GROWING AN ORGANIZATION
An organization, like an individual, is a living organism. It has a conception, a gestation, a birth, development and growth, sometimes aging, infirmity, and death. Organizations, like people, have a distinct purpose, method, and personality. As individuals grow and become more mature and self-aware, they form organizations. As organizations develop and become capable of concerted actions, they tend to find interests in common with other groups and form coalitions. This coalescing lends tremendous power to organizations; I propose that there is a third level of development, in which coalitions unite in common purpose and action. When people are able to unite with others who have a common agenda, alternative politics acquires a new potency. At this time, there are tens of thousands of organizations which are devoted to some specific political task or issue.
Political action group membership numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Political organizations have nothing comparable to the United Way. How are we to effectively contribute to all the best political organizations?
One of the most effective courses of political action today is to focus attention and energy on coalitions of coalitions. That is, members of organizations must promote and support their groups to join larger groups, and then again, support coalitions to gather their strength. Environmental groups seem to have matured to the point where this complexity of organization can occur. Now it is time for all organizations to discover their common goals with other groups and to activate ever larger numbers of members to concerted political action, including lobbying, demonstrating, and boycotting. Each of us must communicate to our organizations the urgency of united action. Within the hemp movement, there are significant areas which could well benefit from such coalition-building. Advocates for industrial hemp use may work with wilderness groups to offer the option of retooling fiber, pulp and papej^ plants; hemp seed oil lovers can approach hunger campaigns; those who desire availability of medical marijuana have natural allies in a number of groups for people with AIDS and other degenerative conditions.
Most importantly, we must support our own organization and all those groups which recognize natural rights of individuals. If we would have hemp and marijuana legalized, we must urge our various causes to unite! Let us align with other groups whose interests match our own.
The author publishes Playful Revolutionaries: Americans are Instituting a New Government. He can be contacted c/o POB 3028, Ashland, Oregon Republic.