Why activism is now more important than ever
For many Americans, the pressure has been building for a long time.
There are two major tracks that our country has been on for decades, and those are making activism more and more a vital part of our daily lives. Many people used to be able to just tune everything out and say that they were “apolitical.” Not so much right now.
The first critical trend here is political polarization. In general, as a society, we tend to no longer feel like we are unified in speaking with one voice. The civic values of the earlier part of the 20th century have given way to distrust, cynicism, scapegoating and in general, disagreements with our neighbors. The unfortunate dysfunction of government plays out between individuals who each have their own entrenched opinions. If you feel like your neighbors are a bunch of morons, you’re not alone. That’s part of how national politics is changing our world views.
The second trend, though, is even more directly applicable to how we live our lives, because it’s actively hurting working Americans in ways that we can’t ignore. It’s not just happening to “other people” either – it’s happening to all of us. If you work – you are labor!
Wage stagnation and the devaluation of labor have coincided with both corporate parties neglecting the needs of the worker in favor of managers and corporations. That’s not just a bunch of words. That’s a big deal for you and me.
A few decades ago, productivity stopped tracking with wages. To be specific, productivity went up, but wages stayed the same. The fruits of the American workers labor started to go, in large part, to shareholders and wealthy people accumulating money through capital gains. We had a general sense that it was kind of unfair, but too many of us were not paying attention.
We saw the corporate raiders of the 80s, and the venture capital funds of the 90s, and the restructuring vultures of the aughts, and we saw the American worker plunging down into a financial pit.
These trends are part of the reasons why activism is now so important in our social lives!
Back in the 1990s, a youth protest movement was targeting the WTO, which was part of global justice and a globalized economy.
But that seems quaint now, when our activism is directly targeted toward domestic policy as well.
Americans can’t pay the rent. They can’t get adequate health insurance based on their wages. So activism is now incredibly important. It’s the only way we can even protect our families financially. That’s different than the activism of past decades, which was more or less seen as a hobby or a frivolous bleeding heart kind of advocacy for people that we had never met halfway around the world.
Right now, Activism.Fyi is partnering with small businesses, small family farmers and American families to demand economic and social justice. Sign on, because if you’re not part of the 1%, you’re not at their table!