Building a New World
Posted on January 29, 2013
By Jim Jordal
Many of us aren’t too happy with the world the way it is, with rampant and growing poverty, social injustices of every sort and, as we’ve written before, an economic system seemingly dominated by wealth and power, often to the exclusion of justice, decency and hope.
Some of us, including myself, work toward a new society transformed by institutions of justice, freedom and opportunity. And this could happen as a response to massive crises like economic collapse, global warming, nuclear war, or social revolution. As economist Milton Friedman, whom I’ve quoted before said: "Only a crisis—real or imagined—creates real change. When a crisis occurs leaders resort to ideas that are just lying around. Our task is to keep these ideas alive and before the public until what is now politically impossible becomes politically inevitable."
Some of us write, teach, advocate and sometimes even agitate with the idea of keeping these ideas before the public until they become politically inevitable, as I have confidence they soon will be. Others work with those crushed in body and spirit in the difficult trenches of soup kitchens, homeless shelters, in cardboard boxes, and under bridges. Others work the halls of Congress and various state legislatures with equal fervor and dedication. But what we all need to realize and celebrate is that all of us—wherever we work or whatever we do—are vital parts of the irresistible force of an idea whose time has come. That inevitable wave is the notion that the earth’s wealth should be distributed equitably (don’t panic, I didn’t say "equally") to all people so that none live in privation or destitution and that all have reasonable access to the social ladder of economic success.
The recent Connecting to End Poverty efforts is an example of people from all walks of life uniting to move the anti-poverty movement forward. Their efforts concentrate on legislative bodies and informing the public. You can help by making your voice known wherever and whenever you have opportunity to express your opinions on what is right for all people.
That doesn’t sound so extreme, does it? I think all people have a built-in, or God-given, sort of common ethic as to what is necessary for decent human life. Unfortunately, it’s been submerged by harmful values placing greed, things, and power over the needs of people. But that’s soon to change, and you are an integral part of that change. Congratulations!