Stewart Acuff

Feb 8

Creating a Global Movement for Prosperity

The need for the Americans of good will with a longing for a more just country to rise up in movement to push for change against a powerful and intransigent Financial Elite is undeniable.

We have growing inequality, stubborn unemployment, shrinking middle class, growing poverty while those at the top of the income and wealth ladder continue to suck up America’s financial resources.

What are some of the elements of movement? If we look to the state-based movements in Wisconsin and Ohio that were born of resistance to radical rightwing governors and state legislatures, we can find elements of movement. If we look to the movement created in response to voter suppression, we can see the elements of a larger and broader movement that we need today.

Social movements include:

  • Organic action from the ground up rather than engineered action from the top down.
  • The development of organic action requires strong, disciplined organizing and education so that the largest possible number of people have an honest understanding of the problem and who is responsible.
  • Movement allows and encourages spontaneity and creativity so that people and organizations can engage and respond to the issues on their own in ways that reflect culture and tactics that they deem most effective to create pressure.
  • Movement requires a broad-based analysis of the issue(s) and an understanding of the need for action.

We don’t know how to strike the spark that turns good organizing into movement, but we do know there is no movement without organizing and education.

In America and across the world, we need a national movement and a global movement against income and wealth inequality and for broad-based prosperity and investment in infrastructure that increases productivity and economic growth.


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Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.

Playing Bigger Than You Are - A Life in OrganizingGet the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are by clicking here!

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