Strategies for Change

INTERNAL OPPRESSION. 

Three keys to that ‘other world’ we know is possible: empathy, sane rationality, and compassion. Empathy is our biological capacity that enables us to get another in their reality. That other includes everyone and everything, human and non-human. Empathy gives rationality the gut-level information it needs to make sane decisions, to keep it from running amok. It makes compassion—the deep caring for someone or something you have gotten—possible.

In MMT 2 I identified four key questions confronting any effort to bring autonomous democratic movements together. In MMT 3 I discussed the first one, and here I want to get into the second one, on which I think the whole game rides.

SENSITIVITY.   That "other world" that we know is possible becomes realized much more by our becoming its people than by the projects and institutions we create on that journey. We create from what we are far more than from what we think we should be. And we create stuff outside us to help us become more aligned with what is possible. So let us focus on our projects and institutions emerging and developing out of our continually becoming more cooperative and democratic beings, not from who we are now.

Floating like a butterfly and humming like a mockingbird                                                                                                                                                              

Here's one reflection on the first of the four questions I identified in Movements Moving Together 2:

Regions: 
Institutions & Structures: 
Visions & Models: 
Movements & Struggles: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 

michael johnson

FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

What I am trying to do in this series of Movements Moving Together (MMT) blogs is think out loud about how movements that want to advance democracy more deeply and broadly into our cultures can work together in this multi-century project that is probably in its 3rd century at this point.

Here’s a short TED talk that might send you off wondering about empathy and compassion.

This is my response to Michael Johnson's recent blog post, Movements Moving Together, Part 1.

Some time ago, Paul Hawken accurately proclaimed “a blessed unrest” pulsating across the planet. Few folks were seeing such rich possibilities for a better world. A few years later came Occupy Wall Street and all that responded to it. That phenomenon lit up the “blessed unrest” like a global Christmas tree.

By Mike Leung

 

This article deals with the conversion of an existing business to a worker-owned cooperative. Specifically, it lays out a basic strategy for allowing employees of a profitable company with publicly-traded securities to effectively convert to a worker cooperative in the absence of owner permission.

 

Proposition: first, experience; then, words and stories.

Bedrock conviction: oppression is a relational dynamic involving at least two roles: oppressor and oppressed. If we want to relate to someone or some situation in a different way, then we have to move out of and beyond these two roles. We have to focus our attention in a way in which we can experience the other as neither oppressive nor oppressed. It has to be focused on the other as genuinely and humbly as possible in order to experience them as they are. At least as much as possible.

Here’s  a stunning video report on some research that is looking with some depth at economic behavior and how we see ourselves and others. I think the implications of this work for economic democracy and understanding empowerment processes could be awesome.

Think of democracy as a garden: structures would be the plants and culture the soil. The soil will determine the quality of the plants more than the plants the quality of the soil. Plant democratic structures in conflicted soil and you get a mix that seriously lacks cooperation and collective power.
How did gays move a nation while racism tenaciously holds its ground?
Phyllis Chesler’s reflections on how the radical feminist movement was powerful but also killed its own
How to destroy relationships, communities, and democracy
A major figure in the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s, her dynamic flame burned out when she was only in her 20s. Her story dramatizes two dynamics that cripple radical movements.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Strategies for Change