It’s difficult to make the move from how things are to how they should be, whether individually or collectively. As John Jost of The Situationist summarizes from his research:
Whether because of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, social class, gender, or sexual orientation or because of policies and programs that privilege some at the expense of others, or even because of historical accidents, genetic disparities, or the fickleness of fate, certain social systems serve the interests of some stakeholders better than others. Yet historical and social scientific evidence shows that most of the time the majority of people – regardless of their own social class or position – accept and even defend the legitimacy of their social and economic systems and manage to maintain a “belief in a just world.”
I’m not big on revolutions, and revolutions have bewildered me in the way that people turn to violence to overthrow the very violence they hate. But I now wonder if it takes such a force of will to move past the defense of things as they are, that the energy of such a movement is either generated or generates revolutionary fervour.
It is a similar phenomenon to the addict who has to hit bottom before making a change, or the person whose life reaches a crisis point before a willingness to leave a miserable situation or get counselling.
Surely there are better ways to overcome inertia and defensiveness. I’d like to find out what those are. As our world faces economic and environmental challenges, I think that finding those better ways is vital. Any ideas? Research? Successful and peaceful examples?