To the next chapter
Thank you for this. Something I have been sharing in workshops etc is around affinity groups, or “small republics” as Reclus called them. Many of us are very comfortable in our virtual communities… even when we know we need to share that air and those problems with those geographically near to us. As you say, some of us cannot leave the house easily, or interact with others safely. But for those of us who can, my idea is as follows: We form virtual affinity groups. These are people (5-6 of us) with whom it is comfortable to be around. We have a lot in common. Similar sense of humour and interests. But then we also take it further. We do political education together. And then we challenge one another to go outside and start engaging with local problems. We meet weekly, online… and stay in touch by Signal chats or Discord groups. The danger is that we do NOT challenge one another. To address this, we could have a “federation” of affinity groups, where groups stay connected, challenge one another, raise issues that are barriers to knocking on neighbours’ doors, getting involved in local struggles. The federation could also connect those with power, privilege, and resources to support frontline communities. This is what I’ve been thinking about and what I am keen to promote and make happen.
I've been thinking along the same lines as you on this subject. I've been working on it for my next post. 😂
Physical community isn't always easy. I live in an urban area where inclusivity isn't easy. It's difficult to find like-minded people who actually are motivated too. Social media has afforded a way of bridging that issue. You can socialize no matter where you are or what you're doing. There's no "getting together" scheduling like physical engagement.
I love your ideas and I look forward to reading where you take this. Substack is hoping to become a community space. Perhaps we're pioneers in making that happen 😉
Thank you Joshua. I have followed you on Twitter for some time now and although we are ages apart, my beliefs align with yours and as a socialist stuck in a red State, I feel lost at times but your tweets always got a like and retweet from this old lady lol. Looks like Twitter might not survive so I am hoping to stay in touch with left leaning people in another app or platform. Our Country is dying of Capitalism and it’s time for change so I am ready to organize and communicate to the best of my ability. You Joshua are full of information, guidance and passion. I look forward to reading wherever you take this and I am excited and hopeful for something much better than Twitter
Thank you - this resonates so much. I do very strongly feel that building connections and communities (local/global, online/offline) is just about the most important thing to do right now. That and commoning, hand in hand.
Looking forward - as always - to seeing what you are paying attention to and educating myself. See you in the streets!
I am a blue dot in a red district. I feel this. "[T]he primary site of connectivity for so many people."
Joshua, your twitter parody thread made my day. There are some real creative innovators in the twitter community and you did a great job curating the best posts. We all need to laugh and think more.
We also just joined Twitter and write about K12 education, homeschooling and modular learning.
My aunt says her generation, late boomer to early gen x, doesn't volunteer. She does, but she attributes that to her parents who had a lot of respect for the land and whose parents were immigrants. Maybe now we will see a resurgence of the volunteer?
Both of my twitter accounts were just suspended. Yours was the only account I could remember. I'm on signal.
Aww, poow wittwe baby!