An organizer we met in Pittsburgh offered the useful definition that the task for radical organizers and organizations is twofold: Build Dual Power, Confront State Power.I would love to continue to build alternative institutitions with visionary directions and inspired political thought. And, I continue to battle the big-boys by getting on the ballot and face off against institutional oppression.
That is, we must develop our own power—by building coalitions, political infrastructure, and visionary, alternative institutions that prefigure the types of social relationships we desire — while simultaneously confronting the state, right-wing social movements, and other forms of institutional oppression.
One without the other is insufficient.
This twofold approach can also address what an organizer in North Carolina identified as the gap between opposition to something and action around it—a chasm that is solved by a feeling of empowerment, the belief that people can actively contribute to making change.
I'm running against Wayne Fontana, a Democrat, because he ran a campaign that was so negative a year ago that I had to hold my nose after seeing its first postcard. I'm running because he isn't 'progressive' in the slightest. I'm running because he is part of the problem and feels good to introduce Ed Rendell in the House for a state of the union address while sitting on the stadium authority and voting, without question for new seat construction with taxpayer money.
Political hacks need to be challenged. That's the exercise and drill for the other side of the sword. We need dual missions. We need to build the new insitutions and support them as they sprout -- and we need to take wind-up swings at old-school cronies too in straight up battles on legit grounds when the limelight can't melt the devotions.