Posted 6 years ago on Jan. 26, 2014, 12:50 p.m. EST by psychusa123
from Brooklyn, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I'm an aging 60's radical. I certainly don't have all the answers and I don't think for a second I'm smarter than any of the younger folks here. But I've probably been involved in 20 or more political organizations in my lifetime, from the Weatherman (briefly) to the Brooklyn Democrats for Change. I feel I know some things that younger folks need to know that I've learned. You have probably learned some of them already. Mostly I know about failure. And I'm not afraid to admit it. We at times can be our own worst enemy.
I have met the enemy, and he/she is very powerful. But so can we be . We achieved things that Koch and company are still working 24/7 to take away. We also failed to build a more permanent vehicle for change. And we often destroyed ourselves.
To survive we need to look closely at ourselves. Because we can also be our own enemy. We can be competitive, arrogant, selfish, paranoid, too stoned, you name it, we were not that much different sometimes than the forces we wanted to oppose. We failed because we had no one to assist or advise us, but had many who wanted to destroy us. Only a hand full of us could stand the difficulties an organizer faced. So we burned out. Like shooting stars in the night.
Some of us are still around. We'd like to share our experiences with you. We went through many of the same things, despite all the new technology today. We'd like to feel that all we did back in the "old days" was not in vain. We'd like to see folks succeed where we failed.
If I had one bit of corny advice to give, it would be to find a way to build a supportive organization that can help you survive the tremendous political and emotional obstacles you will face. You will find that only a few will stay for the duration and do the hard work that is necessary. It's like an extended family. Without those bonded relations, you are nothing.
I've accomplished much in my life, but failed to produce anything lasting that still survives. I'm hoping you all do much better.