Proactive responses to the multiple crises the world faces—ecological, socio-cultural, political, economic, spiritual—are widespread and diverse. They range from movements of resistance to the dominant ecologically destructive and socially inequitable model of “development” that has been imposed across the world, to people’s initiatives at constructing or sustaining ways of life that meet human needs and aspirations without despoiling the earth and exacerbating inequalities. They are emerging from Indigenous Peoples and other rural communities, from urban neighborhoods, from both the Global South and Global North, from both marginalized sections and the privileged elite.1
Vincent Quiles, a 28-year-old father and union organizer in Philadelphia, is part of a fledgling labor effort to support the months-long protests against construction of the notorious Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, popularly known as “Cop City.” For Quiles, this also means speaking out against his former employer: Home Depot. When he was fired from a Home Depot store in northeastern Philadelphia in February, Quiles was already struggling to support his toddler son on his salary, which he says never felt like enough, given the meager benefits. He says he was forced to lean on his “very strong support system.”
Anti-science rhetoric and special interests have pushed us to the edge of climate chaos. But just as quantum physics disrupted our view of matter and energy, quantum social change disrupts our beliefs about what’s possible, how fast, and by whom. As the world gasped in wonder at the first images of our infant universe from the James Webb Space Telescope last month, we were reminded that human beings are still capable of acts that elevate us all and advance our collective potential. “[When] my grandchildren … look up at a star, point to it and say ‘there’s life!’ — that’s going to be a moment more profound than the Copernican moment that took Earth out of the center of the universe. It’s going to put an end to cosmic loneliness,” said project team member Natalie Batalha, a planet hunter and astronomer at UC Santa Cruz.
As climate change leads humanity’s march to Armageddon, data surfacing during late 2021 suggests that the march could be much briefer than previously thought. “Nature is starting to emit greenhouse gases in competition with cars, planes, trains, and factories,” asserts Robert Hunziker. The Amazon has switched from soaking up CO2 to emitting it. Likewise, the Arctic has flipped from being a carbon sink to becoming an emission source. Permafrost is giving off the three main greenhouse gases (GHGs): CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. So much Siberian permafrost is melting that buildings are collapsing as methane bombs explode, resulting in craters 100 feet deep. As global warming becomes obvious, “climate denial” fades into the sunset.
‘Gay Liberation is for the homosexual who stands up, and fights back.’ In 1970, the year after the Stonewall riots, fliers for the first Christopher Street Liberation Day captured the theory, practice and spirit of a new generation driven to action. The origins of this new movement and its principles of popular mobilisation, however, can be found as much in the struggles for freedom fought in Cuba, Algeria, Vietnam, South Africa and Palestine as Manhattan’s West Village or Islington’s Highbury Fields. Stonewall wasn’t the first time queer people in the US had revolted against police repression, but its importance reflects a revolutionary moment in the history of LGBTQ+ struggle.
A lucid perception of reality reveals that our entire experience of what we call the world is inseparable from the awareness in which it appears, and that this awareness is boundless, timeless, and head-over-heels in love with all that is. There is no possible experience of the universe which is not painted upon the canvass of infinite loving awareness, with paint that is made of that same awareness, by a painter who is that same awareness. Separation is an illusion. There are no true separate and isolated objects. We behold an ineffable unfolding of processes in the appearance of time using sense organs and brains which perceive and understand only a very tiny slice of what's going on around us, and then our woefully inadequate primate minds pin labels on different aspects of this experience.
The idea that race, class and gender are interrelated dynamics of power and oppression has gained sufficient currency in the academic world to go by the shorthand “intersectionality,” or “intersection theory.” But the origins of contemporary Black feminist theory are not sufficiently known or acknowledged, and, given the invaluable work of university-based theorists, too many assume that the core concepts of Black feminism were born in the academy. In fact, much can be traced to activists in groups including the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Third World Women’s Alliance, and the Combahee River Collective.
It is not enough to academically trace a red thread between issues. Recognizing the connections that tie climate chaos to war to imperialism to the growing refugee crisis demand solutions founded on that real-world intersectionality. We need an active solidarity that erases the demarcations of single-issue movements and builds a power that reflects the reality of our place and time. Likewise, we must be wary of soft reforms, greenwashing and capitalism’s unending affinity for shaming people. Soft reforms are often linked with greenwashing in a sort of shot and chaser combo, made to placate the mind and ultimately uphold the status quo.
Since the stirring of “second wave” feminism a half-century ago, the movement has become progressively more inclusive and systemic. Early on, Marxist-feminists argued that true women’s liberation required transcending both patriarchy and capitalism, and thus a politics at once feminist and anti-classist was essential. Soon, they, too, were challenged to broaden their theory and practice to acknowledge oppressions arising from race, nationality, sexual orientation, and other sources of identity and social location. Addressing this challenge gave birth to a solidarity politics within feminism rooted in intersectionality and manifest both within the movement and in its relationship with other movements.
By Alexa Clay for Nation of Change. If markets and industrial production have become separated from society and community, the task now seems to be figuring out how to envelop production within community. Localizing production in community might lead to a certain sacrifice of market efficiency, but would also offer greater flexibility and enhanced quality of life, and would strengthen social ties and community resilience. Ultimately, to reimagine production, we have a variety of models to choose from. Culture is no longer contingent on particular ethnographic contexts. Rather, practices from indigenous peoples, protest movements, entrepreneurial startup hubs, intentional communities, and even religious traditions require remixing by emergent forms of community around the world. While this remixing might feel like a consumerist “pick and choose” approach, it’s also one of the quickest pathways I’ve identified for accelerating social change and building more resilient local economies and communities. Designing community around cultural hybridity gives us a much broader diversity from which to organize ourselves and foster a greater sense of belonging for very different types of people.
By Gina Crosley-Corcoran in The Huffington Post - Years ago some feminist on the Internet told me I was "privileged." "THE F&CK!?!?" I said. I came from the kind of poor that people don't want to believe still exists in this country. Have you ever spent a frigid northern-Illinois winter without heat or running water? I have. At 12 years old were you making ramen noodles in a coffee maker with water you fetched from a public bathroom? I was. Have you ever lived in a camper year-round and used a random relative's apartment as your mailing address? We did. Did you attend so many different elementary schools that you can only remember a quarter of their names? Welcome to my childhood.
In 2012, the Pachamama Alliance, a U.S.-based organization working in partnership with indigenous Achuar people in Ecuador, published a meme showing two native men discussing a new “scientific discovery”: the fact that our world is deeply interconnected. The joke, of course, is the idea that these scientists could “discover” a concept that is age-old wisdom for indigenous peoples across the world. I was delighted by the two-fold genius of the cartoon, the way it both highlights the importance of understanding the world we live in while pointedly calling out the dangers of cultural and intellectual appropriation. This question of intersectionality isn’t the first time that science is playing catch-up to traditional knowledge, and it won’t be the last. As Pachamama Alliance’s accompanying blog explains: “Scientific research is bringing knowledge of the natural world full circle, offering biological and theoretical authority to the enduring truth of indigenous wisdom.” Yet, among all of these enduring truths, intersectionality is one of the most central. “Perhaps the most universal indigenous perspective is the idea of a world inextricably interconnected, on all levels, and across time,” the Pachamama Alliance wrote.