I didn’t want to be an armchair revolutionary.
October 16, 2019 10:19 AM   Subscribe

“ And the gap between the smallness of everything I could realistically do and the largeness of everything I wanted to happen was so immense. I was deeply pessimistic, intellectually. The time in which to transform the global economy in order to prevent untold death and destruction shrank daily, and the forces of reaction grew stronger just as fast. So I wanted to do something ambitious and hard: something commensurate with the monstrosity of the world, with the distance of utopia and the nearness of catastrophe. There was so much I wanted to change, so many people I wanted to move. In the daily struggle to build the union and beat the boss and the odds, I saw something I desperately wanted to learn.” Spadework : On political organizing (N+1)
posted by The Whelk (6 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
I waited for someone to invite me to a meeting. No one did.

Me too.

Different generation, and probably would've stayed home watching Battleship Galactica reruns anyway.
posted by sammyo at 11:07 AM on October 16, 2019

Well that was painful and relevant.
posted by Acid Communist at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2019

Whelk, do you know what Hall she is referring to specifically? I haven't read any but the bit about false consciousness sounds interesting and he wrote quite a lot.

This is a very good essay, dense with stuff that resonates with me as I try to be more active in my union.
posted by Frowner at 11:21 AM on October 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

My parents were both community organizers. They had actual jobs too but those had set hours and when they weren't at work they were at meetings, events, or on phone calls for the many organizations they were involved in. The work never ended. Or rather even if it did, there would be the next thing to get involved in because there was so much to be done and so few people willing to do it. I appreciate what they did on one level and sometimes think that if only I had more time I would like to do it too but then I remember that all this time they gave to the community after work was taken from my brother and myself, and chase that thought away. Looking at the kids of my parents fellow organizers it looks like they feel the same way.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:42 PM on October 16, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh, of course it was GESO!
posted by praemunire at 9:55 AM on October 17, 2019

Beautifully written article. I desperately want to beg the author to take Saturdays off. The human body isn’t meant to work that hard without physically falling apart. I think this is something a lot of passion based vocations similarly struggle with - artists, musicians- how do you work sustainably when you’re driven by a motor to accomplish larger than life goals
posted by cricketcello at 1:21 AM on October 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

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