Thursday, December 15, 2005

simple, but not easy (a reprise)

this is in reference to a new book by Theodore Roszak...

Okay, so much of what Rozsak says is not really new, is it? World dominated by a small group of people intent on securing self-interest above all else? No surprise, eh? What else is new?

What can we do with this info as far as informing an intervention to THIS social problem (there's one that is NEVER recognized, right)? IMO, it is getting people to REALLY realize their sociological imagination. How? By getting them to realize that they are indeed a collective and have the power of a collective IF they act as a collective. Those yahoos intent on world domination only have power if WE permit it. This is what is conveniently forgotten all the time.

The issue is NOT education, it is REALIZATION. I KNOW that I am part of a greater collectivity (my education has given me that), but I haven't realized it yet; if I did all of my daily actions would be fundamentally different. Realization speaks to a profound change in behavior; it is an action, it is not mere knowledge that one can retain. So, what we need to do is to create an opportunity for ourselves and other people TO realize it. I think it would only take one event to achieve this kind of realization.

So, what to do? This is where having established, testable (as Mindy notes) methods of intervention would come in REAL handy. Lacking those, however, here is something that I bet would work. Not a new idea, just never been successfully pulled off (that I know of) on any signifcant level (with the one exception of the Harmonic Convergence back in the middle 80's — this event managed to get over 140,000 people, around the world doing the same thing, at the same time, on the same day).

The intervention is to get millions of people to do something that will jerk our leaders' chains (and voting is NOT it); we need to get their immediate and undivided attention. Some suggestions...get millions of people to not buy gas for a day, get millions of people to boycott anything made by General Electric for a day. Nothing violent, nothing anarchic, just something to demonstrate that we DO have power and we WILL use it. IMO, the best demonstration would be economic — don't mess with us or we will stop buying X. Would that get someone's attention? Yup. Would people then have a tangible, visceral experience of the sociological imagination? Yup. Would it put those in power on notice that they DO, indeed work for US and not the other way around? Yup.

Now, before you say, "that will never happen, imagine what would be involved, that's naive, yadda, yadda, yadda..." think about all of the other seemingly insurmountable problems that other sciences have encountered and succeeded in overcoming. We can't rely on the "we lack resources" argument, not in this day and age of the internet, instant, world-wide communication, instant online payment, etc. If we lack any resources, it is in figuring out how to use what we have — the resources are there, we just haven't figured out how to tap them.

Our job is not to figure out what the specific action would be, our job should be to figure out how to do it. How to get those people to do the same thing, at the same time, on the same day. Would that be a method of social change? Yeah, an IMMEDIATE one.

Now, IMO, we DON'T know how to do this or else we or someone else would have done it already. IMO, this is one of the things that we should be figuring out. We need a Manhatten project on the science of social change (to paraphrase some wise person making the same observation about poverty in the US).

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