Thu 5 Sep 2019

XR Principles and Values

Paul Thistlethwaite Public Seen by 388

10 XR Principles and Values

  1. We have a shared vision of change - Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
  2. We set our mission on what is necessary - Mobilising 3.5% of the population to achieve system change - using ideas such as "Momentum-driven organising" to achieve this.
  3. We need a regenerative culture - Creating a culture which is healthy, resilient and adaptable.
  4. We openly challenge ourselves and our toxic system – Leaving our comfort zones to take action for change.
  5. We value reflecting and learning - Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning, and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as our own experiences.
  6. We welcome everyone and every part of everyone - Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
  7. We actively mitigate for power – Breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
  8. We avoid blaming and shaming - We live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
  9. We are a non-violent network - Using non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
  10. We are based on autonomy and decentralisation - We collectively create the structures we need to challenge power. Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of Extinction Rebellion.

Ashvajit Dharmachari Fri 20 Sep 2019

Friends, In general I wholeheartedly support these ideals. However, with regard to number (8), it often appears that a nexus of greed, ignorance and sometimes even of hatred, can be traced back to a small group of people or even a particular person. Provided that connection is seen clearly enough it seems to me that it would be not only wise but also compassionate to criticise and even condemn such a group or person.


Paul Thistlethwaite Fri 20 Sep 2019

Hi Ashvajit, thanks for your comment. I can answer for myself only really and I would say that principle 8 does not mean people cannot be challenged, they absolutely can be, it is just to do so with compassion. In a toxic system, toxic behaviours are to be expected and should be challenged, but with an understanding that such 'perpetrators' are likely victims of said toxic system.


Paul Sousek Fri 20 Sep 2019

As far as I can see, principle 7 has no meaning in the English language.
You can mitigate X
You cannot mitigate for X
In fact some dictionaries specifically state that the verb mitigate cannot be used in conjunction with 'for'

I have suggested several times to the XR leadership that principle 7 should simply read 'We actively mitigate power', but I suppose its so far ingrained now in the XR DNA that it may be impossible to change. I simply regard it as a grammatical error.


Ashvajit Dharmachari Sat 21 Sep 2019

I love your analysis Paul. However I do not share your pessimism about changing the vocabulary. Every human being is changing all the time and so does language. All that is necessary is raising that awareness, especially amongst those who accept responsibility for disseminating vital information. I therefore warmly recommend that item (7) be changed thuswise: XR works to progressively eliminate power mode in favour of love mode. Could you improve on that?


Bob Bollen Mon 23 Sep 2019

Hi Paul. Thanks for that. I'd go further. Mitigate is quite an archaic and obscure word. I'd use Check Power, or Challenge Power, or Diminish Power!


Bob Bollen Mon 23 Sep 2019

Nice one Ashvajit!


Paul Sousek Sat 2 Nov 2019

No, that brings in ideas not present in the original. I think the simplest possible change would be better, such as

'We actively mitigate power by breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.'


[deactivated account] Wed 12 Feb

You need to use simple language. The language you are using is far too complicated. Sorry but if we are going to appeal to the masses we have to use language everybody can understand. The language you are using presumes a certain degree of education.