19 votes

Why we should all be activists

7 comments

  1. [2]
    Diet_Coke
    Link
    A+ message. Voting is held up as the pinnacle of democratic participation because it's the least effective way to create change. You do it once every one to four years tops, it doesn't take a lot...

    A+ message. Voting is held up as the pinnacle of democratic participation because it's the least effective way to create change. You do it once every one to four years tops, it doesn't take a lot of effort, and it's about as indirect as you can get. Every meaningful major change - labor rights, women's rights, gay rights, civil rights - were all won primarily by direct action in the streets.

    14 votes
    1. gergir
      Link Parent
      Well said. Also: limited choice, candidates' promises evaporate in compromise (or just evaporate); and as you said, things only really change when the spirit of the times allows.

      Well said. Also: limited choice, candidates' promises evaporate in compromise (or just evaporate); and as you said, things only really change when the spirit of the times allows.

      3 votes
  2. [3]
    skybrian
    Link
    It seems like this isn't either-or? During the civil rights movement, black people in the south were going to jail trying to register to vote. And civil rights movement's biggest victories were...

    It seems like this isn't either-or? During the civil rights movement, black people in the south were going to jail trying to register to vote. And civil rights movement's biggest victories were about getting new laws through Congress and getting the federal government to enforce them.

    Voting is usually insignificant for individuals but pretty darn effective in bulk. Just don't stop at one - you need to get others to vote. You only get one vote yourself, but how many other people you influence is unlimited.

    That said, I am interested in learning the mechanics of how and why protest is sometimes effective, so I'd like to hear any interesting examples you have of how direct action in the streets won people rights.

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        Interesting, I recently saw a much more err, unusual description of what appears to be the same project? (I have no independent knowledge here.) (Article is long, but search for Lincoln Detox.)...

        Interesting, I recently saw a much more err, unusual description of what appears to be the same project? (I have no independent knowledge here.)

        (Article is long, but search for Lincoln Detox.)
        https://status451.com/2017/01/20/days-of-rage/

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. skybrian
            Link Parent
            Yeah, I'm wondering if the book being reviewed is any better?

            Yeah, I'm wondering if the book being reviewed is any better?

  3. [2]
    vegai
    Link
    And what should we fight for? Every time a general "you should be fighting" message goes out there, part of the people say "yeah, I should march for the homeless", while others say "yeah, I should...

    And what should we fight for? Every time a general "you should be fighting" message goes out there, part of the people say "yeah, I should march for the homeless", while others say "yeah, I should go buy some tiki torches".

    Every mass action has considerable risks of breaking something in the current system that has been working for centuries for reasons we don't quite understand.

    1 vote
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      To me the diversity is fine, we don't all have to do the same thing. But I would like like to see more people talk about what specific organizations they support and why they do a good job at what...

      To me the diversity is fine, we don't all have to do the same thing. But I would like like to see more people talk about what specific organizations they support and why they do a good job at what they do. (GiveWell does an admirably thorough job on international charity, but that's just one area of interest.)

      It seems like this would be more useful and convincing than exhortations to do something, anything?

      4 votes