Protest is not enough
The 88th Letter of an Autonomous Thinker

Amsterdam, June 30 2007

Dear reader, 

The G8 meeting is over.
Protests withered away.
The situation in the world did not improve. 

Next year another G8 meeting.
Next year another protest.
Next year again nothing will change.

Something different has to happen.  

Only continuous actions pave the way for fundamental changes.
A multitude of small pin-pricks have more result than a few big actions in Seattle, Genoa or Heiligendamm. The “War of the Flea” strengthens the individuality of masspeople and undermines the power of the people at the top.  

Power stands central. G8-activists do not force the top to behave differently. Real change is only possible when the power relations change. Skirmishes with the police are useless. The G8 meeting is not influenced. The top continues to live prosperous while the masses get the crumbs that fall from the well-provided table of the rich.  

Actions must undermine the power of elitepeople with high incomes and good connections. The most powerful people are those who comply best with my Theory of the Tree F’s

Finance. He (and occasionally a female) has vast amounts of capital at his disposal.
Function. He has a prominent position in which he can take important decisions.
Family. He has a vast network of Family Members who are in comparable positions. 

The top-elite preserves the basic inequality in which the top has always more than the masses. Lower elites in f.e. the medical, juridical, industrial or political field have an own power and also a higher income than masspeople.
The highest elite lives on the safe and prosperous eliteworld. These elitepersons are mostly unknown but everyone knows lower elitepersons. When these lower elitepersons are forced to take decisions contrary to the guide-lines of the top-elite, activists have disturbed the power structure.  

The separation of elite- and massworld leads to ridiculous decisions. Within fifteen years the UN wants to halve the number of poor people! Then still a billion or more masspeople live in utmost poverty. Weapons are supplied to almost everyone. Drugs are distributed to far-away corners of the world. But it seems impossible to bring food to people who cannot get enough food. 

Up till now most protests (from trade-unions to the so-called Autonomes) take place on the streets of the massworld. The closed eliteworld remains untouched. Even lower elitepersons are not called to account for the trouble they cause to masspeople. By penetrating the eliteworld the masses force leaders to see what happens in the massworld. Then the elite cannot anymore live in their own world and the masses acknowledge they have the power to force leaders to take different decisions. Only then the road will be opened to Another World.  

Such actions undermine the power of the elite. When they use the media to defend themselves, masspeople see that they have found a weak point in the harness of the elite. The media sometimes applaud peaceful demonstrations but the well-considered arguments of activists are ignored. These actions are as useless as the violent actions around G8 meetings. Activists, policemen, shop-owners etc are damaged but the elite continues with its activities.  

Attacks in the private living space of elitepersons will be stigmatised by the media. But when actions do not disturb masspeople they will ignore the media that cannot pinpoint the anonymous activists. But the media will describe decisions by leaders that are in contradiction to the ideas of the top-elite. It will show the cracks in the harness of the elite caused by actions of masspeople. Activists will become self-confident because their actions have some success. And the elite perceives that its power has become restricted.

The Animal Liberation Fighters against Huntingdon are too much involved in publications in the media. Also they attack too much the places where animals are maltreated and not the places where the decisions are taken. And they cause damage to masspeople and even to liberated animals that cannot survive when they are released.  

The purpose of actions is to make leaders insecure of their own situation (just as masspeople are often insecure of their situation). All other activity is superfluous because it takes place within the limits drawn by the elite. It does not change the fundamental unequal power relations. Sometimes trade unions or parliamentary parties give masspeople more crumbs from the well-provided table of the rich but the rich remain the first people who can eat from that table. 

Anti G8-actions have no success. It are not autonomous actions but only a reaction on what the other side is doing. Without G8-meetings, actions are rare and without continuity success will be futile.
There are enough targets but activists often look only to the media to measure their success. I prefer actions that do not appear in de media. Actions that have success because the targeted leaders take decisions that are contrary to the ideas that live in their own environment.

It leads to the situation that the elite CANNOT live anymore in the prosperous eliteworld and that the masses do not WANT to live anymore in the subordinated massworld. Only then both worlds can be united in Another World in which all people have the same status.
This ideal can be reached because autonomous masspeople are sufficient creative to become active with a few friends against an egoistic leader on the time, the place and the way she or he chooses.

For further ideas about the War of the Flea see Letter 32 and Letter 92.

Yours truly, Joost van Steenis


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89.  Live Earth is not the way!
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