THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP OF ELECTORAL AND MOVEMENT POLITICS
“People don’t join movements unless they think they can win something. What makes them think that they can win is often the electoral environment and promises that politicians make. It’s the encouragement that they get from electoral victories – even small, low-level electoral victories. When politicians are trying to win an election, they blast off about what they’re going to do differently, and they create a good deal of hope. By doing that, they help to instigate the kind of ambitions that fuels movement politics.
POLARIZATION PRECEDES REFORM
“If you have a two-party system and want to win elections you need a majority. And to create a majority, you have to build alliances between different groups….Often when movements win, we win because politicians want to stop divisions that are being caused by the disruptive behavior of the movement. To fend off the splintering of their coalition, they will try to propose reform. And that’s how movements win.”
Frances Fox Piven, Q&A, The Nation, 5/17/21