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Columns > Dean Budnick - From the Editor

Published: 2012/12/30

Larry Bloch, Consensus-Based Activism and NYE Resolutions

Here’s something else from my last conversation with the late, great Larry Bloch, to think about on New Year’s Eve’s eve as you contemplate those looming New Year’s resolutions…

“A lot of people sign on for different projects and then are unable to follow through because their lives are very busy and they didn’t really calculate what commitment was necessary in order to be part of a campaign or to be part of anything. I mean there’s a certain amount of knowable work, time and energy, that needs to be devoted and if you don’t take it seriously upfront, you’re often going to underestimate what it takes and you’re often not going to achieve your goal for that reason.

“It feels pretty good to achieve your goal, by the way. I have some fortune with having sort of stumbled upon enterprises that have no downside because I often in my activism try to focus more of my attention on what you might call consensus-based goals or activism where right upfront, just like in the world of industrial hemp, there aren’t any people against it for any good reason, most of the world thinks growing industrial hemp and having it be fully integrated into the marketplace whether it be for food or plastics or paper or coloring, and it works beautifully well, environmentally, economically, etc. So it’s still an activism and one that’s undersupported by our political leaders. But it’s a consensus based one, like the organic foods industry. And it doesn’t have enemies, so to speak, other than a few entrenched power structures who want to maintain business as usual in the world that does competing business let’s say, with industrial hemp, or competing business with organic foods. So it’s consensus based, and it’s a great place to start when looking for wanting to make effective change in the world and you’re more often than not going to be able to do it, and it’s going to make you feel good too.”

Why not keep that in mind as you make those promises to yourself before we head into 2013…

later days and peace,
Dean

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