“One cannot predict, before the fact, the results of any endeavor like this. Sometimes embarking on creating a new project or organization goes nowhere, or continues for a bit, and then folds. Other times, lasting structures come into existence that make important contributions for years or even decades. What do we hope for?”
The above quote is taken from the History and Future Hopes section of our (IOPS) key documents. It highlights a simple, but nonetheless, important truth: IOPS will succeed or fail, largely depending on what the interim membership do.
Will IOPS develop past it's interim phase? Will we continue for a bit and then fold? Or will we create lasting structures capable of contributing to significant social change?
In answer to the question posed at the end of the above quote – what do we hope for? – we obviously want the latter. We want to create lasting structures!
But what does this mean in terms of actual objectives for existing members during our interim phase? What should our priorities be during the interim phase? What criteria do we need to meet before we can formally launch IOPS, bringing the interim phase to an end, and with it make the ICC redundant? This is what we should be organising for now! This is what we should be focusing on! But what does it actually entail? What should our interim goals be?
Here is what I would like to see:
- A minimum of 5000 members.
- For these members to be regularly organising face-to-face meetings at the local chapter level, practicing self-management etc.
- For these chapters to be engaged in self-education in which members develop a good understanding of IOPS key documents – our values, vision, structure, etc.
- For these chapters to be engaged in recruitment drives to ensure that (1) the membership is increasing, and (2) they are attempting to build a membership which reflects the community in which they are based in terms of race, gender, class, age, etc.
- For these local chapters to be doing outreach within their community and workplaces, raising awareness of IOPS, etc.
- For these local chapters to be networking with other local chapters within their region in preparation for the establishment of National branches.
- For members and chapters to be engaged, in solidarity with the broader left, in existing campaigns for social justice.
- For chapters to be posting regular reports on the IOPS website on organisational issues for others to see and comment on.
- For chapters to be implementing some sort of membership dues system as a means of raising funds for activities, including the formal launch of IOPS.
I think that if we can get 5000 members, not just on the site but active in local chapters, engaged in the above type of activities then we might be on to something. It seems to me that the above would constitute the foundations of "lasting structure" with the potential to make "important contributions for years or even decades".
It is also exciting to think that if we could get 5000 committed members who are willing to contribute an average of say $20 per month that would generate $100,000 per month or $1,200,000 per year. With that kind of money at our disposal we should be able to engage in some serious organising, which should help draw more members into our organisation, which in turn would generate more membership dues.
That is the kind of dynamic I think we need to establish if we are to realise our hope of building a serious international revolutionary organisation. But before we can do that we need to meet our interim goals.
Do you share these goals?
Do you think they are achievable, say over the next 12 months?