How to start a movement

I have been thinking (fairly useless activity) about ideas, being fairly useless. The video a few posts back with Rose and Dawkins made something clear to me. The ideas or the code are nothing on their own, they need to be fertilised, and take hold. The ideas are like sperm, they need an egg that will actually hatch. Another way of putting it is that culture is to ideas as is the petri dish to the cell. Things don’t grow in a vacuum, but only under very specific conditions.

“Men make their own history,’’ wrote Karl Marx, ‘‘but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.’’

This video, which I’d seen before, is well introduced here:

Influential Marketing Blog: How To Start A Movement:

Some ideas are a banquet. They go on and on, and invite us to consider what they really mean for hours or days – or sometimes much much longer. Then there are the flashes of insight. The quick sparks that we immediately react to and understand when we hear or see or touch them. These are the types of ideas I wish I could find and share more often. Ideas that inspire in a moment. Starting a movement, for most people, is much more complicated than just having an idea. If you happen to work in a place where this is part of your goal, your questions are often about stakeholders and messages and creating something “viral.” We are all seeking the formula that turns that idea into a movement.

This weekend I saw a short 3 minute video presentation from Derek Sivers at TED that presented an irreverent conclusion – that leadership, your idea and even your “strategy” may be the most overrated elements of creating any kind of movement. Here’s the video:

Red Green?

Trotsky’s Views On Dialectical Materialism:

Pragmatism, empiricism, is the greatest curse of American thought.

I have added the tags “emergence, coherence” to this post as the “dialectics” in materialism foreshadows these conceptions. It is so unfashionable to see a big picture, it is in the ruling class interest to obscure that there is a big picture, or to make it appear that it is a static one, “human nature”, “reality”. Dynamic processes are not discovered through looking at the trees, one must see the woods.

Dialectical materialism gets a lot right when it comes to seeing the big picture. Much of the language is dated and some of the science was current at the time, but has been superseded (as one would expect in a dynamic world).

I’ve found the work of John Bellamy Foster was able to re-kindle a sense of the value of dialectical materialism – or to put it another way: ecology.

Marx’s Ecology – Monthly Review Press:

MARX’S ECOLOGY Materialism and Nature by John Bellamy Foster

More from him here: