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Accompanying vs Organizing as a Mode of Activism and Change: Transcript of an interview with Staughton Lynd; Part 2

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall     Permalink
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Rob Kall:   So, you're basically saying there are big problems with centralized unions and centralized activism, is that part of what you're saying about accompanying?


Staughton Lynd:   Yes.


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Rob Kall:   Then there's hierarchy as well.  Where does that fit in with accompanying?


Staughton Lynd:   Obviously, the kind of self-organization that people create when they're in involved in a struggle that's built from below is likely to be a circle of people in which decisions, as much as possible, are made by consensus in which no one gets paid if they're paid at all much more than anyone else, and so forth.  That is the kind of organization that, according to my research, and oral histories, and documents I've consulted, existed in the early and middle 1930s in the Labor Movement in this country.  I think we've all had moments in our lives when we've been part of such a thing. 

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In the South, in the Civil Rights Movement, Stokely Carmichael says in his autobiography that "Consensus was not a Middle-Class fad, consensus was the natural thing to do when the consequences of your decision might get somebody killed"; and nobody was going to let that decision be made by another person for them.  So I feel that both the early Labor movement in the 30s, and the Civil Rights movement in the deep South, especially in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, had this horizontal character.  It was only when people entered into deals, gave away the right to strike, etc., etc., that you began to have -- you can describe it many ways -- but a simple way to describe a labor organization of the kind I have in mind is, nobody wants to go back to the plant floor, and so they brown-nose whoever is above them in the hierarchy, and when that person moves on, they entertain the hope of moving up.


Rob Kall:   "Nobody wants to go back to the plant floor, and so they try to rise in the hierarchy," eh? 


Staughton Lynd:   You got it.

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Rob Kall:   I need to do a station ID.


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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 


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