We on the Left are relying too much on old ideas and old practices that worked in a time of expansion of global capitalism. In fact, change is happening in multiple ways that are different from the past whether on the Internet or in communities. For example, Wikipedia and Wikileaks, both non-profit ventures outside of traditional media circles have deeply challenged the monopoly of information held by the corporate media. Projects like Transition Towns that are creating alternative ways of living more at harmony with the earth are spreading at a local and global level. Not everyone engaged in building alternatives to savage capitalism consider themselves on the Left, for one thing. For another, the powers that be no longer have the flexibility they once had to co-opt various forms of social change. Their failure to come up with even the pretence of a solution to climate change not to mention their failure to solve the deepening economic crisis are signs of that.
Or as my friend, filmmaker Velcrow Ripper, explains more poetically in a recent piece that appeared on these pages "We need stories rooted in a fierce love, which means boldly facing the heartbreak of species extinction, of human suffering, of ecosystem collapse, while celebrating the explosion of compassion, love and possibility that is rising all over this trembling globe."Fun guy, that Velcrow.
Update: Transition Towns--sound like later-day hippy communes to me.
Update: Hey, Jude, this one's 4 U: