A Progressive Manifesto

progressiveBeing progressive means working to create a better future for everyone. In order to work together and combat oppression, we need to identify our common goals and values .

  1. We create a better future for everyone, not just ourselves. The failing of many leftist platforms is that they exclude people who aren’t White, urban, college-educated, etc.
  2. We show compassion for those who support oppression. Most of these people think they are supporting regression – the idea that a return to the past will lead to a better future (or at least present) for them, not recognizing that it will actually lead to a much worse future for everyone. We’re fighting against political oppression, not those who support it.
  3. We stand up to those who bully and terrorize their political opponents. Although the rise of oppression is understandable, we cannot condone its violent consequences.
  4. We take care of ourselves first. This means recognizing that although we ultimately need to work for everyone’s interests, we first need to get out of “flight-or-fight” mode, practice self-care, use humor, and other strategies to be happy and healthy.
  5. We support (effective) progressive organizations to stand up to a (hopefully inefficient) oppressive government. We need to support organizations to protect the environment, civil rights, etc. Also, to manage this “double-taxation,” we’re going to need to live simpler and be more financially savvy.
  6. We vote with our dollarsIf we live in a progressive state, we work to keep our money in it – trying to support small businesses and freelance service providers whenever possible. We also research and boycott companies that financially support oppressive politicians.
  7. We listen to others. The reason that this country has become so divided is that we refuse to listen and try to understand the grievances of others. In order to convince others that progressivism is in their best interest, we need to first identify why they feel otherwise.
  8. We promote the best elements of the past. Working for change doesn’t mean fully discarding the past. Unfortunately, those who cling to the past tend to stand behind the worst, most oppressive parts of it. We need to emphasize that we can incorporate the best parts of the past – the arts, cultures, and values – with the best parts of the present.
  9. We forgive ourselves and others. While this may take a long time, we have to be able to forgive ourselves and others for the failings that lead to the current state of events. While much of anger is justified, the stakes are too high for us to get bogged down in it.
  10. We encourage healing and discourage distraction. While we need to start taking action soon, we also need to take time to recover from a devastating and terrifying blow. We need to learn to distinguish between the therapeutic activities that help us heal and the addictive ones designed to send us into oblivion and keep us placid.

 

Author: Leah Pogwizd

Bassist, Instructor, Writer

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