The best case of what could yet emerge in the coming years at the federal level is a Green New Deal. It will solve many problems at once by employing large numbers of people to build green infrastructures to meet the overriding twin crises of climate disruption and extreme inequality.
It’s no accident that the right-wing plutocratic agenda for the past nearly 80 years has been to do away with New Deal reforms. The strategy since Reagan has been to demonize government because it’s the only force big and rich enough to stand up against corporate power.
Government policy has long been the source of all great wealth creation. The plutocrats don’t have a problem with government—only with whom it serves. I urge you to listen to the late Tom Hayden’s remarkable parting perspective at Bioneers on this perilous political moment and its close parallel with the 1930s and the battle against the 1% to create the New Deal.
I believe we’re witnessing the stirrings of a next American Revolution. Now the game turns to building political power, but it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about a transformation of what power means. We’re moving away from “power over” to “power to” and “power with”—power to create an ecologically vital and socially just world—power with each other to create beloved community.
A friend once counseled me that any truly transformative experience is preceded by dread. We’re in dreadful times indeed. We’re taking a collective hero’s journey, a descent through the crucible of the underworld to transform human civilization and ourselves. As Richard Tarnas has commented, “There’s no such thing as a pretend near-death experience.”
The big wheels are turning. This moment of radical breakdown opens the space for transformational breakthrough.
Terry Tempest Williams sees it this way:
“When one hungers for light, it is only because one’s knowledge of the dark is so deep. Democracy is an insecure landscape. It invites us to take risks. It asks that we vacate the comfortable seat of certitude, remain pliable and act, ultimately on behalf of the common good.”
“The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions: Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up, ever, trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy.
“The heart is the path to wisdom because it dares to be vulnerable in the presence of power. Our power lies in our love of our homelands.”
This is the Revolution from the Heart of Nature and the Human Heart. Take heart, keep the faith, and as Joe Hill said, “Don’t mourn, organize.”