Mandy Fisher

This conversation is closed.

Revolution! ... or peaceful protest? What is the best method for change, and why should we be talking about it?

So, you want a revolution.

Is America due for radical change? What changes would you make? How would you go about making them? What methods bring real results?

And finally, what do you believe is the breaking point for revolution/rebellion?

My opinion to come shortly.

Closing Statement from Mandy Fisher

The conversation may be closed, but the topic is only beginning to brew. Thank you all for your comments. Let's continue the conversation, and perhaps we'll find we arrive at a feasible solution.

Until next time...

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    Aug 28 2013: In today's financial society, the best form of revolution is to keep your money in your pocket. Let's be clear, the rich get richer because we take our money and put it in their pocket. If we stopped that, they wouldn't get richer. In fact, they would get poorer.

    We tried to produce such a movement four years ago. Everyone was pretty aggressive about it, including me. My personal results were: I paid off all my debt and managed to save a considerable amount of money. This form of revolution works. It's call an embargo.

    When people think of revolution they think of bloodshed and glory. That's old time thinking. That is why nations today use the embargo and sanctions method. It works.

    So, people on the lower levels can create change in todays' society by simply not spending their money on anything but the essentials

    Some companies will go out of business but bigger companies will simply buy them and their inventory up. Things will consolidate until the Advertising industry will let business know they have to change.
    • Aug 28 2013: If you are really a monkey John you get a whole tree full of bananas for this response. Supply and demand the unbreakable law and absolutely our best defense against corporate greed, waste and short-sightedness. It is really our only weapon and should be our weapon of choice as you suggest John. Since the government has been taken over by corporations it will work just as well if you are looking to change the government.

      I also am minimizing my spending habits and working towards self-sufficiency. Grow your own food, unplug from the grid, turn off the TV and learn from the internet.
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        Aug 28 2013: You had me until you said learn from the internet.

        I have been "online" since the late 70's through bulletin boards where we exchanged ideas on what we were doing up to today where you have to shovel through a big pile of..... processed straw to find that needle of truth.
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          Aug 28 2013: Mike, there is an abundance of material on saving money on the INTERNET. People should not confuse saving money with investing money.

          I'm an old BB person myself. :) All the way back to 1978. My first BBS went up in 1982. Remember FIDO NET?
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          Aug 28 2013: LOL that is the one statement I totally 100% agree with, the key word being LEARN.
          Like anything you have to be smart about how you use it, so learn from TED or khan academy and not a stupid YouTube video.
          And FYI: did you know people are watching as many educational YouTubes as dumb ones now; the internet is starting to mature.
        • Aug 28 2013: Let me define internet a little MIke because Corporations thrive their also: A) I have minimized there also by cutting my facebook friends down to six people who I believe are changing the world for good. I eliminated all the people who are just talking about it. I did the same with my email and phone list. In other words if someone contacts me I know it is important and I am all ears. If some idiot slips through it only takes a couple seconds to put them on my No contact list. B) If I want to learn something new I usually go to Wikipedia first so I can learn the terms along with the subject. C) If I want a visual demonstration I usually go to Youtube and put HD at the beginning of the search. I love almost everything I see on TED also. D) If I want to spread an idea I make a website, I have about 150 so far.
          E) Other sites I like: Kahn Academy, Al Jazeera news, Pirate Bay, Amazon
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        Aug 28 2013: Keith, do you actually run 150 websites? Please explain.
        • Aug 29 2013: Why? The real answer to your question is funnel marketing. You can easily see a portion of what I have on the internet by searching my name. Offline I have 2 terabytes of websites and data that are constantly being updated, organized and republished back on the internet. I also work for a number of clients.
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        Aug 29 2013: I am interested in how people use the internet to pursue ideas that are important to them, and the idea of running 150 different websites is a program of action that is new to me. So I wondered how hosting so many separate initiatives works for you, and why, for example, it makes better sense to you than having just a couple or three that you run.

        It seems like a huge commitment of attention.
        • Aug 29 2013: I focus on one thing at a time conscientiously and let my sub-conscience handle the rest. When the sub is ready with a solution it simply get's my attention, usually while I am asleep, I wake up, write down the idea and go back to sleep. If it is a big idea I may just start working and not stop until I have layed out the entire framework which could take hours or days. The longest project I have had I started in 1969 and finally finished in 2010, it was the question: why is everybody nuts?
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        Aug 29 2013: Ah, one of the central questions on which people were writing then- Bateson, Marcuse... What form did your resolution take? I could imagine a book, an essay, an infographic...
        • Aug 29 2013: On my TED profile under "about me" I have submitted the question, answer and solution. If anyone is interested in tons of documentation and verification I would suggest the book "Left in the Dark" by my good friend Tony Wright. His lectures are two to three hours long and I have tried in vain to get him to simplify and shrink them so we could hear him on TED. He also has two websites: and
        • Aug 29 2013: short answer: polluted fuel
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      Aug 28 2013: Great idea for a TED conversation..........

      "Keep your money in your pocket".......what are ways you can cut back on spending?
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        Aug 28 2013: They are numerous.

        Step one: Get rid of all processed sugar products from your life. This will increase your health, reduce your medical costs and prolong your life. 3/4 of the super market is processed sugar. It's cheap profit for the manufactures and harms the human body.

        Step two: Find ways to reduce your energy use at home.

        Step three: make a spread sheet of your bank account for the last three months and see where you actually spend your money. Look for ways to get rid of expenditures.

        Step four: Always look for ways to not spend money. Stay at home, go the bed early. Get rid of any unused devices you have plugged in that consume energy like old analog TV's.

        Consider getting an instant hot water heater to replace your tank hot water heater.

        The list goes on and on.

        Good luck.
        • Aug 28 2013: My EX has always been a vegetarian health nut, I sent her the following email which bears repeating: The reason human diets are so destructive is resistance. Water soluble food like fruits and vegetables flow through our system with ease and keep our pipes clean and healthy. Oil and glue on the other hand stick to the walls and clog passage ways. Oil like in meat and glue like in white and brown rice glutens are both destructive and form resistance which if not cleaned out ferment into algae, fungus and then disease.

          I love all your other suggestions, very good work John.
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          Aug 28 2013: Great about starting a conversation on the topic when the TED staff gets back?
      • Aug 28 2013: A prudent reserve in the pocket is good, hopefully stored in a community credit union where it will serve your community instead of the Giant abusive corporations with no liability.
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      Aug 28 2013: John,
      There is a guy on radio who talks about living without debt, living simply and winding up with money to spare.
      You sound like him. And I agree.
      But, do you have to be so hard on those who have provide goods and services making a profit? I have no problem with that. I have a choice to purchase or not some product or service. I like a big Mac every once in a while, someone owns the local Mc Donalds that I frequent. If he hadn't made profits and continue to do so, there may be no Mc Donalds there, where I can defy my doctors orders... it's a tough call
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        Aug 28 2013: Mike. We have no obligation to simply spend money to make people rich. No obligation at all. It is not anti American to save money and cut down on personal spending. I'm sure it will have some effect on prices, initially, but the forces of inventory vs sales will prevail in the capitalist system and scale accordingly. It is a quiet revolution, of the practical kind, with the purpose of creating change in our government and industry.

        We spend too much of our money on frivolity.

        I eat very healthy -mostly fruit, nuts, vegetables with some yogurt and a few grains. I'm extremely healthy. I never eat anything with processed sugar in it. The result of this diet is just about every medical problem I had went away and I've lost 36 pounds in three months, with no anxiety nor increase in physical activity. I never get hungry anymore. I have plenty of energy.

        My cost for food has decreased about 50%.

        I never eat Big M's burgers or the king, or any burger. I never drink milkshakes or soda pop. Just water.

        The owners of most of these fast food chains will simply retire and live on their bank accounts, maintaining their current life-style. Those employees who lose jobs will find another way to feed themselves. People don't just lay down and die because times are hard.

        They get creative.
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          Aug 29 2013: John,
          A big Mac a month is good for the soul. but, it is good you've shaped up.
          I am going to start soon on a better life style.....
          No, I won't ... all I have left are my vices.
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      Aug 29 2013: John,
      The earliest days were online with colleagues at work doing work stuff. I think it was about 1980, when I spent a small fortune for a vic 20 and joined a local club where we had access to a BBS.
      Great times sending inane messages back and forth. Later, I got a vic 64 and about a month later, I got a deal on a PC with dos. Put the 64 back in the box, with discs, tape player, et. el. It's still in the garage.
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    Aug 23 2013: I think the term revolution carries very heavy weight. Mainly because it's used to describe events of tremendous scale. Like the question states, Revolution simply means change. The best method for change, at least I believe, is achieving little victories. Small victories in one's community in different areas bring about a multitude of leaders.

    Plant a garden, read to children, start a book club, run a basketball camp. Once these leaders tackle bigger issues, will you see followers, organization, mission and ultimately, change.

    I do not promote violence or destruction, nor do I promote laziness or a refusal to be the change we want to see, but sometimes violence IS being lazy. But we've already seen how destructive laziness on our part can be right?

    So for me, the best method to bring about change, is to encourage people to change what matters to them, then organize them to conquer the world. Isn't that what TED is kind of?
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      Aug 23 2013: I think revolution is usually meant to mean the more dramatic, all-at-once sort of change rather than the incremental change you describe.

      I agree that there is a great deal to gain from the sorts of small, on-the-ground sorts of demonstrations of the possible that you describe. And I agree with your point that violence and some other forms of protest can, in fact, be lazy sometimes and substitutes for productive problem-solving and experimentation with potential solutions.
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      Aug 23 2013: Perhaps instead of thinking revolution, which is external, we should think evolution, which is internal.
      ....what it means is to choose to use and operate out of both cerebral hemispheres, instead of operating out of the reptilian brain stem.

      And I believe that is the shift TED is devoted to.
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        Aug 27 2013: I can't agree more with you.

        What methods bring real change? The methods that are different from the accustomed. The methods that you choose to apply in your own life. Hopefully inspired by great thinkers and ideals. I would suggest to start here:

        It strikes me these different methods that bring real change includes war, however in my opinion this would not be a change to persue and could be discarded to a primitive (reptilian) method.

        How do you think of technological evolution? Technology bringing people closer to each other, in specific through augmented reality:

        No social pressure, no change:
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          Aug 27 2013: Exceptional !!

          These glasses are the most ingenious invention of humankind (together with the bicycle)

          ~Thank you Vincent :)
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          Aug 28 2013: I wanted that film to keep going and going........

          Thanks for sharing it.
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    Aug 21 2013: I had a realization this morning.

    It just doesn't work. To replace the current government only results in injecting another, as some of you have said, which may or may not be just as bad, but most certaintly just as controlling (eventually). Revolution is akin to a temper tantrum of a small child. The child is opressed (in the child's view) by something, and thus, explodes in a fit of fury and dismay. The child sometimes gets her way, and sometimes is punished instead. Either way, the temper is subdued, and control is maintained. Illusion of freedom is given temporarly to keep the screaming babe calm, for now.

    The world is so interconnected. A single government is not realvent anymore. The days of killing the king and declaring independence are gone- it's bigger then that. The true puppet masters will never be reached by the people, no matter how angry, or how powerful they may become. Sure, we can make a big mess, kill off half our population, bring chaos and disorder- all in vain. They are excellent housekeepers, and no mess is too big to clean up.

    So, what can we do? I am beginning to think that the only avenue for awakening is to live by example. Peacefully detach one's self from the soceity in which they disagree. Perhaps bring enough people together to purchase a large track of land; creating a community based on a model of happiness, comradery, and sustainability. Show that system works. Lead by example. I think this is the only chance one has to make true difference.
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      Aug 21 2013: This is why millions of people the world over live by the creed articulated by Gandhi: You must be the change you wish to see in the world. They are everywhere you look if you are alert to notice them.
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      Aug 21 2013: " I am beginning to think that the only avenue for awakening is to live by example."

      Welcome to the club :)
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        Aug 21 2013: The problem is that there isn't a club. There needs to be one. It's easy for individuals to think that they are the only person who thinks the way we live is wrong, and therefore perhaps they must be the one that is wrong instead.
        As Fritzie says, there are millions of people trying to live by different, peaceful rules. Perhaps tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions the world over, detaching (or wanting to detach) from the way in which society, governments and business have become, but how can we know? How can we count them? If it can be demonstrated that there is a significant will for change, that will encourage more people to think about changing and actually doing it. Humans learn by copying.
        So I think we need a club, a badge, a banner, a name, to show that there are people who want a peaceful, empathic alternative. To bring together all the existing individuals and organisations who are working in that direction. We need to be able to shout "I am a part of this!"
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          Aug 21 2013: Well, whatcha waiting for Nigel?

          Let's start one!
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          Aug 21 2013: How about the TED club? I honestly think/feel TED is facilitating, and providing the opportunity we speak of Nigel:>)
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        Aug 22 2013: In reply to Colleen (why only three deep threads?)

        I think that TED is a part of the club. It is a forum for the ideas and debates that provide the inspiration, but does not provide the actions that form the perspiration. Incidentally, it is the best forum I have found that does this. But, there are people who are part of the movement that have never, and probably will never have heard of or have access to TED.
        The Aids worker in central Africa
        The soup kitchen worker in India
        The teenage programmer in their room coding a patch for Linux
        The gardener in Rumania who leaves spare apples from their tree at the gate for passers-by to take.

        There doesn't seem to be a way to use TED to initiate or coordinate real world actions and projects. Another potential thread, but has anyone got any ideas on how a real world project could be initiated from within TED and what might be a suitable project to start with to trial this?
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          Aug 22 2013: I agree Nigel, that there are people who live in a way that is beneficial to the whole, and may not have access to TED, or other obvious ways to connect with other people. There have always been some folks who contribute to the whole, and may never be recognized as a valuable contributor.

          I believe actions which create change are happening on many different levels, and TED provides the opportunity for many people to connect. I have seen several talks and conversations on TED where people from different parts of our world are connecting with various projects.

          One very simply little example is that I know several teachers in different parts of the US, who use John Hunter's talk and "World Peace Game" as a model in their classrooms. I have forwarded talks and conversations to teachers and other professionals who use many of the ideas posted on TED in their educational programs, and I have received links to TED talks from friends as well. In fact, that is how I was connected to TED originally. So, as I said, I think connections are happening on several different levels.
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          Aug 22 2013: The best examples of the use of TED to coordinate people around a single project are the TED prize winners. The most recent is Sugata Mitra's School in the Cloud, which has become the focus of a collaboration involving large numbers of TED attendees and other members of the TED Community. He showed the success of the prototype and people all over the world are launching variations of it and sending him their performance data.

          In terms of center-points of activities on the ground that bring together people into a sort of nexus of communication, evaluation, and scale up, one of the ones I follow is the Poverty Action Lab, launched about a decade ago at MIT but housed in multiple venues since then.

          I don't know whether you know Open IDEO. That is an open forum in which people craft solutions together to a series of problems put forward by organizations that want to crowd-source help. IDEO has policy advisors on hand to assist by raising questions and suggesting areas for further development and elaboration.
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          Aug 23 2013: Here is another convergence opportunity not to miss:

          I thought of this when I got my alert today of three ONE meetups in my vicinity. in the next few weeks.
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        Aug 22 2013: Colleen and Fritzie,

        I think I was thinking more in the way of TED not having the sort of collaborative, wikki-type tools that a lot of open source software (and increasingly hardware) projects have to help groups to self-organise projects in the non-virtual world. Hence the feeling that the "club" needed a number of arms, of which TED could be a part. Collaborative tools and methods would be another part and how to make them available are one of the topics I am interested in studying further.


        There are so many crowd/open source forums out there, but it's a question of not seeing the overall contextual wood for the trees that I hope we can address, and show that they are all moving towards similar goals for society. It would be great to bring them all under a uniform banner. This common identification would provide motivation for those already involved, inspiration for those who aren't, and allow each group to share their successful methods whilst learning what doesn't work. Perhaps the club, as well as being a forum, should provide a directory or wikki of shared resources for all of these disparate individuals and organisations. A reason why IDEO could be identified as part of the club, perhaps?

        I am extremely grateful for your feedback on Cynapse. I'm drafting a reply, but with the apparent time zone difference between us you must feel like you are conversing with someone on Mars :-)
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          Aug 22 2013: Actually, the sort of exchanges in which I participate don't require fast responses. It is a strength of the platform for some of us who cannot commit to being present at any particular time and a weakness, I expect, for others that exchanges are not more "real time."

          You don't need to reply to my impressions of Cynapse. I only gave feedback for you to consider. I represent one type of potential participant in "change projects," with lots of personal energy and my own criteria for where I focus the resources I can bring to things. But I don't think I am unique in my criteria.

          Do look at OpenIDEO as one model of collaborative tool.

          I see from your blog you have noticed Yochai Benkler. Clay Shirky is another whose work you might considered and who also appears in TED talks under the topic "collaboration." I particularly recommend his book Here Comes Everybody and for Yochai Benkler his article Coase's Penguin.
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        Aug 22 2013: Fritzie, I was extremely grateful for you taking the time to review Cynapse. I must say that I hadn't appreciated that my mentioning of WikiLeaks and Occupy gave the impression that Cynapse agreed with their confrontational methods. I had intended that referring to them gave an example the level of dissatisfaction with the status quo felt by a wide range of people. I can see that, in the light of recent events, there may be a real fear amongst people if they think that their online activities are monitored and they appear to be associated with "subversive" activities. I wonder how the fear of online surveillance will shape future political debate. I wonder how free the free actually feel. The whole concept of Cynapse is not to engage with the old guard, but to connect with the new. I'll see if I can reword the introduction to clarify this. This is why I needed new eyes to look at it :-).
        Personally, I felt that the detailed investigation of how open source economics resembled anarcho-communism, would be a big turn off fo some people. Mainly because the words "anarchy" and "communism" carry with them a lot of cultural baggage and associations which bear no relation to their literal meanings.
        I also struggled to look for a mechanism for cooperation between believers of different religions, and non-believers.
        I have read Benkler and Shirky. In fact, such a large number of the original sources and authors that I looked at had done TED talks, that I started to think that using these jewel-like precis would be a good way to get across what I was learning quickly. If you think there is a chance that people are not listening, it is usually accepted that less detail is more.
        I was hoping that Cynapse would provide a meeting place for people to help to assemble reference material across this massive front of subjects.e.g.
        Political Philosophy
        Organisational Theory
        Ethics and Empathy
        Religous Philosophy
        Intellectual Property..
        ..the list goes on
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          Aug 22 2013: You are right, of course, that words carry cultural baggage. My reference to Occupy and wikileaks was not a matter of people worrying about being associated with "subversive" activities but only that there may be a natural incompatibility among some problem solving approaches- indeed a possible aversion. You touch on this, potentially, in your referring to the "old guard." I cannot know who you mean to exclude by that label. Is it age that marks the person? Or another qualification? You read Clay Shirky and Yochai Benkler, so you would not seem personally to have an aversion to scholars, but many people drawn to a change-focused organization may believe all scholars are "bought," or that all of some other category are "bought."

          I give this only as an example. Some people feel the same about lawyers, teachers, people who run businesses... Are these rejected?

          I must say the language of the "club" itself does not appeal to me personally, as it reflects on first look that too common in-group and out-group sort of thinking, as your old guard and new guard distinction also may. I would hope that is exactly the sort of labeling or sorting that should be shown the exit, as it is often unproductive- or worse.

          I don't believe many people feel that they are the only ones dissatisfied with various aspects of the status quo. Calling for change has become the norm!

          Generally speaking, and I do not know how old you are, most of us who have worked a long time cooperate day in and day out and elbow to elbow with believers of a variety of faiths as well as non-believers. Fundamental values are widely held in common, and I can easily say in my career I can never remember differences in religious belief as an obstruction to collaboration in solving or working to solve, say, urban problems.

          To put forward a specific example, I would not expect the productivity of the many heads coming together at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be affected by the religions of the staff
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        Aug 24 2013: Fritzie, I was not implying that people with different religeous beliefs could not cooperate. I was trying to find a form of words to persuade people who think that their form of belief does prevent cooperation. We appear both to be very lucky. I work in a very multi-faith and multi-racial environment. On my desk alone we have at least 4 different belief systems. This is not true everywhere and just a few miles from my home there are still marks on a wall caused by a bomb, planted by people who felt their faith prevented any form of cooperation with others.
        As for age, I am old enough to have been both the first person to hold a newborn child and the last person to hold a dying old person. I am young enough to still think that building sand castles is still a great way to spend your time on a beach :-).
        You provide many examples of the ways in which change is being carried out. You appear reluctant to have these linked as the "club" as this would be divisive, Let me try another way to explain why the club would be a positive move. This is probably going to smash completely through the 2000 character limit, but I hope it helps. I do realise that the more I write, the less likely people are to read it. I wonder to what extent the shape of a TED conversation shapes the conversation, but that is another thread. I'll contine this at the head of the conversation.
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          Aug 24 2013: I am glad you recognize that in most cases of collaborate work, people's religions or lack thereof are entirely irrelevant.

          I think that people on TED will still read a sequence of two clearly written posts but less so once a person strings more than that together, as it may sometimes then seem like a soapbox situation.

          My reluctance about a "club" is that I think we are all in this life together and that considering life that way is a step forward.. I would not choose to reach out my hand preferentially to those who join a club over those who do not. I know that within-club is a familiar model of social interaction. As you write, some people will choose to be in a club, however it is defined, some will choose an isolated stance, and some will continue to try to embrace the whole in their interactions.
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          Aug 25 2013: I have read your string of comments Nigel, and it feels clear that you would like one large group working toward a mission.

          As you say..."This common identification would provide motivation... It would be great to bring them all under a uniform banner. This common identification would provide motivation... So I think we need a club, a badge, a banner, a name, to show that there are people who want a peaceful, empathic alternative. To bring together all the existing individuals and organisations who are working in that direction. We need to be able to shout "I am a part of this!"

          I feel that I can shout "I am a part of this" whenever I feel like shouting it, and I agree with what Fritzie has written...including, and not limited to...."we are all in this life together". Some people will recognize that, and some people will not. I believe that TED is already serving to organize people and providing the forum for sharing ideas.

          Sometimes, when an organization gets too big, it becomes ineffective. Consider the UN, which was formed as a global peacekeeping organization? The organization is obviously ineffective, and in some respects corrupt. Consider the American Cancer fund, Heart fund and Red Cross....all have a very good purpose, and it has been found that money donated to the good cause goes mostly to administrators, and in some cases has been misused.

          Your goal/mission is a noble cause, and it seems to be already happening, even without a club name, badge or banner to identify it:>)
    • Aug 21 2013: I wouldn't say that, precisely.
      There are times where replacing a government most definitely led to improvements. Then again, those are the exceptions that prove the rule...

      What I'm saying is that you should think carefully before trying to topple a government by violence.
      Positive change may or may not be possible, and assessing how realistic it is to implement is precisely the difference between a calculated decision to remove the existing power structure, and as you've put it, a temper tantrum that does more harm than good.

      Of course, in a proper democratic regime, I'd go as far as saying that a violent revolution has a snowball's chance in hell of improving things. Fortunately, those are easier to modify without resorting to violence in the streets.
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      Aug 21 2013: Hi Mandy,

      I'm trying! :-)
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        Aug 22 2013: Thanks Nigel! I'll check it out.
  • Aug 16 2013: if the society feels that it is ethical and moral, then civil disobedience has a chance over time, especially over time.

    if the society,especially the leaders, feel they are the definer of ethics and morality, then you need violence to force the change.
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      Aug 16 2013: Oooo, I like it Wayne. Great observation. I agree, the more control, or at least the illusion of control, the more need for violence to make change. What do you feel is the situation in America?
      • Aug 16 2013: During my life, i would have said it might have been closer during the civil rights in the early 60's and the late 60's to the early 70's with the vietnam war. Today, the country is polarized but I am not sure as much as during those periods.
  • Aug 28 2013: I think a gradual non-violent revolution, accompanied by peaceful protests, with national media coverage- when autocratic-minded leadership gets carried with its special-interest-group favoring programs. It usually takes time for citizens to give up their individual rights and freedoms, and it certainly takes time and dogged determination for citizens to regain those lost rights and freedoms back. In a quick, violent revolution, usually, some narrow-minded group comes out on top and insists on imposing their ways on everyone else, thereby guaranteeing long term violent turmoil in that society. Compare the histories of the United States and Canada. The U.S. was born in a Revolutionary War that happened in the middle of a "civil war", 1765 to 1785 between the Patriots and the Loyalists before the Patriots prevailed. Since then, the U.S has had another Civil War, North vs South, and an ongoing Civil rights movement for the last 50 years. Canada gradually morphed from British Colonies in the 1700s to a Confederation starting in 1867, and finally, its own constitution in 1982, all with relatively little violence, but a lot of dogged determination and grass roots support for a civil society.
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    Aug 28 2013: the two simplest ways to get change are so very simple but will never happen.

    1) Nobody vote. Undermine the system by with-holding your vote and demanding somebody decent to vote for.
    2) Nobody buy anything. Consumers hold all the power but only in vast numbers. If you wanted to bring, for example, a Telco to its knees, you simply need to inspire all their customers to not pay their bills.

    this would obviously require a charismatic, visionary and altruistic leader and the world simply does not produce these.

    • Aug 29 2013: We wouldn't need a leader. All we'd need is awareness and a consensus on what should be done. Getting two people to agree on something without any doubt between them is hard enough as it is.
  • Aug 28 2013: peaceful protest would always be the best resort. aggression just precipitates more aggression
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    Aug 28 2013: Perhaps there is a greater need for evolution to propose a revolution. It begins from the individual who evolves and becomes an inspiration or an infectious example of what he or she expects to change.

    But any change is a process. It warrants determination, persistence, commitment and perseverance to be accomplished. Not protest, destruction and violence, especially when we have more media at our disposal today.

    Yes =, America, like every other country can become better . But perhaps we need to evolve and become the smarter species that we claim to be and then change will happen.
  • Aug 27 2013: The real problem is people just don't work on responsibility or freedom, most people are incredibly stupid and need leadership. Religion is proof of this. There will always be heirarchy and authority simply because of the laws of nature. In the universe there is entropy (things, including people, tend to fall apart over time).

    Everything in the universe has structure, those structures are subject to stresses and forces over time and thereby cause mis-alignment (i.e. thats how we have disease, different perspectives, etc, etc).

    The reality is there IS one reality but the human mind is divided into many different sub realities where no agreement is possible, because each mind is it's own universe. Each person or group of people see's and believes and has different values. Which means fundamentally they want to create different worlds. So conflict is inevitable.
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      Aug 28 2013: You are correct Bob. Conflict is inevitable, but is that excuse to do nothing? We know we are heading toward death, but we keep the ecstasy of life within us.

      At least in the foreseeable future, the masses will always need a leader, a governing body. Yet, we must demand a rule that "governs less" and inspires more.
      • Aug 28 2013: Then you have to accept that there are some people you have to disqualify from power/participation because they are permanently lost because of biological inability to perceive the world accurately. It's no one's fault, it's just the nature of our world.

        A mind is built using biological resources, if there isn't enough quality in the make of the mind/person then you're going to get self-destructive, ignorant and deluded behavior based on inability to see and understand the environment.

        The great irony of history, is that our morality is not based on scientific evidence regarding what is best for our survival. The older views that their exists superior and inferior specimens of mankind IS true, but mankind has always been too immature to know how to deal with it.

        Technically ignorance/stupidity it would be a health problem, something along the lines of disability/mental illness. But telling that to millions of people, especially members of the upper class who think their minds function healthy and they would look at you like you were mad.

        Our history and the predatory social model of our capitalist world unfortunately has lead to this state of affairs, we have too many predatory humans who can't think or perceive the world accurately or are lacking ethical/compassionate traits that lead to sane adult perspectives of how to live and behave.
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          Aug 28 2013: Indeed.

          Although it seems harsh, it is reality. I personally believe in reincarnation and classify the above described people as being "young souls". If you see an individual as such, you will be less likely to treat the other as inferior. I do not believe any human being is "better" then another, but simply more developed intellectually. We must find a way to promote goodness and change in everyone, including those seemingly uninterested; this my friend, is the start of real change.
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      Aug 28 2013: I fully agree in fact in my profile under “An idea worth spreading” I have “Living by the Nine Noble Virtues;
      Courage, Fidelity, Discipline, Hospitality, Self-Reliance, Industriousness, Perseverance and
      Truth (AI: truth being something you always seek to discover, have the Courage see and accept, and the Discipline to act on, as well as speak.)”

      And I believe Self-Reliance is vital, and sadly it seems that too many Americans believe in Government-Reliance.
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        Aug 28 2013: Don Anderson, I really like you.
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    Aug 27 2013: Neither....
    at least in the USA, and as long as the Constitution is in effect.
    Peaceful Protests? All they do is give the participants their 15 minutes of fame. They see themselves on the 6 o'clock
    news and get warm fuzzies up their skirts. No effective changes in national policies. 50 years ago, Martin Luther King gathered hundreds of thousands in Washington and gave a great speech. One of the largest peaceful protest in our history. Today, the country is still dealing with those issues he addressed.

    There have been two revolutions in our history, the one the created the United States and one that almost tore us apart.
    Both involved a great deal of death and destruction.

    The constitution has mechanism for amendment. Voters select their representatives at the voting booth. If the electorate make poor choices for representation, that is a personal problem for each voter. Granted the "voted-in clique" has taken steps to make their reelection easy, but in the words of Franklin,, we need and educated electorate to make our republic work. So, if public schools are dumbing us down and federal educational policies are encouraging the questioning of patriotism, and our faith in our constitution. We could be drawn into a nation of meritocracy and dthe dictatorial outcome that is forecast.
    It all remains to be seen.
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      Aug 27 2013: “as long as the Constitution is in effect.”
      Stop right there, to me the Constitution is no longer in effect.
      We the people no longer have any control of our government, freedom from search without cause (NSA), freedom of the press, freedom to speak against the government without fear of reprisal, freedom of association, and freedom to vote is just an illusion to keep the masses passive.

      In what way is the constitution in effect?
      And don’t say we have the right to bear arms: for in this age of communication and drones, fire arms are as obsolete as metal suits of armor.
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    Aug 27 2013: *Full blown blood in the street civil war is my first thought, but with homeland security buying enough ammo to kill every civilian five times we need to switch to plan B.
    *Peaceful protest will not work, for one reason they can ID and punish every protester. Via face recognition software and having every ID photo in their data base.
    *A military takeover would work and with the US multi branch military system, the treat of permanent military rule is slim. (But there is not much we can to get that going)
    Considering the military has done its part in keeping us free, and we the civilians have given our liberty away, maybe military rule would be better.

    A Change we need to do is with how we educate, no more government controlled education.
    *Ending the monopoly on education that the two puppet parties control, is a key step that has to be taken. (Education needs to be a mixture of local, national and international online classes with some home/ voucher schooling) and Kids need to learn self-reliance, for without that you can’t have independence and liberty.
    *Employers need to stop paying base on university education, and pay based on performance. We all know the universities are an enemy to the American way, and need to stop supporting them.
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      Aug 28 2013: Yes yes yes! Education is key. Don, I agree with your points. My question to you is... How can we implement this?
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        Aug 28 2013: How can we implement this? (Good Question :) )
        There will be two aspects to Education, online and in schools.

        Online will be equal for everybody in the world, rather the student is the son of a rich King, or an orphan in the poorest place on earth. The same distinguished classes and teachers will be available.
        All the online educators worldwide will need to be connected to a source, with standards, teacher and class ratings, class prerequisites, a verification system, and a means for employers and others to see a student’ achievements.
        This will allow students to take classes from any teacher they want, exposing them to views and opinions and not just those from the local school.

        Schools will need shift from “lecture classrooms with teachers” to “labs and workshops with education couches”. As stated in this talk I just found this morning.
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          Aug 28 2013: I'll check out that talk shortly, thank you for sharing.

          I love it Don, and I too believe this would drastically improve education. You are correct, the long-term change must start with our youth. True education: the promotion of curiosity, innovation, and philosophy; why did we forget this?!

          It's due time to stop pumping out factory workers and begin promoting the human imagination.

          Let's bring back the explorers, the inventors, and the philosophers. Let us find our humanity again!

          Don, I'd love to talk more on this subject soon. Ideas are the beginning, but action is the change.
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    Aug 25 2013: Hi Mandy. I've wondered about the same thing. I like Revolution. Peaceful protest isn't enough. A real revolution begins inside; at the individual level. You have to be the change you wish to see in the world, to paraphrase Ghandi. Education would need more attention. Change has to have some practical aspects and respectable references that can appeal to the most people. An example may be to track all your personal financial transactions to the penny and only spend primarily on necessities and as frugally as possible. I'd say wasteful and non productive businesses would start dropping out first. The government and businesses will be forced to conform to a well informed public once educated and able to a critical point.
    • Aug 27 2013: good talk man i like how u analyze the points of views ,,i will be honored honored to have you through skype feel free justin to add me my ID is ( fatehi.selwi)
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      Aug 28 2013: I agree Justin. The question is how to stir the pot, how to start the mechanism for evolution. It is true, we must be the change we wish to see in the world, but can we do more? Can we live by example and make a movement for the better good? How?
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        Aug 28 2013: You bring up a good point. What could stir the pot? I would say the last thing we need is another group saying "change". Knowledge abounds in this modern world with no practical system to implement what knowledge suggests. Maybe a lack of empathy is the culprit, and with empathy the pot could be stirred in the most ethical way. Maybe with empathy a movement can disarm all the cliques that may claim ownership to a certain set of intelligent ideas under the banner of empathic reasonability.
  • Aug 23 2013: i believe the most effective means of change is through self sustainability. when you can feed and shelter yourself individually or as a community you do not need and do not depend on the larger social structure. it however depends upon you and cannot exist without the participation of the people. food shelter and energy can all be produced by individuals working directly upon a small amount of land.
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    Aug 17 2013: It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. For example, f you want to make a change for a stronger military prescence, you probably don't want to go with the Gandhi "sit in front of a tank" approach. I'd say both can be effective, but the best method for change would be any approach with solid facts, simple logic based on those facts, and effective communication of those facts and that logic.

    For the US, I would change our education, mainly at the pre-college level. I think we need to start making a more reflecting and inquiring population, and I think in education this is easily implemented and would be effective.

    I think a breaking point is reached when the majority or at least the majority of repected people or groups start supporting your cause.

    Thanks for the conversation and you can post your opinion when the conversation closes (you are able to make a closing statement after the conversation closes which is a very nice feature)!
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    Aug 16 2013: Here's a really good talk on methods, see the comments as well:
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      Aug 16 2013: Wow, that was a great talk! Thank you for sharing. It has opened my perspective and was very informative.
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        Aug 16 2013: You're welcome. When it comes to peaceful revolutions, Eastern Europe has some history of those, a lot of inspiration on this territory.
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    Aug 15 2013: Peaceful non-violent protest based on truth, is a moral force which can withstand any other force.

    It works by changing the heart of the opponent, results are long lasting.
    • Aug 16 2013: Did it work in Tiananmen Square or against the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia or Iran?
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        Aug 16 2013: Walk on the correct path irrespective of the results. You Never Loose.
    • Aug 16 2013: Peaceful protests don't work the moment the military opens fire.
      Granted, if you live somewhere the military will disobey such an order, peaceful protest works remarkably well as long as its on a grand enough scale.

      As for the correct path leading you to never loosing... I'm afraid that argument only holds sway if you believe in a higher power guaranteeing success.
      A short historical list of peaceful protests foiled by live fire punches that theory full of holes.
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        Aug 16 2013: I do not have arms and ammunition neither i want to aquire one.

        I do not have armies or millions of dollars.

        I only have power of one.

        I have the power to tell my opponent he is wrong, he may blow me away the next minute.

        What power Christ, Buddha or Gandhi had? Power of one.
        • Aug 16 2013: We're talking about overthrow of a government. Only Gandhi qualifies, and as far as I know, the military didn't move in against him.

          Your arguments have little relevance to the subject--its not whether one man can make a difference, its about replacing the existing political structure. Related, true, but not exactly the same thing.
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        Aug 16 2013: How do you think you can fight a super power, by making your own arms?
  • Aug 15 2013: Peaceful protest on a massive scale works wonderfully in democratic countries, and potentially even in non-democratic ones where the military won't open live fire on civilians. For example, it recently worked quite well in Tunisia and Egypt, and failed spectacularly in Libya and Syria, all according to what side the military takes.
    If live fire on peaceful protestors is in the order of the day, than violent revolution is all one can hope for. Of course, those have a track record of leaving you with a new regime as bad, or worse than the old, and even that after years of civil war...

    In general, if peaceful protest is an option, its a better one. A violent revolution tends to leave the most powerful, militaristic side in control in the end.

    Americans have something of a fetish for revolution, likely as a result of glorification of their revolutionary war.
    Its easy to forget the truth about these things when you've not experienced them for the past 250 years--revolutions are ugly, violent business that often leaves you with worse off than you started even if it works.
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      Aug 16 2013: I admit, Americans do have romantic tendencies for the people's power, revolution, and all things valor. It is easy to forgot the reality of conflict, especially whilst living in this comfy little bubble of ours.

      I agree and disagree about glorification of the past as the cause, as almost all cultures practice this yet do not necessarily have such dreamy ideas. Instead, I think it has to do more with that quiet desparation that grips so many of us. The capitalistic brainwash has pushed our human qualities aside, and replaced them with machine-like values of working to death to acquire dead things... So many men and women sit twiddling their thumbs in their circulated a/c offices, staring at their ghostly glowing screens, wishing for somethi more, something different, anything real... Even if that reality means suffering or death.

      All in all, most folks are downright bored. The younger generation has it worse. Our society is so damn comfortable, and everything so deviously convenient, that the primitive, adventurous self is literally clawing within, looking for avenue to escape. I think this is why the trend of zombies and the acopolpsy is so popular. The artificial thrill of "stuff" isn't cutting it anymore.
      • Aug 16 2013: As former military, I can tell you that boring has its advantages.
        No one is trying to kill you for starters...

        There's this thing about humanity, the neighbor's grass is always greener. No matter how good you have it, most people still go complacent and bored; the younger you are, the worse it is.
        99% of the time, happiness is about learning to make do with what you have, or at least, what's within realistic reach.

        You don't realize just how important that "boring" stability is until its taken away from you. I've certainly been in situations where I wished boredom was my worst problem.
        Hunger, fatigue, living in totalitarian rule (known as military discipline among soldiers), chronic pain, loss of control of what's going on in your life, fear of a violent death... all of those alleviate boredom just fine.
  • Aug 29 2013: Simple: have everyone treat each other as human beings. Love each other as you would brothers or sisters. Then there wouldn't be corporate deception of the masses, people wouldn't need food-stamps - their neighbors would help the poor get on their feet by teaching them certain skills while maybe helping them get food. Create a strong loyalty and feeling of pride in helping the community and you'll have a healthy world.
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    Aug 28 2013: I'd like to avoid bloodshed so it's (massive) reform preferred to revolution.
    I think the best way of accomplishing all the changes we need is to change our political model completely, it's a mystery to me that we call this world (or most of it) democratic.

    What I want and think would be best at present is to have a "Representative Direct Democracy" or "Fluid Democracy" where we can both elect representatives that vote for us if we don't have the time or knowledge AND always being able to vote directly in EVERY specific question.

    My party here in Sweden (Aktiv Demokrati = Active Democracy) has that system and we're on the rise and most people who aren't already in power seem to be quite fond of the idea.

    Here's our English page that describes our model:
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      Aug 28 2013: Personally the form of government does not matter, a Republic, Democracy, communist or King can be good or bad. As long as the civilians are free, I say more power to them. Those who support spreading Democracy are misguided; it is worldwide individual freedom and liberty that we should desire.
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      Aug 28 2013: Jimmy,
      I read the link you show, and it sounds plausible, but I just can't see it on a large scale such as here in the USA. I just imagine too many complications, but it hasn't been put into operation yet as I understand. OK,,
      if some country does turn to this method of governance, we can see how it works.
  • Aug 28 2013: Given that the rich amasses the fortune they can not be spent by themselves and the poor struggle just to eat and live, yes, America needs some change. But the change always should be gradual, because the sudden and abrupt change always brings inequality. If the government decided to tax more on rich people and give that money to poor people, it would make the poorest happy. Seemingly these kinds of simple intervention looks effective. We, however, cannot forget that those rich people got there privileged situation with a great effort and luck. If we simply taxed the rich, many people might stop working hard to be rich.
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      Aug 28 2013: That is a good observation Kazu. The idea of taxing the rich to appease the poor is a failing model. Not only will it negatively affect those who work hard to become successful, it will not, contrary to many beliefs, help the poor in a meaningful, lasting way. A hand-out is rarely valued compared to effort and reward, and by giving something for nothing, expectation is bred, and thus, entitlement.

      A better method would be a way to encourage and assist the poor in promoting themselves and their livelihood. Have you heard about micro-financing?
      • Aug 28 2013: Actually taxing the rich and using the money for programs to encourage the poor to do well is one of the best social models through history, its what kept multiple empires alive in ancient days.

        Today the larger a business the fewer people (proportionately) that it hires, not to mention that it funnels money out of local areas to somewhere a ways off. The solution I think would be best is to implement a heavier tax of individuals earning more than 800k a year or something like that, and a heavier corporate tax on businesses earning more than 600 mil a year or something. This would not only stifle the growth of megabusinesses allowing smaller businesses to be created and grow it would also help fill government coffers allowing for increased spending on education/health care etc.
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    Aug 28 2013: Both are best and must for change.
    It depends upon the situation and mentality also. People usually thinks that Revolution gives fast result but its not true, but yes peaceful protest always take time but result is sure in 90% case. But revolution may give result but it may also complicate the situation. In peaceful protest everyone wants the change in the same way but in Revolution it may differ from people to people because power comes in this and which may fail it sometime.
    but still both are best.
  • Aug 27 2013: the revolution is that step that we take toward the safety and a good condition >>but it must be leaded by those people who have the quality that is needed to take it to the right direction as much as possible ..

    for more discussions >

    feel free to add me through my skype >> ID ( fatehi.selwi )
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    Aug 27 2013: OK, I got to admit the constitution has been bent all to hell, but it isn't broke.
    We still have the right to vote and if we can prevent all those votes from cemeteries, homes from the mentally insane going to all one candidate, we still have a chance.

    In my state, it has been estimated that there are approximately 1.5 million illegal immigrants that could be voting in national elections. To get registered as a voter all that is needed is a utility bill with your name and address on it and any other document with your name. The state wants to have a picture ID that has verified citizenship. The large group that supports immigration and these immigrants and the current federal administration seem to be opposed to this plan as most of these voters vote for just one party....
  • Aug 27 2013: I think peaceful protest should be the right method for change. When a revolution is started most of its supporters are blinded for the promise of better living not knowing what really drives their leaders to such events. Therefore the side facing the revolution will have to be hardliners and refuse to let go power as they also are getting support from powerful individuals with other interest in the country.

    Unlike peaceful protest where people will be enlightened on the positives of change. The result will lead to empowering good leaders who will appreciate good governance though slowly but in the long term beneficial as the whole community will be united and costs of war will be avoided.
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    Aug 24 2013: Continuing the economics description of the club from the posting below. The first rule was everyone should seek to maximise their own happiness. Lets introduce a second rule. People can choose whether to follow the first rule or the second rule. The second rule is "Everyone should seek to maximise the happiness of others that they interact with." If you are following the second rule, it makes sense to cluster together with others doing likewise. Whilst you are helping others, they will be helping you, so that you can help them further. From this positive feedback loop emerges a cohesive society. In the past you had to be in the same geographic location to provide this help and so the potential for this society to grow was limited. With the coming of mass communication you can interact with anyone anywhere to provide the help and the scope is limitless. The proposed club is a way of identifying that an individual or organisation is pursuing the second rule and so you should interact with them. It does not give you any signal that you should conflict with people still following the first rule.
    Concluding with an allegory pinched from religion.
    In Hell there is pleny of food, but you are only allowed to eat it using a 6ft long spoon, which you must hold at the end of the handle. Everyone starves for eternity.
    In Heaven, same food, same spoons, same rules, but everyone is well fed. They have learnt to feed each other.
    It's no good having a long spoon and noone else to feed. Join the club and use that spoon.
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    Aug 24 2013: Many people here have proposed that the best way to achieve change is through individuals making that change in their own interactions, and examples have been given of where that is happening. I have proposed a "club" to unite these individuals under a common banner to increase their impact. Some concerns have been raised that this could be dangerously divisive. I'd like to explain why I think it would be helpful.
    Firstly the club does not exclude people. It only includes people who choose to be a part of it. The club does not select people. People select the club. It does not fall into the trap that Orwell shows us in "Animal Farm" of "Four legs good, two legs bad." On the farm, it would just say "Four legs good".
    I'll use the language of economics to illustrate why the club is necessary. Economics is based upon the objective of increasing an individuals happiness. I think we're all OK with that part. Next it says that an individual can increase their happiness by acting in their own interest. This is a very simple rule and has been very popular throughout history. People like simple rules because it means they don't have to think about things too deeply. But there is a thing called emergence that means a lot of entities following simple rules can result in very complex mass behaviour. Economists measure happiness in terms of an individuals access to resources. They recognise that there is a scarcity of resources. Following the main rule in an envrionment of resources scarcity means that you can only increase your happiness at the expense of anothers. This is where the concept of "Possession is theft" arises. So within minutes of the game starting, society is beginning to divide. After a while, self-interested individuals discover that they can obtain more resources by clubbing together and using their united power to take from a larger number of people. The corporation is born. And so the simple rule generates the complex society we have to day.
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    Aug 18 2013: Depends (as all things do).
    Both can be "peaceful" or "Violent". For instance there can be "peaceful protests / revolutions" and "violent protests / revolutions". There are positives and negatives of using the method of "peace" or "violence".
    Peace is probably more socially acceptable (and desirable). While violence is more efficient and effective (yet less desirable for long term goals).
    However the most important predictor of whether there will be a protest or revolution is the legitimacy of the government and how they are viewed (e.g if they are viewed as "good" or "evil").
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    Aug 18 2013: A government can only govern with the consent of its' subjects. That consent, however, can take an infinite variety of forms, from dumb acceptance of the status quo, all the way through to failing to defeat an oppressive regime in a physical conflict (If you surrender, you are unfortunately giving consent in real terms). I'm interested in the idea that consent could be withdrawn by gradually engaging less and less with the governing regime. Bit by bit, setting up and growing an alternative society and infrastructure until eventually the regime is irrelevant. Market economics has been particularly successful at this, growing alternate corporate infrastructures to the extent that "democratic" governments are becoming less and less influential, and have less power over them. Perhaps a similar process could be initiated putting people at the heart of its' ethos, rather than money. For the first time in history, we have the communication tools to set up societies that transcend geographical, conventional political boundaries. Some countries have already realised the potential power placed in the hands of ordinary people with mass networked communications, and clamped down on it. Other are preparing to meet this threat, by monitoring the network.
    Some time ago, I did quite a bit of research into what an alternative networked society might look like. I recorded a lot of this in a blog. . The arguments presented are best read chronologically. My experiment failed to reach critical mass to become self-sustaining. Prehaps the premise was wrong, perhaps my methods were wrong, perhaps only the time was wrong. I would be delighted if people could take a look and give me any feedback or comments.
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      Aug 22 2013: I checked out your website so as to be able to give you the feedback you seek. One thing I appreciate is the modesty with which you present yourself. This attitude makes people want to help you if they can.

      I assume you actually want feedback. Sometimes people come here gushing with self-confidence and ask for feedback but actually want only unthinking followers. You don't come across like that to me, so here is what I can offer.

      I think you take a strategic gamble by linking yourself immediately to Occupy and wikileaks and other organizations of this kind. There may be many people who share your interests and have their "hearts in the same place" as you, as people used to say, but do not see themselves as natural allies with the strategies of those organizations. This too is one of the downsides of trying to draw everyone interested in change under one umbrella.

      You mention here having done quite a bit of research and recorded a lot of it in your blog. The subject you put forward is vast and much studied by research groups, think tanks, and non-profits dedicated to finding solutions to these pressing problems. The TED talks you share do touch on the areas that interest you, but I think a project like you propose would draw more interest if you were to pull together something much meatier in terms of a research base or at least link to a foundation in research in these areas. TED talks are useful 18 minute overviews, sharing of ideas rather than research presentations. Some serious reading of research would probably be valuable to you.

      If you look hard at what is already out there in terms of organizations and research, you will have a better idea of how to add value to the initiatives already out there.

      I hope this is the sort of feedback you seek.
  • Aug 17 2013: More people are starting to realise that money is at the root of a lot of our problems. Our price system encourages bad behaviour.
    The debate about how we should move forward is still in its infancy. We are moving slowly into a new era of open debate through the Internet. Governments no longer have control over information.
    It's almost akin to "The Matrix", where people are waking up to the idea that not everything is what it appears to be.
    Politics today is all about the spin with very little substance.
    In America some scientists and engineers devised an alternative system 80 years ago and yet few people have heard of it.
    With all the technology at our disposal today, we could all benefit from more leisure time and access to everything
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    Aug 17 2013: It's when it involves generations.
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    Aug 16 2013: Hi Mandy; Excellent question!!

    Here is great inspiration:-)

    The best way to make change is marathons (running or dancing)
  • Aug 16 2013: I use the word "risk" in a value-neutral way, not as an ideologue. Do not presume that I am a narrow-minded dogmatic that can be pigeonholed into your narrow little categories. "Risk" as a term is used in a multiplicity of fields. Given that revolutions always involve violence, risk is an appropriate term. As for knowing what "true power" is, it's no great insight. Only idiots or children do not understand how a revolution (vs. a coup) occurs. The idiot children behind the "Occupy" movement are an excellent example of this. They, an organization made up almost entirely of members of the social and cultural elite, thought that there was some kind of massive unrest in the USA that they could manipulate for their own ends. There is no unrest in the USA. We are one of the most stable polities in the world, specifically because there is no oppression worth note. The only people who get routinely under government thumb are either the underclass, who are used to having no voice and thus do not try to act, or extreme fringe elements, who refuse to actually empathize with the mass of the people and set themselves up, instead, as some kind of moral/intellectual elite with an innate "right" to dictate to the rest of us.

    The USA is nowhere near a "breaking point". There is no economically influential but politically disenfranchised group to form a leadership cadre. None--none at all. If you have economic power in the USA, you need but stretch out your hand and political power will be yours, directly or through proxies. It is how our system is set up. Rich industrial conservative? You have power. Rich Hollywood liberal? You have power. Then you whistle to your little dogs to yap at each other about how the other "side" is immoral or unjust.

    Admittedly, by American standards, things have been economically unpleasant, but as someone from India I know once said: "America is the land where poor people can be fat."
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      Aug 16 2013: I didn't mean offense what-so-ever Bryan, nor did I wish to label you. I actually was just curious about your thoughts and thus probed for information. I apologize for any misunderstanding.

      I do suggest you refrain from labeling groups yourself, especially using derogatory terms. At least those in Occupy we're doing something, and I'd hate to see the day when the people were quieted for not making some standard. Even if it did nothing but make someone out there take on a new perspective, it was worth it.

      As far as a group capable of making change; they may not be large enough yet, but you have no way of knowing if they do or do not exist. I agree, America is not at a breaking point. People aren't bored or hungry enough yet. However, awareness is growing on the failings of this society.

      It is unwise to compare cat and dog poop. They both stink. We may be more stable and economically comfortable then the rest, but that doesn't mean change is unnecessary, or unworthy to low standard. The government is gaining more control every day, slowly enough that the mass fails to take note, and small enough to not stir care. One day though, we'll wake to find that line we set crossed, a long time ago, and lack any kind of power to bring it back.
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    Aug 16 2013: Even if we have a revolution all we are doing is taking one crooked politician out of office for another. Violence will only bring hardship to the people not committing violent acts. i.e. the patriot act, and gun control. Peaceful protests are there but usually felt upon with deaf ears.
    The best thing any of us can do is to stop. Stop going to work, stop paying bills, stop buying useless crap, stop watching television, stop driving cars, stop being so damn dependent. Everyone is chasing these wet dreams of riches and big houses....its nonsense. But until everyone and I mean everyone gives up the greedy, over indulgent life styles, then nothing will ever change.
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      Aug 16 2013: I agree 100% Joshua, except in the sense that replacing government for another is not always a bad move.

      One thing to consider. Do you feel that there will ever be a point in which the masses, the Snookies and the Kardashians, will seek an purer, transcended life? Will the sheep of the world give up their shiny leashes and lush green grass for an alternative, difficult existence, albeit one in freedom and true happiness?

      I want to think they will, but sadly, I just don't.
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        Aug 16 2013: sadly you are correct. Maybe it is the struggle for people to find their purpose that leads to a lot of nonsense. Five years from now everyone will forget about the snookies and kardashians. I will however be out in a place building windmills, growing food, and be a human.
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          Aug 16 2013: I might just join you, my friend.
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        Aug 16 2013: You are welcome to join friend, even if just for a short while. The more genuine the better. A truth seeker, and a re-connection to where all people belong. Our glory is right in front of our eyes everyday. Yet we drive pass it in our cars, searching for something to make us happy. Turns out all of that is only a temporary happiness......I have a book I am writing about half finished, that I think you would really enjoy.
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    Aug 15 2013: i think there is a lot of discontent out there. people are feeling betrayed and unsupported by their governments.

    i don't believe violence is the answer.

    peaceful protest may take longer but it resonates far more strongly than killing the people you disagree with. no matter how strongly you disagree or how in the right you are.

    peace :)
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      Aug 16 2013: Maybe I'm jagged, but there seem to be few accounts inI history in which peace made change as far as governments are concerned. I think this is due to the fact that if you have a powerful body, you have some kind of corruption going on, and therefore, one must set the table in order to eat. Getting the hands a little dirty while keeping a sweetness in the heart- this is what I believe to be the ingredients of a fine cake indeed.
  • Aug 15 2013: Regarding a "breaking point", this has actually been very well defined, and it is not what most people think it is. The "breaking point" is not when "injustice becomes too much". The breaking point for revolution has always been when a sufficiently large group within a society obtains improved economic power without gaining a rough parity of political power. Revolutions do not occur when "the people" are suffering so much that they "rise up". It is when politics do not follow economics. At that point, you not only have dissatisfaction, but you have dissatisfaction among people who actually have not only the means to act but are used to being able to take some control over their lives, already.

    The downtrodden do not have revolutions. They might have revolts, but these are nothing but explosions that die out or become mass criminality. Only when a sufficiently large group with economic means and administrative and leadership experience but no political outlet are involved is there a risk of actual revolution.
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      Aug 16 2013: Interesting. You used the term "risk", which either implies you do not feel the need for change or you are taking a perspective of the ruling government. I would love to hear more of your thoughts.

      I agree that a true revolution can only occur when a body with organization, clear motive, and financial means is heading it. Although, without the people's power, that group would be nothing. The two must meet and there my friend, lies true power.
  • Aug 15 2013: How many revolutions can you think of that did not end up in the imposition of a dictatorial system?

    They are in the minority. This is because people who are fit to lead a revolution are usually unfit to govern. Governing requires compromise, unless you want a dictatorship.
  • Aug 15 2013: Film maker Peter Joseph says
    that it is the system that is at fault and not the people.
    Humans are all developed by their environments, mostly, or
    more importantly than even family.
    Whatever. But I do agree with him in the first point and his following idea
    that we should not spread or throw blame on others but should change the system.
    Okay. good, except for one thing:
    If those in control, in power, in financial control,
    are unable or unwilling to relinquish their power and control
    back to the people, then they do have to be forcefully removed.
    That's' revolution. The first way is evolution and is the better way.
    In evolution we humans can be a part of "how we make decisions"
    rather than "who makes" decisions.
    And hopefully, with the monetary system gone, we will not have
    anything blocking our paths to fixing, solving our problems.
    Money only and always blocks that.