Geography Activism

April 12, 2008 | 1 Comment

Category: 10-Activism, Activism

I ran a sales firm for 19 years. I went from art school to working for my dad in a girdle and bra factory for a year and three months. Then I tried to establish a commercial art business, ending up as a salesman. I observed that there were two polarities of salesman.

There were those salesmen that concentrated on converting whomever they were with to an opinion that would result in the purchase of that salesman’s product. These were the hard sales guys; though their pitch might be gentle or respectful, they still wanted to convert a potential customer into a customer. This technique involved many, often unproductive, conversations.

The second kind of salesman sought first to establish whether the potential customer was interested in what the salesman had to say; and then, he evaluated whether what he had to sell would result in a potential long-term relationship with multiple purchases. This second kind of salesman wanted to form this conclusion quickly and not waste time, because if the answer was no, then the salesman would continue to search for a potential long-term customer. This technique demanded that unproductive conversations were to be avoided.

When there is a limited territory with a clearly defined customer base, the first kind of salesman tends to do well. When a salesman has a far larger territory and a relatively unlimited customer base, the second kind of salesman can thrive.

New technologies are redefining geography. The Left does not have to behave like salesman number 1, which is how the Left has been behaving up to now. We have been engaged in trying to convince each other that all or many of us should retain a particular opinion and that this persuasion is the most important thing we can do.

With barriers coming down, we can find customers or allies in places where it was not easy to find them in the past. We can spend our time forming bonds with activists of like mind and heart and planning and executing actions that will result in positive social/political change.

When barriers come down, there is access to new resources. Spending our time matching actions with resources across the state and across state lines is a productive use of time. We can spend our time finding allies and resources instead of spending our time seeking to convince those closest geographically that they should share our opinion.

Less conversations, more action.


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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 12th, 2008 at 6:45 am and is filed under 10-Activism, Activism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. One Year : Neoteny, sexual selection, cause of autism, human evolution, social transformation, left organizing and internet activism - how they all connect on April 1, 2009 7:45 am

    […] Geography Activism In this piece, a biological principle is applied to activism, specifically, online activism.  This is the first of many such essays. […]

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