Activism and Dandelions

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This is a picture from the start of May. Spring was arriving and next to the destruction site there was a dandelion. Dandelions are the kind of flowers that can turn up in unlikely places. It is considered a weed. I admire this flower of nature. It is the bright “fuck you” nature gifts you in your otherwise “perfect garden.” It reminds me of how little control people have over their actual environment in the most striking yellow a weed can be.

This brings me to activism. In recent years scandal after scandal has hit society, businesses and politics. The media select and report while society, businesses and politicians respond and adapt to changes. This happens on global, international and national scales. One response to the scandals has been to criticise and protest leading to activism.

Recently there was the march against Monsanto, the T.P.P. treaty and the T.I.P.P. treaty. Some people will say “Listen, we have little to no say. Why bother speaking up?” or “Life is good as it is. Do something productive.” Those opinions are sensible opinions and yet they illustrate something terrible. This terrible something is conformity at the cost of freedom of expression.

Over the years I have been reading and researching a lot about the Iraq (oil intervention) War, Wikileaks, Megaupload, the Edward Snowden – N.S.A. scandal, environmental disasters, insufficient post-disaster measures and many social issues. Some of these social issues include technology too. These situations confront us with difficult decisions, sometimes personal dilemmas.

The more I learn the less opinions I want to have. Each opinion confronts me with a decision. Between confusion and certainty there is a gap filled by research, either conclusive or inconclusive. At the same time some developments cannot go unquestioned. When governments and businesses fail to properly explain themselves at the cost of society and the future generations something has to be done.

The 21st century is in a transition. Many things are changing and society, businesses and politics are in a situation where decisions have to be made. “Wrong” or “right” are not the most relevant here. How big decisions affect all parties is the most relevant aspect of all. Businesses and politicians tend to leave society out while the activists tend to ask questions.

If activist movements are what dandelions are to “perfect gardens” then I prefer the dandelions.

Dandelions brighten the place up…