Swartz contends that the key to social change is civic engagement and dialogue with the centers of power, whether they are governments or businesspeople. "There is a rap song from a long time ago by Public Enemy, called 'Fight the Power.' No: Use the power. That is what is wrong with the rage movement. There is no agenda. There has to be an agenda. The agenda has to be the perfection of society, not its destruction or demonization.
"The government is not wrong. Business is not wrong. Wealth and equity did not happen. It is an accountability that we share. What are you going to do about it? You want to just Rage Against the Machine? That's a cool band," he says, but rage alone is not enough; the way to effect real change is to utilize the market to compel CEOs to take responsibility. "We are a generation that demands more," he adds.
The effective way to foment social change, asserts Swartz, is by way of "a targeted conversation aimed at the CEO that makes him or her a little uncomfortable, but that is done in a way that allows there to be some middle ground for a conversation, that says, we will negotiate solutions. [The problem solvers] will not be from the left or from the right. They will be in the middle. Politically, militarily, socially.