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The Connexions Annual: Introductions to the directory & its sections

Diemer, Ulli

Publisher:  Connexions Information Sharing Services, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1994   First Published:  1989
Resource Type:  Article

This Annual is dedicated to the idea that change is both necessary and possible. Its main intent is practical: to provide information about groups across Canada who are working at society's grassroots to create positive solutions to social, environmental, economic, and international problems.

Abstract:  We live in a world in crisis. Governments, corporations, and institutions assure us they have everything under control, and that better times are just around the corner, but all around us we see poverty, violence, injustice, environmental disasters, and wars.

For more than a decade, they have imposed a new-right agenda on our societies, telling us we have no choice but to adapt to a `new world order' based on `free markets' and privatization. Instead of experiencing the promised benefits, however, most of us find ourselves worse off, economically, socially, and spiritually.

Most of us are not living the lives we would choose to live, but the existing order insists there are no alternatives to itself, and most of us are sufficiently convinced or pre-occupied or discouraged to keep society from coming unglued. Many, many people wish there were alternatives, or think there ought to be, but are resigned to the conclusion that it is utopian to entertain any hopes for real change. The `system' is too big, too powerful, and we are too weak and too few in numbers.

'What do we do now?' 'How do we live?' All too often, we mind our own problems and don't think about the rest.

Yet despite the pervasive feeling that 'nothing can be done', people do join together to act in common when they feel threatened or wronged, or when they have a goal in sight which they desire passionately enough. Sometimes they organize quietly and gradually. At other times a mass movement explodes into being, seemingly out of nothing, despite the risks and the odds.

- Ulli Diemer


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