We are beginning to understand that the world is always being made fresh and never finished; that activism can be the journey rather than the arrival; that's struggle doesn't always have to be confrontational but can take the form of reaching out to find common ground with the many others in our society who are also seeking ways out from alienation, isolation, privatization, and dehumanization by corporate globalization.
In the case of Tunisia, it was indeed this single act that sparked what had been long-standing active protest movements and moved them forward. But that's not so unusual. Let's look at our own history. Take the civil rights movement. There had been plenty of concern and activism about violent repression of blacks in the South, and it took a couple of students sitting in at a lunch counter to really set it off. Small acts can make a big difference when there is a background of concern, understanding, and preliminary activism.
The term 'politics of prefiguration' has long been used to describe the idea that if you embody what you aspire to, you have already succeeded. That is to say, if your activism is already democratic, peaceful, creative, then in one small corner of the world these things have triumphed. Activism, in this model, is not only a toolbox to change things but a home in which to take up residence and live according to your beliefs, even if it's a temporary and local place...
If my activism, however well-motivated, drives out love, then I have misunderstood Jesus’ gospel. I am stuck with law, not the gospel of grace.
Activism begins with you, Democracy begins with you, get out there, get active! Tag, you're it
Activism” is not just what we see on the streets or on the Internet or in the news; sometimes, “activism” is the simple act of doggedly, determinedly surviving.
Tensurrealism creates actual and non-compromised reality, jamboree, fervor, fascination, poetics of an active enthusiasm, interludium, lyrical practice, active happiness.
I have always preferred the contemplative to the active life. I prefer the freedom to see matters from several viewpoints, to appreciate ironies, and indeed to change my opinion as I learn something new. To be politically active means to surrender this freedom. I say nothing against activism for others. It is only through the committed that necessary changes come. But each to his own path. [A Cautious Case for Socialism, Dissent Magazine, 1978]
To engage in activism that envisions alternatives ways of organizing society and alternative ways of being is to risk membership in society, a sense of belonging, however partial it may be. Activism can make us vulnerable because it is so obviously about wanting something beyond what is, and to have a political desire often is construed as wanting too much.
Anarchy has the flexibility to overcome many of the traditional problems of activism by focusing on revolution not as another cause but as a philosophy of living. This philosophy is as concrete as a brick being thrown through a window or flowers growing in the garden. By making our daily lives revolutionary, we destroy the artificial separation between activism and everyday life. Why settle for comrades and fellow activists when we can have friends and lovers?