People Power: The do-ers

The Three Key Paths: The Do-ers

 

Many in our society snort contemptuously upon hearing people are praying.  They think it’s useless and consider it “doing nothing.”  “You have to DO something,” they tell us.  At this point in history we don’t have time to convert the disbelievers, they just need to have some constructive things to do [though I’ll plant the thought expressed by Charles Eisenstein in The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, that often our rush to “doing” is ill-informed and at best maintains the status quo and at worst actually winds up causing harm].  See previous post on whether praying IS something.

A number of these People Power posts have explored the importance of “going local”.  For that we need increasing numbers of people on the ground who are forming environmental justice groups, creating small-scale local manufacturing, growing organic healthy produce and finding ways to market it, building co-ops for banking, local businesses, health services, etc.

As long as a relatively small number of global corporations hold most of the wealth and mind-boggling amounts of power, environmental and humanitarian crises will become ever more rampant.  To save the planet and to help ALL people to thrive we have to get out from under their control.

Two crucial steps are required to accomplish this.  (1) Quit buying their stuff.  Without profits we provide them, their power disappears.  You vote with every dollar you spend.  Pay attention to how you’re voting.  (2) Since we will still need food, clothing, etc. we need local enterprises to provide us with goods and services and also to replace the jobs that will be lost as big corporations fail.

In Buddhism’s Eightfold Path, I think several branches apply here: Right Livelihood, Right Intent, and Right Action.  The idea is that we do no harm and try to benefit others in everything we do.  Obeying Right Livelihood means making money by only working for or investing in places that are also obeying the rules of Right Action, etc.  Obeying Right Action means you make decisions about buying, selling, and what to do in life based on doing no harm and whenever you can helping others and/or the world.  Right Intent means coming from a place of compassion and heartfulness in every step you take.

To me, there is no way to be in alignment with these paths while working for, investing in, or purchasing from major corporations that harm the environment, treat workers badly, produce harmful items, etc.  A major path of doing therefore involves boycotting those companies and helping to create alternative means of employment and production that operate to bring health, thriving, and sustainability to all.

Another reminder of some new thinking on economics — the idea of a “Thrive Economy” instead of a Growth one, which I think will wind up reflecting the thought that much more needs to be local:

I’ve really been contemplating this and just in my own life I can see it’s very hard to boycott until local alternatives are more prevalent.  I buy a lot from Amazon.  I’d rather not do business with it.  But most of what I buy is only available to me now in other equally yucky corporations.  And to buy from those places I have to drive (environmentally bad as well) to parts of town I loathe, cope with the worst traffic areas, and wander around in overly big stores filled with largely unhappy people.  Right now, Amazon’s free delivery wins.

I shop a fair amount at our local food co-op and also Trader Joe’s, which so far I consider to be a good company, and I need to do more with the local farmer’s market.  But many other things I buy are simply not available as local goods.  Much activity is needed to create viable manufacturing and marketplaces in local areas.

Environmentally speaking there are many actions do-ers can take.  I keep touting Project Drawdown — there are many innovations that individuals or neighborhood groups could adopt and much inspiration for figuring out new ways to help.  If that’s your main interest, plenty of things to do, starting with QUIT BUYING FROM GLOBAL CORPORATIONS.

For do-ers there are also contributions in the land of government and elections but that is for the third post in this concluding (or maybe not 🙂 ) series.

Okay do-ers, there’s your to-do list.  Go forth!

Previous People Power posts;

 

People Power: the three key paths

My People Power series has been dormant for a while, though often in my thoughts,  On one hand I keep feeling there’s perhaps another piece to add to the mix.  And on the other it feels like it’s ready for a conclusion.  The conclusion is at the forefront for me these days as I watch the push and pull between democratic forces and right wing autocratic forces around the world and I’m feeling some urgency on the “what to do” so I’m concluding while holding a door open for more 🙂

I’m seeing three main arenas for our attention, which I’ll summarize here and then give each its own post:

The “be-ers” — going inward

Maybe I should say, “the woo woo crowd”…  I believe so completely in our interconnectedness and how the vibration of each of us impacts the whole, that I actually think our most likely source of salvation will be having enough people consciously clearing their issues and raising their vibrational levels — ’til we lift the consciousness of the world.

The do-ers–going local

The biggest enemy I’ve seen to democracy and equality is global corporatism and the best answer I see for breaking their power is a large-scale movement of local co-ops creating small-scale manufacturing, banking, farming to supply jobs, goods and services at the local level.  The best way to beat them is to stop participating in their businesses but that means we need other buying options and jobs for those who will be displaced.

Many current issues like police brutality and water supply problems are best dealt with on the local level as well and need serious organizing and action.

Everybody change government

Most people in many movements are still looking to the government for change.  I think the government in most countries is too broken and too tied to corporate interests for that to happen.  In the U.S. the most hopeful thing I see is multiple candidates raising their campaign money through crowd funding which will leave them unentangled with corporate interests.

At every level of government we need to concentrate on electing people who are completely free of corporate influence  Both be-ers and do-ers can contribute to campaigns, volunteer to help elect good candidates and GO VOTE!

Previous People Power Posts:

People Power: Create a New Business Model

Fall Line Farms Co-op

Back in December 2016 I wrote a series of posts about bring a spiritual, peaceful attitude to the political arena and in one of them, I wrote about the secondary economy I’d seen evolving for years among the “cultural creatives”.  Now I see a grass roots cooperative movement joining this secondary economy and in the two I see hope for leaving the 2% behind as we quit doing business with them and use only socially conscious businesses’ products and locally owned and run co-ops and small businesses.

I’ve spent a lot of time hunting around the internet on this question — and often Yes Magazine and Good News Network are dropping info into my lap.  I’m so encouraged by seeing the many ways in which people around the world are stepping up to create their own solutions.  From Black farmers creating cooperatives to neighborhoods like Northeast Minneapolis cooperatively buying buildings and supporting local businesses to the Village Financial Cooperative providing Blacks with fair banking opportunities people are coming up with creative sidesteps to the greed and unfairness of the 2% and their institutions.

There are also neighborhood repair events where people can bring their broken items and to skilled workers and either learn how to fix them or have them fixed (different ones have different practices).  Community markets where people can give unwanted items and anyone can take what they want.  Support for local produce and products.  Neighborhood solutions to environmental issues.

These things are already happening.  What I don’t see yet is a collective consciousness of purposely evading global corporations and creating an economy that doesn’t need them.  Bureaucracy tends to destroy more than helps so I’m not saying I want some unified organization to start running the show, just more people who are getting how much power we have to freeze out the 2% and their shady businesses and build our own system of trade on a more local and sustainable basis.

As I said in my last post, we don’t need the 2%.  Now we just need to grow the consciousness that not only do we not need them but we can create our own new economy.  [Way down at the bottom you’l find a list of links to the other People Power posts so far]


Some more to read:

Degrowth:  A Call for Radical Abundance

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/a-radical-vision-for-food-everyone-growing-it-for-each-other-20171225

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/no-price-tags-these-neighbors-built-their-own-economy-without-money-20180124

https://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/solidarity/a-populism-of-hope-begins-when-people-feel-their-own-power-20180116

and don’t forget my regular fave:

The People Power posts: