Theory of Social Change Feed

From Personal Reflection to Collective Action

Collectivedecisionmaking Dave Pollard at How to Save the World:

Chris Corrigan has created a new model of "talking our way to a decision" based on Otto Scharmer's Theory U. I liked it so much I changed some of the words to create the collective decision-making process shown at right....Passion --> Conversation --> Consensus --> Decision -- That's how things get (effectively and sustainably) done in this world.

What is Going On Here, Really?

Philanthropy to be effective must begin from the question, "What is going on?" Only insofar as we know what is going on can we intervene to good effect. Defining philanthropy as being about philanthropy and philanthropists is defining the subject so narrowly that we won't see what is going on in the world at large where our philanthropist may play many roles both for the public interest and against it, as key beneficiaries of the status quo. Whether myopia (measuring, micro-managing, ameliorating in small ways) is is a bug in philanthropy or a feature of philanthropy I am not sure. If we did know what is going on we might not live to see the morning.  A wise man keeps his own counsel. A fool cannot buy life insurance. The companies have a hazardous duties questionnaire, and the underwriters kick a fool's application out.

Who Has Your Control File, Sweetie?


My my, as Proprietress of Wealth Bondage, and as the Generous Patron whose Passionate Philanthropy makes Gifthub possible, I did find the piece on blackmail for government purposes, cited below quite, interesting and very practical at that.  My, yes, control files on all my little kingpins and queenpins. All the heads of government agencies. CEOs. Media Impressarios. Heads of the Big Charities. The biggest donors. The auditors. The police down to the block level. After what they do in Wealth Bondage, loving each other up, beating each into screaming joy, they had better hope that "what happens in Wealth Bondage stays in Wealth Bondage." 

O! Yes. Why do I  tap all the phones, and monitor all the scene rooms, Sweetie? Because Momma wants to protect you against Terrorists! They might get you, if Momma doesn't keep all your secrets in her little book. 

O my God, you have to laugh.  Congress couldn't be happier passing whatever enabling legislation I want. Plunder is good for America. I am the new Oligarchy! A one woman Russian Mob, but with a fucking Harvard MBA.  Why should Congress  balk, when I have the videos of their trysts with lobbyists in the Wealth Bondage? Well, what goes around comes around. We are all givers here. I give your Elected Represenatives a little freedom to commit their high crimes and misdeamors, and their petty acts of self-dealing, and get laid a lot, and the bigshots in return pledge me absolute fealty.

Maybe Momma will auction her little book of secrets off for charity? Now that would be Transformational Philanthropy for Social change. Ha, ha, ha! O my God. What well-meaning little morons read Gifthub? Let me clue you in. Gifthub is a load of crap. It is a headfake, stupid! I fund it to mislead you and get you working on projects that are totally hopeless and irrelevant!  Sweetie, Gifthub cites only public sources and the official stories provided by public sources.  Trust me on this: If information is public it is not worth shit. The private information is what matters and it is strictly on a need to know basis. And you don't need to know, 'cuz you are a loser who has no chips to play in the big game. Sorry, little ones. You do your pathetic little gifts and Momma will rule the world.

You even think of changing my Ownership Society and I will turn you over to The Forces of Freedom and they will feed your body inch by inch to the piranna is some South American Hell Hole.You think your friends will say word one? Why would they start now, when they have eaten shit since 2001 and said nothing?

Now back to the puppet show you morons mistake for the real world. Gifthub, Gifthub, rah, rah, rah. The world we want. Yada. Yada.You think I am a sockpuppet? And your elected representatives are "real? OMG! (LOL).

Candidia Cruikshanks, CEO of Wealth Bondage: Where America Works and Plays

From Blackmail as a Tool of State Domination: Ukraine under Kuchma by Keith A. Darden, a professor at Yale and Harvard

Blackmail as an informal mechanism of control
Blackmail, as an instrument of state control, relies on three basic elements. The first is a permissive attitude of state leaders toward corruption. In Ukraine, corruption and illegality among the elite were accepted, condoned, and even encouraged by the top leadership, resulting in a general atmosphere of impunity. The second element is extensive state surveillance. Even as the violation of the law is encouraged, the state-or rather the surveillance organs under the control of the president (including the tax ministry, interior ministry, and secret police)-continues to monitor such illegal activities. Using the surveillance organs, the state amasses a stockpile of files and criminal cases that document wrongdoing on the part of officeholders as well as private actors. When compliance with state directives is required, this information is used to blackmail the elite, with payment exacted not in cash but in obedience. The representatives of the power organs are able to present each member of the elite with a file containing compromising materials (kompromat) or evidence of wrongdoing-with the implicit or explicit threat that a sudden decision to enforce the law would lead to the imprisonment of the individual in question. Thus is compliance secured.

If blackmail is insufficient, individuals or groups that openly oppose the policies of the state or seek to usurp the existing leadership suddenly find that the veil of impunity has been lifted. The kompromat files or zagotovki are then made public, and recalcitrant individuals and their organizations immediately find themselves under close scrutiny or prosecution by the tax inspector, the law enforcement bodies, or other state institutions. But as long as consistent compliance with state directives is maintained, the state's role amounts to no more than surveillance, blackmail, and, in some cases, a cut of the proceeds. The mere threat of exposure and prosecution serves to keep the elite firmly under control.

SWOT Analysis For Democracy in a Dark Time

Imagine a proud society, perhaps a civilization, as doomed as can be. Imagine Troy, or Carthage, an Aztec city, Paris under the Occupation, some South American dictatorship with thriving malls and torture cells, with resisters with bellies slit tossed from helicopters into the sea. Imagine Atlanta in flames in the War of Northern Aggression. Imagine Blackwater patrolling New Orleans. Imagine martial law after some Terrorist event. Imagine what you love most, your country, your world, your spoken language, your religion, going down perhaps never to rise again. Paint that picture in the darkest shades. Still, could you do, would you do, a little bit more in the time allotted to you?

In any case, the world is as it is, not as we wish it to be. We all make choices about our money, time, attention, love, and we all have a personal risk profile. We all do our own SWOT Analysis, balancing truth with convenient fiction, living in truth with living a lie, and our two or twenty bottomlines, self-serving, political, social, humanitarian, ethical, spiritual, patriotic. We can all do a little bit more. If we don't others will and we may not like the result.

When many are called, and could prevail, there is a moment when each hesitates for fear that he or she will act alone, exposed and to no purpose. So take your tiniest most tentative next step. See if you notice that others do too. With each step the odds change as the movement of hope spreads.

Crowd Sourced Theory of Social Change

O my, did I ever have a fine idea! Foundations to make their grants effective need a well-grounded theory of social change. For that, they need an accurate map of how things are. What are the chances that a grant officer in a cushy inside job, under the direction of a monied and conservative board is going to come up with an accurate map of how things are at street level, or behind the closed doors where power games are played in secret, among those sworn to mutual aid and protection? So, to remedy this defect, why don't we crowd source the map of how things are, and with it the "theory of social change"? That way as Ford and Rockefeller and Pew invest their grants for change, they will have a whole cadre of street people to guide them.  We might enlist some whistblowers too, to make sure we get good data from inside the corporate and governmental firewalls. The Foundations could frame the question this way, "What do you on the street need from us to bring this whole rotten system to its knees?" For that there might be answers, a whole cacaphony of voices. 

Wiser are the Children of Darkness

“Help us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. From his view we may indeed see the basic weakness of our condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.” (Martin Luther King — 1968)

In your theory of social change is your roseate vision unopposed? Do you assume that poverty, injustice, and  fraudulence are without defenders? Who is called, as Martin King puts it, to opposition of the world we want? What can we learn from the wisdom of those who would keep up in our place?