photo by SG

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Organization

Organizing is the most efficient way of creating a world. Simply waiting for a moment of insurrection is insufficient strategically.

Creating highly organized programs and campaigns empowers people, it does not take away their power. Organized does not mean the same as proscribed. It means a plan of action, accountable to the participants (subjects) and the society on which it acts (objects).

Anarchists need to stop fearing organization. The only way to end capitalism is to confront it with a front of heterogenous elements which can work together in this task. Anarchy, as noted so long ago, is order.

I do not believe that anarchism is a project that a small number of people can carry out. A small number of people can carry out anarchism in a small place, in a small time. These fights are beautiful and I respect them utterly. But Rome wasn't built in a day and it won't be torn by an affinity group.

We simply cannot turn anarchism into a "small-a" idea, where our tactics pervade other groups (consensus, for example) but we lack our own organizations. Likewise, we cannot abandon the masses, as some of our contemporaries would suggest that we do. The working class, in its most complex understanding, a multifaceted group of people that includes people at the point of production, excluded from production, and those who reproduce the ability to produce, are still the most revolutionary class of people in the spectacular economy.

I write these things because they seem so logical and obvious that they need not be said. Yet anarchists still think that we can turn inwards to our own comrades, remove organizing others as a priority, and engage in political work without organization. These suggestions may be pleasing on a theoretical level, but they are pragmatically unimplementable. We may practice them, but we do so at the risk of accomplishing our goals. While I remain cognizant of the exhortation that one cannot fight alienation with alienated means, I recognize that there are unalienated means of organization. If not, then what is the point of organizing to change society in the first place?

1 comment:

William said...

"I recognize that there are unalienated means of organization."

Ignoring the fact that there aren't. I'd like to hear just how the hell individuals can be held as parts in a greater structure and yet be unalienated.

Strategy, coherence and reach are not the same thing as "organization." Truth is we can do all the awesome things you want without, say, subjecting ourselves to some bullshit institution that runs on Robert's Rules of Order. You just want to cling to the cold familiarity and security of monolithic Leftist leviathans (with flowers in their hair perhaps, but leviathans still). Where you know that someone is going to do a task because there's a structure and a process to hold them under. But if these individuals would otherwise stray from such desired behavior you need not to subject the individual more, but to fucking look at the effectiveness of the projects on the grand scale. If the individuals are not spontaneously motivated to act then there is something wrong already.

Intelligence, passion and commitment are the crucial things missing from the Anarchist movement. Organization strangles all of them. (So does lifestylism and nihilism.)

Instead of externalizing the realities of our interpersonal power relationships and distancing ourselves from raw sincerity by playing dress-up in the "grown-up" trappings of formal organization we need to roll up our sleeves and engage with the world around us on the only level that really matters: the individual.