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Inner Landscapes: Activists' Community-of-practice Part III.

Activist-Practitioners Share Practice Experiences

By Pamela Boyce Simms

This piece involves a bit of an epiphany about myself. You know, like when you are surprised into seeing yourself a bit more as you really are. Some background is necessary to lead into how this unfolded.

Since Trump’s election I have become a democracy-freak. Writing a book about it in fact.  And that is taking me on a new journey within myself and across our political spectrum. Here is the opening of my draft Introduction:

Pamela Boyce Simms

Resistance mobilizes the troops and galvanizes the base. It gives warriors on the front lines a sense of purpose and the oppressed, glimmers of hope. It's an opportunity to put our best analysis of social ills and resistance movement models to the test. Economic and political liberation, social and eco-justice resistance struggles seem so essential, so vital, and are so seductive.

I just posted a book review, Oh, Trauma! How Little We know Ye. It's a good novel about sexual trauma, but I review it from the perspective of it being very relevant to social change. Both personal and social trauma play major roles in our lives and we have very little understanding of how that works. We get significant insights into it through the novel. The author, Steve Wineman, has been an activist and mental health worker for over 30 years.

Inner Landscapes Activists' Community-of-practice, Part I.

Pamela Boyce Simms

The Inner Landscapes Activists’ Community-of-Practice seeks to democratize and operationalize sustained “mystical experience” in service to movement-buildingMystics worldwide describe accessing and obtaining guidance from the undifferentiated field of consciousness as the ultimate state of bliss. The Activists' community-of-practice takes the mystery [but not the awesomeness] out of "mystical." 

If there is anything human I would label “evil,” it is shame, with guilt being a close second. Both are at the heart of moral righteousness.

I need to say some more about the thinking I expressed in my earlier blog. My main point was and is that our most meaningful and effective protests have their source in sharp strategic thinking that is free of moral righteousness. Full of passion grounded in our values and concerns for a world that can work well, but not in moral righteousness.

Our alt/Right, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc. are a form of resistance to the profound cultural, political, and economic changes that are happening globally.* They are hopelessly fighting a losing battle. In fact, the intensity of their moral righteousness is the measure of their hopelessness. Even Steve Bannon says this: “Ethno-nationalism—it's losers.

                

 

Outline

0)    Preface

1)    Municipalism: A Strategy for Political Education and Building Political Power

2)    Workplace Democracy: A Strategy for Resolving the Impending Jobs Crisis

3)    Revitalizing Organized Labor: A Concrete Plan for Building Union Democracy

By Pamela Boyce Simms

The dismantling of the American administrative state and the environmental protections that it afforded the citizenry is in full swing. As Senior Advisor to the 45th President, Steve Bannon unabashedly proclaimed, "I'm a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that's my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today's establishment."

by Josh Davis

In her recent blog post about this year's Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, Pamela Boyce Simms made this observation about the value and limitations of the kinds of "in-the-streets" protest and civil disobedience that are the bread-and-butter of many activists.

Naomi Klein has an interesting article in the latest issue of the Nation, Daring to Dream in the Age of Trump. I recommend it. Much to appreciate, disagree with, and discuss. I want to focus on two features of it, one I find quite surprising and one that is so typical and so disempowering of the Democratic Left.

Pamela Boyce Simms

"Old and cherished ideas and ways of life die; new experiences arise and require a new vocabulary, a new grammar, a new vision." —Charles Johnson

Cooperative culture done well, is pivotal in building the critical mass needed to reach a societal tipping point in this era of existential crisis. Is it time for co-op activists to look in the mirror? 

Once upon a time, the world was infinite. The edges of the map simply defined what was known, not all that was. Then it became common knowledge that the earth was round, and “the world” started to become something finite.

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