Why We Need To Rethink Our Moral Obligations To Create A Better World

Why We Need To Rethink Our Moral Obligations To Create A Better World
Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome. Small things that many of us do, often on a daily basis, can have disastrous consequences in aggregate. The most challenging problems humanity is facing are in one way or another collective action problems.

History Tells Us How Student Protests Can Work

History Tells Us How Student Protests Can Work
When 17 students and teachers were murdered on what should have been a peaceful school day, students across the US took to the streets to demand change.

Why We Need Radical Imagination

Why We Need Radical ImaginationImagination, as Hawaiian Native rights advocate Poka Laenui describes it, is more than an antidote to hopelessness. It is a source of power.

How to Become a Warrior of Light: A New Energy, A New Reality

How to Become a Warrior of Light: A New Energy, A New Reality
The stable concept of identifying ourselves as Hungarian, Dutch, Vietnamese, Maori, or whatever, is falling apart. A new energy is sweeping through the planet, an energy that is not local, not just planetary, but cosmic. Now you have to stand in the Light and fight for the whole planet. You now...

Connection and Cooperation: The Hundredth Monkey Resonance Field

Connection and Cooperation: The Hundredth Monkey Resonance FieldMargaret Mead is famous for noting, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." In many communities there are numerous groups for individuals to support one another's efforts to make changes in their lives and in the world.

I Don't Want To Waste This Life: It's Time to Act!

I Don't Want To Waste This Life: It's Time to Act!I need to remind myself not to waste time. Not to click on too many hyperlinks and certainly not to spend to much time on Facebook. Not to distract myself with too much retail therapy at the antique mall or on Amazon. Not to obsess over whether my...

The Power of Showing Up and Helping

The Power of Showing Up and HelpingI was listening to a news reporter in Texas listing all of the destruction, and then he started talking about all of the volunteers who have showed up to help, and he started to cry. Through tears, he said that he has never seen humanity show up in such beautiful ways to be of service and help others in need.

What Can You Do with Justified Anger?

Transforming Anger Into Nonviolent PowerAnger, rage and a desire for revenge are all reasonable and justified in the face of armed attacks, abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with these things.

For A Primer On How To Make Fun Of Nazis, Look To Charlie Chaplin

For A Primer On How To Make Fun Of Nazis, Look To Charlie ChaplinWhile many anti-fascists offered serious and potent arguments against Hitler, comedians like Charlie Chaplin responded to the mortal threat that the Nazis posed in a different way: They used humor to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of both the message and its notorious messenger.

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social Change

How Mainstream Media Can Still Effect Social ChangeWhile there is much to critique about the news media in this age of “post-truth” within a landscape dominated by a handful of media conglomerates, we need the press to hold our leaders and institutions accountable. Locally, when the occasion calls for it, we should laud the press.

Independents Day Message: A New Common Sense, A New Common Cause

 Independents Day Message: A New Common Sense, A New Common CauseI now call the 4th of July "Independents Day" as I've come to realize that the only way we the people can take our country back -- and forward -- is by declaring our independence from the two political parties, the two-party duopoly, and the two competing narratives that keep us divided ... and conquered.

How Ayn Rand's Elitism Lives On

How Ayn Rand's Elitism Lives OnTrump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book.

How Liberal Social Media Stars Are Fighting Back

How Liberal Social Media Stars Are Fighting BackIn the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. elections, numerous accounts surfaced of nefarious content creators profiting by posting fake content on social media.

How The Guerrilla Archivists Are Saving History

How The Guerrilla Archivists Are Saving HistoryOn Inauguration Day, a group of students, researchers and librarians gathered in a nondescript building on the north side of the University of California, Los Angeles campus, against a backdrop of pelting rain.

How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State

How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist StateInstead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over. The key to avoiding fascism? An organized left with a strong vision and broad support.

Creating Communities Together with Radical Love

Why We Need Radical Love To Create ChangeSince coming out as queer at 45, I've been coming to understand what that means. “Queer” is a reclaimed word that aims to reject oppressive cultural formations of sex and gender identity. But to me it also means a new perspective on radical love.

How Progressives Can Still Make Change In The Political Climate

How Progressives Can Still Make Change In The Political ClimateDonald Trump, in his quest to “make America great again,” is poised to put in place many regressive policies that are fundamentally at odds with what are generally considered progressive values such as transparency, inclusiveness, equity, fairness and dignity for all

I Have A Dream (text & video)

I have a dream speech and video

The I Have A Dream speech is the crown jewel of the 20th century. Given before 250,000 souls on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it  is called the defining moment of the US Civil Rights movement. It is the speech by which all other great speeches must be measured. Its haunting rhythm towards the end of the speech has an almost musical sound and feel.

What Shaped Martin Luther King's Prophetic Vision?

freedom for oppressed 1 16The name Martin Luther King Jr. is iconic in the United States. The outgoing 44th president, Barack Obama, spoke of King in both his Democratic National Convention nomination acceptance and victory speeches in 2008:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt - The Four Freedoms Speech

fdr 4 freedoms 1 16Roosevelt delivered this speech to Congress as a "State Of The Union" 11 months before the United States entered World War II. Memorably, in the second half of the speech, FDR lists the benefits of democracy. He lists these as Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Worship, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear. The first two freedoms are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the last two are still in controversy to this day.

2016 Was The Year The Establishment Met Its Match

2016 Was The Year The Establishment Met Its MatchIf we didn’t realize that 2016 was the year of upheaval before November 8, we certainly do now. Brexit, which seemed hard enough to digest, was merely the amuse bouche prior to the red meat of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

10 Things to Prepare For A President Trump

10 Things to Prepare For A President TrumpMany Americans would not be surprised if on Jan. 20 Vladimir Putin administers the oath of office to Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan youth choir regales the inaugural crowd with a stirring rendition of “Dixie,

Lessons For Our Time From Rachel Carson

Lessons For Our Time From Rachel Carson"For many years, public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of the natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the nation."

Why Small Changes From Activism Matter

Why Small Changes From Activism MatterIn 2013, an online petition persuaded a national organization representing high school coaches to develop materials to educate coaches about sexual assault and how they could help reduce assaults by their athletes

Understanding Trump By Watching The Apprentice

David/Flickr, CC BY-SADepending on your political persuasion, or, as some are now arguing, depending on the “engagement” metrics that condition your social media “echo chamber”, you will have met the election of Donald Trump to the US’s highest office with either shock or elation.

It's Time to See Clearly and Recommit to Core Values

It's Time to See Clearly and Recommit to Core ValuesFeeling anxious about life in a broken-down society on a stressed-out planet? While the dominant culture encourages dysfunctional denial — pop a pill, go shopping, find your bliss — there’s a more sensible approach: Accept the anxiety, embrace the deeper anguish, and then...

Breaking Through Power Is Easier Than You Think

Breaking Through Power Is Easier Than You Think When I was a student at Princeton University I learned from my anthropology studies that the concentration of power in the hands of the few is common to all cultures, societies, nations, tribes, cities, towns, and villages.

What Are The Roots Of The New Corporate Activism?

When the Greensboro Four launched their sit-in protest, companies tended to stay neutral on social issues. Cewatkin via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SATarget recently staked out a position in the culture wars by announcing that it will build private bathrooms in all its locations, after earlier allowing transgender customers to use whichever room corresponds with their gender identity – both actions sparking anger from many conservatives.

Is The Internet A Help Or Hindrance To Democracy?

Is The Internet A Help Or Hindrance To Democracy?The internet has rewired civil society, propelling collective action into a radically new dimension. Democracy is now not only exercised at the ballot box, but lived and experienced online on a day-to-day basis.

Why Global Populism Is Here To Stay

Why Global Populism Is Here To StayWhen it comes to politics, 2016 has been a very strange year to say the least. Things that aren’t “supposed to happen” – well, they just keep happening.

Bernie Sanders' New Our Revolution Movement Marches On

our revolution 8 4Pramila Jayapal, one of the standard-bearers for Bernie Sanders' Our Revolution movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington's 7th Congressional District Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election.

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big DreamsThe race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done, right? But...

The Origin of the Original May Day Workers' Holiday

On May Day

It's often forgotten, but the May Day holiday, the original, real, workers' holiday, originated in the U.S. And specifically it originated to honor the memory of labor's four martyrs unjustly sent to the gallows, in an atmosphere of hysteria and anti-worker oppression after the so-called Haymarket "riot" of 130 years ago, on May 4, 1886.

What I Learned From My March With Democracy Spring

Frances Moore LappeYesterday was the most important day of my life. I walked up to the Capitol building and sat on the steps with more than 400 people. When asked to move, we refused and were arrested. We committed nonviolent civil disobedience together to protest the power of money in politics and support the restoration of real democracy.

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change“I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that,’” Clinton said recently in response to Bernie Sanders’s proposals.  "That ain’t the real world we’re living in.“

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)Far too many people think not, and thus they sell themselves far too short. A wave of pessimism leads capable people to underestimate the power of their voice and the strength of their ideals. The truth is this: it is the initiatives of deeply caring people that provide the firmament for our democracy.

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World Problems

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World ProblemsIt is never easy for interest groups with conflicting views to resolve public policy disagreements involving complex scientific issues. To successfully formulate complex treaties, such as the recent Paris Climate Change Agreement, countries must find a way to meet the interests of almost 200 national representatives, while simultaneously getting the science right. Lowest common denominator political agreements that don’t actually solve the problem are useless.

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our Dreams

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our DreamsWe need green visions for less carbon and poverty---but also for more fun and joy. At a time when ecological destruction is more dire than ever, the work of  protecting the planet depends on dreamers just as much as of scientists, activists, public officials and business leaders.

How To Persuade Others By Using Their Values

How To Persuade Others By Using Their ValuesIn today’s American politics, it might seem impossible to craft effective political messages that reach across the aisle on hot-button issues like same-sex marriage, national health insurance, and military spending.

Support Is Needed, Not Denial and Suppression

Support Is Needed—
Not Denial and SuppressionMake no mistake: we’re in the midst of an evolution of consciousness. We can cocreate a planet that works for everyone. We can redirect success from profit and pollution to true sustainability. We can reactivate an Eden in which our new fertile crescents and restored ecosystems grow and grow while we give back to the Earth rather than take from it.

The Other One Percent

The Other One PercentAs a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.”

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice and Social CritiqueYoung Adult dystopia is having an effect on consumerism and pop culture. The political potential of this literary phenomenon – especially for empowering girls – could ultimately be the genre’s most profound and lasting influence. And though its staying power has yet to be tested, YA dystopia has spurred legions of readers towards promoting social justice.

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

A  dragon by the name of Chevron, breathing a fire fueled by Citizens United and $3.1 million in cash, succumbed to the people of the tiny city of Richmond, California last November when similar right-wing dragons were burning and pillaging voters and their towns across the country.

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