8.1. The More People Can Participate, The More People Will Participate

Narrow ideologies limit our numbers, and motivate others to oppose everything we do.

Acting collectively and effectively is the most important thing ordinary people like us can do to create real, lasting social change.

To a large extent, what we have today is a math problem.

We don’t have a problem with people being unaware or uncaring.

We know there are big problems we need to solve. We know a lot of people are suffering because of them. There’s more than enough of us tuned into this crisis, ready to change the world.

The fact is: in a world of billions, it takes a movement of millions to have a chance of getting anything done.

But even if you manage to get your army of millions…you have to somehow manage not to run afoul of some other army of millions, or some powerful, well-resourced institution, that decides to target you and make you their enemy, and devotes itself to undoing all the good work you and your posse are able to do.

In this current climate, getting the necessary numbers to do good without getting opposed, ripped to shreds, or contested every step of the way is nearly impossible.

I think there are ways we can act more collectively, strategically, and effectively—without encountering nearly so much resistance.

I think there are ways we can better leverage the strengths of ordinary, well-intentioned people like us against the weaknesses of entrenched interests, who want to keep our current corrupt, predatory systems in place.

I think there are ways we can recruit more people over to our side without creating so many ideological enemies—something that is doubly harmful, since it reduces our numbers and motivates those who oppose us to undermine everything we do.

But it’ll be a process.

There’s a reason this series is called the Few Years’ Resolution project, after all.

We’re so fragmented and divided against each other—and so committed to only permitting people with narrow, exclusionary beliefs to join our crusade against the evils in the world—that it’s going to take some time to get our act together.

We have to be patient. We have to resist the temptation to reach for a quick and unrealistically easy solution. We have to keep our integrity and hope, as we continue to work toward a solution.

And we have to resist the temptation to try to speed things up by whipping ideological conformity—a tactic that may work on some, but will also create a bunch of enemies in the process.

Because the fact is, the more people can participate in making the world a better place, the more people will participate.

Nowadays, we break apart into different, opposing factions over the slightest quibbles—even though the two most important things we can do are accumulate numbers and minimize opposition, and tearing ourselves apart does the opposite of that.

That’s why we have to come at our problems in a different way. And that’s what this unit of videos will be about.


This is the 125th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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