michaeljohnson's blog

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:

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.

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.

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.

Culture Eats Structure 3                                                                         

 

CULTURE EATS STRUCTURE 1                                                                                                                      

A few days ago I submitted a long essay to The Next System contest that proposes a different kind of movement building strategy, one that emphasizes culture building. It is a three-part essay that is a fairly substantial expression of my basic thinking about our movements for deep democratic change. Below is an overview of the whole piece.

I received this wonder offer from John Curl in my email box today. I asked and he said send on to all of your readers.And thanked me! This man walks his talk.

 

Free EBook Overthrowing Capitalism, Vol. 3, Next 5 Days

Friends,

Nathan Schneider's piece "Curricular Cop-Out on Co-ops" was published yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It's a good one, but will go behind the pay wall in less than a month. 

Here's the link: 

EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 7.

The depth and intensity of anyone’s commitment to any relationship is dependent on many factors. I have recently become very clear on two of them for myself.

EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 6.                                                             

I ended my last blog on a somewhat chilling note: 

EMPOWERMENT and LOVE 5.                                            

I trust the thinking of people who respond with some clarity and complexity in the midst of a muddled situation, such as the one Nate Parker is in and, as a consequence, many, many others also find themselves in, directly and indirectly.

Empowerment and Love 4.    

Anti-racism and anti-sexism are dead ends. Fix-it policies, too.

The only way out of our racist nightmare is through it. Together. Whites from all classes will have to leave their cocoons of privilege, and allow blacks to begin leading them through it. If our blacks are not willing to do this, not capable of moving beyond their traumas, rage and despair, then there is, indeed, no way out.

EMPOWERMENT AND LOVE 3.

 

Another title for this blog could be, “Being a stranger in a strange land, what do I do?” Maybe even, “…who am I?”

(Movements Moving Together 20)                

One way to get a good grasp of cooperative/solidarity economics is to see how four key elements—ecosystem, ground-up, longterm, and transformative learning—work together in the process.

1. Ecosystem

Think Rain Forest

(Becoming the Change 7)                 

When we are about making the world better—as opposed to making it right—love is reigning. Then we are passionate about our movements. We are in a reign of love, and that love owns our power.

However, we are also passionate about being seen in the best light possible. Both by ourselves and by others. In a word, ego. This takes us into a reign of terror. There fear owns our power. We either bite, freeze, or bitterly hold our tongue.

(Becoming the Change 6)

 

I need you all to see and hear me so I can see and hear me better than I could ever do on my own. I need you all to see and hear me in all the different ways you all see and hear.

This is so important for me to become aware of defeating habits, deeply embedded within me, that I am unaware of.

This is so important for me to get beyond my intense attachments to my personal identity, which is forever old as I am always seeing it through my rear-view mirror.

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