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The age of grassroots dissent

By Anita Roddick for CNN

Anita Roddick
Roddick: "Freedom isn't about the right to vote a dozen times during one's life but the right to decide your economic and political destiny."

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Looking ahead, I predict that water will be a massive issue as the impact of global warming increases in its severity.

As the Pentagon warned in 2004, several major European and American cities will soon be underwater. Depleted water supplies will change everything.

Fresh, naturally clean water will be so rare armies will guard it. Communities will start fighting back against the governments and corporations who will control the water supplies.

In fact, fighting back will be the new politics of the 21st century.

Everywhere power will be dissolved down to a community level -- reclaimed by ordinary people from a system that protects the vested interests of large corporations.

In this grassroots global revolution you will find people quietly getting on with changing the lives of their communities in a positive way and finding creative technological solutions undreamed of by the Microsofts, Bayers and Exxons of this world.

This will all happen because dissent will become popular. It is spreading around the world already and will grow in significance as the decade continues.

The rise of the "Vigilante Consumer" will change corporate behavior forever. They will impose a different definition of profit in which social change will be part of the calculation.

To obtain the right to make money, the modern corporation will have to pay the social costs of doing business. The modern corporation will be responsible for the environmental implications of its operations, it will pay its employees a living wage and it will pay the community to cover the costs of education, healthcare and policing.

All of these costs must be imposed on the corporation. Maximizing profits will then also entail maximizing social benefits.

The grassroots movement will show that freedom isn't about the right to vote a dozen times during your life but the right to decide your economic as well as your political destiny.

-- Dame Anita Roddickexternal link is the founder of the Body Shop and the author of "Business As Unusual."

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