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Radical Regulatory Processes for a Civilization in Crisis?

Enable freedom of dress / clothing

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The news is not hopeful and the capacity of institutional governance to respond to emerging crisis is increasingly in doubt. Part of the difficulty comes from the repeated assumption by those in authority that they no what needs to be done and how to do it -- if only others would accept their approach. This has been highlighted by the succession of generals applying their optimism to threat-suppression and nation building in Afghanistan over the past decade (***). The situation is also characterized by appeals from those with whom the highest moral authority is variously associated, whether presidents, religious leaders or those esteemed to be wise -- most notably in response to crises of resources for the most deprived.

Also evident is the extent to which progressive groups frame their arguments in terms of blaming X for failure to act appropriately -- with little capacity to examine their own capacity to act coherently and on a larger scale. They are notably focused on the need for X to stop doing something, irrespective of whether it is clear in what alternative action X might then engage.

Unfortunately these articulations are increasingly repetitive to the degree that it might be suspected that they are variants on a standard set of texts stored for such purpose. With the increasing capacity of artiifical intelligence to create music and stories, it could even be asked at what stage verbal articulations of authorities will benefit from such facilities.

The following exercise is an exploration of a quite different approach. Rather than continuing the increasingly vain appeal for "positive" action or ineffectually deploring "negative" action, the question is whether a new dynamic might be fruitfully engendered by encouraging action which is otherwise framed as "negative". The question is whether so-called "negative strategies" could elicit the effective "positive" responses which are otherwise inadequate.

The exercise follows from a controversial earlier exploration made with Nadia McLaren (Liberating Provocations use of negative and paradoxical strategies, 2005). This was introduced as follows:

Let us suppose that instead of appealing for "positive" solutions in every domain, energy was devoted to encouraging people to engage deliberately and consciously in counter-productive, "negative" responses. Instead of exhorting people to conserve electricity or water, why not encourage them to waste it deliberately? Instead of investing in campaigns to inform people of the dangerous consequences of recreational drugs, why not deliberately encourage them to partake? And so on for: environmental damage, corporate fraud, pornography, domestic violence, discrimination, etc?

At first sight, this approach appears to be totally scandalous and irresponsible. It is. That is its purpose -- to "appear" to be irresponsible and scandalous.

That exercise included the following sections: Why then engage in such an initiative? | How would this provocative mode work? | Examples? | Precedents? | Theory? | Playing games? | But is it already done? | Possibilities? | Seriously? | Surrealistically? | Provocative dramatisation and médiatisation? | Commercialisation? | Reservations -- when to avoid paradox? | Justice? | Conclusion -- Doing the Unthinkable? |

reinterpret rights and freedoms -- last article

Reverse legislation intepretation


Encourage larger family size
  • Family size
  • more people -- jobs?
  • growth
Encourage violence
  • Right to guns (paper)
Reframing work
  • bicycles in prison
  • job reducing innovation
  • encourage laziness
Reframing offences and penalities
  • choice of punishment
  • traffic offences
  • in proportion to past / context -- financial inspiration
  • rape / castration
  • chokehold
  • bullying / amputation
No promises without guarantees
  • legislation
  • immunity of legislators
  • safety bond for innovation claimed to be of zero risk
Encourage profligate use of resources
  • toilet paper
  • waste disposal
Marriage whatever the form
  • contracts between friends
  • binary relations paper
Copyright everything
  • -- or not
  • public funds
Enable high risk experiments
  • Relax regulation and red tape
  • encourage abuse ?
Environmental degradation
  • Elimination of wildlife
  • Hunting
  • Noise / decibels
  • Smells
Encourage ignorance / incomprehension
  • dumbing down
  • complexity / incomprehensibility
  • living with uncertainty
Enable substance abuse
  • legalization of drugs -- consequences
  • GM
  • alcohol
  • right to ill-health
    • pay for it / treatment
  • euthanasia -- right to die
Enable freedom of dress / clothing
  • sunglasses / masks
  • burkha (paper)
  • wigs
  • cosmetics


If in favour of specific public exprenditure

  • you contribute to it
  • want it, pay for it, or for others not to have it Talk to offenders -- Taliban



  • everything is a scam / advertising
  • corruption
  • marketing disease / security / toilet paper

Zero tolerance

Proposal wiki

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