A Theory Based on Practice and that Informs Practice

I led my first weekend Wide World Change Workshop last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, for about one hundred people. It was a wonderful experience - powerful, exciting, and fun! I printed up some posters listing the main points I made at the workshop. This is what they said:

Our goals this weekend are:

 • to increase our ability to transform society - to achieve social and economic justice in the world and end all forms of oppression, and

 • to learn how to do wide world change work better (in RC and in the wide world).

 What are the obstacles we face?

 • The effects, on ourselves and other members of our group, of our oppression and our internalizing of that oppression

 • The results of internalizing our oppression as young people and students - competitiveness; divisiveness; lack of confidence; need for credit, recognition, and approval; fear of

• The oppressor attitudes that we

• Idealism - losing touch with reality, thinking the theory is enough (e.g., thinking we can stop humans from hurting each other without ending capitalism)

• Pretense (e.g., "racism doesn't really affect anybody anymore")

• Using practices mechanically and not thinking freshly about each

• Opportunism - giving into patterns of greed or selfishness

• Attention - seeking through rhetoric or proposing radical programs that won't work

 • Self-centeredness - setting personal interests and comfort above our goals

 • Work-centeredness - not paying attention to our real needs for rest, play, discharge, healthy food

 • Lack of principle - letting things slide for the sake of comfort

 • Gossiping

 • Despair and hopelessness

 • Stupefaction and obstruction by societal institutions (lack of information, lies, diversions, addictions)

 • Oppressive and self-serving policies and practices of institutions and officials.

All this affects our thinking and our ability to translate what we know into action.

What do we as RCers have to contribute to wide world change?

 • A theory based on practice and a theory that informs practice

 • Knowledge about the helpful role of discharging emotions

 • A commitment to ending oppression and exploitation, to all people being treated well

 • An understanding of the power of having a community of people who trust and care about each other

 • A glimpse of a reality that contradicts the despair and hopelessness

 • Some processes that help people past the denial about the effects of different forms of oppression

 • An inkling of what human relations can be like

 • Methods that empower us, that allow us to break through the obstacles.


Julian Weissglass
RC International Liberation Reference Person for Wide World Change
Santa Barbara, California, USA

Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07