Al Giordano’s Lasting Words of Wisdom vs. Green Party Electioneering Ephemerality
I’ve been very critical of the Green Party in general, and Jill Stein’s campaign, in particular. You could say that the ‘main question’ I had about Stein’s campaign was the same that I put to Michael Cavlan which he then forwarded to Rocky Anderson – viz., “What are you doing to grow your party/movement the day after election day?” Cavlan was subsequently banned, and his diaries scrubbed (so far as I can tell), so I can’t dig up my exact verbiage. I was not impressed with Anderson’s answer (it sounded like canned political talking points), and was not impressed with Stein’s campaign, either, in terms of using it to grow her party, long-term.
I’ve mostly picked on Stein and the Greens, as exemplar 3rd party, because they did the best job in getting ballot access (except perhaps for the Libertarians, of whom I know next to nothing.) They therefore have more upside, which I preferred they not waste.
Links to my diaries:
Well, I’d like to report some good news about my concerns for how anemic activism is in the US. It turns out that there are other activists whose style of thinking, wrt activism and strategy, I can get really enthusiastic about. (Of course, this doesn’t mean I agree with everything; much less even the particular causes.)
I’m talking about Al Giordano, of narconews.com.
What has gotten me most recently enthused about Giordano is demonstrated in this post of his about “The School of Authentic Journalism”. From
By Al Giordano
Founder, School of Authentic Journalism
I learned that “being right is not enough” during my own experiences as, first, a community organizer and political prisoner and, later, as an investigative journalist in the commercial media, and, still later as an authentic journalist who has reported alongside many social movements. Protests do not, by themselves, change society, and neither does getting or providing “press coverage” for demonstrations, marches and “actions.” The mass media may sometimes pay more attention to that very limited set of tactics, but they have only been successful at their stated goals when part of a longer-term plan that mixes those tactics with grassroots organizing, training of participants, and direct communications both within its ranks and toward the greater public that do not depend on media attention to deliver a coherent message.
That’s why, at the School of Authentic Journalism, we invite professors who have actually organized successful movements to tell us how they did it and what they learned in the process.
Remember how, nine months ago, TIME magazine took all the organized resistances around the world, most notably the “Arab Spring,” lumped them in with every other protest on earth, and reduced it all to the cliché that 2011 was “The Year of the Protester”? By the following week, something else was on the cover of the magazine and social tumult was, for it, a fad of the past. Here at Narco News we are now in our twelfth year of reporting alongside authentic grassroots movements that continue year in, year out, that go through peaks and valleys, and seasons outside of the attention of the mass media spectacle. In our experience, those movements that do the careful planning and grassroots organizing and communication – and not the mere “protests” that seek media coverage – are the ones that more often achieve the historic changes they set out to make.
As I was reading about this “school for authentic journalism”, I was wondering about putting this stuff on youtube, and it turns out that there is plans for some of that.
Also intriguing (and probably worth a separate diary), is that a co-sponsoring organization for the “School of authentic journalism”, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, is “shifting their own mission beginning in 2014 away from workshops, conferences and international meetings about civil resistance, and toward the creation of a global online platform that makes information and materials on the strategic dynamics of nonviolent conflict available to people all over the world“.
I’ve also been critical of political blogs (including FDL) for not evolving into activist platforms. (Yes, I KNOW that FDL facilitates activism, and am pleased to see that there is currently a blog invitation by Jane Hamsher for readers to participate in the Wal-Mart strike. However, from what I might call an ecology of activism perspective, FDL still does not rise to the level of an activist platform. Not even close. )