In the digital era of so-called Facebook revolutions or hashtag activism, many claim that participation in social movements is individualized and personalized, but building and sustaining a political movement, even an online movement, still requires organization.
In part one of this forum, four authors examined whether and to what extent the recent global wave of uprisings was really “prefigurative” and “leaderless”—and the implications for movements' relationships to power and the state. Here in part two, four additional authors add breadth and depth to this inquiry, looking at North Carolina's Moral Mondays, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Occupy The Farm, and Venezuela's participatory budgeting.
Current discussions about prefigurative politics bring back warm and reflective memories for former SNCC organizer Mike Miller. He discusses SNCC’s beloved community and its strategic dilemmas.
Comparing Occupy Wall Street and an outgrowth of the movement in the SF Bay Area called Occupy the Farm, participant-researcher Daniel Murray argues that the movement for radical democracy must do more than create spaces for discourse and dissent. It must be a movement of democratic counter-institutions.
It will take well-designed alternative institutions and robust popular movements to create a better world. Gabriel Hetland explores the complicated relationship between institution- and movement-building that has taken place in Venezuela’s “Bolivarian Revolution”, highlighting the lessons activists and scholars in the US might learn from this.