The Consensus Imperative

Posted: 10/12/2011 in Democracy, Struggle
Tags: , ,

The older generation of world changers are completely divided. Their combined understanding and energy could easily have toppled the 1% before they did the damage they have done. But they have failed – and I include myself here, they have failed because they never desired consensus. We are a generation of ego-driven cult leaders. We all want people to follow us. This is why our generation was so easily bought off with representative democracy. We were happy representing others because that gave us a sense of leadership. When I look around at my generation I see many wise people all working in separate alleys, and that is what they are – alleys. There is no road to change but lots of alleys vaguely going in the right direction.

How has this divisive situation come about? We all thought we were right, and that being right was enough. Being right is enough for us as individuals but it does not matter one iota when it comes to social change. What matters there is a consensus for change, a modus operandi that does not seek an agreement of ideas, does not require the acceptance of ideas of others, but simply accepts that there is a need for a consensus of action. The ideas of our generation never accepted that. This is our failure.

When the young of OWS look at us and say “look at the world you have left us”, we all turn round and say we fought. We came out of the 60s and we fought. But we fought in alleys whilst the road of the 1% led unobstructed to huge profits, global war and economic deprivation for the masses of people in the world. We all felt right about our own alleys so we never bothered to join together. Our egos kept us separate and did only one thing – we were working for the 1% by using our egos and our abilities in our own alleys – alleys of distraction.

I can imagine so many of my generation if they were ever to read this saying “this is right if only people had listened to me when I was trying to mobilise”. But that is not it. There is no point in saying we want this type of mobilisation or that type of mobilisation. What we want is no egos. And consensus.

And this is what the young are teaching us now. The young are working together. They seem disparate yet they have a movement. There are provocateurs trying to disrupt but they are seeking consensus not agreement. Bury your differences and work concertedly. NOT, determine your differences and form parties or organisations that go along in an alley that can maybe do some good but is more likely to deflect from the struggle against the 1%. Before we could never answer the question “who was at fault?” Now we have an answer – the 1%. Whose responsibility is it to change – the 1%? This answer is unequivocal. My generation would say we demand this or that, all perfectly reasonable, but the young people say we will put our bodies on the line, work out our own way, but not hide from confronting the problem – the problem is the 1%.

So when the young say look at what the hippy generation left us, I for one will say unequivocally “I am sorry”. Our generation was too egotistical to seek a consensus.

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