The following proposals very much come out of my experiences as a founding member of the collective Ultra-red and as an activist in the HIV/AIDS justice movement. Perhaps these might serve as useful suggestions for testing in the field, and then for comparison.
1. Research, nurture, and test practices of radical democratic organization. I suspect that it is not enough to be satisfied with representing politics or with the politics of representation. The most dynamic practices appear to be those that show and do, denounce and announce, listen and learn, reflect and act, resist and be of service. Today’s challenges call out for organizers with the patience and humility to engage the constitutive processes that bring into being a reorganized world.
2. Collectivize our practices. In the process of collectivization, we can prepare ourselves for what Ryan Griffis has called, the invitation of mutual dependency. We feel too small and too inconsequential as individuals or isolated collectives. Our convivial encounters, our intimate discursive spaces, and our ephemeral social practices desperately need to move in the direction of a larger shared project.
3. Solidarity with the poor as authors of the analysis. This is perhaps the most urgent and the most difficult of all challenges. Nearly 50% of people in America live at or below poverty. As the country splits further along poverty lines, it seems crucial that we organize a clear sense of accountability to those who are victimized by the institutions of this society. In light of economic reality, the discourse of “the middle class” smells like a reactionary ideology. Who are we and what are our practices in relation to the poor and their struggles of world-making? Who are we talking to? To whom are we listening? And from whom are we learning?
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