Friday, January 16, 2009

How Can We Expect Change When We Don't Propose Anything?

That's it. That's my post. The question in the title. If we realize that we can't "tweak" our present system, and reform it into something sane, then why don't we spend much more time describing the root and branch transformations that are needed and how we are to get there?



Scott said...

I'm torn as to whether I think that is a good question or not. On the one hand, yes, I can see the argument (often made by Michael Albert) that we don't spend enough time talking about vision. But on the other hand, "we" propose things all the time...over here is a group of janitors demanding better wages and working conditions, over there is an indigenous nation demanding decolonization, over there is a group of young queer people demanding that their schools be made safe...none on their own are complete (though, frankly, the demand for decolonization is a pretty huge vision) but they are all proposals for change. Together, along with all of the other big and little demands from those resisting oppression and exploitation, they add up to a much different world. And in that sense, I don't think it's fair to say that we don't propose anything. In fact, saying that erases the voices of many people who are standing up for justice and liberation and have been demanding and proposing and suggesting until they're blue in the face for decades or centuries...they just aren't heard.

Mentarch said...

thwap: I tried to do just that last Wednesday.

It got little reaction ...

Mentarch said...

addendum: in fact,I dare say that I try to do this regularly at my little blog.

But it seems as if folks are more interested in venting than considering solutions ...

thwap said...


"Together, along with all of the other big and little demands from those resisting oppression and exploitation, they add up to a much different world."

You know that I wouldn't deny that thousands of huge and little groups are making "demands" (backed up by empty or even non-existent threats) everyday.

But are they based upon the recognition of the root-and-branch transformation that's necessary to achieve these demands? If not, then that's not what I'm talking about, and not the people I'm addressing.

It's the people who know that our system needs revolutionary change but who insist on making empty demands in the here and now, and who never get around to explaining either why our present elites will succumb to empty demands, or how we can achieve the revolution since these elites will never listen to us, ... THAT is who I'm addressing.

thwap said...


I booked a whole day in the summer once to discuss a revolutionary path on "," and I spent a few hours watching the paint dry until I complained, at which point somebody said, "Hey, I agree with you, but I don't know what to say."

I tried to start something on EnMasse once to similar effect.

I've complained that I don't do enough positive building here on my blog, but there are nuggets scattered about.

From what you just wrote, I'll look to your blog more frequently. Especially this Wednesday event that you speak of.

Mentarch said...

Well, it was not an event - just a post of mine.

In any case, I would like very much to participate in a forum/event such as you described.

Just lemme know and I'll gladly jump in the fray ;-)

thwap said...

I'm pretty tired, depressed, and negative these days, but I'll follow your blog more closely.