Written and Presented
It is, and has been, said that, “If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.” Seems to be a reasonable enough statement when taken at face value but if you think about it the statement presupposes that a) There is a problem, b) You are intimately involved in, or contributing to, the problem and c) that there is actually a solution to be found.
The modern real living Vampire culture is made up of, looking purely at the North American continental population, several thousand individuals of varying degrees of involvement, of opinions, of personalities and of aims. Several thousand DIFFERENT opinions, aims, perceptions and opinions and this, in itself, presents an enormous problem when seeking to develop a common détente among the population.
Historically speaking it can be said that this is the very reason that any previous attempts at total unification, total détente or popular and widespread organisation have foundered – too many different and opposing views and opinions.
So, what are the REAL barriers to universal agreement that are in play here?
- Different philosophies.
There are, within the modern Vampire culture, hundreds of different philosophies at play which define, to a small percentage, the definitions, the goals, the personal needs and the outward requirements of modern real living Vampires. These philosophies, while they may be, in some general principal,roughly similar do not agree with each other entirely and this is where the rub begins. Different philosophies require that there are a number of believers in said philosophy and that these “believers” are willing to come together, in large numbers, to actively promote said philosophy. The fact of the matter is that each philosophy will have its die-hard supporters, it’s generally interested supporters and it’s “hanger on” contingent, the “flavour of the month” crew, if you will.
The substance of the different philosophies will, in true modern culture style,always be put to the acid test and any chink in the armour of the philosophy will be revealed, exploited and ridiculed by the armchair critics among the culture. In essence the philosophy needs be put together like a state of the art modern warship to survive. Even after the philosophy is “weighed, measured and found wanting”, if I may steal a movie quote, there will still be the “die-hard” contingent who will refuse any attempt to deny their philosophy.
- “Swinging Voters”
In any situation, question, debate, discussion, flame-war or whatever there will be those who are on the side-lines with “popcorn and soda” enjoying the spectacle as if they had ring side seats in the Coliseum in ancient Rome. These are the “swinging voters” within the modern culture and the ones who will, most likely flip and change their position frequently depending on where personal loyalties lie and depending on their general mood from month to month.
- ‘Ronin’ modern Vampires.
The term Ronin has been hotly… debated? Argued? Contested? (Cross out whichever you think inapplicable) for a long, long time. We must all, surely by now, be aware that the historical referent for the term was that of a feudal Samurai who had no master nor house to serve. Today, in the modern culture, in common parlance, it means a modern living Vampire who has eschewed belonging to any house or answering to any head of house. There are an increasing number of “Ronin” in the modern culture, indeed, many of the large public groups that are populated online these days will boast a sizeable proportion of “Independents”,or Ronin, modern living Vampires.
Because by and large modern living Vampires do not like being told what to do.They especially do NOT like being told what to do by self-styled leaders who, in their eyes, do not have the ability to lead, the “cultural credentials” to lead nor the first idea about people skills. There are very few enclaves of Vampires left that can command the loyalty of their members because they are of sound principals, sound philosophies and good character. There will come a time, in the not too distant future, when the Ronin population will outnumber the “House” population in the modern culture… perhaps it already does but it is difficult to assess with the constant forming, closing, re-forming and generally fluid nature of the modern culture especially when it comes to the on-line aspect of things.
So, we have, at the base of the situation, those three factors –
Differing philosophies, “Swinging Voters” and Independence. So what really is the problem?
The problem is that everybody has their own idea about how things SHOULD be run. These “Should be” ideas rarely encompass, or consider, how things “COULD” be operating for the best and in this aspect it’s the old “My way or the Highway” concept. Having that outlook will find you on a lonely walk down a pretty much deserted highway.
Putting together large meetings of “Leaders”, “Elders” and respected peers is a fine concept in a general way but the likelihood of garnering mass appeal from this sort of thing is low. Long-term, ongoing, co-operative efforts at drawing together numbers of different organisations may fair slightly better but only in so far as the member organisations are willing, and able, to cooperate and contribute. Either concept will only ever include those who are willing to commit to the proposition/s and concepts of the “body politic”. Without popular support no amount of “councils”, “enclaves” or “governing bodies” will be effective, much less efficient, at solving any perceived problems within the modern culture.
The problems inherent in winning over the “swinging voters” depend very much on what sort of general policy can be wrought out of any organised attempt. The“swinging voters” are not stupid (for the most part) they look at substance and content, sensible and smart, common sense and reliable in the main – or they just go with whoever looks flashy enough to hang onto the coat tails of for awhile. Either way any attempt at corralling and garnering support here is very much a case of “winning the hearts and minds of the people” in which case it’s almost pseudo-political campaigning and we all know that pretty much EVERYONE is sick and tired of the popularly named “Political bullshit” – making something out of this is a tough call and is likely to present too many problems for anyone, individually, not to get swamped by.
The concept of “Independence” –
Since I have been in this country (March 2013) I have come to see how fiercely people like to protect, or perceive to protect, their independence,their right to choose, their concept of free will and freedom of expression. In this respect there is no real difference to people in any country in the world with, perhaps, the exception of third world countries that are ruled by iron-fisted dictators. In the modern Vampire culture “iron-fisted dictators” will be ignored ad laughed at so it’s no good going down that road.
Modern Vampires will, and do, like everybody else, Vampire or not, cling to, and fight for, their right to choose their associations and their right to freedoms within that choice. No different to modern humanity. Winning over the “choice”to an individual philosophy, or group philosophy, takes a big net, lots of charm and political expedience, not to mention a huge amount of naturally earned, not self-assumed, respect – That’s a BIG ask in anyone’s language.
Self-appointed “Leaders”, “Elders”, “Kings” and “Queens” are not there by popular vote, they are there because a minority of adherents or followers have decided, “Yeah, I like you…”. Within their own small circle “Leaders”, “Elders”and the like have the respect of their followers and members, they have the right to lead because it has been AGREED to be so by their immediate circle.Extending that position beyond one’s own localised borders is a battle and it’s a battle that will be a constant and ongoing feature of any attempt at organisation on a large scale. The smart “Leader”, “Elder” or “Grand PooBah”starts small, gets firm foundation, solid and respectable core of support and grows from there… won’t happen overnight but as the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
Indeed, I remember back to 2010 when I first came on board at RVLI, RVN back then, and we had North American continental circulation with some small interest from the U.K and perhaps five or six other countries. We boasted a readership of perhaps a couple of hundred visits a month, look at our stats and circulation now – it’s been a journey, a long haul but one which, to my mind, has been well worth it.
This, I would argue, is the perception that anyone needs to go into large scale attempts with. Trying the old “Bull at a gate” approach is just too difficult to initiate, organise, control and keep control of. People burn out that way but hey, “It’s your life”. You want to put yourself under those kind of stresses, along with everything else that’s going on in your life right now, go ahead… no one’s gonna stop you.
That brings us to the proverbial $64,000 question –
“Okay smartass, what’s the solution?”
The solution, to my mind – and remember this is only one person’s thoughts and opinion – is cooperation. Neat little word huh? Easy to spell, rolls off the tongue nicely and fits in a myriad of situations really well.
“How do we achieve cooperation?”
By developing a mutually beneficial system.
“What do you mean, mutually beneficial?”
Equal representation of ALL parties.
“Who’s gonna run it?”
Facilitators and Administrators. No Kings, Queens, Elders, Grand PooBahs orLord/Lady High Priesty WallahBollahDingDangs.
“What’s it for?”
Share information, coordinate efforts toward community works, and engender civil communications – anything that makes life better for everyone generally.
“Why do we need it?”
To remove the drama, bullshit and crap that we are wading nostril deep in.
Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Unless of course you happen to be a self-important, narcissistic, ego-maniac with self-esteem issues then it really ain’t gonna work for you is it?
Something to think about, no?
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