In the Phenomenology, Hegel writes that “Picture thinking constitutes the middle term between pure thought and self-consciousness as such.” Aaaaannnnd that has little to do with this post. Gotcha! Or didn’t. Whatever. Anyhow —

A few times I’ve used drawings and squiggles and scribbly diagrams to help me think through stuff that’s on my mind. I’m not sure the product is useful but the process is for me. I think in pictures a lot and think spatially to some degree, which is part of why I gesture like crazy when speaking…. Anyway here’s the latest.

Connections within and across political groups and mass organizations/movements
1. Radical doing mass work

The black dot is a radical who has direct relationships with people who in turn have their own relationships. The orange lines indicate active engagement and relationships the radical has with other people. Blue dots are people who are more important to the radical, whether because of ease of access, already knowing them, or because of being more advanced in some way. I leave “more advanced” undefined for the time being. The yellow lines indicate relationships among other people that the radical is aware of.

2. Connections between radicals in political group

The black dots with letters are members of a radical group.
Red lines indicate person to person contact and relationships between individuals in a political group. Ideally there will be some contact and relationship between each person and every other person. For this to be possible, the group must stay below a certain size.
The green circle indicates several things – general unstructured and less personal interaction like email lists as well as any one-way communication such as reading material put out.

3. The political group and the mass work of group member G.

4. Other members of the political group have connections to other people involved in the mass work done by member G. These are shown via orange lines.

5. Members of the political group decide to deliberately build relationships with person H who is involved in the mass work of member G.

6. Relationship building continues. Group member E begins building relationship with person H.

7. Relationship building continues. Group member D begins building relationship with person H.

8. Relationship building continues; C begins relationship building with H.

9. Person H begins to move closer to the group due to experiences, relationships built, reflection, discussions, etc. H becomes closer to the group in relationships and outlook.

10. H continues to move closer to the group. Members agree that H has become a potential member. Members agree to continue to work with H with the goal of H becoming a member.

11. Due to the efforts of some members, Person H joins the group.

As a result of work done, members G, C, D, and E have relationships with H. Members A, B, and F do not. This means that H joining brings social unevenness, meaning that only some members have relationships with each other.

12. The group deliberately addresses social unevenness. Member B begins to build a relationship with new member H.

13. Group continues addressing social unevenness. Member A begins to build a relationship with new H.

14. Group reduces social unevenness. Member F begins to build a relationship with new member H. Socially unevenness is relatively reduced.

15. In reality the group has these dynamics happening in multiple sites via multiple relationships members have with other people in mass work. Multiple people can be moving closer to the group at any given time.

16. Different groups co-exist, some as members of a larger collectivity and some not.

17. The purple line represents several things about interactions across groups, whether or not they are members of a large group – general unstructured and less personal interaction like email lists as well as any one-way communication such as reading material put out.

18. The gray line represents connections/relationship among people in different organizations/parts of a larger organization analogous to connections among members of component groups. Without deliberate relationship building across groups, a scaled upward version of social unevenness will occur.

19. The yellow line represents connections that radicals deliberately build among people across mass work; these relationships include some people who are in political groups and some who are not.

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