Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns by Dana R. Fisher

By Dana R. Fisher

Activism, Inc. introduces the US to an more and more customary political actor: the canvasser. She’s the twenty-something with the clipboard, preventing you in the street or knocking in your door, the foot soldier of political campaigns.Granted unheard of entry to the “People’s Project,” an unknown but influential association using left-leaning grassroots politics, Dana Fisher tells the genuine tale of outsourcing politics in the United States. just like the significant businesses that outsourced their customer support to businesses in a foreign country, the grassroots campaigns of nationwide innovative movements—including Greenpeace, the Sierra membership, keep the kids, and the Human Rights Campaign—have been outsourced at various occasions to this unmarried association. in the course of the 2004 presidential crusade, the Democratic get together an analogous outsourcing version for his or her canvassing.Fisher examines the background and cause at the back of political outsourcing at the Left, weaving jointly frank interviews with canvassers, high-ranking political officers around the political spectrum, and People’s venture administration. She compares all of this to the grassroots efforts at the correct, which stay firmly grounded in groups and native politics.This e-book bargains a chilling evaluate of the results of political outsourcing. Connecting area people at the streets all through the US to the nationwide businesses and political campaigns that make up revolutionary politics, it indicates what occurs to the passionate younger activists outsourced to the consumers of Activism, Inc.

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Extra info for Activism, Inc.: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America

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Indd 30 5/11/06 11:29:06 AM Institutionalizing Activism 31 think . . you can’t leave because we need you. ” I really liked my director a lot and I felt, if I was going to leave . . I was putting a lot of extra stress and work on her, a friend. When I followed up with Dan in 2004, he had given up on becoming a teacher and had chosen to continue working for the People’s Project as a canvass director in California. ” Beyond pressure from canvass directors who appealed to the personal commitment of the individual canvassers, these young people came to feel a part of the constructed canvasser community, an outcome that was promoted and cultivated by the People’s Project.

I have a lot less faith in lobbying and like traditional . . politics than I used to. So, I don’t necessarily . . support [lobbying], as far as getting things accomplished. [But] canvassing is a really good way to do that regardless of what your belief is . . I basically identify as an anarchist so . . electoral politics and . . the representative government that we don’t really have, I don’t really see much validity in that. In 2004, Erin reported being involved in a number of different social movement organizations, many of which employed direct action tactics, such as civil disobedience, to achieve their goals.

I would] talk to them about it, but it won’t necessarily affect [anything], you know, you can talk to them about [the campaign], but they still have to follow these policies that are coming down [from above] . . ” In other words, Tiffany recognized that the directors were only doing their jobs, following orders that had come from the national and regional offices. Outside of their day-to-day work, canvassers are expected to participate in numerous political activities that are also scripted by the organization.

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