Eight hour day march

What We Can Learn from the Labor Movement

By Aaron Vansintjan, Great Transition Initiative

I greatly enjoyed Brian Tokar's reflections on the potentials, and pitfalls, of localism. He is right to point out that place-based activism has seen an upsurge, but also to acknowledge that localism has a dark side, as seen in the call for "local control" by reactionary movements. Further, localism is often criticized for being unable to engage with issues which require action at national and multi-lateral levels, such as nationalism, free trade agreements, or climate change. To this concern, Tokar offers the philosophy and political theory of social ecology, which can help us address these inherent limits of localism. I agree with the fundamental need for democratic and place-based communities to confederate and scale up their action to the “glocal” level. I also agree that a commitment to confederating and establishing common principles can counter the rise of racist, nationalist localism. I would like to reflect briefly on three points,...