Don’t talk, organize

Scan through Left political blogs. What you’ll often find is gobs of talk, recycled posts about other posts, raging flame wars in the comments, a bit of anger and satire … but not much action.

Sometimes it’s an echo chamber. Scan, say, five big liberal blogs, and sometimes you’ll find that not only are they blogging the same stories, they’re referring to each others posts too. With the exact same BlogAds in the sidebar. Mostly they post about how screwed up Bush and the neocons are. This is news?

There are seldom calls to action or plans about what to do. To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie – if you want to end war, you’ll have to sing louder than that. Sitting behind a keyboard blogging about someone else’s posts, with your idea of activism being telling readers to fax Congress, isn’t going to solve much.

The majority of liberal / progressive blogs are oblivious to the antiwar and immigrant rights movements. Hello? Anyone home? One million immigrants just marched in Los Angeles and accomplished more in one day than liberal blogs have put together. That’s not an overstatement. Liberal blogs are focused on effecting change in D.C. and that’s exactly what the march did. Congress and the ruling class are somewhat aware of netroots and “Crashing the Party”, to be sure, but you better believe they are now seriously focused on the immigrants rights movement. One huge march, and it became a central issue nationwide. Liberal blogs have had nowhere near that kind of impact.

That’s how you get change. That’s how you get their attention. People in the streets. Mass movements.

Get involved. Do something. Find a group to join. Start one of your own. Not only do you feel better and more optimistic, you meet lots of people like yourself who are also working for change. But you got to do it real time with real people. Blogging and net activism are a pale substitutes for that. Off on your own, you can lose hope, get bitter. Get together with like-minded people and all that goes away. Organizing can be exhausting, it’s also exciting and fun.

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