Paul Hawken’s Speech on the Movement of the Blessed Unrest
[Update] This article was written over 3 years ago and it speaks directly to the Occupy Movement. Our collective problems can only be addressed collectively.
The article outlines the overarching social condition and specifies a big picture schematic of how we might actually address the national and global predicaments. A more recent article that builds on the case presented herein as it relates to the Occupy Movement is now available. Please see A National Citizens Assembly: From Occupy Movement to a Permanent Political Force.
A CALL FOR A COALITION OF THE JUST and a CALL TO ACTION
Index of Headings After clicking on the desired heading—-click on any image to return to index
- A Coalition of the Just
- The Global Crisis
- Our Socio-Environmental Woes Stem from the Same Source
- The Root Source of our Collectively Shared Socio-Environmental Problems
- The Offspring of the Root Source
- The Conclusion
- A Solution
- The Method and the Example
- Anticipating Internal Hurdles
- The Stage is Set
- The Call to Action
- Paul Hawken’s 5 min Video address on the Worlds Biggest Movement
Paul Hawken describes it as the worlds biggest movement and that is the world wide emergence of at least 130,000 organizations dedicated to political, social and environmental justice.
He calls it the “planets immune response” to the malignant ideologies which presently dominate the affairs of human society on planet earth.
The movements are testimony to Raymond Williams’ idea of emergent culture [1a] as an intrinsic regenerative dynamic of culture.
Indeed our future lies with the principles embodied by the emerging good will organizations.
They hold the vision of a just and equitable society striving to maintain an ecological balance between its own members and between those it shares the planet with–the plants and animals.
These organizations represent the hope of humanity and it is also where the rubber meets the road—principles in motion.
Collective action is the key which will unlock the creative life-affirming and progressive potential inherent in the human spirit.
The lock is a system of inherited political-commercial powers structures that are unwilling to change despite the undeniable evidence that the dominant economic-political model is a dead end street.[1b]
It is up to us to oblige The System to reform. The System is bound by design to perpetuate itself. Its democratic gestures are illusions. Its strategy is to pacify its subjects while it goes about business as usual.
The collective action I speak of must be greater than the forces that keep emerging cultural movements at bay, locked down and largely ineffectual.
Deforestation, resources depletion, pollution, social decay, human rights abuse and militarism are still running rampant despite the fact that the social and environmental justice movements are now over 40 years old.
It could be a case of too little and too late.
Please bear in mind that the political power structures we are dealing with have honed their conquer and domination skills over the last 5000 years.
The ideas of egalitarianism and ecology as socio-cultural ordering principles are by comparison embryonic and therefore easily contained and suppressed by the 5000 year old prevailing culture of brute force.
They have well fortified positions and all the power one can dream of. We, however, outnumber them by at least 100,000 to one and we are armed with the principles of justice and 21st century communication technologies.
We have the rightful cause, we have the willingness and we finally have the tools with which to course correct from the perilous path the world is currently being led down.
What we lack is the organizational superstructure to sufficiently amplify the will of the people through the multitude of existing organizations.
In other words, in order to achieve the kinds of reforms now demanded by the socio-ecological condition of the planet we need to pool our resources together.
The many good will movements of the world are by themselves insufficient to oblige governments to make the necessary reforms.
But a collective of movements would carry the necessary clout to get the attention of governments. It is not difficult to imagine a collaborative effort between the many good will organizations of the world.
A Coalition of the Just
A preliminary outline of the big picture steps involved in the building and launching of a campaign for national and globally scaled collective action.
- Grassroots Media Campaign to Build Support for a Coalition of the Just
- Organization Leaders Convene and Agree to Collaborate
- Draft Task List of Priorities
- Map Out Strategies
- Detail First Demand
- Coordinate Effort
- Specify Actions
- Launch First Demonstration of Solidarity
There is a great deal of talk about the way social media is going to help change society for the better. Many believe that the time has come to stop the brutal and self serving policies of GovCorp.
The question is will we do more than just pay lip service to the ills of society or are we willing to momentarily suspend our day to day activities so we may lend our effort to a greater vision of what it means to be a society of human beings?
Several populations have already put their governments on notice. A few have literally run their political officials out of office
We have the means and a tried and tested method to create the kinds of changes that will serve humankind as we go forward into a future fraught with increasing challenges.
Technologically assisted humans employing the principles of non-violent action, civil disobedience and non-cooperation can and will enable the public body in creating a leadership that is truly for and by the people.
The problems faced by the world are related and they share a common source. Address the source of the problems and we begin to solve problems.
They are the problems that our scientists, concerned citizens, social workers and political commentators have been warning us about for years.
A list of the most serious collectively shared problems facing humanity. 
1. Environmental Degradation
- Habitat Destruction
- Species Extinction
- Global warming
- Resource Depletion
2. Gender Imbalance
- In the Work Place
- In Social Leadership
- In Governance
- In Society
3. Socio-Cultural Decay & Dysfunction
- Normalization of Violence
- Destruction of the Nuclear Family
- Teenage Pregnancies
- Elevated Crimes rates
- Rising Hate Crimes Levels
- Rising Substance Abuse Levels
- Rising Dropout Rates
4. Human Rights Abuse
- Violent Dissent Suppression Tactics
- Domestic Surveillance
- Unlawful Detention
5. Skewed Economic System
- Engineered Socio-Economic System in favor of the Establishment
- Engineered Monetary System in favor of the Bankers
- Engineered Tax code in Favor of GOV-CORP
6. Corporate Recklessness
- Worker Exploitation,
- Profit before Social Responsibility
- Profit before Environmental Responsibility
- Government Infiltration
7. Economic Militarism
- Standing Armies
- War as an Option
- Military Industrial Complex
- War as an Economic Strategy
8. Government Recklessness
- Excessive Taxation
- Social Exploitation
- Mismanagement of Resources
- Misappropriation of Monetary Resources
- Abuse of Power
- War Mongering
- Domestic Surveillance
- Imperialist Tendencies
- International Subterfuge
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Most of Our Socio-Environmental Woes Stem from the Same Source.
The destroyed and traumatized cultures, the disintegrating societies, families and damaged individuals and the extreme poverty and environmental devastation that you see strewn around the worldresults largely from a brutish and pathologically corrupt male-centric imperialist process that has engineered through a privileged law-making racket a governmental-economic system designed to extract by force if necessary, the greatest amount of wealth from the many and direct it to the few—aka the Western democratic/capitalist system.
It is a model best exemplified by Western nations of which the United States is the current supreme example. Before the American Empire there was the Soviet, British, Spanish, French, German, Roman and Greek Empires, amongst others. See the pattern—the successive rise and fall of empires? All empires eventually collapse.
The American Empire will not be immune from that fact. The European Age of Discovery (colonialism) was the age of hell fire and brimstone for the rest of the world. Culture after culture was demolished and enslaved in every way.
Go to a colonized or Westernized (neo-colonialized) third world country and you find the colonialists sipping lattes and the natives rummaging through the garbage heaps.
Who do you find in the ghettos of the US and other colonized lands, but the natives who were either imported as slaves or those native North, Middle and South-Americans who found themselves in the direct path of the European invasion. All casualties of a process called Western Civilization.
The upper most strata colonialists live off the backs of those forming the lowest levels of the socio-economic strata. They are the sweat shops in all its forms employed by Euro-American corporations. Please bear in mind that the natives throughout the world were dispossessed of their lands by the Europeans.
The land is the primary source of wealth. If you take someone else’s land and then charge them rent to put up their shack or grow some food, well that’s called capitalism.
This is not to say that non-Europeans don’t also employ the same abusive tactics. We know China to be one of the most repressive regimes on the planet. However, China is for the most part self contained.
It is the European who colonized (culturally infected) the planet and therefore it is the European colonialists who bear the greatest responsibility for the sorry state of world affairs.
The Europeans have invaded every culture on the face of the planet and in doing so have tainted other cultures with Western ideo-pathologies which in turn become real physical, mental, environmental and social dysfunctions.
The Root Source of our Collectively Shared Socio-Environmental Problems
The Latest Chapter in the Saga of Western Imperialism
Government-Corporate Recklessness and Economic Militarism are manifestations of the same entity.
The US political leadership of the last 8 years–Bush-Cheney–were both top level politicians and they both came from the industries that benefited the most from the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nations rich in key natural resources, geo-politically strategic and militarily weak enough to consider invading. Western nations did not have access to Iraq’s oil until after the US invasion.
Part of the Bush-Cheney war rally was to “spread democracy” by laying out the carpet bombs. 20th century styled Western Democracy is the latest incarnation of whitewashed Euro-American imperialism aka, neo-colonialism.
Does 700 plus military bases around the world constitute an empire? 
Empire means territory and economic-political influence gained through violence or some sort of force, coercion or bribery. The Obama campaign of “change” was a farce. Obama has done little to reverse the policies of the Bush administration.
He has thrown the people a few bones, but no where near enough to stop existing calamities, nor avert looming socio-enviromental catastrophes.
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The Elephant in the Room is the Greatest Menace to Life, Peace and Universal Prosperity. 
Overt measures are taken under the guise of a fabricated threat. As long as we have a Military Industrial complex and a deranged leadership there will be war. 
Over 50% of the US government’s budget is directed towards militarism. By first addressing the singular problem of militarism many other problems are simultaneously resolved. 
The US Military is the biggest polluter on the Planet.
Military action destroys the environment.
Military actions destroys lives. Military action inflicts physical traumas that last will last a life time and emotional traumas that are passed down generationally. Families made dysfunctional by the ravages of war go on to create more dysfunctional families and individuals.
Militarism creates infinite debt. Militarism bears little “fruit” relative to investment. The “fruit” it does bear goes to weapons makers and those invested in defense stocks.
The resultant spoils of wars, which in the case of the most recent American military expeditions (Iraq-Afghanistan) went to the oil industry and related support industries such as Halliburton and KBR.
The resources that Militarism obliterates would be more than enough to fund the solutions that each country needs to solve its own socio-ecological ills. 
The Offspring of the Root Source
Environmental degradation results from a merciless and short-sighted approach towards economic gain. Obscene profits are maximized by doing things in the rudest and crudest ways possible. Protecting workers and minimizing pollution cuts into the profit margin.
Wise, responsible and compassionate government would insure that workers are protected, resources managed prudently, renewable resources developed and that the environment be protected.
Government fails to do so because most law makers are pro-business. Meaning that we don’t have a democracy, but rather a plutocracy.
Gender imbalance is a characteristic of war mongering male-dominated cultures of which Western modeled cultures are examples of. Communism is also a Western Idea.
The inclusion of predominantly feminine values via the presence of more real women(not masculinized drones) into the socio-governing process would go far to temper the savagery and excesses of the extreme alpha males currently in control of national and global affairs. 
A prerequisite to a fair and balanced society is to insure that the socio-governing process be administered by an equal number of men and women. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that male-dominated cultures are by definition dysfunctional societies. 
Human Rights Abuses: Western Civilization enriches itself by a myriad of human rights abuses i.e., sweatshops, child labor, the oppression of women, disregard for workers rights, slavery, colonialism, excessive taxation, militarism, engineered economic system and imperialism.
Women were granted the right to vote in the US less than a hundred years ago. Slavery was abolished less than 150 years ago. Western civilization is over 5000 years old. Do the math. 
The American constitution is a little more than 200 years old and it has been hijacked by elements who would prefer it did not exist. The other conditions listed still exist. Why have so many US corporations set up business outside of the United States?
Because other governments still allow exploitive and indifferent policies towards workers and the environment–policies which maximize profits. Therefore, our government and corporations tacitly support and endorse the unjust policies of other governments.
Socio-Cultural Decay and Dysfunction is what is left in the wake of the Western Civilizational process. Western prevailing culture then compounds the problems as GovCorp leaders bulldoze through at breakneck speeds to wring out as much profit and taxation without regard for the consequences of such avarice and ruthless machine efficiency.
Socio-cultural conditioning via advertising and senseless pop culture programming is now implicated in host of mental, physical and social problems.
Skewed Economic System
Income gap and wealth disparities continue to widen and it’s not due to merit, but rather to an engineered economic model which best serves its designers. 
Advantage and disadvantage are designed into the current economic model. The designers are industry and lawmakers.
We have witnessed the failure of capitalism and we then witnessed how it was rescued from its own excesses by transferring the banking Industry’s toxic trillion dollar liabilities onto the public.
The “bailout” was coordinated between the interlinked relationships that exist between Capitol Hill and Wall Street. Relationships which include former industry officials who now work within key government posts such as Treasury secretary. There should be laws against this sort practice. Small oversight or purposeful situation? [1b]
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We know the conditions and events just described to be true. Therefore my statement that our most of our social and environmental problems by and large result, “from a brutish and pathologically corrupt male-centric imperialist process which has engineered through a privileged law making racket a governmental-economic system designed to extract, by force if necessary, the greatest amount of wealth from the many and direct it to the few”, is true.
An effective solution comes into focus when the problem has been properly identified.
We pool our resources together and focus our collective effort to exert the requisite non-violent effort to demand the necessary changes and to elect honorable and responsible people to begin reforming our decrepit governing institutions.
A world wide coalition of good will organizations, institutions, movements and individuals is the only movement large enough to confront the Prevailing World System of indifference, exploitation, oppression and destruction.
By addressing the root of our collectively shared problems we will simultaneously address the most pressing issues confronting humankind. We the people must demand an immediate cessation to all hostilities between nations. We must then demand that all nations begin talks on disarmament and armaments industry conversion.
Resources once used to fund militarism would then be channeled into a socio-environmental clean up and restoration plan. All nations must demand this from their respective governments. Governments will not stop what they have been doing for hundreds of years of their own accord. 5000 years of civilization as we know it has proven that.
Ghandi  and Martin Luther King Jr.  showed us through their example that non-violence, civil disobedience and non-cooperation are effective forms of dissent when employed to affect socio-political reform.
Ghandi purged India of the British invasion during the technologically primitive 1930s and ’40s. He did it non-violently and through civil disobedience and non-cooperation tactics.
Martin Luther King Jr. employed the same tactics to win equal rights for African-Americans a little over 40 years ago.
We now have computers, media-enabled cell phones and networking systems galore. There is enthusiasm building throughout the web community about the growing prospects for significant socio-political change.
When a forest fire becomes too large to be managed by the local fire department it then calls upon the neighboring departments to assist in the effort. The global firestorm we are now facing has been defined and it is too fierce to be addressed in a fragmented and uncoordinated way.
Any hope of salvaging our future from the insane vision of the Long War  and business as usual [1b] will require world wide collective action in the form of a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to some facet of political, social or environmental justice.
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Anticipating Internal Hurdles
I expect my proposal to encounter resistance and in particular by the leadership of some of our oldest and most well recognized progressive organizations.
The process will likely follow the 3 stage sequence mentioned by Thomas Kuhn, in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
I believe that Kuhn’s formulation of the Structure of Scientific revolutions is in actuality a universal response to new ideas by those over-invested in pre-existing conditions.
Habit is a double-edged sword. Routine thinking and behavior become automated because biological efficiency demands it.
Economic dependence on the status quo exacerbates habit. As conditions change habit eventually becomes our liability. Adaptability is hampered by routinized behavior, thinking and over dependence.
All institutions will become fixed in their ways regardless of the cause they promote. Bureaucratic inertia or institutionalized habit (stagnation) will creep into even the most well meaning of organizations unless the organization in question is so advanced that it factors for some internal mechanism to offset stagnation. Whatever the case it is our job to recognize and revitalize that which has become stale and obsolete.
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The Stage is Set
A PLACE TO GATHER
The World Social Forum could act as the meeting place; to begin collaboration; set forth an agenda and develop strategies.
The Organizational Model
The World Assembly  seems to provide the model through which to organize and coordinate the Coalition of the Just. It could also act as a direct representative of the people and be the organizational body to negotiate directly with the UN and with individual governments.
I believe that the World Assembly will likely function as the prototypical model for the future of humane governance and social leadership. What I have just described is not a proposal for a World Government.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Direct Democracy  initiatives are now enabled via the World Wide Web. Direct Democracy is currently the most viable model we have for the realization of a social leadership that is truly for and by the people. Representative democracy as we have it has not worked and will never work as a just and humane model of leadership because it is highly susceptible to corruption.
The World Social Forum and the World Assembly would function much like the Untied Nations does, but with one enormous difference. The United Nations represents GovCorp not the people.
The World Social Forum and the World Assembly would represent the people and the whole of nature. The World Social Forum and the World Assembly would come under the heading of a World Council of Planetary Citizens.
World-wide, there is plenty of pent up frustration at the social, environmental and economic atrocities committed daily by Govcorp.
We have been technologically enabled. The ability to mobilize and organize on a grand scale is now present. Communication technologies and networking systems have proven their effectiveness in opposition movements around the world.
NO SHORTAGE OF CRISIS
Pick your cause. World wide there are tens of thousands of groups working for a variety of political, social, economic and environmental causes. But a fragmented approach will never work.
The opposition is entrenched, ultra sophisticated and too well positioned to be overcome by current methods. It’s a simple physics problem. What we need now is a concerted effort in the form of a coalition of good will movements, organizations, institutions and individuals–The Coalition of the Just
There is much talk about the need for great social change without serious consideration for the practical aspects of how adequate and appropriate reforms could come about on the scale and time line needed in order meet the urgency of the situation and the magnitude of the task at hand.
I believe I have outlined a big picture schematic of how a proportionate and appropriate response to the global crisis could be delivered.
If you believe my proposal has merit then please help distribute my message and discuss it with your networks, friends and family. Please share your thoughts with me in the comments area or contact me directly.
If you are not currently a member of some network, association or organization that is working to affect some sort of political, social or environmental cause then please consider lending your much needed effort to the cause you feel most passionate about.
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13. The Long War
16. World Assembly