How Elites Resist Change
by Paul Glover
Whenever grassroots activists challenge destructive governmental/corporate action, they face a sequence of resistance which generally goes like this:
1. IGNORE YOU: "This is not worth discussion."
2. RIDICULE YOU: "Apparently you Eco-beanies think you know more than the experts, all of whom have decades of experience in this field. Perhaps you'd like to explain the transverse extrapolated implications of anastomized regurgitant."
3. TELL YOU YOU'VE BEEN RUDE AND ACT HURT: "We think you're being irresponsible, impulsive and unfair to us; we work very hard here on difficult questions, and you don't understand the realities of this situation."
4. "AGREE" BUT NEGLECT: "We care about (animals/good pay/trees/human rights) and you can be sure we'll take care of this matter." Nothing substantial follows.
5. CREATE COMMITTEE AND APPOINT YOU: "It's time we establish and orderly procedure for considering these questions, so that your concerns will be properly considered and implemented." You're asked to "compromise" "be reasonable."
6. KICK UPSTAIRS: to higher level authority, like an Environmental Impact Statement or survey: "An expert panel has concluded that when rich people get richer, the poor benefit."
7. KICK DOWNSTAIRS: divide and conquer: jobs vs. environment, blacks vs. whites, men vs. women, pedestrians vs. bicyclists, etc: "We can't proceed without the agreement of all parties. You'll have to argue it by yourselves."
8. BUY LEADERS: "You've become so well known to us that we think you deserve employment with our firm."
9. LIE: "Today America's heroic Air Force pilots dropped cluster bombs to protect the freedom of children on the ground."
10. LEGISLATE: "We have lobbied to enact laws to protect this rare deer in such a manner to protect our profits."
11. THREATEN to sue, sanction, expell, arrest, jail, kill: "You have three minutes to leave the building, then we'll arrest/shoot."
12. YIELD, THEN WAIT: "Let them take over. After a while they'll self-destruct."
ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT AND A DUTY TO PROMOTE YOUR VALUES AND TO CONTRIBUTE NONVIOLENTLY TO PUBLIC DISCUSSION.
THOSE WHO TELL YOU OTHERWISE ARE "ANTI-AMERICAN."