New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Moving the Paradigm

September 15, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Ecology, Economy, Peter Bergel

From Growth and Domination to Sustainability and Cooperation

by Peter Bergel

On Tuesday night a reported 100,000 Americans joined Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for a national conversation about breaking the partisan gridlock in Washington, DC. It was another great example of the growing willingness of ordinary people to reclaim their power from those to whom they have delegated it, only to see it abused.

Schultz was a suitable leader for this conversation because he had recently organized CEOs from more than a hundred companies to halt contributions to U.S. political campaigns until DC office holders stop their political wrangling and behave in a financially responsible manner. He also encouraged those who joined him to spend their money to stimulate growth in their own industries. (more…)

Solidarity on the Border

June 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Bacon, Economy, Politics

Cooperative Efforts Link U.S.-Mexico Labor Movements

by David Bacon

The growth of cross-border solidarity today is taking place at a time when U.S. penetration of Mexico is growing — economically, politically, and even militarily.  While the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has it’s own special characteristics, it is also part of a global system of production, distribution, and consumption.  It is not just a bilateral relationship.

Jobs go from the U.S. and Canada to Mexico in order to cut labor costs.  But from Mexico those same jobs go China or Bangladesh or dozens of other countries, where labor costs are even lower.  As important, the threat to move those jobs, experienced by workers in the U.S. from the 1970s onwards, are now common in Mexico.  Those threats force concessions on wages. In Sony’s huge Nuevo Laredo factory, for instance, that threat was used to make workers agree to an indefinite temporary employment status, even though Mexican law prohibited it. (more…)

How to Spark a Commons Revolution

May 07, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, Family, Jay Walljasper

What You Can Do to Make a Better World

by Jay Walljasper

E.F. Schumacher (author of Small is Beautiful) gave us some good advice about how to restore the commons when he said, “Perhaps we cannot raise the wind. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it.” Even in these tough times, the breeze of change is beginning to blow.

The following is a handy list of ways you can raise the sail in your own community and life, reprinted from the new book published by On the Commons, All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons. These simple suggestions are offered to encourage you to find more of your own ideas, and to implement them in your lives and communities.

Personal Life

1. Challenge the prevailing myth that all problems have private, individualized solutions.

2. Notice how many of life’s pleasures exist outside the marketplace— gardening, fishing, conversing, playing music, playing ball, making love, enjoying nature and more. (more…)

Happiness is a Warm Neighborhood

April 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Family, Jay Walljasper

Designing Our Communities on ‘Common Ground’

by Jay Walljasper

Biology is destiny, declared Sigmund Freud. But if Freud were around today, he might say “design is destiny” — especially after taking a stroll through most American cities.

The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives.  Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore experience fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. That’s a chief cause of the social isolation so rampant in the modern world that contributes to depression, distrust, and other maladies.

You don’t have to be a therapist to realize all this creates lasting psychological effects. It thwarts the connections between people that encourage us to congregate, cooperate, and work for the common good. We retreat into ever more privatized existences. (more…)