Friday, July 03, 2009

Don't let the Authoritarians win by default

Being in Seattle, and seeing the calendar for activist events, it's striking to me that groups connected to Workers' World, the RCP, and the ISO, are in existence partially for the face that they organize stuff while many other groups and associations don't do much until there's an actual protest planned. The authoritarian groups have speakers that come through town, they have movie nights, the organize panel discussions, sometimes have study groups. All of these things are actions that democratic and non-authoritarian socialist groups, as well as anarchist, anarcho-syndicalist, and anarcho-communist, ones could in fact be doing. I know that there's some really good stuff happening in the Seattle area regarding anarcho-communist ideas, but as for the rest, I don't think that there's really anything publicly going on. And it's sad.

The thing that turns most people in the U.S. off to the Left is that they look out on vast field of political ideas in American society and they see the representatives of the Left being people who either think that Stalin was a cool guy, that Mao was completely right on, or that Trotsky and whatever duly deputized successor were and are the representatives of God on earth. It turns people off.

In most other countries the situation is not like this. In most other places you go to sane organizations representing different facets of the socialist idea are in existence and can provide support for people who agree with the ideas of the left, want to do something with them, but don't want to buy into authoritarian craziness and cult like behavior. We need that here in the United States.

We need to start those organizations, find the speakers that fit the bill and bring them here, show our own movies, have our own discussion groups--that will be honest discussion groups and not just recruiting grounds or attempts at indoctrination--meet, greet, eat, and organize campaigns that include both advocacy and marches.

1 comment:

Tristan said...

Seems like this in the UK.
The far left is dominated by people like George Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party.
The centre-left is dominated by political parties who seem to be becoming more authoritarian (especially Labour and the Greens).

Until I started looking I'd never heard of the IWW or any other non-authoritarian left group.