Food for thought on the structure of change

Periodically there’s a flurry of discussion about ways people can help with a movement beyond being on the front lines. A lot of it goes into organizing and logistical work, but some also goes into much less involved forms of participation, even if it’s just wearing a button or something.

I don’t know how much of this is a description of what tends to happen, vs what is “needed” for a movement to be successful, but either way, I think it’s a pattern that anyone fighting for change should at least consider and account for. At the end of the day, those of us fighting for a better world have to rely on collective power, which means our chances of success go up the more people we have on board.

If Beau’s spear analogy describes a reliable pattern – and it seems like it is to me – then I think that the goal should be getting the shaft lined up behind the spearhead. BLM has done a pretty good job of that, showcasing the brutality and dishonesty of the police in a way that’s been increasingly difficult to wave away. That’s something we’d do well to think about when it comes to our own activism and communication.

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