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Old 05-17-2008, 12:46 AM   #346
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We are all part of the system. I think Obama and Ron Paul are men of ideas. We need more of that.

I agree that long term vision is the goal. Look at Ghandi or MLK. They had long term visions and brought about a revolution. I don't know who Julius Vogel is so educate me.

There is someone out there hiding in the shadows who will be the voice of this generation. They just aren't being heard.
What I mean by within/without the system is typical political science jargon of institutionalised politics as the system itself and civil society as extra-institutional. Obviously they interact, and you see something like Solidarity in Poland that went from bringing change from outside and challenging the system to its leader being elected to the country's top job.

Julius Vogel was the Prime Minister of New Zealand 1873-75 and again in 1876. As Colonial Treasurer in 1870, he proposed a Great Public Works scheme, an absolutely staggering plan that involved borrowing 10 million pounds (a huge sum in those days for a tiny, farflung colony) to build national transportation and communications networks. It completely went against the grain of regional pork barrel politics. I still don't know how the fuck he got it through parliament. Six years later, it had undermined the previous system so much that the provincial governments were abolished. New Zealand is a cohesive and integrated first world country because of Vogel.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:47 AM   #347
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Yeah, he just has a charismatic edge.

But this is getting away from what we were originally talking about, and in a way it's exactly what I was saying. Protest movements are ignored or ridiculed. People just want to chug along inside the system. They don't want to rally around a movement of activists; they'll flock around a candidate for President and do little more than vote.
You don't have enough faith in what a single voice of thousands is capable of. People live outside the system and constantly mould it. They will become sculpters with the right voice leading them.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:47 AM   #348
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:48 AM   #349
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You don't have enough faith in what a single voice of thousands is capable of. People live outside the system and constantly mould it. They will become sculpters with the right voice leading them.
Why haven't we seen it?

Time and time again many things worth protesting pass us right by with no cohesive group effort.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:49 AM   #350
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Is it my imagination, or have the Superthreads had a fair bit of substance to them lately?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:50 AM   #351
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You don't have enough faith in what a single voice of thousands is capable of. People live outside the system and constantly mould it. They will become sculpters with the right voice leading them.
They certainly could have that effect, but they don't because they're simply not interested enough. The discussion here is why that is and what could be done to turn it around. People aren't as extroverted as they once were, and it's showing up in politics.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:52 AM   #352
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Originally posted by coolian2


Why haven't we seen it?

Time and time again many things worth protesting pass us right by with no cohesive group effort.
Every injustice and crisis deserves a leader to right it. Most of the time there isn't a champion. So work is done in silence or not at all. We don't see the tiny revolutions but sometimes the bigger problems never get addressed.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:53 AM   #353
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Is it because so many protest movements and leaders of them seem to fly off the handle often - they make a concerted effort to appear mis-informed and quick to ignore anything else.
That sounds reasonable to me. Getting back to my Socialist Alternative example - that was just a small internal university matter, and they couldn't even keep their facts straight there in their over-enthusiasm to rally people. If I can't trust them on something close to home, why should I listen to them when they prattle on about federal politics?

I do think one other problem is people are far too bogged down in factional interests. My favourite example is transport. Remember my pipe dream of all transportation modes as integrated? It won't happen because you have the road robby, the rail lobby, the bus lobby, the air lobby, etc. all competing against each other. And it just leads to divisiveness, increasingly extreme pronouncements, a refusal to listen to the other side - and that just alienates people who simply want a more sustainable and efficient daily life. I don't want to view plane fans as my enemy. So why should I get involved in a movement to bring rail passenger services back to Mildura when it's all plane vs train vs bus bollocks?
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:54 AM   #354
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Quote:
Originally posted by LemonMelon


They certainly could have that effect, but they don't because they're simply not interested enough. The discussion here is why that is and what could be done to turn it around. People aren't as extroverted as they once were, and it's showing up in politics.
You are wrong. People can have an effect but they need a champion. I think the assumption that people aren't interested is simply wrong.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:57 AM   #355
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And, sadly, I think you're absolutely right. At least, based on recent evidence.

But let's face it, there hasn't really been any widespread movements that had the potential to cause a revolution since the 1960's. Sure, a few protests pop up now and again, but the sense of urgency has been dulled. Why? Well, we did discuss that for a minute there.
I think it's in part because people feel activist activity has been proven to not work. Look at Iraq, for instance. That had a lot of leadership and organisation. Tens, even hundreds of thousands of people got out on the streets and protested. The US, UK, and Australian governments didn't listen. That struck a real blow to any impetus, and now people just want to sit back and figure that decisions are just going to be taken by those within the central political structure. Why get up and make your voice heard when the people you want to listen won't? You're wasting your breath. Go home and watch the footy.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 12:58 AM   #356
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Originally posted by Screwtape2


You are wrong. People can have an effect but they need a champion. I think the assumption that people aren't interested is simply wrong.
You certainly have a point. But here's another question I have to pose to you: why aren't there any champions around? They are people too, obviously. Why aren't people stepping up and making themselves known, and making these issues known?
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:59 AM   #357
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It's actually interesting that there's an increasing backlash against Greenpeace too - or at least at my uni.
I can't say I've even seen Greenpeace or any similar movements even ACTIVE. The Socialist Alternative is the one that seems to get out there the most at Melbourne Uni - and accordingly it's the butt of a lot of my comments, despite the fact that I support them to an extent.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 05-17-2008, 01:03 AM   #358
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Originally posted by LemonMelon


You certainly have a point. But here's another question I have to pose to you: why aren't there any champions around? They are people too, obviously. Why aren't people stepping up and making themselves known, and making these issues known?
It all about responsibility. No one chooses to be a leader of something great than themselves. Like I said it just lands in your lap. Many simply don't take on the responsibility, many don't have their voices heard but they are out there. You have to breath life into the idea of revolution in the minds of young people. The real heroes never wanted to be heroes, they just accepted the responsibility.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:05 AM   #359
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I can't say I've even seen Greenpeace or any similar movements even ACTIVE. The Socialist Alternative is the one that seems to get out there the most at Melbourne Uni - and accordingly it's the butt of a lot of my comments, despite the fact that I support them to an extent.
We don't see nearly anyone active, let alone Greenpeace. But whenever we're looking for an example of a group who seem to run around like a headless chicken, we turn to Greenpeace.

It's like when they tried to stop a coal shipment leaving Lyttleton earlier this year - it came up in one of our classes (PR, as it happens!) and it turned into a "we're sick of their shit" agreement.

Perhaps when you hear the same voice doing the same thing for so long - especially as you grow up and learn the system - you recognise the groups are often full of idiots who have goals but no realistic way to go about them.
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:06 AM   #360
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It all about responsibility. No one chooses to be a leader of something great than themselves. Like I said it just lands in your lap. Many simply don't take on the responsibility, many don't have their voices heard but they are out there. You have to breath life into the idea of revolution in the minds of young people. The real heroes never wanted to be heroes, they just accepted the responsibility.
And now the next question (probably the most saddening of all): what will it take to get these people to just say "fuck it" and take it on regardless of their reservations? Hopefully it's nothing irreparable.
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