Potato starch, 100X magnification, polarised light

5 Reasons to Build a Network of Small Groups, Rather than a Mass Movement of Individuals

Reason 1: A Place to Learn New Habits

I was raised a boy in a patriarchy. Before I could even speak, I was learning epically stupid lessons about gender. Some of them are pretty harmless, like boys don’t wear nail polish. But most of them were toxic, like men don’t show vulnerability, and it’s not important to listen to women.

Reason 2: A Place to Practice Tolerance

A lot of lefty folk love to talk about tolerance, but frankly most of us are pretty crap at doing it.

Reason 3: A Place for Amateur Therapy

I believe we can structure our working relationships to provide healing.

Reason 4: A Place to Produce Living Proof

It is much easier to demand ethical behaviour from institutions, than it is to demonstrate it in our own organisations.

Reason 5: A Place to Prepare for the Worst

Maybe our experiments in decentralised leadership, commons management, and self-governance are too little too late. Maybe we won’t stop the mega-deaths of WWIII or climate catastrophe. I know plenty of clear-thinking people who expect to out-live this current iteration of civilisation. From time to time I ask myself, if we’re approaching Apocalypse, what it is the best use of my time? I keep coming back to the same answer: learn how to work together, and learn how to grow commons. Maybe I’m delusional, but I gotta tell you, it feels pretty good to try. And while we’re on this tour of US activist spaces, I want to test the hypothesis that it feels good for other folks too.


Enspiral Tales

Stories from a bold experiment - creating a collaborative network that helps people do meaningful work.

Richard D. Bartlett

Written by

I write about working together (http://richdecibels.com). Loomio cofounder (http://loomio.org). Enspiral member (http://enspiral.com).

Enspiral Tales

Stories from a bold experiment - creating a collaborative network that helps people do meaningful work.