||CHAPTER 6: AFFILIATION VS. ANARCHISM AND INDIVIDUALISM||Page 17|
Once a person has affiliated, the same psychological process, previously internal, that led that person to join the group in the first place, now becomes externalized into the process of recruiting others. As an organizer Jane Addams was unmatched. Starting from her affiliation at Hull House that was "held together in that soundest of all social bonds, the companionship of mutual interests," Jane Addams and her colleagues established a network of organizations ranging from neighborhood cooperatives and clubs to national and international organizations that endure to the present day, including the League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Sandy Pollack who joined the Communist Party when she was only 19, was apparently a remarkable organizer as well, as described in this fragment of a poem by her husband:
My wife knitted united fronts, endured
The largest of these groups, the June 12 demonstration of 1982, numbered over one million people, the largest peace demonstration in U.S. history. Seeing the size of the crowd, she asked, "What're we going to do next? How about a coordinated world-wide action?"
More than any other step of consciousness development, affiliation requires the learning of psychological skills. There are positive skills to be developed such as the patience of a Pollack, the willingness to compromise and accept group discipline of a Muste, and the courageous generosity of Martin Luther King Jr. The great skill of Jane Addams was not only critical to the success of the Hague Conference that brought together women from both sides during World War I, but it also served as an inspiration to Emily Balch, who described it as follows:
Difficult as it is to conduct business with so mixed and differing a constituency, with different languages, different rules of parliamentary procedure, and divergent views, Miss Addams and the other officials carried on orderly and effective sessions, marked by the most active will for unity that I have ever felt in an assemblage.
Affiliation also requires the overcoming of negative habits. W.E.B. DuBois, faced with the task of organizing the Niagara Movement, recalled that he was ill-equipped for his first major organizing role:
I was no natural leader of men. I could not slap people on the back and make friends of strangers. I could not easily break down an inherited reserve; or at all times curb a biting critical tongue. Nevertheless, having put my hand to the plow, I had to go on.
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