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Why Commonwealth Matters

Originally Published in The Gardner News July, 2018

As we approach another July fourth I think we should use this time to reflect on and renew our vows to the living ideal of Commonwealth.

A community that attempts to live out the legacy of Commonwealth is a community whose economy is a real economy. By real economy I am referring to the economy of thrift, conservation. An economy based on the passions and talents of real people. People who value each others capability to work at labor often hard but meaningful. In this economy we employ people at that which they are most meant to do. To eliminate jobs in the name of ‘progress’ is not progress. To kick the can down the road, to abuse any part of the ecosystem in service to ‘a better future’ through the use of technology would be disallowed in such an economy.

To see work strictly as a quantitative and not qualitative circumstance is to dishonor the ideals of Commonwealth. Education systems would be considered as more than just in service to job re-training. People would demand more of their work than just a paycheck that gets smaller over time. Prices of goods would not be artificially set to reward corporate interests. The entire transaction of all goods and services would remain local. The excess would be exported only after local needs were met.

To live the ideals of a Commonwealth is often in our time an uphill battle. I am asking many of us to make sacrifices in the here and now that will cause short term pain. For generations we have been inculcated with the ideals of corporatization. We are living with the consequences. Poor work opportunities, degradation of the environment, suicide, an uneven distribution of wealth, disempowerment writ large has become the norm.

We must renew our vows to the ideals of Commonwealth. The City wants for it. The nation wants for it. If not here in Gardner, then where? So this July Fourth consider renewing your vows. What role will you play in building back the community you know we are capable of being?

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