- Twice and thrice over, as they say, good is it to repeat and review what is good.
- Even if we remember the past, odds are good we’ll still repeat it.
–Guy Gavriel Kay
- Reminiscence and self-parody are part of remaining true to oneself.
After a half-century of progress in the advocacy by our community for the support we need to live lives of choice and freedom, our work is stalled. Many forces (together called the #reaction) in the larger society are contributing to this struggle. Changing any one of them will not alter the momentum of this steadily expanding global backlash. Recently, the effort to stop and reverse the progress the disability community has achieved has become increasingly public and has spread to every part of the political and support systems upon which we depend for the quality of our lives and the freedom to make our own choices about how we will live those lives.
The disability community has gradually become a part of the general response of many communities to the current reality, popularly know as the #resistance.
The resistance seeks to restore the momentum of change in the direction it had previously. However, the trouble with resistance is that the past can’t be restored to what it was so that progress can continue as it would have if the forces of reaction hadn’t fought against progress. As necessary as resistance is, it is not enough. Resistance can’t “correct” the complex adaptive system that is our society. Resistance can undermine the momentum of the reaction, but it can’t create a new basis for progress by itself.
While resistance can slow and disrupt the reaction, resistance is meaningless unless we have a strategy which we can use for a counterstroke when the reaction is sufficiently weak. Without that strategy, the result of resistance will be less capable (if less damaging) society, at least as far as our freedom and choice are concerned.
The counterstroke of the disability community must have two phases:
- We must support the resistance to weaken the reaction because doing so is a tactical necessity for keeping us living our lives.
- We must begin to build our counterstroke, a response that will reduce our dependence on the social system for those supports we need to survive.
This double-sided approach is FutureStrategy. If we embrace it, we will need to simultaneously try to extract as much support as we can from the society through the resistance, and we will begin to build our own supports, separate from the system and emerging from our local community, based on the system realities we face in each moment of this rapidly, and complexly evolving society.
The image in the slide is the original attractor model that Lorenz used in his discovery of the volatility of weather. I suggest you view it as a metaphor for the two-pronged strategy described here.