Long-term strategy: Imagining and implementing the utopia
“World-Building,” the third theme in our Strategy Committee syllabus, reinforced some of our previous learnings – particularly the importance of building local relationships in our organizing work.
We explored how the urban/local level not only provides a lot of opportunities to build those relationships with the workers and residents that make up Toronto, but to achieve material wins that can directly impact their lives as well.
And while we started thinking about who to work in solidarity with, we also discussed how we might do so. We learned that although resistance-based politics has a necessary role, it’s important to set a common vision to work towards.
Week One – Visions in Practice
- Jarandilla Nuñez, Alan et al., Routledge Handbook of Climate Justice (2016)
- Chapter 31: “Mother Earth and Climate Justice, Indigenous Peoples’ Perspectives of an Alternative Development Paradigm” p. 420-430
- Zuckerman, Ethan, Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Change Them (2021)
- Chapter 3: “What we lose when we lose trust” p. 69-104
If a radical political movement is to have staying power, it seems to be important that an alternative social/political vision is offered. Rather than being caught in a constant “whack-a-mole” responding to issues as they emerge, it helps to guide our work towards something over the long term and neutralize nihilism. Organizing around a common vision also helps to maintain political unity and relationships outside of moments of immediate crisis.
Week Two – Visions in Practice: The City
- Harvey, David, Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution (2013)
- Chapter Five: “Reclaiming the City for Anti-Capitalist Struggle”
- A visit from the wonderful Diana Yoon!
A groundedness in specific local geographies (whether at the city or local level) is key to building deep connections, which turn into strong political alliances. We are in a unique position as a youth- and climate justice-centred organization, but also in relation to other leftist groups. However, we also think we should be doing more to unify other local groups who are doing anti-capitalist work from different angles.
And Toronto City Council is long overdue for change!
Main Takeaways & How to Get Involved
|The importance of “the left” presenting (and demanding and building) an alternative vision of the world.The importance of grounding our work in the local (for example, The City) in order to build strong political alliances with people and groups, and to achieve tangible material goals.|
For more details on the readings, you can check out our syllabus and the readings. To get involved, join us on Slack and stay tuned for a new-member orientation in July!