The statement below aims to describe the shared values of Edge members. This is not an easy task as we are a group of individuals from different backgrounds. As we experience the world differently we also describe our values and aims in our own ways and have a range of ideas about how we create the world we need. This statement aims to recognise these differences whilst also making clear what we have in common. We do not want to shy away from political language, but at the same time do not want to exclude anyone. We have therefore attempted to describe the words that are not every day language within the statement itself and in the glossary. This is not a final statement. It will evolve as our members and the world around us change.
The change we need
Edge believes that if we are to create a world free of injustice and inequality we need to completely change the way our societies are organised. Providing support is not enough. We need to understand the systems and structures that give people the power to abuse others and the planet and then remove them and replace them with an alternative that is equitable, sustainable and just. We realise that this is an enormous task but we can only take this difficult journey together if we know where we are heading and what we are aiming for.
Our current economic system (capitalism) puts profit before people and the planet and allows a small number of people to become wealthy at the expense of others. With wealth also comes power. Our current political system (representative democracy) forces us to choose someone to make decisions for us, rather than allowing us to speak for ourselves. There are also systems that give people power over others and lead to discrimination, for example, those based on factors such as race, ability, sexuality, class or gender (white supremacy, disablism, heterosexism, classism and patriarchy). There are systems of power throughout society which often reinforce each other.
We want a world that is equitable and just and respects the planet. We do not believe this is possible while these systems of power exist as they result in people being treated unfairly by those who have power over them (oppression). Working with those in power can create small changes, but also gives them more power. We must instead find the strength to take power from the powerful and create our own. We must recognise that whilst we all face different injustices they are all connected so we must understand each other’s struggles and work together. By addressing the reasons why our problems exist, we can create new ways of living that give each of us a direct say in the decisions that affect us and therefore meet everyone’s needs.
We don’t have all the answers on how we create this better world, and we believe there are many ways of creating change. We each use different tactics, but we’re working towards the same goal. We believe that people have the right to control their own lives and futures (self-determination) and that means we also believe people have the right to decide how they get there.