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Montana Can Be An Inspiration

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Many agree that the sucess of IOPS hinges in part on the ability of local chapters to form and grow. Having solid, regular participation and some sort of program that nurtures personal development and collective solidarity ensures our future vitality as an organization. We here in Missoula Montana are clearly developing that program and I am proud to play a small role.

It has been a process for sure. From the IWW to the Listening Project to the Social Center to the WREC / IOPS form we are now assuming, the journey has been one of learning from our experiments and staying open to new possibilities. We have found a nice blend of rigorous study, "battering ram" activity and good old social-izing around food, drink and interesting conversation. It is this attention to praxis which makes our affinity group a force to be reckoned with.

None of this is easy in a liberal university town like Missoula, where the anti-capitalist critique is met with cynical hipster derision or "non-profit complex" progressive fear. We saw this clearly in our Occupy Missoula interactions, the way we were chastised for being organized and coherent, for having been devoted to learning and articulating a radical vision, as though it was somehow unfair we already had a coherent critique!

Now we find international solidarity and mutual understanding amidst the complex challenges of building a much wider circle. I am confident Missoula will establish itself as an inspirational model for other communities our size and help facilitate the building of a strong Participatory Organization throughout the Inter-mountain region. And we will do this without loosing our tight local bond, reflecting the unique landscape we inhabit and the cool folks we attract. Onward through the fog!

Discussion 2 Comments

  • Jim V 17th Dec 2012

    Nice write up Dave. I always felt Montana is a cool place, and a good neighbor to have.

  • Dave Jones 11th Jan 2013

    Thanks Jim. There are great things about Montana and some huge challenges,probably like anywhere. I have had a few friends come back from long travels saying "there is no place like Missoula!"