, 26 tweets, 12 min read
“...people usually gain power through traits and actions that advance interests of others such as #empathy, #collaboration, openness, #fairness...when they start to feel powerful or enjoy position of privilege, those qualities begin to fade....(1)
...The powerful are more likely than other people to engage in rude, selfish and unethical behaviour” #RebeccaSolnit citing #DacherKeltner on his work studying relationship between empathy and power
“If power generates a cushion of obliviousness around it, those of us with power need to counter it. That means, first, treating people with respect, regardless of their status: not taking the invitation to disdain or ignore” #Solnit
“It means if you have some power - and most of have some in some contexts even if we lack it in others - brh aware of how your stats may cut you off from what others know and may share among themselves; it means knowing that you do not know” #solnit
“Credibility is not inherent; it resides in how people respond. And those who are silence beforehand don’t even get a chance at credibility” #Solnit
#Solnit quoting #Orwell “A totalitarian state is in effect a #theocracy, and it’s ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible...it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made..
..#totalitarianism demands in fact the continuous alteration of the past, and in the long run probably demands a disbelief in the very existence of objective truth” #Solnit quoting #Orwell
#solnit “from their mountaintop they seen the playing field is level”
#Solnit quoting #HannahArendt “The ideal subject of #totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced communist but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (reality of experience) and between true and false (standards of thought) no longer exist”
#Solnit “principles are contagious, and though we need direct and dramatic action, the catalytic power of myriad people standing on principle and living by facts matters, too. It means holding yourself and those around you to high standards not only of truth but also accuracy”
#Solnit “if the privilege of dictating leads to dictatorship, the obligation to be accountable leads to its opposite. Producing that #accountability even on small scale (..even in your personal conversations) is the resistance that matters.”
#Solnit (in context of US elections): “the framework that intelligence is an asset in a man and a defect in a woman is nastily familiar”
#Solnit on #KanyeWest “West is not white, but he does ace unconscious bias with his widely shared male idea that a presidential candidate should have the same general effect as Viagra, and he reminds me that the 2016 election seemed to be an erectile referendum”
#Solnit “These (privilege-ridden) crowds are angry, perhaps because the alternative is to be thoughtful about the unfairness and complexity of this time and place and what they demand of us”
#Solnit (adapted a bit): “We are not very good at telling stories about people (vs individuals) doing things or considering that the qualities that matter in saving a valley or changing the world are mostly not physical courage and athletic violence but the ability to...
“...coordinate and inspire and connect with lots of other people and create storks about what could be and how we got there”
#Solnit “Positive social changes results mostly from connecting more and deeply to the people around you than rising above them, from coordinated rather than solo action. Among the virtues that matter are those traditionally considered feminine rather than masculine...
“...more nerd than jock: listening, respect, patience, negotiation, strategic planning, storytelling. But we like our lone, exceptional heroes, the drama of violence and virtue, and virtue of muscle”
#Solnit “...pity the land that thinks it needs a hero, or doesn’t know it has lots and what they look like”
#Solnit “Even the idea that a solution will be singular and dramatic and in the hands of one person erases that the solution to problems are often complex and many-faceted and arrived at via negotiations”
#Solnit “another part of our rugged individualism and hero culture, the idea that all problems are personal and they’re soluble by personal responsibility. It’s a framework that eliminates the possibility of deeper, broader change or of holding accountable the powerful...”
#Solnit “Leaders beget followers, and followers are people who’ve surrendered some of their capacities to think and to act. Unfortunate the land whose citizens pass the buck to a hero”
#Solnit “Through studying what science teaches us about nature and what history teaches us about social forces, I have come to see how beautiful and how powerful are the threads that connect us. Here’s one thread: Who did #GretaThunberg describe as a key influence: #RosaParks
#Solnit “That a black woman born in Tuskegee,Alabama in 1913 would influence a white girl born in Sweden 90 years later to direct action about #ClimateChange is a reminder that everything is connected and your actions matter even when the results aren’t immediate or obvious”
#Solnit “Good work matters. Acting in your ideals matters. Why it matters is not always obvious and what it achieves is not always immediate or linear”
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