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Voting for IOPS financial team

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22 voters out of almost 4000 members is not enough to be serious.
Make a diffrence, show you are still alive:
http://www.iopsociety.org/polls/financial-team-selection-2016

Discussion 16 Comments

  • Claire Bruhn 17th Nov 2016

    Does this mean the other thousands agree with us? Maybe we can send out another one of those mass emails. Or it's mutiny baby.

    • Lambert Meertens 18th Nov 2016

      We did send out another newsletter and it did help (at least, somewhat). It does remain a mystery to me, though, why members of a revolutionary organization aiming to win a participatory society do not participate more in the life of the organization, including taking collective responsibility for it.

  • Claire Bruhn 18th Nov 2016

    It miffs me too, inconsistent.

  • Thomas Hallbert 19th Nov 2016

    Well I have some theories about this. First thing is I think many of our members are lonely wolf persons, and the virtual distance makes them less alarmed over the responsability to take part of a revolutionary movement, even though it is just a movement and not an established organisation with a statelike administration. Eventually they are involved in several different movements or discussiongroups taking their time from holding an eye on IOPS to follow what is happening. It is like with Facebook, it is very easy to just klick LIKE, and that is all you do, every day. For example what got me moving again was that I got personal invitation from Lambert that got me out of the mental armchair. OK we allready had some exchange here on IOPS so it was not like being contacted by a stranger.
    I find myself in the lonely wolf position here in France. French IOPS members met with Michael Alberts in Paris almost 4 years ago. Even though this physical meeting has not developped in a more frequent conversation or keeping in contact. Particular for this meeting was that the great majority of the present IOPS members were foreigners living in France. I would say even one more motivation to stay in contact, but no. Everybody is eventually very occupied in their own life, and unfortunately has forgotten the existence of IOPS.
    I have not succeded in getting a group of people around my neighbourhood together, even not just to discuss these matters. Well I never give up. And never shut up. So even if it not helps IOPS, I hope it will help the world rather than ravaging it.
    As I am part of Swedish anarchist movement since the early 70's I have tried to get in contact with french anarchist movements, for example I write an email to one of the main organisation once every year to ask to be put in relation with people in my part of France. Not one single time have they responded to my messages!!! This is not very promissing. I once attended a meeting organised by the anarcho-syndicalists in Paris concerning people working with under age fugitives living on the street in Paris. This covered all people having this situation as part of their daily life, being employed or working volontarily, and discussing how to make this work more coordinated between the different participants for the good of the victims of this situation. This was real life organisation and it would be enough with just one contactperson for IOPS to be part of a greater movement.
    Today many people seem to have a serious alergy against any type of organisation. I try to undramatise this by saying that just inviting friends or even family to a dinner is a basic act of organising, and it needs always just an initiative.
    I will now try to recontact the persons I met in Paris to see if I can get them out of their silence.
    I will also use my internation graphic arts network to see if that could generate any noise.
    Best regards to all moving members.

  • Claire Bruhn 19th Nov 2016

    I am wolfy too. Warm regards to France. I had the pleasure of visiting earlier in the year.
    There is a lot of organizing burn-out here in Chicago, a lot of fear about fascism, anger and bewilderment. Most people seem busy and overwhelmed, there are too many areas that need attention and activist energy and creativity. These insane times are perfect for redirecting some spare wits into keeping IOPS kicking. Thank you, Thomas.

  • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2016

    It is striking to see how many expats or ex-expats we have in our ranks – so many that it can hardly be a coincidence. I wonder what the connection is. Does living in different cultures make a person more receptive to revolutionary anarchist ideas? Or is there some trait that makes one both more receptive to such ideas and more inclined to move to another country?

    • Bat Chainpuller 20th Nov 2016

      Maybe that's what's holding me back. I don't have a passport!

  • Rod 20th Nov 2016

    I don't know if it's true that most of our members are lonely wolfs. It seems to be true for a good part of the ones active on the website, but that may be because they spend less time on other social activities and so have more time to spend here.

    For whatever reason though, the bulk of members don't feel inclined to contribute, which is a problem for IOPS. Off the top of my hat I can think of a few possible causes:
    - there may be too few opportunities within IOPS for members to contribute
    - some members may lack the understanding and/or skills to feel confident enough to be able to contribute
    - some members may be clicktivists/seekers, more interested in browsing than building
    - some members may be mostly interested in on the ground activities, but there's too little momentum to get things going in most places
    - some members may be distrustful because of privacy issues linked to the internet
    - some members may be turned off by the lack of usability of the website
    - some members (perhaps because they primarily use a mobile device) are not used to writing long posts or comments, while IOPS is more attuned to longer format
    - some members may have had doubts about the workability of an 'interim' organization with hardly any formal structure or clear direction and saw their doubts confirmed
    - some members may feel IOPS is too much dominated by male, white, first-world, anthropocentric, etc thinking
    - some members may feel too much despair about the world or their own life to be able to make the effort to contribute
    - some members may only be interested in contributing to an already thriving organization, not one that's barely able to stay alive like IOPS
    - etc

    The best way to find out is probably to do some inquiry among the dormant members.

  • Claire Bruhn 20th Nov 2016

    That is a scary list, Rod. Yeah, I agree. Also, an issue of the IOPS participation is the constant obsession with all of our faults and we don't nearly enough obsess about the awesome things happening here. This feeling, it is expressed often on the site, that we need to hunt down more membership- is a bit of a turn off. It makes me feel inadequate, maybe others feel this too. I think we can focus some positive membership building within IOPS and reaching out to others in ways we can or feel comfortable or have the time for. What are our assets?

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2016

      Scary or not, if we want to succeed, positive membership building within IOPS is crucial. And for that it is important to examine and understand where, how, and why, we fail now. If the more active members cannot even infuse the rest with some more enthusiasm, how can we hope to inspire others?

      I think each of the items on Rod’s long list, and often several, apply to many members, the one about clicktivists/seekers possibly most often. But we don’t see any signs of interest from more than 95% of our members. Does this list really cover as large a fraction as 95%? Somehow I find that hard to imagine. Also in the early years of IOPS when there was still a lot of almost palpable excitement, too often members who tried to contact other members in their area got no reactions at all to their messages. None, zero, zilch.

      In any case, the coaxing-back-to-life process of the almost deceased patient has barely begun. It’s far too early to see how that will play out. Hopefully, we’ll manage eventually to offer enough for the needs of activists to set off a virtuous circle in which more people contribute in some way or another according to their abilities.

    • Rod 20th Nov 2016

      My list was merely meant to show that most likely it's a mix of different causes, not simply one thing. The better we know what's causing the inactivity, the better we can deal with it.

      It's a good question to ask what our assets are. To be able to answer that question one needs to know what it is that IOPS is supposed to do. In other words, what's the 'raison d'être' of IOPS? Different members might give different answers to that question, which may not be a problem if they're at least compatible.

      What I see in IOPS is the potential to create a community of more or less like minded people, who help each other with:
      - finding effective ways to contribute to the world
      - dealing with the problems that arise in that process
      - broadening their understanding of the world
      - making the whole process as enjoyable as possible given the circumstances.

      I agree that too much focus on the membership numbers is not a good thing. Perhaps we should remove the count from the frontpage as it only seems to demoralize at the moment. To a certain extent we probably should work with what we have and hope a newfound spirit arises out of that and wakes up a few dormant people. I'm ok with slow building. Yes, times are urgent, but slow and steady ultimately wins the race.

    • Rod 20th Nov 2016

      One correction: I see the membership count was already removed from the frontpage. Hadn't noticed :)

    • Claire Bruhn 20th Nov 2016

      Ha. Yes, the numbers were hurting our self-esteem so they took them away.
      I mean more specifically, What are our assets? You mentioned ideas and goals that are wonderful.
      To name some more assets we have right now:
      -A real, sometimes working and accessible website
      -A slew of resources
      -reading material
      -multilingual communication
      -artwork- music, graphics, videos
      -stories
      -excellent opinions from smart people
      -international unprecedented organizing and sharing/teaching
      -most people here don't get paid for the work they do, maybe that is a bit of a problem and it also points to another asset...
      -people care about making the ideas and goals of IOPS work and they are putting effort and valuable time into its success

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2016

      Actually, because of some not-understood bug, the membership-count display turned about two years ago into “Members: 1”, which was not so much demoralizing as silly. Rather than spend time on trying to find a bug fix, Johannes (then the admin) chose to scrap the display of the (indeed meaningless) membership count.

    • Rod 21st Nov 2016

      You're right, I wasn't specific at all. Perhaps it's a sign of too much idealism when describing positive things translates to talking about possibilities in the future :)

      To add to your list 2 things based on my own experience:
      - IOPS is a place where an inexperienced wannabe activist can get some direct experience with organizing (or whatever word one likes to use)
      - IOPS facilitates connecting with others around topics that may be dear to oneself, which can give a sense of joy and comfort in uncertain times (for those that might otherwise be going it alone)

    • Bat Chainpuller 21st Nov 2016

      I think the second point Rod articulates here is a most underrated one.