Twenty rules of activism

Darryl’s 20 Rules of Activism

(a work in progress)

by Darryl Cherney, ensopro@asis.com

 

1. Never turn down help or money

2. Write it down

3. Trust the locals

4. Don’t believe your own bullshit

5. Speak in plain language

6. Find the truth in what everyone says

7. The laws are only as strong as the people who enforce them

8. Radicalism is relative

9. Violence is a dominant gene

10. Develop spiritual analysis

11. Never regret missing a meeting

12. The best things sometimes happen last

13. Advance planning is overrated

14. Seize the moment

15. You never succeed the same way twice

16. Do not allow lawyers to determine your strategy

17. It is better to ask forgiveness than permission

18. The environment is the wild card

19. Music is the sugar coating on the truth pill

20. Surf the tidal wave

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2 Responses to Twenty rules of activism

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    re: 5. Speak in plain language

    Very important. Absolutely necessary to empower your fellow citizen.

    If you don’t…you’ll end up irrelevant and probably political road-kill.

    I need to create a word to explain myself: something like “expertitis or platonitist” should be words that mean or have connotations of “only experts using rational methods can lead and make the important contributions to leading the organization or movement or society and the rest of you should just resign yourself to follow because you just don’t have the depth or training or education to keep up without our help. And you are deserving of some or quite a bit of (implied) contempt because you are just plain citizens.”

    And put another way, when activists or people who end up in or seek the lead of any organization use words that are not of the vernacular they run the risk of setting themselves up as experts, dis-empowering to some extent most of the ordinary citizens trying to get involved, and/or setting themselves up as policy wonks/ivory tower elites/political insiders/special interest elites that make easy target practice for populist demagoguery, i.e. any conservative or neo-conservative with half a brain.

    re 9. Violence is a dominant gene

    Meaning please?

    • dwighttowers says:

      It does need a title that everyone can recognise. Snob, elitist, vanguardist, Trotskyist… dunno. Pig (as in from Animal Farm)?

      And of course, there’s a bunch of people who WANT to be underlings, who want to be looked after (the Authoritarian Personality and all that).

      I read number 9 as meaning that violence expresses itself unless there is none of it around at all – like eye colour and blue eyes being a recessive gene – you need both parents to have a version of it in order to get that expressed. So, potentially a hopeful message? But I could be wrong!!

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