Archive for the ‘Problems of Organization’ Category

Toward a Mass Party

Posted: June 10, 2011 by revunity in Problems of Organization, Strategy

Part of the purpose of the Revolutionary Unity Group is to grapple with the problems of our movement. What is the situation in which revolutionaries find themselves today. How did we get here? How do we move forward? One of the leading revolutionary blogs, The Kasama Project, recently posted a piece, “Dead ends & road maps: Building a new socialist movement,” RU has been discussing internally. We post here two responses.

The responses are the opinions of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of other members of the RUG, nor should they necessarily be taken to represent the views of the RUG.

Peter Moody

While seriously critiquing existing organizational forms, the article didn’t dismiss them entirely, noting that organizations that do exist can produce some of the most aware and honest militants in various movements. I’ve been thinking, somewhat along the lines of what the CPGB advocates, that all the existing socialist organizations potentially have something to contribute; they all carry a piece of the truth, to perhaps put it another way. At the same time, simply lumping all the existing organizations together without any sort of meaningful commitment to a new organizational structure and pluralist politics within revolutionary socialism will simply produce a macro-sect rather than a micro-sect. (more…)

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The Revolutionary Unity Group attempted to purchase the following ad in “The Socialist.” The quote is from the SPUSA Statement of Principles. At first, “The Socialist” refused to run the ad, only weeks later agreeing to allow us to run it at 1/4 page, though it was designed as, and we had agreed to pay for, an half page. “The Socialist” has become so hostile to socialist politics now that even quoting the SPUSA’s Statement of Principles is not allowed.

The Ad “The Socialist” Didn’t Want You to See (pdf, 203K)

THE TYRANNY of STRUCTURELESSNESS

Posted: November 14, 2010 by revunity in Problems of Organization
Tags: , ,

by Jo Freeman aka Joreen
The earliest version of this article was given as a talk at a conference called by the Southern Female Rights Union, held in Beulah, Mississippi in May 1970. It was written up for Notes from the Third Year (1971), but the editors did not use it. It was then submitted to several movement publications, but only one asked permission to publish it; others did so without permission. The first official place of publication was in Vol. 2, No. 1 of The Second Wave (1972). This early version in movement publications was authored by Joreen. Different versions were published in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol. 17, 1972-73, pp. 151-165, and Ms. magazine, July 1973, pp. 76-78, 86-89, authored by Jo Freeman. This piece spread all over the world. Numerous people have edited, reprinted, cut, and translated “Tyranny” for magazines, books and web sites, usually without the permission or knowledge of the author. The version below is a blend of the three cited here.

During the years in which the women’s liberation movement has been taking shape, a great emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless groups as the main–if not sole–organizational form of the movement. The source of this idea was a natural reaction against the over-structured society in which most of us found ourselves, and the inevitable control this gave others over our lives, and the continual elitism of the Left and similar groups among those who were supposedly fighting this overstructuredness.

The idea of “structurelessness,” however, has moved from a healthy counter to those tendencies to becoming a goddess in its own right. The idea is as little examined as the term is much used, but it has become an intrinsic and unquestioned part of women’s liberation ideology. For the early development of the movement this did not much matter. It early defined its main goal, and its main method, as consciousness-raising, and the “structureless” rap group was an excellent means to this end. The looseness and informality of it encouraged participation in discussion, and its often supportive atmosphere elicited personal insight. If nothing more concrete than personal insight ever resulted from these groups, that did not much matter, because their purpose did not really extend beyond this. (more…)

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Posted: October 15, 2010 by revunity in Problems of Organization

Looking back on the wreckage of socialism in the 21st Century, it is clear that the old answers will no longer suffice, if they ever did.

We do not have all of the answers, and we likely have very few of them. We do know, however, that some answers are wrong, a dead end. There is no evidence to suggest that their time was not yet ripe. Social democracy and opportunism remain dead ends.

Social democracy has failed universally. When it tried to challenge the ruling class, it was overthrown militarily or confronted in such a way that it retreated. Mostly, it hasn’t tried, instead betraying the workers.

(more…)