Activism industry
The activism industry is composed of organizations and individuals who make a living from activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

, involvement in action to bring about change. The number of organizations who employ people to perform this work is sufficiently large that Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 is now a job classification. Movements across the political spectrum can be described as activist in nature.

Many organizations whose primary activity is activism may be defined as being nonprofit organizations. Some are non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s. Most activist organisations do no manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 of goods.

The term "activism industry" has been used to refer to the practice of outsourcing canvassing
Canvassing is the systematic initiation of direct contact with a target group of individuals commonly used during political campaigns. A campaign team will knock on doors of private residences within a particular geographic area, engaging in face-to-face personal interaction with voters...

 fundraising operations; however, activist organizations engage in other activities as well. The specific activist tactic of influencing decisions made by government is called lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

. Many groups have staff assigned to do lobbying. In the United States, lobbying is regulated by the federal government.

Fields in the activism industry

  • Anarchism
    Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

  • Animal rights
    Animal rights
    Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

  • Anti-globalization movement
    Anti-globalization movement
    The anti-globalization movement, or counter-globalisation movement, is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement, alter-globalization movement, anti-globalist movement, anti-corporate globalization movement, or...

  • Anti-Capitalism
    Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system....

  • Civil rights movement
    Civil rights movement
    The civil rights movement was a worldwide political movement for equality before the law occurring between approximately 1950 and 1980. In many situations it took the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change by nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations it was...

  • Demonstrations
    Demonstration (people)
    A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

  • Environmental activism
    • Environmentalism
      Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

    • Alternative Transportation Movement
    • Ecology movement
      Ecology movement
      The global ecology movement is based upon environmental protection, and is one of several new social movements that emerged at the end of the 1960s. As a values-driven social movement, it should be distinguished from the pre-existing science of ecology....

    • Environmental movement
      Environmental movement
      The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

    • Environmental organization
      Environmental organization
      An environmental organization is an organization that seeks to protect, analyze or monitor the environment against misuse or degradation or lobby for these goals....

    • Green movement
      Green Movement
      The Green Movement refers to a series of actions after the 2009 Iranian presidential election, in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office...

    • Organizations based upon Green economics
  • Fund raising
    • United Way of America organization
    • Fund for the Public Interest
  • Gun politics
    Gun politics
    Gun politics addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and noncriminal use. Gun politics deals with rules, regulations, and restrictions on the use, ownership, and distribution of firearms.-National sovereignty:...

  • Human rights
    Human rights
    Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

  • Labor movement organizations
  • Libertarianism
    Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

  • Nationalist activism
  • Peace movement
    Peace movement
    A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war , minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace...

  • Racist and anti-racist movements
  • Religious activism
    • Evangelicalism
      Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

       - Promoting religious views, hoping others will be interested.
    • Proselytism - Attempting to convert religious or other views.
    • Some religions encourage their adherents to take part in other forms of activism
      • Alms
        Alms or almsgiving is a religious rite which, in general, involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue.It exists in a number of religions. In Philippine Regions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks and nuns to...

      • Christian left
        Christian left
        The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice....

      • Christian right
        Christian right
        Christian right is a term used predominantly in the United States to describe "right-wing" Christian political groups that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies...

      • Social Gospel
        Social Gospel
        The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

      • Southern Christian Leadership Conference
        Southern Christian Leadership Conference
        The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...

  • Senior Citizens
  • Social work
    Social work
    Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

  • Welfare state
    Welfare state
    A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

Activism in capitalist societies

In capitalist
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 societies, when civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 are present, full-time activists are employed on wages. Volunteer activists may support themselves by working full-time or part-time. Most governments encourage public support of non-profit organisations by granting some form of tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 relief for donations to charitable organization
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

s, sometimes including donations of time as well as money. Governments usually attempt to deny these benefits to activists by restricting the political activity of tax-exempt organisations. This can be controversial, because the borderline between political activity and educational or religious activity is not always clear.

Free societies rarely have explicit restrictions on political activism, although many forms of activism involve committing other crimes such as aggravated trespass
Trespass is an area of tort law broadly divided into three groups: trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land.Trespass to the person, historically involved six separate trespasses: threats, assault, battery, wounding, mayhem, and maiming...


Forced Activism

Powerful organisations, such as government bureaucracies and large corporations, often organize activism to promote their own interests, and sometimes coerce their employees and others to participate. However, where civil liberties exist, the penalty for failing to comply with forced activism is often unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

, rather than imprisonment
Imprisonment is a legal term.The book Termes de la Ley contains the following definition:This passage was approved by Atkin and Duke LJJ in Meering v Grahame White Aviation Co....

 for political crimes, as is often the case in contemporary societies lacking in civil liberties. A number of techniques are commonly used:
  • Paid or obligatory attendance on work time at rallies. Often the size of the crowd is claimed to indicate support of policies. This technique was recently used by the Tasmania
    Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania—the 26th largest island in the world—and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 507,626 , of whom almost half reside in the greater Hobart...

    n logging
    Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

     industry in the 2004 Australian Federal election.
  • Promotion or continued employment being dependent upon voluntary attendance on holidays at certain functions or rallies.
  • Requests by government officials or corporate managers that a body of people support a public letter of support for a particular cause.
  • Requirements for students to undertake politically motivated employment during semester breaks.
  • Calling public meetings with the sole purpose of criticising an individual (who may be at the meeting) who is believed to hold unacceptable views. This technique of criticism / self-criticism at mass meetings was commonly used in the People's Republic of China
    People's Republic of China
    China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

     during the Cultural Revolution
    Cultural Revolution
    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

  • Compulsory or heavily suggested financial or time contributions to causes or organizations. Peace loans in the Warsaw Pact
    Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

     countries in the 1950s operated on this basis. Similarly, some workplace charity drives in the West
    Western world
    The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

    approach this level of compulsion.

Restrictions by governments can create what are state-controlled activism industries (just as some states control other industries), grant monopolies to organizations, or divert government resources to influence change.

External links

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