Thursday 22 March 2018

What should we DO? (And what counts as Doing?)

There is a prevalent notion that something ought to be done. But there is not much clarity about what counts as actually doing something; and even less about what it is worthwhile to Do.

For some people doing is communication - at least speaking to a person or persons, but preferably mass communication. But how much counts as mass?

Commenting pseudonymously on a blog - is that doing? What about photocopying sheets of papers and leaving them for people to find? Graffiti of slogans? Writing a blog? Memes on Twitter?

Are we talking about the mainstream mass media with audiences in millions - national newspapers and magazines, TV, movies - do they count as doing something? Or are all these just writing, not really doing?

Is politics doing, or is it just a talking shop? Forming organisations, sitting on committees, voting, petitions... Taking legal action... Are these really doing anything substantive, or just paper exercises?

Marching, rioting, fighting, breaking-stuff - is that what people mean by doing: 'direct action'? Or do they mean building, creating, making-stuff?

Does it matter how big the things is that is built, or damaged? How many people know about it? Whether the backlash/ reaction outmatches the original doing?

And then - what of our talents. Maybe we would benefit from a Leader - but few of us are leaders (very few actual 'leaders' are really leaders, come to that!), In fact few of us have any exceptional talents to do anything, of any kind. The average person is... just average. Is the average person expected to do anything, or only exceptional people?

Pretty clearly, none of this is really doing. Real doing is - has to be - something that everybody must be able to do: starting Now.

And that limits Doing to... well, work it out for yourself.

That's the answer.

1 comment:

Bruce Charlton said...

Comment from Doug Cook:

I've always believed it is the dirt people who are that ever effect positive change in this world. It is dirt people who make leaders possible. There has to be somebody to lead, and people who are inspired by leaders.

There is another kind of doing which exists at least in America. A plurality who has the power of consent, and withdrawal of consent. People who say "I Wont!" and MYOB! (mind your own business). People who stand up for something better, and larger, greater than the sums of their plurality. I've heard it called Anarchy, in the classical not the marxian sense. Basically secession of hearts and minds from the great evil of our time, the large State.

So somewhere in that is doing in my mind. It has stages of different "levels" of doing if it evolves to its ultimate destination. I think we saw this with the great 5000 Year Leap of the birth of Liberty and recognition of certain inalienable God given rights.

After all, if great doings are to be accomplished of the above nature, it has to begin with each of us before it is all of us.

Thats is where great doings come from. From the humble beginnings of dirt people accomplishing feats thought impossible. For in all this world, who else effects positive change when you get right down to the crux of it. Its people becoming manifest. I think too, the nature if such doings, they only come about after long tolerance of doings which are not desired or injurious to those on the receiving end.

So maybe, the question is not so much doings, but motive power. And audacity. And a plurality of dirt people who grok they are a plurality.

Isn't that where a legitimacy of power originates. Out of the desire to be left alone, unfettered, the exercise, or the doings, of inalienable precepts of primal freedoms?

At least for me, it is the question of the day, something I try to do something about every day. And if by living by practicing, thru exercising such things, I lead by example, and others see, and think, Mmmm, maybe that is a pretty good thing, and do so themselves, and somebody see's that person, and so on. Then after awhiles you end up with big doings by many people.

There's a great short story by Eric Frank Russell, And Then There Where None. A science fiction piece about Anarchy in action. e-f-russell.php

I believe it has to do more with consent. A truly unique thing. It can not be taken, to only can be given. Even if somebody held a gun to my head and threatened to blow my brains out if I refused to comply. I still have the choice. And no one or nobody can coerce you to give their consent. You always have to choose no matter what. I read this in 7th grade, it always stuck with me. It just set right. Your question reminds me of this story.

EF Russell also write WASP. A hilarious delightful story about one guy who disrupts an entire civilization single handed through employing propaganda and agitprop tactics. It is how he goes about it that is so funny because as more dirt people each day join the honorable resistance and turn these instruments of control back on those in power.

So there is another kind of doing too.