Friday, August 3, 2018

#215 / Proxy Activism

As the very last word in his novel, Existence, in a section called "Follow-Up Resources," Author David Brin recommends "proxy activism." Brin refers readers to his website discussion of the topic, and here is the link

If you click the link, you will find that Brin describes the essence of "proxy activism" as follows:

Proxy Power is the uniquely convenient — but seldom discussed — ability of a modern person to participate in activism... helping to change or improve the world... by the simple expedience of joining some group that is vigorously pursuing that part of your personal agenda. In other words, you add both your membership dues and the political impact of your membership, in order to get behind people who are striving to save the world for you.

I am endorsing Brin's call for "proxy activism," and particularly want to point out the importance of making financial contributions to the causes you support. Jesus, speaking not so much as a religious leader, but more as a sociologist would, tells us that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." In other words, it just happens to be true that when you make a financial contribution to a group working for a cause, the very fact that you have put your money on the line makes you much more committed to the cause than you would be if you had merely signed a petition, or otherwise stated your support. 

I am happy that Brin is touting "proxy activism." There is nothing wrong with this "uniquely convenient" way to get involved with the critical issues facing the world. 


While I think proxy activism is beneficial, and even "necessary," it is not "sufficient." 

If we want a genuine system of self-government, a government that will respond to human needs, and that will seek to realize our greatest aspirations, we are not going to be able simply to hire nonprofits to make the necessary changes for us. If we want self-government, a large number of us will need to get involved ourselves.

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