How to change your life

I love this longish read from philosopher and climate organizer Rupert Read onĀ AeonĀ today.

In answer to the slightly click-bait-y subtitle (hey,Ā Aeon has to attract readers in this crowded mediasphere), Read argues that civil disobedienceĀ isn’tĀ a moral obligation within the current and escalating planetary crisis (or crises – the polycrisis, as some have termed it).

But he makes a case that we all do have an obligation to do something consequential, from wherever we are and with whatever skills we have. That resonates deeply with the story I was trying to tell in Food Margins, about how my life got more or less upended when I took on a piece of the actual responsibility for keeping a counter-dominant food project going. It hasn’t always been fun and it’s almost never easy. But it has engaged my whole self in the incredibly satisfying way that Read writes about in describing his own trajectory out of academia and into full-time organizing work – as he puts it, “Iā€™m feeling fully and fertilely the obligation to act on the side of life.”

I love the case he makes for depolarization, for intergenerational connections, for thinking things through carefully but always in support of action. This one ticks all the boxes for me.

3 months ago

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