I've briefly looked at the "fuck'em" issue.
You know, the possibly ephemeral piece of news about the elected president of a European country outlining the cuts, and how a lady, parliamentary representative of the same party, said "fuck'em" on camera.
She said it while the president was mentioning measures to be taken about long-term unemployed people. (That's the context.) Later, apparently, she said her statement was directed not at the unemployed but at the opposition party. (That's what she said.)
Personally, I've never understood politics too well, and I don't like the part I do understand.
I believe that - not just referred to visible politics, but to power in general, including economical power - there has been an inevitable process. 1) It starts with the accumulation of surpluses, specially the centralised accumulation of huge surpluses. 2) Quite naturally, rodents come around in large numbers. 3) From the rodents, the more aggressive predators are selected. I believe there's no way to avoid that - let me put it kindly - part of the powerful ones will have less ethical restraint than the average citizen. (Which, if you're a cynical, you'll say it's not much.)
To that you add that politics stinks so strongly that average citizens stay away from it. Have you tried saying, even as a joke, that you're thinking about entering politics? Try it in three places, as a sample, and I believe in one or two places you'll be frowned upon in disgust. But don't just believe me, and try it out.
I think entering the politics arena can be needed if done in certain ways, as a group and with clear ways to function. But entering politics through the well stablished ways is quite similar to kicking a dead mule.
Furthermore, to be honest, for certain issues I believe there's no time to see any meaningful results. So, given that each of us does what we feel like from among what we can do, I personally don't see me devoting energies to that kind of stuff in any predictable time frame.
So, then, what?
I think there are three things to do, and I was surprised when one of the people who initiated EdgeRyders immediately agreed, and said she would write her personal reflections about it.
The three things I wrote were: "resilience, networks and ethics". Those are my alternatives to the "dead mule", they are what I'm doing and what I want to do.
The part about "resilience" is crystal clear. I believe there are buildings that are falling and there's really nothing we can do about it. Whether we participate or not in their destruction, they are rapidly reaching the end of their time. We need to protect our heads and those of other people, as much as we can.
The part about (human) "networks" is a more recent interest. For a long time I've felt more at ease with abstractions than with mobilising myself together with other people. But at least I want to understand how human networks work, because they are going to play a very important role.
The part about "ethics" is something that, I just realised today, is among what will survive - together with our vital needs - to the changes that are already underway. Meaning that, if there are "abrupt changes" (and don't ask me to be more specific than that) it may be good to keep a concious - personal and maybe flexible - idea about what's good and what's evil.
My ethics, I believe, is quite similar to hacker ethics: contribute, don't wait, recognise other people's work, respect people even if their ideas look silly to you, focus on solving problems (and creating oportunities) in ways others can use, don't surrender (we haven't even started yet), and try not to be too much of a fool or, by Toutatis, too serious.
Of course, "these are my principles and if you don't like them I have others". :-)