Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On Creating Resistance Memes

"It was too dangerous to openly state ones opposition, with the possible penalty of being sentenced to time in a concentration camp.

"You had to keep everything secret," remembers Wittenstein. "You could not even trust your friends. I was in a movie theatre once and during a news reel, when Hitler was speaking, someone must have made a remark. He was removed by the Gestapo. When we talked anything about politics at home, we would put a tea cozy over the phone so no one at home would hear. It was a great risk, of course. It would be weeks and months before you knew someone well enough that you could talk to them.

- from Holocaust Biographies: Hans and Sophie Scholl - German Resisters of the White Rose by Toby Axelrod

We clearly haven't gotten quite to this point, (although people like Sherman Austin might disagree), but what happens when they do? We feel protected by our vast communications networks, which seems rather naive, considering who controls the corporations and satellites that comprise those networks.

It might be a good idea to come up with a bunch of resistance-oriented memes or ways of identifying like-minded thinkers. There are obvious ones like "team colors" as one of the presenters described Anarchists black & red. The myth of the "Underground Railroad Quilts" has been busted, but the fact that it captured so many people's attention and credibility is interesting. If the meme spread so quickly in just 3 or 4 years, perhaps something similar would be viable?


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