Robert Gahtan

This conversation is closed.

Draft an Activist's Handbook/wiki for Social Movements

There are many movements that have succeeded. Their history is fairly well documented. I do not understand why each new social movement has to re-invent the wheel. The same goes for the person who changes from observer to activist. Google any of the following nine search terms and you will find ample documentary evidence
1. Critique of social movements sociology
2. Hand book for social movement activists
3. Social movements that succeeded
4. Social movements timeline
5. Who is interested in social change
6. Google Books Research Topic: Social Movement Theory
7. Social movement theory and research an annotated bibliography guide
8. Is there an idea exchange for social movements
9. "Granting agencies" for social change

Most, if not almost all of the relevant guidelines, strategies, tips, and tactics are there to be organized and condensed. I think that someone should get busy on this. So we end up with an activists handbook/wiki. This would:
Permit activists to avoid well known pitfalls,
Enable social change to accelerate,
Provide a plan to recruit the uncommitted,
Shorten the period that movement activists requires to learn their craft
Reinvigorate/re-invent current movements (such as Occupy) that have hit the doldrums

The Climate Crisis and other ills that are facing our species are not allowing us much time to get started

  • thumb
    Jan 29 2013: Robert, There are thousands of activists from ultra - extreme to passive. There are those who would cause disruption in anything or even overthrow of a government for money. There are handbooks for almost every event you can think of ... some hidden some open.

    My advice to you is be careful which activities, groups, cells, causes you join. The objective may not be what you think and you may become part of something you were unaware of. Do your homework. Some of these groups are fronts.

    The government puts out lists of organizations they consider "bad". You may not agree but if it is on this list I would do my homework and find out why it is listed. Google the group and the leader as a minimum. If it sounds to good to be true it normally isn't.

    Don't let passion override your caution.

    Is that a polo helmet?

    Bob.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2013: In view that I posted this on TED, I thought the implication would be that I am only interested in those movements that promote well being for our fellow humans. Specifically: movements that end poverty, hunger, wars, racism, sexism, homophobia,climate change, the two party system, and perhaps even capitalism.

      Such a handbook/wiki would deal with the issue of front groups. I am always trying to meet a better class of people, and am gratified that you think it to be a polo hat, unfortunately it is nothing but an out-of style bicycle helmet
  • thumb
    Jan 29 2013: Have you considered joining in and working on an activist wiki then? When I did an internet search, I found there are activist handbooks and communities building such wikis.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2013: Please let me know the search terms that you've used. I have done several google searches: Critique of social movements sociology, Hand book for social movement activists So, Social movements that succeeded, Social movements timeline, Who is interested in social change, Google Books Research Topic: Social Movement Theory, Social movement theory and research an annotated bibliography guide, Is there an idea exchange for social movements, "Granting agencies" for social change, TED: Social Movements, How do social movements begin, and have not found what you have located.
      • thumb
        Jan 29 2013: There is a publication called the Activist's Handbook, (which is what I searched for first) but the wikis I found by searching for activist wiki.
        • thumb
          Feb 24 2013: Thank you very much for introducing me to Randy Shaw (the author of The Activist's Handbook. However. it does not cover the multitude of questions that activists face, and should not have to incessantly have to relearn through painful and costly experience. To be more specific, here are some of the issues such a wiki/handbook should cover:
          Agent Provocateur, Army, Boycotts, Civil Disobedience, Coalitions, Coming Out, Communism, Consciousness Raising, Cooperatives, Debates Teach-ins, Defensive Formulations, Democracy, Democratic Centralism, Electoral Arena, Expulsions, International, Internet, Local, Maoism, Marches, Membership, Non Violent Direct Action, Occupations, Organization, Outings, Outreach, Pacifism, Police, Press, Program, Recruitment, Reformers, Reformist, Sectarianism, Single Issue, Sit-Ins, Socialism, Stalinism, Third Parties, Trotskyism, TV, Ultra-Left, Utopias, Violence
  • Jan 29 2013: Sounds a little bit over-organized to me.
    • thumb
      Jan 29 2013: Not really. If you want to become a chef, you would get Julia Child's book. As a matter of fact any craft that you are interested in mastering requires knowing what has been done so it can be transcended. In any case, we can always start with an "Activism for Dummies" book