To resist, or to build?
OK, I’ll admit it, the question of whether to resist or to build is a false choice. It is clear that we must, in Donald Trump’s Amerikkka, do both.
But where do we focus our resources, our energy, our vision? Where do we focus our efforts? And where do the various emergent people’s movements focus theirs? How do they intersect? What are their diverse purposes? And how can we find synergy between efforts? Is it through resistance alone, or is there an overlapping vision of a just, democratic, and sustainable world that we can work toward together?
While the Democrats and even their 2016 pro-corporate standard bearer Hillary Clinton take up the mantle of “resistance”, a variety of progressive upstarts like Our Revolution, Brand New Congress, Draft Bernie for a People’s Party, the Progressive Independent Party, and Indivisible are leading overlapping and at times competing efforts to define progressive resistance to Trump and the continuing trend towards plutocracy. Marches on Washington and across the country and the world have brought out many diverse activists and first-time protestors and continue to foster organizing. Groups like Movimiento Cosecha are organizing immigrant marches, sit-ins, and strikes, building to an eventual week-long general strike. And much of the world took up the Mni Wiconi / Water is life / NoDAPL rallying cry as they watched hundreds of indigenous nations come together to assert their fundamental rights at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.
As our extractive and exploitative economy continues to smash into resource limits and tear apart lives and ecosystems across the planet, the need for a deep, systemic overhaul becomes clearer every day. What’s not clear is how much energy and attention we need to put into resisting this crumbling system, and how much we need to put towards designing and building the programs, institutions, relationships, systems, and even language of its replacement. The Next System Project is busy at work studying and outlining the intellectual underpinnings of alternatives for the near future, while the New Economy Coalition is convening people, organizations and businesses that are already bringing about these badly needed changes.
Countless other organizations and efforts are continuing their longstanding work or just getting started, and trying to find ways to address interconnected issues and struggles. As the Movement for Black Lives put it in their recent platform:
There can be no liberation for all Black people if we do not center and fight for those who have been marginalized. It is our hope that by working together to create and amplify a shared agenda, we can continue to move towards a world in which the full humanity and dignity of all people is recognized.”
The Green Party represents a natural home for ALL of these endeavors. While “the resistance” has to resist the power structures of both the Republican and Democratic Parties to fight for justice and democracy, the Green Party is the political alternative that is already aligned with those foundational principles. While the barriers to challenging the two-party system are real, the Greens have one powerful and relevant advantage in being rooted in a truly global movement. And their ecological approach is precisely what we need in 2017 to overcome the interconnected and interrelated crises and struggles and oppressions, and eradicate them with cross-cutting solutions based on cross-cutting values. After all, ecological politics IS intersectional politics. The Green Party platform IS the Movement for Black Lives platform, and more.
Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” It’s time to build a new model, and that model is Green.
This article originally appeared on Green Mass Group.