes "plutocracy" to designate the possession of power and extreme wealth by a tiny minority instead of capitalism which has provided this tiny class with tremendous power and extreme wealth. He obviously believes, like so many others, that we can have capitalism without extreme inequality of influence and wealth. Such a belief flies in the face of all the devastation and the wars of the 20th century, and the gross inequality that we see today.
If I were simple-minded, it would be easily to conclude that the reason that humans will go extinct is because of people like Swanson. A more balanced conclusion would be that people like Swanson have contributed to the lack of resistance to a system that will cause the extinction of humans.