“Our planet is facing the greatest problems it’s ever faced, ever. So whatever you do, don’t be bored. This is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.”
— Richard Linklater, The Waking Life
This is Urgent.
The Earth is currently undergoing its sixth mass extinction due to our impact on it, with global warming being the most extreme symptom of our actions and the leading culprit to potentially end 90% of all life on earth including our own.
Global warming is already causing catastrophic, compounding suffering for people across the globe. It has been a major contributing factor to the war in Syria and is predicted to increase the number of wars due to continued environmental degradation and decreased food security.
The way we are living is unsustainable and without drastic change our environment will continue to deteriorate, at an ever increasing pace, and in ways we can not predict, due to accelerating feedback loops.
At best, the effects of global warming will lead to immense, unnecessary suffering for you and those you love. At worst, it could lead to the end of human civilization as we know it.
Unfortunately, our current sociopolitical systems, and those who have the power in this system, have shown their inability to lead in a way that would effectively coordinate us to avoid possible extinction.
Because of this, we are calling for a new path for humanity rooted in local resiliency and sovereignty.
History has shown us that change starts locally via grassroots efforts. We are looking to this course of action again; this time to stave off ecological destruction and break the cycle of systemic oppression that is denying the overwhelming majority of humanity true agency in their lives.
Through the three actionable items below, we can build systems that would bring harmony to each other and our environment.
From this truth comes the need to create new systems that evolve us beyond the current political and economic arrangements of capitalism.
And to be clear, by capitalism, we mean the global socioeconomic system that prioritizes private property, free markets, and the accumulation of profit above human and ecological well being.
Second, we must shift our focus to the creation of participatory democratic structures at the local level.
Social, political and economic participatory structures would not only increase resiliency in the face of economic or environmental collapse but also provide for the opportunity for mutual flourishing for all humans.
Our current nation state and international institution paradigms are designed to keep power concentrated in the hands of the few and are not incentivized to create the radical change that is needed to confront the problems we face as a species.
By focusing locally we can create opportunities for everyone to engage in the building of a more harmonious society. And through these structures we can enable the individual behavior that is needed to confront the severity and scale of the challenges we face.
To accomplish this, we see a world where all municipalities:
These are the basic pieces of infrastructure needed to sustain a modern, thriving, resilient and regenerative municipality.
Third, we must take the first steps to start building each of the above, in our communities, ASAP.
To do this, we recommend following the playbook of Cooperation Jackson, the liberation movement currently taking place in Jackson, Mississippi to free their people of the capitalist, extractive paradigm.
Their book, Jackson Rising, provides details on how to begin implementing each of the structures listed above.
We find their theory of change to be the most comprehensive and actionable of any we’ve come across; and, in turn, believe it is redundant and unnecessary to recommend or try to come up with anything else. They’ve created the initial template now all the rest of us need to do is build off of it, and adapt to our local contexts.
Saying all of the above, we recognize that organizing is an arduous task that takes time, sometimes years or even decades, and we do not make these asks lightly.
The potential calamity and opportunity for flourishing and real agency for all humans, is high enough that we must take these challenges on, however daunting they may appear.
Our role in this is to both build these structures in our own community; and, as an organization, support all those who choose to embark on this journey in their own backyards.
We want our experience, relationships and resources to be available to those engaging in this movement, no matter where you may be in the world.
To that end, please feel free to call us anytime at: (323) 238-5285 or leave us your contact below and we’ll reach out ASAP.
-The People of Beautiful Alternatives-