My vision of revolution is big and small. Big in impact but small in scale. I want to strengthen local communities. I think we’ve all become too divided because we don’t know our neighbors, there are no local shopkeepers, or businesses. We don’t trust our fellow citizens because we simply do not engage with them. Our labor and money goes into a global economy further dividing us from our labor, our neighbors and ourselves.
I think we need to work to create connections locally, farmer’s markets are just the start of what is possible when we focus on pouring in labour and resources into our own communities instead of giving them up to international conglomerates. I love hearing about communities like Ithaca, NY that have created their own currencies. Or stories like Author Douglas Rushkoff’s about a restaurant in his hometown which got a loan through (traditional, corporate means) a bank, but then was denied the extra money they needed to complete the project. The restaurant would have had to not only shut down, but also find a way to pay back the loan. It seemed like an impossible situation. Luckily Rushkoff lives in a community that was willing to invest in local business. Together community members raised the funds for the project to be completed. As payment they now have credit at the restaurant. More importantly there is a new local business which helps bolster the local economy, and creates local jobs. People built connections to fellow community members in the process, and of course the restaurant was not put out of business leaving the owner with an insurmountable loans and without the means to pay it. I tell this story simply to point out that there are so many ways we can help each other in our own communities. There are so many ways we can work to build wealth and connections locally. All it takes to kick corporations out of our lives is creativity, community and care.
Not only does this focus on local community mean that we have healthy communities with healthy economies, it means that we can feel safe living in our communities. It means we know our neighbors are like us, we know they care, and we know we can trust them. I think if more people worked to build strong local communities it would be a real revolution with a global impact.