Hope in dark times – Rebecca Solnit via Tom Engelhardt

A friend recently brought this to my attention. As we discuss and act in our search for a convivial post-growth world, before a non-convivial degrowth is forced on us by climate change, transnational corporate greed and blind politicians (amongst many other factors), Rebecca Solnit offers an encouraging yet realistic overview of the complex struggles we face and our personal reactions to our activism.

Acts of Hope: Challenging Empire on the World Stage

By Rebecca Solnit, Orion Magazine, May 2003

People imagine the end of the world is nigh because the future is unimaginable. Who twenty years ago would have pictured a world without the USSR and with the Internet? We talk about “what we hope for” in terms of what we hope will come to pass but we could think of it another way, as why we hope. We hope on principle, we hope tactically and strategically, we hope because the future is dark, we hope because it’s a more powerful and more joyful way to live…

History is shaped by the groundswells and common dreams that single acts and moments only represent. It’s a landscape more complicated than commensurate cause and effect. Politics is a surface in which transformation comes about as much because of pervasive changes in the depths of the collective imagination as because of visible acts, though both are necessary. And though huge causes sometimes have little effect, tiny ones occasionally have huge consequences.


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