Ravirer A digital garden about disrupting status quo

diversity of tactics

'’Ce n’est pas l’opinion qui change le monde, mais le désir.’’ -Catherine Dorion

According to Wikipedia, diversity of tactics is a phenomenon wherein a social movement makes periodic use of force for disruptive or defensive purposes, stepping beyond the limits of nonviolence, but also stopping short of total militarization. It also refers to the theory which asserts this to be the most effective strategy of civil disobedience for social change.

I am the first to praise diversity of tactics, even if I never suggested that we should use force while I was organizing student strikes. One thing that I very like about this concept is to apply it to the individuals, as in how can individuals cultivate different thing in themselves in order to become a better activist/healer/citizen, etc. I must say that even though I talk about individuals, when I think about this I mostly wonder about how this can apply to myself.

I reached the conclusion that there was 4 key-aspects to my personal diversity of tactics : healing work, art, embodiment of values and learning useful skills. I shall explain those briefly in the following lines.

  1. Healing work, as in becoming a more strong and genuine person, but also as in becoming a better healer in general. Hurt people hurt people, right?
  2. The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible. As we live in a time where it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism (see Capitalist Realism ), I think it is fundamental to create new narratives and utopias to spark hope in oneself and in others.
  3. Embodiment of value as in to ‘‘not dream of labor’’, to be interdisciplinary, to be a relationship anarchist, to value the intuitive, the pleasurable, the spiritual… This is my personal list, but the idea is to put the emphasis in applying one’s values in their daily life as much as possible, no matter how those values do not fit/aren’t very accepted within the current world we live in.
  4. Learning useful skills could mean once again different things for different person. But the idea behind this is to learn stuff that is useful for one’s aspirations, life or community instead of learning stuff useful for the economy. I would even go one step further and say learn useful skills for the revolution, as an example, I would say that in my case, it would then be more “useful” to learn cryptography technology versus some new popular web framework.

When I was thinking about that, some other questions sprung to my mind, namely :

  • If it isn’t opinion who has the power to change the world but rather desire (like the first quote of this post suggest), then how do we cultivate that flame of desire for a better world in the people? How do we make this flame strong enough so it burns the ugly, the wrong?

    –> by making them become accustomed to real desire, to the real power of it?
    –> by empowering them into believing that indeed desire can change the world, namely that they are strong enough to make a difference?
    –> also by bringing the fact that the oppressors are just humans, and therefore aren’t gods, so they can be smashed out/we can stop believing in their power?

  • Even if the American dream seems desire-centered, is it really? I don’t think it is. Well, it doesn’t try to truly fulfill the human drive towards non-material things, aka towards the being (as in, becoming what you really want, if it is outside of the “correct and useful roles” already set by society), therefore desire-centered or not, it does not lead in the right direction.
  • On art : Visuals are great - more popular, more accessible on a day-to-day basis, more shareable - but are they powerful enough to change to the core, to spark real emotions? VS Writing, as it allows to portray a more complex situation, and where ones necessarily identifies/is more involved with the story… but sometimes the message is not enough direct, but is it a matter of subconscious at this point? Plus the question of attention deficit in our postmodern time….

No matter how much unanswered questions there are, I still feel like the idea of personal diversity of tactics is an interesting one.