(Notes to self, part 1) Kasama, Red Spark Collective and contradictions of movement
by, 1st June 2011 at 13:30 (6043 Views)
Notes to self on Kasama, the Red Spark Collective (Seattle)
and the contradictions of our movement
A supporter of the newly formed Red Spark Collective, here in Seattle, asked for my opinion on their founding documents (ie: their unity statement and report on first steps) four weeks ago. Since that time, this topic has consumed me. The Red Spark Collective was formed in support of the Kasama project--with which I have a fair amount of experience, both as a former contributor and as a constructive critic.
I have found it difficult to reply to this young comrade for several reasons. It is essentially impossible to deal, in an intelligent way, with the Red Spark Collective without also dealing with:
(1) the Kasama project and
(2) what the Kasama project is attempting to do, and
(3) what is holding the Kasama project back, and
(4) the contradictions that have left the revolutionary movement,
.... in all the countries of bourgeois democracy, paralyzed and helpless.
My problem is that I find it impossible to write a single sentence without experiencing a flood of memories, and emotions, of battles won and lost: the loss of my own organization (the Marxist-Leninist Party, in 1993) and the experience of witnessing (just as the revolution in communications, a weapon which, in the hands of the proletariat, will prove to be of unimaginable power, was beginning to emerge) the most fearless and dedicated comrades fall into either cult-building or total passivity.
Everything, of course, is connected, in an infinite number of ways, to everything else. And yet, of all the contradictions in the movement--some are important and command attention from those who have made up their minds to change the world--while other contradictions are basically just noise.
I have done a lot of writing about all of the elements of this story, including topics related to the crisis of theory and the nature of the organizations which our movement needs. What is new, for me, in the present situation, is that conditions in the movement have matured to the point where it appears necessary that I assemble everything together in a way that is concise, understandable and compelling; that is calm and without a lot of the excessive drama that is typical when activists attempt to confront deeply rooted contradictions.
This post will not be the product of that effort. The product of that effort will (hopefully) come soon in a different post--one that is shorter, less scattered, more organized and easier to read. This thread will consist of notes (mainly to myself, but also open to public comment) that will help me sort out what is important and what is not.
This thread is very much "under construction". I will add, delete and modify fragments, in public, because, after four weeks, there is too much that has to come out.
Material that requires comment or analysis:
From the Red Spark Collective:
from the Kasama Project:
- The Red Spark Collective: Beginning, Taking Shape, and Taking its First Steps (Liam Wright)
- Red Spark Collective Unity Statement (The Red Spark Collective (Seattle))
- Shaping the Kasama Project (Enzo Rhyner, J. B. Connors, John Steele, Kobayashi Maru, Mike Ely, Rita Stephan and Rosa Harris)
- Sites of Beginning Part 1: Are Communist Openings Structural or Evental?
- Sites of Beginning Part 2: Nodules of the Advanced
- Sites of Beginning Part 3: Creating a Revolutionary Subject
- Dead ends & road maps: Building a new socialist movement -- The Dan Damage discussion, based on Hal Draper's analysis, in the early 1970's that "the whole strategy of attempting to form membership organizations right now in the socialist movement was a mistake" (thread collected 70 comments)
(to be continued ... )
- (see below)
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