So what can we make of the US election results, and what’s that got to do with us over here?
Is it a last hurrah of a beleaguered set of people feeling left behind in a changing world? Is it simply another demonstration of the dangers of populist leaders stirring up the depths of racism, xenophobia and nationalism?
Well it may be too early to be sure of the mix that carried Trump (and the leaders of the Leave campaign in the UK) to power on a wave of dangerous rhetoric, and though we may not be certain enough to make sense of it all, we can start to think on possible responses to the world in which we live. That said, I remember and know from the Brexit vote that it’s not always so easy to move on to take action when you’re grieving or scared, when you can see the swirling forces of amongst other things, the enduring power of white supremacy and misogyny, the challenge to the neo-liberal economic dominant paradigm and the historical echoes of stirring up the pot such as also happened in the former Yugoslav countries or pre-Nazi Germany.
But rather than waiting on the Austrian elections, the Italian constitutional referendum, and later next year the French and German elections, to see if this global phenomenon continues, alongside the dark clouds and death in Syria, Iraq and other parts of the world that get even less attention, what can we as progressives do, what can we reflect on and plan for in our organisations, co-ops, communities and campaign groups?
- Imagine and share the worlds we want.
- Reflect on our shared and different values together with others.
- Value difference and diversity.
- Challenge the wrongs around us and further afield.
- Build resilience.
- Work constructively and creatively with conflict.
- Strive for a better world for all.
Of course, there’s sure to be many more and different key issues for you and your group or organisation (that same diversity of views and positions goes for Rhizome too!). Your strategy may already take the wider context into account, or may need reviewing. Rhizome will be coming together for a couple of days next month and for sure will discuss strategy and responses. If you fancy it, like we try to, do share your journeys either direct or in the comments here on this blog. Certainly, if you need help working on these challenges or others, do get in touch with us.
In solidarity, Rhizome Co-op