Sunday, October 10, 2010

Part II: A grassroots response to the crisis

Last update: 13 October 2010

Table of Contents: 2012: Crossroads for Humanity


The conclusions reached in Part I are rather stark. Chapter 1 concluded that we are headed for a planned dystopia if things are allowed to continue as they are; Chapter 2 traced our current predicament back to the origins of civilization itself, and Chapter 3 identified the core systemic problem: hierarchical governance always becomes tyrannical.

These conclusions may seem exaggerated, or even bizarre, to many readers. The evidence for those conclusions, however, is quite clear. I see myself in the role of the child who pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, not someone who has done unique historical research. I suspect these conclusions are seldom entertained primarily because they are so frightening: what hope do they leave for us? Nonetheless, that is our situation. And real hope only becomes possible when the reality of our situation is recognized.

Our only real hope is to turn the pyramid upside down from the grassroots, by finding our collective empowerment in our communities, and creating real democracy for the first time since our civilizations began. And in fact more and people are turning their attention to the local as a place to deal with the problems of society. In this part of the book we will be exploring the question of how the emergence of empowered communities might be facilitated.

Chapter 4 surveys the localization movement, in its various aspects, and examines why its impact on communities has so far been marginal. Chapter 5 presents a framework for achieving economic empowerment, based on a synthesis of the various ideas that are being put forward by the localization movement. Chapter 6 explores how local democratic processes can be developed in conjunction with pursuing economic empowerment.

on to Chapter 4