The phrase comes from a speech given by Grace Lee Boggs, the 99 year-old Chinese American activist and thinker who, among other accomplishments, was the first person to translate three of Marx’s keystone essays from The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 into English. In the speech, which the company says Boggs gave roughly a decade ago, she talked about quantum physics and complexity science—and what they have to do with social change.
“She said we need to move away from Newtonian approaches to organizing: mass rallies and singular issues in linear strategies,” the Complex Movements collective wrote in an e-mail.
Instead, the collective explained, Boggs encouraged “a quantum approach: small-scale and deeply rooted community projects that are interconnected through decentralized networks and webs. This led us down a rabbit hole of exploration into quantum physics and then complexity science, particularly emergence theory.”