I’ve been reading the book, When Corporations Rule The World, by David Korten. It provides a nice bird’s eye view on the global system we’re currently living in. It also paints a relatively clear picture of the alternative worlds we can work to build.
Right now, the system enables the ultra-rich to transform the Earth’s natural resources and poor people’s labor and time into objects that primarily get thrown away and don’t enrich our quality of life. This system is bad for our happiness. Corporations are not sacred. Neither is money. People are. We should alter the system accordingly. A happier world is possible. There’s enough stuff to go around for everyone to live a fruitful life, but we have to open our minds in some fundamental ways.
I think Barack Obama has the power to make some of these changes. He can and must use this economic crisis as an opportunity to plant the seeds of a green economy. He can and must create mechanisms for corporate responsibility in terms of environmental and labor standards. He can and must extract our foreign policy from the grip of the military industrial complex, peeling off each neoconservative talon. He can and must build up our people power by investing in neglected communities. He will catch shit for all of this, which is why we can and must build social movements to call on him to do these things.
We have the power to make many of the needed changes on the community level too. We can start thinking more and more locally. As more and more people start to lose jobs and homes, we need to rally the troops to help roll out the safety nets. Foodbanks, mentoring programs, homeless shelters, prisons. These are the front lines. We also have the power to innovate. Whether it’s a factory sit-in, an electric car, a farmer’s market, or a neighborhood language exchange program, we have the power to dream up new possibilities.
Obama’s election represents a victory. We’ve shown we can accomplish something. We’ve inspired ourselves. And we’ve rejected the Bush era. And it’s a good thing, because pouring resources into warmongering is idiotic and destructive. It is like an astronaut stabbing holes in a spaceship. Now that we’ve gotten the knife out of the madman’s hands, it’s time to repair the walls and figure out what happened to all the food.
It’s going to require everyone’s help.