Do you ever wonder why it seems no one’s trying to fix what’s wrong in our world?
Count ‘em off: economic inequality, the disaster of economic globalization, the threat of individualism, the corporate takeover of governments, and our inability to control money in politics. Add your own list of favorite local, national or international problems.
One can be forgiven for asking “Why isn’t somebody working to make our systems better?” Not that other times and cultures have escaped the ravages of human greed and depravity. But the imminent destruction of our supportive environment sharpens our focus and makes action critical in our time.
In fact, there’s good news. Lots of positive things are happening. People all over the world are working to change the basic systems that are driving us over the cliff of climate change. We don’t hear much about it because the mainstream media focus on diverting attention away from this growing revolution. Nevertheless, it’s happening.
Take the recent attempt by factions in Scotland to secede from Britain, for example. The secessionists are tired of “austerity.” They want more social spending, greater controls on the extraction and use of fossil fuels, a curb on nuclear power. They’re focusing on the needs of the community and society rather than individual self-interest.
Dissidents in Spain and Greece, Sweden and Norway are voicing concerns that their best interests are not being served by leaders they’ve trusted to make sound decisions on their behalf.
Legions of demonstrators in New York City protested last week as world leaders gathered to address climate change. They expressed concern about the fossil fuel industry’s blockage of the shift to cleaner energy sources that would allow leaving oil, coal and natural gas in the ground.
On a recent Sunday, crowds of demonstrators confronted police in downtown Hong Kong demanding that city leadership be chosen by democratic means. Their resistance to the Chinese Communist government’s insistence on top-down control ignited public indignation against authoritarian rule.
In Alberta, Canada, the Athabasca Chipewayan First Nation has mounted an effective challenge to Shell and Syncrude over mining, fracking and tar sands projects. They’re seeking compensation for environmental damage plus the shutdown of mining and tailing operations producing a “toxic soup of arsenic, mercury and carcinogenic hydrocarbons.”
On another front, and yet another issue, an organization called “Strike Debt” is urging Americans with student debt to form a union. They want to “create a platform for organization, advocacy and resistance by debtors.” The organization’s Rolling Jubilee Fund put up nearly $4 million to pay off the loans of 2700 Everest College students.
Looking more broadly, the Occupy Movement, which the U.S. media would prefer not to mention because they want us to think it’s dead, has initiated 951 projects in 82 countries around the world. These initiatives are geared toward organizing local communities against capitalism and corporate takeover of the systems of governance.
These actions send a strong message that people are angry. Political elites are creating more problems than they’re solving, and the people are incensed enough to take action against governments they no longer trust to lead them in beneficial directions.
This is good news for the revolution. People around the world – yes, even the middle class in the United States – are desperate for economic and political change. They’ve been feeling the economic pinch for decades and are now alert to the fact that democracy is further from their grasp than ever. Frustration is turning into defiance and resistance.
With climate change imminently upon us, threatening the destruction of our way of life, it will take a revolution to accomplish the immense changes necessary to take down corporate rule and give power to the people.