Radical Localist Acts for a Better Society


The real point is that each of can do a few of these and that cumulatively will make a major difference. Systematic change happens one step at a time.

Be a Radical Localist and Build Community

  1. Bank locally – this is the most essential act – but also know where your bank banks
  2. Help build the economy from the bottom up
  3. Invest locally
  4. Buy locally to the greatest degree possible. Keeping money local boosts your long term bottom line.
  5. Share prosperity. Give locally. Support community foundations that exist to support local non-profits.
  6. Support businesses that use local supplies, services, and labor
  7. Know where your food is grown. When you can’t buy local food, look for fair trade and union labels.
  8. Know where your water comes from and where your waste water goes
  9. Support your local artists and arts institutions
  10. Volunteer in the community
  11. Participate in local and county government; serve on commissions, volunteer in campaigns, be active in a Party if you choose to have one
  12. Support locally owned and community media, their advertisers and underwriters
  13. Oppose throwing tax incentives at outside companies chasing incentives. Support municipal investment in local businesses that are committed to place.
  14. Create a local business or service that replaces something that is otherwise imported
  15. Help develop local clusters of self-reliance
  16. Support Local Financing Initiatives- inventive ways in which the latent capital locked-up in communities could be tapped to encourage investment – including local peer-to-peer lending networks
  17. Join BALLE – Be A Localist and help build Living Local Economies
Keeping the nation healthy can only become a reality through localism. Photograph: Martin Godwin for The Guardian 29 Nov 2012
Keeping the nation healthy can only become a reality through localism. Photograph: Martin Godwin for The Guardian 29 Nov 2012

Act Now, Apologize Later

  1. Repair, reuse, recycle
  2. Grow some of your own food. Patronize CSAs, farm stands, Co-Ops, and farmers’ markets
  3. Using public transportation whenever possible
  4. Treat everyone as a neighbor, because they are. Provide exquisite customer service.
  5. Just because a toxic chemical is legal and on the shelves, doesn’t mean you have to use it and damage the environment we all share.
  6. Know your elected officials and let them know your opinions
  7. Contribute letters and op-ed pieces to local media
  8. Use social media to raise awareness of issues and solutions
  9. Plan to age in place in your community rather than in a “facility”
  10. Support and use “slow money” strategies, including local script
  11. Be skeptical about what you read
  12. Work with nature instead of against and around her
  13. Redefine the meaning of progress for the long term health of your community
  14. Localists know whom they do business with and thus support honest contractors committed to strong communities and long term relationships rather than a quick buck. We know that choosing whatever is cheapest/most cost effective destroys communities and economies.

community circle

Shift Mindset

  1. Think of no one as the other, as them. Celebrate the strength of diversity.
  2. Stress long term, big picture thinking rather than the short term, quick gain approach that is ripping our nation asunder.
  3. Assume others share or will share your dreams
  4. Understand and articulate the interconnections among local place, national place, and global systems. See how you can shape policy from the bottom up.
  5. Challenge all assumptions and authority; think critically
  6. Question consumption
  7. Know that we have choices and our choices can overrule policy
  8. Use consensus style decision making rather than the false binary approaches of majority vote.
  9. Remember that relationships are more important than saving a buck
  10. Always have a respect for place and for community. We are all neighbors.
  11. Stop asking what’s in it for me and start asking what’s in it for the community
  12. Aim for the life you want to leave, not the life society and advertising tells you to lead
  13. Refute fear mongering and doubt, knowing that fear is a tool used by authority to blunt progress
  14. Instead of perpetuating a cycle of trying to fix problems, imagine a great America built on strong communities! Be a Radical Localist
  15. Measure what matters, not what is merely measurable.
  16. Don’t confuse money with wealth
  17. A Radical Localist knows the deleterious effects of stereotyping and takes stands against stereotypes. 


  1. This is an awesome collection of resources! Thank you so much! 🙂

    “Think of no one as the other, as them. Celebrate the strength of diversity.”

    Well, that is a nice bit of PC genuflection, but doesn’t localism affirm the local over the general, or the outside? In order to have localism, you have to privilege the local over other options. You have to privilege local merchants and farmers over all others, even if it costs you more money. What do you think?


    • I don’t see these as contradictory. As Michael Shuman explains, Localism is a way to participate in the global marketplace. In other words, do everything you can do locally and create capital to trade for what doesn’t make sense. On the diversity side, other communities are trading partners and perhaps allies. They aren’t enemies.


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