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Power Concedes Nothing

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:34 pm
by seeker
I recently read "Power Concedes Nothing" by Connie Rice, a lawyer and activist working on comprehensive solutions to problems of minorities and gangs in LA.

Connie summarizes some of her guiding principles as: Find out enough to ask the right questions. Study every problem through different lenses and angles. Listen closely to your adversaries, especially if you dislike them, then walk in their shoes. Nothing is what it seems, so stay nimble. Brilliant theory is often just a bad start. Outside of science, facts rarely determine anything. Context determines everything, and it changes. Strive for a reasonable balance of risks, then act. Markets and human beings are irrational. Question all givens. Environment matters. Value the many kinds of intelligence, and don’t underestimate the kind you don’t have. The universe is relative, strange, and amoral. Absolutes and their rigid human counterparts, ideologues, are dangerous. Figure out what is important. Listen to your heart, but act with your brain. Compete against your best self and then push a little harder. Keep the faults you like and purge the rest. Enjoy others’ success as your own. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself and honest enough with everyone else. Claim what you want and go get it. Define yourself and your destiny. If you want flowers, send them. Protect your gift, like Katharine Hepburn did. Physical exercise heals everything, but when that fails, put on some Earth Wind & Fire and read “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf”.

Connie quotes Harry Belafonte speaking about the civil rights movement: We always deprived them of what they needed from us to force our participation in our own degradation. If they needed passengers to fuel a racist bus system, we walked. If they needed our patronage at their racist, segregated stores, we boycotted. If they needed our inferiority, we met them with dignity. If they needed our violence, we confronted with peaceful protest.

After reading Harry Belafonte's message, I thought about current economic and political issues which are sometimes expressed as us vs. them, or the 99% vs. the 1%. Does the 99% unintentionally contribute to the consolidation of power by the 1%?

If they need us to be ignorant and gullible, we can educate ourselves. If they need our money to fuel their corporations and financial schemes, we can invest elsewhere. If they need us to accept the candidates and information they offer, we can create our own options. If they need us to be apathetic and believe we have no power, we can act in our own interest.

Re: Power Concedes Nothing

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:54 am
by Hurtsen
The problem is you simply cannot invest "elsewhere." They either own everything or can buy anything that starts raising in value. It's just the nature of the system. You cannot beat it.

Re: Power Concedes Nothing

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:01 am
by seeker
Which system ("nature of the system") are you referring to? What about other systems?