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Here's your question and answer of the week from the Punknews Formspring:

Q: There seem to be two prevailing theories: Either 1) every little bit helps; or 2) if you're a part of the system, you're a part of the problem. What side are you on?


A:
Personally, as an old, washed up has been/never was I'm much more of the "every little bit helps" theory. I can understand the latter idea, I can. The man appeal of the "for us or against us" mindset is that it's simple. It's a black and white world where it's us against them and it's so much less confusing when lines are drawn like that when people are either consumers or revolutionaries enemies or friends hanging onto the fringes of the cogs in the system...

The problem with that is that it's also wrong. The world doesn't work in absolutes and employing a mentality that does makes everything you do unnecessarily harder. Don't misunderstand, you can absolutely change the system from the outside but I don't think that working in a co-opp that sells corn grown in your own backyard makes you a better person than the guy working a desk job who volunteers in his free time.

If you opt to never work for a major corporation, that's fine, but don't assume that just because someone else does they can't have similar interests or genuinely support the same cause. The issue of focusing on differences instead of similarities is one that has long plagued the punk community (and many larger/more important movements). Finding common ground is the key to any meaningful progress and if you refuse to do that (regardless of the side you're on) you are impeding change, not helping it.

-Rich

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