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New Rules for Radicals: 10 Ways To Spark Change in a Post-Occupy World

The world is changing quickly, and we need to help steer it according to our shared values -- our vision of what might be.

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10.  Replicate success. 

College teaches us to value original ideas. (Borrowing thoughts from others is called “plagiarism,” and it’s frowned on.) But guess what: this ain’t college any more. Out here in the real world, it’s OK not to spend valuable time and energy reinventing perfectly good wheels that have already been dreamed up by other people. If it works, use it. Good ideas belong to everybody, and nobody is going to flunk you for stealing them. 

There’s a corollary to this. This is a big movement, encompassing tens of millions of people and more moving parts than you can possibly imagine. And we’ve spent a decade building up some really good infrastructure. So every time you find yourself grousing: “Why isn’t someone doing X, dammit?” your next thought should be to assume that someone already IS doing X. Because the odds are good that they probably are. And your next move is to find out who that person is, and offer to extend, help with, or replicate what they’re doing. 


Ten new rules for the new era. We’ll probably figure out a lot more as time goes on and this weird new era we’re in becomes more familiar to us. I’d love to hear what other rules you’re discovering that help you navigate the post-Occupy world; if I get enough of them, I’ll turn them into a future column.


Sara Robinson is AlterNet's Visions editor. One of the few trained social futurists in North America, she has blogged on authoritarian and extremist movements at Orcinus since 2006, and is a founding member of Group News Blog .

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