photo by SG

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Poverty of Secrecy

Interesting article about strategic organizing. Definitely very "lefty," but I can dig most of it. It's a troublesome analysis at times, particularly the over-valorization of the Civil Rights movement's more pacifistic elements at the expense of its more confrontational pieces like Deacons for Defense and Justice. (This seems to be a common disease that anti-racist white people on the Left contend with.)

My favorite part though, discusses the failure of security culture to accomplish anything other than scare us.

Adopting a discipline of secrecy may at some times and places be useful, but it is a choice that needs careful thought, especially when we consider that it is often not necessary even in police states. In the US., which as Otpur [anti-Milosovic youth group that helped bring him down] can tell you is far from a police state, security culture hurts the movement in several ways.
However, because security culture generates trustlessness, protesters have a hard time trusting allies. They sometimes enter a confrontation with authority politically isolated, having failed to reach out and open up the communication channels with people busy on other projects. Where all this comes crashing down is at the moment of state repression, which is when allies are often most needed and also when there is most confusion in the air. That’s when some radicals, who refused to reach out and trust their potential allies, say to the allies: “Trust us and do X, Y, and Z!” When the allies don’t immediately come to attention and salute, the beleaguered protesters become disappointed and even angry!

Worthwhile observations and overall a solid read. Much suggested for those interested in building a larger movement. (Not, of course, the be-all and end-all of anarchist practice, but it's still pretty important, as anarchists seem to forget sometimes.)

No comments: