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After We Stop the Machine, How Do We Create a New World?

Countless numbers of us are building the world we want every day.

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And, an innovative approach to transit that began in Rochester, NY has now moved to Detroit. The approach seeks to expand public transit without increasing fares or taxes by improving the "transit experience," rewarding drivers for performance and partnering with schools, hospitals and housing developments to supplement funding.

Strike Debt Bay Area is working to reverse the privatization of public services – in this case, the US Postal Service. Their approach is education, including a teach-in on privatization tactics used by the 1%, the dangers of privatization to individuals and public institutions, and the threats to civil liberties posed by the privatization of the United States Postal Service. Others are focused on ways the Postal Service can expand and provide new services.

A lot of excellent work is being done to preserve water and healthy food. People are taking effective steps to stop corporations like Monsanto. This November there will be a vote in Washington State requiring labeling of GMO foods. If it succeeds, and it is leading right now, it could spur a national change that will allow people to finally know whether a product contains GMOs or not. On a related front, people are fighting for their right to buy directly from farmers, despite regulators’ efforts to curtail the practice. And many individuals and municipalities are using a variety of techniques to preserve water and use it more efficiently. 

Progress is being made in the transition to a green energy economy. There are now 46 countries that are getting 60 percent of their electricity from renewable, clean energy sources. Research shows the US could achieve a renewable energy economy by 2050 at the latest. Last year, despite the hype around hydrofracking for methane gas, the fastest growing source of new energy was wind, making up 42% of new electricity. A study this week pointed to the benefits of targeting renewable energy in areas dependent on coal or where it could produce the most environmental and health benefits. 

As more Americans are joining efforts to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its Atlantic trade cousin through groups like Flush The TPP, a new creative approach to trade came up this week that others may want to emulate. The Fair Deal Coalition concerned with our digital future, has launched an open source “negotiation” of trade designed to give people what they want. They seek to openly involve people and businesses in developing the future, rather than the secret approach of the Obama administration.

The media is a major battleground for our future. The corporate media which dominates the traditional mass media, is losing viewers, readers and money while an independent and citizen’s media is growing. One reason we launched Popular Reisistance was to report on something the corporate media avoids – the movement for transformation of the country through resistance. We worked with AlterNet to bring this weekly news summary to a wider audience. And, each Wednesday, we go in-depth on issues in Truthout that we first discuss on our radio/video show Clearing the FOG. Now, we are teaming up with video maker Dennis Trainor, Jr. to assist his production of a weekly half hour television program showing the actions of the movement. ( You can help by assisting in crowd-funding this project.)

This is just a brief review of what is occurring to build the new world we want. Much more is happening. In How to Design the World for Happiness, many more examples are described. Jay Walljasper writes in the introduction:

“We recognized it was up to us to make the neighborhood safer, cleaner, more inclusive, interesting, and enjoyable.… Experiencing firsthand the collaborative capacity of everyday people to shape their own community has influenced me deeply as a writer, speaker, and consultant…. The articles gathered here explore the wide horizons of what’s possible in communities everywhere.”