Posted by Jack and Jill, Satisfied WB Consumers
OK, we are totally sold on this citizenship concept. We are excited at getting in on the ground floor. We are both going to quit our jobs and do it full time. What does it pay, this citizenship gig? What can we make off it? What is the business model? Multi-level marketing or what? Who pays for the inventory and can we get it on credit? And what exactly are we selling? Do we have to prospect for it, or are the leads provided?
Kick 'em in the head, like Valerie Plame! Consequences, that is how you produce social change. Make them pay for every act of disrespect until you break their will to resist. Intimidate the news. Bully the public. Talk about God as our pal. Lie flagrantly and taunt them to call you on it. Rub their noses in their own fear. Call them Traitors. Hang a few. Speak out for torture. Repeal habeas corpus. Grind them into poverty. Reward your rich friends. Social change comes when the losers fawn at your feet. Momma loves you. But Momma has rules, Sweetie. I would like to show mercy, but my hands are tied. I have to do what God wants and he wants you screwed.
Posted by The Happy Tutor
What is your desired outcome?
-Democracy, justice, human dignity, equality, and respect for truth (as opposed to, say, brands)
How can such be accomplished?
-Foster conditions under which small groups can connect, interact, and hash things out together, interconnecting with one another, respecting the differences, but finding solidarity around the preserving an open society.
What can you seen what works?
- blogging daily to find an audience and a voice that sounds informal but comes from the depths
- reading by hopscotching among books, links and articles, not via the Dewey Decimal System
- imitating what I love
- offering recognition and encouragement to talented people who doubt themselves
- convening or attending small group meetings of diverse people with an open space agenda (no agenda)
- working and reworking themes that resonate with others, like jazz musicians might, until it is a shared undertaking
- holding a job inside the firewall of Wealth Bondage while blogging outside the backdoor in parables
- linking to others who take a chance and say what they know, when what they know is forbidden to say
What blocks you?
- need for personal security
- fears of being understood all too well and the consequences that follow
- mesmerized citizens who dream they are consumers
- endlessly fighting known lies rather than creating something new
- isolated in-groups, of business people, wealthy people, bloggers, academics, each in their safe places, oblivious
- lack of a business model for social change, a cash flow model
- lack of a way to employ talented people for noble ends
- the requirement in America to be stupid or act stupid, modeled daily by newscasters, and other successful people
What gives you hope?
- Tracy Gary, Peter Karoff, Rick Cohen, everyday people who volunteer, make sacrifices, create small sheltering spaces for the vulnernable
- the slowly dawning realization among sentient citizens that the war is over, social justice lost, and that we are now managed from above, that the price of freedom is high, and that we ourselves lack the courage to do anything about it, that others do as well, and that we might as well vote for the Democrats and leave it at that.
- the rising sound, the murmur of others saying the same thing and with indignation in their voices
- the rising contempt for those who would rule as if we are fools to their knave
- the milling about in these small safe spaces, the new language, the new urgency
- the increasingly obvious ridiculousness of the politically correct fastidiousness that would inhibit speech as if that were the change needed
- the rising energy of speech that wells up like the blues, or like the irreverence of slaves behind the master's back.
- blog daily
- connect friends
- expand circles of friends
- develop expertise in giving, connecting the languages of giving (inspirational, idealistic, politic, financial, legal)
- connect funders to feet in the street as civic friends if nothing else
- honor those who do more, or do it better, imitate them if possible
- seek cash flow positive business models to support the above and channel the talents of others
- provide consequences for knaves by dishonoring them daily, particularly if they have the power to wound
- provide needed shaming by praising wherever possible with the smiling face of the dunce
- be hard to hit, elusive, make them work for every shot
- fight smart and fight dirty
- homestead the intolerable and use it as a staging area
- go where polite people won't and draw strength from despair
- take others where I am and see if they can stand it
- let the powerful meet us on our ground in the Dumpster and garbage pits and talk to use like we were ninnies
- lure them into conversation, then teach them what "excoriate" means, use the learn by doing method, provide examples close to home
-the willingness of Amy Kass, William Schambra, Lenore Ealy and others from the conservative school of thought to put themselves out there, and talk to (or beat up) their citizen-adversaries, and to accept a good drubbing in return, in the same spirit.
What is your theory of social change? Emergence? That we wait and see what happens, or what?
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Following Tracy G's lead, in talks to nonprofits I have been asking them what they would do if they had $1 mil of additional donations this year. Here, as it happens, is an answer from Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest. He would set himself up in Blogger Heaven, as if he were a real think tank thinker. My mind works differently. I wonder how to raise the million. I also wonder how to stick with blogging as a purely civic act. As soon as money is involved someone has to dole it out, measure outputs and outcomes, and insist that, for the sake of good relations with, say, the Donors or the Board, you had better Fit in or Fuck off. The point of blogging as I see it is that you can fit in on Company Time with Yessir and No M'am all you must in Wealth Bondage and then go Fuck Off on your own time, in a Dumpster, making sport of all the games we have to play to pass for grownups in this dark world. If the Donor comes by with the cool million, I say, let's toss it back in his face, "Keep your filthy lucre! We are freer than you will ever be." The price of integrity 4-6 hours a day may well be a day job for 8. "Hypocrisy?," he asked himself, shaking with silent laughter, wheezing and rubbing his bloodshot eyes. "O no, not me. Just passing for normal."
Posted by The Happy Tutor
Speaking of race, class, politics and new alliances, let me speak from a specific experience yesterday afternoon. Dick and I talked on philanthropy to an organization in West Palm Beach, a very wealthy area. The organization provides assistance to the aged who can no longer care for themselves. We toured the facility and saw people, some of whom are no older than Dick and I, with dementia. They shook our hands, hugged us, and wandered around the room, or sat and played with crayons under the kindly direction of volunteer care givers. The organization gets over 50% of its funding from government agencies, and feared that it will lose all that with budget cuts. They raise only 1% from donations. So, we talked strategy. At one point an entrepreneur in the group of board members assembled for the talk went off on a quiet rant. He said, "I voted for these people. But they are turning this country into a banana republic. We are all going to be riding around in bullet proof Mercedes with armed guards. You can't treat the poor like that. They are human beings. Something has to change. It can't go on like this." He was madder than any lefty I have talked to in years. What infuriated him was seeing the cuts coming, and the rhetoric about self-reliance and capital formation, and job creation, all of which was totally irrelevant to the dementia stricken mothers and fathers in the room downstairs who might soon be tossed out on the street. What sticks also in my mind was a statistic. The elders with dementia more often than not outlive the care givers they drive into an early grave. Left alone the demented then wander out into the streets, no longer even able to remember their own name. Who will pay for their care? Or should we just shoot them and put them out of their misery? When they go into a coma, then "the culture of life" kicks in and they get a free ride. Until then they can fend for themselves.
I want to say that people of conscience have had enough. Screw the politics. This is our country and we want it back. Giving is great. Some give, some don't. What do we do with the wealthy free loaders? I say we dress them in rags, inject them with drugs inducing dementia, and send them into the streets. As the drugs wear off and their sanity returns, may they find they have a human heart. If not, repeat until they do. Or, if they prefer we will increase their taxes by 1%.