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We Are in the Middle of Transformational Change: It's Time the Debate Matches up with the Huge Challenges Ahead of Us

Our methods of solving problems for the past 200-300 years are not adequate for the issues we face. The current reality requires much more. We must begin anew.

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But based on what is already understandable, one fundamental choice is already crystal clear. Should we spend time trying to claw our way back to the 20th century social contract? Or, should we shift our energy to working on a new one?

Isn’t the decision obvious? Every minute we spend grieving over the loss of the old world order is time we are not spending on imagining and creating the new one.

Does imagining a new world order mean we should give up our struggles to end wars, fight current injustices and so on? Not necessarily. But the times do call for activists to rethink our collective and our individual commitment of time and other resources. Be it health reform, reinventing unions, improving labor law, ending this or that war -- you name it -- our problem is that we that we are thinking too small, not too big.

Fortunately, more and more people instinctively grasp that we are living in extraordinary times of enormous potential. Throughout much of the world, including the U.S., the attraction to Barack Obama derived partly from the awareness that the old answers no longer apply -- even if we don’t yet know what the new answers are. It is no surprise then that the disappointment with Obama comes from the perception that he turns out to be completely wedded to old ways of seeing the world and totally loyal to the existing centers of power.

Another world is already happening. Consequently, another world is not only possible, another world is necessary. The quest of the World Social Forum and the U.S. Social Forum is one prominent manifestation of the search for new solutions and new forms of organization. There are others.

Many are turning down the daily noise to focus on the potential for all humans, above and beyond present divisions within and between various nation states, ideologies, tribes, political parties, single issue causes, social or economic classes and religions.

All over the world, some are already reflecting the comprehensive vision expressed by the late peace activist Lillian Genser: "I pledge allegiance to the world, to care for earth and sea and air, to cherish every living thing, with peace and justice everywhere."

Frank Joyce is president of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights and board president of the Working Group, sponsors of Not In Our Town , a national movement organizing communities to oppose hate crimes. He can be heard Sundays at 4-5pm EST on "Live from the Land of Hopes and Dreams" on Sirius 146 and XM 167.

 
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