If we want a future different from the one now bearing down on us with a full load of menace, we must fight for it as localists.
There is an accusation which has been flung over the decades (if not centuries) at practically every sort of intentional community-building effort, thus oddly discovering something which apparently entirely disparate elements of the right and left have in common.
The fundamental focus in this book is traffic, meaning the movement of people and goods along streets and roads, which is literally the lifeblood, the circulatory system, of any urbanized space.
I want my grandchildren to visit other places and countries and see different, unknown foods. I want them to feel like the world isn’t one giant airport lounge with sourdough and avocado toast on every menu.
The global pandemic has revealed just how fragile our global supply chains are. This is something we’ve talked about a lot at Strong Towns, but of course the disruptions aren’t only being experienced in the United States.
The initiative to which I have dedicated my energies is the growing global “human rights cities” movement. This movement is a response that has been building from cities around the world to address the growing urgency for protections of people’s basic needs such as housing, water, energy, and other rights.
In general, the power of the elite cannot be confronted by timidly asking or jumping to compromises. It can only be confronted by hampering the source of their power in the first place: the ability to make a profit.
As the fault lines in the global economy continue to grow, and the desire for genuine human connection becomes ever more keenly felt, these existing initiatives will provide direction as well as inspiration, and stand as a compelling alternative to the faux-localist path of violence, fear, and hate.
People are at last beginning to pay attention to localism. The idea behind the term is old—ancient even—but it appears to be “having a moment,” so to speak, in this fractured and divisive era.
Continuing our discussion of the potential pitfalls of radical municipalism, we want to address this toxic strain of localism – what we’ve termed dark municipalism – and why it is so dangerous. If a diverse, egalitarian, and ecological local politics is to be successful, it must develop strategies for addressing and combating these tendencies.
Charles C. Mann’s The Wizard and the Prophet, published earlier this year, is a fabulous book. Not a perfect book; sometimes, in order to bulk up this two-pronged thesis, he will throw in supplementary material that threatens to bog down his central investigation. But that investigation comes through loud and clear all the same, and it is one worth looking at closely.
The clearest point which comes through Wuthnow’s thoughtful engagement with the dozens of farmers he and his assistants interviewed, and with the reams of data about rural populations, farm economics, and more that they assessed, is simply this: most American farmers, most of the time, are not agrarians.