When we begin any grassroots campaign, it is a convergence of uprisings. It’s anarchistic, unorganized, leaderless. It can be exciting and fun.
Then things get complicated. We need some organization to have any degree of workability. Uh oh. We are in deep water, though we hardly notice. We’re jockeying for status and power. We aren’t sure what the name of this outfit will be, but already we are carving out our turf. Already there are internal alliances forming.
And then the dance begins. It’s that same old step, one leads and the other follows. And we re-invent the world we want to change. We need to articulate alternative models. Some of us had best sit back and think outside the existing model. Exciting work and long overdue.
The Good News?
We’re not any more culpable for the continuation of humanity’s self-destructive assault on the planet than anyone else, and also no less. Human beings may be small, but there are a lot of us. Notice as we ravage the tropical rainforests. Beavers on steroids.
But never mind that.
So, the more organized we get, the more conventional that organization is, the more radicals we will lose. And when that happens, we lose our edge. We lose that freely expressed outrage and those out of the box ideas that can fuel the transformation humanity needs to survive.
We ought to explore different ways of communicating, different structures for our organizations. Why do we operate inside the dysfunctional paradigm? Because we don’t know what else to do.
7 thoughts on “Losing Our Edge”
Whatever your cause is, at some point don’t you have to think about selling your ideas to the general public? Isn’t that what forces you into conventional structures? People expect you to have a name, a well-defined issue written out, someone who speaks for the group, etc?
See my post:
But maybe you’re talking about something completely different.
Thank you for restating the question so well. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Why not challenge those assumptions? It couldn’t go any worse.
Challenge which assumptions?
That you have to sell your ideas? Or that people want to hear you and know who you are?
My thought was that we immediately fall into established forms and structures in models that are part of the cultural-financial-political system we are unhappy with. Thus new modes may prove more fruitful.
What would that look like? I would love to talk about that.
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I’m a “Form follows function” kind of guy, when it comes to organizations. That’s how I try to explain the organizational things that seem to be necessary in my blog entries:
The entries above are about people who need to conform to the law and appeal to the public in a coherent way. If you want to be a secret society working outside the law, I suppose you can do anything you like.
I wasn’t suggesting going rogue any moreso than Julian Assange. Sometimes you have to speak truth to power in new untried and unusual ways, and gets attention to the problem.
We don’t know how to be the change we want to see in the world.