What Do We Do Now? Building a Social Movement in the Aftermath of Free Trade

Diemer, Ulli

Publisher:  Connexions Information Sharing Services / Ulli Diemer, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1989  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX4719

We have the potential to create a social movement in this country that goes beyond single-issue organizing to work toward an integrated vision of a more just and caring society.

Abstract:  One of the most important and difficult tasks of a social movement is to persuade ordinary people that there are possible alternatives. We have to promote the idea that there are alternative ways of dealing with day to day problems, and also that it is possible and desirable to have a fundamentally different world, in which the goals of freedom, justice, security, and cooperation are realized.
We have to convince people - and quite possibly ourselves - that a society with extremes of wealth and poverty, in which most of us have to sell our labour, our lives, to others, is not the only one possible.
One of our major continuing goals has to be to break through the deadening conviction that "nothing can be done" because of the weight of the 'system', with its virtual monopoly of resources, land, public space, media, and human energy.
Yet we need only look at activities of the thousands of people working in grassroots groups across this country, and around the world, to see that people do join with others to block what they see as harmful and to fight for what they consider to be desirable and just. When they do, that which seemed impossible to achieve starts to become possible, because enough people believe it is possible and are working to make it so.
As we create a movement to change society, we change ourselves, and in changing ourselves, we make social change more possible.
- Ulli Diemer

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