I was very intrigued by Bill Moyers’ interview last night with Carne Ross, the founder and director of Independent Diplomat, who has just published a book, The Leaderless Revolution (available through theleaderlessrevolution.com), which promotes a 9-step checklist for being an agent of change to help overcome problems facing the United States. Here are the nine steps. After each step, I’ve provided an explanation of that step based on Mr. Ross’s interview with Bill Moyers:
__ Excavate your convictions.
Determine what you really care about to help you have the strength for the difficult task of addressing that issue.
__ Who’s got the money? Who’s got the gun?
Step back and analyze the situation. Who has the real power over the issue that concerns you the most?
__ Act as if the means are the end.
View the form of politics that you choose as the end. If you choose violence, you’re only promoting violence. Consider choosing equality, transparency, true democracy, etc.
__ Refer to the cosmopolitan criterion.
Instead of following the golden rule and assuming what others would like, ask them, e.g., on the Internet. Often what they would like is very different from what you might assume.
__ Address those suffering the most.
There’s a moral imperative to at least help those who are suffering, especially since it is easy to identify many types of suffering (e.g., starvation, lack of water, mortality) and since it often takes very little to lift a large number of people from suffering.
__ Consult and negotiate.
Take into account what ordinary people want and include their inputs in agreements in order to succeed.
__ Big picture, little deeds.
A plausible and effective way of solving seemingly overwhelming problems in the world is for lots of people to do something small every day towards solving those problems.
__ Use nonviolence.
Retain the moral high ground by using nonviolent techniques to achieve results. Nonviolent techniques were successful in the struggles for female emancipation, civil rights, etc.
__ Kill the king.
As in chess, you need to continually focus on your objective, e.g., taking the other guy’s king.