Monday, January 31, 2011

#31 / A Project

If the kind of "politics" that I believe is both possible and necessary is to prevail, I think there needs to be a common "project." In other words, we can overcome our natural tendency towards selfish and destructive individualism only when we are (at least a large number of us) working towards some common goal.

What have come to be seen as "high points" in our political history have some relationship to a common (and difficult) challenge or goal, and to a project in which many if not all of us have been able to participate, one way or another (and on one side or another):
  • The American Revolution
  • Ending Slavery
  • The Civil War
  • "Conquering the West"
  • Building Unions
  • Recovering from the Great Depression
  • World War II
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • Stopping the War in Vietnam
  • Managing our Growth (in local battles)
The "project" of individual advancement is profoundly anti-political, and leaves us bereft of a common purpose which can make our lives truly meaningful.

At least, that's what I think.

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