Howard Zinn: The Optimism of Uncertainty
We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don’t “win,” there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Corporate Rule Is Not Inevitable. 7 signs the corporatocracy is losing its
legitimacy — and 7 populist tools to help shut it down.
In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans said too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few rich people and large corporations. In a poll by Time Magazine, 86 percent of Americans said Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence in Washington.
And 80 percent of Americans oppose Citizens United, the pro-corporate Supreme Court ruling that turns two years old today. Eighty percent — that’s among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
Some say corporations have such a strong grip on politicians and big media that it is impossible to challenge them, no matter how many of us there are.
But I believe we can do it. In the past few months, YES! Magazine has been researching ways that ordinary people can challenge corporate power (look for strategies in our spring issue, out in February). And we found that there are actually a lot of tools at our disposal..
What will change everything?
“What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?”
Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming by Paul Hawken
Hawken describes a convergence of the environmental and social justice movements as the largest social movement in history, and the fastest growing movement, comprising over 1 million organizations in every country in the world.
The 2008 Shift Report: Changing the Story of Our Future
“We are living through one of the most fundamental shifts in history — a change in the actual belief structure of Western society. No economic, political, or military power can compare with the power of a change of mind. By deliberately changing their images of reality, people are changing the world.”
— Willis Harman, Global Mind Change
“Perfect Storm” by David Wilcox from the album Airstream