“The time has come for us to reimagine everything. We have to reimagine work and go away from labor. We have to reimagine revolution and get beyond protest. We have to think not only about change in our institutions, but changes in ourselves. We are at the stage where the people in charge of the government and industry are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. It’s up to us to reimagine the alternatives and not just protest against them and expect them to do better.
“We are at the point of a cultural revolution in ourselves and in our institutions that is as far-reaching as the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture 11,000 years ago, and from agriculture to industry a few hundred years ago. How do we reimagine education? How do we reimagine community? How do we reimagine family? How do we reimagine sexual identity? How do we reimagine everything in the light of a change that is so far reaching and is our responsibility to make? We have to think beyond capitalist categories. We can’t expect them to make it. We have to do the reimagining ourselves.
“How Do We Reimagine?
“We reimagine by combining activism with philosophy. We have to do what I call visionary organizing. We have to see every crisis as both a danger and an opportunity. It’s a danger because it does so much damage to our lives, to our institutions, to all that we have expected. But it’s also an opportunity for us to become creative; to become the new kind of people that are needed at such a huge period of transition. That’s why it’s so wonderful to be here today—that we dare to talk about revolution in such fundamental terms.
“We have to get rid of the old ideas of leadership and followership and use our imaginations to create the new.
“I like to encourage folks to not only think dialectically and philosophically but also to think more about our brains, about neuroscience—about the capacity we have to think anew. We can only do that if we understand that there’s a tendency in the structure of our brains to get fixed in old categories, to get locked into old concepts. That’s why philosophy is so important—thinking dialectically, thinking philosophically, thinking about growing our souls.”
Read the full speech by the late Grace Lee Boggs, author, social activist, philosopher and feminist….