The Shape of Better Things to Come

By Cliff DuRand

Michael Moore’s new film, Where to Invade Next, takes us to numerous European countries to highlight more progressive social policies there in areas of education, the prison system, drug policy, the workplace, health, and many other areas of daily life. Draped in the US flag, Moore proclaims these are ideas we can learn from. Rather than invading other countries to claim their resources or bring them the American Way of Life, he holds up a mirror in which we can see how we would like to be, showing us the more humane and more satisfying quality of life with the social democratic policies that prevail elsewhere.

Film
Center for Global Justice
presents:
Where to Invade Next
Tue, Feb 23, 1pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
60 pesos

Panel
Center for Global Justice
presents:
“Moving Beyond Capitalism”
with Cliff DuRand, Betsy Bowman, and Bob Stone
Wed, Feb 24, 11am
Sala Quetzal
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
60 pesos

Film
Center for Global Justice
presents:
Grutas de Tolantongo
Thu, Feb 25, 1pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
60 pesos

He heads off to Italy, France, Slovenia, the Scandinavian countries, Portugal, Germany, Iceland, and eventually even Tunisia. What emerges is a composite picture of what our society could be like. He helps the viewer imagine a socialist America of the sort that Bernie Sanders is calling us to. Where to Invade Next is as politically timely as all his earlier films. It seeks to shake us out of our chauvinistic view of ourselves as the exceptional nation showing the world the way forward. Instead it reminds us that we have more to learn from others than we have to teach. With some patriotic humility we might be able to find our way again as a nation.

Building on that theme, Wednesday morning the Center for Global Justice will present a panel, “Moving Beyond Capitalism.” Center co-founders Cliff DuRand, Betsy Bowman, and Bob Stone will discuss institutions and practices that presently exist in the nooks and crannies of capitalist societies that point to an alternative. Worker self-managed cooperatives and public banks empower people and give a measure of independence from Wall Street and the corporatocracy. They offer a way forward on the local level at a time when national institutions are more attuned to the interests of the one percent.

We have a fine example of a cooperative alternative right here in Mexico. Grutas de Tolantongo is a worker owned eco-resort in the State of Hidalgo. The Center for Global Justice has produced a documentary film about this cooperative, directed by Atahualpa Caldera. Tolantongo is situated in a spectacular box canyon where a thermal river flows from the side of a mountain. Working together, the campesinos have built warm infinity pools to relax in, hotel and cabin facilities for visitors to stay in, and hiking trails and a zip line for the more adventurous. This popular democratically run resort has raised the living standards of the local people and is inspiring many with a way forward for Mexico. The screening of Grutas de Tolantongo will be followed by discussion with the filmmaker. For those who want to visit Tolantongo themselves, the Center is offering a mini-vacation there March 8 to 11.

 

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