The following represent a random sampling of voices from those activists and organizers who participated in our research project. To see more, refresh this page. Use the tag cloud to the right to navigate by theme.
Women, power, and winning
It would be about women recognizing power, women understanding that they hold that power, and that they can exercise that power, and that exercising that power can change society, can change the individual, can change the family, can change the community, can change the society. And that would look not only like women recognizing and exercising that power but the society...recognizing that that power is valid.
Recently, as a result of being in a family, [I’ve] really change[d] the way...I'm socially engaging with…[the] activist community….I feel like there was a certain point at which I started to admire people that I considered post-activist. What I [mean] by that is that being an activist or revolutionary or whatever as your main title, that is abstract and has nothing to communicate other than that you feel righteously busy. [It’s] not something that...I want to identify [as] and I feel like there are some other really important things, really important roles....I want to be a good son to my parents, I want to be a good brother to my brother, I want to be a good parent, I want to be a good partner.
Hope and moving beyond
I have tremendous amounts of hope. I don't know what folks who don't have that do….I think in the course of human existence the current system, capitalism…[has had an] incredibly short lifespan. Longer than my life, so there's a sense of perspective, but really in terms of the way that humans have organized, it’s one form amongst many that we've gone through and I think that we can move beyond that.
I might not live to see it, it might be a hundred years after I die, but [the] fall of democracy, [the] fall of the monetary system, I see that accelerating. I actually can almost see it before I die. Just the way capitalism is like a cancer, they both want the same thing, constant growth, and just like cancer it's starting to chew on itself, and it's starting to get out of the control of the masters, and cracks are starting to show in its facade, and it's evil, and I just feel that blackness getting thicker, [like] fog.
The limits of telling a better story
People on the left have this conceit that if only we explained things better to people then the scales would be lifted from their eyes and they would all realize that [the source of their problems is] really capitalism after all. That's not necessarily true….the [first] problem with [this focus on] framing is that it's simplistic….and the world isn't simple. So we rankle at the idea of simplifying things for good reasons. The second reason is that it's not an equal fight, it's not like we're both starting out from the same situation on the right and the left….they're in an open competition and….of course the right has power behind it.
Keeping socialist ideas alive
You can't let socialist ideas die because we still have capitalism and capitalism is unsalvageable, corrupt, it's rotten, terrible, crisis-ridden system and should be changed.
Dispelling the myth
I think a major part of what the Left needs to do now is to dispel this myth that capitalism can ever actually create a sustainable future.
Revolution and Indigenous struggles
I've found stories of Indigenous resistance in Canada pretty inspiring and I'd like to know more about that history actually and be more in touch with it. As far as when people say that there's not going to be a revolution in Canada and that Canada is one of the most stable countries in the world I think that's not true in a lot of communities and I wouldn't say that's true with Indigenous people.
Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will
"Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will," it's a famous saying by Gramsci. In other words you know rationally that the chances of doing anything radical are very small but you do it anyway. You fight anyway. You cannot have optimism of the will without some idea that it would be possible to have a different world and various institutional things have an impact on people's radical imagination.
Taking back our communities
I think we need to recognize that we want to get to that point where we're really taking back...our community. It's not that I'm opposed to violent stuff, it's just that we need to do the groundwork so we can lay that out. That requires collective decisions, patience, and getting to that point is not something that just happens right away. [That’s] one [of the] thing[s] I can appreciate...about the Zapatistas, they went into the jungle in 1983 and didn't come out until 1994...and I think that's something that we need to think about.