by bored now, Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:21:07 AM EST
there is power in self-organization. self-organization is the scientific term for the spontaneous emergence of similar interests and mostly independent organization around those interests. perhaps the best example of this in politics comes from the howard dean campaign. hundreds of thousands of people, often through word of mouth or just simple opposition to invading iraq, became simultaneously interested in dean's campaign for president -- and used the nascent organizing tools available to them (such as meetup).
there is power in the swarm. one of the biggest barriers to action, whether getting involved or the simple act of voting, is the belief that one's act(ion) doesn't matter, that it won't change anything. but when we act together, our influence rises exponentially. this was one of the reasons why thousands of dean supporters flocked to iowa.
but some of us may be wondering whether or not we should get personally involved in campaigns that are outside districts where we live. i, for example, live in a deeply blue district where the democratic incumbent is unopposed. others face similar situations. and we may ask ourselves, what about the dean experience in iowa? we remember (or at least were exposed) to the push back that iowans (well, mostly the press and opposing campaigns) gave to the outsider dean supporters who went around iowa in their orange hats. isn't this instructive?