Sunday, September 28, 2008

community and economy, sustainability and justice

I wrote this to a newly forming group called the Charlottesville Relocalization Community:

We need community. We need a powerful social network. We need relationships. We need each other. Effective organizing is usually based on strong relationships. If the relationships are solid then you can face whatever comes.

But community is not just about relationships, it's about culture. Community is about expressing values and teaching lessons through stories, through art, through music. It is where we learn about ourselves and each other, and our relationship to the world. It is where we learn to honor and to celebrate. We need venues to create a resilient social fabric of satisfying relationships and meaningful culture.

We need a system of economics: systems and structures for the creation, exchange, and distriubtion of goods and services. Much of our lifestyles are defined by the choices provided in the economic system we live in. Changing our lifestyles, our purchasing patterns and our use of material resources is a key element to addressing the ecological and economic crises we face.

More than that, we need to change our system of economics. We need an economic system that supports and encourages work that make healthy people and a healthy planet. We need an economic system that provides everyone with opportunities to contribute to that effort and that also guarantees that their basic needs will be met.

We need to see community and economy as intrinsically interlinked. We need a coherent vision of what a just and sustianable human society might look like, and we need to build the relationships and the plan of action that will get us there.

I offer this in the hopes that others will share their thoughts on the vision and mission of relocalizing charlottesville. I think Dawn's first stab is fantastic, and I imagine that a synthesis of the groups thoughts and dialog will make it even better.

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