The Cascadia movement is young and vibrant. We have lots of different opinions about what the movement should encompass and even more energy behind these motivations. We’ve got literature, social gatherings, conferences, and dedicated organizations all expanding the visibility and awareness of Cascadia. Considering this movement has really gotten off the ground only in the last 10 years or so, after more than a decade(s) of work by dedicated individuals prior to this, it is apparent to me that we’re on a pretty good trajectory.
Awareness is consistently increasing in the region. Visions for the region’s future are widespread and positive. Optimistic enthusiasm for regional change in various capacities (i.e. social, political, economic) is growing.
One noticeable aspect of this young movement is that some of the more prominent voices leading it are radical. That is to say, the visions of these individuals for Cascadia’s future is a fundamental change in one aspect or another toward, what many would consider, an absolute overhaul of the status quo. These opinions are commonly lumped together as “fringe” or politically left/right wing.
I’m not here to pass judgment on such opinions. In fact, I think radical voices are often necessary when the status quo needs agitating, even when I don’t entirely agree with the opinions expressed, because they can speak to a greater truth the general public doesn’t quite grasp yet. However, I often find myself at odds with the totality of such arguments because I hold views which most in the region would likely consider moderate or temperate.
OK, yes: I personally support the eventual secession of Cascadia through democratic means so the region attains sovereignty. I don’t believe my rationale for justifying or going about this is at all radical (you can read about it all in my book—links are at the bottom), but I can see how such an opinion can be considered radical because it speaks to a fundamental change in the status quo. Point taken.
The majority of my personal opinions on matters of civics are mild. Compared to the United States or Canada as a whole, I’d probably be considered center-left in the political spectrum, but so too is the entire Cascadian region (on a macro level) in comparison. When listening to the viewpoints of those within the Cascadian region on various issues, I often find myself agreeing with various points on “both sides” of the argument (understanding that there are always more than just two sets of opinions).
I don’t think that makes me indecisive or wrong; I just think that objective truth entails a reality incomprehensibly complex that there are likely 100 different ways to solve any one issue collectively, all of which may conflict with each other in some form or another and yet all “correct” in similar capacity as well. I’m also not naïve enough to believe that my opinions alone on any given issue are absolutely correct in the entirety of all things each considers. After all, I’m not an all-knowing deity.
I’m in the middle. That’s not a bad thing. And, more importantly, that doesn’t mean there’s no place for me in the Cascadia movement. In fact, I believe my place in the Cascadia movement is essential for its continued success and anyone identifying with where I’m at relative to radical voices should feel the same way. We’ve got a lot to offer Cascadia; we shouldn’t undermine our own talents or self-worth because we don’t project prophetic oratory that romantically grapples with the dichotomies of good versus evil or freedom versus enslavement.
There’s a theory in business called the 80/20 rule. It states that 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your assets. This may lead you to believe that the remaining 80% of your assets are unimportant. In reality, it’s often that remaining 80% which pushes you over the edge to succeed and meet your goals.
This is how I see the Cascadia movement at times: 80% of the prominent opinions being voiced in the movement come from about 20% of its supporters which tend to be more radical. This can be intimidating or off-putting to most who just don’t fully agree and aren’t radical. It shouldn’t be. While around 80% of Cascadia’s supporters are relatively quiet, it will be their voices which are necessary for the movement to truly thrive and make real differences in the world.
If you’re somewhere in the middle and support the Cascadia movement, or if you’re merely intrigued but aren’t convinced to support it yet, I’m here to proclaim your importance. You have something wonderful to offer Cascadia in your own right and I encourage you to make use of your talents. It could be anything which positively impacts Cascadia. If you feel called to make a difference in your own way, do it. It may not be the most prominent act which advances the movement by leaps and bounds, but it could very well be vital to its continued success.
The Cascadia movement is a big tent with plenty of room for moderates and radicals alike. If you call Cascadia home, love this region’s natural composition, and identify with its shared spirit, you belong. So, act like you belong and do something awesome to help. What are you waiting for?
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