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 Redefining Radical

‘Radical’ means going to the root of things, and that the roots of our social problems are to be found in the powerlessness of the majority of the people on the one hand, and on the other, the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of relatively few. …

Ideas that bring large numbers of powerless people together to act in their own behalf are themselves radical. Thus the very idea of a mass-based, multi-issue, multi-constituency, highly participatory, small-d democratic community (or labor) organization is itself radical – even though the membership includes ‘radicals,’ liberals, centrist, and conservatives. It is radical because it shifts power, enabling people who didn’t have an effective voice in the past to now have one.

     Ideas that lead to a change in status, so that a supplicant voice (whatever the Constitution and civics textbooks say about ‘rights’) becomes an effective voice, change the relations of power. The broader the scope of the matters made negotiable, the more radical the proposal.” (206)

A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER'S TALE by Mike Miller, Berkeley:Heyday Books, 2009. CSCO believes this is the best book on organizing. Miller has been with CSCO for many years.

Participant's Ideology




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