One Home Planet and you

Relax and be inspired

You would probably not be visiting this website if you did not have some faith in humanity. Let’s then take a step back and, before seeing how One Home Planet can help your activism and how you can help this website, try to assess the real perspective for action.

Many people wish to contribute to building a better world. At the same time, there is so much to do and on so many fronts that it can easily seem overwhelming. Contrary to what we are usually told since childhood, however, how much or how little we do is not the most important thing. The quality of our intent is.

One Home Planet and you
MLK and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966

Just listen to great pioneers of social and political change such as Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela. Their fight was not simply to fix what was broken around them but to understand why it was broken in the first place in order to repair it for good. This is the difference between being the righteous one whose moral crusade will very likely end up in frustration and, as Gandhi famously put it, being ourselves the change we want to see in the world.

Action is indispensable, but getting busy doing the right thing will never provide to others our true legacy. Without the inspiration of the deep meaning we seek in our lives, the results of our actions will neither reach very far nor last very long. A very successful activist for peace, the Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nath Han, expressed this with the genius of simplicity: “The way out is in.” His friend Martin Luther King Jr. never said anything else.

Spread the word

Dedicated to understanding the basic tenets of our collective failures and how to address them, One Home Planet humbly belongs to the legacy of these great leaders. For those who look for more than an emotional fix in their interaction with the world, it provides the opportunity to cultivate their critical thinking.

Sure enough, critical thinking is not activism in the ordinary sense of organizing or demonstrating. But being able to say what it is that we say and why we say it is a crucial part of one’s civic involvement, and indeed the first thing you and I need as concerned citizens. OHP, in that sense, might very well be an activist website of choice for you.

One Home Planet and you

Though essential both at an individual and collective level, engaging in critical thinking is nothing fancy. It requires time, effort, and some quiet space to reflect on topics that are way past the last breaking news or the buzz trend of the moment. Not an easy sell. This is why your recommendation of One Home Planet on social media or through personal contact is very much appreciated.

Because of its somewhat academic content, this website will hardly ever benefit from a buzz effect and, unless you bring it to your friends’ attention, those who may benefit the most from it may never do. Giving them the opportunity to build their own judgment is, moreover, an emergency. In this age of hyper-connectedness and widespread misinformation, democracy is at stake and the need for critical thinking is greater than ever.

Corporate media vs. democracy

Free speech is not worth much if it is not informed speech. Unfortunately, most people get their political cues from the corporate press or social media platforms, which respective business models run directly against democracy.

Cable TV and mainstream newspapers largely depend on the corporate world for their financing. Lacking the independence given by individual subscribers, they are culturally and materially part of this world. Instead of speaking truth to power, these media are, quite logically, the voice of the establishment.

Corporate media pundits will easily convince themselves that the business model they live on is fully respectable and above public justification. After all, they do not tell factual lies to the public, or rarely. But the issue is not about blatantly lying; it is about the particular framing of the news and, ultimately, about the specific assumptions that command this framing. This is what Noam Chomsky has long characterized as “manufacturing consent.” It is not manufacturing news, as any classic dictatorship would do, but manufacturing consent by framing the news according to the narrative expected by our present-day corporatocracy. If you need an example, think of the “How will you pay for it?” systematically asked against social investments but never, oddly enough, about much costlier military expenditures devoid of objective justification.

One Home Planet and you

Social media, for their part, have opened a new era of communication. But while their users may think that they are the ones doing the talking, they unveil way more than they would ever imagine. To these profit-driven platforms, you and I are the product. On Facebook, particularly, data points crafting users’ profiles are collected in myriads of ways to be sold as laser-pointed information for advertising campaigns. To that aim, the company has notably specialized in triggering emotional reactions fitting the profile already known of each user, inciting them to stay longer on the platform and provide even more data points as a result. This is undoubtedly good for Facebook’s advertising business but disastrous for democracy, as people end up siloed in the world vision they like best. In this business model, moreover, Facebook has all interests in favoring the two most powerful emotional reactions there is: fear and anger. This is how the company became the darling of all authoritarian demagogues and the ultimate gravedigger of democracy worldwide.

By supporting independent media outlets that do their best to give the public some real food for thought, you are consequently part of a critical mission. You also contribute to shaping the future of the media landscape.