Wisconsin: Time to Grow our Souls

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/20-6

by Grace Lee Boggs
Published on Sunday, March 20, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

The world’s eyes are on the escalating struggle to defend the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin public workers. Some people have even called the growing mobilization a transformational movement,

But transformational organizing takes more than growing numbers.

Revisiting the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott can help us understand what it takes.

In the 1950s humanity was at a watershed. During World War II nearly 50 million people, more than half of them civilians, had been killed, to win the war, we had created and dropped an atom bomb on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Yet Americans were celebrating our winning this “good war” and even proclaiming the American century because our factories were busy producing the goods that the war-devastated factories of Europe and Japan were unable to produce.


In 2011 we are again at a watershed that calls for growing our souls. The U.S. empire, which sustained the American Dream of upper mobility and middle class lives for all Americans but also included supporting the world’s Mubaraks, is dead.

That means we have to create a New American Dream. To do this we need to look in the mirror and begin making the radical revolution of values that Dr. King called for in his 1967 anti-Vietnam War “Break the Silence” speech.  To make this revolution:

We, the American people, must acknowledge that we have reached the end of the empire that has sustained the old  American dream. We must not only struggle against the concentration of wealth at the top of American society. We must acknowledge that we have enjoyed many of our middle class comforts and conveniences at the expense of the Earth and of other people here and around the world. We must begin to live more simply and responsibly so that others can simply live.

Complete article at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/20-6

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