Losing Our Edge


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.