Still Cultivating a ‘New Clear Vision’ for 2012, and Beyond
When we started this blog a year ago, there were already signs that the year to come (now the year past) was going to be potentially revolutionary. A lingering economic crisis, the realization of perpetual warfare, the mainstream media’s increasing rightward slide, rapidly worsening environ-mental conditions, and the beginnings of mass mobilizations were already in evidence as 2010 drew to a close. Still, the spectrum of events launched in 2011 was nothing short of miraculous, from the Arab Spring to Occupy; and while much remains to be done, there is also much to be optimistic about.
This is precisely why New Clear Vision exists: to stoke the flames of revolutionary praxis through reflection, stimulation, and dialogue, retaining a critical posture yet never abandoning the essential task of being constructive and positive in the process. Actions need visions for guidance and to provide a sense of possibility on the arduous path to a better world; at the same time, visions ought to be action-oriented in the sense that they help to connect the dots from today to that brighter tomorrow. For the past year, this is what we have tried to do at NCV, and we promise to keep at it.
What began as an uncertain effort has taken shape in remarkable fashion. We quickly built a core of gifted writers as regular Contributors, and have been pleased to feature the work of a number of exceptional and influential guest authors, including those who are well-established and many just starting out. We have published essays and articles by students, activists, scholars, practitioners, educators, artists, and more. In all, we published nearly 300 articles in our first year, placing many of them in respected international venues like Truthout, Counterpunch, and Common Dreams in the process.
Equally important, we have also been fortunate to develop a cadre of dedicated readers and regular commentators, steadily moving toward the creation of a genuine “intellectual commons” for the dissemination and discussion of ideas that matter to individuals and communities working to achieve a more just and peaceful world. This shared space of discourse has retained its basic civility and empathy in the process, even as the topics and themes addressed have been unflinching in their engagement with the most pressing issues and serious challenges confronting humankind today.
So what’s next? The year ahead promises to be pivotal — by some accounts, an authentic “tipping point” in the arc of history, in which a new paradigm is born from the fragments of the old. To be sure, there are signs that this may be so, yet without constructive analysis and careful reflection there is also the possibility that the proverbial “paradigm shift” could represent even worse conditions. Things don’t magically transform; they need to be consciously cultivated. The end of an era is an opportunity for change, yet we must be active agents in its realization rather than passive consumers.
This is the essence of our ongoing mission at NCV, and our pledge to you going forward. We will continue to provide cutting-edge analysis and thoughtful visions to help foster a sense of engaged optimism as the present unfolds into the future. We will not succumb to doomsaying even if the hour appears to grow dark, and instead will always search for the beam of light pushing through the cracks in the facade of negativism. We will keep presenting the ideas and actions in our collective midst that serve to inspire our imagination and incite our intellect. We will be here for the long haul.
In return, all we ask of you is that you keep reading and sharing the articles and essays we present, and that you consider writing your own and sending them to us for possible inclusion on these virtual pages. At NCV, we will never ask you for money, but only for the more valuable currency of your compassionate attention. Indeed, we see this project as a true labor of love, recognizing that in an ideal world all work is an expression of joyful engagement with ourselves and our communities. For the coming year, and beyond, this will be the evolving mantra for our new, clear vision…