From Overthrowing the Profit System to Not for Profit

The rise of NGOs and the decline of mass movements

When: Saturday, January 8, 2011 3:00 PM

Where: Florida International University, room WUC 155

3000 N.E. 151st Street

North Miami FL 33181

The past forty years have seen an explosion in the growth of NGOs. The World Bank

estimates that nearly 15% of all overseas development aid is now channeled through

NGOs. At the same time, we have seen a precipitous decline in mass social movements.

One Stuggle South Florida is hosting a discussion on the rise of the NGO and the

fall of mass movements. Our hope is to foster an inter-organizational dialogue to

raise awareness of the NGO trap and how together we can rebuild mass movements for

justice, social change, and popular power.

Join us to help find a way forward.

I. Intro

A. Definition

B. Scope

II. NGOS as Agents of Capitalism

A. Enables capitalists to shield wealth from taxation

B. Gives capitalists another mechanism of control

C. Shifts goals from structural change to charity (part 1)

III. NGOs as Agents of the State

A. Anti-violence programs

B. Shifts social programs from state to NGOs

1. Workforce One

2. Faith Based Aid

IV. NGOs as Agents of Imperialism

A. Shifts goals from structural change to charity (part 2)

1. Haiti

2. Cultural programs

3. Micro-loans

4. Population control

B. Supports imperial agenda

1. Fundamentalist religious revivals

2. Save the women, i.e., brown women from brown men.

V. NGOs as Agents of Demobilization

A. Gives donors control of agenda

1. Civil Rights Movement


3. Changes focus from movement building to social work.

B. Professionalization of movement work

1. Changes oppressed from subject to object

2. Requires everything to be packaged at successes to continue funding, rather

than dropping failed strategies

C. Shifts goals from structural change to charity (part 3)

1. Better Policing, not community control

2. Conservation, not environmentalism

3. Job training not unions

D. NGO Problems

1. Scams: How to “Save the World” and make a profit

2. Exploitation of workers

VI. Conclusion

A. What is to be done?