Conservative Movements, Compassion Movements

What builds a conservative movement, one that supports the status quo? That's pretty easy, we see it all around us. Make people fearful, throw anger in the air, find issues to divide people into groups, make people feel like there is an "us" and "them."

What builds a progressive movement, or a radical movement, one full of compassion and decency? It's odd that I know so much more about building movements I hate, than about building movements that feel close to my heart.

In the medium term, I think it's about toning down the anger and sense of isolation, separation. For a movement, there are two in-gatherings: First, we gather our own, we are Occupy, we are people who are excited to sleep in tents or go to protests, to make some noise. Conservative movements would create walls: you're with us or you're against us. Progressive movements have to tear down walls, even while we create a place that feels like home for our own movement.

At the scale of generations, it's about raising children who are less afraid.


You can only be the vanguard if you build a movement that ordinary people will want to join in. Which means you can't really be a vanguard, maybe just a little early and do a bit extra work.