How to Boil a Frog


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Thursday, August 4, 2011

15 Tactics to Create Social Change

Another guest post from Friend o' the Frog Rex Weyler!

1. Ignore the dying paradigm and spend your time creating the new one.

2. Expose the hypocrisy and deceit to embarrass the perpetrator & rally the public conscience.

3. Flip the perpetrator's greenwash images and messages around to expose the deceit.

4. Use humour and satire to mock the absurdity, while informing the audience (as How to Boil a Frog does).

5. Stage outrageous events that shatter the old paradigm, expose absurdity, and inspire the public (Greenpeace, Provos, Saul Alinksi .. )

6. Make a legal case and take the perpetrators to court (danger: it's usually the perpetrator's court and rules, so be careful).

7. Get someone powerful within the status quo system on your side to help fight for change on the inside (same danger as above; easy to get co-opted and sucked into fruitless posing).

8. Lay the groundwork for the future recovery of the addicted consumer or perpetrator (& have lots of patience).

9. Confront abuse with nonviolent resistance so the abuse exposes itself .. (courage .. Gandhi, Jesus, Aung San Sui Kyi, .. etc.)

10. Start a revolution and confront abuse with superior physical strength. (Rarely successful, but sometimes works as in the case of the teenage son who gets big enough to protect his mother. And of course there is the classic danger of the new powerful protector turning into the abuser. Iran kicked out the CIA, but look what they got; the Bolsheviks got Stalin; America kicked out the Brits, but got their bankers.)

11. Become an artist and create beauty / feeling in another realm; inspire and let social change take care of itself.

12. Go insane and ignore everything and live in a new psychic universe (popular tactic in physical abuse cases).

13. Escape, build community, grow food, and protect your community from the pain of collapse. Create the alternative society (see #1).

14. Get rich and invest in change. (hmmm ... risky)

15. etc. ..

I find it difficult to say which tactics work in various battles, so it seems worthwhile to preserve the options.. and get used to using the ones that are effective. A powerful movement might happen by working on most or all of these at the same time. On the other hand, something can be said for picking your strategy and sticking with it.

Combined tactics can be effective: nonviolent resistance + satire + crazy antics ..

Social change doesn't appear to have any fast rules.