Orion Digest №47 — Chapters and Community Organization

While the scale of eco-socialist federalism is global, there are significant disadvantages to tackling issues primarily on the largest levels. To the average civilian, a global movement in name only is something they may see online or on the news, earning maybe a few minutes of their attention, but disappearing from their attention soon after. It is not something that, for most people, will earn significant support, nor continuous attention, unless you constantly find some way to recapture it. This is not simply apathy; the world today is so full of changing sights and distractions that one cannot expect every person to become stuck on a mere passerby attraction.

A majority of the mission will end up as a bid for attention and awareness, and though it may sound like a popularity contest, it is not out of vanity that we seek this. At the end of the day, politics is about how many people you can convince to do what needs to be done, whether inside or outside the confines of a legal system. Inside is typically easier and more streamlined, but if the system proves insufficient, the difficult task of maneuvering outside the law becomes necessary. Either way, it’s an avenue where strategy will only carry you so far without numbers. We seek a combination of inside and outside support, and for both cases, we need to convince people to join or support us, our allies, and our cause.

However, simply inflating one’s appearance to appear in mainstream media, while somewhat helpful, is not a sure fire solution, especially for a task set upon us so large and with so little time. The world needs to be aware that our planet is on the brink of collapse, and that the structure of society that we have become so stuck to and dependent on needs a major overhaul if we are to survive. We don’t need to just accept a truth; we need to break illusion after illusion and assemble together as a species swiftly. We don’t need a passing thought or recognition; we need a collective drive to change, dedication to fixing our mistakes that could consume the lifetimes of a generation, for the sake of our increasingly potential future.

The true answer to grabbing people’s attention lies on a much smaller scale. The simulated world through media is a large part of our lives, but it is often still so distant from ourselves, only semi-realistic. On the other hand, the people around us, the neighborhood and locale where we reside — that has a far greater impact on the individual, and if we are to capture the minds and hearts of the world, that is precisely where we need to start. Community involvement may affect only a small area, but it is far more meaningful and impactful to those within the area then any voice on the TV screen.

Massive organizations and movements in the past saw people join not because of sensationalist stories on newspapers or from stories, but from that neighbor down the block who talked you into it. The rally in the park, the meeting at a community center, the posters on the street. The image of the movement is much larger than the community, but your involvement with it will still be contained to the area you live, simply ensuring that the goals are accomplished in your sphere of influence. The simple seed of an idea, planted over and over again in select locales, could result in many small chapters that added up to one large widespread movement, hard to pin down or find the center of. For better or worse, these movements have proved effective in the past.

Such is a similar idea with the idea of Orion’s chapters. Barring Museion, a chapter will feature elements of the other two branches — the Sword and Liberius — centered specifically on contributing and aiding to their respective communities and regions. Whereas the online element of branches focuses on ESF theory and progressivism in general, a chapter will focus on how it applies and relates to the people around them. Your town is not a federation, sure, but it could always work on being greener, on providing aid to those in need and beneficial job opportunities. The people of your town could always show support for the cause, and work on self-improvement to be more accepting and respectful of underrepresented groups inside and outside of the community. In some ways, a chapter would be a miniature Orion, contained within its own little sphere.

Just like past movements, it would merely take a ‘seed’, or in this case, one member in an area willing and able to make their own chapter of Orion. With time, I hope to make more reading material and online resources available to streamline this process, but with the structure, theory, and philosophy laid out, my hope is that future members can apply this model to their surroundings, and build their own chapters for the improvement of their community. In such dark times, it is good to focus on accomplishing a simple task and making at least one pocket of the world a bit more hopeful. However, when done many times, in many chapters, across many parts of the world, it can add up. Democratic structure exists for coordination, so that Orionist communities can come together and work through voting and organization for larger impact.

Community interaction is not merely about asking people for support and membership. It is about giving to and helping the community with no expectation or requirement for reciprocation, merely the intent on bettering the area and all who live within it. Exactly how this will happen will depend on the region and culture itself, but the advantage there is that whoever starts the chapter will know better than I do how to approach their community. The chapter’s Sword team can point out and make people aware of issues and how to fix them, while members of Liberius can provide teaching, assistance, and guidance to people on practical methods of improvement (i.e. growing food, medical aid, self defense, mental health practices, et cetera). With time, being a beneficial presence in the community will do more to build a reputation with people than a 30 second ad on television ever will.

The elephant in the room is the fact that we have little time to make change before it is too late in the grand scheme of things. The threat of climate change always hangs upon us, and the combination of government and economy only serve to worsen that threat. It is best not to put all eggs in one basket, and mere community-centric change is only one part of the structure. Orion is designed to cater to a small scale while still organizing online to fight on a large scale, and constant pressure from us and allies must be kept upon national governments to be more firm on environmental regulation, to reform the structure of the United Nations, to revamp economic systems of ownership and standardize stricter definitions of human rights and freedoms. If anything the two scales feed off and benefit one another — the more Orionist communities there are, the larger a base for online support, and the larger an online influence, the more seeds that can be planted for further communities.

A key part of the experience that I intend is for future members and chapters to fill the gaps in the human experience that I am unable to. I do not know the specific struggles of your area, nor how to fully approach them. I do not fully know the depths of the human experience when it comes to people of different identity than myself. I have not been in each house, spoken each language, or walked the same paths you might have walked. However, I believe firmly in the model lain out, that the world should be greener, united, and geared towards the benefit of humanity. I believe in helping other people not for gain but out of solidarity and kindness. I believe that, if we pull together and learn from our past, we can survive and do great things. And I believe certainly that there are people out in the world willing to make change in their city, their neighborhood, or at the very least, in their own home, and because of that belief, I entrust that these ideals can be applied by chapters to help in the way that only they know how.

More over, it cannot be stated enough that the world and its various nations are not composed of their governments and owners; they are composed of its people. The most important voice is not that of a leader, but rather the combined voice of those that follow. It is not some castle or office that holds the most importance in a nation; it is all the land and homes that belong to the people. The world is in a crisis right now, and this is only the beginning. We need to be there for the people around us, and the only way we can pull through this is together.

- DKTC FL