what if neighborhood watch but not racist nosey people, and instead actually useful, with a number you could call, and trained in deescalation

not paid,
no weapons,
not able to forcefully detain you,
but able to separate people,
able to work out disputes,
able to help people get help,

that'd be like,

this is kinda gonna spiral off, because i'm a stream of consciousness kinda poster but...

one thing i think is kind of lamentable about the state of politics is that all the more *ahem* "niche" party groups are so desperate to spread awareness that any support services they offer are "theirs" instead of ... the community's?

like DSA does a bunch of tenants rights canvassing around here and other things, but it feels kinda erm branded, instead of a generic volunteer opportunity

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like, volunteer firefighters aren't "Fire Fighting, brought to you by The Democratic Party" or whatever, they're just

firefighters. and there's rigorous training.

Idk I think providing services is a good vehicle for spreading awareness, but I (probably being uninformed and assuming too much) think there's opportunity for more solidarity with your community and with other leftist orgs to be had

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what if you treated the service as it's own org and you had it "supported by" or "sponsored by" your political orgs, have opportunity to share literature from multiple groups under the umbrella of the service being provided, fine.

if we want to build community support structures i don't think we can afford to be greedy about the attention? i think a lot of otherwise willing people will feel like "wow i want to help with that but I'm not interested in the DSA (or whatever), so ehhh"

idk 🤷

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maybe this happens at a great scale and it works so well that i'm entirely oblivious. i hope so !

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@tcql Kind of!

Very different nations will come together JUST for the purpose of trade, or JUST to distribute antibiotics, or other niche purposes, and then their relations will more or less end.

It's also how many organizations work within themselves: impromtu comittees and caucuses organize a pool of labour into a goal and then break apart into the pool once they're done.

It is not, unfortunately, a part of most individuals' lives, the cost of change being artificially inflated by the west

@tcql (I hope you don't mind that I gave a different reply to each post in the thread, I feel like I had v different things to say on each one.)

@emsenn I kibda drifted in my thoughts so it makes sense for the replies to be all over the place. thanks!


This is part of where my line of qiuestioning about "intentional communities" is meant to bring people: we are too focused on creating the static and permanent that most people do not consider the value of spontaneous purpose-oriented confederacies


Counterpoint, people ask me what I'm doing if I pick up trash wearing full IWW stuff (IWW shirt, IWW hat, armband, buttons, satchel) and no one asks me what I'm doing if I wear it in my normal clothing.

@emsenn I mean though, assume you organized a larger trash pickup group, but you started building it as "IWW is providing a trash pickup group". That has a different feel than a less specifically affi than hated group. You personally could still rep IWW, but I guess I'm saying in terms of setting up larger/organized services


I think holding onto "setting up larger/organized services," as a thing that needs to be done to have large and organized services is maybe gonna hold you back from "getting" what you wanna get from this train of thought.

Our local IWW, our local DSA, we don't set stuff up, we do things and talk about it and folk join.

@emsenn in the context of community security (idk what to call this exactly) that I mentioned earlier, I think training in deescalation and knowing offhand what services are available to direct people to is important, and that needs some level of training. which benefits from organization (again, a la firefighting)

I'm all for individual action and responsibility but I don't necessarily trust everyone who would volunteer to act in a beneficial way alone, and I think some structure helps


I see your point, but would encourage you to look into how say, we train firefighters in veyr rural areas of Africa: it is usually not a permanent organization but a passing on of skills through a single coordinated effort, with (if you're lucky) the trainers coming back through every few years.

For example, I have a /lot/ of little bits of training I've picked up, from infant CPR to copwatching (as taught by the national lawyer's guild) 1/n


While there's no central dispatch to call and get me, that's... fine? I'm not a police force: I'm a resource my local friends can call on.

Requiring trust for something to operate is /not/ a fatal flaw, if that venture is not intended to be arbitrarily abstracted, which me serving as a community security agent is not: it is a single real thing, not an abstraction.

@tcql I guess I mean to say, also:

Without a social system where all "official" things go through one place, someone can't just "volunteer" and have it approved.

I had to individually persuade each of my neighbors that calling me is the better decision than a cop. I didn't just, without consent, put myself into the position: in fact due to the lack of organization, I can't! (Which might be stretched into an argument against organizations: they work to entrench themselves and bypass consent)


...Sorry these are big ideas that folk don't discuss often so it's hard for me to keep my thinking focused, and so I'm maybe sounding more brusque or accusatory than I mean to. It's not intended; just a consequence of me caring about the topic.

@emsenn I think we are coming from two different directions. I live in a city that's dense. Without a dispatch of some kind or a known organization, yea i could help with conflict resolution for a few friends but it does literally nothing to stem reliance on police for matters that police have no business in. Either vulnerable people never get help, or they put themselves in danger and call police. there's too many people, so a "service" instead of being a lone personal contact serves better

@tcql I live in probably more dense of a community than you're thinking of!

I'm not saying "don't have a shared number, don't let security agents coordinate," I'm saying that those things are a consequence of the more spontaneous reaction to needs, not a thing that must be conscientiously created before the needs beginto be met.

@tcql Also you may be thinking of someone serving a wider area than they do. When I say my neighbors, I mean it - the bougie building across the street doesn't count as part of the community, it's my building, the bar, the barber shops, the head shop, the tattoo shop, and one of the auto shops. We look out for each other, because we have a need to.

We've no interest and going and trying to provide our way of life for the people around us. They can come participate if and when they want, y'know?

@tcql that said, my town does /also/ have at least six - and likely more - people who legit just hang out on the bus lines most of their days off, with medical supplies and such, either evangelizing anarchy or there to go where needed.

(Also, you must be willing to consider that intentional or not, cities may inextricably be a cause and tool of fascism, and so trying to fix the problem without being willing to consider population distribution might be ending the race before it's on.)


Like, too many people live near each other for it to be safe without surveillance or paid cops? Well, can we spread the people out?

Not enough people with the values required for community self-protection? Well, can we start teaching them to our young ones?

Like the problems you highlight might just be /impossible/ problems in a contemporary city, so maybe the contemporary city has got to go.

Beside, I don't trust anyplace built to make it easier to roll tanks up to my door tbh.

@emsenn yea, i can see that, but also i think providing broad community services is a more immediately addressable problem than abolishing cities is

@tcql And I am saying that is the sort of myopic reactionary thinking that got us here in the first place!

I'm saying: by making the solution need to be immediate, you may be further entrenching the problem and ultimately working toward a truly impossible goal.

If we put fulfilling these services now first, we will apply the tools we have now: centralization. it's proven to work... well enough. If you ignore the problems.

And so... we're back where we started.


All that aside, you're still presupposing that broad or complete services require centralized organization: you're basically ignoring my main claim because you think it's so false, you can't even look straight at it.

It might be possible have comprehensive social services without them being organized beyond that which happens spontaneously and reactively.

Until you accept that that might be possible, yea, we're gonna be coming at this from v different directions.

@emsenn mmmm i don't think centralization is what i'm actually asking for. more like federation? i'm not looking for a global volunteer "police but we're not calling them police" kind of thing. maybe some standard of training (you mentioned training from in copwatching from National Lawyer's Guild), but still something locally focused

to put it in another context: starting a union is good! why would we expect every worker to fight for themselves? a union is a specific entity representing many

@emsenn why is organizing the workforce good but organizing community services bad

@tcql you are getting wrapped up in why your point is correct and not hearing what I am saying, I think.

I am saying that you are putting organization /first/, and that is /not/ how unions form; they don't start with a bunch of workers going "ah yes today we will write the constitution and plan this shit out real well," it does not start with organization.

In fact, that is the second-to-last step, if you follow the IWW procedure!

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@emsenn lol that was "affiliated" but my phone though "affi than hated" made more sense 💯

@tcql our most-local DSA chapter is not like that and they explictly say on their newsletter signup sheet "we'll p much just be using this to coordinate between other local groups"


Sounds like Rangers at Burning Man, who are rad and are also a special breed. I trained to be one but could not; I appreciate hierarchy and at least a semblance of authority too much.

Peacefully resolving conflict is a peerless skill. I want the ability to impose at least minor consequences.

really extreme, danger-laden example 

really extreme, danger-laden example 

really extreme, danger-laden example 

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