Thursday, September 24, 2009

Forget Shorter Showers: Why personal change does not equal political change

"WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?"

Check out the whole article at Orion magazine


fnessm said...

well I'm off to have a shower. It was going to be my usual five minute job but now I'm thinking I'll just linger a little longer in the water, and knock the power out to a dairy plant on the way up the line instead.

Sporty said...

I think the point is a good one - why should we do all the work just to have the government pay out massive subsidies from our taxes for big business to continue polluting?! I'm not going to go out a buy a car coz they are I just want the effort to be fairly distributed.

pipi said...

Smash the fucking state!!!
I agree capitalism obscures political action by promoting smaller acts. However I think we can shift cultural values and norms by decreasing our personal consumption of products and services.
I disagree with the statement made by Derrick
“personal change does not equal social change”.
What the fuck? I read a comment which I agree to that said
“Living simply may not change or save the world on it’s own, but it is a symbolic start to a larger movement.”
And another
“it is only once we as a society come to regard single use production as unacceptable that large scale activism has any chance. Without simultaneous efforts to shift our underlying cultural attitudes, our activism has very little probability of succeeding and may even appear as hypocrisy.”
We need a vision, We need a plan.
… other than slitting my wrists preferably.

Tankgrrl said...

DON'T slit your wrists my feisty Pipi!