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Backbone Campaign's Artful Activism for America
Backbone Campaign provides creative strategies, artful action support, and convenes training opportunities for change agents across the United States. Our purpose is to accelerate the growth of a social movement powerful enough to manifest a world where life, community, nature and our obligations to future generations are NOT for sale, but honored as sacred.
Co-founder and E.D. Bill Moyer: "For me, the metaphor of Backbone means more than personal courage for principled action. It is more than the natural connection between causes unified by a common underlying values. It is also an instructive metaphor for Power. One way to define Power is the capacity to manifest. I now utilize Backbone and my story of being on the ground unable to get up as an analogy for aspirations without the power to realize them, or move them."
Grand Strategy & Backbone's Theory of Change
Though we work on many causes, Backbone frames it all as part of one battle between paradigms. One paradigm idolizes capital, gives corporations rights, and considers everything For Sale. It commodifies people, democracy, communities, and the planet itself. The paradigm we fight for is one in which people communities and nature and our obligation to future generations are considered sacred, and clearly NOT for sale.
What's the battle in which "Love Wins"?
At Backbone we gradually shifted from an ideologically progressive platform to a human rights framework. But arguing for and about rights pushed us to dig more deeply to the source of those rights. Why, because rights are derivative… they flow from something else, i.e. fundamental value assumptions. "Unalienable," "endowed by creator," "self-evident" all point assumption of ultimate value, a sacred source from which rights are derived.
So, what is sacred in a system where property, corporations, investors, and capital have rights? Is capital itself considered sacred? If so, then perhaps we should consider whether Capitalism in its current trans-national, corporate form more than the indifferent, efficient economic system we been taught to believe it is. Shouldn't we at least ask the question of whether Capitalism's character, scope, and reach into the deepest aspects of our lives, its claims to our democracy the resources of this planet elevates it to the status of religion or paradigm?
Currently, the Backbone Campaign characterizes our the growing movement we are part of and overarching work ahead as a battle between paradigms. In one paradigm, everything is For Sale. In the alternate paradigm we fight to defend and grow power for nothing of ultimate importance is actually For Sale. We have Rights because at their foundation/essence Life, Community, Nature, and our Obligations to Future Generations are Sacred. Thus, "Protection of the Sacred" is the foundation for protecting self-evident, endowed by creator, unalienable rights. Love is the principle of connectivity that binds us together in the paradigm we fight for.
For more about Backbone Campaign's work and to support their efforts visit their website at backbonecampaign.org.