Sunday, 18 March 2012

What would Hebden Bridge Look like in 2027?

Hebden Bridge 2027 - The Love Economy

When talking of Hebden you should understand that we are implying that the rest of the world has also changed - universal basic income, debt cancellation, social and environmental investment, etc. The sorts of transformations that have taken place in Hebden could not have happened alone, as though it was an isolated unit without relationship to surrounding areas and ultimately to the whole world.

The main change is that we no longer use money to value our goods and services. We have what is called 'the Love Economy'. That is care for people and planet is now the motivation for sharing the abundant products which have replaced the scarcity that was engendered by and essential to the money economy, and the industrial growth system. Most of our food is sourced locally, which does mean that some of the more exotic items we used to enjoy have become very rare or disappeared entirely. But no-one goes hungry or feels pressured to buy things they can't afford. More than that is the knowledge that what we enjoy consuming does not rely on the exploitation of unknown people or children in far-away lands.

Meals are more often communal affairs, so that every day becomes a celebration. Our relationships express the appreciation, and respect we feel with each unique encounter. There is excitement about being in charge of our lives. People no longer work in soul destroying, repetitive jobs, so are able to be more creative and fulfilled in their daily lives. Communication happens everywhere, on street corners, distribution centres, assemblies in the park. Healing occurs naturally as people emerge from being trapped in the competition and insecurity of an economy based on scarcity and want. Love flows unconditionally, as the gratitude for life and human community merges with the laughter of children freed from repressive education and connects with the beauty of the natural world.

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Anna Harris

Friday, 16 March 2012

Occupy Transition

On December 20th people from Occupy Hebden and HebdenTransition  met at the Trades Club to explore whether and how we can work together to achieve our common aims. Having been part of both movements I can see many similarities, but there are also differences which need to be respected. Both groups are aware that the path we are on globally is endangering our very existence as a human society, but whereas Transitioners are not given to delving into the reasons, for they want to concentrate on the solutions, Occupiers often criticise the system as a whole and tend to feel that nothing less than total refurbishment will do. Transitioners are in the main happy to work with what we have, and see that much can be done by empowering local communities to develop alternative systems side by side with what is already existing. They have done much to open people's eyes to the loss of community and what can be achieved by re- investing in it. Occupiers challenge the status quo with protest marches, camping out in city centres, supporting workers' strikes, even challenging the law in the courts, and focus attention particularly on financial institutions which bend the law to suit themselves. The vast division between those who benefit from the influence that corporations have on government policy, and those who suffer from it, is expressed in the slogan of 'we are the 99%'. The advantage of the Occupy movement is in combining this array of different interests under one umbrella. Both movements see the possibility of a society where joy in working together and sharing resources replaces the competitive system of industrial growth which is destroying the planet. While Occupy is envisaging the possibility of at some point changing the system, Transition is building an alternative system run by local people for the people. Together we can work to make this happen.
Anna Harris