Wat een stuk!

"There is not enough ecological or even physical space on Earth for everyone to enjoy private luxury, there is enough to provide everyone with public luxury: magnificent parks, hospitals, swimming pools, art galleries, tennis courts and transport systems, playgrounds and community centres. We should each have our own small domains – private sufficiency – but when we want to spread our wings, we could do so without seizing resources from other people."

@Erik > it's time
> we should
> a great global flickering
> a bunch of unactionable shit
> What we need are not carbon taxes, but wealth taxes.

...well at least they tried in the last 1/16 of the article.

> Our survival depends on disobedience.

How do you train someone to be disobedient?

I don't think you can. You have to get them to empathise first. Even then most people are insulated and comfortable. It's not until folks are really immersed in the suffering that they will consider disobedience.

Look at the UK with austerity and how folks allowed the disabled to be persecuted. Look at the systematic othering of folks who are different. Like environmental protestors in the UK. They were spied on. People don't care about this stuff until they end up on the edges.

@onepict @cy @Erik

the only time I remember large scale /long term/ disobedience amongst peer groups in my own youth was the drugs fuelled partying and hedonism of the late 1980s onwards - people either simply grew out of it as they got older (and "dropped back in" to the system) or got deeper into real crime mixed in with toxic masculinity; and didn't really do anything positive for the environment or wider social activism..

@onepict @cy @Erik

in UK there /was/ a brief crossover between eco-activism/protesting and the underground rave scene, but this only lasted until about 2000 and as ravers outside of big cities found they had to travel further to find venues and parties; it then moved to supporting car culture (with the result that authorities could successfully argue that rampant DUI was another reason this subculture should be (and was) highly clamped down on...

@onepict It was a bit of a trick question, since training is the technique by which you make someone obedient. Your words are worrying though, because suffering does not empower people. The less comfortable they are, the harder it is for them to end their suffering; when the suffering increases without bound, they don't revolt. They die. So just keep that in mind.

As for disobedience, it's easy. Just take a 5 year old, and do nothing to them.

I didn't say that suffering empowers people. I said they need empathy. You can't get people to understand there's a problem that actively hurts people without it. But people who have been at the edges of society understand the issues they come up against.

Some people including my own personal experience hunker down and do our best not to poke the bear. But there's a point when some folk have nothing left to lose.

And as for your point about 5 year old, disobedience at that age comes from a few things. Not enforcing boundaries, not explaining the boundaries. Or the kid has had a reason for being disobedient.

Then it's rebellion, and you can still be rebellious while following the rules.

@onepict I don't much like empathy tbh. You can sympathize with someone, without empathizing with them. If you feel for them, you can help them without "understanding" their pain. If you feel their pain, you might not be able to help them, because it hurts too much to see them suffering like that. In that way, the empathic end up avoiding solutions, unable to face the problem.

I don't think you can follow the rules and rebel at the same time, but feel free to disagree.

Sympathy is by it's nature a stand back and go "there there I'm sympathetic to your cause" . It's not understanding, it also gives you emotional distance to move on. It's giving alms to the poor while not trying to tackle the underlying cause.

Which is fair enough, not everyone has the emotional space or the training to do so. But without emotion stuff doesn't really get done.

You can follow the rules but utilise the loopholes. That's how you rebel while still following the rules.

@onepict Loopholes are how the middle class was destroyed in modern society, so I don't really have any respect for anyone who profits from breaking the system for everyone else. Nobody won our freedom by exploiting loopholes in the law.

And with emotion, we just get manipulated into being hopelessly ineffective by whoever's pulling on our heartstrings. Empathy is why I feel bad for not dropping dollars in the Salvation Army bucket, even though I know it won't do shit to help the poor.

Knowing how to keep to the letter of the requirements is still a legitimate form of rebellion if you are trying to survive.

Which my family members have had to do under austerity in the UK.

The middle class got destroyed as much by policy. They got destroyed by power enabling destructive policies that convince them that the rich not paying taxes is fine.

I'm also not convinced that large charities like the SA as the best way, but you do you.

@onepict Eh, whenever I hear a politician going on about taxing the rich I start looking where he's going to stick the knife, but maybe that's part of the propaganda too.

I agree that it's usually best to understand the rules before you break them. And it's stupidly ineffective to take personal responsibility for systemic problems, so yeah I agree disadvantaging yourself by rejecting the system is less effective at fixing it than following the letter of the law.

@onepict Oh and I agree about the SA. I was using them as an example of people who exploit our emotions. I feel the same way about public radio pledge drives too, so the SA is just an example, not an exceptionally bad one.

I think you can't properly understand another human unless you understand them on an emotional level, and that is what empathy allows you to do.

At least as I understand and use the word, it does not mean to panic when others panic, i.e. copy someone else's emotions. It does mean that you can access their feelings, while considering their situation.

BTW: Literally, "sympathy" means to mirror someone's feelings directly (as in "symmetry")

go ahead, do better. This is an article written for the general readership of the Guardian, not for "the converted".
That means it tries to convince people of something they are not already convinced of. Something that would make many of them forsake their lifestyle.

I think this piece is about as powerful as it gets. It's the first piece in a long time which I think I could show to some less-enthusiastic people in my circles and get them to shift their behaviour.


@stevenroose @Erik
Had that too, but the fix was trivial, replace the chars after 'destruction' with a '/' or maybe deleting it was enough as theguardian changed it to:

@FreePietje @stevenroose
Yes, somehow the link went wrong, whoops! Thanks for adding the right link. I won't re-toot but once more, this should lead you to the article where George Monbiot furiously attacks capitalism and promotes "private sufficiency, public luxury" - "Our survival depends on disobedience".

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