[Marxism] Aikido Activism -- a new economic and social model already begun?

Burkhart aikidosphere at earthlink.net
Thu Apr 8 13:03:22 MDT 2004


Traditional capitalism segments "For Profits" from "Not for Profits" with one result being excess on both sides: 

- "For Profits" aim for maximal profits while often ignoring social and environmental consequence (responsibility) 
- "Not for Profits" aim for social and environmental justice and responsibility, but are impeded in their efforts by a traditionally philanthropic basis that causes "For Profit" myopic-profit efforts to dwarf "Not for Profit" responsibility-seeking efforts. 

Tradition had been that philanthropists would reap a certain amount of spoils in the first part of their life, to later "give back" via philanthropy to progressive and remedial causes. This had been the best model possible, given the larger forces at play in society. But society is increasingly self-aware, due to an explosion in communications and idea flow occasioned by the Internet. The same forces of globalization that have empowered society, have also led to an increasing necessity to change this traditional model of focusing myopically on profit at the expense of humanity and ecology -- else we may destroy our planet and our society. The growing realization of this is leading to innovations in socially responsible investing, triple bottom line accounting, and total corporate responsibility. 

But there is another, complementary, activism-oriented proposal worth considering: Aikido Activism. 

Aikido Activism is a new proposal -- but like any true next step, is already beginning to take place. Aikido Activism (detailed more fully in an essay at tinyurl.com/2pfng ) sees society's future as operating at a point between "For Profit" and "Not for Profit", reigning in the excesses of corporations (taking a myopic-focus on profit to a more balanced focus on economics, society and the environment -- with greater transparency for accountability) while liberating progressive causes from the paupery of "Not for Profit" status. 

Kevin Danaher, a leading activist and writer regarding the history of corporate objectives and excess, has used the term Aikido to describe Global Exchange's strategic campaign against Nike, Starbucks, etc. -- using the force of PR (a power and momentum traditionally leveraged by corporations) or the threat of that force to present a turning force to the corporation, just as Aikido leverages the momentum of an attacker into a progressive outcome. Aikido Activism generalizes the concept, and introduces the specific case of Intellectual Property Aikido Activism, in which the individual empowerment afforded by intellectual property law is leveraged into a progressive corporation that is both profit-maker and activist corporation -- strengthened by the collective empowerment and competitive protections provided by intellectual property laws. 

High-tech is a field involving rapid change, major inflection points (Andy Grove's term for business changes based on clever innovations), and intellectual property protections. Is it possible that the next big thing will ONLY be the next big thing because instead of opting for the traditional myopic-profit route, it has opted for building the next big thing via Aikido Activism?

Aikido Activism has become possible on a broader scale today because in OECD countries, the phrase "a rising tide lifts all boats" is coming to be seen today as "a rising tide or lowering tide is actually sinking the boats of many OECD-region wage earners and the environment, as jobs follow a global race to the bottom that still lifts the boats of corporate-owners."

The original essay on Aikido Activism can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yssuq

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