Another politics: Movement-building in the 21st century

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support for as little as $5 per month!

On this week's episode of Talking Radical Radio, I speak with Chris Dixon. He is an author and a long-time activist. He speaks with me about his new book, Another Politics: Talking Across Today's Transformative Movements (UC Press, 2014), and about a new strand of radical politics emerging today in the midst of social movements and communities-in-struggle across North America.

Dixon currently lives in Ottawa, but he has been active in a range of movements, in a range of places across North America, since he was a teenager. And in the course of his organizing work, he developed a sense that there were certain practices and certain sensibilities that seemed to cluster together and that he was encountering in a lot of different places, movements, and contexts. He wanted to learn more about that. More importantly, he wanted to do it in a way that resulted in knowledge that might actually be useful for movements themselves. So he entered graduate school, but rather than taking up the usual tools used in universities to study movements, which tend to objectify them and result in knowledge that is really not very useful to people who are themselves engaged in struggle, he instead committed himself to learning from activists and organizers and with the knowledge that is produced by them in the course of struggle.

To do his research for the book, he went to cities around Canada and the United States and talked to organizers and activists whose work enacts these emerging politics -- "another politics" he came to call them, borrowing the phrase from Mexico's Zapatistas, and he came to characterize the loose and diverse political tendency that is enacting them as "anti-authoritarian" in a broad sense. He learned from and synthesized the reflections of these organizers on what they do, how they do it, and why they do it, and brought together this movement-produced and movement-useful knowledge about practices, strengths, challenges, and yet-to-be-answered questions into his new book. And in the last eight months, he has been travelling across the continent yet again, giving talks, leading workshops, and sparking conversations among activists and organizers about this emerging approach to movement politics, and about the questions its practitioners are currently wrestling with. We spoke about the research; about what he learned from the activists and organizers he spoke with; about the conversations he has had in his more recent travels; and about the ongoing struggle for social transformation on Turtle Island.

To learn more about Another Politics and about Dixon's other work, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit its website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable. has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.