Orion Digest №43 — The Danger of Appeasement

It is important to understand the strategy by which the elites within a democracy operate. They do not simply oppose the will of progressives outright — to do so would garner them less support. Rather, they want to reach as much of a voting crowd as possible, and so they respond not with indifference but in small nods — enough to lower the standards of the masses to where they will accept ultimately meaningless victories. We are taught to believe that meaningful change is “too hopeful” or “too much, too fast,” and that we risk angering those in power by ever asking for more. It is a strategy employed to breed weakness in a progressive audience, and must not be taken too seriously.

Our situation could be likened to a leaky hose. Every time a hole bursts on some part of the hose, we rush to fix it, and expend effort trying to patch up the hose, and feel contented once the hole is gone, no matter how much water we lost and what damage has been done. The hose is fixed now, and even if we’d like the hose not to break, it’s too much to ask for the hose to be completely hole-proof, right? At the very least, we can be gentler, and hopefully, that will be the last time, we say before the hose breaks again. We expend so much effort and in the end, lose so much water when the simplest solution is simply to replace the hose. We fear what will happen if we do, because to fail will mean a large loss in water, and we might not know how to even use the new hose. But failing to rip off the band-aid will only result in more pains over time.

Just like with the hose analogy, injustice will spread and people will expend all their time and resources just trying to convince the indifferent elites to fix one problem at a time. It will be dangled over the heads of the crowds, and when they finally receive it, the damage will be done and the masses will simply be told to be thankful for what they got. Soon enough, the time will come again when the cycle repeats, and though people will still be angry, it’s the best they can do, right? Their new leader may be unhelpful, but at least they were the lesser of two evils. It could always be worse. These are the kinds of thoughts that keep a people in submission, and they must not be fooled.

Think back to the violent deaths of the past year in the United States, where a man was choked to death with a knee on his neck for the world to watch. All the outrage, and yet the true problem — lack of accountability and thorough vetting within law enforcement — is hardly touched, with only a few memorials and arrests made to make the public feel that some semblance of justice has been served. People hope so fervently for gradual change, that if they go through the democratic process, a better world will come about eventually, but in this war, for every move that progressives make, the opposition makes a hundred, and gave the progressives allowance of that one move so that they would not get too wise.

This does not change the fact that in many situations, the ‘holes’ cannot be abided by while large scale reform is sought. To fight and fix problems one at a time is not exactly something we can avoid, because to do so would be to abandon those in need, to go against our express purpose. If there is a city in the summer experiencing electrical outages, the true cause may be a faulty power system, but the immediate concern is still preventing citizens from suffering heat stroke. People come first — that is the primary concern of change, and if at all possible, it is our responsibility to assist those in need. We are torn between two responsibilities — the endless fight for small victories is a distraction, but we cannot stop fighting, for if we do, it will spell opportunity for those that would take advantage as soon as we lay down our weapon.

There are two paths that we must take if we are to overcome this dilemma. The first lies in grassroots organization. Not simply the creation of grassroots movements and political funds, but the unity and coordination of different movements for achieving shared goals. There are a thousand different causes in the world, all aiming towards some kind of problem that must be fixed. Anti-war movements, anti-child trafficking movements, pro-choice, anti-gun, environmentalism, socialist, federalist, human rights activists, etc. Many are small and have limited reach, but they still have some reach. With common ground, activists could have more of a front to dig in their heels and push for greater recognition, and if they succeed, we are one step closer to our goal, and if they fail, then the appeasers have shown their hands for the world to see, as sympathetic only to money and power.

The second is an emphasis on community aid and benefit. Civilization is organized on various levels, and while we have become more connected to the rest of the world than ever, we must not forget that the people around us — on our street, in our town, at our school — are some of the people we interact closely, and we must remember to care for them. A community can be a family, and when people are in need, it should be the responsibility of all within it to solve problems when systems of government and economy cannot. If large chains and businesses prove unwilling to offer suitable wages, support local businesses and offer a helping hand to those struggling. Get to know people, and if you want to see a problem fixed, talk to them, convince them. If there are those in your neighborhood who feel unsafe, take action and put in the work to understand why and make your community more welcoming. A community pulling together is no easy task, but it is a small change that is worthwhile, for if the practice becomes widespread, it will garner a large impact.

People fear asking authority for anything more than they have been given, and even the worst of desperation only leads to a dangling prize on a string, an appeasement to keep the anger of the public at bay. As always, ignorance and fear are our true enemies, and we must do well to combat them by relying on and trusting each other. A united front will keep pressure on the political side, earning gradual change wherever they can, while people work to fight and help on a local level, within their own homes and neighborhoods, providing what security and aid they can where larger institutions prove incapable. The more we are able to help those in need get by, the more credence our argument for foundational reform will have with them. Likewise, the more we learn to lean on each other, whether between organizations or between neighbors, the better we can come to an understanding in the future. At every level, we must be willing to recognize the problems of others, and extend a hand to help them, or else when we fall, there will be no one to catch us.

Orionist structure is built on this strategy. Both through the model of a Civilian World Parliament and through communications, the Sword of Orion is intended to communicate and coordinate with relevant organizations to push for certain agendas — livable wages, healthcare, welfare, climate action, international peace and unity, etc. Meanwhile, Liberius is intended to interact, organize, and bring aid to individual communities — wherever there is a chapter, its members will seek to offer guidance and assistance wherever it is needed. However, both of these functions are not operating on the assumption that doing so will bring about the change we seek. Rather, they are to supplement absent and necessary functions as best as we can, while working towards our true goal of federation.

Only when democracy exists from top to bottom, only when the market is balanced, only when we put long term investment in our climate at the highest priority, and only when we live and work together as a united world will the tide be turned. While we must remain on guard and expend effort to ensure the safety of others, we cannot settle at baby steps. The ultimate plan must be to permanently change the structure of the system, not to rely on it. Until then, it is a matter of spreading knowledge and tiding the world by with the help of each other.