New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


All You Need

May 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg, Politics

Finding a Path to Cultural, Ecological, and Economic Transformation

by Jan Lundberg

Popular protest against rulers in many parts of Africa and Asia has spread faster than most anyone would have dared hope. Ferment in other countries may well materialize and mount, including the U.S. However, while the recent uprisings have potential and are well stoked by rampant oppression and greed, we are no longer in a 19th or 20th century set of social or ecological conditions. The attainment of peace and prosperity can no longer be fully addressed with revolutions or social movements. The decades of economic growth from cheap oil — producing wealth for some, not bringing peace — cannot be replicated.

The common people have always just wanted peace and prosperity, but are pushed beyond a certain point by relentless opportunists seizing greater power. This results in eventual revolt, but new immutable factors in social change include the deteriorating health of the biosphere, cultural breakdown, and economic collapse. (more…)

The Paradox of Peace

March 25, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Kent Shifferd, Politics

Despite Appearances, Are We Headed Toward a Better World?

by Kent Shifferd

With the 20th century having been the bloodiest in history, and with bombs falling in Libya, explosions in Iraq, Hamas rockets falling on Israel, and a seemingly endless war in Afghanistan, the answer to the question of whether peace is possible seems an obvious “No!” But if you take the long view and look at the totality of trends that have been going on more or less unnoticed for two centuries, it could well be a “Maybe.”

Consider this: after thousands of years of warfare, the first organized peace societies in history began to form and work in the early 19th century.  By 1899 their efforts resulted in the calling of the inaugural world peace conference, and out of that came the first-ever court to adjudicate disputes between nations, the so-called “World Court” (its actual name is the International Court of Justice).  By itself it was not enough to stop World War I, but some 22 more trends developed over the century and are ongoing today, which when viewed together make the 20th century not only the bloodiest, but also the century marked by  more progress toward controlling war than in any other in history.  Ironic and paradoxical, yes, but it was a century of peace. (more…)

The End of an Era

March 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Ecology, Economy, Jan Lundberg

The Nuclear Age Must Yield to a Time of Love

by Jan Lundberg

Three days before the Fukushima nuclear power explosion, I made this comment on a peace activist’s Facebook page: “I believe a successful, final anti-nuke campaign will only take place in one of two ways: (1) collapse puts the entire infrastructure of industry and consumption out of business, forcing the survivors to minimally babysit the nukes forever, or, there’s an accident or deliberate blast or meltdown that motivates people all over the world to shut down the mechanical beast once and for all.”

I didn’t think it would come so soon. But that has been the pattern for our planet in peril in recent years: acceleration of disasters, climate destabilization, peak oil, strife such as wars and revolutions, extremes of elitist wealth and overwhelming poverty, fresh water depletion — all prelude to complete collapse. However, to use the equivalent of jiu-jitsu or aikido to rapidly channel the onslaught of negative energy toward something positive is our duty and opportunity. (more…)

Toward an Environmental Justice Act

March 02, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Economy, Politics

Can Ecological Democracy Trump Partisan Politics and Neoliberalism?

by Devon G. Peña

Over the past two and a half decades, environmental justice activists have tried to address the limits and contradictions of liberal democratic approaches to the protection of our most vulnerable communities. We have danced with the state but have also come to recognize how the existing framework for proactive transformational action is limited by the regulatory apparatus established by former President Bill Clinton through Executive Order 12898.

While E.O. 12898 proved useful to imaginative movement organizations and communities seeking to address the legacies and continued challenges of environmental racism, the status of the framework as an Executive Order also limited prospects for genuinely transformational change. It now seems clear that this is not the best framework to sustain our movement’s political influence, scientific efficacy, and mobilizing capacity. This essay charts the limits and contradictions of Executive Order 12898, summarizes prior efforts at legislating environmental justice, and closes with an analysis of the prospects and possible orientations of a new federal law for environmental justice. (more…)

For 2011: Accentuate the Positive

January 01, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

Time for a New Clear Vision

by Randall Amster

For the coming year, rather than short-term resolutions, I’m issuing an ongoing challenge that is at once both personal and political. Despite much evidence to the contrary, and notwithstanding the relentless news cycle that we frequent, I believe that 2011 will be the year that the majority of people in the world demonstrably turn away from the brink of destruction and embrace a spirit of positive innovation and creative intervention in their communities. This may seem like a preposterous conclusion, but then again if someone told you in early 2001 that we would be living in a perpetual state of terror/war and that our rights would be wholly eviscerated in short order, you might have said the same thing. (more…)

Subvert the Dominators’ Paradigm

December 28, 2010 By: NCVeditor Category: Economy, Politics, Randall Amster

Support the Dominant Paradigm

by Randall Amster

There’s a bumper sticker still clinging to the back of my old camper, bearing a phrase you’ve probably heard before or perhaps even uttered: “Subvert the Dominant Paradigm.” At the time I’d placed this on the tailgate for display, it made perfect sense to me. The Dominant Paradigm was the one manufactured by the warmongers, corporateers, securitizers, and mediamen. The rest of us were living in a Subordinate Paradigm, and the path to our salvation lay in tearing down the one imposing itself upon us. Since those halcyon bumper-sticker days, however, I’ve come to see that this logic is actually inverted, and that in fact WE are the Dominant Paradigm while those ostensibly in charge are the ones who continually attempt to subvert it. (more…)