More Than Anything Take Action

Seeing lots of posts about the end of the government shutdown, about the structural power workers have in standing together, and I’m seeing calls for more threats of strikes and general strikes.

If that’s your analysis — an analysis I agree with — then how you get there is getting good at talking with low-wage workers, learning how to inspire large groups of them into taking massive action; that’s a skill that takes a lot of time to develop.

If you’re inspired by the end of the government shutdown, spend more time (for example) knocking on doors and practicing your organizing conversations. Practice new ways of approaching organizing conversations, and base your political/organizing theory in your real-world results: know that following organizing theory that consistently produces real-world results for you is good, know that following organizing theory that consistently produces poor real-world results for you is bad organizing. But regardless, it takes having thousands of real-world organizing conversations to get a good grasp on what works and what doesn’t.

There is a lot of debate about what is effective organizing. To those who’ve had thousands of real-world conversations in the context of lots of successful organizing drives, the cumulative experience of those conversations provides profound clarity to a great majority of those debates on organizing theory.

More than anything, main takeaway: take action. Knock on lots of doors. Learn how to have effective organizing conversations that produce real results. Effective strikes are really, really hard to pull off. Practice. That’s the only way.

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