Let’s Imagine

This blog comes to us from Laura Haney, a current Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Tucson, AZ, and PPF 2020 General Assembly intern.

How do we change the world?

In Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, adrienne marie brown makes a wonderful point about the ways we can use science fiction writing as a way to imagine what the future world could be like.  What we could change to create the world we want. She sees science fiction writing as an act of resistance.

I love this idea!  And I love spending time daydreaming about what the future could be.  My future, the world’s future. Being focused on what’s next is part of my nature as a 7 on the Enneagram.

Because my world has slowed down during this pandemic is giving me lots of time to think and dream.  My thoughts have been very focused on what the world will look like after this pandemic passes, whenever that may be.  Many people are asking how to get back to normal, but what even is normal and why do we want that?

What I see as normal, thanks to watching many videos and reading articles (listed below) to educate my opinion, was completely broken to begin with.  This system of capitalism, competition, and corporations aren’t helping people. Many people work tirelessly to make ends meet and when they don’t meet because of so many things working against lower and middle class people, it is the people that have failed, not the systems.

But the systems are failing.  They have been failing many people for a long time, but the Coronavirus has amplified these failures.

Systemic failure is why a disproportionate number of black and brown people are dying from the virus.  It is why there isn’t enough PPE in hospitals. This broken, capitalistic system is why there is even talk “restarting the economy” when it isn’t safe to leave your house without a mask on your face.  Because capitalism tells us that profits matter more than people. It has always been this way, but that is at the forefront of conversations recently.

So, I have no desire to return to that version of normal.  Because none of that should be normal.

Instead I am going to do daydreaming about changes that can happen.  I hope these changes include Universal Healthcare and paid sick leave.  Better transportation systems that help the earth live. Business practices that are focused on people instead of how to make the most money.

This world also needs to include liberation from the power of white supremacy and colonialism.  A world without borders of empire. That’s one of my favorite thoughts. It was inspired by this video. A great quote I heard today “Equality says we should all get a piece of the pie. Liberation says we need a new pie.”

I think it is evident that big change is necessary. But what does a better world look like? A more liberated one? This is a great time to imagine what we want to return to and what is best left out.

How do we change the world? We can start by imagining what is possible. So let’s imagine together!

Some resources for further education that helped form my ideas:

  • How to Beat Coronavirus Capitalism– An online teach-in with Naomi Klein, Astra Taylor, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor discuss the evils of capitalism and how the “normal” we have been living in is a crisis
  • Decolonizing the Mind – Walidah Imarisha and adrienne maree brown share ideas of using science fiction as a way to radically re-imagine and change the world, and they discuss their book Octavia’s Brood
  • A World Without State Borders -Harsha Walia, Author of Undoing Border Imperialism challenges the idea of state imposed borders
  • Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting*-Julio Vincent Gambuto shares ideas of how the trauma caused by this pandemic may be down played in the future to protect the systems in place that are failing