After thinking about it for a week – and eating a lot of Christmas cookies – I don’t think the problem is that I don’t understand what question I’m trying to answer.
The question is:
If we know the economy isn’t natural or inevitable,
then what’s the alternative?
How do we take back our country and build a future worth having?
(or something like that – the exact wording isn’t critical right now)
The first part of the answer feels pretty strong:
Take back control so that everyone, not just the wealthy and big corporations, gets a real say in how we shape our economy – and do it in a way that builds our power so our say can’t be taken away.
(a little cumbersome, but again exact wording isn’t critical right now)
The real problem is the second part of the answer: We’re Not As Smart As We Think We Are.
As soon as I get into dealing with our limits – that good intentions & planning aren’t enough – that’s when it falls apart. At that point, it goes from big, grand, emotionally powerful themes to a technocratic/nerdy “don’t forget your umbrella when it looks like rain” blah blah blah.
It’s not that a lot of the pieces of We’re Not As Smart don’t have some juice to them. I like my hammering on folks for not scaling up. I like using parklets as a metaphor for creating room to experiment.
But together they aren’t sexy enough, they aren’t satisfying. It feels like I haven’t gotten to their emotional core. At one point this week I tried writing them up. I sat with it for a minute, then scribbled on the bottom, “this is true but boring.”
That’s harsh, but now that I’ve gotten to this point I’m actually feeling a little optimistic. The first key to getting unstuck is to figure out where I’m stuck. Now I think I know.