The year was 1835.
In a small skirmish near Gonzales, Texas, 130 Texan revolutionaries defeated a small force of Mexican infantry sent to capture the garrison cannon.
This wasn’t just any artillery—the cannon had been gifted to the town of Gonzales by the Mexican government 4 years prior. Now, with war on the horizon, the Mexican government wanted it back.
The Texans responded with a legendary act of defiance: they raised a small flag above the town that read, “Come And Take It.”
And thus began the Texas War For Independence.
For thousands of years, revolutionaries who wanted to change the world had few options: They could play politics, protest, or fight. (The latter was a last resort to violence. The former was simply a threat of violence—not much better, and a marginal improvement at best.)
Inherent in all of these strategies is an “us versus them” mentality–a tribal paradigm and a zero-sum game of we win, they lose. Today, more and more people are looking for another way.
Go and Make It
It turns out, we don’t have to fight for a better future. We can create one.
What would happen if we harnessed the same revolutionary spirit of “Come And Take It,” and reimagined a more creative, entrepreneurial declaration?
What if we stopped attacking people for a cause and started attracting people to a cause? What if we became creators instead of mere critics and conquerors? Rather than waging war—either figuratively (in arguing) or literally — what if we channeled all of our passion and energy into disruptive acts of creation?
What if we bypassed electoral politics and established a more cooperative era…one in which the best ideas win?
In this new age, politicians would be replaced by innovators. Political capital would be replaced by creative capital.
Social change would not be planned by bureaucrats. It would emerge from the collective creativity of artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs working in cooperation.
Can you imagine a future like this? Is it possible? If it were, we would probably expect futuristic ideas like floating cities, digital currencies, and space travel to become a reality in our lifetimes.
Yesterday’s revolutionaries resisted tyranny with swords, rifles, and cannons. Today’s revolutionaries are able to disrupt the status quo peacefully—with software code, 3D printers, and digital currencies.
This paradigm shift isn’t just philosophical—it’s also practical. Think about it: the costs of agitating, electioneering and protest are high. When you go and make it, you criticize by creating.
Creating is more effective than conquering. It creates prosperity, stability, and cooperation.
Consider Uber—rather than organizing political protests against the taxicab economic cartel, innovative entrepreneurs simply created a better solution. Airbnb turned middle-class homeowners into entrepreneurs, almost overnight. It is now the world’s largest “hotel” chain.
Praxis reimagined higher education, and created an alternative to college that’s less than the cost of one semester at most universities.
3D printing technology is democratizing manufacturing, and making it easier than ever for visionary startups to bring new products to market.
Crowdfunding is decentralizing the world of finance, and making it possible for just about anyone to attract investment capital.
It’s no longer about who you know…it’s about what you create. And that’s a good thing.
Today’s revolutionaries are not guerilla warriors, political assassins, or resistance fighters. They are software programmers, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Some will succeed and others will fail, but the games of tit-for-tat and king of the mountain are being replaced by solutions that make nearly everybody better off.
In the coming age of biohacking, social technologies, even floating ocean cities—the fastest way to change the world is not to dare our enemies to come and take it.
It’s time to rally around a new banner.
Go and make it.
Join us for Voice & Exit in Austin, November 11th, 2016.