portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

political theory

The middle of the sugar pile

Our primary goal must be a cultural shift among the masses. We accomplish that by working with people in the cultural middle. We have no effect on a cultural shift just talking amongst ourselves.
Here is the strategy that we all should adopt and understand!


Imagine taking a sugar dispenser and beginning to pour the sugar onto a table. As the first granules hit the table, they bounce all over scattering far and wide. Slowly however, a pile starts to form and as the dispenser empties, you end up with a large pile of sugar surrounded by granules that have bounced away from the pile.

This sugar pile is analogous to our political and cultural landscape. Each grain represents a person. The result isn't a line from left to right but a rather a 3-dimensional pile with folks spread all about. Note that the vast majority of people are IN the sugar pile. They maybe in the middle of the pile, or they maybe near the edge, but nonetheless, they are in the pile.

The center of this pile elects our leaders.

The values from the center are the values of our culture: It is okay to use the earth for personal gain and profit; It is okay for neighbor kids to be hungry in our midst; It is okay for the state to kill kids and retarded citizens; It is okay to threaten the planet with nuclear weapons; It's okay to start wars of aggression, etc.

The middle of the sugar pile is the political center. This is where elections are won and lost and this is the group that elects the leaders we've got. The values of the middle are apparent in our elected leaders and their decisions and the society we've got. We will continue to have similar leadership, decisions and culture unless the political center shifts. That is until the sugar pile shifts.

As Greens, leftists, radicals, etc., we are the flakes that have bounced away from the pile. We are no longer in the middle of the sugar pile.

If our goal is to shift the entire sugar pile in a positive direction, what granules would effect the sugar pile? Which ones if moved would effect the sugar pile the most? Which ones the least?

If I get a granule OUTSIDE the pile to move further in my direction, has the pile moved at all? To be most effective, our actions should be pointed at the middle of the sugar pile. This means we should target average folks: Mom's, dads, business owners, college students, workers, executives, kids. For if you move a grain within the pile, you shift the entire pile.

We waste our time attempting to move granules not touching the pile for they have no effect on the sugar pile. We must stop talking amongst ourselves trying to change folks already outside the pile. We need to shift the pile and that won't happen working and living outside the pile.

When you interact with someone inside the sugar pile and help them to raise their awareness so they first begin thinking differently and next, begin behaving differently you have in effect shifted the sugar pile. This is because they are in the middle of sugar clusters and all the people they see and interact with everyday will be effected. One vegitarian or one recycler or one animal rights activist working and living and interacting with the sugar pile has a positive effect.

The Communists who put me down for being Green have ZERO effect on the cultural middle. Even if I were to become a Communist tomorrow, I would have little effect on the cultural middle because I've long since bounced from the pile. Now if my mom or dad, both of whom are in the middle of the pile were to change to become Green or animal rights activists tomorrow, the pile would shift as they interact and live with all their "straight" friends.
bush and kerry represent the big fat middle? 05.Apr.2006 23:25

and other half-baked lies

This metaphor might make sense if each sugar crystal were a dollar instead of a person.

Yes! 06.Apr.2006 11:02


Bush and Kerry do represent the middle.

bunkum 06.Apr.2006 21:43

and more bunkum

Bush and Kerry are aristocrats, wealthy beyond the imaginations of ordinary people, whose money and land and power all go back for generations and generations, who to pass the time play responsible management type guys on TV for the amusement of fools who think everything they read in the paper is true. It's like saying Rupert Murdoch "represents the public" because he decides which lies go on the air. If we could just sway more Fox News viewers he wouldn't lie so much.

Yep - a good analysis of the whole damn mess 07.Apr.2006 01:22

g.d. dem

And the neo-con plan is to take a bull-dozer and scrape all the sugar from the middle over to the 'right' side where the richest 5% live, then the neo-cons plan on surrounding the flattened remnants of the once fat center to piss on the miserable grains scattered on the ground.

Sugar - addictive, destructive, a slow form of suicide. Ah, but it's sweet, so sweet!