The answer, of course, is emphatically "no." However, in the often tunnel vision world of activism -- specifically narrow and single-issue politics -- all bets are off and "reform" always trumps revolution. Let's be happy when a judge suggests our oppressors monitor, um, well" themselves. Let's ignore the big picture of environmental doom and instead beg the global death industry to cough up a few extra pennies for our tacit support.
Such an approach does not challenge the power structure; it validates the power structure. If we have to ask the 1% to modify some of their behavior, we are acknowledging and accepting that the possibility of change is their choice and we thus authenticate their freedom to exercise their power over us. (Plus, they've long figured out that offering the occasional minor concession further reinforces this tacit arrangement.)
In addition, a single-issue campaign usually removes the issue from its larger context. The 1% has little problem with the rabble focusing on, say, the working conditions at fast food restaurants.
Translation: Go ahead and hold your rallies to "discuss" the hourly wages at McDonald's but don't you ever dare question the global structures that make McDonald's and its ilk omnipresent -- and, by the way, let's all agree to not mention ecocide anymore, shall we?
Sadly, most activists proudly march in lockstep to this tune"
While the issue of workplace justice is important, for sure, it's still only a symptom of a disease now in its terminal phase. The time for band-aids passed a long, long time ago.
I repeat: The "problems" activists must expose and address are not merely anomalous flaws in an otherwise fixable system that can be tenderly reformed into sustainability.
Kill the Cop in Your Head
If we buy into the "change the system from the inside" myth and seek crumbs from the 1% table, we will follow the well-trodden path of compromise/surrender blazed by liberals in MoveOn, United for Peace and Justice, the Green Party, and so on.
If we choose instead to recognize the urgency of the myriad global crises, work collectively to dismantle the system, and commence creating new models, we must start doing a whole lot more than putting out fires and cooperating/collaborating with our oppressors.
The predictable -- I'd even say, fearful -- response to this holistic and revolutionary approach goes a little something like this:
"What you're talking about is Utopia."
"You gotta stop dreaming. Get realistic and learn how to play the game."
"Don't you understand that things just don't work like that?"
Blah, blah, fuckin' blah"
If it's a re-imagining of human culture we desire, we must occupy the big connections and act swiftly and accordingly. We must ask ourselves, each and every day: Which side are we on?
I think I'll let Malcolm answer that one, too: "I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice, and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation."
Reprinted from worldnewstrust.com