Friday, April 25, 2008

WVW: Theory of Social Change

(I have decided to write a series of posts elucidating my world view. As this is a bunch of vaguely related concepts and ideas, not necessarily in any specific order, but more strands of a whole, I have decided to call it my World View Web. Today, I tackle my Theory of Social Change.)

I don't consider myself a Democrat. I don't identify that way. When I fill out voter registration forms, I always end up putting independent. Not that I don't invariably end up voting for the Democrat. I do. It's just, my politics are so divergent from the Democratic positions, that pretending to be one of them would seem ... dishonest, somehow. At the end of the day, in the statistics, I should just not be counted among their number. I need to in that small way register my divergence, even if for all purposes (thought not intents) I am a Democrat.

My politics vibrate between the poles of democratic socialism and anarcho-communism. i am not to the left of the left, but to the left of the left of the left. I am out there, an extreme outliers. Now, to say I am somewhere between a democratic socialist and an anarcho-communist is not to say that the policies that I should be enacted now at this moment are those policies. It is to say that I think that these policies, these systems, would be those that reflect a true and just society. I don't think society, as it stands now, has the structure or cultural opinions necessary for such systems to work. Before those systems would be viable, people would have to come around to my way of thinking about a variety of issues.

Needless to say, I think that my opinions are correct, and that the nature of the culture at large is based on erroneous assumptions. If I'm wrong, however, well, I am wrong, and since I support the endpoint policies that I do based on my other opinions, which is where my true fealty lies, then I have no problem changing my political opinions if or when my views are proved wrong. My fealty is to Truth, not ideology.

But in the meantime, those are the positions I take.

And here is where we get to my Theory of Social Change. Since my opinions are so far outside the mainstream, I don't think it is possible for my ideas to just be argued for on the political stage. I may argue for them on my own, but I accept that there is no place for them yet in the mainstream.


As far as I see it, socio-political change needs to occur at a gradual rate. It needs to move through stages, like on a staircase. Sometimes, We falter and walk back a couple of steps, like we have after WWII. Sometimes we take the stairs two at a time, like during the new deal. However, if you try to just jump up the entire staircase, and it's a big staircase, you will fall flat on your face, probably somewhere around midway, and spend a while falling down. Like Soviet Russia. Or the French Revolution.

So social change needs to be gradual, to a degree. America is just not ready for socialism. The world just isn't ready for anarchy.

So what do you do if you think that those should be the actual endpoints for society? Well, obviously, make sure we walk up the steps! As quickly and as safely as possible. Perhaps even taking two at a time sometimes.

This means, the real goal for anyone who agrees with socialist or anarchist views is voting green or burning down buildings or rioting. That is sowing seeds that simply will not grow, my friends! No, it is working to push the conversation as far to the left as possible, doing whatever at the moment will lead to the conversation moving as fast as possible.

If this view is accepted, then the correct topic of debate concerning politics, not just for socialists and anarchists, but for anyone to the left of the mainstream, anyone who could qualify as being mocked by the Judean People's Front, is what tactics will lead to the advancement of left-wing goals, and at the fastest rate.

Well? What is it?