Activists and their double standards



Opinions swung back and forth over the years, but nowadays if you try suggesting that voting may not be quite as effective as people claim, you'll promptly get an earful on participation numbers, and how it's your civic duty anyway, yadda yadda.

Meanwhile, try suggesting to the same people that billions of car owners the world over driving their cars less would have an impact on climate. You'll promptly get yet another earful, this time on how individual action can't possibly matter since a double handful of corporations account for the vast majority of CO2 emissions.

Oh, really? Who's been enriching the likes of Shell or Gazprom? Who's been buying and burning all that gas? It's not corporations that own and drive billions of cars.

The notion that individual action doesn't matter is the latest deflection tactic from people who want to feel completely comfortable both morally and in their day-to-day life. In other words, to have their cake and eat it too. And maybe I'd buy it if they weren't telling me in the same breath how slapping a rubber stamp on a piece of paper is somehow more effective than picking up a piece of litter from the ground.

Voting is safe, you see. Anonymous. Quick. A flick the wrist, and you can feel all smug about yourself for the next four years. Regardless of who wins the election.

Giving up even a sliver of your personal comforts is a whole other story. Shit just got real. It aches. Itches. You can't forget.

That strange new feeling is called responsibility. Get used to it.


Tags: politics, critique