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Hey everyone! I'm officially starting today and will be monitoring/chatting with you all in the comment section from here on out. Let's keep it substantive and civil!

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"Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday and you're not feeling real well, does anyone ever say to you, "We are calling on the company to publicly reckon with the movement-wide crisis we are in; dismantle our white, owning-class culture: and to publicly commit to using the tens of millions of dollars we have to equip our base, and build multi-racial, crossclass community power for a Green New Deal..."?

"No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you'd get your ass kicked sayin' something like that, man."

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founding

"Most of the work doesn’t happen in the big group meetings that are formal and on the record. Most of the work actually happens through one-on-one meetings and the relationships."

"Instead, Weber was facilitating Zoom sessions to sort through his organization’s culture."

The first quoted section is just as true of businesses as it is of drafting legislation. Trying to use a Zoom to build or change an organization's culture is hopelessly inefficient -- it takes years of in-person work to do it well; on Zoom it might take a decade or more if it is possible at all. I know most employees like the freedom, the lack of a commute, the flexibility to do other things. But I'm convinced the era of remote workers being the norm is something successful companies will abandon.

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I was prepared to make a comment along the lines of “the ‘climate left’ is just the woke left” before even getting to the main portion of the article, and was subsequently amazed by what I read (even though I knew about these collapses happening at the time).

As we all know, “woke” is an external label given to an ideology that refuses to name itself. This isn’t entirely new, Evangelicals/Salafis will call themselves “Christians”/“Muslims”, but what is unusual is the extreme hostility directed to those who try to name it. This impedes reasonable discussion of things like “why did all the climate people all of a sudden start having a racial cage match?”

Of course, we know the answer. All of these people are hugely woke. There’s no room for non-wokes in the “climate movement,” and there’s certainly not much room for anyone who says “hey, we should start talking about CO2 again instead of taking 8 weeks off the job to call each other racist.” Ergo, there isn’t really a “climate left” anymore.

And I’m sure anyone who has actually talked to a Hasan Piker-addled zoomer realizes that to them “climate” and “capitalism” and “patriarchy” and “racism” are all the same thing. These people can’t be climate-focused, it would be like asking a devout Muslim what his favorite of the five pillars is.

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This is the definitive hate read. God do I despise these bullshit left wing policy groups that would rather accuse each other of being racist and push for communism than actually show up for a meeting with the president. Reading this also makes me dislike Biden’s admin more for catering to these idiots in the first place.

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Nov 27, 2023·edited Nov 27, 2023

In May 2019 I took my middle-school daughter and some of her friends to St. Paul for Minnesota's youth climate protest, one of the rallies happening across the country that day. Walking to the capitol building with thousands of young people was inspiring, and I felt hope. But then we got there and the speeches started.

As I recall it, there was almost no discussion of actual policy goals related to climate change; there might have been some talk of stopping pipelines, but that was it. There was, on the other hand, a lot of discussion of identity. Young people were heralded as the first BIPOC leaders of local climate groups. They didn't talk about what they were going to do as leaders; the important thing was the fact of leadership by someone who was a minority. Speakers talked about intersectionality and the disparate impact of environmental harms on minorities. The dubious claim was made that a European-style garbage incinerator in Minneapolis is evidence of systemic racism--never mind that there's no good evidence it's a source of pollution at all, much less that it contributes to climate change, and that it's situated in a neighborhood of young, mostly white, professionals.

When the speakers on the program were through, the microphone was open for anyone to offer comments. A young white man took the opportunity to suggest vegetarianism as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A following speaker, a white woman, lambasted this comment as racially insensitive. She yelled that it failed to consider that many BIPOC people don't have the economic resources to buy healthy vegetarian options, and it might be contrary to their cultures.

Maybe a reduction in eating animal products is a good way to fight climate change, and maybe it isn't. In any case, it was just about the only concrete idea for addressing the actual issue that anyone offered all afternoon. But rather than a discussion of it on the merits, it was angrily shut down as being racist.

It was disheartening.

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I really hope that the next left leaning admin realizes what a waste of time trying to build bridges with the NGO left is and just doesn't bother. All this has done is made the bills we've passed less effective, the president less popular, and the Groups TM more confident in their murder suicide tactics.

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I'm usually the one at least semi defending Progressive activists and yet I read this post and thought "You've got to be kidding me". This sentence in particular was just infuriating "At the end of March 2021, Alex O’Keefe, among the first Black hires of the Sunrise Movement and a member of management, dropped a long manifesto, signed by three others, into the organization’s Slack account, indicting the leadership for a culture of white supremacy." This Alex O'Keefe person should fired. This is a coup attempt plain and simple; a play to feed your own ego and inflate your own importance at the cost of actually accomplishing the goals your org. is trying to accomplish.

This whole excerpt and previous Matt posts on the same topic actually make me think of Frederick The Great of all things. Specifically, his famous quote "he who defends everything defends nothing". He was obviously talking specifically about military strategy; you have limited resources, if you try to defend every nook of your border, you're troops will stretched to thin and you'll lose. But I think it applies to this situation with Sunrise and similar orgs. You can adjust the aphorism to "he who prioritizes everything prioritizes nothing". And this excerpt is possibly a paradigm example of this. Sunrise had an opportunity to actually influence policy and to quote Robert DeNiro "You blew iiittttt!!!".

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How strong, exactly, is the correlation between meetings with white house staffers and policy wins for the Sunrise movement? Would Manchin have been swayed one iota by much meetings? The extract suffers from NY Times-style dramatic officiousness, where access is too often equated with power. A necessary condition is not necessarily a sufficient one.

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Does anyone have any lefty orgs who they think have been successful in pushing their agenda while avoiding infighting? (even if you disagree with their cause)

This q goes out to those of you who expressed a certain amount of schadenfreude at seeing the Sunrise implosion.

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In case anyone is interested, this is from Alex O'Keefe's website:

"I was Creative Director of The Sunrise Movement, the generational movement to win a Green New Deal. I was often called “Mr. Green New Deal” for my visionary push to redefine climate movement..." "As a director of the Green New Deal campaign, I helped rewrite the United States’ climate agenda."

He's either a really important and accomplished fellow, or just has an extraordinary exalted view of himself.

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I have never read a "manifesto" in the company Slack, never mind several. Have any of you?

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Maybe a "Burn it to the ground!" mindset isn't the best way to deal with a problem that's literally caused by burning.

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I'm the guy who always kind of pushes the anti-anti-woke line and this piece, and others like it, have given me pause. I still find the woke and anti-woke equally annoying but it's getting harder and harder for me to pretend that the wokites aren't seriously damaging things.

Most of Sunrise's goals are alienating to me, but nevertheless I find this infuriating. It's like your left tackle choosing to Nancy Kerrigan your QB when there are 20 seconds left in the 4th quarter and you have no timeouts and it's 1st-and-Goal from the 9. What the hell are you idiots doing?

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Does the book cover the merits of the ask that the Biden Admin was considering?

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A friend of mine worked in progressive politics in Colorado for half a decade. She could have made more money waitressing, especially if she had worked the same, brutal hours. She shared a 3 bedroom apartment with two others and could barely keep her car running.

Activists who could make more if they quit are, almost tautologically, in it ti advance their ideas. Absent money, the biggest reason to subordinate one’s own priorities to group goals is solidarity, which is usually evanescent absent a truly charismatic leader or shared, materiel interests. Progressive groups that want loyal employees should pay more.

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