Is it the “end” for Socio-Political Blogging? – Nailing the Dodo, Part II
Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007
This is the second of a 2 part essay.
You can really call it what you want. For me, the whole idea of floating the balloon “socio-political blogging doesn’t accomplish anything just because it’s a wind bag” is as close to buying into Dodo software.
The term deployed is precise, premeditated and deliberate because taken to its logical end Dodo software is just lousy and unimaginative thoughtware – follow it to the ‘T’ and don’t be surprise if it you end sitting in a cave picking ticks off your mate while the rest pick entrails to make sense of the destiny of mankind’s fate.
The whole proposition of linking socio-political blogging with affirmative action or even doing something is flawed because firstly, it imposes a corseted definition on ‘usefulness’ in the context of how it’s able to solicit real and meaningful change. It’s not so different from saying anyone who is over six-foot is tall and useful, and those who fall short of this criteria must simply be relegated to the ranks of “useless.” That’s hardly a new theme. Every age crafts their own respective measures of what constitutes an effective means to solicit social change. Even in ordinary speech, it’s to be seen every where often taking the guise, “get on your bike” – “go and do something useful” – don’t just talk, make it happen” – it’s appears cogent, persuasive even to suggest seeing to be doing something remains the only to effect real change.
However, there is a fatal flaw in holding on to this logic as it elides whole sale the need to first address the first protocol of reasoning: Where are we? What is our environment? What is the best way to cut the cake?
That’s to say talking fulfills a very important function of doing the first thing first stuff.
Can we really believe the sum of all our ranting, talking and commenting in the absence of affirmative action amounts to nothing? Yes, in the quantitative world this certainly holds true, but it hardly holds one drop of water in the qualitative world. When we consider words form the very basis of giving action meaning. For one the right words in the form of ideology and philosophies as much as we like to believe remains the preserve of intellectuals permeates every facet of humanity – from the Geneva Conventions to the finer disquisitions of whether blacks are inferior to whites, words are the basis of validating, clarifying and bringing to light issues. It suggest if the process of meaningful change is to be fully understood from the inside out, the whole idea of fusing words with affirmative action is so flawed that it even introduces a very dangerous precedent on how we should ideally make sense of how best we may go about effecting change.
Now at this point what I have said so far may appear to be a reiteration of part 1, but look again, there is a gloss here.
What I find dangerous about anyone who even remotely posits the idea change needs to be coupled with affirmative action is notion that it usually involves introducing a distributive equation on how we should even think. Or classify what make sense and what doesn’t. Taken to its illogical end the whole idea of fusing thought with affirmative action is nothing other than a dogmatic approach – that’s what it is though it’s often dressed up to be something else.
Now I am not a big fan of dogma, because as the term implies, it’s a mother of dogs. Besides on average, every dogma ranging from Communism to flower power has gone the way of the Dodo.
Why is that so you ask? Well, it’s simple a dogmatic approach to anything and it doesn’t really matter whether it’s town planning or blogging with the expectation of saving the planet frequently produce Frankenstein results which require the a plethora of lies to support it : narratives like, if victory was won, it came with a heavy price, gained only by the slimmest margins to bring you to where you are. Someone died for you – they always have too, don’t you notice that. Some paid the price with scorpions and whips yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda. I can really go on all day on just this one point of illustrating the “necessary lie” and how its so often coupled with the idea if you have something on your mind then go and do something otherwise it amounts to naught – my contention is simply this: the assumption words and actions necessarily form the optimal means to effect real and meaningful change does not always hold true in every case! That may apply to baking a cake or home renovations, but when it’s applied to something as abstract as the grey matter between your ears – I just call it propaganda and brainwashing!
I would even go as far as to insert a cautionary note by stating it’s dangerous when we buy into the belief, we have a right to leverage on an agency or “right” to exercise “change” simply because blogging empowers us to do so.
Yes, I am sure we can go to court (probably at great expense) to decide whether talking alone about socio-political issue does accomplish anything at all. Or maybe the optimal means is to fuse words with action, but this is hardly the main plank of my article. Follow me here, because this where the hammer hits the spark is produced that ignites this entire article and set it ablaze. From this point, it get hot, I warn you!
The first order precedent before any action can even claim to have a rightful mandate and it doesn’t matter whether it is a moral, ethical or even a humanitarian imperative requires this question to be answered: where does the ‘right’ to act derive from? That’s to say, what the motive behind your actions? What gives it the basis for justification?
Indeed, this brings into sharp focus that it all begins simply from the very simple act of talking. Contrary to popular belief talking isn’t anything near useless caricature as it’s the only means by which civilized people regularly lay the foundation for fleshing out the justifications for their actions. For years, mankind have done a brisk trade not of doing, but rather first adjudicating what is worth pursuing before deciding to do– the discovery of the terra incognita when the Santa Maria sailed across the great void wasn’t so much an act as it was the result of years of scholarly pursuit when Christopher Columbus battled with the scholars in the University of Salamanca where held up a melon and proclaimed the world was round. So don’t forget where it all starts, it easy to confuse the thunder and discount the lightning that splits the mighty oak tree.
By the same token, when I read about gays who are insistent that the government should legislate to protect their rights – really, I wonder by what measure of logical treatise are they invoking when they rant endless not enough has been done? Perhaps they too are subscribing to Dodo logic in so much as they believe by merely coupling words with the very idea of affirmative action that’s the way to solicit real and meaningful change. Legislating to legitimize, validate and recognize their locus of being form very much the main thrust of the gay movement when it comes to defining social progress.
But I say look again, that premise of fighting to protect remains only true, if you believe the law is omnipresent and people don’t have a way to work around the system to express either their prejudices and beliefs despite the threat of legal retribution – if anything the entire strategy has as much persuasion as battery powered cattle prod, a crude instrument that appeals to three cells somewhere in my buttocks. Hardly, the stuff that recruits all the mental processes of my frontal lobe- neither does passing laws just to protect gays or seemingly extending their rights appeal to our higher senses of being and this begs the question: how does that sort of talk coupled with affirmative action produce real and meaningful change?
Well it doesn’t!
And this leads us right back to the imperative; tagging on the gay issue – what is the best way to solicit real and meaningful change? Firstly the tool needs to engage the mind and this is where even modern day progressives such as Alex Au (the supremo gay rights activist) has inadvertently placed the proverbial cart before the horse. That’s why despite all his best efforts the return on his energy, investment and opportunity to turn the tide of public opinion against gays will at best be the stuff of ever decreasing circles since it’s subject to the laws of diminishing returns i.e bo hua la (or go and ask Bart what that means, its an economic reality and if I had 10 minutes to sit down with him, I could even prove it with pen and an napkin!).
A far more sensible approach, which can be described as progressive and relies implicitly just on “talking” specifically constructive engagement (as commonly used in diplomatic circles) can accomplish far more, not through legislating or even adopting the posture the best way to further rights of gays is by instituting a barrage of protective measures through the introduction of anti-gay laws i.e by defending or even fighting to preserve individual rights against the majority opinion.
Instead the optimal approach should deploy a strategy of talking to get the message out there to change majority opinion against the traditional prejudices against gays.
I am not a gay, but I do sympathize with their plight, but the focus of this article is not my beliefs or my preference for which type of racks I like. Rather it remains the cogent issue of selecting the right tools to get the job done. Advocates who lament bloggers do little except to verbalize and very little else and propose instead a pro-active role to effect direct change through affirmative action premise their logic on one flawed assumption: fairness and equality makes a good case for the progressive cause. That’s lousy competitive strategy, don’t believe me consult any tome on game theory and competitive heuristics. For one it lacks the multiplier effect and is short of strategy. It makes far more sense for progressive bloggers to invest their time crafting new thoughtware to challenge, inspire and hopefully posit an alternate perspective to slowly turn around the majority to adopt their vision of the common good and if possible even use as the basis for premises policy initiatives.
There mere fact that certain practices such as being seen to do something positive for people and planet are sanctioned by the traditions of history to be effective is not enough a case to suggest it remains the best way to bring about real and meaningful change – to suggest only words and actions should necessarily be the only means to measure accomplishment is to deny the possibility for competing ways to gain primacy in this new age and when you consider blogging is only a recent phenomenon. I really wonder where is the wisdom in dismissing the broader importance of just talking? If nothing, it’s a start, a very good start that I for one will always encourage, nourish and even harbor great expectations.
(This has been brought to you by your friend Brotherhood Controller, Aurora / Written by [lead] Darkness / Vollariane / Cerebus / Memphisto / Prometheus / Politics Economics/ Sociology – ES 9908218E Part II – The Brotherhood Press 2007)
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