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The Activism paradox

The Activism paradox

zaterdag 9 juni 2018 21:16
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In the sofa talk with Stephane Damsin about repolitising Recyclart, he remarkably advocated the need to find alternative modes of activism. The anti capitalism and rebellious mindset became obsolete stressing on the importance that fighting for ideologies is not sufficient but activism need to find pragmatic and smarter means of achieving it. The economic unrealism and arrogance of activists are often based on social drivers and the pursuit of hedonistic values.

“Activism is based on [the] misconception that it is only activists who do social change – whereas of course class struggle is happening all the time”

The activist is a specialist or an expert in social change. To think of oneself as being an activist means to think of oneself as being somehow privileged or more advanced than others in one’s appreciation of the need for social change, in the knowledge of how to achieve it and as leading or being in the forefront of practical struggle to create this change. Activists often live in a bubble world where the importance of money is not only ignored but rejected. Why is it moral to be hypocrite pretending to save the world without having the resources to do so? Why this disassociation between money and values?

“activism can bring down a business of stop a road but capitalism carries merrily on, if anything stronger than before”

There has always been diverging opinions between capitalists and activists. However, if the issue is approached from a different angle, a win win solution can be achieved. Although capitalists are always driven by making profits, there has been ongoing lobbying pressure to mandate corporations to give 2-3% of their net profits to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Even if CSR is not mandatory in most countries, large corporations feel the pressure to donate not because they suddenly want to contribute to greater causes but due to the need to preserve their corporate image. Therefore, there is on one camp money without ideologies and on the other camp ideologies without money. How can be a negotiation between capitalism and activism be formulated? How much of its profit margin would a corporation would be willing to give up in order to be ethical?

What is the future of activism? Whether through the use of social media or negotiation with large corporations, this is a humble request that alternative ways of operating that are adequate to radical ideas should be formulated

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