Here’s my organizing dilemma. I can help people understand what opposition tactics they will face from landlord and real-estate lobbyists, but I’m less prepared to help them cope with and navigate the trials they will face from their peers. I hope you can allow me this vulnerability and share your thoughts if you have them.
Both challenges are important to overcome to win. The latter I see causing us to lose people-power as much as we gain it. The more we grow the more divisions become apparent, but how to hang together and actually grow a movement? What would it look like to treat people-power as the respected resource that it is, and hold accountability and political sharpness as goals that help us build rather than tear down and divide? How do we overcome the human tendency to vie for position, power, notoriety, and the supposed resources, both financial and social capital, that come with them, to center higher goals of collective power and be forgiving of ourselves when we fall short of this? How do we prepare people to stand strong but flexible to withstand the din of criticism and character assassination that happens when any of us try to take a step forward, as imperfect that it may be? How do we cultivate a culture of respect and mutual aid when we are daily bombarded with messages that tell us we are not good enough, not smart enough, to build a better world?
In my mind we do not care for each other enough to see each other as the soft, flawed human animals that we are. We do not allow for mistakes. We do not forgive when we see another try to make amends. We are tripped up by being perceived as weak when we do, and overrun by those willing to employ short-term power-hungry tactics. We are defensive, reactive, falling into the traps of a culture that tells us there is scarcity while hoarding resources for the wealthy. What does it really mean to organize and not replicate the dominate culture and structure that holds us back?
For this question I drew the Mother of Cups/Horns from the Brady Tarot, which seems fitting.