Why Znet is Different

Since this new site opened to beta testing I’ve gotten a little more active with Znet again after letting it slip for a while, and it’s gotten me to think about why I’ve stayed interested in this pursuit for about 15 years now. I think in large part it’s because it has always felt like we are building something good, together. I was reminded of this while reading Michael Albert’s latest blog post, his lengthy but worth reading Q & A about the changes. Skip down to number seven to get to the gist of what I’m talking about.

7. So what are the political goals and ambitions of the upgrade?

Speaking for myself, my life is organized around winning social change, not around advancing any particular project. So I don’t think of what I am trying to do as building Z Magazine, or ZNet, or ZSpace, etc. I think of it as trying to contribute to changing society and the world. That’s always the driving goal that takes precedence over narrower concerns. The reason for risking our current condition as staff at our various projects by seeking growth and not just stability, for example, is because affecting social progress requires more than just standing still on a plateau. Having a comfortable project has its benefits, but having an evolving and enlarging and diversifying project is what social change requires.

Evolving, enlarging and diversifying–I think that’s what feels so different, plus the chance to participate at various levels. I don’t think Michael has ever turned down an offer from me to help in some way. If you compare that to an organization like Move On, which has developed a huge online presence in order to make political changes, it’s really very different. I’ve given money to Move On for various drives, but I never really felt like a part of anything. Other left media organizations allow comments and such, but they seem to lack any movement. Znet combines a feeling of progress, lots of participation opportunities, actual solidarity, and strong underlying values that I find no where else.

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