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A “Right to Shop”?

You’ve probably seen lots of them by now. Videos of people having public meltdowns in private businesses, because they’ve been told to leave the business for not wearing a mask during a time of global pandemic. Sometimes they overturn something on their way out. Sometimes they assault a worker. Sometimes they are arrested. Oftentimes, they yell something about their rights being violated … about their right to shop or their “right to commerce”.

For me, the experience of watching these videos is an exquisite joy. To begin with, I love seeing some of these anti-maskers getting a little of their…


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The chart above is an attempt to offer some structure for understanding the positions of various collapseniks, doomers, post-doomers, etc. More-or-less mainstream folks like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein could be placed on this chart, as well as more radical folks like Derrick Jensen and Ted Kaczynski.

The two spectrums are (1) optimism versus pessimism and (2) cultural transformation versus material resistance.The chart assumes that you take some form of societal collapse as a given, whether it is a sudden collapse, a slow decline, or a staggered combination of both. …


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Just before COVID was recognized as a national health disaster in the U.S. last spring, I began a climate grief group for people to talk about their experiences of climate grief and eco-anxiety. This was prompted by my own struggle with grief and overwhelm related to awareness of climate change and ecocide.

Then COVID arrived. The pandemic made meeting in-person impossible or at least unadviseable, but it seemed like people needed something like a grief group more than ever. Fear about our health and that of our family and friends, concern about the loss of employment or income, social isolation…


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Something I found remarkable — one of the many things I found remarkable — about last week’s riot/insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was the insistence of the rioters/insurrectionists that Trump had not, in fact, lost the election. These people actually believe that the more than 7 million votes separating Biden and Trump were the result of a vast conspiracy and cover-up perpetrated at the highest levels of government and media.

From where I sit, this looks like sheer denial of reality. And I find myself wondering where these people are getting their information from, since it’s clearly not mainstream sources…


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The America election has been called (though it is still not over). It has been an uncomfortably close race, especially considering that pollsters predicted (and progressives hoped for) a Biden win by a healthy margin. The races in Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania were neck and neck. And Biden’s wins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona were too close for comfort. Florida and North Carolina were also very close, though FL went to Trump and NC probably will too. And the hoped-for blue wave in Congress didn’t materialize either.

The question that Democrats are asking themselves — or at least the question…


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This is going to be an unpopular post.

A few weeks ago, I announced on social media that I would not be voting for Biden and would instead be voting for the Green Party candidates, Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker. What followed was a firestorm of fury from my progressive friends and acquaintances. The responses ranged from patronizing attempts to educate me to accusations of racism, sexism, and LGBT-phobia.

Let me preface what follows by saying that I’m not trying to convince you or anyone else how to vote or, if you’ve already voted, that your vote was wrong. If…


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Dear friends and fellow activists,

I am relatively new to activism, but over the last few years I have been pretty actively engaged in a variety of causes, from the environment to anti-racism to gun control. In addition to writing, Most of my activism has consisted of planning and participating in protests and other forms of expressive activism.

When I first started participating in protests, it was exhilarating. It felt empowering. I experienced for the first time in my life the power of masses of people gathered for a cause. It’s not an exaggeration to say it restored my faith…


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I am an atheist and a religious naturalist, which means that I don’t look for supernatural explanations of natural events. But I use other words to describe my spirituality: “pagan” or “animist.” While there are pagans who believe in the supernatural, there are others like me who try to bring together an atheist rationality with a pagan sensitivity.

One part of my personal spiritual practice involves pouring libations. This is an ancient spiritual practice which involved pouring some kind of liquid onto the earth or onto a stone. The liquid might be water, or wine, or olive oil. To the…


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“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

At the end of July, I helped organize a…


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I was recently talking to someone who works in the areas of both climate collapse and anti-racism. As she was explaining how she she sees these two issues as interconnected, she told me about a workshop she was facilitating recently. About half of the White people gathered kept trying to push the conversation away from White supremacy and toward climate collapse, a topic with which they were apparently more comfortable.*

It’s been said that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. …

John Halstead

John Halstead is the author of the book *Another End of the World is Possible*. Find out more at AnotherEndoftheWorld.org.

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