My aim in writing publicly is not to brag about all the shows I've been to as my friend accused me of yesterday, but to use it as a tool for revolution. That's my goal in most of my endeavors, some of them more subtley connected to the movement than others. But I also like to have fun and write lists.
I've been reading and enjoying a book that in part prompted me to blog. The author has used the internet as an extremely effective communication and activism tool while participating in major global justice direct actions opposing meetings of the major financial puppeteers who are yanking the strings of every government, every policy that effects the well being of EVERY being on the planet. This book "Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising" (http://www.starhawk.org/writings/webspower.html) shares many such writings.
Starhawk, the author, is a witch and activist who had an incredibly formative impact on me in my teens when I read "Dreaming the Dark," amongst the first of her books. The book gave a name to my spiritual path and furthermore opened my eyes to the level of oppression women are still experiencing, even though at that point in my life I was quite convinced we all had much more pressing issues with which to contend than women's rights. The term "post-feminist" made sense to me then. Today I hold a B.A. in Women's Studies. It is the most compelling topic I've ever studied, and if you think there is no need for this sort of dissection of patriarchal culture, you are missing out on a valuable analysis on why the world is as troubled as it is today.
Oh, so much to say, so many choice topics!
So, "Webs of Power" is a very useful book if you already believe something is very wrong with our system and are aware that there is a burgeoning movement opposing "globalization," but you are not entirely sure what globalization means and who its instruments of implementation are and why people are losing their lives in the struggle against these entities and what the struggle really looks like from the inside. It will help to make it all more clear. It is a very engaging read that brings you into the essence of what the people on the streets in Seattle you may have seen on the news a few years back were doing and why. Plus it reinforces that those same people plus many thousands more are still involved in that same struggle and helps you to realize that probably you ought to get involved somehow, too.
Here is an excerpt that I immediately knew I wanted to share, a list of simple questions we could all ask ourselves (especially this time of year when the materialistic debacle that is our winter holiday season is upon us) that could be the first steps into recognizing just how we strum the strand of the web closest to us that results in someone else losing their already tenuous grasp on that strand that links them to all life.
"Are the people who produce the tools of my trade, my food, my clothing and luxuries paid a living wage? Are their health and safety protected? Are their children well educated? Can they afford to buy the products they produce? What is the true cost of this work, this product, this toy to the soil? The waters? The air? The complex and irreplaceable habitats of this earth? The health of our communities? Who pays that cost and in what coin? Money? Cancer? Extinction? Who profits?"
You could print this out if you want and take it shopping with you. You're invited.
(p.s. if there is anyone reading this who is more blogger savvy than I it would be great to get suggestions on things like inserting links and doing block quotes, 'cause frankly I'm using those features as I create and they just don't seem to be working...)