As demonstrated in the first week of this course, there is no one single definition for terms such as social responsibility and social change. These are complex concepts determined by multiple factors. You may now recognize some of the key contributing factors that lead to social responsibility in action. Has your initial understanding of social responsibility and social change evolved through your work in this course? Have the shared comments of colleagues as well as the Learning Resources provided further insight into the value of working collectively to achieve social change?In this Reflection Essay, you reflect on how this course has influenced your overall understanding and approach to positive social change.Write a 3- or 4-paragraph essay in which you briefly analyze the importance and feasibility of working toward social change. Address the following:Describe how your perspective has evolved or changed through this course and how you believe it will continue to evolve after the course.Explain how this experience has influenced your ability to create positive social change beyond the term of this course.If you choose to engage in the social issue you researched in this course, address how you will prevent burnout and engage others in your cause.


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World Scripture
World Scripture – The Golden Rule Page 1 of 3
The Golden Rule or the ethic of reciprocity is found in the scriptures of nearly every religion. It is often
regarded as the most concise and general principle of ethics. It is a condensation in one principle of all longer
lists of ordinances such as the Decalogue. See also texts on Loving Kindness, pp. 967-73.
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
1. Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Leviticus 19.18
Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
2. Christianity. Bible, Matthew 7.12
Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
3. Islam. Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated.
4. Jainism. Sutrakritanga 1.11.33
Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest
way to benevolence.
5. Confucianism. Mencius VII.A.4
One should not behave towards others in a way which is disagreeable to oneself. This is the essence of morality.
All other activities are due to selfish desire.
6. Hinduism. Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva 113.8
Tsekung asked, “Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?” Confucius replied, “It is the
word shu–reciprocity: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
7. Confucianism. Analects 15.23
Leviticus 19.18: Quoted by Jesus in Matthew 22.36-40 (below). Mencius VII.A.4 and Analects
15.23: Cf. Analects 6.28.2, p. 975
Wilson, Andrew. World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. St. Paul: Paragon House. 1998.
World Scripture – The Golden Rule Page 2 of 3
Comparing oneself to others in such terms as “Just as I am so are they, just as they are so am I,” he should
neither kill nor cause others to kill.
8. Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 705
One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts.
9. African Traditional Religions. Yoruba Proverb (Nigeria)
One who you think should be hit is none else but you. One who you think should be governed is none else but
you. One who you think should be tortured is none else but you. One who you think should be enslaved is none
else but you. One who you think should be killed is none else but you. A sage is ingenuous and leads his life
after comprehending the parity of the killed and the killer. Therefore, neither does he cause violence to others
nor does he make others do so.
10. Jainism. Acarangasutra 5.101-2
The Ariyan disciple thus reflects, Here am I, fond of my life, not wanting to die, fond of pleasure and averse
from pain. Suppose someone should rob me of my life… it would not be a thing pleasing and delightful to me. If
I, in my turn, should rob of his life one fond of his life, not wanting to die, one fond of pleasure and averse from
pain, it would not be a thing pleasing or delightful to him. For a state that is not pleasant or delightful to me
must also be to him also; and a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon
another? As a result of such reflection he himself abstains from taking the life of creatures and he encourages
others so to abstain, and speaks in praise of so abstaining.
11. Buddhism. Samyutta Nikaya v.353
A certain heathen came to Shammai and said to him, “Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the
whole Torah while I stand on one foot.” Thereupon he repulsed him with the rod which was in his hand. When
he went to Hillel, he said to him, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor: that is the whole Torah;
all the rest of it is commentary; go and learn.”
12. Judaism. Talmud, Shabbat 31a
Sutta Nipata 705: Cf. Dhammapada 129-130, p. 478. Acarangasutra 5.101-2: Cf. Dhammapada
129-130, p. 478. Samyutta Nikaya v.353: The passage gives a similar reflection about abstaining from other
types of immoral behavior: theft, adultery, etc. To identify oneself with others is also a corollary to the
Mahayana insight that all reality is interdependent and mutually related; cf. Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of
Life 8.112-16, p. 181; Majjhima Nikaya i.415, p. 465.
Wilson, Andrew. World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. St. Paul: Paragon House. 1998.
World Scripture – The Golden Rule Page 2 of 3
“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the
second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law
and the prophets.”
13. Christianity. Bible, Matthew 22.36-40
Matthew 22.36-40: Cf. Deuteronomy 6.4-9, p. 55; Leviticus 19.18, p. 173; Luke 10.25-37, p. 971;
Galatians 6.2, p. 974; Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 5.2.2, p. 972; Sun Myung Moon, 9-30-79, p. 150.
Wilson, Andrew. World Scripture: A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts. St. Paul: Paragon House. 1998.
Robert A. Goldberg*
In a world of great crises—economic, environmental, and political—men and
women usually turn to state actors for solutions. The United States government,
the European Union, or the World Bank are seen as the agents of change and
reform. This focus blurs the stimulus to change that comes from the bottom up via
grassroots movements. The events of September 11, 2001, and more recently in
Mombai, Thailand, and Greece suggest the power of social movements, non-state
actors, to move history and create the crises of current events. In challenging state
authority in American history, social movement activists have nurtured revolution,
pressed suffrage and equal rights for women, and transformed the racial status quo,
among other changes. In the process of staking a claim to influence, a social
movement organizes itself as a community governed by alternative role models,
values, and rituals. From this base, social movement agents raise hope of a better
world and choose mobilization strategies in a quest to govern. Claims on power
demand that activists grapple with authorities who stand ready to protect
established institutions and practices.
The social movement perspective on governance, then, is twofold. Activists
must exercise governance within the movement to firm it for the coming struggle
for power. They also must protect members from authorities who seek to disrupt
and disband challengers. With its base secured and resources gathered and focused,
the social movement is prepared to claim a share of governance and authority from
state actors. This Article outlines internal movement characteristics and factors that
effect challenges to state actors. It also considers the dynamic of contention,
particularly the responses of state authorities to social movement claims on
When state actors deny the legitimacy of a constituency and ignore the
salience of grievances, opportunities arise for social movement mobilization. A
social movement is an organized group that acts with some continuity and is
consciously seeking to promote or resist change. Key to social movement activism
are the means of challenge. Social movements launch collective action to influence
those who make decisions about the distribution of benefits in a society. Silent
vigils, parades, sit-in demonstrations, cross burnings, Boston tea parties, strikes,
rallies, kidnappings, boycotts, violence, and similar collective behaviors are
initiated to persuade authorities to recognize challengers and to bring change. In
© 2010 Robert A. Goldberg, Professor of History, University of Utah. For a video
of the author’s remarks at the Non-State Governance Symposium, please visit
[NO. 1
gathering numbers and offering inducements or adding disadvantages, activists
warn rulers of their power and demand action.1
Such means, however, suggest the weakness of social movements. Powerful
actors, unlike social movement activists, have easy access to those who govern.
They routinely apply resources—for example, through lobbying or offers of
information and funding—and successfully lay claims on authorities. These actors,
in fact, may rely on the state’s means of coercion to protect them from social
movement challenges. In turn, in its role of preserving the status quo, government
seeks support from established groups that have a stake in the system as it exists.
Social movements cease to be such once they gather sufficient resources and
abandon collective action for more prosaic means of influence. As contenders for
influence, social movements yearn to sit on the balcony of power, but their
weakness demands that they take a stand on the streets and behind the barricades.2
Challenging the status quo is hard labor. It requires that social movements
sustain their members over time to withstand assaults from within and without. It
means the creation of self-contained communities, non-state entities, administered
by their own leaders and codes of conduct. Particularly important in beckoning
followers and holding their allegiances are movement blueprints of the good
society. These ideological statements diagnose the problems being faced and fix
the blame. They offer means and goals. They provide a rationale that glorifies and
justifies the movement and its cause. Ideology is a bulwark against frustration,
resistance, and factionalism. It is the scaffolding of a new and alternative
community of believers. Also necessary to mount a viable challenge is an
organizational structure that anoints leaders who set policy, assign tasks, and
harness movement resources to goals. Together, ideology and hierarchy create the
crucible for challenge and protest. Moreover, they shelter an alternative world, a
community of activists whose loyalty is to the challenging group and a vision of a
better world.
Consider in this regard, the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux
Klan. This social movement was founded in Georgia in 1915. Within ten years, it
was estimated to have initiated five million men and women, making it the largest
movement of the right wing in American history. Despite its southern origins, the
Klan claimed its greatest membership in the North and West, with Pennsylvania,
Indiana, Illinois, Colorado, and California its most powerful realms. Urban areas
were especially susceptible, with Chicago counting 50,000 Klansmen and 35,000
wearing the hood and robe in Detroit. The Klan called white, native-born
Americans to a crusade against the Pope and his Catholic minions, Jewish
immigrants, lawbreakers of all stripes, and black Americans who attacked racial
barriers to equal rights. These were the so-called enemies of One Hundred Percent
Charles Tilly, Does Modernization Breed Revolution?, 5 COMP. POL. 425, 438 (1973).
Americanism and threats to the Constitution, law and order, and Protestant
freedom. In response, Klansmen flooded voting booths to elect U.S. senators,
governors, and hundreds of mayors and local officials. Their motto: “Put only
Americans on Guard.”3
But the Klan was more than a political machine. A ten-dollar initiation fee
granted admission to an invisible and mysterious empire of exalted cyclopses,
grand dragons, kleagles, and nighthawks. The Invisible Empire offered an exotic
fraternal life complete with “ghostly costumes and eerie burning crosses.” Regular
lodge nights were supplemented with social activities including wrestling
tournaments, parades, and automobile races. Picnics were especially popular with
members and sometimes drew more than 100,000 people. The Klan was a family
affair, and members encouraged their wives, mothers, and sisters to form
auxiliaries. Klansmen even organized their children. Misconduct—voting for a
Catholic candidate, buying from a Jewish merchant, or violating the prohibition
laws—could mean trial and banishment from the Empire. In small towns, shunning
had a telling effect. Strict governance in the Empire ensured a combat-ready
contender for power.4
Another example is found in the Communist Party of America, which in the
1930s demanded discipline and obedience in its war against capitalism. The
leadership, hand-picked and blessed by Moscow, ordered members to infiltrate
unions, political organizations, and social clubs to foster a united front to battle
fascism abroad and racism and poverty at home. Critical to its mobilization was the
movement’s ability to cocoon its members from the outside world. Weekly
meetings, often lasting three and four hours, were only a part of the regimen.
Under strict supervision and under the watchful eyes of comrades, Communists
were expected to attend lectures and rallies, participate in petition drives, recruit
new members, and sell movement literature and newspapers. Communist
membership also meant absorption in a network of social relationships. After
meetings, members attended movies together, went dancing, or met at one
another’s homes. Weekends brought picnics, hikes, and retreats. Members found
their closest friends and marriage partners within the movement. “It was a total
world,” remembers a Philadelphia Communist, “from the schools to which I sent
my children to family mores to social life to the quality of our friendships to the
doctor, the dentist, and the cleaner. We had community.”5 In this world, a loss of
commitment meant more than a shearing of political ties. Ostracism, said one
Communist, was “worse tyranny than jail. . . . [F]ar worse than anything in the
world. It’s your mother and father, it’s your social base, it’s your raison d’etat
[sic]. . . . You’ve got to be willing to wander alone in the night.”6 Even if it was
COLORADO 3–8, 54 (1981).
See id. at 24–28.
PAUL LYONS, PHILADELPHIA COMMUNISTS, 1936–1956, at 61–69 (1982).
Michael Francis Urmann, Rank and File Communists and the CIO (Committee for
Industrial Organization) Unions, at 198 (June 1981) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation,
University of Utah) (on file with Marriott Library, University of Utah).
[NO. 1
able to steel them to their purpose and insulate them from detractors’ cries of unAmericanism, the closed world of communism did not shield them from federal
surveillance and infiltration.7
The emergence of social movements continued during the 1960s, when the
Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) waged a war against
segregation in freedom rides, sit-in demonstrations, and voter registration drives.
Activists saw themselves as non-violent messengers engaged in a righteous cause
to make real the dream of a color-blind America. Beatings, arrests, and jail time
were initiation rites, formative experiences that created the “beloved” community.
Brutality strengthened the activist core by heightening mutual respect and
bolstering a sense of personal power. In suffering and before bigotry, activists
learned to trust and depend on one another, critical defenses against the onslaught
of violence that they faced in the rural South. Yet years of combat took a toll.
SNCC could not protect its members, who were engulfed in continuous waves of
assaults, murders, and bombings. Nor could it govern its own community. With an
ethos of participatory democracy and an animus to authority, the community
fractured along fault lines of race, class, and gender. Pleas for aid to federal
authorities went unheeded, and SNCC fell under the weight of enemies within and
without. When members turned on each other and suspicion replaced trust,
SNCC’s future became futile and the community became a shell.8
None of this is to validate the claims of a school of theorists that saw social
movements as populated by society’s misfits, maladjusted, and deviant—what Eric
Hoffer called “true believers.”9 According to scholars like Hannah Arendt,
Seymour Lipset, and William Kornhauser who wrote in the shadows of Nazism
and Cold War Communism, activists seek escape from the responsibilities of
freedom. Eagerly, they sacrifice their wills and judgment to authoritarian leaders.
In this scenario, personal grievances, fears, and anxieties—not real social and
economic problems—ignite their activism. These scholars specifically delineated
the unemployed, recently discharged war veterans, and the economically marginal
as forming movement ranks. In their collective pain of estrangement and
dispossession, activists find new meaning and community.10
DECADE 155 (1984) (discussing the extent to which party members’ lives were overtaken
with directives); ARTHUR LIEBMAN, JEWS AND THE LEFT 307–10 (1979) (describing the
Yiddish-speaking Communists’ United Workers Cooperative Colony, called “the Coops”);
Lyons, supra note 5, at 61–64 (discussing the social and cultural interactions between party
members); see generally Agit-Prop Section, PARTY ORGANIZER (Central Committee,
Communist Party U.S.A.) Aug. 1935, at 24–32 (describing goals of the party and means of
achieving them).
See GOLDBERG, supra note 1, at 141–66.
MOVEMENTS 23, 39 (1951).
More recent scholarship takes a different approach. Research on social
movements of the 1960s indicates that the atomized and irrational were noticeable
by their absence from civil rights, student, anti-war, and women’s organizations.
Protesters were angry and, at times, bitter, yet unconscious psychic drives offer
less explanation for their motivation than real grievances enunciated in focused
programs of change. Such findings even hold for movements outside the
mainstream. Research on the Ku Klux Klan indicates that the hood and robe
disguised a movement composed of diverse factions, often in conflict over
leadership positions, tactics, and goals. When Klan officers betrayed confidence or
the movement misplayed its hand, members left en masse. Similarly, Communists
rarely marched in lockstep. Enclosure in the Communist cocoon quickly became
confining and overwhelmed many. Inaction and failure led to defections. Reversals
of the party line, for example in the wake of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact
in 1939, led to spotty attendance at first and then desertion. It was Lenin, himself,
who ruefully warned: “When the locomotive of history takes a sharp turn only the
steadfast cling to the train.”11 Governance within movements demands skillful
hands and the confidence of the governed. Such matters are fragile over time,
especially when social movements are joined in the struggle with state actors for
In these struggles for governance, state authorities are neither passive nor
neutral. State actors will expend the resources necessary to ensure the status quo in
policy and existing power relationships. Tenaciously holding on to governance,
they have a variety of weapons in their arsenal, employed singly or in combination,
to confront challengers. A history of state actors’ responses to claims on
governance is not pos …
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