Over at Daily Kos, I wrote an essay reflecting on two essays
from Dispatchers from the Religious Left in light of recent political developments.
“One of the premises of this site is that we need not just more, but better Democrats as candidates and office holders. As we look beyond the current policy battles and 2010 elections, we also need to consider how it is we do what we do. To the extent that many of us are frustrated by the way things are, we need to also consider whether if we continue to do things the same way, can we really expect different (and better) outcomes?”
This is a revised and updated version of “Dreaming of Better Dems.”
We are entering a critical political time that is not for the fainthearted. It is easy to second guess what other people do, but it much more difficult to change our own premises about politics, especially if we are professionally invested in the status quo — even the status quo of doing social change. It is time to invite ourselves to rethink our approach to political organizing.
The essays were by Jean Hardisty and Deepak Bhargava, and by Marshall Ganz. Both involve how to think about organizing for social justice. The first one makes the useful distinction between broad organizing towards a goal, and mobilization towards a specific project, like passing legislation or getting out the vote for a canidate.
I think that the concept of organizing has drifted considerably in political life and is in need of reinvention. If that is so, these essays are an excellent place to start.