That Awkward Stage

Claire Wolfe observed that “America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

I can’t disagree, but when I say this on Facebook or elsewhere, someone – possibly an agent provocateur – will inevitably express a wish to start “voting from the rooftops” with weapons. Lots of weapons.

I’m somewhat reluctant to do that, for a variety of reasons, the most important being that such battles are usually directed and won by people who are experts in the use of violent action to solve problems; they tend to win any Hobbesian “war of all against all,” to arrange for themselves to govern, and continue to use their favored problem-solving methods. Unseating one set of problems, they become the new set of problems.

It might be a good idea to develop some expertise in effective countermeasures, developed on different principles, which are somewhat more congruent with the manner of society in which we wish to live.

This is the approach taken by the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the worldwide study and strategic use of nonviolent action. Their web site has several ebooks, which detail their research and suggestions. It is said that these methods were used to good effect in the various “Arab Spring” revolutions.


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