On Ask Metafilter, I provided this answer to the question "How to best deal with politicization in decentralized charity group?"


When we join together to do the same thing, we're often doing it for different reasons. Or variations on similar reasons. The key is to stop caring why someone is picking up trash or pooling money or packing food boxes. Make an institutional policy to say explicitly that your group only cares about one question:


Do you show up to pick up trash or pool your money or pack food? Because that's being part of the group. Or, do you not do those things, and find fault with those who do? Because that's not the group.

Writing an anti-oppression analysis or a critique or a PHD thesis; protesting and building barricades; finding ways to live without being employed or buying products or services or paying rent. People can do those things, and also, be in your group.

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But by doing those things, you are doing two separate-and-compatible things. It's not either-or. Your group is picking up trash and pooling your money and packing food, full stop. Regardless of who shows off their education, or keeps up with the latest radical jargon, or loudly proclaims the right opinions, or gets Likes on social media, or hates the right people, everyone can pick up trash, pool money, and pack food boxes.

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Using this simple filter, you don't need to evaluate people, which you can't do anyway. You can personally individually evaluate whether another person is sufficiently socially conscious. Groups can never agree on it. The only evaluation a group can collectively issue, is to determine whether a participant violated a code of conduct.

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@matt That's a good way to address personal interactions also, I've found.
It's reflexive and easy to get caught up in and worried about how others feel and what their motivations are. Tons of folks do this often. But it's a lot more relevant to use a behavioral standard than a speculative one.

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