This really isn’t about me or something that happened to me. I’ve been writing that the nature of activism and the problems of radicalization for awhile now. If you go through my older articles on my blog a year or two back I was even writing that the problem with activism is that it is a never ending battle, tribalistic, and emotional in nature. The things that actually help people are things like innovation, science, capitalism, and the betterment of mankind through unbiased information.
“What about the activists that have made a difference in lives? Or the people that try to raise awareness for diseases?”
It is difficult to truly measure what effect activism has made on someone’s life. Most of the positive effects are from someone receiving information and then choosing to do something positive with their life. Some people feel like joining a cult has a positive effect on their life until they are drinking poison koolaid in a remote part of Africa.
You would get similar effects from getting therapy, joining a hobby full of supportive people, or becoming religious. As for disease awareness, it means nothing. You’re just aware that a disease exists and that people are more focused on some diseases than others.
As I’ve said in the past, raising awareness in and of itself accomplishes nothing. You on your own make the choice on what to do with said information once you receive it. It’s not a solution to a problem in and of itself. The only thing it does is cease to make you ignorant of something, and some people still choose to disregard the information.
How many girls heard that if you have sex with someone without a condom, you’ll get pregnant, did it anyway, and got pregnant? How many people heard that smoking kills, and now have lung cancer. It only makes you aware that there are problems in the world, that you have choices, and a lot of people still make bad choices or don’t care until a problem directly affects them.
The honest truth as you likely know, being a part of charitable organizations, is that we can only help a small number of people. There’s only so much time and resources in existence. Ultimately you have to choose who to benefit, and who to raise up and give a second chance. You have to choose who’s life you want to make better, which leaves a lot of people in terrible hardship but it’s better than not helping anyone at all.
But a lot of activist groups, and even charitable organizations are in the business of good feelings and not in feasible solutions to a problem. People in the first world feel guilty for having good life circumstances, and then seek to alleviate themselves of that guilt. It makes them feel good to think that helping in some way makes them a better person, but a lot of the time they end up giving their money to groups that profit on the pain and suffering of others. Money which funnels into the pockets of people who only really care about themselves.
The most dangerous people on the planet in my opinion, are people who believe themselves good and righteous, because anything they do from that perspective, can never be wrong. You can give activism whatever pretty description you want and call the good you do activism, and say what I’ve described isn’t true activism. But it always starts from the position of self-righteousness and the belief that you absolutely have the moral high ground and are making the right choices. Something that ultimately leads to turmoil, and radicalization.