Time is of the Essence

Written for The Activists. As always, if they don't want it, I'll have it.

The time has come when we can no longer afford to run on empty rhetoric. The time has come when we cannot - indeed we must not - lash out blindly at people for disagreeing with us. The time has come when we have to stop thinking about moving people by any means necessary and start thinking about where we want to move them.

We have inflamed and inspired people's hearts, but that's not enough. Firstly, it has come at the cost of alienating others, particularly others who could be very useful to us - such as doubters and academics. Both of these groups are strong-minded and can think things through - essential for any successful movement - and now we've made potential opponents out of them. Secondly, we've moved people, but have we moved them to do things? Have there been any discussions of what we can or should do to further our goals? If not, we've stirred people up, but now they have nothing to do. This is a recipe for inaction at best and disaster at worst.

We can no longer afford to go on like this. We can no longer afford to alienate strong potential supporters in the name of rhetoric, nor can we afford talk without action. Now, we must focus on getting things done and grasping our revolution with both hands.

Now we must reach out to, and try to persuade, anyone and everyone - whether they're rich or poor, whether they're capitalist or socialist, whether they're liberal or conservative, whether they have a PhD or they left school at 16 - to broaden our base. We must reach out to other left-wing movements, no matter how split and fragmented they are, and we must hold a council with them all. No matter how drawn out it is, no matter how painful for some, no matter if having one's teeth pulled without anaesthetic would seem like bliss in comparison to trying to have a reasonable discussion with them - it's all necessary. Without doing all this, we're just another left-wing group doomed to endless preaching, and so are they. If we could only get our collective act together - them and us - we'd wield a formidable amount of power, power that we could use to change things for the better.

Now we must take this offline. We must use social media more, and we must use it more aggressively, but we must also meet up in person. There's only so much we can do on the internet.

Now we must start planning the revolution. It will never come unless we know how we're going to bring it about, and that will only be done through plans. We must conceive of every tiny step - and we can only start by taking tiny steps, since they're the only ones available to us - on the road to change if we're ever to make the leaps required for genuine reform and revolt.

Most importantly, nothing will be accomplished until people start putting these ideas - or indeed any revolutionary ideas - into practice. And only then will the revolution have even the ghost of a chance of becoming a reality.