I can remember passionate discussions at the age of four, and people telling me I should be a minister or politician at age seven. My response for the next decade and more was "Don't insult me, they are the opposite of what I will be."
I can say that still, but I can also say I know I might have done a good job and it would have been a lot better for me if I had taken the easy way to what others think is success. Don't get me wrong - I spent a lot of time doing the normal game of making money and chasing skirts. I had so much of it that I knew even more why it was not ME, by age 30.
I became a very different or eccentric person with no roots or desire to belong - and I still am. That said - I can introduce the activist or politically incorrect element of society with experience, I did the time and found my rhyme.
It used to be called abnormal or neurotic not to care about fitting the norm, especially if you confronted the homogenizing nature of political correctness and religious indoctrination. Today we have an almost proud group of people saying "What me Worry" as they gather in social media forums to gain support for and pride in being stupid or uninformed. You probably hear "That is my opinion." or "Everyone is entitled to their opinion." as much as any other phrase today. Some call this ego centered era by phrases like Postmodern me-too think. But that is just psychobabble and it does not go into why the people saying these things genuinely have the right to cop out, as we used to hear directed at the beatniks, flower children or other demographics which seem to have revolution or a desire to make change their goal.
In the US today (South Carolina for one) you have repression in education reaching backwards through the Rocks - of ages and in boxes. Yes, these boxes of rocks want their children to be exposed to Creationism as taught in the Bible. I have no difficulty teaching the possibilities of Intelligent Design and a debate between knowledgeable people, but I do wish the laws of this land and culture were free of religious indoctrination which produces mind controlled leaders like Shrub or Steven Harper in Canada. People would do better to listen to their newborn babe than a born again pulpit pounder.
No, I do not equate the people who do NOT care and say "What me worry" with activists, but I do see alienating damage causes are still with us. Have we stopped the Cycle of Violence just because more women are willing to go to court and confront their abusers? The abuse of one person affects everyone who loves that person and to some extent all of society, war is an awesome abuse. Do we really care about the environment if we spend so much time marching and mouthing slogans about Global Warming and mind control by government and our systems of surveillance? So what am I trying to say?
Is our present society becoming more or less amenable to actual activism or is it false and hypocritical ego activity to make others hear what we are passionate about because we now longer want to delve into the actual causes of the hatred and disenfranchisement caused by political hegemonists and bureaucrats or priesthoods who also are tired and see no way out? There are many correct ways to care or help and many different people who need more than one approach before they gain wisdom.
Here is a website discussing some of these issues. I agree and I have been active in addressing issues passionately, with the premise that such activism polarizes and alienates as much as the paradigm political correctness does. But the psychological modalities which engage and build empowerment such as Talk Therapy are actually false and hypocritical just as James Dean fought about in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. I say the empathy we must share does not avoid facts and endeavours to make a plan for futures that empower more than just the individual who is supposedly being helped by self-esteem psychologists such as these people are. All the James Dean character wanted was a moral compass and his parents tried to get him to lie or not go to the police for his part in the death of a friend.
"Social psychologists are saying activists alienate people through their passion, and this has a negative impact on the rapidity of social change. But does that mean everyone needs to give up and give in? Not really, but perhaps it’s time we reassess how to present these passions to others so that people feel engaged rather than excluded. Regardless, activism is still essential to a democracy, so whether feminists, environmentalists, etc. are detested or loved, the fight must go on.
European Journal of Social Psychology via British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog:
When you picture a feminist or an environmental campaigner, what kind of a person do you think of? If you’re like the US and Canadian participants in this new paper, then you’ll have in mind an eccentric, militant, unhygienic person. Nadia Bashir and her colleagues say this commonly held stereotype of an activist is partly responsible for the sluggishness of social change. Large sections of the public agree with activists’ messages, but are put off by not wanting to affiliate themselves with the kind of person they think makes an activist.
Bashir’s team conducted five proper studies in all, and three pilot investigations. The pilot work involved Canadian students, and US participants recruited online, and was used to establish the characteristics—militant, eccentric etc—that people tend to associate with a typical feminist or environmentalist. ..
Past research on people’s advocacy for social change has tended to focus on their beliefs about the issue at hand, or on the personality characteristics of people who tend to favour social change or oppose it. This study is novel in that it focuses instead on people’s perceptions of those who campaign for social change. The findings have obvious real-life implications for activists. “… Seemingly zealous dedication to a social cause may backfire and elicit unfavourable reactions from others,” the researchers said. “… [T]he very individuals who are most actively engaged in promoting social change may inadvertently alienate members of the public and reduce pro-change motivation.”"