cj#463> Going with the Flow: Aikido Politics & Surfing

1996-02-12

Richard Moore

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EDITORIAL
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Background Concepts
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        Aikido is a very interesting martial art.  Loosely translated, it
means "the art of blending with the energy".  If attacked, an aikido master
slips aside and merges with the thrust of the attacker, following, then
blending, and finally leading the attacker off balance and applying a hold
that can't be refused.

        If you've ever watched roller derby, then you've seen a cooperative
version of "blending with energy" -- when one skater grabs another and
accelerates him or her forward to the head of the pack.


The Activist Dilemma
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        Often the "What" question has been asked on this list -- "What can
we do?" ... in the face of the destruction of democracy, abandonment of
civil liberties, and the ascendency of corporate Overlords.

        This question is frequently answered in terms of _launching_ some
action or the other, or _covincing_ those hynotized by the media party line
that reality is other than they suppose.  Such answers can lead to
frustration, becausing launching campaigns and changing people's
fundamental beliefs are each formidable undertakings.


Glimmers of Hope
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        I haven't been following the massive French strike as closely as it
deserves (does anyone know of information sources on the net?), but I think
it could be characterized as a popular anti-NWO uprising (given that what
is being protested are Chirac's implementation of NWO-inspired "reforms").
As such, I've found the strike encouraging, but haven't gotten too excited,
since I've seen other dramatic French strikes come to nothing .

        But then I read today about the massive worker unrest in Germany,
focusing on Kohl's fiscal policies and unemployment.  It seems the major
political parties are responding to this sentiment, and Kohl is becoming
isolated.  Again, it's the drive to European union & a Euro currency
(primary NWO agenda items) which have created the conditions being
protested.

        These stories then reminded me of Norway, who last I heard was
staying out of the EU -- a whole nation protesting as a body.


Going with the flow
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
        Suddenly an obvious organizing strategy became apparent.  Why not
focus our (so to speak) energy in those places where useful activism is
already underway?  If a way could be found to help "accelerate forward"
existing popular movements (to use the skater metaphor), then we could make
a significant contribution to "the cause" without the necessity of
"launching" or "convincing".

        It's like surfing rather than swimming -- greater leverage is
obtained, a larger amplification of our efforts is possible.

        But how to "accelerate forward" existing
movements/protests/whatever?  At the mechanical level, it might be possible
to use the net to publicize popular actions that are ignored by the media
(ala Chiapas), or to "smuggle" information in and out of the action zone.

        At a deeper level, by use of such tactics and others, it might be
possible to raise awareness of the universality of the problems facing
people -- to reduce their isolation and help them see that their local
movements are part of a larger struggle for democracy and empowerment.
Nothing raises the spirits of a lonely campaign like the knowledge that
it's not alone after all.  That's why Poland, in its early Walesa-led
stages, valued so much the support of people in the West, even though
little material assistance was forthcoming.  This is what the term
"solidarity" is all about, left over from when there were strong unions
that supported one another.

        If French and German workers realize they're struggling against a
common foe, for example, then the effectiveness of their actions can be
enhanced.  This could come about partly through increased
confidence/enthusiasm, and partly through their ability to coordinate their
tactics and voice their demands/concerns with a common voice.

____________________________

Solidarity,
Richard



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 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
    Materials may be reposted in their entirety for non-commercial use.
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