Be careful with each other
Rushdia Mehreen et David Gray-Donald, Briarpatch, le 29 août 2018
We all know of an activist group that brands itself as “non-hierarchical” but is riddled with unspoken and insidious hierarchies. When some activists organize without sleeping for days or can dedicate all their time to organizing, it puts pressure on other members to match their standards of productivity and output. Those who contribute at extreme levels often gain more knowledge of the group’s goings-on, build more social capital, and claim more decision-making power. The invisible hierarchies that are created are hard to name and harder to dismantle.
This dynamic calls for feminist and anti-capitalist ethics of care: focusing on and acknowledging effort and impact rather than performance or outcome; encouraging interdependence through shared and rotating tasks; and affirming and supporting members regardless of their level of output.
We don’t need to be friends to be comrades
David Camfield, Briarpatch, le 17 septembre 2018
Many people burn out or stop being active (these aren’t the same, though lots of burned out people do stop being active) because of mistakes in their political outlook. Some of us don’t realize we need to pace ourselves for the long haul. We may overestimate what relatively small groups can accomplish, or how likely they are to win victories. When we don’t see victories, sometimes we decide we just have to try harder. Or we start to blame each other. These mistakes are connected to weaknesses in our politics and how we understand the ground on which we fight.
Caring About Thriving
Convergence Journal, février 2017