Many people worked on the questions for the Resoc poll. It does a good job, perhaps better than any other poll available, of summarizing important issues and revealing broad attitudes to them – or it will do a good job of that, if people will take it.
So the question becomes – will people take it?
Yes, it requires some time and involves some thought. But you can do some of it, and take a break, and even do more in another session if you like. Or you can plow through all at once. Up to you.
Yes, sometimes you will feel like you are answering essentially the same question from two opposite angles, but this is to help focus people’s attention and in any case won’t be seen in the same way by all takers. The two way approach to issues also avoids or reduces bias in the questions.
I have to tell you, I want to know – and I wonder why anyone using this site wouldn’t want to know – how all the readers of Z Magazine and all the users of ZNet and for that matter all the readers and users of other left sites, and all the members of various movements and organizations, would answer these questions.
Why would I want to know?
Because if we find great unity already, we should get on to practical program. And if we don’t find great unity already, then we should focus on the areas of disagreement and try to explore possibilities.
It is always germane and parmont to consider these questions: What can we unite around? What can we agree to disagree about, while we unite in any case? And what still divides us, impeding our uniting?
Surely knowing our reactions to the poll would help us address the above. We each take it and we can all see it, and use it, however we each desire!
Perhaps a compilation of answers would reveal that once we ignore nitpicking differences, a great many of us have way more in common than we think. Or perhaps we would discover that we have real and serious differences – but also pinpoint where those differences lie, so we can hear each other about them, and work through disputes to arrive at new agreements. Aren’t both those outcomes worth a few minutes time?
While taking the poll, I felt – how come, if changing the world is our agenda, and if we believe in participation and democracy, in the past forty years I have never answered anything like this, and have thus never known where hundreds much less thousands or tens of thousands or even millions of other people stand on these issues? Why haven’t organizations done this – the WSF, for example, and others, including Z in the past? Were we afraid to know? Didn’t we think such knowledge of our own views would provide a powerful basis for working together? Or at least for trying to become able to work together? Didn’t we want to work together? Is this an instance of not daring to struggle, not daring to win?
Whatever the reasons we haven’t tried to determine these views before, I very much hope other ZCom users will take the time to add their answers now.
So – are you thinking about whether to take the poll or not?
If you are, then yes, of course it could turn out that other users won’t take it, so that you will have put an hour or two into an endeavor that failed to gel. On the other hand, if you do take it, and your taking it inspires others to take it, and that in turn snowballs to make it happen in a big way – won’t that have been worth risking an hour?
And yes, I suppose it could be that after hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of people take the poll, the cumulative results wind up too vague or amorphous or incomplete to help much with future efforts, but I sincerely doubt that. I suspect, instead, that if many folks take the poll seriously, the tallied answers will help galvanize further communication, exploration, and even organization – and wouldn’t that be something to contribute too?
As but one possibility, this April there are plans to convene a fifth International in Caracas. Wouldn’t a massive compendium of attitudes on critically important issues help that endeavor? I believe it would!
So, okay, please don’t leave me and about 105 other folks who have already taken the poll hanging out there – as if going on record with some of our views was a stupid thing for us to have done. instead, join us, so we can together give this idea a fighting chance at accomplishing something valuable.