An open space for global conversation
This is an excerpt. The full article is here: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/hopeisforthelazy.htm
An audio version is here: http://www.staopen.com/podcast/2012/jensen7_8_2012.mp3
The truth is too much to bear, but we have no choice but to bear it: The world in which we live is dead. The world in which we live has been destroyed by social, political, and economic systems that are based on, and celebrate, exploitation and hierarchy. The world defined by those systems cannot be saved. When people push aside this truth and insist that we stay positive and focus on solutions, they typically mean “solutions” that don’t hint at any challenge to these fundamental systems. That means, of course, the solutions are likely to generate more problems. Those kinds of solutions are, in the long run, problems themselves. In the service of being “pragmatic” and “results-oriented” and “mature,” we contribute to the culture’s denial of reality. I repeat: Denying reality is not the basis for a winning strategy.
Tell as much truth as you can bear, and then face all the rest of the truth. If we place our hope in the systems that created this world, our hope will betray us, and then we will betray each other and those who come after us. We will betray the children, and their children, as long as there are children.
There is always hope, but it is hope that lies beyond these systems, beyond the world as it is structured today. To be truly hopeful is to speak about a different world structured by different systems. To be truly hopeful is to risk irrelevance when engaged in polite conversation in mainstream America. Irrelevance, in these situations, is a virtue. Our chance of saving ourselves depends on enough people willing to be irrelevant soon enough.