Group-led versus revolutionary change.

8 Nov

This post is terribly overdue. Following up on my series of articles about change and how to interact it, I’m here highlighting a theoretical conflict that goes back to the cold war (which, unfortunately, defined a LOT of how people who are older than 35 see the world). I point out that the conflict doesn’t really need to exist any more, and rather everyone doing their own part is okay.

Related posts:

Sub-text: Things I’ve learned.

The government was for sustainability. Recently, there was a contest on for GreenGov, how the country can go sustainable. They received a ton of responses to the initiative, on which everyone with a federal .gov or .fed email account had to submit votes for the best ideas to implement a full sustainability plan by June of next year, many of which are actionable immediately. Watch the meeting here: your-greengov-ideas.html Our ideas are being listened to, and the President’s priorities are in place.

People are good. Already, we’ve found that here at the frontlines in Massachusetts, (not just) young people are ready to give up time, money, or comfort for the cause of global environmental sustainability. These are the basic tenants that you need to give up in business, economics, or sociology to have a national will.

The solution lies there. It does. You can see some of my research on the commercial feasibility of clean energy designs in my other posts, but things that can participate in by the people are number one. My next post is going to be on the strategy of social change, bottom up (revolutionary) versus top-down (political mandate) sustainability and who’s going to win out. [ANSWER:) Both]

In all cases, having a healthy sense of historical context is good to correct any unrealistic presumptions. 1. Things happen when they are a priority to people; they give the time to make sure that it’s implemented. 2. Most of the work is in implementation, that is the real physical processes of business: who gives what to whom, how does it get there and what is the application to finish the job. 3. We are in an unprecedented time for the environment. What we decide in the next 50 years really will go down in history as either a mitigation or disaster management story.

4. In almost all cases, it is the youth that lead social change. We are not alone here, or misguided in any way. If the younger generation feels that it’s a priority, that means that the necessary steps for democracy occur. For example, from the bottom left can come the protests, from the top come the reforms. From the young come the ideas (now, submit online at, and from our super-awesome rockstar politician president come the executive mandates! (Like for a federal sustainability program by next June at the latest, that he already DID 😉

Choose an approach.

A: Marxist start. The fuel of this world system is the labor of the poor. We have to mobilize the proletariat, as its called, to live and serve by doing manual labor to implement anything in local or national solutions.
B: Capitalist start. You have to work within the system to create change. Starts under the premise that change must be necessary for it to be possible, a new clean energy future mandated by strict cap-and-trade law. Professionalism, how you look and who you represent, becomes a real factor here.
C. Change comes from within. I am seriously looking at my own life here. If you believe that being healthy and sustainable is the most important thing, I hope to remind you that it starts in the choices you make every day. Life doesn’t require anyone else, and it’s okay to opt out of anything that makes you uncomfortable. But stay informed as the most important thing, please!

The three don’t necessarily get along, and I’m a little worried actually about the [conflict] emerging within my own group , maybe for the next post on change!

Maximize power. Here are more basic steps on what you can do.

Accept responsibility to compromise: Listen to the people around you, even especially the ones with a soft voice.
People like visuals. People also like food. Start here in your planning.
Expect results, but be flexible with your goals. And the methods on how to get there.


Change, I’ve learned, also doesn’t happen from within a vacuum. This is a common mistake which includes a 300-person “Hillarycare” drafting session, the 2-person small office at Small Planet, or a 8-person closed steering committee over one summer trying to solve “the world’s” problems. It doesn’t come from the left (see previous posts!), or the right (link). But requires both. If you are in charge of outreach or communications, how much can you forget what you think you know and move towards reality. That’s where the chance to save our future lies at.

I am going to keep working on it, and hope that you continue to follow on the bright path ahead. Now, to the sleepout! !

Other posts: Http://Eddiemill.Wordpress
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I’ll talk to you soon,

Related post, the inspiration from this one is still a near-miss: mapsblog-wordpress



4 Responses to “Group-led versus revolutionary change.”

  1. independentblogger November 8, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    I think, the case has been made for reform to address climate change, and many other problems. I believe many people see these things as priorities for government… Yet there is still resistance.

    To build on what you say, that resistance comes from the question of how do we practically, effectively, and affordably implement these much-needed reforms?

    As a young person, I could care less whether solutions come from the left or right. What I care about is that they are both likely to work well and easy to remove or replace in the event they don’t work well – because I will have to live with them for decades to come.

    The Devil is in the details, and the Devil scares many, particularly among conservatives.


  2. Edward D. Miller November 9, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Sadly there has been an appalling decline in how many Americans see climate change as a big issue to them these days. Many people are too self-centered and too near-term centered, and this has been worsened by unemployment.

    And, sadly, poor people and blacks have been noticably absent from environmental activism.

    So I have put most of my effort into giving to lobby groups and direct action groups (my favorite being–educated, middle class, middle aged people who know how to get things done in a complicated system.

    Getting really young people (3 to 13 year olds) to love and cherish natural settings is very cost-effective, fun and rewarding. One way I have done this is to donate to Audobon Adventures camps. Relentless urbanization is a powerful juggernaut preventing emotional/spiritual connection of our kids with their Mother Earth.

    Idealist young adults have always provided key ENERGY to keep our society EVOLVING in healthy ways. As you know, I prefer the word evolution to revolution; in the last 100 y, the 4 ‘successful’ revolutions I can think of are: overthrow of the Shah, overthrow of Batista, the Maoist revolution and the Bolshevik revolution. Revolutions are, by definition, I think, violent, and polarizing . . . and tend to be led by zealots weilding guns.


  1. Contents « A Global Organic Mindset - December 23, 2009

    […] to SUSTAINABILITY: The POWER OF IDEAS Group-led versus revolutionary change- 11/10/2009 Visions of a New Moral- 10/10/2009 If I Were an Anthropologist..-6/29/2009 Paulo […]

  2. Master Index: « A Global Organic Mindset - April 23, 2012

    […] to SUSTAINABILITY: The POWER OF IDEAS Group-led versus revolutionary change- 11/10/2009 Visions of a New Moral- 10/10/2009 If I Were an Anthropologist..-6/29/2009 Paulo […]

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