.commUNITY: Transitional Strategy… from the periphery to the mainstream
This is the first in a series of posts that will aim to introduce a perspective on ‘Transitional Strategy’. I acknowledge that there are many voices in the ‘transition’ space and I don’t attempt to reflect their perspectives or priorities.
My intention is to keep the posts relatively short and to develop the conceptual architecture in parallel with the conversations I am having as well as any work that is ongoing in the real world… to reflect the relationship between theory and practice in real time.
The hope, at least initially, is not to present anything complete, but to at least stimulate some ideas…
It will include a deeper development of at least the following concepts including reference to real world activity and case studies where I have explore the implementation of these ideas; Ekosystems…. which I am developing in the context of .commUNITY…
Tribes and tribal culture which I am developing via the Salish Sea Spiritual Ecology Alliance (and other less formal processes) and the relationship between the two.
The process of developing and rolling these ideas out is a continual experiment. It is iterative… it is a Dialogue… both with the communities I am involved with as well as myself…
I will suggest that the observation that the System is broken is not news. Many on the left, in academic or revolutionary circles understand this. The range of responses to this unfortunate reality takes different forms; some take to the streets in frustration. The eruption of anger is becoming increasingly more commonplace. Others work at mitigating the damage within the political system, others conceptualize what is possible; create precise models for an idealized world. Yet others bridge the divide between theory and practice through the creation and prototyping of models that we can hopefully replicate.
All of this is highly useful and necessary. In fact it is constitutive of the processes of revolution and change.
What else can we do other than resist, deconstruct, envision and build the new world whilst telling our stories in manners that inspire?
What those directly involved in change processes come to realize is that there are different ways to approach the problem and all of it is necessary. There are the front line activists who direct their attention to attracting attention and disruption via direct action; there are those that direct their energy in the political sphere, others that work on policy initiatives. There are those that operate within academic contexts and yet others that eschew institutional culture.
What one comes to realize if one has spent enough time in the trenches is that change processes are, by and large peripheral. They are distractions that are successful in a de facto way. They derive their success due to the fact that they tap an underlying frequency of discontent.
In opening up the conversation on Transitional Strategies, we are opening up the possibility of thinking about change processes as more sustainable… more mainstream… more fundamental.
We want change processes that engage the masses without forcing them to abandon their families.
We want change processes that are sustainable… that do more than simply reflect the anger of the moment.
We want change processes that don’t require people to live on the edge of poverty.
We want change processes that engage the mainstream… the ‘middle class’.
We want to capture not only energy of discontent, but also energize those that are anaesthetized… that have been bludgeoned by a disfunctional western ideology into a state of apathy.
We want change processes where people can satisfy all of their human needs; the need for intimacy, love and purpose.
We want to capture those that are not only economically marginalized and oppressed in certain ways but those that don’t even understand the source of their oppression.
We want to engage not only those that explicitly understand the need for a different context, but also those that don’t know any better… that will understand the scope of possibility only if they are present in different contexts …. ones where the spirit of Love and Possibility is pervasive…
This is a new sort of cultural revolution….