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Notes on the Future of Activism

Posted 3 weeks ago on Aug. 22, 2014, 11:32 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Tags: Mental Environmentalism

Written by Micah White, PhD

Contemporary activism begins from the realization that for the first time in history, a synergy of catastrophes face us. Our physical environment is dying, our financial markets are collapsing and our culture, fed on a diet of junk thought, is atrophying -- unable to muster the intellectual courage to face our predicament.

While some may caution against immediate action by pointing out that societies often predict perils that never come, what is remarkable about our times is that the apocalypse has already happened.

When we compare the anxiety of our age to that of the Cold War era, we see that what differentiates the two periods is where the threat is temporally located. During the Cold War, the threat of nuclear destruction was always imagined to be in the future. What terrorized the Cold War generation was the thought of life after a nuclear holocaust. Anxiety was therefore centered on what life would be like "the day after" the future event, which was symbolized by the blinding light of a mushroom cloud on the horizon. Thus the post-apocalyptic narrative was deployed in a series of nuclear holocaust science-fiction stories either to mobilize fear in the name of anti-nuke peace -- the exemplar of this tactic being the horrifying and scientifically realistic 1984 BBC docudrama Threads in which civilization collapses into barbarism -- or, like Pat Frank's 1959 novel Alas, Babylon, convince a wary public that winning and happily surviving nuclear war is possible, given resourcefulness, discipline and patriotism.

But for those of us alive today, the catastrophic event is not located in the future. There is no "post”-apocalyptic per se because we are already living in the apocalyptic. And although we can anticipate that life is going to get starker, darker and hellish, the essential feature of our times remains that we do not fear the future as much as we fear the present. We can notice this temporal shift in the work of James Lovelock, whose Gaia Hypothesis is gaining traction inside and outside of the scientific community. According to Lovelock’s book, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning, even if we were to immediately cease all C02 emissions, sudden and drastic climate change will still occur. In fact, Lovelock argues that a drastic decrease in emissions would trigger climate catastrophe immediately whereas continuing emissions will trigger climate catastrophe eventually and unpredictably. This realization -- that the line into a post-climate-change world has already been crossed -- fundamentally changes the temporal and spatial assumptions underpinning activist struggles. And the first aspect of activism that must be rethought is our notion of temporality.

The typical activist project is inscribed within the horizon of a modern conception of temporality. The modernist activist acts as if we occupy a present moment that is a discrete point on the linear progression between a mythical, ancient past and an either utopian or dystopian future. But if we accept this model, then the goal of the activist can only be to change the future by preventing the dystopian possibility from being realized. This involves pushing for changes in laws and behaviors in the present that will impact our predictions of how the future will be. But activism based on this temporal model -- which as John Foster points out in The Sustainability Mirage: Illusion and Reality in the Coming War on Climate Change underpins "green capitalism" and "sustainable development" -- inevitably fails. For one, unable to accurately predict the future, we constantly play the game of basing our actions on rosy predictions while the future grows increasingly gloomier. Another problem with relying on linear temporality is the assumption that time moves in only one direction. Without the freedom to imagine going backwards, we are left the task of steering the runaway train of industrialization without hope of turning around.

Of course, linear time is not the only way to understand temporality and some models can have even worse political consequences. Take for example, the notion that time is cyclical. For the Roman Stoics, time was marked by a series of conflagrations in which the world was razed and a new one formed only to be razed again. In times of adversity when resistance seems impossible, such as the build-up to World War 2, a watered down version of cyclical temporality sometimes enters the cultural consciousness. It infected Nazis who cheered total war and anti-Nazis who used the spurious argument that only by a catastrophic Nazi triumph would a communist state be realized because only then would the people rise up. A similar line of thought was pursued by Martin Heidegger in a letter to Ernst Jünger in which he wondered if the only way to "cross the line" into a new world is to bring the present world to its awful culmination. Unlike the linear conception of time that calls the activist to act in order to realize an alternate future, the cyclical conception is often leveraged to justify inaction or worse, action contrary to one’s ideals.

To escape the problems of linear time and cyclical time, activism must rely on a new temporality. Perhaps the best articulation of this new activist temporality is in the work of Slavoj Žižek. In his most recent book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, Žižek blames the failure of contemporary activism on our assumption that time is a one-way line from past to future. He argues that activism is failing to avert the coming catastrophe because it is premised on the same notions of linear time that underpin industrial society. According to Žižek, therefore, a regeneration of activism must begin with a change in temporality. Paraphrasing Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Žižek writes, "if we are to confront adequately the threat of (social or environmental) catastrophe, we need to break out of this 'historical' notion of temporality: we have to introduce a new notion of time." This new notion of time is a shift of perspective from historical progress to that of the timelessness of a revolutionary moment.

The role of the activist should not be to push history in the right direction but instead to disrupt it altogether. Žižek writes, "this is what a proper political act would be today: not so much to unleash a new movement, as to interrupt the present predominant movement. An act of 'divine violence' would then mean pulling the emergency cord on the train of Historical Progress." To accomplish this act of revolutionary violence involves a switch of perspective from the present-looking-forward to the future-looking-backward. Instead of trying to influence the future by acting in the present, Žižek argues that we should start from the assumption that the dread catastrophic event -- whether it be sudden climate catastrophe, a "grey goo" nano-crisis or widespread adoption of cyborg technologies -- has already happened, and then work backwards to figure out what we should have done. "We have to accept that, at the level of possibilities, our future is doomed, that the catastrophe will take place, that it is our destiny -- and then, against the background of this acceptance, mobilize ourselves to perform the act which will change destiny itself and thereby insert a new possibility into the past." In other words, only by assuming that the feared event has already happened, can we imagine what actions would need to have been taken to prevent its occurrence. These steps would then be actualized by the present day activist. "Paradoxically," he concludes, "the only way to prevent the disaster is to accept it as inevitable."

Žižek is right to suggest that activism is at a crossroads; any honest activist will admit that lately our signature moves have failed to arouse more than a tepid response. The fact is that our present is being swallowed by the future we dreaded -- the dystopian sci-fi nightmare of enforced consumerism and planet-wide degradation is, day-by-day, our new reality. And thus, activism faces a dilemma: how to walk the line between false hope and pessimistic resignation. It is no longer tenable to hold the nostalgic belief that educating the population, recycling and composting our waste and advocating for "green capitalism" will snatch us from the brink. Likewise, it is difficult to muster the courage to act when the apocalyptic collapse of civilization seems unavoidable, imminent and, in our misanthropic moments, potentially desirable. Žižek's shift in temporality offers us a way to balance the paralyzing realization that our demise is inevitable with the motivating belief that we can change our destiny. By accepting that as the world is now we are doomed, we free ourselves to break from normalcy and act with the revolutionary fervor needed to achieve the impossible.

The question for would-be activists is therefore not, "how does one engage in meaningful activism when the future is so bleak?" but instead "how does one engage in revolutionary activism when the present is so dark?"

Corresponding to the necessary temporality shift is a spatial change in activism. The future of activism will be the transformation of strictly materialist struggles over the physical environment into cultural struggles over the mental environment. Green environmentalism, red communism and black anarchism will merge into blue mental environmentalism -- activism to save our mental environment will eclipse activism to reclaim our physical environment.

Activism is entering a new era in which environmentalism will cease viewing our mental environment as secondary to our physical environment. No longer neglecting one in favor of the other, we will see a push on both fronts as the only possible way of changing either. This will involve a shift away from a materialist worldview that imagines there to be a one-way avenue between our interior reality and the external reality. Instead, recognition of the permeability of this barrier, an exploration of the mutually sustaining relationship between mindscape and landscape, will open, and reopen, new paths for politics.

This movement toward an activism of the mental environment is based on an ontological argument that can be stated succinctly: our minds influence reality and reality influences our minds. Although simply stated, this proposition has profound implications because it challenges the West’s long standing Cartesian divisions between internal and external reality that serve to ignore the danger of mental toxins. Whereas traditional politics has assumed a static mind that can only be addressed in terms of its rational beliefs, blue activism believes in changing external reality by addressing the health of our internal environment. This comes from an understanding that our mental environment influences which beings manifest, and which possibilities actualize, in our physical reality.

At first it may seem like a strange argument. But the imaginary has been a part of environmentalism since the beginning. Most people trace the lineage of the modern environmentalist movement back to Rachel Carson’s 1961 Silent Spring. Carson’s book argued that the accumulation of toxic chemicals in our environment could work its way up the food chain, causing a widespread die- off. It may not have been the first time the bioaccumulation argument had been made, but it was the first time that it resonated with people. Suddenly, a movement of committed activists and everyday citizens rallied under the environmentalism flag.

Looking back on Carson’s book from the perspective of mental environmentalism, it is significant that it begins, not with hard science as we may expect because Carson was a trained scientist, but with fantasy. The first chapter, entitled “A Fable for Tomorrow,” reads like a fairy tale: “There once was a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.” She then goes on to describe an idyllic, pastoral community known for its abundant agriculture and wild biodiversity. She writes of foxes and deer; laurel, virburnum and alder; wild birds and trout. However, the beauty of the place is not permanent – an evil, invisible malady spreads across the land. Birds die, plants wilt and nature grows silent. The suggestion is that the land has been cursed; if this were a different story perhaps the farmers would have prayed, offered sacrifices to the gods or asked their ancestors for help. Instead, Carson shifts the blame away from transcendental forces and back to the materialist domain of man. “No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of new life on this stricken world.” Carson concludes, “The people had done it to themselves.”

Some literary critics have argued that the reason “Silent Spring” resonated with the larger public, sparking a movement of everyday people is largely due to this opening fable. They explain that Carson’s story takes Cold War era fears of radioactivity (an invisible, odorless killer) and redirect them into a new fear over environmental pollution that is, likewise, an invisible, odorless killer. This is a compelling interpretation that explains the rhetorical power of Carson’s story but it misses the larger point. Namely, that at its origin, environmentalism was grounded in a mythological story about a cursed land. Faced with a choice over whether to continue in this fantastical, narrative vein or enter the domain of scientific facts, environmentalism tried the latter. Environmentalism has thus become a scientific expedition largely regulated by Western scientists who tell us how many ppb of certain pollutants will be toxic and how many degrees hotter our earth can be before we are doomed. But here we see again the linear temporal model cropping up again which may explain the inability, according to James Lovelock, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to predict the rising temperatures we have experienced. In light of the failures of the exclusively scientific approach, it is worth considering another option.

What if Carson had written about how the disappearance of birds was accompanied by the appearance of flickering screens in every home? What if she had drawn a connection between the lack of biodiversity and the dearth of infodiversity? Or the decrease in plant life and the increase in advertised life? To do so would necessitate a new worldview: a blue worldview that acknowledges the interconnection between mental pollution and environmental degradation, spiritual desecration and real-world extinctions.

Keeping one foot within the domain of imagination, environmentalism could speak not only of the disappearance of the wild birds due to physical pollutants but also their disappearance due to mental pollutants. We could wonder at the connection between a culture’s inability to name more than a handful of plants, and the lack of biodiversity in the surrounding nature. And instead of assuming that the lack of biodiversity in external reality caused our poor recognition skills, we would entertain the opposite possibility: that the fewer plants we recognize, the fewer plants will manifest.

Blue activism begins with the realization that internal reality is connected to external reality and then wonders at the relation between pollution of internal reality and the desecration of external reality. The primary pollutant of our mental environment is corporate communication. It is no longer controversial to claim that advertisers stimulate false desires. Any parent knows that after their child watches the Saturday morning cartoons they will suddenly "need" new toys, new treats, new junk. But the effects of advertising go beyond, what the marketers call, “demand generation”. Advertising obliterates autopoesis, self-creation. It is an info-toxin that damages our imagination and our world picture, essential elements of our mental environment. Activists must work on the assumption that there is a connection between the level of pollution in our minds and the prevalence of pollution in our world. At the most basic level, this is because when our minds are polluted, and our imaginations stunted, we are unable to think of a different way of doing things. At a more complex level, it is because our mental environment dictates, to a certain extent, whether certain beings manifest in our physical environment. Naming calls beings into existence and when all the words we know are corporate-speak, the only beings that will manifesto are corporate- owned.

To understand how the pollution of the mental environment can impact the manifestation of beings, consider the story of the Passenger Pigeon. In 1810 one of the great American ornithologists, Alexander Wilson, observed a flock of Passenger Pigeons so plentiful that it blacked out the sun for three days. On another occasion he documented a flock estimated to be two hundred and forty miles long and a mile wide and comprised of over a billion -- 1,000,000,000 -- birds. A century later, the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoological Garden on September 1, 1914. How do we explain this alarming extinction of the Passenger Pigeon?

If we take a materialist activist position, then we will argue that their sudden demise is due to a combination of forces, all of which are located outside the psyche: overhunting combined with unenforced laws against killing the birds in their nesting places was exacerbated by the telegraph which was used to track the birds over hundreds of miles. The species death of the passenger pigeon is thus interpreted as a tragedy of specific technologies: guns, nets, laws and communication systems. Of course, this account is not wrong; it would be mistaken to argue that these technologies did not play a major factor in their extinction.

But physical environmentalism boils down to conservationism. It is allopathic, only able to treat the symptom, the disappearance of the birds, without considering the root cause. By focusing our attention exclusively on material forces, we are confined to certain activist tactics: a spectrum from reformist gestures of calling for greater enforcement of environmental protection laws, courageous tree sits and militant ELF arsons. And while these actions are commendable, and with open acknowledgment that a diversity of tactics is necessary, the focus on a secular materialist politics is limiting our success. Under this model, Ted Turner is considered a philanthropic hero because he is the nation’s largest landowner and maintains the largest privately owned bison herd. What we do not need is a rich patron of endangered species, but instead a world without endangered species. That requires more than money, it necessitates a paradigm shift.

The unexplainable extinction of the passenger pigeon is a symptom of the state of our mental environment. Species facing extinction can only be saved if we take their disappearance as a symptom and address the root cause of their disappearance. Because of an over-reliance on a secular, materialist conception of politics, scientists dictate the aims of activists. The irony is that our exclusive concern over the physical environment renders us unable to save it.

The curious interplay between our imagination and external reality gives credence to the argument that the struggles over the mental environment are the future of activism. The future of activism begins with the realization that only with a clear mind, a clean mental environment, do we approach the possibility of a clean physical environment.

Dispel immediately the notion that our mental environment is unique to each individual. Just as we share our natural environment, we also share our mental environment, which is crafted through the culture we consume – the television shows we watch, the websites we frequent and the symbols and concepts that comprise our thoughts. Thus, the mental environment is not something entirely within us but is instead something that is outside of our complete control and shared collectively.

Activism of the mental environmentalism is not a politics of solipsism, or an attempt to dodge the imperative of direct action. Instead, developing a politics of anti-consumerism and anti-materialism, places the role of imagination back into the forefront. Denying corporations the right to dominate our mental environment is the most effective long-term strategy of insurrection in the twenty- first century because it directly influences the manifestation of our natural environment. By targeting the mental polluters, vandalizing billboards and blacking out advertisements, we do more than clean up urban blight -- we clear a creative space for a revolutionary moment.

This article was written by Micah White and originally published in Reconstruction 10.3



Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (757) 1 week ago

Fast Food Workers & their supporters must engage in actual activism on the streets and everywhere else. Words are wonderful but actions are imperative.

facta non verba ...

[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (20721) 1 week ago

Solidarity with fast food workers across the nation today, September 4, 2014. Go for it! You have nothing to lose.

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (757) 1 week ago

And everything to gain !!! Anyone working 40 hours a week should be able to pay for a basic standard of living !! The dubious logic of ''trickle down'' is now revealed for the clap-trap that it was because The 99% can clearly see the 'Hoover Up' nature of the 'Extraction Economy' ... that 40 years of Neoliberalism has given us all in Western demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcies !

ad iudicium ...

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20721) 1 week ago

The top 3% of Americans now own 54% of the wealth. If that doesn't get people out on the streets, I don't know what will.

"Gap Between Richest And The Rest Widened After The Recession: Fed"


Well, come on Fed, do your job! You are part of the government. You are supposed to be protecting the general welfare of the people.

This kind of concentration of wealth at the top is deleterious to the welfare of the people and is unsustainable.

[-] 2 points by ShadzSixtySix (757) 1 day ago

The Fed is NOT ''part of the government'' bw - I beg to differ but I absolutely belief that !!! That it is ''part of the'' USG is exactly what we are supposed to think tho' !! The Fed is modelled on 'The Bank Of England' - the world's first 'Central Bank' and a private organisation that precedes the .. 'democratic British state' & which also pretends to be an arm of state - especially after it's alleged nationalisation in 1948 - when all that really happened was that the UK state only officially owned the HQ building in London ! Thanx for your strong link tho' and in reply, I append and recommend :

''This week, nearly five years after the Supreme Court paved the way for unlimited corporate political spending through its Citizens United decision, a majority of the Senate voted in support of a constitutional amendment that would overturn that decision.

''What was remarkable about the vote wasn't the result, but why it happened at all. Since the day Citizens United was handed down, Americans across the political spectrum have rejected its reasoning. Even while pundits were explaining that the constitutional amendment would never receive widespread support, grassroots activists were organizing on a massive scale to demand exactly that.

''As Sen. Bernie Sanders said on the Senate floor this week, "Of all of the issues out there -- whether you are concerned about education, health care, the environment, the economy -- the most important issue underlying all of those issues is the need to end this disastrous Supreme Court decision which allows billionaires to buy elections." To fix any of these problems, we have to fix our democracy problem and make the voices and votes of everyday Americans central to our political process once again.''

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1290) 1 week ago

those not working 40 hours don't deserve standard basic living ?

a lazy slave is a dead one

[-] 3 points by ShadzSixtySix (757) 1 week ago

http://strikefastfood.org/ is an excellent site and I'll assume that you're trying to get a rise with what you say and I'll not respond in any other way now, other than what I say here now. Or is that a ruse too far ?

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1290) 1 week ago

i've tried to get fast food jobs uncountable times

should those allowed jobs be paid more?


in the meantime, fill out our online application deadline

[-] 3 points by ShadzSixtySix (757) 5 days ago

Try teaching physics / science to kids - in school, college or even privately, Matt.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by JackHall (401) 2 weeks ago

Given the choice of Nuclear Winter or something else. We chose something else which was the other climate change. The questionable decisions that brought civilization to this dilemma were made a hundred years ago.

The end of WWI coincides with the Bolshevik Revolution which led to the Red Scare in the United States and began the War on Socialism directed by Capitalist. The Capitalist have been recklessly running the Military-Industrial Complex society in the United States for over a century with the global economy in tow through 2 World Wars and other minor ones at their peril.

Would throwing Capitalists overboard and transferring private ownership of strategic and vital national services and industries to the Commons be the equivalent of pulling the emergency brake before the bus goes over the cliff?

(Finalized) Red Scare: American Reaction To Communism 1919


[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (42) 2 weeks ago

The arms race and wars in the 20th century can be seen as attempts to contain Socialism.

It is premature to take Nuclear Winter off the table. The US and Russia still have large nuclear arsenals. More countries want them and will have them. A nuclear conflict between the smallest nuclear powers could still doom the planet.

Nuclear winter - still possible but preventable: Alan Robock at TEDxHoboken


The new activism must work for worthy causes. There are many.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (42) 2 weeks ago

Banning all nuclear weapons/energy is not necessary.

While solar power is much more commonly used, nuclear power offers great advantages in many areas. Solar cells, although efficient, can only supply energy to spacecraft in orbits where the solar flux is sufficiently high, such as low Earth orbit and interplanetary destinations close enough to the Sun. Unlike solar cells, nuclear power systems function independently of sunlight, which is necessary for deep space exploration. Nuclear reactors are especially beneficial in space because of their lower weight-to-capacity ratio than solar cells. Therefore, nuclear power systems take up much less space than solar power systems. Compact spacecraft are easier to orient and direct in space when precision is needed. Estimates of nuclear power, which can power both life support and propulsion systems, suggest that use of these systems can effectively reduce both cost and mission length.

Nuclear options are vital when it involves exploration and development in outer space.

[-] 2 points by 99nproud (2409) 2 weeks ago

Space? Hmmm. You make a good argument for nuclear energy.

I suppose I could support nuclear energy when an 'evacuation plan' is not required for siting nuke plants on earth.

Otherwise, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 3 months ago

Really good article. I'm always impressed by how entertainment has become so non-stop action packed. Family Guy is a good example because you literally never have a second to think for yourself, or you'll end up missing half the show. All you can do is let your brain absorb the information, and when it's over you don't even realize what's become of your psyche.

I love watching old movies because not only are the plots deep but they actually give you time to critically think about their gravity and dimension, or how something feels, even just the scenery. After all the stimulation of today's stuff I can't even get anyone else I know to sit through something like that because it bores them.

I sort of see this specifically as an addiction, wanting more stimulation in order to be greater than before, always needing a little bit more. And the only way to curb addiction is willpower.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (42) 3 days ago

Activism will be effective if there is a free press able to publish information about it.

At the core of American society has been the assumption of a free press.

Doubts about the validity of these assumptions surfaced over 40 years ago. This is off the radar of most Americans.

Project Censored: Is the Press Really Free? The 1998 documentary


A very worthy cause for American activism is liberating free speech and the free press while there are still enough people and resources to sustain it.

Shadows of Liberty


[-] 1 points by MattHolck0 (1290) 1 week ago

this essay is ill communicated at best

produce by a random word generator at worst



[-] 1 points by ThomasKent (131) 2 weeks ago

Let’s take a page from Al Gore’s activism on climate change.

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

Peer-reviewed research suggests that at least until 2005, natural variability was responsible for half the ice decline. But exactly how big its influence is remains an open question – and as scientists agreed, establishing this is critical to making predictions about the Arctic’s future.


Sounding the alarm and raising a global awareness was a noteworthy accomplishment. But Mr. Gore's real expertise is American Politics not climate science.

He can provide a larger influence on the future course of the United States as an elder statesman and economic and political activist with democratic values.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 3 weeks ago

There is need for activism. There is need to change the basis of civilization. There is no need for physical, military, or economic revolution. The change can be made by changing our Government. We are a representative republic and NOT a democracy. We elect people who presume to act in our stead when making and voting on laws. We feel, and are, disenfranchised by this election of intermediaries, these representatives, 538 of them, who presume to represent the 320,000,000 million of us living here. They don't, they can't, and they don't even try anymore. And it's been that way from the beginning. We are ruled by our representatives. Every year they decide how to spend 30% of our gross nation product. This year that's 4 trillion dollars, a 4 followed by 12 zeros. Do you think they are qualified to do that? Qualified by the fact of their birth? Qualified by their education? By there superior intellect, training, judgement? No, they are qualified only because of the votes we cast for them. There is no evidence that the average representative is in any way 'superior' to an average person on the street selected at random. To change this government the people must cease having representatives vote on the laws and vote on them themselves. And the majorityof votes passes the law. We will no longer give someone power over us which they can then use against us. We are responsible, interested, bright, vital people capable of good judgement and great understanding. We have this high standard of living, this generally high quality of average life, not because of our representatives, but despite them. We see the inequality in economic distribution, in opportunities for work and education. Wherever we look the ineptitude of representative government has lead to 1% of us have command and control over the other 99% because they control the law makers and command the representatives. End this insanity. Change the constitution so the people vote directly on the laws. Make an Actual Democracy. Make every voice equal to every other one by putting a vote behind it, for everyone. 1. The legislative function of the United States shall be performed directly by the people according to legislation that the people enact. 2. The right of citizens to directly vote for the laws under which they live shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State.

Until this happens we will hit the streets and beg representative to represent us. We call it a victory when they do. It isn't. It just proves that now and then begging works. A nation based on begging cannot long survive, and it shouldn't. And it won't. Elect representatives that will join us in making an Actual Democracy. It's the only way. Quit begging for freedom and vote for it. Quit begging for equality and vote for it. Quit saying you are somebody and prove it, vote for it. assosactualdemocracy.com.

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2409) 1 week ago

Action Alert!! #Floodwallstreet


In compliment

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (42) 2 weeks ago

I agree that a change in the way laws are decided upon is desirable and desperately needed. Does the electorate have access to the facts needed to make an informed decision? The people I talk with everyday have no way to access information over the Internet. They do not have smart phones, cell phones or computers. They get most of their information from newspapers, talk radio, and Fox News-like sources. There are many Americans that are still against Obama Care and would like to spend time repealing it.

I believe the American public is not capable of understanding the important decisions that need to be made for their future because there are too many details involved to be translated into a yes/no vote.

For example - What should the US do with the thousands of nuclear warheads it already has? Or Why hasn’t Glass-Steagall been reinstated? Or Why hasn’t WTC Buildings’ Collapse on 9/11 been thoroughly investigated? Or Why haven't the big banks been broken up?

A lot of Americans are apathetic.

[-] 2 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 2 weeks ago

Jefferson said, in his first inaugural speech, that it is frequently said man is not wise enough to govern himself, then he should govern others? You are one of the people, I am one of the people. We advise ourselves of what's going on. Most people do. The roads, airports, utilities, newspapers, universities, are all built and run by people. The people have built the nation, they are at least as competent as our Representatives. If two heads are better than one then 200,000,000 million are better than 538. There are no special people, better able to govern than anyone else.

[-] 1 points by ButtonHGwinnett (42) 1 week ago

You have put a lot of faith in the American people.

Contrast electing a US President to participating directly in crafting legislation.
The candidates compete for delegates, debate issues, and present arguments supporting their election. The legislative process would be similar but with more formality.

Recently the American people elected the worst US Presidents for two terms against considering a different candidate.

Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, G.W. Bush.

Nixon took the US off the gold standard which permanently destabilized the US dollar. Gave us Watergate scandal. First US President to resign.

Reagan gave us Reaganomics which led to widest gaps between rich and poor. Increased government spending and lowered taxes which led to highest US debt ever. Deregulated business. Allowed off shoring middle class jobs.

Bush gave us 9/11 attacks, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, Bank Bailout.

The Democrats were on the right track when Lyndon Johnson left office.

Blame the American people for electing Nixon, Reagan, and G.W. Bush twice.

[-] 1 points by publius31 (69) from Fort Lee, NJ 1 week ago

You are correct. But the President isn't directly elected either. There'ss the Electoral college. And Judges are appointed by the President with consent from the Senate, so they aren't voted for either. The people know their "participation" in Democracy is sham. They know their vote isn't a vote for a law or an officer of the government. Hamilton made sure that the "special people", the landed, educated, intelligentsia, aristocratic people, made the laws, picked the few leaders, and kept command and control of the country. And it has lasted until today. I've pointed this out elsewhere. Here's a quote: YOU DON'T LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY. YOU LIVE IN A REPRESENTATIVE REPUBLIC.


You only voted for someone else to make decisions and to vote 'for you'.

We REQUIRE an ACTUAL DEMOCRACY An Actual Democracy is one where the people vote directly on the laws, Vote directly for the Executive officers and directly for the Judicial officers. Nothing Else is Democracy

We need a Constitutional Amendment: something along these lines:

  1. The legislative function of the United States shall be performed directly by the people according to legislation that the people enact.
  2. The President and Vice President of the United States shall be elected directly by the people.
  3. One ninth of the Federal Judiciary shall be elected every year by the citizens of their respective jurisdictions. Currently serving judges will be elected in reverse order of their years of service, longest serving is next to be elected until all have been elected.
  4. The right of citizens Of the United States to directly vote for the laws under which they live, to directly vote for the President and Vice President, and to directly vote for the Judiciary, shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State.

It is essential to quit begging for representation and to represent ourselves. It is essential to quit begging for equality and freedom and to vote for them.

The Association for the Advancement of Actual Democracy. HTTP://WWW.ASSOSACTUALDEMOCRACY.COM assoc.for.actual.democracy@gmail.com P.O. Box 464, Teaneck, NJ 07666 Join up. Support the Association. Set up offices today. Conventions annually. Victory in 5 to seven years. It's only the Nation's future, a "MORE PERFECT" Nation's.

We must quit delegating our responsibility and our power. It's being used against us and against our best interest. Have fun. Fight the good fight. Change the world.

[-] 0 points by flip (6755) 1 week ago

That gold standard you seem to like is a tool of the ruling class. The populists of the late 1800's knew that. You should learn about fiat currency also

[-] 1 points by ApexPredator (9) 2 months ago

First of all, the situation is not so desperate. You can still live here. But, you must be interested in it. It is not enough to just drive around. There are issues.

Protest. It is the only argument. If you do not want us to be all consumed, don't be lazy...

Be confident. Fight. Realize... that protest leads to things. And be ready for them.

(Bad advice, Micah.)

  • Go to Amazon. Read up on Chester Keynes.

Think of going to the street. It is not so bad. People waste you, but you get up. You learn a lot more about life, than getting a nine to five, and not being able to do anything.

The loneliness is enormous. But I think we are well deserved to it. Regard the futility as something more.

Or you are not well deserved.


I apologize to the Japanese for the atom bomb. I think those of us that are responsible, have a large challenge.

You can sit around. Drink and be merry. Or take your life seriously. This entails working for God. Do not believe in religion.

Roman catholicism.... It is the real enemy. Because it makes everything alright. Stick it.

"Sitting on a corner. Waiting for time." - Chester Keynes

[-] 1 points by ApexPredator (9) 3 months ago

Hi Micah. I don't know what you are talking about here. We are not in trouble. You sound like the world is ending. You must be very careful what you say.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1162) 3 months ago

"The question for would-be activists is therefore not, "how does one engage in meaningful activism when the future is so bleak?" but instead "how does one engage in revolutionary activism when the present is so dark?""

Excellent outlook and point of view. Thanks for another excellent article on organizing.