At the Risk of Seeming Ridiculous: Love and Place in Activist Education
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On the potential brink of anti-capitalism becoming a normalized stance in Canada and the United States, the left in these countries still finds itself facing enormous difficulties getting its point of view across and in maintaining internal cohesion. A solution to this problem may lay in changing the motivation of those people involved in the movement. This paper argues that if they can be brought to be motivated by love for the people, and can be known to be so motivated, these twin problems may be easier alleviated. This paper examines methods for changing the motivation of activists within a lightly bound activist group, focusing on strategies that can be used by peers rather than educators or formal leaders. The strategies highlighted are drawn from interviews with new and old activists, members and leaders of religious groups, and educators. The conclusion drawn is that pursuing this end requires a dual path of strengthening the attachment of members to the group through building a loving and supportive environment, and building a norm of love for the people within the group, with possible means for progressing along both interrelated paths being discussed within.