What We Desperately Need Now
It was strange to be away from Wisconsin on the day of the recall elections.
I’d been attending a TimeBanks USA Conference in Providence, RI this past weekend, my mom, Joan, and daughter, Hannah, joined me on a visit to my middle child, Kibuna, who is working as a launch driver at a boatyard on Cape Cod.
Most of the organized energy of the Feb/March upsurge was diverted into the effort to recall Republican Senators on Tuesday, and traveling by ferry from Falmouth, MA, to Martha's Vineyard was an exercise in cognitive dissonance.
As we passed marina after marina of yachts bigger than houses and watched the line of limos, Jaguars and BMWs filing off the ferry, I wondered what it will really take to shake up the inequitable structures of our society. The working people and families traveling to the Vineyard still seem to aspire to the trappings of wealth evident everywhere in this part of the world - designer clothes, fancy cars, vacation homes, etc. - without appearing to understand what it takes to sustain the social and economic structure upon which this kind of wealth is built: Namely their own exploitation as workers and humans who breathe air, drink water and eat food grown from the earth.
We are battling on the frontlines of corporate fascism in Wisconsin. Even if the Democrats had won back control of the Wisconsin state senate and could have been somewhat effective in slowing down some of the most heinous elements of the corporatist agenda in our state, but it never could have put an end to it. We need to seriously analyze the forces that are arrayed against fundamental human rights and the health of the planet and organize a meaningful defense and positive vision that extends well beyond the realm of electoral politics.
What is breaking your heart right now?
Start discussing this topic with the people in your life, and look for those in your community who care about the same thing.
Start building actual relationships with people that will endure the most manipulative of media campaigns and the most vicious of political attacks. Then reach out to others and form alliances to resist the attempts of the powers that be to divide us along racial, ethnic, language, and cultural lines.
This is what solidarity looks like and this is what we desperately need to build if we are to carve out humane and decent spaces for life to flourish.
If you liked this story by Rebecca Kemble, check out "A Vicious Abuse of Power." Rebecca Kemble is an Anthropologist who studied decolonization in Kenya. She serves on the Board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and as the President of the Dane County TimeBank.
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