If you wish to set up a new social movement and make it successful, you'll need to attract followers and ensure that they stay. You also need to make sure that the ideas promoted by the movement are understood by each adept and that they spread among the uninitiated ones.
Disclaimer: some examples are from religion, others are from extremist movements; this is because they are good study cases (since they were, and some still are, historically successful), not because I promote them.
Here is a list of items that need to be addressed in order to make it happen:
Low entry barrier - one can join you without an effort, without a subscription fee, etc; here are some examples:
- one can say "I'm European", even though they did absolutely nothing to gain that status - they were simply born there;
- today many people in Moldova identify themselves as christians, simply because it is the "default setting" and they didn't try to doubt it; how many of them are going to church on a weekly basis? How many study the bible? How many know all the rituals?
Catchy name - to ensure that it is easy to spread the word.
- Imagine that you're around a group of people and that you tell them "I'm a part of Soreum, it is awesome!" vs "I joined the social movement for the liberation of geeks". Which one is easier to remember?
- If you go for a long name, make sure it has a nice acronym (ex: English socialism - Ingsoc, Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 - PATRIOT)
- Catchy slogan - can be used with the logo, or instead of it (ex: sometimes drawing or carrying a banner is not an option, while your mouth is always there with you);
Simple graphical symbol - one that instantly identifies the group, one that can be easily drawn by hand, without the aid of an instrument. This way adepts can spread their presence by drawing it on walls, copybooks, clothes, etc.
- "Peace" is an example of such a symbol, it has some quirks though - it is easy to remember, but easy to draw incorrectly ;-) Some other examples are: the swastika, the christian cross, David's star;
- The Soviet "hammer and chisel" is easy to remember but difficult to represent, because it does not rely on graphical primitives (lines, circles) and requires more time to get it right. If you simplify it be reducing it to graphical primitives, it doesn't look very good;
- Ideally, you need something that can be drawn in a small number of strokes.
Clear codex - such that it is very easy to follow these rules, because there are not too many of them and they are easy to parse; examples:
- good - the ten commandments of christianity (short, easy to remember, easy to share with someone else);
- good - "four legs good, two legs bad", from Orwell's Animal Farm;
- bad - the book of driving rules of Moldova; the text is very difficult to parse and understand; I'm not surprised the rules are broken
Clear objectives - if someone asks "why are you a part of Soreum?" one can give a concise answer, for instance
- "we promote freedom of speech, which is important in a modern society";
- "a modern society should not rely on software encumbered by patents";
- A good leader - Someone with high moral standards, who can be a role model. Ex: "And if he were here, he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes"
Please feel free to suggest other important elements of a successful movement.
i’ll suggest this :
* catchy music maybe
* regular meetings with some kind of rituals
* pride of being part of the cult
* a charming lider
about Low entry barrier - i’ve read somewhere that more difficut the entrance, the bigger is the pride of being part of the comunity (the newbies must do different dificult tasks). But i think this works only if the cult has a good reputation, which, maybe, can be constructed artificially apriori.
Comment from: gr8dude [Member]
Thanks for the input.
What you say about the entry barrier is familiar. Some organizations have a complex initiation process, the more you invest in it, the more likely you are to stick to it.
For example, if you wish to become a member of the Alpha-Rho-Omega brotherhood, you have to drink a liter of piss while standing naked in front of a group of people.
Sure, it may work, but there are other cults, which are much more successful, and they don’t do that; ex: christianity.
If one has to choose between drinking 1l of piss and nothing, they’ll most likely choose ‘nothing’ :-)
memo: a common enemy
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