Do as I say…

07012009799How do you change the world without telling people what to do? Forget changing the world even, how about getting anything done or created at all? I guess that’s one of my big life questions.

Because telling people what’s good for them and what’s best for all of us and what they should do that I’m not already doing – isn’t that the only way it’s going to work? Isn’t that what marketing and politics is all about? Don’t people need to be told how to live better lives, what things they need and what they don’t need, what they really ought to stop doing straight away? Otherwise, then what would happen?

It does seem as though there is no other way. Except, oh dear, we have a rather major blind spot. There is no other way as long as it’s me or my pals who are doing the telling, but the moment that you’re telling me what to do, you’re telling me how to live my life then I will resist – to put it mildly. Sometimes I will resist violently, sometimes more subtly, in fact sometimes so subtly that even I might not notice that I’m resisting, but nonetheless I will resist.

Oh yeah, and I’m quite good at recognising when you try to make me think it was my idea in the first place.

Aren’t I?

Bonus audio: Vinay Gupta’s lecture on Infrastructure for Anarchists (70MB) at the Temporary School yesterday

3 thoughts on “Do as I say…”

  1. You know I even object to purses / wallets that have numbers on them to tell you which notes to put where!
    This whole nanny state , health and safety nonsense is driving us all round the bend.

  2. Lovely Lloyd, some ill-formed thoughts of mine:

    In benign matters, we can lead by example, and hope to inspire.

    In more sensitive matters we can debate, discuss and hope to convince people that the example they see embodied in us is of value. If in doubt, keep talking.

    In critical matters we can demonstrate the gravity of our feeling through protest, through non-violent direct action, in an attempt to inspire those with whom we disagree to the ‘debate’ and ‘lead by example’ stages. Here the line between legal and moral gets blurred, a lot, in regard to political insurrection etc. But focus on primary motive is vital, as is maintaining the example. Means justify the means, ends are out of our control.

    Ultimately, as the Tao would say, we have no control over events, just our response to those events.


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