Articles by Tim Hjersted
AI Prompt: Turn Lawrence, Kansas Into a Bioregional Ecocity With Indigenous Values and Wisdom
Tim Hjersted · This is the unedited first response to the title prompt, using Copilot with GPT-4.
What I Learned From Reading Osama Bin Laden's 2002 "Letter to America"
Tim Hjersted · Ironically, I didn’t even know about the letter until The Guardian removed it from their website last November after it started getting attention from semi-viral TikTok posts.12
To My Liberal Friends Who Support Israel's War: This Is Not What Defense Looks Like
Tim Hjersted · According to a December poll, 76% of Democrats and 61% of Americans support a permanent ceasefire. That still leaves 24% of Democrats who support Israel's war on Gaza.
Our Job Is to Speak Out Against the War Crimes of Our Own Government and Its Allies
Tim Hjersted · Some people say our calls to #CeaseFireNow should be directed towards Hamas rather than Israel. But there’s a good reason for focusing on Israel, which I&
How the "15 Minute City" Conspiracy Theory Fooled People Into Fighting for the Status Quo
Why Everyone Needs to Watch Inhabitants: Indigenous Perspectives for a Regenerative Future
Tim Hjersted · Hey all, this is a shoutout for Inhabitants. If you haven't seen it yet, it's an inspiring documentary about the work many of our indigenous relatives are doing today to restore our world.
The "No Illusions" Guide to Elections: Vote to Choose Your Opponent, Then Organize!
Tim Hjersted · This guide is for people who are ambivalent about voting in elections. It directly addresses the objections of the "don't vote" position while finding common ground. To summarize the position of this guide: "Year-round activism +...
Twenty Media Education Foundation Documentaries Are Coming to Films for Action!
Tim Hjersted and Films For Action · Hi all. I'm thrilled to announce a new partnership with the legendary nonprofit film studio, the Media Education Foundation.
What Activists Can Too Easily Forget
Tim Hjersted · Activism today, call it engaged citizenship, ought to have more humility than it often does, and perhaps a bit more compassion and curiosity, too. No matter how great our understanding, we'll always have something valuable to teach and...
Thich Nhat Hanh Was One of the Great Spiritual and Activist Teachers of Our Time. Rest in Love, Dear Brother!
Tim Hjersted · Beloved teacher, activist, and Zen Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hanh, has died peacefully at 95.
The War on Crime Is Really a War on the Poor - a Civilized Society Would Simply Abolish Poverty
Planet of the Humans Is the Media Literacy Exercise of the Year
Tim Hjersted · "In disputes upon moral or scientific points, let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.” - Arthur Martine
What Would We Do If There Was No One to Blame?
Tim Hjersted · Bill Mckibben, Planet of the Humans, and the power we gain when we stop seeking villains
23 Films to Watch After (Or Instead Of) Planet of the Humans
Tim Hjersted · So you just watched Planet Of The Humans, and your spirits are feeling pretty crushed.
Voters Guide: Use Your Vote to Choose Your Opponent
Tim Hjersted · This guide is for people who know that "year-round activism + voting" is the best strategy for creating the world we want. Voting alone won't do it, but "year-round activism + not voting" needlessly puts us at a tactical disadvantage...
Thanks to Our Patreon Supporters, We Hit Our 2nd Major Funding Goal!
Tim Hjersted · My friends, this is huge! Thank you so much for making this happen.
Friendly Reminder: Humans Are Not a Virus - the Virus Is a Cultural Ideology
Tim Hjersted · This bears repeating: Humans are not inherently toxic and destructive. Humanity is not a cancer.
The New Story Revolution: Over 75 Films & Articles About the Movement With Many Names
Tim Hjersted · "It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we are in between stories. The Old Story—the account of how the world came to be and how we fit into it—sustained us for a long time. It shaped our emotional attitudes...
All I Ask Is That You See My Humanity, Which Means Seeing the Humanity in All People
Tim Hjersted · With this foundation, I think we can have healthy disagreements.
Voting Is a Chess Move, Not the Whole Game
Tim Hjersted · "Voting is a chess move, not a valentine. And here's the joy of being politically engaged all year round every year; you get to work with a whole lot of chess pieces and players and strategies and longterm visions, so you don't agonize...
We Did It! - 2018 Fundraising Goal Reached!
Tim Hjersted · Thanks to 251 amazing people, we hit our fundraising goal for 2018! 
Ideological Hegemony: How Our Own Thoughts Became the Greatest Weapon of the Ruling Class
Tim Hjersted · "Ideological hegemony is the process by which the exploited come to view the world through a conceptual framework provided to them by their exploiters." - Kevin A. Carson
29 Documentaries About War That the US Government Doesn't Want You to See
Tim Hjersted · These documentaries expose the ugly truth about war and the governments who wage them. The US government is focused on in this collection because I am based in the US, and it is every citizen's duty to call out and name the crimes of...
Radical Kindness Is Liberating
Tim Hjersted · A few years ago, Maria Popova wrote an article on how to criticize with kindness, based on the work of philosopher Daniel Dennett. 
A Deep-Roots Strategy to Combat Hateful Ideologies: Offer Them More of What They Truly Want
Tim Hjersted · "Influence is NOT about convincing people to want different things than they already want. It's about showing them that the way to get what they already want, is by following you." - Charlie Houpert Lately, I've been interested in...
The True Purpose of Government Should Be Investing in People, Not Empire
Tim Hjersted · What is the true purpose of government? Critics would rightly say it's to control and dominate because that's the nature of every government we've known. Every government since the days of feudalism has been corrupted in some form...
When Our Children Become Killers, Gun Reform Isn't Enough. We Need to Redesign Our Society
Tim Hjersted · What can we do to create a culture where none of our children grow up to become killers?
Family Philosophy: a Form of Privilege or Good Fortune That We Never Talk About
Tim Hjersted · Depending on where you start on this journey it can take many many years to unlearn what we are conditioned to believe by our toxic culture. 
"Whiteness" Was a Term Invented by Elites to Divide the Working Class and Create Racial Hierarchy. It's Time to Give It Up.
Tim Hjersted · Many of us have heard the arguments for discarding the faulty logic behind "white pride" but what about "whiteness" itself?
Top 15 Documentaries That Explain Why the Occupy Wall Street Movement Was Born
Tim Hjersted · Starting with the most relevant at the top, these are the best documentaries that capture the spirit and motivation of the #OWS movement.
We All Suffer in This Love-Desert Society That We've Created - Is There an Alternative?
Tim Hjersted · Presently, most of the people in our culture believe that competition, possessiveness, and jealousy are all acceptable responses when we love someone. But is this really true, independent of culture or custom?
The Anarchist Revolt Against the Ideology of Not Voting Is Finally Taking Shape
Tim Hjersted · Anarchists have traditionally opposed voting for a variety of ideological reasons. For many, not voting is held as a badge of honor - a way of signaling one's commitment to anarchist theory. I've often thought that this belief in not...
Is Capitalism Really the Best We Can Do? Actually, No.
The Privilege of Not Caring Cannot Exist When True Love Is There
Tim Hjersted · The notion of privilege exists because most people do not live in the spiritual dimension of life. We live in a culture that is based on a matrix of separation.
Looking Forward to the Day That Nationalism Is as Reviled as Racism
Tim Hjersted · Nationalism is a form of geographical racism that makes some lives matter more than others, and explicitly justifies that logic without apology. While today, not even lying corrupt politicians will outright say that racism is...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned that "shame" is a tool that has been used by the world's...
The Compassionate Activist Toolkit: the Ultimate Guide to Love-Centered Activism
Tim Hjersted · Compassionate activism is activism that is rooted in an underlying compassion for all beings. It is an activism that resists the strong urge we all face to dehumanize our opponents, as they often do to us, and we often do to them. This...
There Is No One Right Way to Be an Activist
Tim Hjersted · There is no one right way to be an activist. There is no one right way to change the world. There is no one right philosophy of leftist politics. There is no one right solution to the massive problems we're facing.
Films for Action: What We Are Here For
Tim Hjersted · It's hard to believe Films For Action has been around now for 10 years. From our early years focusing on local film screenings to our more recent years, focusing on raising awareness globally via our website and social media, our...
On Ending Racism and the Need for Holding Simultaneous Realities
Tim Hjersted · One of the things I've been reflecting on a lot lately is the importance of holding simultaneous realities in our hearts and awareness at the same time. When it comes to ending the violence and divisions of racism, nationalism, and...
Is This - the Love Journey? Is This the Only One?
Tim Hjersted · You meet them, you get to know them, you date them, you learn about them. You have sex with them. Finally, you love them. You live with them. You marry them. You have kids with them. You grow old with them. Is this, the love journey? Is...
What Is My Activism Really About? to Love, Serve and Remember
Tim Hjersted · I have made a promise to this world that I will carry with me to my last days. It is my vow to lessen the suffering of the world while I am here - it is to ensure that every toxic legacy that I inherited from our culture ends with me ...
My Favorite Definition of Privilege
Tim Hjersted · My favorite definition of privilege is 'thinking something's not a problem because it's not a problem to you.'
15 Films That Explain Why the Political Revolution Must Continue Past November and Beyond
Tim Hjersted · No matter who we vote for or who gets elected, the revolution must continue. These films remind us why. 
15 Films Inspiring and Illuminating the 'New Story' Revolution
Tim Hjersted · Charles Eisenstein is one of the first people I heard talk about the "new story," synthesizing a diverse movement that has been emerging for the last several decades. When I go back far enough, I first heard about these ideas from...
7 Solutions We Can Support Right Now to Transition to a Resource Based Economy
Tim Hjersted · One of the downsides of presenting such a visionary solution to our global crisis is that it's hard to know where to begin, beyond raising awareness. The gap between where we are now, and where we'd like to go appears so great that it...
Did Sanders Break His Promise to Take the Nomination All the Way to the Convention?
Tim Hjersted · He did promise he would, so that helps to explain some of the anger and disappointment with his endorsement.
Why Did Bernie Endorse Hillary? Here's One Explanation.
Tim Hjersted · He's playing the long game. If Sanders had gone third party, split the votes and then Trump got elected, it would have divided the left and set back the momentum and gains the Sanders/progressive movement has made another 10 years. The...
Don't Let Bernie Endorsing Hillary Distract You From What Matters
Tim Hjersted · There's been quite a lot of anger, disappointment and attention on Bernie's decision to endorse Clinton the last couple weeks. But I've started to believe this attention on Bernie has become a big distraction from the fact that the work...
A Few Thoughts After the #Blacklivesmatter Vigil in Lawrence, KS Tonight
Tim Hjersted · After tonight's ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ vigil, I don't have the words to speak to how powerful and moving this event was. It appeared there was about
Police Terrorism Has Created a Climate so Dangerous the Police Are Being Counted Among Its Victims
Tim Hjersted · This may be hard to hear but the truth isn't aided by mincing words.
Privilege Discourse Has Noble Intentions but Perhaps It's Time to Consider Its Unintended Impacts
Tim Hjersted · Privilege discourse has noble intentions but it seems that it is used far too often in practice to guilt and shame others for things they don't have control over. If education and empathy (and not shame) is the goal, it might be better...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Maybe the Humans in Interstellar Wouldn't Have Wrecked Their Planet If They Had Stopped Monocropping
Tim Hjersted · Did the brainiac space man played by Matthew Mcconaughey ever stop to consider the possibility that continuing to rely on massive homogeneous corn fields was driving the death of the planet? No, no he did not. This parody video isn't...
What Do You Think When You Hear People Say That 'We're All One'?
Tim Hjersted · Sometimes I feel this sense of "oneness" in my body and it's hard to describe, but I say 'we're all one' as a verbal way to describe the feeling. At other times oneness is an intellectual idea that I know to be true but I don't feel it...
90 Inspiring, Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to the world and to other humans, but we take this story for...
When Anarchism Becomes a Religion
Tim Hjersted · I love the core spirit of anarchism. But like most philosophies, oftentimes the spirit gets lost as it gets codified into a religion.
Traditional Gender Norms Are Imprisoning All of Us - Let's Be Whole Human Beings
Tim Hjersted · The world needs all of us to become healers. It needs us to nurture the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine that lies dormant to various degrees
One Example of How the Left Has Internalized the Ideology of Their Oppressors
Tim Hjersted · Leftist: "If you think something will change if you vote for a different politician then you might not understand how the system works..."
Consumerism Lies at the Heart of Our School System's Educational Purpose
Tim Hjersted · A stream-of-consciousness reflection on the state of school, civilization, capitalism and the way we live our lives.
Why I'm Supporting Bernie Sanders in the Primaries, but Am Endorsing the Movement
Tim Hjersted · And why the 'vote / don't vote' debate has been one of the greatest strategic disasters of our time.
Our Culture Is Driving the World Towards Homogenization on Every Level, but We're Not Even Aware of It
The Letters P L U R in Terrorism
Tim Hjersted · I wrote this 14 years ago, when I was a senior at Free State High School, just a couple days after September 11th, 2001. Somewhat unbelievably to me now, I actually stood up in front of my civics class and read this aloud in front of my...
Reflections on Privilege Theory: Why I'm Looking for a Better Way to Communicate This Idea
Tim Hjersted · Does privilege theory offer an adequate lens to challenge oppression and help those it is intended to help?
It's Hopeless, What a Relief! (A Letter for the Hopeless)
Tim Hjersted · If it makes sense to feel hopeless about the future, maybe what we need right now is some 'profound nonsense.'
To Vote or Not to Vote: For Anarchists, Is There Only One True Way?
Tim Hjersted · People can say with conviction and confidence that voting will never make a difference - but it's still a belief, and possibly one that may be too ideological for our own good, as it can skew our perception of reality.   I can think...
The Problem Isn't the Color of the Oppressor's Skin - the Problem Is a Meme
Tim Hjersted · Have a look at this 2 minute clip from the film Schooling the World: The White Man's Last Burden:
What I Learned After Reading About Privilege Theory for 9 Hours
Tim Hjersted · So one particular night I went on a knowledge binge and spent 9 hours reading about privilege theory. Below you'll find excerpts and links to most of the articles I read.
What Social Change Activists Can Too Easily Forget
Tim Hjersted · I often think about this quote from Malcolm X. It's a point that really can't be made too often.
Humans Having a Human Experience: On Finding Meaning & Beauty from a Remix of Chardin's Famous Quote
Tim Hjersted · There's a popular quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” But I think of myself as a human being having a human...
If We Want to End This World's Tragic Cycles of Violence, We're Going to Have to Do Something Extremely Radical
Tim Hjersted · When every cultural force beckons us to hate, to harden our hearts and vilify the other, we must have the courage to look, deeply, with an intention to understand.
If Your Gut Response to #Blacklivesmatter Is #Alllivesmatter, Read This.
Tim Hjersted · There are myriad reasons why the rallying hashtag for the movement that grew out of ‪#‎Ferguson‬ is ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ and not 
To See the World With Eyes Unclouded by Hate
Tim Hjersted · With every new terrorist attack we hear about in the news, whether it be by ISIS, a white supremacist or military general of a powerful nation, I think back on this piece. The thoughts I wrote here continue to stay with me every time a...
The Story That's Destroying the World
Tim Hjersted · Let me start by saying something that sounds controversial but actually isn't:
When We Judge a Person Harshly With a Label or Dismissal, We Kill the Human Being Inside of Them
Tim Hjersted · No person or group of people is ever one thing. Inside each of us are a thousand diverse aspects - evolving dimensions.
Why Do so Many People Get Lost in Drugs Instead of Making a Life That You Don't Need to Escape From?
Tim Hjersted · "I believe, inherently, that the structures of society are driving us mad. Though most of us believe ourselves to be fairly well-adjusted, healthy individuals, we are all patients in the asylum together now."
If Someone Doesn't Love You, It's Not Because of You. It's Because Our Society Has Taught Us Not to Love
Tim Hjersted · How many of us seek out a relationship, want to find companionship with someone because we are afraid of loneliness? How many of us think that we could be with anyone we want but are, in moments of doubt, afraid that no one will love us?
A Story to My Grandson
Tim Hjersted · One night a young man and his grandfather walk down to a pond where they sit amongst trees and the swaying cattails at the foot of the water. The grandfather looks out reflectively at the stars, the wrinkles of his eyes squinting in his...
Can We Talk about Sustainability without Talking about Religion and Spirituality?
Tim Hjersted · It would seem that there are certain strands of thought within many religions that are highly unsustainable, for the health of individuals as well society and the planet as a whole. 
Stunning Animation of Every Protest from 1979 Reveals Earth's Immune System Trying to Heal Itself
Tim Hjersted · Stay with it till the end. Wow. Does it look like the Earth's immune system is waking up to you too?   Via 
The US Narrative on Syria Is a Lie: Now Is The Time to Use Facebook as a Microphone for Truth
Tim Hjersted · The corporate media has once again become complicit in promoting the propaganda and disinformation put out by the US government. Like all good propaganda, success is defined partly by framing and limiting the debate to questions which...
The Emergent Conspiracy of Culture: How the Ruling Class Is Held Captive to a Toxic Cultural Story Like the Rest of Us
Tim Hjersted · Is mass media used to manipulate the public? Yes, undoubtedly so. Examples to illustrate this are so numerous and backed up by intellectuals like Noam Chomsky,
People Are Waking Up
Tim Hjersted · People are waking up. They're getting involved. They're saying, "Not another day! This is where I mark the line." Their desire to change the world is turning from simple wishful thinking on Monday mornings into tangible action. The...
From Education to Economics: These Are The 40 Best Social Change Documentaries You Have to See
Tim Hjersted · Over the last 7 years, Films For Action has been cataloging an online library of the best social change films that can be watched free online. Opting for quality over quantity, the site has grown slowly to include 500 documentaries and...
From Consumerism to Climate Change: 41 Outstanding Documentaries You Have to See
Tim Hjersted · Over the last 7 years, Films For Action has been cataloging an online library of the best social change films that can be watched free online. Opting for quality over quantity, the site has grown slowly to include 500 documentaries and...
New World Order or Business as Usual? -- an Open Letter to Supporters of Infowars and Alex Jones
Tim Hjersted · Many of you have visited the Films For Action website and asked us why we have not posted any Alex Jones documentaries or included Infowars, Prision Planet, Natural News or other like-minded sites on our list of recommended independent...
The Best Social Change Documentaries of 2012
Tim Hjersted · 2012 was another big year for break-out films in the social change genre. With most of the bases covered for all of the major problems we're facing, more and more films this year focused on the solutions side of the equation, giving a...
Top 25 Censored Stories Of 2013 and a List of Independent Alternatives to the Corporate Media
Tim Hjersted · Every year Project Censored puts together a list of the top 25 stories censored and ignored by the mainstream media. The recently published Censored 2013 covers the period between 2011-2012.
The Top 10 Documentaries About the Israel / Palestine Conflict
Tim Hjersted · No issue may be more contentious or more misunderstood than the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Hatred, fear, religion, politics, propaganda, media misinformation, and decades of cyclical violence has made understanding the roots...
The 15 Best Documentaries About Climate Change, Free to Watch Online
Tim Hjersted · Here's a round-up of the 15 best documentaries about climate change. Click the title of each film below to watch.
The Top 7 Critiques of Obama from a Reality-Based Perspective
Tim Hjersted · Barack Obama has been called everything from a gun-hating, closet-Muslim hiding socialist to a big-government loving, deficit exploding, tax increasing, class-warfare waging liberal elitist. He's been compared to Hitler and denounced...
The Truth about 9/11 Isn't Black or White - It's Time our Media Reflected This
Tim Hjersted · With the anniversary of September 11th, 2001 being remembered today, we can expect America and our media to look back once again on this turning point in our nation's history. 
How Films for Action Began, and Where It's Headed
Tim Hjersted · This is a little window into our strategy to help catalyze a Global Paradigm Shift
Profit Is Theft: It Sounds Absurd but Here's Why
Tim Hjersted · Take a look at this info-graphic. The disparity is absurd, and the 99% does need a raise. But while we're fighting for 15, we need to look beyond raising the minimum wage, as it doesn't get us anywhere close to solving the root problem. 
Taboo or Not, Journalists Have a Duty to Report the Full Truth about 9/11
Tim Hjersted · What is the full truth of 9/11/2001? It is, quite simply, to tell all sides of the story.
The Best Social Change Documentaries of 2011
Tim Hjersted · 2011 will likely be remembered in America as the year that the nation's youth finally started to wake up - all that bubbling knowledge of the world's problems, all the discontent and disillusion with our broken system finally burst into...
The Top 10 Films That Explain Why the Occupy Movement Exists
Tim Hjersted · One of the most entertaining yet unsurprising aspects of Occupy Wall St has been the response from traditional media. Whether intentionally playing dumb or genuinely clueless, the mainstream media has failed to inform the public and...
Good news: The Lawrence Peak Oil Plan is Finished!
Tim Hjersted · In April 2007, Films For Action screened The End of Suburbia to an audience of 180 people, and launched a campaign to have the Lawrence City Commission create a Peak Oil Task force, which would study the local impacts of peak oil and...
Black Friday Is Buy Nothing Day: Here Are 10 Films to Inspire a Joyous Shopping-Free Holiday
Tim Hjersted · Since 1997, the biggest shopping day of the year in North America has also been known as Buy Nothing Day - a playful protest against the cultural and commercial pressures that compel us to consume more every year, grow more in debt to...
An Open Letter to Our City Commissioners: We Need Visionary, Creative Solutions to Old Problems
Tim Hjersted · Today's LJWorld editorial about voter apathy got me thinking. I also find our abysmal voter turnout deeply troubling, and I think I may have a solution.