Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Here’s an interesting article on the ongoing attempt by white supremacists to take over the Sons of Confederate Veterans. If successful, it will change the group from a historical association made up of descendants of Confederate veterans to the largest white power organization in the country. The Sierra Club fended off a similar attempt last year. This is illustrative of the problems non-profit groups like these can experience when they are run on a democratic model. It’s easy for extremist groups to have their supporters join the targeted non-profit en masse, and then put forward some of these new members as candidates for leadership positions. If the non-profit’s rank-and-file members do not vote in large enough numbers in the leadership election (as they are apt not to), then the infiltrators can win, gaining power over both the non-profit’s name and bank account. It makes me wonder if these organizations might not be better served by a system that sacrifices some of its democratic elements for more internal stability.