Blueprints for Change: Optional, but Highly Recommended

In Chapter 5 of “Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism and the Future of Society”, author Tim Jordan asserts that activists cannot be demanded to provide detailed plans for the future. According to him, there is a “tension between what is being created and the future that inspires it,” and since the details of this future are unknown, it is a “misunderstanding to demand such blueprints from activists” (Jordan, 138.)


Of the many activist campaigns we consider now to be successful, it seems unlikely that any given leader of such a campaign knew, from the get-go, the exact steps they would take to achieve success. It is for this reason, that I believe Jordan has made an important point. Simply because an activist movement does not have detailed future plans does not weaken their demands for change.


However, I would argue that leaders of successful activism campaigns probably have a reasonable “blueprint” for change when their movement begins. After all, activism demands change through the political system, and therefore it should have ideas of what sort of change politicians should make. I’m not implying that the entire burden of problem-solving should fall on activists rather than politicians, I believe such an idea would require much more investigation. Rather, I’m arguing that activists are much more likely to move politicians if they are able to provide reasonable courses of action that can achieve change.


So while demanding “detailed plans” from activists might be unreasonable, perhaps it is not so reasonable to demand some plans.



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