“Counterpower” by Tim Gee — Pt 6: Four stages of a Counterpower movement: Definition and importance

Citizen Action Monitor

No 384 Posted by fw, January 3, 2012

Parts 2 through 5 of this series were excerpted from Chapter 1 of Gee’s book, Counterpower: Making Change Happen.  These posts centred on the three types of Counterpower – Idea Counterpower, Economic Counterpower and Physical Counterpower.

This post, Part 6, features a selected excerpt from Chapter 6, How the vote was won in Britain, narrowly examining the stages of social movements, with special attention to Gee’s own four-stage Counterpower model.

Gee introduces the stages’ conceptualization with a variant of the famous maxim: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” (According to Wikipedia, the quote is disputably attributed to Gandhi).

He notes that although “the quote is not without its problems . . . the maxim is a useful guide to action” in the sense that…

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