It seems fairly obvious that we are indeed standing at the threshold of something, but as Stephen Stills might say, “what it is ain’t exactly clear.” As I write, President Obama has just announced his intentions to scale back the size and scope of our military—but the possibility of war with Iran, which would have wide-ranging implications, seems to be increasing. Dictators have fallen—but others stand ready to take their places, and it is not at all assured that the “Arab Spring” will fully succeed. The threats to our environment are increasing, but so are awareness and resistance. The “Occupy” movement is growing, but the financial interests it opposes are retrenching. The 2012 elections in the United States might usher in a period of progressive dominance—or a reactionary backlash of a kind that has not been seen since the McCarthy Era, or perhaps even the Spanish Inquisition. Without question, in a year the world will be a radically different place, for good or for ill.
Let me ask you, then: which world, exactly, might be ending in 2012? And what kind of world will take its place? What will you do, this year, toward tipping this precarious balance in favor of justice, community, sustainability and peace?