I have recently heard it argued that conventional activism - from protest walks to NVDA - is increasingly becoming a self-defeating exercise in The West (and elsewhere). As society becomes more and more centrally monitored (and thus controlled) and collectivism is replaced by atomisation and individualism, the only outcomes of any activism are simply to brand yourself as an activist and potential troublemaker to be repressed.

It becomes harder to make an impact without stepping over a line into something that is classed as socially wrong or illegal, and carries individual consequences. We are caught in a pincer movement - on one jaw is the increasing tendency to proscribe thought-crime that comes from the left, the excesses of the so called 'woke' tendency which is actively denying and destroying debate and plurality. And on the other jaw is the rise of statist control over every aspect of life that comes from the right. When on the one hand you can be barred from speaking your mind simply because someone might hold a different opinion, and on the other hand you can be locked up for behaving in a way that someone finds annoying - without in either case doing any actual harm - then the jaws have truly closed around us and liberty is no more.

As we awaken from the lockdowns and start to look around we find that very many people seem to have simply faded away from activism - becoming passive and fatalistic, rather like the rabbit in the jaws of the fox. This is an understandable response - what can I do? Best I can hope for is that the fox gets distracted and drops me more or less intact.

It seems to me that perhaps there are two other responses that might be both personally more fulfilling and also more effective (depending what your goals are.

On the one hand as an individual rather than being passive in the jaws of the fox, you can actually make yourself unappealing to the fox. To not seem like fodder. To not live in the warren - for it is the fox that has now become the rabbit farmer and the warren of existing society is a dangerous place to be living. This is the actively distract and disengage strategy. Ultimately to turn your back on a broken and failing system and seek a different way of being. Not an easy path with the myriad connections that anchor you to your place within the system - family ties, economic ties, physical ties, cultural ties; its an awful lot to have to give up.

The other way must be to step over the NVDA line and recognise that we are engaged in a war for survival, and timidity never wins in a violent conflict. To become more cunning than the fox, more vicious than the stoat, more agile than the squirrel. To not simply ask the system to destroy itself, but to actively bring about its destruction. Exploit its internal tensions, inconsistencies and weaknesses.Tear it down without any grand scheme ready and waiting to replace it - because any grand scheme that you can invent now must be a product of the existing broken system. Create a year zero - the true "great reset" of all human social and moral codes. This would be where activism must live. If disengaging seems like a hard path, then this requires 100 times the courage and fortitude - and still the outcome is uncertain.

You must pick one or the other, though neither of them are to be what they claim.

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