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Which structures really change the world?

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
Another day, another new website ;)

www.youthpolicy.org/participation has been launched by the British Youth Council (BYC)
and aims to increase debate.

Title of this thread is one of the current discussions and they've asked five leading figures from the world of global activism, politics, NGOs and the UN for their perspective on the matter.

Do any of them ring true for you? Or on the flipside are there any you disagree with?

Here's a summary of the 5 points - you can find them in full here.
To create change, it is not enough for us to merely connect and share stories, we must also organize ourselves and take action. Movements are dynamic social structures that aggregate our voices, leverage and tap into institutional power while resisting the pressures to become institutionalized and static.

Jeremy Heimans (@jeremyheimans) is co-founder and CEO of Purpose.com
Electoral politics is slow and hard and often boring, but Europe’s young people simply can’t reverse the coordinated austerity which is costing them their futures without it. No matter how afraid our leaders are of the press barons and the bond markets, there is nothing they fear more than a registered voter with a grievance. Their failures are costing you your jobs – it’s time to remind them you have the power to cost them theirs.

Kirsty McNeil (@kirstyjmcneill ) spent three years inside Number 10 Downing Street as an advisor to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and later the Director of Strategy for the Office of Gordon & Sarah Brown.
Just as an old key is unable to open a new lock, the outmoded top-down ideas are incapable of assuring lives of dignity for most people. Achieving such lives would require social movements, engaging citizens from the bottom up, not only to assert their ‘rights’ to entitlements and freedom, but also to assume responsibility to take both individual and collective action to improve their own conditions. Given such active citizen engagement, the state’s responsibility would be to enhance its own capability to create an ‘enabling environment’ so that people can succeed in achieving lives of meaning and dignity.

Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar is Global Vice President and Country Director of The Hunger Project in Bangladesh. The Hunger Project is a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.
I co-founded an organisation, the ONE Campaign, whose entire purpose is to help people unite in the fight the injustice of extreme poverty – and be part of history. Just as I got to be tiny part of big change with Live Aid, the anti-apartheid campaign or the Berlin Wall-busting party, so we give our members real opportunities to bust this global injustice.

In 10 years together we’ve helped a series of campaigns go from margins to mainstream and make change happen. The successes don’t always hit the headlines, but they are real. The “publish what you pay” transparency legislation we’re pushing for in the oil and gas sector is now going global. Or take AIDS – when we started 50,000 people in need in Africa had access to life saving drugs – now it’s 6.2million. The credit for these achievements doesn’t lie with celebrity rockstars, though they’ve certainly helped. It belongs to African citizens and the millions who campaign in solidarity with them such as those who marched for Drop the Debt and Make Poverty History. In their name these African successes should be far better known and they amount to something profound.

Jamie Drummond (@DrumJamie) is co-founder and executive director of ONE. ONE is a grassroots campaign of three million people committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
Through active participation, young people are empowered to play a vital role in their own development as well as in that of their communities, helping them to learn vital life-skills, develop knowledge on human rights and citizenship and to promote positive civic action. To participate effectively, young people must be given the proper tools, such as information, education about and access to their civil rights.

The UN system is coming together to develop the UN system wide action plan on youth. There is a stronger focus on youth participation and greater recognition to youth led organizations. The proposed changes at the UN mark a shift that needs to be recognised in the time to come and the greatest test will be how youth worldwide are recognised through their voice, action and partnership in the UN systems and beyond.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Helen.

    Nothing can change while the monarchs hold onto power.

    One word must play on the minds of our youth in the furture ;
    freemasonry is that word.

    The framework of all western society hinges on these people.
    From the monarchs down the tree, come the freemasons,
    controlling me.

    So, true freedom for our children only comes about once
    the monarchy have been removed.#

    No political entity is true today - conservative, labour, liberal, UKIP, all under freemason oaths and thus, in contempt of the very
    values they claim to represent.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fluxed wrote: »
    Nothing can change while the monarchs hold onto power.

    Simplistic ideological bollocks, disproved by history. The entire world changed and whilst had monarchy etc. Grow up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    **helen** wrote: »
    Title of this thread is one of the current discussions and they've asked five leading figures from the world of global activism, politics, NGOs and the UN for their perspective on the matter.

    Do any of them ring true for you? Or on the flipside are there any you disagree with?

    The answer is none of them. It isn't structures that change the world, it's individuals.

    Margaret Mead - "Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For indeed that's all who ever have. "
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If I may use an analogy, on a sinking ship then yes people can use buckets to bail water. Maybe they make a difference somewhere.

    In the grand scheme though without some organised system the ship is going down.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Those 5 quotes are gobblygook in spades - what does bollocks like 'citizen engagement' mean? Tallking to people? Voting? And everytime I see the words 'active participation' I'd reach for my gun (either to shoot them or myself, depending what would be end the the pain the quickest). If you do want to 'empower young people' the best way is to talk English, not like you're trying to convince a politics lecturer that you're paper is deep and earnest and worthy of a 2i

    Though to answer the question on which structures change the world the answer would be democracy and capitalism
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dont be rude!
    Simplistic ideological bollocks, disproved by history. The entire world changed and whilst had monarchy etc. Grow up.

    Continue with your rude behavior, i shall report you.



    The monarchs are the master criminals of all history.

    Show me this history, which proves me wrong?

    More often than not, people blow their mouth without using
    logic & reason or......they are freemasons
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Slartibartfast, did you know that all the land in this world,
    rich in minerals, was stolen by the monarchs?

    And to this day, they own the land.

    Slartibartfast did you know, the monarchs abuse the citizens?

    1) They enslave us.
    2) They Tax us.
    3) They are outside the laws which apply to us.
    4) They interbreed.
    5) They cause wars, and force us to do their dirty work.
    6) They head freemasonry ( perjury )
    7) They head the church of England ( from Rome, from Constantine - a lifelong pagan / murderer )

    Slartibartfast , i will educate you. You clearly lack understanding
    in terms of history.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Surely communism brought about as much change as capitalism though. It's like in the game Civilization, any large thing such as:
    - Religion / State Religion / Theocracy
    - Conscription / Military State
    - Free Trade / Planned Economy
    - Democracy / Despotism / Republic
    - Plenty more, search wiki

    All have impacts on the places where they are.

    Honestly though I think the system can self correct, we will just see more of what we've seen in Ireland with wealthy, corrupt crooks being subject to vigilantism. Throughout history we have been on a self-correcting see-saw where progress / growth / enlightenment / whateveryouwanttocallit has been stoppered either by huge social problems or conversely by a lumbering, expensive and ineffective state.

    Anyone who believes that there is one single point on this see-saw that is perfect and we need to aim for is a fool. Absolutely. Our position reflects, generally, the context that we are in. In the 1970s an expensive state after the winding down of the Empire had to be cut and thats all that's happened since then. Now in the 2000s we had hugely profitable MNCs engaging in corrupt practices and causing huge social fallout. I am confident the next change will happen organically as people can't cope anymore and we will shift back to a focus on giving everyone a decent standard of living.

    Its interesting that the reason that communism was so feared by the west was, largely, because it was so good. They solved a huge amount of problems overnight. Isn't it bizarre that if you were bright in Russia in the 1940s, you would have gone to University and gone on to be a world leading academic or even a world leading something in the ARTS (which is a dirty subject these days because you can't print money out of playing beautiful music so its inherently worthless), whereas in 2013 in the UK if you are born in a deprived area you will not have that same opportunity (it is possible, of course, but you will have to fight far harder than your soviet comrades - teachers were encouraged and pestered to spot the 'bright ones'. What a weird society that values and nurtures their best). Obviously, we know communism didn't work out, for good reasons - it hit its own limits.

    The structures don't change the world, the world changes and the structures change to follow it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fluxed wrote: »
    More often than not, people blow their mouth without using logic & reason or......they are freemasons

    OMG You've rumbled us!!

    Anyway mr logic king, how do you prove a negative?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fluxed wrote: »

    The monarchs are the master criminals of all history.

    Show me this history, which proves me wrong?

    Doesn't work like that here I'm afraid. If you're going to make an accusation you don't invite others to prove you wrong.

    As for your other points:
    1)They enslave us. Really? We may be enslaved by the system, but it's a system you can leave if you want. I don't see how removing a powerless figurehead like the monarch would change anything at all.
    2)They tax us. Actually, the government do. That tax money is used to pay for essential services the public demand. Don't like it, go and live "off grid" but don't come running to us for help when you need it.
    3)They are outside the laws. That may be so, but show me proof of a monarch ever breaking a law that would have applied to us.
    4)They interbreed. Oh fuck off.
    5)They cause wars. Actually there are a myriad of reasons why wars are caused, and I believe a reigning monarch hasn't been the cause for at least 300 years
    6)They head freemasonry. Do they? prove it.
    7)They head the church of england. So?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    Its interesting that the reason that communism was so feared by the west was, largely, because it was so good. They solved a huge amount of problems overnight. Isn't it bizarre that if you were bright in Russia in the 1940s, you would have gone to University and gone on to be a world leading academic or even a world leading something in the ARTS (which is a dirty subject these days because you can't print money out of playing beautiful music so its inherently worthless), whereas in 2013 in the UK if you are born in a deprived area you will not have that same opportunity (it is possible, of course, but you will have to fight far harder than your soviet comrades - teachers were encouraged and pestered to spot the 'bright ones'. What a weird society that values and nurtures their best). Obviously, we know communism didn't work out, for good reasons - it hit its own limits.

    You are trolling right? Are you really suggesting Stalinist Russia was better than 21st century UK? Even ignoring the millions dead you are romanticising the Soviet education system (and the rest). Want to study Trotsky and decide that he was unfairly maligned? Much easier to do in the UK than the USSR. And the Soviet system was very centred on practical/technical education - very limited on the liberal arts ( a lot of composers, poets, dramatists found that falling out of official favour meant more than a grant being withdrawn)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fluxed wrote: »
    Continue with your rude behavior, i shall report you.

    Feel free. I still think it's ideological immature bollocks.
    Show me this history, which proves me wrong?

    Well, given that "Nothing can change while the monarchs hold onto power." perhaps you can explain the Industrial Revolution and the Information Age, for example.
    More often than not, people blow their mouth without using
    logic & reason or......they are freemasons

    Is that aimed at me?
    Slartibartfast , i will educate you. You clearly lack understanding in terms of history.

    Please try, but use facts and evidence to back up your claims, rather than slogans. I get bored quite easily you know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The cross that Jesus died on?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Though to answer the question on which structures change the world the answer would be democracy and capitalism

    Roman Era wasn't exactly democratic or capitalist by nature. The Russian revolution wasn't inspired by either, neither was The Long March wasn't either. As examples.
    SkyBoy wrote:
    The structures don't change the world, the world changes and the structures change to follow it.

    This.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Roman Era wasn't exactly democratic or capitalist by nature. The Russian revolution wasn't inspired by either, neither was The Long March wasn't either. As examples.

    The Roman Republic was democratic (or democraticish). But, fair dos, by change I mean changes for the better and the Rome under the Emperors and Bolshevik Revolution* and the Long March were all historical cul-de-sacs
    The structures don't change the world, the world changes and the structures change to follow it.
    This.


    As an aside I've just finished reading this book
    http://whynationsfail.com/

    which essentially argues that the way the world changes depends on the structures (eg after the Glorious Revolution England became a democracy because the structures around which the Revolution took place were basically pluralist and no one group could take control and fashion them to their advantage)

    * which is what I assume is what you mean, rather than February revolution which the Bolsheviks overthrew, was democratic (and whilst its hard to tell what its economic system would be it looked like it would become social democratic, which I'd classify as capitalism)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree that capitalism and democracy can create an environment where change can happen with fewer constraints but they don't, in themselves, change the world. It's always going to be individuals whom make the change.

    Was it democracy, capitalism or a news report (followed by the efforts of Bob Geldof) which changed views on famine? (again just an example)... I would agree that it was the democratic impact of public opinion which changed Govt approach, but as ShyBoy points out that is more a case of the structure reacting to the change rather than the other way around.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree that capitalism and democracy can create an environment where change can happen with fewer constraints but they don't, in themselves, change the world. It's always going to be individuals whom make the change.

    Was it democracy, capitalism or a news report (followed by the efforts of Bob Geldof) which changed views on famine? (again just an example)... I would agree that it was the democratic impact of public opinion which changed Govt approach, but as ShyBoy points out that is more a case of the structure reacting to the change rather than the other way around.

    But what did Band Aid do long term? In that specific case he famine was caused by a failed structure (and the Ethiopian Government using famine as a weapon of war) and long term the reduction in famine was caused by the end of that structure and the independence of Eritrea. Band Aid did short term good, but it didn't have any effect on the underlying cause. (and if I was being really argumentative I;d add it was capitalism which distributed the record and meant people had money to give for famine relief)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Doesn't work like that here I'm afraid. If you're going to make an accusation you don't invite others to prove you wrong.

    As for your other points:
    1)They enslave us. Really? We may be enslaved by the system, but it's a system you can leave if you want. I don't see how removing a powerless figurehead like the monarch would change anything at all.
    2)They tax us. Actually, the government do. That tax money is used to pay for essential services the public demand. Don't like it, go and live "off grid" but don't come running to us for help when you need it.
    3)They are outside the laws. That may be so, but show me proof of a monarch ever breaking a law that would have applied to us.
    4)They interbreed. Oh fuck off.
    5)They cause wars. Actually there are a myriad of reasons why wars are caused, and I believe a reigning monarch hasn't been the cause for at least 300 years
    6)They head freemasonry. Do they? prove it.
    7)They head the church of england. So?


    What an imbecile.

    Anyone wanting evidence, that this fiend is wrong and duff,
    please see my freemasonry topic.

    I will populate it with facts, while this imbecile dumps his load.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    OMG You've rumbled us!!

    Anyway mr logic king, how do you prove a negative?

    I would ask other members to look at my freemason topic, and note
    how this imbecile attends there also, with the same tripe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You are trolling right? Are you really suggesting Stalinist Russia was better than 21st century UK?

    Nope, I didn't say that. But I'm glad I could clear up your comprehension difficulty :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    fluxed wrote: »
    how this imbecile attends there also, with the same tripe.

    A couple of points...

    1. When I told you to "grow up" you got all hissy and threatened to report me. Apparently though calling someone an "imbecile" is perfectly acceptable.
    2. You asked me for evidence, I provided it. You haven't managed to provide anything, especially in the other thread. Strange that.

    Keep an eye out for the lizards though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But what did Band Aid do long term? In that specific case he famine was caused by a failed structure (and the Ethiopian Government using famine as a weapon of war) and long term the reduction in famine was caused by the end of that structure and the independence of Eritrea. Band Aid did short term good, but it didn't have any effect on the underlying cause. (and if I was being really argumentative I;d add it was capitalism which distributed the record and meant people had money to give for famine relief)

    Ah, you can be argumentative if you like but I very specifically talked about changing attitudes rather than the purchase of records. Very deliberately too :p

    It would be interesting to know what international pressure were put on the two countries to end their conflict. But worth noting that a structure cannot starve anyone, it takes individuals to make that decision and then to *use* a structure to enforce it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah, you can be argumentative if you like but I very specifically talked about changing attitudes rather than the purchase of records. Very deliberately too :p

    It would be interesting to know what international pressure were put on the two countries to end their conflict. But worth noting that a structure cannot starve anyone, it takes individuals to make that decision and then to *use* a structure to enforce it.

    You talked about changing views on famine - I'm not sure it changed any views, most people always thought famine was a bad thing, there might have been some marginal changes in how people thought, but not much. (I believe what ended the conflict was events thousands of miles away and unconnected with Ethiopia, the collapse of communism and the USSR's refusal to carrying on supply weapons)

    However, by structures that doesn't mean that individuals don't play a role, but their thought processes and actions are guided by the society and structures they live in. Unless you believe 30's Germany or 40's Russia had a sudden burst of people who were uniquely evil their individual decisions were shaped by the society and structures they live in, as are ours (though hopefully in a nicer way).

    If the State takes 90% of your pay from you you will act in a different way than you would in one where 10% is taken, if the State doesn't allow elections people will protest in a different way from one that does. And any State that doesn't allow competing and differing interests to share power and democratic debate between ideas is likely to have individuals in power who take decisions which are either based on the need/wants of a very narrow interest group (think Feudal England) and also often likely to be wrong (competion works for ideas and without it any old dross is followed)
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