We are looking at a social failure, not a series of personal failures.

Banner in front of a camp slated for eviction in Sacramento, 2018. Photo from The Davis Vanguard.

It begins in different ways. For many teenagers, they are turned out onto the street when their parents discover they’re LGBT. For many adults, it can come with economic hardship. For women, it can happen as an extra-cruel byproduct of being abandoned by a husband or partner they had thought they were secure with.

Homelessness in the US is not just one issue. It reinforces other brutality.

It is a threat against all workers: work hard or this will happen to you.

It is a condition that keeps abused people from fleeing their abusers.

It is a racist, ableist reality…

Every time a social change group says, “we only focus on our issue,” all movements become a bit weaker

Image by Geralt

There is nothing wrong with having a focus. Focus is good, it allows us to dive deeply into one area that needs care and attention. To not have any focus would be damaging. However, it is also damaging to insist that the linguistic divisions between “issues” should also become divisions between the people and groups working on those issues.

Below are some examples of how nominally “separate issues” are, in reality, anything but, and how manifesting these separations in our organizing amounts to shooting ourselves in the foot.

“Your issue can wait”

A friend of mine who happens to be of African descent once…

We have made little progress because most of us are still denying the actual situation in one way or another

Professor William Nordhaus in Sweden in 2018, photo by Bengt Nyman, Creative Commons

This is not a “doomer” article. Climate doomer-ism is a symptom of alienation and relative privilege. We can win a better future, and our “odds” are impossible to determine. However, what we’ve been doing is not working. Not even close. We need to take a hard look at what’s gone wrong before it’s too late.

One is by now familiar with the climate deniers. Their influence, at first glance, seems to be waining. More people than before acknowledge that the climate is endangered by human activity. …

The “fixed brain” is a concept many have internalized, but it has no basis in science. The implications are huge.

Photo by Brian Yap

For centuries, science has made discoveries about our reality that shook up society for the better. Look no father than climate science. However, climate science is not the only field challenging entrenched social systems in our time.

In his two books The Brain that Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, Dr. Norman Doidge explores the recent discoveries in neuroplasticity, which can be loosely described as “how brains change.” Doige mostly focuses on cases of humans with either severe injuries or disabilities healing their own brains through repetitive behavior or people who’s brains have developed in aberrant ways and…

International leaders, including President Biden, are still supporting a kelptocracy that the Haitian people desperately want gone

Pro-democracy, anti-government demonstration in Haiti in 2018

It is not an exaggeration to say that the nation of Haiti has been under foreign attack from the end of the Haitian Revolution until today. The Haitian Revolution was a blow for freedom that capital and empire didn’t dare to accept without seeking vengeance, but the people of Haiti never give up, and neither should we. This article will give a short overview of the meddling by the foreign powers that still keeps the Haitian people from being free, what Haitians are doing about it, and what people in other countries can do too.

Haiti is the origin point…

Organized workers are pushing their unions to do better on ecological and climate issues. It’s time for the environmental movement to embrace labor organizing too.

credit: Nicholas Eckhart

One of the biggest roadblocks standing in the way of practical, cooperative solidarity between social movements is the idea of “separate issues.” In recent years people have begun chipping away at this shibboleth, but we still have a ways to go. One significant problem within the problem of the single-issue silo effect is that labor is sometimes mistakenly viewed as just another issue.

Labor is not just an issue. Labor is a power base. Labor organizing can be more effective at winning social gains on a range of “single issues” than weekend demonstrations, conscious consumerism, electioneering or lobbying.

In the…

The epic saga of the abolition of colonial slavery, and it’s modern relevance, as told through two overlapping historical narratives

Section of the painting Proclamation of Abolition of Slavery in the French Colonies, 27 April 1848 done in 1849 by French painter François-Auguste Biard

Social movements for freedom and equality are undergoing a resurgence throughout the world. Past movements can be a source of inspiration as well as concrete lessons for present struggles. One of the earliest international movements for a more free and equal society was the movement to abolish slavery. Readers from the US may be familiar with the abolitionist movement there, but abolitionism began earlier and in other places. The victory of abolishing colonial slavery was a tremendous achievement in its time and the legacy of slave emancipation is still with us now, whether we know it or not.

How was…

It’s a tough time to work in news. Local papers around the country have been decimated due to Google and Facebook eating up what was once their ad revenue. The last President whipped up hysteria about “fake news” while his supporters flocked to outlets that play fast and loose with the facts. Public trust in the news media has declined for decades. Mainstream outlets continue to fan moral panic about the ascendance of “new media” and “citizen journalists.” Some pundits openly flirt with the idea of censorship.

How did we get here?

Well, it’s important to know that there never…

I really love learning. I learn the most from talking to others and from books. Sharing the things we learn is important. That’s what I want to do here on this page, but if others don’t find this a valuable use of my time I’d be happy to reallocate it elsewhere.

There are many wonderful, unique people I have the enjoyment of knowing and sharing experiences with. This has shown me that people from different cultures, industries and fields of study have so much they could learn from one another. …

Colin M.

Someone who likes learning and sharing what we learn.

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