By Dana R. Fisher
Activism, Inc. introduces the US to an more and more customary political actor: the canvasser. She’s the twenty-something with the clipboard, preventing you in the street or knocking in your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.Granted unparalleled entry to the “People’s Project,” an unknown but influential association using left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the real tale of outsourcing politics in the US. just like the significant companies that outsourced their customer support to businesses in another country, the grassroots campaigns of nationwide revolutionary movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra membership, store the kids, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at diverse instances to this unmarried association. in the course of the 2004 presidential crusade, the Democratic get together an identical outsourcing version for his or her canvassing.Fisher examines the background and motive in the back of political outsourcing at the Left, weaving jointly frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officers around the political spectrum, and People’s undertaking administration. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts at the correct, which stay firmly grounded in groups and native politics.This ebook bargains a chilling assessment of the results of political outsourcing. Connecting local community at the streets all through the US to the nationwide companies and political campaigns that make up revolutionary politics, it indicates what occurs to the passionate younger activists outsourced to the consumers of Activism, Inc.
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Additional info for Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America
A lot of phoniness . . ” Marie was disturbed by what she perceived as the insincerity of the office setting and reported that it contributed to her decision to leave the canvass after six weeks. Like the office procedures, the politics of the canvass itself are also centralized. All of the campaign goals were set for each canvassing office by the regional or national branches of the People’s Project. Jason, a college graduate who was working as one of the many directors in the Portland office, discussed the origin of their campaign goals: “It trickles down from [the] national [office], I think to regional, then per office .
With this type of perpetual socializing, members of the canvass office quickly make friends. Some long-term canvassers considered the organized socializing to be a mainstay of the recruitment process: “Behind closed doors, my first director’s recruitment philosophy was: get them laid, get them drunk, and get them on the street” (Harland, 26, Portland canvass). At the same time, those who had personal lives outside the office were severely limited in their free time. And some canvassers’ personal relationships—with partners, family members, and friends—suffered.
The director’s job is to keep excitement up and help develop a community of activists. New canvassers draw energy from their peers. With so many committed young people in a room rallying each other through chants and cheers, it is easy to become more involved. Although few of them knew any of their fellow workers before joining the canvass, they quickly became friends. Steve, an undergraduate from California, explained that, although the money and the work drew him in, it was the community that made him stay: I actually don’t even care about the money now.
Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America by Dana R. Fisher