Conversation and Change #3- by Todd Boyd- My Movement Criteria
Hello Fred and Kraig
Thanks for the input and articles. It’s clear we aren’t alone in this beginning of what we all should do-re-evaluate, re-tool, and re-build our movements through a different language, a language of our own making and not a reactive language of oppression, control, and manipulation. Trying a different way. I like the articles for saying some of the things we are saying. I like the economic equality project because of it’s basic ideas about how wealth is distributed.
Since we are building this in situ, I took some of the wiipedia stuff and tried to illustrate some of it with my own thinking. How I see movements and building movements. The best minds of the new world, including Black Lives Matter, Poor Peoples Campaign and many other worldwide campaigns for change are all on the same path. Here’s a sample of what I believe is necessary for any progressive movement.
A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy or social values. Political movements are usually in opposition to an element of the status quo , and are often associated with a certain ideology. Some theories of political movements are the political opportunity theory, which states that political movements stem from mere circumstances , and the resource mobilization theory which states that political movements result from strategic organization and relevant resources. Political movements are also related to political parties in the sense that they both aim to make an impact on the government and that several political parties have emerged from initial political movements. The use of electoral policies many current movements seems irrelevant to me. While political parties are engaged with a multitude of issues, political movements tend to focus on only one major issue. If movements are going to pursue one major issue we are doomed unless there are umbrella universal humanitarian connections between. All movements with organizational abilities should find a way (language) to connect with others who share same values.
And if this seems top-heavy, I should note that some sort of organization, ability to disseminate funds, co-ordinate resources, etc need to be temporary, non-authoritarian, and consensus, democratically controlled within the leadership, however loosely it is defined. All movements need Money.
A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social or political one. This may be to carry out, resist or undo a social change. It is a type of group action and may involve individuals, organizations or both. Definitions of the term are slightly varied. Social movements have been described as "organizational structures and strategies that may empower oppressed populations to mount effective challenges and resist the more powerful and advantaged elites". They represent a method of social change from the bottom within nations.
All means all.
Things are what things are. To change these things, it is my belief that any movement I can be a part of (by endorsement, word, financial, or action) should be able to commit to a fully integrated mobilization of all social, racial, cultural, economic, political resources by initiating, involving, training, and supporting any and all non-violent legal, monetary, or “unauthorized” (protest) methods in order to achieve universal, humanitarian principles of revolutionary change.
We know what the goals are, what principles we believe in, what economic methods are fair and reasonable, what realistic political ends are necessary in order to enact radical change and institute universal and egalitarian rights and humanitarian principles and to try and eliminate what is anti-thetically opposed to those principles of universal humanitarianism.
A progressive radical movement should support all the ones who are victims in all wars, regardless of origin. All the ones who are persecuted, prejudiced against in all nations, all the ones who do the work in every nation whether or not bombs fall, diseases spread, militaries, armies, police under orders from their political leaders drive from their homes and communities, all the ones who are mostly silent.
A progressive, radical movement should adhere to a basic-non-authoritarian structure based in temporary, but representative leadership who are of a community or region familiar with issues, values, and political influences.
A movement must be non-nationalistic, non-capitalistic, non-imperialistic, de-nuclearized, de-weaponized, de-institutionalized ( that is, not enforceable by any acceptable authorized, authoritarian level of violence, imprisonment, war). Should adhere to a variety of non-violent principles and methodology, including but not limited to strikes, de-vestiture, resistance, Learning to step back, step away, step forward when confronted by opposition. Also, a movement should be de-centralized but connected to first- communities of similar economies or needs, second-regional connections based on positive environmental concerns and evaluation, third- cross regional and continental policies related to support of global trade/non-capitalistic values.
In my opinion, any movement has to remember it is on borrowed time, borrowed from millions who will be humiliated, degraded, crushed while neoliberal, methodical, institutionalized political doctrines, adhere to slow, time consuming, corporate authoritarian direction.
Deathbound Subjectivity. Through religious beliefs, superstition, fear we’ve separated ourselves from the natural order of things. Yes, the natural world can be a dangerous place, a beautiful place, a fruitful place and an ever -changing place. In the modern world, we’re living a theoretical existence at best. Politics, nations, governments are all based on theoretical constructs that conditions us to believe, or even, forces us to believe we really do have control over our environment rather than simply being a part (and not even an integral part) of a natural order. A movement, in my opinion, must reflect on our place in the natural world so that any change we initiate is integrated into environmental, conservation global policy, not dependent on a reliance on our “superior” position, through technology, maintaining the same small human minority retaining the same control over our own comforts and use of natural resources throughout the world.
Saint Father Junipero Serra once remarked that california natives lived near perfect lives, they just needed to get dressed and get a work schedule. And with that, a justification for genocide. A similar premise for slavery (read Stamped From the Beginning). For me, both slavery and indigenous genocide, all over the globe, renders senseless the idea that Reason and Law fostered by worldwide colonialism, imperialism, nationalism has anything to say about human nature so why do we listen or argue?
Sometimes I know we are a simple nation of carnivores, preying on each other, our success, purely determined on size, swift of foot, teeth and claw, all the while, the majority of people, neither left nor right, worki for family and community, regardless of who is in power. A movement should respect universal, non-violent, non-predatory principles whether or not they are traditional, religious bound. Capitalism (and we really need to find and use another word for it) is a philosophy sprinkled with carnivorous, unclever, unwise aphorisms that if placed before any “electorate” in it’s true undisguised form, would be thrown out. Any movement should rewrite the history books, the philosophy books, the economic books. A movement should recreate and rewrite descriptive language on it’s own terms. Language should reflect a common understanding of universal rights and encourage community and local support of those universal principles.
When the big comet hit the earth, dinosaurs didn’t just roll over and die they took whatever time they had left and slaughtered each other in order to survive until it was the smaller ones, the ones which would change, grow tooth and claw and, later, emerge triumphant for their own epoch.
We don’t want to be dinosaurs or predators either. A movement should be able to use money for improving people’s lives and livihood. A movement needs money and from our discussions, many of them have money. Donations and support come from many people in many ways. A movement needs to be able to outsource resources, distribute equitably and justly. Spending hard earned money on trying to change the legal system only is not beneficial nor helpful in a resource fight for real change.
Other important movement support should focus on universal education, universal health, universal self-defense by resistance, divestiture, rejection against laws and policies supporting fascism, racism, patriarchy, war etc.
I think lastly, any movement should be building the social, political, economic global community it wants to see,