Imagination and organizing are antidote to the Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein delivering her Sept. 20, 2017 TED Talk “How shocking events can spark positive change.” (Photo: TED)

How can people today—who are facing “non-stop shocks” like record-breaking storms and militarized police—use these crises “to catalyze a kind of evolutionary leap” towards a more just, equitable, and habitable world?

In a recent TED Talk, available online this week, author and activist Naomi Klein laid out what she sees as two crucial ingredients for making that push forward—imagination and organizing. She said that “it’s in the interplay between the two where revolutionary power lies.”

She pointed to successes seen in The New Deal, which brought about key safety net gains. But we can do better, she argued.

One obstacle is the dominant structure of movements based largely on a sort of silo-fication of issues. While these movements are making strides forward and calling for bold changes, “what we’re still missing is that coherent picture of the world we’re fighting for,” she said.

She pointed to the sort of big picture view captured by The Leap Manifesto, shaped by a broad range of movement leaders, which recognized the confluence of their issues to map out common “yeses” about what a more just Canada could be.

“The shocking events that fill us with dread today can transform us, and they can transform the world for the better,” she concludes. “But first we need to picture the world that we’re fighting for. And we have to dream it up together. Right now, every alarm in our house is going off simultaneously. It’s time to listen. It’s time to leap.

Watch the full six-minute TEDGlobal>NYC, delivered on Sept. 20, 2017, below:

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