Togetherness Online, Isolation in Locale

In order for a network to turn into a real organization, it will need to have a space to breathe and percolate, like a social network – but it will also require individual attention being given to each person, to discuss the organizing they are doing in their own locale, or to help give them some ideas and get them started.

A party born over the Internet will tend to struggle with the fact that, at first, virtually none of its members live in the same place.

This will at first make the online conversations seem completely divorced from any practical reality.  It doesn’t, however, have to stay that way.

Members who have been in past movements and groups, and who know how to organize, can begin by organizing more people into the party locally.  They can also, however, play a critical role in training and building up the confidence in other members to do the same.

Building something when you are literally the sole member where you live feels initially insurmountable.  The first thing you have to get over is the fact that it takes effort, it’s a process which occurs over time, and that whether you feel confident or not right now, it’s necessary to resolve that you will attain the confidence you need to do this.

Building a scene around you yourself can involve several approaches – coalitions, socializing, getting to know whatever groups are around, getting active in the more apolitical activities of your community.

However, the fortunate thing is, our organization is founded around pursuing a method which can give you an audience and a following in virtually any community –running for office.

Yes, you might have to run for office.  In fact, if you are the only member in your locale, it is probably the best possible thing you could do to get your initial base of meeting people and developing social and political connections.

Preparing for this – whether you run for office, or choose a less daunting route like building a solidarity network or political discussion group – involves some rather personal considerations, which might not seem organizational, but are actually critical to organizing.

Sometimes organizing takes resources.  Your personal economic situation might be something you have to focus on.

If you’re running or office, you will need speaking confidence – if not enough confidence to speak in front of a crowd, then at least enough confidence to make a basic case for yourself and for socialism when you knock on people’s doors.  You will need confidence in your political informedness, your articulation of socialist concepts, and local politics awareness.  It takes asking people what’s going on locally, it takes learning and discussing online, it takes reading books, it takes practicing talking about these things with friends, or on phone calls, or whatever.

You will need to figure out where it fits in your life – do you really have time to do this?  Is there a way you could make time?  If there isn’t, is there some way you could contribute to the cause in a fashion that is suitable to your situation?

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