Transformative Thinking

“We Must Unleash Radical Thought”: Harry Belafonte’s accepting NAACP Spingarn Medal, February 2013 – “What is miss­ing I think from the equa­tion in our strug­gle today is that we must unleash rad­i­cal thought. … Amer­ica has never been moved to per­fect our desire for greater democ­racy with­out rad­i­cal think­ing and rad­i­cal voices being at the helm of any such a quest.” Harry Belafonte

Political Dreaming in the Twenty-First Century  Where Has It Gone? By Ira Chernus  

A Time for ‘Sublime Madness’ by Chris Hedges, Jan­u­ary 21, 2013  - The planet we have assaulted will convulse with fury. The senseless greed of limitless capitalist expansion will implode the global economy. The decimation of civil liberties, carried out in the name of fighting terror, will shackle us to an interconnected security and surveillance state that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul to New York. To endure what lies ahead we will have to harness the human imagination…It is the imagination that makes possible transcendence…“Ultimately, the artist and the revolutionary function as they function, and pay whatever dues they must pay behind it because they are both possessed by a vision, and they do not so much follow this vision as find themselves driven by it,” wrote James Baldwin. “Otherwise, they could never endure, much less embrace, the lives they are compelled to lead.”

A Values- and Vision-Based Political Dream by Benjamin Mordecai Ben-Baruch, Tikkun, Winter 2011 – We need leaders and organizers to inspire people and communities to act on their values and hopes. We need help articulating our values and vision of the ideal future. Right-wing successes have been achieved by appealing to peoples’ fears, hatreds and prejudices. But the politics of hope is stronger than politics of fear. Imagining our future based on our highest ideals can mobilize us to overcome the paralysis of fear and hatred. The politics of hope is not issue oriented, and people who share the same values and vision often disagree on the issues…We need to go beyond issue-oriented politics and the politics of fear to a public discourse focused on articulating our vision for the ideal future and what that future would look like. We need a vision of a society without the injustices of poverty and social inequality. We need a dream…

Con­scious evo­lu­tion for think­ing peo­ple by Andrew Cohen, Enlighten­Next mag­a­zine  — Mil­lions of peo­ple around the world find them­selves search­ing for a more mean­ing­ful, rel­e­vant, and pro­found way to engage with life. Not only do they want to become more con­scious as indi­vid­u­als, they want to per­son­ally par­tic­i­pate in the cre­ation of a bet­ter world….The fourteen-billion-year project that is our evolv­ing uni­verse has reached a crit­i­cal junc­ture where it needs con­scious, cre­ative human beings to help build the next step, together.

How the Com­mon Good Is Trans­form­ing Our World by Dou­glas LaBier,, Octo­ber 17, 2010 
… a steadily grow­ing con­scious­ness and behav­ior that refo­cuses per­sonal lives and pub­lic poli­cies towards pro­mot­ing the com­mon good.
By the “com­mon good” I’m refer­ring to a broad evo­lu­tion beyond val­ues and actions that serve nar­row self-interest, and towards those guided by inclu­sive­ness — sup­port­ing well-being, eco­nomic suc­cess, secu­rity, human rights and stew­ard­ship of resources for the ben­e­fit of all, rather than just for some.
It’s like a stealth oper­a­tion, because it hasn’t become highly vis­i­ble yet. But polls, sur­veys and research data reveal sev­eral strands of change that are coa­lesc­ing in this over­all direction….It’s an aware­ness of inter­con­nec­tion of all lives on this planet, and a pull towards act­ing upon that real­ity in a range of ways. They include rethink­ing per­sonal rela­tion­ships, the respon­si­bil­ity of busi­ness to soci­ety, and the role of gov­ern­ment in an inter­de­pen­dent world.

The Values Question by David Brooks,New York Times, November 24, 2009 …all great public issues…[are] a debate about what kind of country we want America to be. During the first many decades of this nation’s existence, the United States was a wide-open, dynamic country with a rapidly expanding economy. It was also a country that tolerated a large amount of cruelty and pain — poor people living in misery, workers suffering from exploitation. Over the years, Americans decided they wanted a little more safety and security. This is what happens as nations grow wealthier; they use money to buy civilization…

The Big The­o­ries Under­writ­ing Soci­ety Are Crash­ing All Around Us — Are You Ready for a New World? by Ter­rence McNally, Alter­Net, Jan­u­ary 27, 2010…Many of the ideas and insti­tu­tions that define our cul­ture are break­ing down — and that’s a good thing…today’s crises are part of a nat­ural process — clear­ing out what no longer serves us to make room for a new way of being…We can no longer afford to indulge out­dated world­views. In order to deal with the crises we now face, we’ve got to act on the new real­i­ties and under­stand­ings revealed by science…Rather than focus­ing on what’s com­ing apart, we want peo­ple to under­stand that this cri­sis makes it pos­si­ble to move to a much higher level of evolution.…Every cell counts. Every human counts.

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