Forum Post: NOTE TO ALL OWS supporters: If we engage in great TACTICS WITHOUT THE RIGHT MINDSET the end result won't be nearly as powerful
Posted 10 years ago on Nov. 12, 2011, 9:29 a.m. EST by therising
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I'm all about forceful nonviolent action and addressing the wrongs of the 1%. But there is something we need to remember that will increase the impact of our efforts exponentially. Beyond the power of TACTICS that build coalitions and bring real change for real people, there is something else. There is a mindset. And both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi STRONGLY emphasized that achieving the MINDSET was essential prior to engaging in tactics. The mindset they described was about motivation. Both of these great leaders believed that love should be the prime motive, the engine that drives each action and the movement as a whole.
King and his supporters said they LOVED the opposition enough to set them right. The saddest part about the concentration of wealth in this country is that it's most often just stored or used for junk. Granted, the junk of the 1% is bigger, fancier and more long lasting than ours, but the key is that the buzz they get from it quickly fades. So it becomes an addiction just like any other addiction. They're going after the dopamine buzz and it gets harder and harder to get it.
If they're lucky, they come to their wits end and discover family, art, life, love, whatever. But most don't, the poor saps. Their extravagant resources enslave them. It seems strange to say but we need compassion for the 1% too. We really do. For our own good and theirs. The reason they're plundering the world is that they're lost.
There's a move in the martial art Aikido where, when your opponent aggresses towards you, you take a slight step to the side. Then, instead of aggressing towards him, you move with him and "help him to the ground where he'll be safer." It's remarkable because you use his energy. You harness it. And you do it with the true motivation of helping him. I agree with others who say that all power flows from that mindset and approach.
We're not talking about being "soft" on the 1%. We still need to engage in forceful direct action to correct the incredible wrongs, bring those guilty of breaking the law to justice And fix the system so the 1% aren't the only ones who benefit. We also need to protect the environment. To do all this, we need to creat serious TENSION. King describes that good kind of tensioin here in his “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”:
"Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. . . The purpose of our direct-action program is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”.
If you can afford it, donate multiple copies of books By Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi and Gene Sharp to your nearest Occupy site today. That would make a real difference. The mindset is as important as the tactics.