Many of us attracted to radical politics are very impatient — with the larger society, but also with ourselves and especially with people who don't see how much better life could be if our radical visions were pursued. This impatience with the slow development of organic human communities, communities that might really be able to construct a different logic to our daily lives, often leads to childish and simplistic confrontational stances. These postures are much more about reassuring ourselves that we are truly radical and willing to face danger than they are about contesting the organization of modern life.

If radical bicyclists are so hot to go on freeways, instead of blocking traffic lanes why not wait for rush hour gridlock and then overwhelm the already stopped cars with dozens or hundreds of bicycles streaming through the traffic, departing the freeway at the next exit after a convincing demonstration of the ease, superiority and pleasure of bicycling? Imagine the surprise and support one might generate if such an intervention was carried out with courtesy and friendliness?

It is a terribly rash assumption that someone stuck in their car is necessarily a big supporter of the status quo. Consider instead the complexities of human choices and constraints and try to create openings in people's minds, rather than assuming that someone who hasn't adopted your choices about what to buy, how to get around, and lifestyles in general is your conscious enemy and deserves your moral condemnation, rage, or self-righteous taunting. It's not easy to proceed politically when we take seriously how difficult, deep and personal are the changes we seek. But pleasure, passion, and patience can bring real progress. Remember, the Americans you scorn today must be your allies tomorrow if you are serious about changing life!

— Chris Carlsson

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