Paradigm Shift

P A R A D I G M   S H I F T 

Envisioning our future does not include a greener version of the unjust socio-economic we currently have in place.

In activist hallways, we often hear the phrase “Speak Truth to Power.” Now, the question that inevitably comes to mind is: what is YOUR truth? Our community’s truth is that genuine victory implies a radical paradigm shift. A greener version of the current system we have in place just won't do – not when we're talking about the survival of our species, of an elevated sense of social justice, of a deeper consciousness. Let us be bold when we state that we are not winning right now. Why shrink from that statement when it has the power to enliven us with so much transformational power? Once we accept that the false solutions we're being spoon fed are actually hindering our momentum, once we let go of these delusions, only then are we FREE to envision what tomorrow's just and healthy world will look like. Let us be honest when we speak about building radical, beloved communities that are at once resilient and resistant. Let us be creative in envisioning what we're going to build on the ashes of this collapsing civilization.

In our community, we have aligned ourselves with the preparation efforts of Transition Towns, embracing the notion that our future includes local self-reliance. It's clear that our infitine growth economic model is unsustainable, on a planet with finite resources. It's creating economic inequalities, climate chaos, ecological crisis, while taking a huge toll on our interpersonal relationships and well-being. And the best time to start transitioning away from this unviable way of living is NOW. Transition Town initiatives are beginning to expand all over the world -- each unique and tailored to the needs of that specific community. To find out more, check out our Transition Town section.

Building a comprehensive vision for what we want tomorrow's society to look like is no easy task, as many have found before us. In 1962, led by Tom Hayden, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) took on this tantamount task, drafting what came to be the Port Huron Statement. This visionary, collaborative document calling for Participatory Democracry and a New Left, came to be known as the "seminal agenda" for a generation. How did it come into existence? Five dozen SDS college students gathered for 4 days and 4 nights, talking about civil rights, foreign policy and the American way of life, before agreeing to a political platform that expressed their shared sentiments. This manifesto came to be known as the Port Huron Statement.

What will our generation visionary's statement look like?

"Rebellions tend to be negative, to denounce and expose the enemy without providing a positive vision of a new future...A revolution is not just for the purpose of correcting past injustices, a revolution involves a projection of man/woman into the future...It begins with projecting the notion of a more human human being, i.e. a human being who is more advanced in the specific qualities which only human beings have - creativity, consciousness and self-consciousness, a sense of political and social responsibility." -Grace Lee Boggs-

OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU:  As a community, have a conversation about the “false solutions” you have been taught and envision the world you’d like to see free of these restrictions.  What does it look like? From there, plan a retreat with your community, and take on the challenge of collaboratively writing your own manifesto for what you want tomorrow's world to look like, given the current state of economic, social and environmental degradation.