Should you change the world by starting or joining a movement?

"I helped create this movement and it isn't what it once was."

A tragic but nearly universal sentence. Why do movements always disappoint their founders?

Let's think this through together.

Movements might disappoint their founders, because the founders themselves have changed, rather than because movements.

If founders gain prominence or power, their shifting interests might change their opinions on social reforms.

It is Trotsky rather than Stalin that bemoan revolution betrayed. The loser rather than the winner.

If a founder's interests change then they can change the movement.

So the universal sentence is spoken by someone who might or might not have profited but has lost control.

Starting a movement without a clear understanding of the trajectories of movements means you have no way of knowing whether it can achieve its goals.

The sociology of how a movement acquires financial support, retains talent and how it organizes is needed.

Movements as they grow require:

1. Supporters
2. Media platforms
3. Funding for individuals
4. Organizations

In about that order. Let's look at each of these.

Initial supporters are 'true believers' people predisposed to ideological constructs rather than local social cues.

The social environment of a movement where all social cues are movement cues is easy for them to navigate.

They need the movement more than its cause.
2. Media platforms, be they social media or more traditional media only give your movement exposure if this exposure is profitable or good for media worker careers.

3. Individuals might already be independently wealthy, but you usually need funding. Usually institutions.

4. Finally the interests of an organization and the movement it represents are distinct:

Funding, legal liabilities... and the people that work in organizations aren't founders nor are they the people who need movement ideological. They are white collar.

Each component necessary to scaling a movement then carry seeds pointing off mission.

To design a successful bottom up movement is challenging.

It would require morphing from one stage to the next, with each stage a functional institution.

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