Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Politics, activism.  ---  .This section is about being politically active and politically aware.  ---  12/30/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  (1) Find out what is going on in the world.  Learn, read, think, write.  (2) Talk about it.  All we have is words and our brains.  All we have is communication, debate, and voting.  It is not justice when people resort to violence and force.  (3) You may end up poor, despised, embattled, forgotten, having accomplished little or nothing.  That is okay, as long as you give your best effort.  ---  12/21/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  (1) Its all about changing people's attitudes.  Re-politicize people who have become apolitical.  Get people active, not passive.  Get people thinking and feeling.  Get people talking and writing.  (2) People have been trying to change attitudes and raise consciousness for at least a hundred years.  And at the same time, other people are trying to move us backwards, disempower people, dumb things down, and lower consciousness.  You are battling both passive inertia and active opposition.  ---  12/17/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  (1) Political participation is a form of communitarianism.  When you participate in the political process you imply that humans should not and cannot live in isolation.  (2) Political participation is a form of altruism.  You are working for the good of society.  (3) If you do not want to be a communitarian and an altruist, then you should not be living in a democracy.  Democracies are comprised of people who are political participants, and who are thus communitarians and altruists.  ---  4/4/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  (1) Political participation is the sign of a healthy person and a healthy society.  It is healthy for a person and for a society when a person realizes that political participation is an important activity.  (2) De-politization is a sign of an unhealthy person and an unhealthy society.  When large portions of the population become de-politicized then that is a big problem.  ---  6/24/2007  

Politics, activism.  ---  Activism has a mental component and an action component.  Theory and practice.  Thought and action.  Activism is not all action with no thought.  Activism is not all thought with no action.  The mental component is an attitude composed of thoughts, emotion and memory.  ---  5/21/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Activism.  (1) Know what you want.  Know what your political goals are.  (2) Know what you do not want.  Know the people who are trying to make happen the things that you do not want to happen.  Figure out how best to oppose them.  ---  8/11/1999

Politics, activism.  ---  Activism.  (1) Personal effort, for you and those in your life.  (2) Organized effort, for the good of all.  ---  01/01/1993

Politics, activism.  ---  Activism.  40% of people are politically apathetic.  They don't follow the news.  They don't care.  40% of people are fearful to act, speak or think.  Afraid of losing job and money.  10% are active Democrats.  10% are active Republicans.  ---  6/15/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Activist tactics.  (1) Gain knowledge.  Get informed.  (2) Spread knowledge.  Talk with others.  Discuss it.  ---  8/27/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Advice for activists.  (1) As an activist you will have to work very hard to make any change in the system.  Expect passive resistance and active opposition.  (2) As an activist the changes that you do manage to make will probably be very small.  (3) As an activist the changes you make in the system can be rolled back at any time.  The changes you make are not necessarily permanent.  (4) As an activist you most likely won't earn as much money, nor have as much stuff, than if you decided to mindlessly pursue wealth and property.  (5) As an activist you face a constant, a never ending struggle.  There will always be people who don't want social justice and who don't care about the environment.  (5) If you can handle the above then good, be an activist.  ---  10/10/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Advice for activists.  Its a ceaseless struggle with no guarantee of success.  All your gains can be rolled back.  The opposition often does not fight fair.  And the people you are trying to help will sometimes resist you out of ignorance.  And yet its the only job worth doing.  ---  10/13/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Another word for political activism is political involvement.  A person should be involved politically.  Democracy depends on a politically informed public and a politically involved public.  The opposite, political ignorance and political uninvolvement, is a recipe for a myriad of political problems including dictatorship, torture and crime.  ---  5/17/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Arguments for political activism.  Political thought and action is part of the big picture, everything.  It is every person's obligation and responsibility to be concerned with everything, the big picture.  ---  1/14/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  Control of media, or exposure in media, is crucial.  Name recognition, get the message out, soundbites, face work.  ---  12/15/1994

Politics, activism.  ---  Critique of bourgeoisie hipsters.  Sitting in the cafe with your cup of coffee and your Sunday newspaper.  So comfortable.   You are right where you want to be, in your comfort zone.  The sweet spot.  No worries.  You are not a square, you note on your a hipster PDA.  Maybe you will go to an art gallery this afternoon.  Or a play.  Then go out for dinner, not too expensive, but really delicious.  Then make love.  So easy.  So good.  So beautiful.  Who can say anything against you?  You have built your cocoon.  You have become a creature of habit.  From the tempest you hid in your teacup.  ---  5/13/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Encourage more political participation by citizens.  Make political participation a valued social norm.  Ignorance and lack of political participation things should be viewed negatively.  ---  4/4/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Ethics and politics.  Its not merely about politics.  Its about living a good life.  Its about living an authentic life.  Politics shouldn't be something you spend only thirty minutes thinking about each week.  In life, you make decisions regarding the ethics of everything you do, and these decisions have a political dimension to them.  You think about everything that is going on in the world, and how you can help the world, and there is a political dimension to that.     PART TWO.  There is a narrow sense of the word politics which refers to the processes of government.  There is a wider sense of the word politics, which refers to the power of people.  Self empowerment and helping others.  The power to think and the power to act.     PART THREE.  Everything is political.  There are several reasons why everything is political.  (1) There are very many ways to take political action.  (2) Politics is global.  Today, it is easier than ever for people from one nation to talk with and to help people from other countries.  (3) Everything is connected to everything else.  (4) Anything can be made an issue of law.     PART FOUR.  Live a good life.  Living a good life means living an ethical life, by making ethical decisions and then taking ethical actions.  Living a good life means, in part, being politically active.  It is ethical to be politically active.  ---  1/1/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Everyone should be politically active.  Part of political activism is becoming politically aware of the issues.  Consciousness raising.  Education, information.  And caring and feeling.  ---  4/23/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  Everywhere you go, and with everyone you meet, talk about the most important problems and solutions.  ---  5/29/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Get involved in local, state, national and world politics.  Show up at local town meetings.  Vote in every election for which you are eligible to vote.  Research, speak and write on political issues.  Run for office.  ---  12/5/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Got to do it yourself.  Grass roots movements.  (1) T-shirts, bumper stickers, graffiti.  (2) Write your politicians.  (3) Pick a progressive job.  (4) Live a progressive lifestyle.  (5) Educate yourself on the politics of everything.  (6) Educate yourself on the issues.  (7) Don't break the law.  (8) Don't do unethical actions.  (9) Prepare for sleazy blow back.  ---  4/17/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  Holistic approach.  How do activists help people?  By addressing the entire person, and their entire lives in the entire world.  There should be a holistic approach for activists helping people.  And there should be a holistic approach for developing activists.  ---  5/21/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  How are Paul Nervy Notes helpful to activists?  (1) Political activists may at some point have questions unrelated to political activism.  The Notes can help there.  (2) Activism is not merely political.  Activism can be done in many subject areas.  (3) How do you build a political activist?  You address the entire person.  You address the entire world and everything in it.  ---  5/16/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  How much time and energy should a person devote to political thought, word and action?  When does too little time and energy devoted to politics amount to depolitization?  When does too much time and energy devoted to politics amount to obsession?  An hour a week spent on political issues is not too much.  ---  12/12/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  How to create activists.  (1) Get people to help themselves.  (2) Motivate people.  (3) Change attitudes.  (4) Raise consciousness.  (5) Provide information.  (6) Develop ideas.  (6) Create altruists.  ---  8/20/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  It can be called political activism, or it can be called political participation.  ---  4/27/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  It is a political world.  How and how much can and should we get involved in or avoid politics in thought and action?  Why?  If things are cool in the country or world, should one become a hermit?  If things are not cool, if injustice exists anywhere, (ex. fascism, racism, etc.) then how to get involved?  Personal efforts vs. organized group efforts?  ---  04/30/1993

Politics, activism.  ---  Levels of political activism.  Thinking.  Speaking.  Acting.  ---  5/13/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Levels of political involvement.  (1) No knowledge of politics.  Votes for person with best looks and personality.  (2) Knowledgeable about issues that affect them personally.  (3) Knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues.  ---  12/30/1996

Politics, activism.  ---  List of activist techniques.  (1) Ethical techniques.  Nonviolent protest.  Write letters and emails.  Newsletters and blogs.  (2) Unethical techniques.  Violence.  Threats of violence.  Terror.  ---  1/21/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Many people fear becoming politically involved.  Many people fear repercussions if they speak out about politics, or write about politics, or take political action.  The fear of political involvement can be conscious or subconscious.  The fear of political involvement may stem from a general fear of power issues, or even a general fear of conflict.  People who exist in a childlike mental state may fear political involvement.   ---  5/14/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  (1) Make a law.  Become a lawyer.  Hire a lawyer.  (2) Start an organization.  Start a non-profit organization.  (3) Start a business that is involved in environmental sustainability andsocial justice.  Make a living by working on solving a problem.  (4) Change people's attitudes.  Write something.  Book.  Web site.  Academia.  Speechifying.  ---  4/10/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  (1) Political activism.  (2) Economic activism: voting with wallet.  (3) Technological activism: hacktivism.  (4) Cultural activism: write a web page, or book.  ---  4/10/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  (1) Political.  Make a law.  (2) Economic.  Boycotts.  (3) Media.  Get the story out to the public.  ---  5/16/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  Get informed and organize.  Find like-minded people.  ---  4/10/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  Listen to Air America Radio.  Read the Nation magazine.  Read Z Magazine.  ---  6/24/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods of activism.  Think, speak, and act on the issues.  (1) Think.  Think critically.  Gain knowledge about the issues.  (2) Talk about the issues to friends and strangers.  Speak out on the issues.  (3) Act.  Have a peaceful protest.  ---  4/10/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Methods.  Think of ways for progressive activism.  (1) Thinking, talking, and writing seems the best way for me to do progressive activism.  (2) Organize people.  Start an organization.  (3) Convince people one by one.  Change attitudes.  ---  5/1/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Political action is healthy: (1) To feel empowered rather than feeling powerless.  (2) To feel connected and engaged rather than feeling isolated and alienated.  ---  8/26/2000

Politics, activism.  ---  Political activism, ways of.  Pick an issue.  Take a stand.  (1) Journalism.  Write a newspaper article.  (2) Create a video documentary.  (3) Art.  Create a work of art: a poem, a play, a novel, a painting.  (4) Philosophy.  Write a philosophical paper, an argument, using logic.  (5) Science.  Do some science to support your view.  (6) Law.  Write a legal brief.  ---  2/21/2004

Politics, activism.  ---  Political involvement, participation, activism.  (1) Thinking about politics.  Two ways to learn about politics are the practical way and the theoretical way.  The practical way involves finding out what are the current issues being debated.  The theoretical way involves reading political philosophy.  Both ways are necessary.  (2) It is also necessary to be involved on the three levels of thinking, speaking and doing.  ---  4/4/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Political thought and action in positive and negative political environments.  (1) To what degree is political awareness and activism a matter of thinking about a bunch of issues and arguments?  That is to say, to what degree is politics academic?  Some people are politically aware and active, despite there being little personal impetus for political activism.  For example, some people live in a positive political environment yet struggle for people on the other side of the world who live under political subjugation.  (2) To what degree is political awareness and activism a matter of being cast into a suboptimal political situation and experiencing first hand the effects of political blow-back to political participation?  Some people are not politically involved despite living in a situation that calls for political activism.  For example, many people live under political subjugation yet do not act.  (3) Both thought and action are needed in both optimal and suboptimal political environments.  ---  7/26/2006

Politics, activism.  ---  Progress.  It requires more than only intelligence.  It requires wisdom.  It requires motivation.  It requires bravery.  There are many smart people whose talents are wasted because they could not see past their own comfort.  Then there are the people with vision who are willing to struggle against injustice to improve the world.  ---  5/29/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Progressive activism.  Be a progressive activist.  Speak up for progressivism.  Create other progressive activist leaders.  Help people get a progressive education.  Tell the people you meet about Air America radio, and tell the people you meet to watch Democracy Now with Amy Goodman on television.  Recommend progressive books, magazines, and web sites to the people you meet.  ---  4/4/2007

Politics, activism.  ---  Purpose of political action: To gain freedom.  To gain power.  To stay free.  To get justice.  ---  12/30/1992

Politics, activism.  ---  Reading is not enough to save the world.  Writing is not enough to save the world.  Reading and writing are necessary but not sufficient.  It takes more than buttons, emails, blogs, newspapers.  It takes more than speaking and listening.  It takes work.  It takes nonviolent resistance.  It takes protest.  ---  5/15/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Stay aware, stay involved, it is the american way, grass roots activism.  ---  04/01/1994

Politics, activism.  ---  The key is don't withdraw, and don't move to the radical extreme either, rather do gain power (money, status, etc.) and act as moderate to effect change for the better.  ---  04/01/1994

Politics, activism.  ---  The opposition (conservatives) wants you to be apolitical, apathetic and inactive.  The opposition does not want you to think, feel, speak or act.  The opposition will say and do things to try and demoralize or distract you.  Do not let the opposition get to you.  ---  5/27/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Two parts of activism: point out problems and propose solutions.  ---  5/21/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of activism.  Political activism.  Economic activism.  Cultural activism.  Technological activism.  ---  5/21/2005

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action (strategies and tactics).  (1) Thought, word (say or write), and action.  (2) Degree support or oppose any given means and ends.  (3) Degree violent or peaceful.  (4) Size of action.  (5) How just is the action's means and ends.  (5) How effective is the action.  Causes and effects of the action.  ---  12/30/1992

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action: donate time, donate money, preach/testify.  Ways of preaching: graffiti, guerrilla stickers, guerrilla stamps, bumper stickers, flyers, Internet talking or posting, face to face talking.  ---  01/03/1997

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action.  (1) Find better answers to important problems.  Be able to prove it, and sell it.  Be able to prove your foes wrong.  (2) Locate and expose hidden interests and hidden agendas.  (3) Organize and network.  (4) Use truth, reason and plain speaking to fight lies, illogic and rhetoric.  ---  4/16/1994

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action.  (1) Individual: Think about it.  Write politicians.  Preach.  (2) Group: talk about it amongst selves.  Use the media to spread your message.  Pump money into organizations.  Donate free time and energy to organizations.  Non-violent protests like sit-ins and marches (violent protest is not recommended).  ---  09/25/1993

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action.  (1) Write: president, senator, congressmen.  (2) Fund: special interest groups.  (3) Preach: educate, spread the word, remind people, motivate and inspire people.  ---  06/05/1997

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political action.  In every problem area, on every level (world, national, local), you should apply every technique.  Techniques.  (1) Write.  To government big shots.  (2) Money.  Pump it into your lobby organizations.  (3) Work one on one with people.  Or work with your hands.  (4) Talk.  Preach it to everyone.  Pitch it.  (5) All these after thinking out, and researching problems, alternative solutions, and arguments for and against them.  ---  02/24/1994

Politics, activism.  ---  Types of political actions.  (1) Free vs. enslave.  (2) Use vs. abuse.  (3) Manipulate.  (4) Empower: give power (with or without loss to self).  ---  12/30/1992

Politics, activism.  ---  What is the best way to promote democracy (free speech, etc.)?  What is the best way to fight communism, authoritarianism, fascism, fundamentalism, and totalitarianism?  Radios, faxes, photocopies, the Internet?  ---  04/28/1993

Politics, activism.  ---  What to do.  (1) Write to corporate CEO's, especially if you are a stock holder.  (2) Write to the leaders of other nations.  Say you are a global citizen.  (3)(A) Write to the most powerful players.  (B) Write to the best players.  (C) Write to the worst players.  ---  4/16/2000

Politics, activism.  ---  When we are young we stay out of the political fray.  We are apolitical because we want to be above it all.  And perhaps we should be to avoid deciding too early, before we've seen it all and figured it all out.  But there comes a time when you gotta join the real world, take a stand, and get your boots dirty.  ---  09/20/1993

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.