Anthony Weston is Professor of Philosophy at Elon University in North Carolina where he teaches Ethics, Environmental Studies, and "Millennial Imagination." In this spunky and thought-provoking paperback, he makes a good case for the use of imagination as a tool for bringing about social change in a world that is enslaved to short-term thinking, narcissism, nationalism, dualism, and destructiveness. Weston notes:
"Radical imagination begins with a move beyond complaint and resistance, beyond reactive tinkering or hunkering down or cynical accommodation. The first big move is to an alternative picture of how things could be instead."
The philosophical author works from what he calls "a whole vision" where cooperation and mutual goals are part of the process rather than the clash of opposites defined by mutual hate. Why pit nature against technology when we are capable of creating nature-friendly technologies? Weston challenges us to look at so-called intractable problems with flexible and creative minds. He makes use of new associations, hidden possibilities, new words, alliances, and much more.
Here are some of his ideas in service of radical social transformation: Why not increase productivity by cutting the work week in half? Why not a Department of Peace on the federal level and a Peace Academy on the model of West Point, training cadets in the cutting-edge strategic use of nonviolence? Instead of seeing elders as cast-offs of society, why not have them become "creative incubators of the future"? (See the excerpt.)