Thinking outside the square: alternative Aotearoa
Some things never change: alternative-minded folk are usually thinking outside the square, the square being the mental prison that normal people (squares) inhabit. I always expected my peer group to establish an alternative political movement as a natural evolutionary outgrowth of the cultural wave I grew up into. Sure, we changed the world. But not enough!
I'm too unconventional to identify easily with the most others on the cultural fringe. Fringe-dwellers tend to be apolitical. They view politics as an old-fashioned game that would be too boring to play. No fun and no gain. We need to reframe that view by introducing a new game. Society has trended in recent decades toward inclusion - no longer the domain of WASP males. Ethnic & other minorities are allowed a voice in the national media. No reason to continue excluding fringe-dwellers then, is there? Having waited 4 decades for our input to be included in the national debate on a whole range of issues, I feel disinclined to wait any longer. I will assert our collective right to inclusion in the democratic process: on our own terms!
You know, someone who sees further and deeper than most always struggles with communicating those insights. Growing up as a loner is a further handicap, but I have had rewarding group involvements from time to time after discovering in early teenage years that I could star in peer-group situations. Leading a group comes naturally to me, provided the group does actually figure out what's required, but I'm just as happy to play second fiddle to someone more outgoing. My forte seems to be keeping things on track - I'm forever intervening to do that when some digression starts to threaten success. I'm also a natural problem-solver, but since democracy in its current form has no place for those who aspire to solve social problems, it's taken me this long to find a way to contribute effectively.
Identifying with the avante garde as I became adult meant transition from following role models to learning to play that part myself. Took quite a while! It ain't enough to be a fast learner, one must find social contexts in which to exercise the skill. This country had few that didn't alienate me immediately. Readers ought to be aware that fast learners don't just drive social progress, they also are an early-warning system for the tribe. In times of subtle danger they function like the canary in the coal-mine and boy, are we in one of those times!! Most people are afflicted by a gradualist outlook, so the tribe will fall victim to our current bunch of global threats unless we jolt them out of their complacency. I hope this site proves a suitable vehicle for snowballing a transition away from business as usual.
In the following essay I explain why, based on my personal experience, I arrived at my view that the greens cannot save the world unless they become an avante garde movement like the one described in this site. In this essay I'm wearing 2 hats: the cultural historian & the political analyst. Readers outside this country will find a few references to the politics of my country: I hope they are brief enough not to detract from your comprehension.