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Rotating Power?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

I’m not usually a big fan of “rotating power.”

Power is not a object that I can wrap up and pass along to the next person in line. Power shifts when someone takes it.

The Power of Fire

I used to tend fire at California Witchcamp. For eleven years I was the ritual firekeeper. Talk about power -- I loved it!

Over the years I recruited a couple of helpers and showed them the basics, but none really got it -- till Rosalie came along. I didn’t recruit Rosalie -- she stepped up. She worked with me for several years, learned what I knew, and then shot past me.

When that moment came -- it was a specific ritual around 2007 when her vision clearly outpaced mine -- we discussed it and agreed that she was now the main firetender, and I would back her up.

The shift was organic, respectful -- and it worked. Five years later, Rosalie is still the main fire-tender, and has trained Tom to co-tend.

Wait - Let’s Rotate Property!

So for me, “rotation” is not an abstract value to be placed on a clock or calendar. When the moment is right, I move aside. Till then, I stick with what works.

But maybe I’m thinking too small.

We talk about rotating volunteer tasks, as if the task is the locus of some mystical social power that can be magically transmitted to the next volunteer.

Yet we never discuss the much larger ways people are forced to “rotate” real social power -- such as where we live.

Fact - tenants are often forced to “rotate out” of their homes by the property-owning class.

Fact - the owning class does not voluntarily “rotate.”

Getting Serious about Rotation

What if we took the idea of rotating power seriously?

Will home-owners consider “rotating” with tenants? Turn your house and your 1990s mortgage payment over to me, and you go on Craigs List to find your market-rate apartment for the next couple of decades.

Hey, I'm starting to like this “rotation”  thing!

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Luke Hauser is an organizer, musician, and parajournalist in the service of the Goddess and global revolution.


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