Friday, January 27, 2012

Effective Action

Some stood at the window cried "One tear
  I thought that would stop the war 
But someone is killing me"
That's the last hour to think anymore... 

                                                                                                                                    - Jefferson Airplane

I might have been a bit too critical in indirectly referring to the Reverend Danny Fisher as a "cause junkie,"  but I did have to take issue with his line "It occurs to me that I didn’t do anything about the late Troy Davis and his case at this blog, largely because I was so incredibly busy at the time of his execution by the state of Georgia." 

While it's true that SOPA & PIPA were recently shelved (not out of the minds of lobbyists yet - lobbyists are still being handsomely compensated for trying to resurrect this assault on the internet), it is not "because" any one individual "at his blog" "did" anything.

Symbolic gestures against something or for a cause are just that. Symbolic. Amnesty International has had the success it has because they stumbled upon the same thing that Joseph Stalin did: one death, one atrocity is horrible, but a million deaths are just a statistic.  

I could see giving them money.  But the nuts and bolts of effective action is actually organizing, planning, preparation, and execution. (Though not the kind that Amnesty International opposes, of course)  That takes work, whether it's action to do your j-o-b or action to make that utopia on earth you've always dreamed about.

Yeah, the Reverend Fisher is sometimes a cause billboard. And I'm just a guy writing the blog at the moment, inter alia.  There's bigger work to be done.

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