This letter reads to the angsty, the die hard Marx fans, the scholar [activists], ... or to anyone who, at the core of their being, gives a damn about the transformation of society. I have a question.
What does a revolution look like?
I've become rather obsessed with this question after studying abroad, after spending the summer on an urban farm, and after reading and reading about the injustices brought about on specific groups within our society. What does revolution look like? And. How do we get there? What the world might look like if we were to overturn the current "system", a sphere of convoluted economics and politics that benefit so very few at the expense of many?
I ask this because I am exhausted. At hearing daily, the status quo further reiterating itself, and seeing absolutely nothing done about it. About inequality. Poverty. Climate Change. Racism. The list could go on and on and on. I am exhausted. And as I reflect on where life may take me after college, I sure do hope it's somewhere where I can bring about radical change. The only problem? I have no idea where to go. Where to start. I have no idea what that looks like. And that scares me. Maybe you feel the same? Please tell me you feel the same? (If not, wow I need you to comment! You have the answer, you know the answer!)
I'll speak directly to issues on food justice, since that's the theme of the blog space. I care a lot about food issues affecting Chicago. I've seen the disparity in accessibility to fresh produce and healthy food for so long that it's mind-boggling that nothing is being done about it. Well it is! says the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel. But it's a Marianos and Whole Foods in neighborhoods that need a whole lot more than corporate grocery stores to solve the problem of food deserts (food apartheid), inequity, and poverty.
I daydream very often, on campus at Cornell, about the things I hope to do when I go back to Chicago. (Chicago Chicago Chicago.) About further transforming vacant spaces. (SWF!) About expanding the areas that grow local tomatoes and watermelons and collard greens and peppers for people to sustain themselves. About creating educational programs to expose students to our unjust food system. About bringing to life a grocery store. This is the one I think about the most; say it's a calling if you will.
I really want to open a grocery store. It's complex and I have a google doc filled with ideas and could go on and on about the uniqueness of the grocery store design that I have in mind. I'll spare you the time. With this idea, I'm often afraid that this will never be enough. A grocery store will never be enough to transform a system that has discriminated against black people. That has failed to provide food to all members of society. (And when I say food, I mean quality produce, not the junk of McDonalds and Burger King's that you see littered through the city.) I'm afraid that I will, like many organizations that are operating today, transform locally, but not globally. Or on the scale needed to really tilt the system in our favor. That I will, like the tiny dent in the side of the car from-the-cart-that-bumped-into-the-side-that-one-time-in-the-parking-lot (sorry I know it's long, I'm trying with metaphors), only leave a minutely lasting imprint. And that's not what this society needs. We need more. (We need the entire damn car destroyed, if you catch my drift.) So. So?
So what does a revolution look like?
Please comment. Or share any ideas. It can be in your respective field. In your respective city. In your respective vision of the world :)