Why palliative activism brings comfort, little change

Palliative.001Palliatives serve a purpose. Palliative activism works: Activists feel better when they’re active.

The current global protest known as The Day We Fight Back is drawing activists and their armchair variants by the thousands. Websites, Facebook profiles, blogs across the Internet express solidarity posting banners, display ads and hosting comment threads. The message: urge your elected officials to oppose the FISA Improvements Act, support the USA Freedom Act, and enact protections for non-Americans.

Valiant message? The awareness bump The Day We Fight Back is sparking will reach a few new hearts and minds reminding them that all is not well in The Republic. Whether the movement actually accomplishes its intended goal remains an open question.

We’re not optimistic: asking elected officials to do something without money backing the ask flies in the face of how things are done, whether you’re in Washington or Westminster. Whether or not politicians heed the call, the goal pales compared to our problem’s magnitude.

Some “Fight Back” participants decry mass silence characteristic of “The Sheeple”. Sheeple don’t get the urgency. They sit back and complain while taking no real action. Apathy: America’s new pastime. Can we blame people? We have yet to offer a mass-mobilization-worthy path.

Palliative activism is easy. Post a banner. Jigger your Facebook profile pic. No commitment necessary. Real change demands that people dig in. Palliative activism accomplishes little. Such acts are easily subverted via covert government action. Worse: plutocratic governments ignore them. Screen blips.

We now return to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

Silence doesn’t equal inaction. Cures rarely come from palliative activism. They come from groups of head-down in-diggers. People willing to dive deep then emerge with alternatives so superior to life as we know it they change our very existence. Silence is temporary. A precursor to massive inflection.


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