Justin L. Oliver (@justinLoliver) May 04, 2014
If I’d have to infer the worst possible motives in order to makes sense of someone’s actions or beliefs, I’d be inclined to think I hadn’t adequately grasped what they’re about. Or at least, that’s how I’d expect they’d feel about my conclusion.
I like George Donnelly’s post “Screw Activism. Build Community,” but I drew a slightly different lesson. I believe he’s saying that, rather than enroll in fleeting responses to injustices, more satisfying time would be spent building community ties — where people can have a more intimate engagement in bettering the world by helping themselves and others.
It’s a refreshing message and a good starting point, but it leaves me thinking that’s not the divide (activism versus community) that should be drawn. I would frame it in different terms. The lesson I drew is that building a better world takes spending time making good friends, not antagonizing enemies — and not making friends with just anyone, like oppressors. It’s not just any type of community that fosters human progress. Only one that respects the moral autonomy of people can hope to make the most of our energies, meaning building more vibrant communities is a roundabout form of activism.
Working with and getting to know the struggles of other oppressed and marginalized communities and setting examples for how I think people should act are just a part of that. Another part is promoting reason as one’s means of knowledge and championing the idea that each person’s life is their own to make of it what they will. In finding friends, I want to build our standing to exercise independence to what extent we have it, whether that be means of jury nullification pamphleting or filming police. They can reciprocally support one another. It depends on the motivation of the activism — love or hate. I think that’s the divide, just framed a bit differently.
So there are several exemptions available until at least late 2016 to avoid paying the penalty for not purchasing health insurance. People just need to know they can apply for it. The most prominent exemption seems to be having a policy canceled for not complying with the Affordable Care Act, but there are several other exceptions to apply for.
You can even apply for an exemption if you receive a cut-off notice from a utility company. I don’t think that would be too hard to acquire. There’s likely going to be a relatively small fee for not paying the power bill for a few months, but it beats having to pay an additional one percent of your taxable income to the Feds.