A New Organization?
By Michael Albert at Apr 13, 2011
Since you are reading this in the ZBlog system, then you have certainly seen the alternate top page of ZNet with the description of a possible organization for you to imagine, and a set of three questions about how you would likely relate to it.
You might wonder, what silliness is this? First we should imagine an organization. Then we should imagine our reaction to it. As per the poll instructions.
Well, think down the road a bit. How far? I don't know. Maybe soon. Maybe further. That's actually the issue. How far?
At some point in the hopefully near, or maybe less near, or perhaps more distant future, some people will start working on, and then with many others will actually establish a new organization, spanning countries and with national instances in each.
At that point, unless you were already on board, you would face the choice the poll raises. To join or not. To participate or not. The choice would become pressing if this new organization were to become important, maybe even profoundly important, in a process of change around the world.
Do we know that any of the above will happen? No. But is some or most of this quite plausible? Yes. But how far off?
And could an international organization with branches in countries - and also chapters locally, all around the world - have a very positive effect, even right now, or soon, if it existed? Of course it could. But when?
Think about the Arab Spring, about the wars all over the the Middle East and Northern Africa and around the world, about the profound transformations under way in Latin America, about the growing struggles sweeping Europe and the U.S. too around income distribution and government functions and budgets and foreclosures and so on.
Think about the anti corporate globalization movement and imagine it gearing up again and about another international movement - with national components, challenging corporate media, or seeking a worldwide shorter work week, and so on.
Imagine that a new international organization had sufficient members with sufficient commitment for the branches in different countries to assist one another's campaigns, and within countries, for chapters to do likewise for each other's more local agendas.
One could go on and on with the potential benefits.
The poll seeks to determine whether folks would relate to a particular type of new organization if it were to exist, grow, and become compelling. If the answer is no, at least at this time, then why should anyone currently try to create such a thing? But if the answer is yes, for sufficient numbers of people, then certainly some folks ought to consider making the effort. Let's find out.
How far off? When? Maybe now.
The main purpose of this blog post, however, is a not only to say - come on, take the poll so we can all see where we are broadly at on this key issue - but to say, as well, if you read the organizational description and you have things you want to say about it - concerns, other issues, or whatever else - why not write a comment or if you want to say more, post your own blog? Similarly, if you take the poll and you feel like you would like to enlarge upon your preferences, or discuss some aspects further, or raise some questions, again, why not comment or blog?
The first 500 people taking the poll have been so positive it is very hopeful.
But will the next 500 be similar. What about the 100,000 free members? What about the 300,000 who use the site at all. What about - beyond our users?
Please answer the poll, whatever you feel! The more answers, the more information, the more may be possible.
Here are the first batch of results...
Supposing such an organization did exist, would you... (Total Answering: 502)
Expect the organization to have a positive impact. (percent choosing: 53%)
Hope, with doubts, for a positive impact. (percent choosing: 44%)
Fear the organization might do more harm than good. (percent choosing: 2%)
Expect the organization to do more harm than good. (percent choosing: 0%)
Given your feelings noted above, would you: (Total Answering: 503)
Promptly join. (percent choosing: 63%)
Consider joining but hold back pending future results. (percent choosing: 34%)
Definitely not join. (percent choosing: 2%)
Finally, if you were to join, how would you most likely relate to the organization? (Total Answering: 499)
Pay dues and also participate in programs, try to recruit, etc. (percent choosing: 52%)
Pay dues, but barely participate beyond that. (percent choosing: 18%)
Participate, but not be able or willing to pay dues. (percent choosing: 10%)
Hope it would warrant your time and dues, but wait for evidence. (percent choosing: 19%)