Why Organize?

Posted: March 4, 2012 in Organizing
Tags: , ,

Most of us are familiar with the Tug of War game played with a big rope. Two teams are set at either end. A flag on the rope between them and either a line on the ground or perhaps a body of water or mud puddle below the flag, in the middle. Can you picture that in your mind? Have you ever played in this game? Lots of fun and a good metaphor to understand why we organize.

So imagine life as a kind of multiple Tug of War games. On one side are all of the market forces pulling on the other end of the rope. The referee is the government who establishes the rules, what is allowed, how it is enforced, and who declares the winner of each game. And why do you play the game at all? Because the market provides you with messages and goods you want and need, you have no choice but to play.

Here is the problem. The market players are giants. They have no moral compass that wants to play fare. The market forces are principally interested in profit, something necessary to keep them providing us with the things we want and need. They have no reservations in getting the rules of the game set up to favor their objective of pulling you and your resources to meet their need for profit. The more the better. They are big. You are just one person. If it is you against them, you have little chance of winning the game.

However, there are more people than there are marketers. The only way to achieve a balance in this game is to enlist more people to pull on your end. Since you can vote, but the market can’t, you can change the rule makers to make the game more balanced. But you can do this only if you are part of a organized effort to have organizations you belong helping to pull and educate people about fairness. The pulling in this metaphor represents the constant tension that exists between your organized efforts and those of the market. You don’t have a chance alone. You don’t have a chance with drop-in and drop-out partners. Your only chance is with continuing organized effort.

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