CommonBound: A Revolution Needing a Spirit

[V]alues that exist only in relation to what they oppose are not enough to engender the collective spirit necessary to overthrow the most powerful corporate system in history and the ethos at its core. Some of the presenters confronted the weekend's spiritual problem outright. A speaker at the concluding plenary noted that the main piece missing from the conference was a "shared moral compass." Another representative of the New Economy Coalition argued in one workshop that any challenge to the status quo couldn't gain momentum without a deeper commitment to obliterating the vestiges of colonial oppression.

It was people of color, representing groups who've mostly suffered near the bottom of American capitalism since its inception, who usually raised those concerns. Fortunately, the majority of attendees (who were mostly white) bent over backwards to express how much they wanted to build an inclusive movement for humans of all identities. The stereotype of cooperative localists as only white organic farmers from Vermont is wrong. Still, among attendees, the fervor (rather than the commitment, which was uniformly resolute) for building a society free of oppression varied in intensity, depending on whom you talked to.

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