Institutions: Organizational Fetishes vs. Organizational Focus
by, 1st December 2011 at 02:53 (762 Views)
There's organizational fetishism, and then there's organizational focus. This may evoke a kind of secular evangelism on the subject, but without organizational focus, one will never see a revolutionary period for the working class.
Organizational focus demands a synthesis of the best elements each lesser "form" has to offer:
- Immediate trade unions were formed in opposition to craft unions, organizing active skilled and unskilled workers on the basis of industry.
- Alternative culture (including mutual aid societies) were formed primarily because of the economic and cultural conditions of the working class in the past, though they could also serve as supplementary vehicles for political education ("propaganda") and agitation.
- "Parliamentary parties" were formed on the basis of satisfying the need for class-for-itself action through working-class political (or "politico-political") representation beyond the capabilities of mere lobby groups, pressure groups, etc.
- Raw syndicates were practically formed more on the basis of how to better organize broader strike action (general strikes, mass strikes, and political strikes) than "interest aggregation of multiple non-competitive categorised units to negotiate and manage an economy" (wiki).
- "Vanguard parties," from the formation of the Comintern to Lars Lih's profoundly true and important rediscovery, formed on the basis of organizing "proletarians who stand out due to their intellectual development, and these then bring [modern socialism] into the class struggle of the proletariat where conditions allow" (Kautsky).
- Factory, other workplace committees, and federations/confederations of such organizations were formed in order to exercise supervision over management (beyond Marx and Guesde's calls for "workers statistical commissions" to be performed by trade unions), counter lockouts and/or sabotage by capitalists, planning production at the micro level (as opposed to syndicalist planning at the macro level), etc.
- Workers councils based on geographic constituency and not workplaces were formed on the need for radicalized institutions of skilled and unskilled workers to be inclusive of pensioners, disabled persons, etc.
- "Social movements" were/are formed upon mass disillusionment in existing institutions to address societal grievances.
That's where the mass party-movement comes in, on the premise that real parties are real movements and vice versa. Only it can:
- Organize in general economically active workers in skilled and unskilled occupations
- Perform key functions and perhaps all functions of a "workers statistical commission"
- Improve the culture of the working class
- Satisfy the need for class-for-itself action through independent working-class political (or "politico-political") representation
- Organize broader strike action
- Organize "proletarians who stand out due to their intellectual development, and these then bring [modern socialism] into the class struggle of the proletariat where conditions allow" and all that "Educate! Agitate! Organize!" jazz
- Exercise supervision over political and economic management
- Be inclusive of pensioners, long-term disabled persons, in addition to the usual, economically active workers in skilled and unskilled occupations
- Be based on mass disillusionment in existing institutions (outside the party-movement) to address societal grievances
- Acknowledge in-house bureaucracy-as-process as a means of preparatory organization, as an alternative to existing bureaucratic organs of state administration and inevitable spontaneist reliance upon specific coordinator individuals from smashed state bureaucracies
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