Another one from the “It’s not gonna work” files. (I know I bring this up a lot, but we’re all working with a lot of pushback even from our in-groups. So we need all the inspiration, encouragement, and practical talking points we can get.) This came up in one of the collapse-focused groups:
Unless you can find some large changes, or can collectivize a society into making lots of small changes, I don’t think the answers you get are going to matter.
Great, then we ARE going to find some large changes, and we ARE going to collectivize the society into making lots of small changes. Good answer!! And I love your wording.
Large changes: Pick a big sector. Food, water, shelter (include both buildings and clothing), transportation, energy, and community. And set about being a mini trim tab. Even if you only influence one or two other people, they will go on to influence others. Some of you might remember that shampoo commercial from the 1970s. “They told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on …”
If you prefer to go to a larger stage, easy peasy! Start communicating with your local government and corporations. If you feel so inclined move on up to higher levels of government and bigger corporations. Or you could become a social media mega influencer if you are so inclined to try.
One of my big sectors where I choose to work is landscaping. It has a huge footprint the way we’re doing it right now. Although I am only a micro influencer at best, I have still made some inroads in my community.
Collectivize the society into making lots of small changes: that’s even easier! It’s actually happening right now. It happens 24 seven all around us. Just jump in anywhere you feel drawn.
Keep going! We in the rich industrialized nations, particularly those of us who are in the Boomer generation and older, have a lot of catching up to do, to set things right.
By the way, we’re allowed to have fun! In fact, I would say we have to have fun. If we’re not having fun, we won’t motivate anyone to make any changes.
Speaking of fun, one of the best ways to be a force for social change is through art and story. Go get ’em! Write that book, paint that painting, stage that play … even if it’s just for an audience of one or two or seven at first.
PS. I’m not saying it’s all of us, but it’s definitely some of us who are pretending to ask one question when we actually mean something else.
So when we ask that question, “Is it really going to work?” What we’re really saying is, “I want some assurance that it’s going to work, or else I see no point in struggling against the mainstream current.
“If it’s not going to work, I want to know, so I can take it as permission to just hang out in the cushy, consumerist, paycheck-and-401k-job, business-as-usual economy.”
But I think we all know the real answer to that, or else we wouldn’t be in these groups.
Whether it’s going to “work” or not should not be our criterion for doing the right thing.
Also “works” and “doesn’t work” is not a black-and-white thing. There’s a whole continuum. Everything you do works. Any little thing we do to dismantle the extractive consumerist economy helps reduce suffering in the world, even by a little bit.