We really need to understand the methods used by NGOs to undermine radical political organizing efforts and divert us into political dead ends. ....This is so true, much more than we realize. However, this piece only lightly touches on the problem. We need a much deeper examination of the methods used by NGOs to divert energies and criticism into safer (for the ruling class) channels and away from real change strategies.
.... NGOs will descend on any organizing effort and try to take it over, dilute it, and bring it eventually to the Democratic Party. We can also see an identical set-up with the established labor unions and many other organizations.
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 Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up