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Is it the “end” for Socio-Political Blogging? – Nailing the Dodo, Part II

Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007

dodo-2.jpgThis 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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22 Responses to “Is it the “end” for Socio-Political Blogging? – Nailing the Dodo, Part II”

  1. shima said

    waaah – darkness now wants to take on the whole blogosphere – hope no one else take the bait.

    You write well, but the size of your heart is about the size of a pea. Live and let live. enough of harm tarming. Want to make a difference? Write about our social policies lah….wait for PM Lee speech tonight…..

    make a difference to the social blogosphere, pick on the right people, not some social commentators who mentioned IS but left out BH ….. Inspir3d – I suggest it is time to put up controlled comments again. This is sad.

  2. prima deli said

    Hard hits and great, puts it all in the right perspective.

  3. inspir3d said

    shima, you are getting very irritating. one more time you comment about the comments i will ban your ass.

  4. cerebus said

    shima,

    Talk some more and we will bury you one more round with a part 3. Didnt take us much time or effort with this.

    I rather take apart some of the writers in Singapore Angle.

  5. cerebus said

    Webmaster.

    No need to ban shima, this is low intensity stuff to us.

    Let me be clear, darkness took issue with what BL wrote. He was not personal.

    It may appear this had something to do with his recent review, but doesnt. You have my word on this.

    We will come up with a part III. This time to tie up all the loose ends of 1 and 2.

    It will be good as it will give it a point along with answering many of the strategic policy issues like

    (1) how the net will develop and what are the right expectations bloggers and politicians should have.

    (2) How do blog successfully.

  6. Anonymous said

    If smart and highly intellectual individuals like you would take the lead in this socio-political blogging, then it may bloom.

    On the other hand, if individuals choose to blog about “why this does not happen” and create talk but not action, then it will only be that; just talk.

    Like what I am doing now, all talk no action 🙂

  7. cerebus said

    darkness,

    I want 3 things done:

    (1) Mobilize the “Liebstandarte” / skull & Bones and the rest of the allies – inform they, we require more researchers – too much time is wasted in this area alone.

    (2) Team B – Harphoon is start a new group under ICG and Aurora is to be trained in machine writing.

    (3) Chronicler – you are too slow on your IUB support. We hope to see improvements /

    Another thing tell the bird of prey we do not know who he is. We have never heard of him before.

    Cerebus 2007

  8. green rover said

    Great read, puts it all into the right perspective. Great.

  9. green rover said

    I for one am glad to see despite the whole of the blogosphere boycotting the brotherhood press. It hardly even dents them on little tiny weeny bit, this goes a very long way to show determination.

    Its something to learn from. I set my own standards. I dont need you to validate me. I am who I am.

    I learnt something new today and I just want to say thank you Bambi darkness.

    However, I think you shouldnt fight with so many people. Most people understand why you are angry, deal with it and move on.

    Always.

  10. Reader said

    Machiavelli was a good man.

  11. dansong said

    A very well argued piece and I agree with the spirit, logic and content of the argument: blogging matters by changing the way we see the world. I really like this and this is a good counter to the cynical arguments about socio-political blogging flying around, which in my opinion is becoming like tiresome navel-gazing (o what a cute/ugly belly button we have…). This is refreshing. However, is the dichotomizing of constructive engagement versus critical advocacy, the first as sensible and the second as sub-optimal or ineffective, a tad too absolute? The two implicates each other, and surely, a two-pronged approach, is better than a singular head-on clash (the second view) or just a guerrilla subversion (the first view). Historical examples such as the abolition of the slave trade, the civil rights movement in the US and its failure, show that activists achieve optimal results when the two are combined. Perhaps your point is that the first view, constructive engagement in creating and spreading alternative thoughtware, is what is sorely lacking in the bloggosphere here and among citizen blogger-activists, if so, I am in complete agreement.

  12. girl form buangkok said

    great, that is why I like them

  13. As It Is (Sitis) said

    Well done, Darkness, Vollariane, Cerebus, Memphisto, and Prometheus! I am glad to see the full force coming out for this.

    Just to add my 2 cents worthless thoughts:

    From our mind, thought arises. From our thought, speech arises. From our speech, quality arises. From our quality, action arises.

    Everything starts from the mind, while the speech translates what the mind thinks into a certain “quality” for action.

    Therefore, action can only come about after enough words have been said, to the extent that they form a qualitative idea. Then this qualitative idea will arouse/persuade/influence/motivate/entice others into taking action. Action may come about in quick time or after a long period of contemplation and indecisiveness, depending on the urgency and needs of the society as a whole, and depending on the priorities of the leaders of society.

    That is the natural progression of relative phenomena.

    In the ultimate, everything simply remains:

    AS IT IS!

  14. Aurora said

    You write well, but the size of your heart is about the size of a pea. (you seem to like attack darkness instead of confining your comments to what he has written) Live and let live. (what has that got to do with the article? He has addressing himself to the issue. You on the other hand attack him on generalities which have nothing to do with the article) enough of harm tarming. Want to make a difference? Write about our social policies lah….wait for PM Lee speech tonight….. (that is our prerogative not yours!)

    make a difference to the social blogosphere, pick on the right people, not some social commentators who mentioned IS but left out BH (again where was this mentioned in the above article?) ….. Inspir3d – I suggest it is time to put up controlled comments again (you can suggest anything whether it can happen or not is another matter). This is sad. (yes it is when you dont even have a point despite using so many words)

    (another thing the brotherhood does need any links or recommendations from anyone. We never needed it before. We dont need it now. We write, people come and they read – the formula is very simple and it works very well)

    One more personal attack on darkness again and you are out.

    Aurora.

  15. Aurora said

    I will personally make sure you are out Shima – one more time – inspir3d or not inspir3d – you will be out for good.

    Pls make my day

  16. scimitar said

    When I think of darkness it conjures the image of a tragic figure. I know it is unfair to say this, but I feel it in my bones even.

    A good man, honorable, polite and always a gentleman.

    I want to sit down and talk to him, but he is so far, so very far.

  17. Reader said

    Yes, or no?

  18. Reader said

    Deal with what? As if you dont know what RD wants.

  19. As It Is (Sitis) said

    ( Scimitar Says:
    August 19th, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    When I think of darkness it conjures the image of a tragic figure. I know it is unfair to say this, but I feel it in my bones even.

    A good man, honorable, polite and always a gentleman.

    I want to sit down and talk to him, but he is so far, so very far.)

    Scimitar,

    You falling in love with Darkness? He is a good man. Mary him and keep him company, but you must not try to control or dominate him. Make him happy and you will have a blissful life together. Like my proposal? What say you?

    I am feeling cheeky, though I like to remain:

    AS IT IS!

  20. CEO said

    Dear writers,

    For years I had this thing in my head blogging is talk and talk is cheap – this article just took it out of my head pieced it all together and now I see it so clearly.

    Now I know why you people do the things you do with such dedication and focus.

    As much as I like to believe this came out from darkness, I believe alot of it came from the other shadowy writers – the ones the brotherhood calls the ASDF team aka first division.

    This piece was frighteningly pointed clearly the product of crystal clear thinking which I dont see darkness being able to do himself (no disrespected intended only the collaboration added value), I also like the regular run of spelling mistakes you chaps always put in, in every article, it gives it a sense of authenticity.

    Greatly appreciated and as usual another explosive read.

  21. cowboy said

    I just came from Mr Wang’s site what he saying is this: if I link you, you will be known.

    To reverse the logic, if I ignore you brotherhood and give you not so much of mere mention – you will die.

    How little he knows about reading.

    You can bring a horse to a stream, but you cannot make it drink. In the same way point, link, attach or do what you want lah, infact if you really look at the brotherhood marketing strategy, they have to be cloak and dagger that means you just boosted their readership, LOL

  22. sitis said

    Dear all readers,

    The BH Press has relocated to this site. Sorry for the inconvenience and late notification. We hope you will continue to visit us and please pass the word around to your friends.

    http://whatotherssay.wordpress.com/

    Thanks and much obliged.

    SITIS.

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