wellsharp has covered a lot of ground since November 2007, summarising and reflecting upon the work of many insightful people. We’ve learned a lot from writing wellsharp; hopefully it provides some interesting food for thought for you too.
Ask the powerful five questions:
- What power have you got?
- Where did you get it from?
- In whose interests do you exercise it?
- To whom are you accountable?
- How can we get rid of you?
Only democracy gives us that right. That is why no-one with power likes democracy. And that is why every generation must struggle to win it and keep it – including you and me, here and now.
Tony Benn (2005) quoted at http://www.bennites.com/
we find that the prime human obligation is to act fearlessly and publicly in accordance with one’s beliefs; that one should withdraw cooperation from destructive institutions; that this should be done without violence …; that means are more important than ends; that crimes shouldn’t be committed today for the sake of a better world tomorrow; that violence brutalizes the user as well as his victim; that the value of action lies in the direct benefit it brings society; that action is usually best aimed first at one’s immediate surroundings, and only later at more distant goals; that winning state power, if necessary at all, is a secondary goal; that freedom “begins with myself” … is oriented to love of truth, and only then discovers what it hates and must oppose; and that state power not only should but actually does depend on the consent of the governed.
Jonathan Schell (2003)The unconquerable world: Power, non-violence and the will of the people. New York: Metropolitan Books. p.201.
* Never say never, of course – if we have something burning to say, or if circumstances change, we may post again, but it isn’t in our plans for the foreseeable future.