Thursday, February 9, 2017


I've talked a lot lately about my view of strategies for social change.  (See my pieces on Strategy, 1/24/16, Now What?, 1/22/17, and TINA is the Enemy, 1/27/17.)  While I talk about the need for activism, I see a lot of my work as being in organizing alternatives, and I really see the importance of the education/consciousness shifting work.  While my work on the Commune Life blog definitely fits into this, I see a need for a lot more work in this area.  I think that education, in many ways, is the neglected piece of the triangle.

As I've been wondering how to work on the education piece, I realize that the real problem isn't a need for more information.  There's lots and lots of information out there.  In fact, maybe there's too much information out there--people complain of information overload.  (This blog, for example, has almost 450 posts.  That's a lot of information to deal with.)  The old rule is to show rather than tell, but I think even better than showing is to engage people's curiosity. If they have to find out the information themselves, they may be more interested and remember it longer.

A while ago, I came up with the idea of throwing out questions.  In this over connected age, it's not hard for people to find answers but my hope is that in looking for the answers, this might engage people better.

I've thought of several ways to do this.  One could be graffiti.  If someone saw a question on a wall, they might be curious about the answer.  There might be places online where you could post questions as well.  We could make these into memes.  There's probably several other ways to get these questions out.  But what questions?  What could we ask that would make people curious, seek out answers, learn and think.

So here's a list of some questions.  This is really only a beginning but may give you ideas about what you could put out there.  Feel free to put these questions out into the world and add others.  I think this could be a great way to engage and educate people.

Here are the questions I came up with:

Who was Audre Lorde?
Who was Emma Goldman?
Who was Sojourner Truth?
Who was Bayard Rustin?
Who was Rosa Luxemburg?
Who was Grace Lee Boggs?
Who were the Haudenosaunee?

What is Civilian-based Defense?
What is Nonviolent Communication?
What is Permaculture?
What is Ecofeminism?
What is the Federation of Egalitarian Communities?
What is Parecon?
What is Libertarian Municipalism?
What is Gross National Happiness?
What is emergence?
What is decentralization?
What was Limits to Growth?

When were the Rochdale Principles written?
When were the Diggers (both the English originals and the San Francisco activists) active?

What did Martin Luther King and Malcolm X have in common?
Were the apostles communists?
Were the Mbuti egalitarian?

What questions would you ask?

Quote of the Day:  "We awaken by asking the right questions." ― Suzy Kassem