- Carolyn LaDelle Bennett
- Rochester, NY
- United States
Collective effort for common good
I agree by and large with what you say in the talk “Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim” [Filmed Feb 2013 • Posted Apr 2013 • TED2013], but your reflection on your son with a hypothetical brain tumor in composing a response to the woman who raised a question about the impossibility of doing anything about the current state of affairs, I wondered if we might not do well to go beyond thoughts of “our” children or “our” family. I wondered also if a better response might be not in “your” issues (environment or campaign finance or nonviolence, etc.); but the interrelationship of these and the collectivity of effort.
I think an underlying problem we have in the United States is that we compartmentalize, we segregate (we tribalize politically, socially, ideologically); and that segregation or tribalization is used by elite powers, by corporate interests against us and therefore against the whole republic, the public interest, the common good, the common defense and general welfare, as the Constitution’s preamble puts it.
What do you think? How can we Americans ─ or are we too much of the individualist in search of our own “happiness,” our own “stardom,” our own “wealth,” our own “consumption,” etc., that we cannot ─ come together in a broader and more sustaining effort?
Closing Statement from Carolyn LaDelle Bennett
Resent on activism and activism and conscientious objection -
I received an alert from your address today but not link or message and this reply I sent to you on April 30 might be a reprint. If so disregard.
I hear your comments and am not entirely in disagreement with you as relates to my own character or way of being. I am an activist writer. Writing is my activism or my instrument of activism, my instrument of response to the world. I’m a former professor, an “intellectual,” an independent thinker (in the best sense, an “educator” at heart) who likes to think, especially of ways that we can make our world a better world. I’m not an “on-the-streets” activist of a “Code Pink” or “Occupy” sort (my sense of activism for the greater good is smaller, more deliberative, under the radar, off camera, committed and unending). I think what ended the good work that happened in the 1960s and 1970s ─ though some good happened ─ was that the movement was (or movements were) fragmented, divisive, classicist, void of true and lasting commitment and the commitment to be true and lasting).
I publish a blog and I have a Facebook page. I haven’t been “blown up with emails,” as you put it; but to the extent that I can, I limit what enters my inbox and don’t tolerate or rather don’t respond to incivility; I don’t find bickering or “angry person” antics” useful.
To the extent that I can, I contribute to Pacifica and independent, publicly supported free-speech news radio programming in the United States. I was a Peace Corps teacher in the early years of the PC and my internationalist “activist” worldview ─ my care for human beings at home and abroad, my interest in domestic and foreign affairs and the interrelationship of these ─ was planted and rises from my service overseas.
I think we, all people, are needed “to make a better world”; we are stronger together than apart. The world needs all people, not just the “political elites” who hold and who buy and sell public office.