1. Be Bad Ass:
It’s the 21st fucking century for godsake and we got some cool ass organizing methods out there, especially when combined with technology and artwork. Lets do it! Take no prisoners! The Pirate Party in Iceland is a hit with young people, a demographic that in mass did not turn out to vote this 2016 election cycle in the US. With knowing little more beyond that the Pirate Party crowd sourced their constitution and caused their prime minsters resignation, their branding reads that they are pirate bad asses. Why cant the Green Party be bad ass? Are we the square party? No we are the Green Party!
Imagine a party filled with crazy awesome ways to be involved and empowered, powerful support structures for members to make amazing change in their communities, abundance of soul satisfying revolutionary artwork, and endless amounts down ass people with amazing stories to learn from. Is that the Green Party we have now? Let’s make sure it is the Green Party of the future!
When I interviewed Mimi Soltysik the Presidential Candidate of the Socialist Party USA, I really liked how he described how his campaign sets up their messaging:
“We are definitely considerate with how we package the message. There are about 40 of us who work within the campaign on a daily basis, coming up with ideas, strategies, etc. We all have feelings about what might be an appealing way to message, and those feelings are informed by our experiences.
I think that so many are turned off by traditional campaign approaches to messaging. To me, a message coupled with a photo of the candidate is boring as hell. I’d rather see a piece of artwork. Show the people you give a shit about them, you know?
Now, I know that campaigns might construct messaging on the basis of demographic research.
What about the “I don’t give a shit about electoral politics because electoral politics doesn’t give a shit about me” demographic?”
2. Participatory Democracy:
I think the Green Party can take how Mimi’s campaign structured their decision making for messaging a few steps further, and get input from the whole party, not just 40 people. To do so, the Greens must embrace things like Participatory Democracy and the internet.
Participatory Budgeting, one form of participatory democracy, allows everybody to have a say in how stuff is budgeted, and becomes a very empowering and educational experience, as people must learn the ins and outs of the budgetary needs of their organization. This fosters a healthy organizational pride and resiliency by having people really understand how the organization works and how they are connected to the fruits of their labor towards building the organization.
Furthermore there are web based participatory budgeting methods available today that could make the Green Party have the most accessible, engaging, transparent, and well spent budget of any of the U.S. political parties.
And online participatory budgeting is just the tip of the iceberg as far as next level 21st century participatory democracy goes. The options are really endless when you start looking into it more.
3. Make the Green Party Brand a Vocal After Thought:
Organizing and radicalizing your friends, family, and community, and making sure life is good for them and for yourself, should be your goals. Working inside the conventional party structure will leave you power tripping, bored out of your mind, or wanting to pull your hair out.
Fortunately the Green Party is a brand, and though the branding is highly dependent on a centralized presidential figurehead, it is ultimately bigger than the party itself, and structurally decentralized. Basically people may hijack and appropriate the brand, because that is pretty much what it was designed for. There really aren’t a lot of checks and balances in the Green Party right now. So now it is our turn to make the brand mean something awesome. We do this by being awesome, and just ever so occasionally mentioning that we are in the Green Party. It will spread. Be a role model, not a political player. People call the Green Party a movement, but to me it has always seemed a little bit too stagnant, arrogant, and paternal to be a movement.
Our collective ego must only appropriately embrace Green Party work, making sure to have personal identities fuel the Green Party brand, and not the other way around. Having political branding supplement our personal identities was an art mastered by Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and we sure don’t want to accidently become republicrat chumps in Green clothing.
Episode four of the documentary series, Century of the Self, By Adam Curtis (BBC 2002), explains how our identities were fused with republicrat political brands.
My favorite people in the Greens are the anarchist leaning movers and shakers, because they are engaged in real movement work.
Start a movement. Then the Green Party will follow naturally. It is good to be reserved, but strategically open about our affiliation to the Green Party. That is how we get others to join. We must focus our work and energy on subjects where we can get real victories, opposed to playing into a paradigm built to crush souls, being U.S. electoral politics.
Shit is getting rough out there, so let’s make sure we know how to survive. Meetings and conference calls have their place, but make them fun and proactive. Set three goals for everything you do, and don’t spend all your time separated from your friends, family, and community. Make sure you are playing your part, and also getting out and talking to people while being a friend, community, and family member. Now is the time to be strategic, persistent, loving, and careful. We must focus on our own goals and not get caught in selfless time-sucks. There are a lot of traps out there. Let’s make sure the Green Party isn’t one of them, and use it to make sure life is fucking awesome.
Please consider the following quotes:
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“When you think of disasters, perhaps some secret part of you thrills at the idea of something happening, something interrupting the tedious routines that comprise existence for so many of us. You might not be ready to own up to actually desiring one, but a disaster would at least offer a chance to escape your cage and explore the unknown for a little while. What anguish, to live in longing for a reprieve from your own life, never knowing when or if it might come!
Or perhaps you cringe at the word, thinking of all the senseless tragedy and loss of life that real disasters entail. In that case, it may have already occurred to you that we are in the midst of the most terrible slow-motion disaster in history, as the natural environment is utterly laid to waste and the diversity of human experience is streamrolled into the monoculture of capitalism. In such a disaster, you can’t cook out of the books your ancestors developed for more peaceful times.
Whether disaster is something you privately pine for or desperately hope to escape, one thing is for certain-the old recipes won’t suffice anymore. We need recipes for disaster. Here they are.”
“The whole entertainment industry, including the underground punk and hip hop scenes, is basically a distraction, or at best a pressure valve: whether we’re staving off cravings for pleasure and togetherness until Thursday night at the bar, or channeling rage and ingenuity into folk songs instead of frontal attacks on the police state, these little opportunities for amusement and outlets for creativity keep us satisfied enough that we don’t do anything crazy–like demand such excitement and self-determination in every moment of our lives. At least that’s one version of the story. The other runs like this: coming together to create and celebrate, we develop a sense of what we’re capable of, which we can draw upon in broader struggles to take back more of our lives. Either way it’s clearly not enough for subversive ideas and dance moves to remain in the clubs and basements forever. Could there be a way to liberate them from those confines, to hijack the brief moments of authentic living we’re permitted and turn them upon the status quo that circumscribes them?
Quite a lot of energy and expectation is invested in these moments; people who find their daily lives boring and meaningless look forward to concerts and parties for weeks in advance, approaching them with all the reverence and sense of limitless possibility that pagan religious festivals once occasioned. To the hardened revolutionary, this can seem pathetic; but the excitement itself is authentic enough, and all that remains is for it to be redirected back to a subversive, liberating engagement with the total social environment.”
“When the world ends, people come out of their apartments, and meet their neighbors for the first time; they share food, stories, companionship. No one has to go to work or the laundromat; nobody remembers to check the mirror or scale or email account before leaving the house. Graffiti artists surge into the streets; strangers embrace sobbing and laughing. Every moment possesses an immediacy formerly spread out across months. Burdens fall away, people confess secrets and grant forgiveness, the stars come out over New York City…” ― Recipes for Disaster: an Anarchist Cookbook
Also check out the article: How to think Like a Green Beret Instead of a Dooms Day Prepper,
And finally the guide by New Progressive Alliance: So You Want To Run For Office