Full of hope, it is time to rise up and make history: James Gustave Speth

There are historical circumstances that require the birth of this progressive movement.

The widespread persistence of relative poverty at home and absolute poverty abroad, the emerging exhaustion of the planet’s renewable and non-renewable resources, the resonsibility of ongoing exponential growth on a finite planet, the destruction of the climate regime that has nurtured human civilization, the drift to militarism and endless war - these warn us that business as usual is not an option.

America the Possible awaits us - if we are prepared to struggle, to put it all on the line. I have argued here that the day will come when large numbers of Americans will conclude, with the Howard Beale character in the film, Network, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The progressive movement must not only be ready for that day, it must also hasten its arrival.

Here is a good passage on which to end, from the poet Seamus Heaney.

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

Full of hope, it is time to rise up and make history.

Above are the closing paragraphs from America the Possible, Manifesto for a New Economy
by James Gustave Speth, Yale University Press, 2012

Open Space Issue: 
Beyond Growth - Living with Limits