Hope blossoms in Detroit
By Grace Lee Boggs
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Chris Hedges is one of my favorite columnists. A graduate of the Harvard Divinity School, he has been a foreign correspondent in many parts of the world sending back dispatches, which reveal both a deep concern for life and a profound despair about the future of our planet.
For example, in a recent column written from the climate conference in Warsaw, he writes: “We have, through our ingenuity and hubris, unleashed the next great mass extinction on the planet. I suspect the reason we have never discovered signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is because extraterrestrial societies that achieved similar levels of technological development also destroyed themselves. There are probably more wreckages of advanced civilizations, cursed by poisoned ecosystems, floating through the universe than we imagine.”
I wish Hedges would visit Detroit. What Detroit teaches is that human beings are not like a school of fish; they do not all react to crisis in the same way. Some people are immobilized by disaster. Others are challenged to become solutionaries.
Thus, while the devastation of Detroit’s deindustrialization has plunged many Detroiters into despair, it has empowered others. In the midst of disaster, some grassroots Detroiters have begun creating a post-industrial society from the ground up.
They are making a cultural revolution as profound as the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture 11,000 years ago and from agriculture to industry a few hundred years ago.
I am inviting some of these grassroots Detroiters to tell their stories in future columns.
Chris Hedges can learn a lot from them.
So can we all.