I heard someone I deeply respect use this word the other day, as a goal of self realisation and actualisation - and it jolted me into an insight.
It’s good to be independent, and self-reliant but not at the expense of our human interdependence, and of our community and shared purposes.
The word ‘sovereignty’ has been stretched out of all recognition recently by those who would seek to control and influence others by weaving it into narratives that claim to give people agency and power, but if we look deeper, actually do the opposite, and in very harmful ways. Many of these narratives perpetuate injustices, inequalities or profound societal dysfunction, and go very much against Campfire Community values.
By using the word ‘sovereignty’ at this time, we are, knowingly or not, giving power to the idea of hierarchies of rule and reign and repression, and of impositions, of allowing or condoning the taking of liberties against us.
As activists and change makers, we have to be careful to avoid defining ourselves by expressing what we are reacting against, rather than what we choose to see and be.
Perhaps we can to reclaim the word, but this will take time.
So for now, I ask you to consider that :
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s places of safety and grounding
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s freedom from fear or lack of resources
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s respect and clear boundaries
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s agency and a voice
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s connection
It’s not ‘sovereignty’ we mean, it’s power.
Power to stand up for ourselves, and for others, and to create a world whether we don’t and won’t have to.