dialog re/ making a difference


Richard Moore

Bcc: FYI
rkm websitehttp://cyberjournal.org


I’ve only gotten one response to Foster’s statement so far, so in this interlude permit me to share the following exchange with you.


A wrote:
Hi Richard
I’ve been, and still am, living in a small ‘intentional community’ household in the Northern Rivers area of NSW, Australia. Doing ok – so so, nothing special, getting more and more dissatisfied with my very parochial life here. The dinner conversation this evening, for instance, was about training, whether to further train, how to train, etc., etc, our dog.
All this while the situation in the wider world is getting worse and worse for more and more fellow human beings. Great shit !! And that’s the point – they are not just other people out there, they are my/our fellow human beings; old and young.
So I just wrote the paragraph below and sent it off to a couple of friends, initially, who may just resonate to what I’m putting out.
Where are you these days, and what and how are you doing ?  Got any ideas, suggestion, recommendations for me ??
I’m officially ‘retired’; on a small but adequate Old Age pension; and time to ‘do other things’ beyond just hanging here.
With my love and warm wishes.  A
I am not satisfied that I’m fulfilling my life vocation/purpose/objective at all adequately.
All the various explanations and (oh so good sounding!) ‘reasons’ that middle class people in industrialised modern societies give out for not doing anything substantial about the massive corporations that are ‘incorporated’ in their societies, whose central command structure is inside their societies – seem to me to be essentially nothing more and nothing other than cleverly and (oh-so-convincingly elaborated !) ‘rationalisations and justifications’ for themselves and their lack of any sort of genuinely effective mass action(s) to stop that corporate, and governmentally-assisted, gross violence and massive abuse – of people, animals and the environment.
Now that dear davey-gravey is out of the (small) picture here and therefore the relatively small but nonetheless significant violence and abuse here has been ‘ended’ (and the remaining stuff can be dealt with by others around here) – what is my ‘job’ on the larger scene, with whom, how, and where do I start ?? I suggest that you ‘may’ just have a role in this, ‘somehow’ ……… that’s evidently why I’m writing you this, and not merely ‘journaling it’ by and for myself, ‘alone’.

Hi A,

Sorry to be slow in responding. I very much appreciate your message, and your quest. You are stepping up to the plate for humanity, taking responsibility as a species member, and you are candid about not knowing what you can do. And I find it wise that you are looking for ideas related to you and your situation, rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all movement to join.

I wouldn’t be so hard on people who aren’t doing something substantial, however, as nobody seems to know what we can do that would be substantial, ie ‘make a difference’. Those who do nothing are, in a real sense, acting rationally, as they don’t see a path of hope. I find less rationality in those many activists, who are presumably dedicated to making a difference, but who persist in doing things that can only achieve marginal results.

For the past fourteen years I’ve been investigating the question, what can we do that has a reasonable hope of making a difference, of transforming society? I’ve kept an eye on all the various initiatives, such as local currencies, Transition Towns, community-dialog projects, Occupy, Arab Springs, mass protests, etc. etc. I’ve looked at the history of movements, third parties, revolutions, and regime changes of various kinds. I’ve initiated research experiments, and collaborated on research experiments, to test out change models that have been suggested by my research.

One of the conclusions I’ve come to, out of this investigation, is that the bigger question is not how to bring about change, but what it is we want to end up with – what is our vision of a transformed society? History shows us numerous paths to regime change, but very few that don’t end up with a new elite running things in their own interests. A transformational movement needs to have / develop a vision of what it wants to achieve, and it needs to incorporate that vision into the process of the movement itself. For another of the conclusions I’ve reached, re/ regime change, is that ‘the means always become the ends’ – the politics of the movement become the politics of the new society; if the movement is leader-based, the leadership cadre will become the new elite, and lest we forget: power corrupts.

In the ways of suggestions, re/ your quest, here is my current change model, and the experiment I want to engage in next:

may you find your path,