If we are going to get free, we have to work together.
We know “collective liberation” is the theory, but how do we actually deal practically with annoying comrades, group conflicts, and disagreements in politics and strategy that keep us from advancing our cause together?
For many, our practices for group work have been actively interrupted.
Capitalism depends on our individualism, our (sometimes nonconsensual) agreement to solve our problems ourselves without the help of others. White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, ableism, fat hatred, classism all work to destroy our language, practices, and cultures for responding to suffering together as a community. As a white, fat, queer, neurodivergent, mixed class, nonbinary femme, I am a person shedding centuries-old patterns, listening to embodied wisdom outside dominant cultures, and relearning
Our liberation guides are in community practice.
One of my most honored spiritual teachers, the Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, says that we cannot wait for messiahs to set us free. “The next Buddha is sangha,” he says. Another way to say that is: Our liberation guides are in community practice. He shares this teaching not from some lonely mountaintop hermitage, but as a refugee from war-divided Vietnam. His taste of liberation grows out of the real-life suffering of this world.
So, how exactly do we do better work together?
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