Magazine article New Internationalist

Get It Right! Change the World

Magazine article New Internationalist

Get It Right! Change the World

Article excerpt

WHILE working on this magazine, a realization hit me like a bolt of lightening. And, like all inspiring revelations, it provides a simple but fundamental critique about where I've been directing my energy and focus in life. To date, my activism has always been about fighting power rather than taking it. It has been more directed towards identifying the problems and less towards building the solutions.

In part, this is because of the sheer size and force of globalism. Influencing outcomes can seem impossible when decisions about how we work and live are increasingly made in far-away offices and places. Politicians aren't helping. As they bow to privatization and de-regulation, the `people's representatives' are handing over control of our health, transportation, education and economic systems to corporations, many of which are in other countries. And while the governing forces move further and further away from ordinary people, the time and energy that's available to try to reverse this trend continues to shrink, as those who are employed work ever-harder to keep their jobs and those who are not employed struggle to keep confidence in themselves and their families alive.

The people that you've just read about have started to overcome these obstacles. They are paving the way for travelling along a different road. Primarily, they are reasserting that economic development is a sub-set, not super-set, of human development. And they are doing this by taking the control over their lives that has been sucked away from them by unseen global decision-makers and dragging it back into their communities and work places. …

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