What would a mentality of advancing rather than retreating look like?

Using Exit as a default strategy comes with a number of downsides in the real world. One is that it cedes high-value territory or institutions to people who either won’t steward them well or who may use them in ways contrary to your values. As Hirschman wrote:

While it is most clearly revealed in the public-private school case, one characteristic is crucial in all the forgoing situations: those customers who care most about the quality of the product and who, therefore, are those who would be most active, reliable, and creative agents of voice are for that reason also those who are apparently likely to exit first in case of deterioration

In fact, has it ever occurred to those advocating that people leave their city, church, etc. that this is exactly what their opponents want them to do? Hirschman notes that in some cases the incumbent management of failed organizations wants to create opportunities for exit in order to get rid of potential troublemakers.  He cites the example of Latin American countries offering the right of asylum to foreign leaders and dissidents.

Latin American powerholders have long encouraged their political enemies and potential critics to remove themselves from the scene by voluntary exile. The right of asylum, so generously practiced by all Latin American republics, could almost be considered as a “conspiracy in the restraint of voice.”

So by leaving you give up on something established and are forced to start over from scratch.  Not only is starting over difficult in general, in some domains it is impossible to replicate the institution you just left. It’s highly unlikely anyone will ever create a new high status university from nothing today, for example.

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