We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, January 2, 2012

Understanding the Occupy movement: creating social power

Click here to access article by Dr. Kim Scipes from Energy Bulletin, an excerpt from full article in ZNet. 

This article is an illustration of the fact that Occupy activists are carrying on their work of creating a new inclusive democratic society. It focuses on the critical need of creating a dynamic social unit which acts as a nucleus for inclusiveness. Such a unit is needed to construct the entire edifice of inclusive democratic societies. I completely agree with his notion that affinity groups are precisely that basic unit. Based on his organizational experiences, the author offers some very useful ideas on how they could function and support other structures .
I think each Occupy needs to pull people together, but then to encourage people to organize themselves into affinity groups, of between, say, 5-12 people. This sized group is small enough where people can build personal connections and make decisions that all can abide by, and yet be big enough for folks to engage in collective activities while having some in support in case of arrests, etc.