Friday, February 10, 2012


A limpet is a species of saltwater and freshwater snail, a mollusk, whose shell is conical in shape, and whose peculiar nature causes it to adhere firmly to a rock surface at a level somewhat equal with the water's surface.  Waves then, which flow over the limpet, provide the limpet with its food and oxygen, and the limpet in turn survives this pounding by having a powerful, muscular 'foot' aided by a natural adhesive 'glue.'  Moreover, as tides will drop the water level, limpets are also able to clamp their shells tight enough to a surface as to create a 'bubble' of ocean in which they can live, despite their environment having hot and dessicated.

It is difficult to remove limpets from rock.  The shell and structure of the limpet is so strong that you can strike the limpet with a hammer and not affect it.  It takes unaccountable effort to pry a limpet from a rock.  The effort requires causes most natural predators, such as birds or crabs, to leave them alone.  A limpet will even 'bite' by bringing the anterior end of its shell down upon the foot of a predator, such as a starfish or sea snail.  A limpet is a stubborn, tenacious, simple-minded creature that wants nothing more than to stay put and eat.

There is only one simple way to make a limpet move.  Take away its food supply.  Make it uncomfortable enough that it will move on its own.

Why am I writing all this out?  I am making a point about human beings.

There is only one way to bring about change.  If you want something to change, you have to make it uncomfortable.  You have to take away its food supply.  You can't make a limpet move by making it more comfortable.  You can't induce change with praise.  You can't even induce chance with violence.  A hammer just makes it more intractable.  You have to make it's belly hurt.  You have to make a human being feel shame.  You have to show that rip down whatever that human has ever believed, and you have to do it in such a way that said human cannot retreat back into his or her bubble.  You have to drain that human being's shell of water and food.  You have to make that human being WANT to move on its own.

There is no other way.

The Wall Street movement of last Fall failed because it made the wrong people uncomfortable.  It only made people working on the street uncomfortable.  It only made small businessmen uncomfortable.  It only made the cops uncomfortable, and the city managers uncomfortable.  But it didn't worry the banks any, because it didn't make any difference in their lives.  The banks don't care if the people on the street are uncomfortable.  The banks drive the herds forward by creating discomfort themselves.

If you want to make the banks uncomfortable, have every half-poor person in a hundred miles of New York drive their cars into the city, and then leave them there.  In the middle of roads, on bridges, on sidewalks.  Stuff the city full with 50,000 derelict cars, and have every owner ready to pay the fee to get their car back again when its over.

Buy wrecks for $100 and put enough gas in them to get them to Wall Street, then just walk away.

But better than that, have a General Strike.  Ruin all business in the City of New York ... in every city in America ... for a day.  For two days.  Strike until all hell breaks loose.  Scare the living shit out of those people.  Invoke mob rule.  It's been done beforeAgain, and again, and again, and again, and again.

You don't make change with giving comfort.  You don't make change by placating a human being's ego.  You don't make change with pleas or contrition.

Humans beings are not rational.  They are not reasonable.  They cannot be taught.  They cannot be convinced.  They cling with their one powerful foot to their one meme of existence, and given the chance they will clamp down and live happily in their bubble all their lives.

I don't intend to respect that ideal.  Whenever possible, I will make every limpet I can reach as uncomfortable as I can.

1 comment:

Scarbrow said...

Sharp as always. I fully agree on your analysis of limpets/humans.

The proposed means will also affect more the man on the street than the bankers. Striking those that are in power is a difficult thing to do. Although maybe making millions of common citizens uncomfortable really is the way to make them move and get those powerful ones uncomfortable themselves.

You know? I'm really starting to think that the greatest power of all times is, and has always been, demagogy and oratory. We may be unable to find the perfect benevolent dictator that would improve on democracy, but we could manage with finding the perfect benevolent demagogue. Cue Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game". Is a Peter/Locke/Demostenes the only choice?