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Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals

At long last, my book… “A powerful, rigorous, and clear-eyed guide to building social justice movements.” —Publishers Weekly “As the world faces the horrors of a Trump presidency, many good people are asking, ‘What can I do?’ Jonathan Smucker’s book provides an urgent field manual for answering that question.” —Jeremy Scahill author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars “Smucker brings hard-won wisdom, theoretical heft, and a welcoming style to this book, helping us think through the most important question of our time: how do we build enough collective power to not only demand a better world, but actually create one?” —Naomi Klein author of This Changes Everything and The Shock Doctrine Order Hegemony How-To from AK Press. Order Hegemony How-To from Amazon. Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today’s burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into …

Daniel Berrigan, SJ (May 9, 1921 – April 30, 2016)

Rest in peace, Daniel Berrigan, SJ (May 9, 1921 – April 30, 2016) His words as he and eight co-conspirators stood and burned the draft files that they had just appropriated from the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland: Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise…..We say: killing is disorder, life and gentleness and community and unselfishness is the only order we recognize. For the sake of that order, we risk our liberty, our good name. Daniel Berrigan’s moral actions provided a defiant moral example to a generation trying to make sense of itself and the world as it came of age during the Vietnam War and the military draft. His four-month evasion of the largest FBI manhunt in history (up until then) was pretty badass too. As the long sixties came to a close and as Reagan rose and the conservative offensive ensued—and …

We can haz society? Taxes, democracy & the Panama Papers

What do you need to know about the Panama Papers? Let’s see, people who are richer than most of us can even imagine have an elaborate system to hide the trillions of dollars that we would need to tax if we wanted to, say, maintain our basic infrastructure (e.g., bridges, schools) and, you know, hopefully keep the whole society thing going for a little while longer. That’s on the macro level. On the micro level, we need to know exactly who each of these selfish hoarders is so that we can shame them and demand their resignation from public office. (Iceland’s Prime Minister has already stepped down… let’s see who’s next.) But the Panama Papers are the tip of the iceberg. What you need to know is that rich people tend to want to pay less taxes. Who can blame them? Well, most of us can blame them, actually. And some wealthy people are perfectly happy to pay their fair share in taxes, as they should. In today’s economy, wealth aggregates in the most arbitrary …

Young Bernie Supporters: We’re Not “Liberal”

When will pollsters stop asking people — especially young people — how “liberal” they are? The Washington Post ran a story yesterday about how the younger voters in Iowa who went overwhelmingly for Sanders were surprisingly less liberal than one might have expected. Indeed, those who went hardest for Sanders weren’t those who considered themselves to be liberal, but “those calling themselves moderates or conservatives.” Among those aged 40 and older, Clinton’s margin against Sanders was largest with moderate and “somewhat liberal” Democrats, while Sanders performed best among the very liberal contingent. But that pattern is erased — or even reversed — among younger Democrats. Clinton lost younger voters by at least 40 percentage points, regardless of their ideological leaning, and the margin was actually largest (58 points) among those calling themselves moderates or conservatives. What’s wrong with this story and also the entrance poll (conducted by Edison Media Research) is that it fails to question the term liberal and what it conjures for young people. I’ll give you a hint: it means something very different …

Bernie Sanders and the emerging populist alignment

There’s a lot wrong with how pundits (among others) tend to talk about movements. They may say, for example, “Occupy Wall Street — what did it accomplish? It didn’t go anywhere. Where is it now?” And what they fail to see is that Occupy Wall Street was not about itself—was not about existing forever as a thing. The moment of Occupy Wall Street served to name crises that are still with us: unconscionable economic inequality and a political system that has been rigged to maintain the privilege, power, and concentrated wealth of the few, against the interests of the many. Solving these crisis was not the exclusive burden of occupiers in a public park in New York’s financial district; solving these crises is up to all of us. Along similar lines, “Is the movement fading?” is an imprecise and unhelpful question to ask about Black Lives Matter. We might instead inquire about the crises named by the movement: continuing anti-black racism in US society, police violence against communities of color, an out of control criminal …

The loudest voices

The voices of hatred are too often louder than the voices of love and compassion, but do not mistake the loudest voices for the society. We must not let these voices speak in the name of ‘the American people.’ Our nation has some horrific legacies that we have to own up to. But we should not forget that we also have the legacies of those who stood up in the face of injustice, who spoke up, who resisted, who worked tirelessly for a better world. Whether the scapegoat is Jews or Muslims or blacks or Mexicans or gays or refugees or communists or heretics or witches, we have heard this tired, dangerous storyline before. We can look for inspiration to those who stood up to such fearmongering. We can join them. There is still more love in this world than there is hate. Remember this man? They made it! AlhamdillahPosted by AsoOmii Jay on Monday, September 7, 2015

#KeystoneXL: Taking sides and winning

Important news today. I feel so proud of all my friends, colleagues, and comrades who chose to intervene in history, to challenge ‘fate’, to not be indifferent about humanity’s future, to work to stop the Keystone XL. This victory is not everything, but it is certainly something—something important—in this age of resignation and hopelessness. May it be a harbinger of even bigger things to come. I am proud of you, every one of you, my dearest family, you who have chosen to not be indifferent. I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent… I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of …

BeyondtheChoir.org website relaunch coming soon

We are relaunching our website this fall (2015) in order to reflect the current training and movement support work of Beyond the Choir. The current site was constructed to serve as an online forum for grassroots mobilization &#151 for people who are working for social justice to share practical strategies, tactics and tools, and to analyze the constraints and openings in our political terrain. We will be archiving past posts so that they are still available, but the new site will serve our organizational mission. Please check back this fall to find out more about Beyond the Choir’s work.



Beyond the Choir strategy training in Atlanta, GA