Monday, September 22, 2008

Organizing the disorganized

Sometimes, “preaching to the choir,” as so many of us lefties do on these blogs, isn’t a bad thing. As historian-activist Howard Zinn said in a 2004 interview:

“There is value in people speaking to people who already agree with them but who don’t act on the principles that they believe in. And one of the reasons you have rallies and demonstrations — and you know that the people who are going to come to those rallies and demonstrations are people that already agree with the thrust of those demonstrations — is the idea of bringing the choir together to encourage people, inspire people, activate, motivate people. So it’s not a terrible thing to preach to the choir.”

But whether we’re preaching to the choir or focusing on outreach, recruitment, or direct action, we Libertarian Leftists definitely need to pull our shit together. And the Alliance of the Libertarian Left’s ad hoc global organizing committee offers the info and resources you need to galvanize radicals in your area to action. “Are you looking for other like-minded people in your neck of the woods to start an ALL local? Do you already have a core group to start a local, but need help getting things off the ground? Need web space for your new group? Want advice on organizing or actions that you can take in your community? Just ask…”

And by the way, this committee has one of the niftiest logos I’ve ever seen.

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At 1:41 AM, Blogger Soviet Onion said...

Thanks for the plug, Wally.

As an addition, I would really like to urge everyone to add themselves to the ALL Frappr map, and to encourage others to do the same. This will help accelerate the process of finding other locals, and give the rest of us a geographic sense of each other.

The more people we can show in an area, the faster cells coalesce and start working on cool and interesting stuff, the more marginally-interested folks will come out of the woodwork.

And please people, do take the 2 minutes to actually set up an account so others can message you; it does no good to just list a location with no method of contact or name/pseudonym to ask for. If you're concerned about security (I'm not), just use an alias and leave your email off, using the message box to screen contacts.

At 5:22 AM, Blogger B.W. Richardson said...

I don't mean to be obtuse here, but what "actions" are you talking about? How — and more important, why — do you "organize" people who take pride in their individuality and don't usually buy into organizations?

Just asking.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Wally Conger said...


I think it might be more on target to say that Libertarian Leftists don't buy into clunky, top-down institutions. We have no quarrel with joining like-minded activists in loose ad hoc affinity groups for the purpose of pursuing projects that further our fight with the corporate state. That's the function of ALL, after all.

As for what "actions" we're talking about. Well, obviously, we don't involve ourselves in electoral politics. But actions can include demonstrations, boycotts, sit-ins, strikes, letter-writing campaigns, street theater...let your imagination run wild. Read Voltairine de Cleyre's essay "Direct Action" ( for inspiration.

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm working on developing an agora for pro-freedom people, that has trust as a built-in component. It's very basic at this point, but I have a listing at my place ... I would like to add more people to the list, and would love to see others develop similar lists so that we could reduce our contributions to the state while simultaneously supporting each other.


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