Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mystery Movement

"The construction of social movements is always a bit of a mystery."

Harold Meyerson, "A Moment in Need of a Movement," The Washington Post, January 6, 2010.

And the mystery continues after this opinion piece. Meyerson's notion of social movement bounces from one Euripidean trick to another.

"But he [the President] has consistently declined to activate his activists to help him win legislative battles by pressuring, for instance, those Democratic members of Congress who have weakened or blocked his major bills."

This conception leaves out the autonomous capacity of activists and their movements to do things all by themselves. We are all puppets waiting for someone to manipulate our on/off switch.

"If Glenn Beck can help do that for the right, can't say, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann help build a movement against the banks or for jobs programs?"

Hmmm, Glenn Beck as social movement role model? Since when do social-justice movements want to emulate a mud-slinging, divisive demagogue?

So, the mystery remains. Meyerson poses good questions -- ones that many have been asking for years. Let's try again.

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