collective action is easier without diversity

picking up where i left off yesterday, i think this quote about mancur olson’s work adds another angle to why the left struggles so much with getting organized and political action. this quote is from page 10 of leading from the emerging future by otto scharmer and katrin kaufer.

…the problem arises when the political process is tilted by an uneven playing field and a lack of transparency. As we know from the economist Mancur Olson’s work on collective action, groups with only a few members can organize themselves easily and speak with a common voice. Obvious examples are the big players finance, food, health, and energy. Larger and more diverse groups usually are not able to organize as easily and consequently have more difficulty making their members’ interests heard. Ordinary taxpayers, who pay for the bailouts, and future generations are two good examples.

though it is a different point from danielle’s, the statement is quite clear. collective action is easier from groups with a smaller number of less diverse players.

now that i’m thinking about it, this is reminding me again of how much i think we need swarming as a practice. if it were possible to institute some protocols among really diverse people, when necessary, collective action could be possible. if collective action were possible when needed, that would also allow for diversity among groups and people to be a systemic benefit instead of an inhibitor or weakness.

ok. i think that’s it for today. gotta get ready for an orientation presentation today and get to work early!

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