Viaje al otro mundo

Convergence Time?

I hope that it is convergence time. For me personally, things seem to be nearing convergence. Trip to Latin America and the World Social Forum, the Somerville report-back that’s been in the works for some time now, and the massive immigrant rights rallies sweeping the nation; Green-Rainbow Party organizing, with some really hopeful developments on the local level and some hopeful statewide campaigns; and anti-war organizing — mostly through a counter-recruitment campaign at Somerville High School with some big breakthroughs there; and the looming quest for a meaningful career change. Somehow, soon, these are all converging.

But that’s one person, and it’s pretty meaningless in context. The environmental and human catastrophes that are presenting themselves today obliterate my self-concerns, and they should obliterate all of ours. But we live in a society skillfully crafted on self-concerns. We are bred, very deliberately, to look past family towards our own fulfillment, to look past community towards ourselves. The toys, distractions, and “entertainment” increasingly poison us physically and spiritually, and we know it, but we are slaves to them.

What I am hoping is that a genuine convergence time is near, and there are signs that it may be. Apart from Bush talking about hydrogen cars to celebrate Earth Day, there are plenty of real signs that people are waking up to a genuine nightmare — and it goes well beyond climate change.

I wish I could clearly define the root of this nightmare — capitalism? greed? fundamentalism? the convergence of corporatism and government (ie, the too-little used f-word)? or better yet the triumph of state-less mega corporations over governments? Anyway, the nightmare reaches all of us, imprisons all of us, oppresses and represses all of us — some more than others. Our society, more or less, is The Matrix.

The nightmare cannot be narrowly defined. And any challenge to it must be broad.

I am happy to say that the April 29th rally, march, and festival of peace and justice in NYC is such a broad-based challenge. From the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, to the National Organization for Women, to the Climate Crisis Coalition, the initiating groups alongside United for Peace and Justice show an extraordinary promise for a new dawn of resistance and a renewed struggle for social justice. From the millions of immigrants and their allies that have taken to the streets, to the calls for a national immigrant strike on May 1, there has been reason to hope and reason to believe. Amazingly, this is all happening in the complete absence of an opposition party or strong visible leaders of any kind.

From the economic policies that force people to migrate for work in the first place and exploit them once they are here, to the environmental devastation and resource depletion by the industrialized world, to the fast-spreading mindless consumerism and individualism, to the obscene amounts of capital feeding the barbaric wars being fought, the human race needs convergence.

Another world is possible, but we’ve got to start building it yesterday.


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