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The Value of Techniques

Editorial: Brian Martin

30 [1]




Techniques are ways of doing things. There are techniques involved in organising a rally, designing a building and washing the dishes. In promoting social alternatives, the usual focus is on problems, solutions, policies, visions and strategies — with little attention to techniques. The focus is on what to do, with how to do it being a matter of routine detail.However, techniques shouldn’t be neglected. They are an integral part of the alternative being pursued. Consider the question of how to oppose oppression and repression. Activists following the tradition of Gandhi have long argued that actions should reflect the goals, so if the goal is a peaceful society, then violence should be avoided in trying to achieve it. In other words, the means should be compatible with the ends or, in a tighter relationship, the means should embody the ends. How something is done, namely the techniques used, should be based on the same principles as the goals being pursued.   



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