Radical Localism: How Citizens & Communities Can Change Public Policy

“One must begin in one’s own life the private solutions that can only in turn become public solutions…. If a consumer begins to think and act in his consideration of his responsibilities, then he vastly increases his capacities as a person.” – Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America

“The biosphere self-organizes as a global system. The locus of intelligent agency, however, is everywhere local and involves trillions of individual choice makers – none of whom is in a position to dominate the rest…. The consequences of local choice making ripple outward and upward to create global dynamics that ripple back to shape local conditions to which the local economy in turn adapts…. So long as the local is in balance, so is the global.” – David Korten, Change the Story, Change the Future

“Many Americans hold out some hope for our political system – on a local level…. While many view the federal system with deep cynicism, citizens are more positive about government systems that are closer to us…. Perceptions of local government are even more positive [than toward state] with 63% of citizens looking on it favorably.” — Susan Clark and Woden Teachout, Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home 


“The direction of our country cannot come from those in power or from putting pressure on those in power. We ourselves have to foreshadow or prefigure them from the ground up,” – Danny Glover in forward to Grace Lee Boggs’ The Next American Revolution.  

“Local institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they put it within the people’s reach; they teach people to appreciate its peaceful enjoyment and accustom them to make use of it. With local institutions a nation may give itself a free government, but it has not got the spirit of liberty.” – de Tocqueville

“I’d like to suggest a third approach, a Big Idea for our times…. It is the idea of local resilience as economic development…. It is an idea that we will will go on to see in action around the world, being driven from the ground up.” – Bob Hopkins (2013) 

“The question is, which do we value more highly – efficiency or democracy? It has become heretical to question any demand of the market, as if the desires of human beings are legitimate only insofar as they facilitate the economy. We have been enslaved by our own invention. The answer, in my opinion, is a radical localism and it begins with a participatory local politics”.(New Zealand’s Ras Nandor Tanczos from his Waikato Times column 6 August 2010)

Radical Localism does not at all mean anarchism. Radical Localism posits that most public policy should be made at the lowest and most participatory levels of government. Radical Localism starts by engaging politically, buying, investing, banking, and donating locally making for Local Living Economies somewhat insulated from national and global marketplaces. This philosophy lies outside any convention American binary system. A Radical Localist can be Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Anarchist, or Socialist. At the most basic level, a Radical Localist believes in liberating herself and her community from the grip of the global marketplace and unmediated capitalism through intentional choices at ground level.

“Populism and federalism – liberty and localism – work together. We the People conquer givernment power by dividing it between two rival governments, state and federal.” – Akhil Reed Amar

Read about How we can save America by shaping policy from the grassroots up: https://radicallocalism.com/what-is-radical-localism/

Smallmart-Cover-LG “The revolution starts now. In your on back yard. In your own home town. What you doing just sitting around. Just follow your heart. The revolution starts now.” Steve Earle

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