Staying True to the Mission

Many egalitarian collectives consist of activists working to achieve a just society and were formed for that purpose. Even collectives that don't have specific political aims have made a commitment to social justice by virtue of being anti-authoritarian and pursuing equality as a fundamental goal. It should be obvious that internal power plays, deceitful back-room plotting, rumor-mongering, and marginalizing or ridiculing are behaviors that do not befit a group fighting for fairness and against oppression. Yet, people in collectives do these things all the time, usually without even inviting a raised eyebrow.

Collectives that incorporate as non-profits are required by law to draft a mission statement letting potential supporters know about the work that the organization exists to achieve. Fulfilling the mission is a non-profit's legal reason for being (as well as the reason it doesn't have to pay taxes), just as a for-profit company's all-consuming purpose in life is to make money for its owners. Most collectives have no such mandated requirement, but it's still a good idea to compose a mission statement to refer back to whenever a decision needs to be made on how the group should act in a given situation. This position paper should spell out the fundamental belief that the collective must operate internally by the same high standards of fairness and democracy that it is working to bring about in the larger society. If it fails to do that, then it has failed in its most basic goal.

Please send your comments and suggestions to: collectivebook@yahoo.com.


BOOK I:
"Is This What Consensus Looks Like?"

BOOK II:
"Is This the Just Society We Want to Model?

BOOK III:
"Some
Solutions?"

[Why This Booklet?]
[Introduction to Consensus]
[The Particular Vulnera-
bility of Collectives
]
[Power Sharing]
[Red Flags to Guard Against]
[Ploys To Subvert Consensus]
[The Problem With Politeness]
[The Need For Kindness]
[Creating Pariahs]
[Respect for Differences]
[Personal vs. Group Issues]
[Micro-Managing Behaviors]
[Skepticism is Healthy]
[There's Hope]


[A Model for Justice?]
[The Dearth of Due Process]
[What About Free Speech?]
[Cruelty]


[Codifying the Collective Process]
[Relinquishing Control of Projects and People]
[Staying True to the Mission]
[What’s a Lone Person to Do?]


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