Sunday, 10 October 2010

Fight for the System, Not the Results

Deborah Grayson guest writing at Left Foot Forward discusses the notion that the Suffragettes did not win themselves the vote through their campaign but rather it was economic forced. She isn't happy with that idea:
"In this second version of history, [it isn't?] people that change things, but blind economic forces."
I'm no economist but I'm pretty sure that economic forces don't exist independently of people. Aren't these "blind economic forces" the net result of people making choices?
This narrative has come to dominate ideas about social change, and is incredibly disempowering:
Until some impersonal force decides that your demand is ‘economic’ you might as well have stayed at home watching repeats of Top Gear on Dave. It’s a narrative that helps us deal with the liberal guilt about the privileges we enjoy, and justifies us giving up the fight for a more equal world. And it clearly works to the advantage of those who already hold power by dissuading people from taking any kind of action to challenge them.
Ms Grayson seems to think that the only thing one can fight for is a given result. Thus if you cannot force people to give you what you want you have nothing to campaign for. She's wrong, as any Libertarian can tell her. Fight for a better system Deborah!

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