Carne Ross: Nine Principles for Action

March 30, 2012

Former British diplomat and international relations specialist Carne Ross lays out nine principles for empowering ourselves and effecting change in the issues that concern us.

UPDATE: April 5, 2012 — Ross appears on Moyers & Company this weekend. (Check local listings.)

  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to info@moyersmedia.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • Anonymous

    I see a consciousness shift occurring, which is resisted by violence.  The Arab Spring as a good indicator, and look where that has led. Part of that consciousness shift, IMHO,  is the need to recognize that everything is impermanent. The idea that change is hard is partly due to the idea that things have a concreteness in our minds that isn’t real.

    I liked this video a lot and already shared it on. 

  • Laradcham

    I was impressed with Mr. Ross and his ideas for our leaderless revolution.  I do think he is right…think globally, but act locally and do what one can to make a difference.  Many things need our attention…our children, the poor, education, health, politics…no matter, we need many people with a common agenda and non violent action to get the job of cleaning up the huge problems that were created by all of us.

    Thank you Bill for bringing such intellect onto your show to help aid and guide us in our journey…I wasn’t looking forward to seeing you retire…I thought you were just getting warmed up! 

  • Anonymous

    A fly in the ointment…. Suddenlink has capped internet usage drastically in my area [ 2.5 days worth vs the 30 days we are used to] and I’ve heard that this is the first step of a massive control of the internet throughout the US as other media companies are also planning such measures..  The cap is essentially a 1500% price increase as well.

    The loss of a freedom done in such a clever way most people will not even notice until it is too late.

  • Jan W

    I listened to this several times and took notes.   And shared on facebook.  This is Very Impressive stuff.  I have a hunch he’s on to something!!  

  • waveartist

    O.K., that has got to be the very first time I have ever heard anybody actually “dis” the Golden Rule (“Do unto others”…, etc.). Shell

  • Jan W

    That sounds awful!  What is Suddenlink?  Can you use Clear where you are?  there are so many options now it seems… at least in cities.

  • Jan W

    I didn’t get that from what was said.  It seemed to me that he was respectful of the “Golden Rule” as far as it goes, in pointing out that actually asking and finding out what a person wants and how they want to be treated, and aiming for that… is more specific and effective than supposing that they want what you want and want to be treated as you want to be treated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-Doolin/806940075 Jonathan Doolin

    Really great interview. Thanks. I’ll be looking for that book.

  • jusujo

     I did not hear disrespect for the ‘Golden Rule’.  I heard to not assume that someone else values, or can be aided by, the same things I am. There life situation can be very different than mine.   Instead of assuming, simply be willing to communicate-to ask them what is needed/what is helpful. 

  • jusujo

    oops, “Their”…

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Shhhh! Don’t talk about having a fly in your soup, everybody will want one! (Such would be the  response of media giants.) NorthernJ is vexed but not defeated. Sitting at a keyboard is no substitute for being directly involved. Remember how Carne Ross warned that clicking on a petition is a weak method? As long as we are consuming media streams for pleasure we are drugged, and we can’t say what we want, we can’t know what is urgent, and we are inert politically. Taking a walk in your neighborhood does much more good than watching a Pirate Bay bootleg of Hunger Games. Exercise your freedom of movement and you’ll be demanding cleaner air and walking trails away from traffic in no time.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Here is something Carne didn’t address: the overattachment we have to our property and our potential property. Inclusion of activism for justice and against corporatism on your social networking page might be more detrimental to getting a well-paid job than showing pics of partying naked with a bong. It’s pretty hard to attend Occupy and remain a paycheck zombie or office drone. I see people trying to do it and I know it is futile. If you lose your income you lose your domicile and everything inside you can’t carry away. We are all Polar Bears now with very little ice to stand on, and corporate business is fueling the national police state to melt what is left.
    They also have styrofoam pallets ready to rent by the hour. Sadistic conformists are cheering already,”Let ‘em drown! Let ‘em drown!” They are the same guys rummaging eviction piles for their yard sales.
    Heck! I’m a rebel! Someone homeless and revolutionary can use my spare room. Huh oh, hosting a “so-called terrorist”, here come the drones! (I can see who has the guns.) Next we’ll be Algoreing Mr. Carne Ross to see what kind of place he lives in and how much electricity he uses. It’s easy to fall into sadistic habits.And it makes for great prime time viewing! (If he lacks a big flatscreen he’s a loser.)

  • GradyLeeHoward

    He was discussing egocentrism; the assumption that others think exactly like you do. If we didn’t live in such a “cosmopolitan world” (and I don’t mean orgasm shopping magazines) it wouldn’t be as big a problem. Emmanuel Kant lived in a simpler time, in a more homogeneous community, where people’s needs hierarchies matched up better, and where they shared the same problems and challenges. Today an open mind and listening receptivity are necessary for negotiating just, workable solutions. And there remain clods who wish to send unused warm coats to tropical Haiti, just for the tax deduction. To them the lesser advantaged are victims to be toyed with.
    Some of these people are writing fantasy budgets in Congress and fighting dependency by jailing the poor.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    wavey: What is it exactly you’d like to do to “others”?

  • GradyLeeHoward

    It’s not recipes with  appetizing photos. Use your book buying money to take direct action.

  • GradyLeeHoward

    Their but for the grace… go I.

  • supportoccupy

    Carne Ross gave an excellent example in Gandhi’s ‘salt march’. Take action -even a small step will lead to change. Challenge the status quo.  Social media have lead to many people inspired changes in the corporate world. Vote with our feet, our money and our voice.

  • Lapislapis10

    I would like to know how we can get economic justice issues
    into the current election cycle class warfare arguments aside

  • http://www.iammyjourney.org/ Celina Benon

    I saw the video about the 9 Principles for Action. If only our
    politicians acted by these rules, simple, no gimmicks and having their
    personal agendas out of the equation…. not impossible, I hope we’ll
    get to see the change happening soon.

  • Sufidialogue

    Thank you for taking a crack at codifying the change process!  I would be interested in your thoughts on what we have learned from the Arab Spring, i.e. how do you sustain it and not let it fall into winter?

  • Private Private

    I just think it would be more productive to be honest when speaking about “changes” in societies.
     
    The fact is, when speaking of Fundimental change, the only way to affect real systematic change is with a dramatic event. History shows this to be true 100% of the time.

    Actions like the Boston Tea Party, the protest in Tahrir Square in Egypt, Ghandi’s Salt March all merely brought attention to an injustice. The next step after attention is brought is always violence. I know this is not easy for people to talk about and it really is sad. But the truth is after attention is brought to injustice it takes riots, civil wars, or civil coupes, etc., to finalize the true process of major fundimental change to a society.

    Power structures will not move because those they control simply understand there is an injustice. Only when citizens actually fight, literally, the power structure is the process of TRUE change completed.

    So yes, these steps will start a movement. But we need to begin to help everyone visiualize the process of change and prepare them for the reality that to change a system fundimentally and to challenge its power structure, more than likely some citizens will die for this cause. Like in the Civil Rights Movements of the ’60′s. Many people died and there were lots of riots and fights. Despite popular belief that movement was far from nonviolent.

    The sooner citizen realize there is a COST in LIVES to change, the less likely they will be scared back into their homes and submission when people start to be killed as a result of the process.

    To make clear, there are many ways people can die in this process. Some of the ways include but are not limited to, open confrontation with authrities that are ordered to stop citizens from protesting injustice, citizens that do not want the change might murder an activist, activist might demonstrate in a fashion by taking their own life to bring more attention to injustice, or like in Egypt and Syria a government could unlease the ‘dogs of war’ on the population and outright murder them. Anything is possible in a TRUE movement for change in the face of a power structure where the few are profiting of the injustice to the many.

  • ecm

    Ross seems to be referring specifically to the  developed world to implement his nine principles. I am wondering if the principles can work in the underdeveloped world where representative democracy falls woefully short.

  • Toni

    This interview was the most thought provoking we’ve ever seen.  These concepts could eventually be a paradigm shift for the 21st century and brings hope to the disillusioned.

  • http://twitter.com/fashionRIP deborah j barnes

    graph the amount of money inequity takes to control, prisons, wars, police forces, crime, mental illness, corrupt officials and then put that money into education, healthcare ( faux food and pharma sympton fix issues get tangly here but mental health will have a beeter chance in a world less strangled by this schizoid construct) allowing people to find who they can be instead of programming them to fit into the cultural model that is so out of step with current science and developmental, spiritual and emmotional research. WEe took off on a bad tangent, lets heal and transition into our possibilities collective and unique.

  • Harmony

    Hi is it possible to find a transcript of this interview somewhere online or on your website? I’d like to quote for it if I may in a book I’m writing on suffering and authenticity..

  • Skot4trust

    The transcript is contained in the last 1/3 or so of the full transcript of Moyers, “Carne Ross on Being an Agent of Change”

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/carne-ross-on-being-agents-of-change/

    skot4trust