History shows us it is easy for ‘grassroots’ campaigns to become co-opted by the very interests they are fighting against. A 21st-century grassroots movement faces many pitfalls. This was as true back in 1968 as it is today. It could be infiltrated by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, or co-opted by a major party. As the state continues to creep further into our lives, activists can expect that it will use all its resources – not just the violent reaction seen in New York overnight, but also its agents, informants and surveillance packages – in its effort to monitor both sides of any serious social debate.
Even bleaker, however, is the possibility that the movement was actually planned and launched by the very establishment activists thought they were waging a battle against in the first place. The larger the movement, the more interested a major party becomes in absorbing it into either the left or the right side of the current two-party paradigm … (full text).
(Patrick Henningsen is speaking on Deep Politics and the Revolutions Business at Tent City University at St Paul’s on Sunday, 20 November at 4pm. More of his articles).
- Look, this is always a risk, when so called grassroots are REAL grassroot groups with people having never learned how conduct victoriously any movement. How dwellers of the bottom sphere could lead anywhat, If you need higher education for this performance? You says this is not needed? Yes, it is needed as soon as you conduct your movement out of your little village, your little world.
- I observed this when I participated some years ago in Genevas preparatory sessions for the world Symposium of the Information Society WSIS: our NGOs collectively were SO HAPPY as our texts received more and more elite’s appreciation. (Do you understand the message)?
- What happened in reality? The tough guys having produced this performance for the NGO group obviously came out of high level scools. And I ask you: who is going there?
- Look, if you want poor’s mentality leading the world, a huge number of them must learn a different thinking. You cannot produce this changes with only some few courageous persons. For the moment, lower levels of our society are too much eager to copy anywhat of what the elites produces, as in the last 30 years so called class consciousoness was beaten methodically by every main stream media. So, today think differently than the elites blames automatically all persons speaking in big medias talk shows the majority of the 99% is still watching.
- My observation: the student movement, often leading a new protest, is in itself already elitist … oh yes, guys … there is hardly a meeting between them and really low levels of our society … and if, mental and ideologic differences and formulating specific concerns can be too huge. I know this by experience.
- So, what is your goal? How this difference can be overcome?).