The past several decades have seen the emergence of diverse movements that seek to address specific problems and provide general improvements to society. Environmentalists have been trying to stop pollution, climate change and resource depletion; civil libertarians seek to stop the abuse of basic human rights and the erosion of democratic institutions; humanitarians are trying to end hunger, disease, and degrading treatment like human trafficking, genital mutilation and genocide, to name a few. And yet, the juggernaut rolls on, destroying more forests, polluting more water, concentrating more power and wealth in fewer hands. The need for change is obviously becoming more urgent, but why isn’t it happening?
This latest post by Tom Atlee helps to frame both the fundamental problem and broad approaches to transformation. Please give it your careful attention– then take appropriate action.
Posted in Basic Concepts, Developing Alternatives, Emerging paradigm, Geo-politics, Prescriptions, The state of democracy
Tagged civil libertarians, climate, environment, parasitism, surveillance, Tom Atlee
There has been over the years, no shortage of common sense ideas that have the power to create a world that works for everyone. Many of these are included in this recent article. I leave it to the reader to use their good judgement in sorting the wheat from the chaff. –t.h.g.
By Gar Alperovitz and Steve Dubb
We’ve got to break out of the old ways of thinking about the economy.
Most activists tend to approach progressive change from one of two perspectives: First, there’s the “reform” tradition that assumes corporate control is a constant and that “politics” acts to modify practices within that constraint. Liberalism in the United States is representative of this tradition. Then there’s the “revolutionary” tradition, which assumes change can come about only if the major institutions are largely eliminated or transcended, often by violence.
But what if neither revolution nor reform is viable?
Paradoxically, we believe the current stalemating of progressive reform may open up some unique strategic possibilities to transform institutions of the political economy over time. We call this third option evolutionary reconstruction. Like reform, evolutionary reconstruction involves step-by-step nonviolent change. But like revolution, evolutionary reconstruction changes the basic institutions of ownership of the economy, so that the broad public, rather than a narrow band of individuals (i.e., the “one percent”) owns more and more of the nation’s productive assets.