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Thu Apr 2, 2015, 10:56 PM

'We Have a Systems Problem': New Project for Deep Solutions, Radical Transformation

'Dear Humanity, We Have a Systems Problem': New Project Aims to Promote Deep Solutions, Radical Transformation
4/2/2015

"It is time for Americans to think boldly about ... what it will take to move our country to a very different place, one where outcomes that are truly sustainable, equitable, and democratic are commonplace."

"It's time to talk about what's next."

Those are the words of academic and author Gar Alperovitz, founder of the Democracy Collaborative, who—alongside veteran environmentalist Gus Speth—this week launched a new initiative called the "Next Systems Project" which seeks to address the interrelated threats of financial inequality, planetary climate disruption, and money-saturated democracies by advocating for deep, heretofore radical transformations of the current systems that govern the world's economies, energy systems, and political institutions.

As part of the launch, the Next Systems Project produced this video which features prominent progressive figures such as actor and activist Danny Glover, economist Juliet Schor, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, labor rights activist Sarita Gupta, and others:



...The mission statement of the project—articulated in a short document titled It's Time to Face the Depth of the Systemic Crisis We Confront (pdf)—has been endorsed by an impressive list of more than 350 contemporary journalists, activists, academics, and thought leaders from various disciplines who all agree the current political and economic system is serving the interests of "corporate profits, the growth of GDP, and the projection of national power" while ignoring the needs and wellbeing of people, communities, ecosystems and the planet as a whole.

The statement addresses the dire crisis that now confronts humanity, but also marks the important element of optimism which undergirds the project. It reads, in part:

...It is time for Americans to think boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic difficulties facing the United States. It is time to explore genuine alternatives and new models—"the next system." It is time to debate what it will take to move our country to a very different place, one where outcomes that are truly sustainable, equitable, and democratic are commonplace.

As part of the official launch, the team behind the project published a kick-off report—titled The New System Project: New Political-Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century (pdf)—which lays out the problems and the proposed set of solutions in more detail. Key goals of the project, as listed in the report, include:

To crack through the national media silence and to radically shift the national dialogue about the future away from narrow debates about policies that do not alter any significant decaying trend to awareness that what must be changed is the nature of the political-economic system itself.

To stimulate national debate about how best to conceive different possible models of a radically different system based on genuine democracy, equality, ecological sustainability, a peaceful global foreign policy, and a thorough-going culture of cooperative community based on non-violence and respect for differences of race, gender, and sexual preference.

...Next month, as part of the project's public engagement strategy, key members and supporters—including Alperovitz and Speth—will participate in an online webinar in order to expand the conversation about these ideas with people across the country....

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/02/dear-humanity-we-have-systems-problem-new-project-aims-promote-deep-solutions


People are working on solutions everywhere lately. Could this be we've reached the Tipping Point? Something has to be done. That knowledge is spreading, despite media messaging trying to keep the status quo... Eventually, the media will not be able to turn a blind eye. Politicians will be held to populist standards...

The webinar sounds like something we could definitely participate in! Will have to look for more details on that.

The video above is inspiring. Nice for a change.



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Reply 'We Have a Systems Problem': New Project for Deep Solutions, Radical Transformation (Original post)
RiverLover Apr 2015 OP
F4lconF16 Apr 2015 #1
RiverLover Apr 2015 #4
RiverLover Apr 2015 #7
F4lconF16 Apr 2015 #8
libbyliberal Apr 2015 #2
RiverLover Apr 2015 #3
Name removed Apr 2015 #11
F4lconF16 Apr 2015 #9
Name removed Apr 2015 #10
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #12
RiverLover Apr 2015 #13
Enthusiast Apr 2015 #5
RiverLover Apr 2015 #6
2banon Apr 2015 #14
2banon Apr 2015 #15
2banon Apr 2015 #16

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Apr 2, 2015, 11:40 PM

1. Very cool.

Revolutionary thinking is the only thing that is going to solve any of these problems. I wish they had named the new system that they are proposing, though--it's really disappointing that they didn't advocate for socialism explicitly. That is, at least in my opinion, the only way we have a chance at really changing things. As long as we are under the capitalist model, we will continue to suffer.[ Capitalism essentially mandates the oppression we are under at this time--it will continue to do so as long as we refuse to come together in international solidarity. That they did not explicitly name the system they are proposing is a huge problem.


More than half of people ages 18-29 think of socialism in a positive light, at least according to a Huffington post poll. Given the second red scare we experienced in the 50s (and to some extent under the Reagan and Bush presidencies, and even the Clinton presidency), that is one heck of an impressive statistic. We need the courage to stand by our convictions, to stand by our belief in the new system: socialism (or even true communism, if that's your thing--clearly not the oppressive anti-worker state that Stalin and others are famous for). When we do not stand by our convictions, we lose--period.

I hope to be part of that movement away from the Democratic and Republican parties. We will not change anything systemic by relying on change through them--look at the 50s and 60s civil rights accomplishments for a perfect example. Radical change was affected, but by now has been almost entirely lost (read Michelle Alexandria's book "The New Jim Crow" for evidence of that).

I wish they would come out and say they support socialism--it's time. The people support a new system. Kshama Sawant (from Seattle) has been incredibly effective and highly regarded. That could spread if we had the courage to say that the Democratic party has been nothing but a way for the elite to draw support from radical movements.

It's time for a new system. I won't explicitly advocate for total abandonment of the Democratic party on here for obvious reasons, but at the same time, look at things like Obama and his administration's support of Shell drilling in the Arctic for good evidence that the elite are not on our side. They will continue to draw support from radical movements as they have from groups like the Black Lives Matter movement--look at all the job offers to leaders of that. They're doing anything they can to keep change from happening. Kshama Sawant is running against at least 3 separate Democrats who are only in the race to draw support from her. It's horrible, given all she's been able to do for the working class. Democrats are not for the working class--they are for the establishment.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 12:11 AM

4. I'm hoping there are enough of us Democrats with Democratic values to be able to bring our party

back to itself. Roosevelt/FDR/Warren Democrats...

Great post though. Thank you. Will have to give a proper reply after some sleep..

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 08:30 AM

7. Now that I've had some sleep...

Just want to say, great post F4lconF16! Would only interject that using the term "socialism" paints too negative a picture for most people, due to preconceived notions. Populism is about the same thing, without the baggage.

But whatever people call it, we NEED it.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 11:40 AM

8. Yes, but it's about time to change that.

Negative or not, it's what it's called. Populism can (not always, but often enough) refer to reforms within a capitalist society, and that is not at all what we need. The people who feel strongly negative about socialism are, quite literally, dying off. A recent-ish poll by the Huffington Post showed that over half of young people think socialism is positive--that's a staggeringly high number in this country. Let's call it it what it is and be proud of it! I worry that we will fall into the same trap that liberals did when many of them refused to call themselves liberals because of worries about connotations. I think that we need not to worry about the way we message as much as the message itself--people will hear the truth if they choose to hear it, and the people who we really have to worry about (TPTB) won't care what we call it in the slightest. If we called it populism instead, they will simply demonize the term populism. At least this way we can continue in that long and beautiful tradition of Marx, Engels, Luxembourg, Trotsky, and Lenin!

But whatever people call it, we NEED it.

True that! Thanks for all your posts reminding us of that, I love reading them

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 12:03 AM

2. We need a critical mass of a citizen-(not consumer)-identity citizenry!!!

 

RiverLover, thanks for the above.

My role in the blogosphere has felt more and more like an iconoclast -- or to go back to that old metaphor the little child calling out the nakedness of the emperor to the hordes of deniers and minimizers making it crazymaking for the child as messenger to have something so seemingly obvious be surreally pushed back at. WTF????

I know there are many of us who are not being acknowledged by the mainstream media who are courageous and informed. It is not that hard though the bastards of the universe will make it harder and harder. The internet has given us a window for consciousness raising though propaganda especially in the US is gobsmackingly powerful, especially with the "lesser evilism" cronyism going on. Apathy, cynicism, cronyism, personality over character celebrity, etc.

I worked for GP Jill Stein in 2012 and was astonished that after getting arrested three times to protest especially the exclusion of herself and other important voices from the presidential debates (even hand-cuffed to a folding chair 8 hours for the last one) she received NO ATTENTION AND ACKNOWLEGDGEMENT from the mainstream media. She wanted to forgive student loans, said that if the banks could be bailed out why not America's students to a serious degree, and when the NewsHour did a story on campaign promises re student debt they NEVER included mention of her or her platform. Et tu NewsHour??? You betcha!!!!

When I encouraged people to vote for her they denied ever hearing of her and that discredited her. I told them she didn't want corporate money in democracy so corporate media would keep her existence blocked from the citizenry. This did not help convince the people I was trying to communicate with. If she can't win with no publicity, why vote for a non-winner they said. I said we had to grass roots it against mainstream media. They did not have my clarity on propaganda.

We definitely need grass-roots against the corporate money bullhorns. Bullshit horns.

The war mongering neocons now hooked up with the faux-humanitarian neo-lib war mongerers don't want the so-called Vietnam syndrome (negatively labelled but it was a good thing) to return, that is, the conscience against war, in America. I can't believe that my fellow Boomers (I was an activist during the Vietnam years like so many) and so many young people are myopically bobbling their heads at the coverage of the imperial bloodbaths under both Bush and Obama and not insanely angry at the waste of human lives using our tax dollars making us accessories to mass murder, to genocides!!! And are not hopping bitter over the Clinton deregulation sellout. Enough said for now. Thanks!

best, libby

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Response to libbyliberal (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 12:09 AM

3. Excellent post, libby! Thank you.

Its getting too late for me. Must hit the sack. But I'm grateful there are people like you out there trying. And I'm so glad you found us.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #3)


Response to libbyliberal (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 11:51 AM

9. This is exactly it:

My role in the blogosphere has felt more and more like an iconoclast -- or to go back to that old metaphor the little child calling out the nakedness of the emperor to the hordes of deniers and minimizers making it crazymaking for the child as messenger to have something so seemingly obvious be surreally pushed back at. WTF????

Sadly, even here there are many who prefer to bury their heads in the sand rather than accept that our world is breaking around us. They will believe that to their death, and it will be a sorry sight.

And this, too:
I can't believe that my fellow Boomers (I was an activist during the Vietnam years like so many) and so many young people are myopically bobbling their heads at the coverage of the imperial bloodbaths under both Bush and Obama and not insanely angry at the waste of human lives using our tax dollars making us accessories to mass murder, to genocides!!!

One of the worst parts of our perpetual war is that young people today have grown up with it. We don't think about the war because to us, it really doesn't exist! It's not in the media, it's not anywhere, except for a few sites online. When you grow up with it, it becomes normal. Heck, I'm young enough I literally can't remember a time when we weren't at war in Afghanistan or Iraq. To grow up with that...it makes you think about it in an entirely different way. And it feels incredibly hopeless because of the massive amount of power arrayed against us. This is why I strongly support a draft for everyone, no exceptions except for disabilities and for conscientious objectors--if people are forced to fight and die rather than having the lower classes volunteer to die for the elite, we'd be pretty damn pissed. We're not right now.

Great post, and welcome to DU. Glad to have you here.

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Response to F4lconF16 (Reply #9)


Response to libbyliberal (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 4, 2015, 03:16 PM

12. Good post. To go up against the current, entrenched and obscenely financed system, is pretty much

impossible. I liked Stein's positions on the issues, but few voters were able to hear her.

Which is why I am for USING the current system from the inside in order to be heard.

And running for President is not the way to go. There is no way to win the WH outside the two party system.

Anything that is done to try to change the current system, needs to be done with the goal of WINNING. Not 'sending a message'. If no one hears the message, what is the point?

Run in local elections first where it is more possible to be heard AND win.

Then run for Congress once you have built both a base and a record of working for the people.

Doing this all over the country, which btw, has already begun with some pretty impressive results, will build from the bottom up.

Imo, Congress is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than the WH.

That is where the people have some power. We have ZERO power over the WH.

So I guess what I'm saying is that running for the WH when no one has ever heard of you, nor is the Corporate media ever going to cover such races, is a huge waste of time and energy.

Go for goals that can be accomplished.



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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 5, 2015, 12:36 PM

13. I agree, we have to be realistic. ANd local is the way to go. The Koch brothers know this.

Not only did they get involved in Columbus Ohio's zoo expansion(if you can believe they care & yes, they nixed it) along with a huge commercial project that will ruin a small liberal town here, but now our Democratic Mayor is stepping down & they are pulling out all the stops to get a rethug replacement for him.



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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 04:03 AM

5. K&R! This post deserves hundreds of recommendations!

The video certainly is inspirational, RiverLover.

That is what it will take to get voters to the polls the next election—something inspirational.

This nation could accomplish anything and everything. Instead we are being led around by the greedy, a dysfunctional biased media and what is, for the most part, a bribed legislature. We can do far far better.

Our condition was in crisis in the year 2,000. At the exact moment when we needed to act in concert, in a positive direction, our lives were disrupted by an organized pack of malefactors.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 08:26 AM

6. So true..biased media...bribed legislature...Supreme Court & FL taking our president

of choice away & altering the course of the US.

We need a true liberal/progressive major news channel desperately. Faux likes to paint MSNBC as that, but we all know that's BS. I always hoped Oprah would do something like that with her mega millions, but I guess she just isn't that politically involved.

Media really is key. But we're lucky to have the internet.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2015, 06:48 PM

14. yes..

 



To crack through the national media silence and to radically shift the national dialogue about the future away from narrow debates about policies that do not alter any significant decaying trend to awareness that what must be changed is the nature of the political-economic system itself.






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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2015, 06:53 PM

15. a new age of enlightenment-a new renaissance- yes !.

 

I'd be very interested in participating. thanks for bringing it our attention!

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Fri Apr 10, 2015, 07:00 PM

16. Fabulous discussion in this thread everybody!

 

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