Articles about The Big Picture
1-50 of 122
Occupy The White House
The Revolution Bernie Sanders is a socialist who has somehow managed to land a spot in the US Senate, the most deliberative, prestigious body of government in a nation that is at the helm of a globe and space-spanning capitalist empire. It is an act of political genius for...
Ecocide: The Psychology of Environmental Destruction
Recent scientific reports about climate change make grim reading. A paper published in The Economic Journal by the respected UK economist Lord Stern states that the models previously used to calculate the economic effects of climate change have been ‘woefully inadequate.’...
How Values Work
Following decades of research and hundreds of cross-cultural studies, psychologists have identified a number of consistently-occurring human values. Early researchers into human motivations discovered a surprising consistency in the things people said they valued in life...
What If Our Theories Are Horribly Wrong?
Miasma Theory was universally held and horribly wrong. What else might we be wrong about? In 19th century London, everyone was certain that bad air caused disease. From cholera to the plague: if you were sick, everyone thought it was because of bad air. It was called the...
The Oceans Are Not Worth $24 trillion
Some things are beyond measure and beyond price. No amount of money is enough to compensate for the loss of the sacred. In case you were wondering whether the oceans are worth protecting, the World Wildlife Fund has helpfully put a monetary value on them: $24 trillion. No...
Deep Anger: We need to rediscover something we lost along the way
In a better world, there’d be no reason to write this. In that world, plastic bags would be outlawed, rednecks would voluntarily stop driving those obnoxious Ford F-350s and the yogis in yuppie neighborhoods would stop believing that a hybrid SUV could save the planet. But...
Patriarchy Is Killing Our Planet
The global epidemic of violence against women and their systematic exclusion from the power structures that rule us are integral to man's violent exploitation of Earth and her resources, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The fight to save the Earth must begin with the empowerment of women...
The Economics of Climate Change
Shifting away from an emphasis on global economic growth toward local economies provides a means to increase meaningful employment, shrink the gap between rich and poor, and tackle climate change. I assume, like any thinking person has to be, that you are alarmed by...
Big Picture Activism
Despite the countless grassroots projects already under way, the global economic juggernaut can seem too powerful to stop. But because more and more of us are becoming aware of how disastrous the global economy is for people and the planet, I believe that the chances for...
Revolution without Upheaval: A Manual Of Change
When we talk about saving the world, what world are we talking about? Not the globe itself, obviously. But also not the biological world—the world of life. The world of life, strangely enough, is not in danger (though thousands and perhaps even millions of species are). Even...
The Time Is Right for a Palace Revolution
PRINCETON, N.J.—Tariq Ali is part of the royalty of the left. His more than 20 books on politics and history, his seven novels, his screenplays and plays and his journalism in the Black Dwarf newspaper, the New Left Review and other publications have made him one of the...
When the Grandmothers Awoke
Becoming a global family, one that unites ancient indigenous wisdom with other faith and cultural traditions, is essential if humanity is to overcome the crises of climate change. Given the global challenges humanity faces in the 21st century, we can no longer afford to...
Why the Rise of Fascism Is Again the Issue
The US government has repeatedly lied to the public in order to wage war abroad, and control other nations and their resources. The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to remove everybody from the face of the earth, because humans GENERATE toxic waste, whether it be...
Our Religions: Are they the Religions of Humanity Itself?
Contrary to popular opinion, Charles Darwin did not originate the idea of evolution. By the middle of the 19th century, the mere fact of evolution had been around for a long time, and most thinkers of the time were perfectly content to leave it at that. The absence of a...
The Cynic and the Boatbuilder
A few days ago in Stockholm I was walking by the water and was accosted by a youngish man from Ireland who shouted out my name. This is not something that happens to me often -– apparently he is among that small subset of humanity that has read my book – so I took this...
The End of War
Feedback from my lecture at the Green Party annual meeting has been trickling in, and it seems that the talk wasn’t as well-received as I thought at the time. The people who walked out in the first five minutes – maybe they didn’t have to go to the bathroom after all, as I’d...
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved to the Matrix
For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the deceptive act is committed, and for the fool, reality then becomes inexplicably built upon on a lie. That...
The Best Social Change Documentaries of 2014
This round-up features Films For Action's picks for best activist film of 2014, most of which can be watched for free online. Our favorites for the year are at the top of the list.     [ffa-repeater][horizontal]148260,148747...
Seven Types of People. Which One Are You?
This is an excerpt from The One Idea That Saves the World: A Call to Conscience and A Call to Action by Laurence Overmire. The House is on Fire. The people in the house are Sleeping and in great danger Seven of their neighbors will come along Each with an opportunity to...
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It has always been an afflicted creature - hobbling about - wounded at its very being. An enslaving...
The New Story: Why Changing the Myth Changes Our world
Alan Heeks explores the pathways that can take us from the ‘old story’ of addictive materialism into a new, creative and regenerative post-industrial society. Since earliest times, people have created stories to make sense of their world. In 1978, Thomas Berry1 coined the...
Chris Hedges: A Message From the Dispossessed
The terrorist attack in France that took place at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was not about free speech. It was not about radical Islam. It did not illustrate the fictitious clash of civilizations. It was a harbinger of an emerging dystopia where the wretched of...
Is This Country Crazy? Inquiring Minds Elsewhere Want to Know
It’s past time to wake up, America, and look around Americans who live abroad -- more than six million of us worldwide (not counting those who work for the U.S. government) -- often face hard questions about our country from people we live among. Europeans, Asians, and...
Decade Of The Protester? Why The Uprisings Are Far From Over
In 2011, TIME Magazine selected “the protester” as its person of the year. Perhaps “person of the decade” would have been a more accurate depiction. We live in tumultuous times. Since 2011, every year seems to have brought more protests, more rebellions, more uprisings —...
Everything's Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart
It was the most thrilling bureaucratic document I’ve ever seen for just one reason: it was dated the 21st day of the month of Thermidor in the Year Six. Written in sepia ink on heavy paper, it recorded an ordinary land auction in France in what we would call the late summer...
Whatever is Neo-Liberalism?
Neo-liberalism, like capitalism, is not usually a consciously accepted ideology it is a descriptive term. In fact neo-liberalism is best understood as the particular form and stage of capitalism that we are suffering under at this present time. Thomas G Clarke of 'Another...
NGOs - Do They help?
NGOs are no longer seen as the blameless agents of benevolence. Dinyar Godrej inspects the charge-sheet against them. Not today: a girl walks past a school in Kibera, a Nairobi slum without running water or electricity, where 800 aid organizations operate. © Noor Khamis...
25 Thought-Provoking Pieces From A Prize-Winning Polish Cartoonist
Pawel Kuczynski is a Polish artist who specialises in images that make you think hard about the world we live in.    
Breaking With Consensus Reality: From the Politics of Consent to the Seduction of Revolution
We who fight to create a freer world face a fundamental contradiction. On one hand, we don’t want to become a vanguard, “leading” or imposing our will on others, as that would run counter to our anti-authoritarian values. On the other hand, we believe with good justification...
Can Civilization Survive "Really Existing Capitalism"? An Interview With Noam Chomsky
For decades now, Noam Chomsky has been widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive (linguist, philosopher, social and political critic) and the leading US dissident since the Vietnam War. Chomsky has published over 100 books and thousands of articles and essays...
Common Mythconceptions: World's Most Contagious Falsehoods
A fun infographic on common myths and misconceptions from the book Knowledge is Beautiful. Click the infographic for a scalable full-size image.
Whose Consumption Is Killing the planet?
It's not the impoverished billions, and it's not the majority of American consumers, either. THE CONSEQUENCES of human-induced climate change are dire. Crop failures will increase. Severe weather and rising sea levels will wreak more havoc. Species are being...
Mobilize to Stop Planet Fever: A 10-Point Action Plan for System Change Not Climate Change
When we, as human beings, get a fever, we immediately get worried and take action. After all, we know that if our body temperature rises to 1.5ºC, let alone 2ºC [3.6 ºF] above the normal average, there can be severe damage, while an increase of 4-6ºC [7.2-10.8 ºF] or more can...
Against Conspiracy Theories - Why Our Activism Must Be Based in Reality
A talk given at Occupy Wellington, New Zealand, to counter the prevalence of conspiracy theories amongst the local wing of the Occupy movement. Kia ora kotou, thanks everyone for coming. First, I want to make it clear that I'm not here today to debunk or debate any specific...
What's So Special about Storytelling for Social Change?
A new world requires new stories, but people will only listen to them when they themselves are included in the storyline. This requires a ‘gear-shift’ in conversations about radical action. While working in the belly of corporate communications some years ago, I stumbled...
Every Problem in the World is a Result of the Stories We Tell Ourselves. Change the Story, and You Change Everything.
Forget about solving climate change for a moment. Forget about all the problems we face. All of these problems are symptoms of a way of life that few of us are really happy with - especially when we have glimpsed the possibility of a world that could be so much more. We need...
Towards a New Co-Existence: On Reframing Our Ecological Crises
How we think about and talk about ecological crises and our role in them form the structures of our responses.  This is why thought forms, concepts, frames as George Lakoff calls them, are all central, form the crux, of attempts to protect species and the planet’s systems...
We Make the Road by Walking
In this epic moment of radical environmental and social disruption, the world is experiencing the dawn of a revolutionary transformation to becoming an ecologically literate and socially just civilization. The existential gauntlet is to make the shift fast enough to outrun...
How Can the Crisis of Our Time Be Turned Into a Great Love Story?
“The future belongs to the most compelling story.” — Drew Dellinger Humans are story-makers — we are continually weaving disparate events into coherent narratives. It gives form and substance to our life journey; it gives us meaning. At any given moment, we are making...
How Money Shapes the World...
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. They are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them. They are not an interruption in our work. They are the purpose of it. They are not outsiders in our business. They are a part of it. We are not doing them a...
Terence McKenna: Memes are the Key to Societal Evolution
.Gif by Daniel Stuckey Last week, in Beyond “Existentialism," the first installment of this series, I told the story of how I first encountered Terence McKenna. This week, I’ve organized a list of my 30 favorite Terence McKenna memes. McKenna defined a meme as “the...
In Love With the Darkness: Finding Hope in a Cynical, Burning World
These past several weeks have been riddled with news that could douse the flame of even the brightest of spirits. The relentless bombing of Gaza, the cycle of prejudice and violence that is drawing more and more of the world into its maw, the death spiral of Ukraine and the...
Roy Sesana's Speech Is One of The Most Powerful I have Ever Read: This Is What Leadership Looks Like
Roy Sesana gave this speech when he accepted the Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm in 2005. We read this years ago and wanted to share it with you, because it's one of those rare speeches that we have wanted to read again and again over the years. It is profound and...
The Allure of Societal Breakdown: Admit It - The Thought Kind of Excites You
It is frightening, this transition between worlds, but it is also alluring. Have you ever gotten addicted to doom-and-gloom websites, logging on every day to read the latest evidence that collapse is coming soon, feeling almost let down when Peak Oil didn’t start in 2005, or...
The Tao Te Ching: Wisdom for Activists, Aspiring Leaders and Change-Makers of Every Kind
Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, is the classic manual on the art of living, and one of the wonders of the world. In eighty-one brief chapters, the Tao Te Ching looks at the basic predicament of being alive and gives advice that imparts balance and perspective, a...
The Open Source Revolution Is Coming And It Will Conquer The 1% - Ex CIA Spy
Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is a man on a mission. But it's a mission that frightens the US intelligence establishment to its core. With 18 years experience working across the US in
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (By Charles Eisenstein): A Review
The reader should be aware that this is not your typical review. As a world-weary academic, disillusioned by the failed promises of the ivory tower and its pretensions to inevitability, I think I know full well how reviews ought to proceed. Little wonder Steve Wasserman wrote...
Climate Activists Need to Rethink Their Focus On C02 Reduction
Charles Eisenstein challenges our obsession with climate change at the expense of all other values. I’ve noticed some parallels among three defining institutions of our civilisation: money, war, and mainstream religion. All three demand, in one way or another, the sacrifice...
A New Story for a New Economy
David Korten's new essay (available to read as a PDF) connects the work of finding a new sacred story with the effort to build a new economy. Those who follow my work are aware that I believe a viable human future depends on navigating a deep cultural and institutional...