Naomi Klein is a world class thinker and writer. When she came to our church to speak, three things were clear. She is very humble, very smart and very driven to improve the human condition.

Klein spoke recently at a Greek worker run factory. The owners had abandoned the business and workers stepped in to reorganize the business using democratic co-operative principles instead of the feudal hierarchies assumed in most business models. Klein used that setting to speak of successful resistance movements and the need for what she called “critical hope.”

“We really are in the midst of what I’ve come to think of as a final colonial pillage for the hardest to reach natural resources in some of the most beautiful protected parts of the world using some of the most dangerous and damaging extractive practices.”

This kind of system is so violent, Klein said, “it needs the repression of the state to back it up.” In contrast, the other model in Halkidiki looks inward, at wealth that is not created, but is already there—in soil, water, even people’s hands. This is truly “the wealth of life,” she said.

She said that the people will only rise to hope “when the alternatives look tangible, look real, look credible and inspiring.” She said when the media plays its roll in a capitalist culture of convincing people that their only choice is between submitting to the rich or some imaginary apocalypse, we must not only criticize the deception, but also show a positive alternative:

“We must say no, but also show the yes.”