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Does a Pacifist Approach to Social Progress Require an Activist Phalanx to Achieve Just and Equitable Outcomes?

Peter Lupoff February 23, 2023

In the history of social progress, it would appear most successful movements (and their leadership) acknowledged the important of threat (property damage, disruption) in order to attain any progress from power and authority. Does social and climate justice require (or failures suggest) inevitable movement toward heightened property damage/disruption of commerce? Are their less disruptive measures to achieve justice (given this knowledge)?

In an age of polarization and the politicization of matters that are not Right vs Left, but Right vs Wrong (Climate Crisis and Solutions and Racial Equity), there is growing anxiety (not apathy) amongst a next generation who inherits a world with problems not of their creation.

Anxiety will manifest in a next state of mind, and it is this consciousness, that either dooms or saves the planet and its people. The dilution of ‘truth’, the attacks on the trustworthiness of institutions, those pushing ‘doomism’ (its too late regarding climate) or denial (there is no racism in America) all auger to dampen individual sense of power and agency.

Past social initiatives eventually birthed more activist/violence-threatening phalanxes, and perhaps succeeded with this threat to the status quo.

But is this the only ‘favorable’ outcome feasible? Through the fostering of hope (as opposed to optimism) and joy for the challenge, can we 1) unify people around common sane and moral causes with regard to climate and social justice, 2) unite people previously divided through political ideology and need for ideological consistency, and 3) in so doing, migrate the power from those with historical wealth and control to all people, liberating their commonality, happiness, sense of purpose?


Fireside Chat (3 speakers maximum)


climate action, climate enxiety, Doomism, climate denial, racial equity, civil resistence, activism

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Proper risk weighting to likely outcomes of civil resistance, it's expansion and likely additional arrows in the quiver to effect change. Prospect of successes from pivoting from the grim to the hopeful (versus the optimistic).


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Academia

  • Government

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  • Entrepreneurs

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  • NamePeter Lupoff
  • TitlePrincipal
  • OrganizationLupoff/Stevens Family Office
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameErica Chenoweth
  • TitleProfessor
  • OrganizationHarvard Kennedy School
  • StatusInvited
  • NameMargaret Klein-Salamon
  • TitleCEO
  • OrganizationClimate Emergency Fund
  • StatusInvited
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