Join the people and organisations who are changing the world
In my previous series of blogs, looks like the world’s gone mad, I focussed on the issues and problems we see in today’s mad world.
Our world is in trouble. The climate is changing dangerously and we are polluting the air, the land and the oceans. The COVID pandemic is bringing with it economic collapse and the potential for social chaos. The natural environment of Planet Earth is being so degraded by human activity that it is coming close to no longer being able to sustain human life.
But there are many people and organisations who are working hard to change the world and make it a better place for all of us. So fear not and read on because things they are a changing – and hope is in the air!
Let’s go on a journey together to join those who are changing the world, to see who they are and what they are doing, and also to question why change is taking so long…
Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. 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.’ – Howard Zinn, American Historian & Social Thinker
I feel the need to find answers to some questions: What’s to be done? Do we need system change or personal change? Or both? What is already happening to move us to a better world? And, most importantly, is there anything we each, as individuals, can do to bring about change?
There’s a lot about the waves in capitalism between upturn and depression and about the ability of capitalism to adapt to new circumstances, but the real eye-openers came in the chapters towards the end of the book about what we can learn from how change came about in the past.
In exploring how transitions occurred in the past he considered whether we can apply the lessons of history in building a vision of a post-capitalist future.
Using the transition from a failing feudalism to mercantile capitalism as an example, Paul Mason explains how change comes about …
- The failure of the old world. This looks as if it is already happening. We have the ‘external shocks’ of the climate crisis, a global viral pandemic and even the threat of the extinction of the human species. (Phew – if all that doesn’t inspire us to change direction nothing will!)
- New technologies make change possible. In our 21st Century world we have information technology generally and social media in particular which have seen the birth of the ‘networked’ individual and the exchange of ideas. International ‘webinars’ are a regular feature of life 21st Century style and global networks of people with special interests are a regular feature of social media.
- People begin to see the world and their place in it differently. There are growing signs, especially during the period of the COVID pandemic, that people are beginning to question and to think and act differently. Community and co-operation are creeping in to take the place of individualism and competition. It’s even being suggested that human consciousness is evolving!
Paul Mason adds:
When we look at the possibility of transition beyond capitalism, we have to expect a similar complex interplay between technology, social struggle, ideas and external shocks. But our minds reel from the scale of it.
Yes, my mind does reel from the scale of it but, not daunted, I set off to see what changes are being made to bring us to a better future, and, lots of good stuff I found!