Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Social Nihilist Objection: And, evidence for said hoary cliche begins with… Where they at? Where’s that “small, thoughtful, committed” group in history to be found? Baking cakes and protesting the bombers with flowers? No evidence, anywhere, just more bombers, more black-ops and military appropriations. Three ex-hippies barreling down the Alaskan highway in a van to stop Exxon-Mobil? Nope, it’s full-speed ahead on the exploration of the Arctic. “Thoughtful, committed citizins” become tedious letter-writing, deluded cranks in the eyes of the majority, and they are dying generation after generation, having achieved nothing in the way of stopping any facet of the corporate supersystem.
The world does not “change” through rational, positive, progressive, action and governance. The world changes through the amoral, devastating shifting of corporate power, and that change is decidedly not for the better. Margaret Mead herself “changed” nothing through her academic writings, and she can, in her grave, point to no friends or allies who did the same. The women’s movement, civil rights, the anti-war movement, all were borne aroudn the same epoch of immense social pressures, and suffered grievous opposition along and now thorugh the tortured way – millions of dead Vietnamese people, abortion rights now restricted in the ignorant backwater states of this fine land, horrific endemic poverty in the black communities of said fine country.
Verdict: Cliche is hereby banned from ever being uttered. Thanks to all the fine, worthy, fun social nihilists, we can finally emerge from the punishing effects of neoliberal orthodoxy, and begin to discuss the horrific details of social and political power without thought-crushing, unfounded cliche-mongering.