I believe we have to think about how to create spaces for people to experience the solidarity that bolsters our courage to explore new ideas and to take risks to challenge power. ~ Robert Jensen
I’m feeling very solution oriented today. After yesterday’s political show – a continuation of the bullheadedness of our elitist leaders, Robert Jensen’s Combatting Ignorance, Avoiding Arrogance gave me some extra determination. It seems at first like an ‘I told you so’ piece, but develops into a strong case for the patience, humility and tenaciousness that we should find and foster in grassroots organizations if we plan to succeed in reversing our course of economic destruction. It’s a confirming sort of pep talk with thoughtful reasons for everyone to get involved with a group like our Alliance for Progressive Values. The people still have the strength to turn things around, but only with a meaningful collective voice. Once you find a good group to join, that group will link with other like-minded groups to form an effective foundation for the changes we all want to see.
Time for Americans to Participate in Power by Kevin Zeese backs it up nicely. This well sourced Labor Day piece includes a lot of statistics that are often misreported. His strong arguments for raising taxes on the rich and reducing military spending seem especially supportive now that the super committee’s Jon Kyl is threatening to quit over military spending reductions and other neoliberals on the committee are refusing to raise taxes. That, in addition to the predictable breaking news of a one week old terrorist threat that challenged football for the domination of our American nightly “news” immediately following the president’s important (but planned to be rejected) jobs speech.
Zeese’s conclusion is like that of Jensen’s in that we “need to look honestly and deeply into the corruption of government by economic and political elites and demand that we participate in power,” but he suggests a stronger stand of active participation and solidarity in an upcoming event: October2011.org, which advocates “Fifteen Core Issues the Country Must Face.”
October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.
I think it’s going to be an important event – it has certainly been well-organized.
There are lots of reasons why America is seemingly being steered into a deep ditch and we all have different views about the causes – but at this point, there are enough groups and activities promoting solidarity that everyone should be able to find a good fit, and that’s definitely the tack we should take.
In 9/11 hero Todd Beamer’s last words, “Let’s roll.”
For APV members: Here’s some information on the APV Fall 2011 Lobby Trip to Washington D.C. Don’t forget to sign up! It’s going to be a great one!