Grace Lee Boggs*
Grace Lee Boggs was long a fellow traveller with James in the factions and divisions of sectarian Marxism, a student and friend of Third World revolutionaries.
She and James Boggs thought their way into a “politics of personal development” that rejected partisan orthodoxies in favour of a more iterative “dialectical humanism”, in which political visions and the peo- ple who hold them evolve together through struggle.
From the systems thinker Margaret Wheatley came Boggs’s frequent affirmation of “critical connections” over “critical mass” – a conviction that the germ of seismic change lies in the thick relationality of how people choose to self-organise day to day. She drifted from Leninism, but the imperative of self-governance only deepened.
Later in life, Boggs’s attention turned from achieving state communism to commoning, the work of people continually discovering what they are seeking to achieve by stewarding shared projects and resources.
She became a mentor to veterans of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street and its “leaderless” travails.
1.1. In my garden
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