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“Our Revolution”: Potential Promise and Possible Problems


On August 24th over 2,500 house parties simultaneously viewed a presentation publicly introducing the new organization, “Our Revolution.” I eagerly watched the talks along with an estimated 40,000 other viewers.

“Our Revolution” explicitly aligned itself with a long history of feminist, civil rights, labor, and ecological activism and committed itself to continue that heritage.

“Our Revolution” also offered a summary of the Sanders campaign’s accomplishments in shaping national awareness and aspirations, recognized that change only comes from grass roots activism, and noted that champions of change in public office can help grass roots efforts.

“Our Revolution” also pledged to devote major energies to grass roots outreach, marches, rallies, civil disobedience, and all manner of efforts to pressure desirable outcomes from otherwise unyielding elites – including, of course, Democratic Party elites. Alongside that, it also pledged to support electoral campaigns to raise policy awareness and to win local, state, and national office to have those offices aid popular activism.

I am convinced if it develops positively “Our Revolution” can in those ways continue the momentum of the Sanders campaign fulfilling a very worthy aim.

However, during the introduction, three correctable but serious problems arose and these merit widespread attention lest “Our Revolution” succumb to avoidable flaws. Two of these problems seemed obvious, one less so.

First, and most immediately evident, during the hour and a half presentation of “Our Revolution” there was literally no mention of anti war activism or of U.S. military policy, interventionism, drones, or even the Pentagon budget. Hopefully this was either a strange but temporary oversight due to tactical avoidance of such issues during the campaign, or a result of a few speechwriters being careless and no one noticing. It is morally essential to address such matters. It is also strategically hard to imagine a highly engaged multi issue, multi tactic radical project that addresses everything but militarism sustaining itself.

Second, and only a bit less obvious, was the absence of any discussion of the organization’s structure, and especially its decision making. Democracy, much less self management, was never mentioned as a value or aim. There was, however, an indication that as of August 24 the organization was run by a board and some key officers, so that at the moment “Our Revolution” has a corporate structure of the sort many in “Our Revolution” rightly consider anti democratic and anti participatory. Hopefully this situation is an artifact of having to quickly jumpstart the project from the top for fear that taking longer would lose momentum. Hopefully, also, it will be corrected in short order as members make known their desires to not just follow instructions, but to determine policy in the manner Sanders extolled in his campaign.

Third, and considerably less obvious, there was a possible problem with the list of candidates who were mentioned and listed on the web site as ones who “Our Revolution” will support. The possible problem wasn’t who was listed, it was who wasn’t – or, who I think wasn’t listed.

I am in no position to be certain about this, but it seemed to me there were no Green Party candidates, and perhaps no non Democratic Party candidates. This would make no sense as a policy. Rather, if the reason for “Our Revolution” to support a candidate is that the candidate’s campaign can educate and reach out, and the candidate’s victory would provide support for movements seeking radical gains, then surely Green Party candidates should qualify, including Stein in safe states. Hopefully this possible problem is also merely an artifact of such a fast start up. Of course, Sanders and all those involved in the campaign know progressive democrats better than they know other potential candidates, and so, before long, I hope we can anticipate that the list will grow and diversify.

I should say that these three possible problems of “Our Revolution” are not minor but critical, precisely because the potential promise of “Our Revolution” is so enormous. To urge attention to these issues is not nitpicking but an effort to help, because if these problems are not addressed “Our Revolution’s” potential promise will not be met. For unlike errors of tactical choice, mistimed campaigns, errors of analysis, or picking a not so worthy candidate to support, each of these three possible problems, if uncorrected, will disastrously diminish the ability of “Our Revolution” to attain its goals regardless of how much each member wants it to do so.

10 Comments

  1. avatar
    Michael Albert August 26, 2016 8:54 pm 

    What is your purpose? I have read and also responded to these kinds of comments over and over, from many people, about so many things, without so much as a gentle criticism back. Well, no more.

    Who you think is going to read your comment and learn something from it, as compared to, perhaps, sadly, clapping along but learning nothing.

    Millions of people look up, noticing politics because of the Sanders campaign, tens of thousands become involved, mostly young, often for the first time. If serious leftists can’t get anything lasting out of that we are incompetent. Even if sanders were to retire and a bunch others were to work hard to mislead it all.

    The main sophisticated criticism of the campaign was it won’t lead to anything lasting, an observation that requires no sophistication at all, and the minute there is a chance it might lead to something, the criticism changes to it won’t work, and your approach and that of so many others on the left is to do what…be nasty, try to appear knowledgeable or sophisticated or more advanced, while offering nothing substantive and just repeating that it won’t work. Again this is not just you, I hear it endlessly. Over and over. In my own experience people told me south end press wouldn’t work, then Z, then ZMI and ZNet. Then people said many many other efforts wouldn’t work, and were right, in some sense, because they didn’t…but the people who said it, had they instead lent a hand, things might have been different. And when they said it, every time, I could provide far better arguments to doubt the prospects than they had, but I tried. Because you lose, you lose, you lose, you win. And because if you never take a shot, you never score a goal.

    The same holds now, if wveryone who thinks this new effort won’t work gave serious time to making it work, it would.

    The people involved at,the base of this project are not trying to look cool, or smart even…they are trying to accomplish something. And a g00d many of them have tons of commitment and experience and insight, while many others are very new. Respect and serious efforts at understanding, and if you have something you think worth saying, saying it well, might make sense.

    It isn’t just you. It is rampant. People love to say, this or that won’t work, love to dismis, this or that with generalities, and you know what, it is so damn easy. So risk less. And even when it turns out to be right, which is always more probable when you assume the worst then when you try for the best, it doesn’t justify the stance..

    In our world if you dismiss every political effort and choice,as impossible or flawed or whatever, as flippant;y as you can, you will have a very high batting average. But you will also never find the instances of success and be part of them, much less help move anything from likely failure toward success.

    • avatar
      James August 26, 2016 9:37 pm 

      Point taken Michael. But that isn’t what I was really doing. Was just noting what you noticed and suggesting in a way, not your way, or anyone elses, in my words, not yours or anyone elses, that the things you were noticing were, as you noted, pretty serious flaws, and they are there from the outset. You picked ’em up. It would ge great to see ths NGO work. This use of the word revolution be a serious one, but your essay alone, and the staffers leaving, noted in another essay here, alerts one to the notion of the professional politician and the professional political poop that may pervade the parties getting together, and undermining the real jeaning of the word.

      I totally disagree that my comment would have any friggin’ effect whatsoever. And if it did, say negative, then well, that’s says something. You obviously responded pretty stridently, so hopefully, your efforts well help to change the pretty serious flaws you have noted at the birth of this NGO. Maybe some notion of some sort shared program will develop out of this. Maybe akin to some of the things developed by Left Unity in England.

      But the truth is, I have a right to voice any kind of opinion, no matter how cynical it may be, particularly when, the head figure of this new iniatative is a professional politician and now thriwing weight behind the Hilster, which makes me wonder about the lack of any ‘military’ policy.

      Further, I’m a nobody and nobody will take my comment seriously anyway. Some may agree, but that number will be in the single digits and this NGO has its hands cut out already to shift the three negatives you noted/noticed, and my bet is that just maybe the mind set that didn’t notice anything wrong is the predominant one, so there will need to be hard but fair hitters wthin the organisation to change things up. If not, I am entitled to be somewhat doubtful. But I truly hope I am proven wrong and that the word these seemingly (to me) overly positive people are using, revolution, is actually the right one, otherwise, to me, they will be doing a disservice to the cause. I mean, independent unions in developing countries have a shit load of resistance coming their way perpetually from the professional world belonging the the three headed hydra of the state, capital and corporate unions, and most of the time they are shooting for reforms that won’t necessarily revolutionise anything. Revolution is hanging in the air, in the background, but the foreground is usually better pay and work conditions, and they still get murdered, beaten up and gave their families harassed.

      So yeah, I’m sceptical, but actually on their side and yours. But I cannot, nor will not ever be able to trust the professional politician, so the word, revolution coming out of their mouths, really pisses me off and sometimes you just gotta have a cynical shot back to release the tension.

      That may not be your way, or others, but it is a side of je I make no apologies for. But again, I hope you are right and I am wrong in my scepticism. If tyerecare kore people like yourself partying away inside this NGO, then maybe there is hope, because people, even I, have hope, but it is more often than not usually dashed, or smashed to smitherines on the pulpit of the professional politicians propaganda.

      Sanders is an old bastard. He should have started this sort if shit years ago, regardless of the political barriers, from the get go. And it isn’t a revolution yet, nor proven to be even remotely close to a revolutionary organisation. So, I will watch with eyes open, as all these good people, and I am sure they all are, try to seriously get the serious concept of revolution rolling.

      Good luck in your own efforts in making that happen Michael.

      Cheers.

      • avatar
        James August 26, 2016 11:24 pm 

        On a personal note, if I do sound disgruntled and somewhat dubious of any success, maybe it has something to do with me joining this other organisation, with a real revolutionary mission and vision and one started by serious self described revolutionaries, called IOPS. An organisation that boasted a bunch of people who belonged to something called the ICC, the Interim Consultative Committee, or something. Half of whom never stepped foot inside the website even to say hello, or gidday. And that is after putting together a bunch of short promotional essays about the org being necessary and extremely important. Striking the right chords, as Noam would say.

        A real revolutionary organisation started by real radicals and self described revolutionaries that lasted about three friggin’ years, and because it didn’t achieve what its founders and many felt it should have, I have seen it just abandoned to sit in cyber space like an old discarded industrial factory. Shit. You just walked away, as did many others. Just left it to move on to other initiatives and projects. Other projects and initiatives that could have been promoted, discussed and debated among the IOPS joinerupperers if such projects were written about on the IOPS website.

        But no, you all just walked and left it hanging. Left someone like myself, with no friggin’ background or experience in this shit sitting and wondering what the fuck is going on here. I started a chapter. I went to meetings. I wrote shit on the blog. I got involved to the degree I could without fucking up my life and relationships with good friends. I sent shit off to other sites, emails, and local radicals and radio stations. I banged on and on to people about it and things like parecon. Still bang on about parecon. I got ignored and felt useless. And now I see a good website languishing in darkness, its only hope for survival resting on the the desire and efforts of some members to get it going again and to pay for its continued existence and upkeep.

        And this org was set up with a specific revolutionary mission and vision, by serious left activists and you expect me to believe in something set up by a professional politician just because he and his followers use the word revolution? If some of the hard hitting activist self described revolutionaries who write for Z and elsewhere can’t be bothered to even pop in to say hello at IOPS, to engage with nobodies like myself and try and wrench me out of my stifling suffocating cynical miasma, then why would I have any kind of hope regarding something that is started by jumping on the coat tails of a professional politicians electoral campaign?

        In fact, it makes my sick to my stomach just thinking that maybe some of those people, who were members of IOPS’s ICC, what you called at one point, the only group with even modest legitimacy, who wrote those over the top short promotional testimonials about IOPS (and I could print a few here now) are now out there putting in huge efforts surrounding this new “revolutionary” NGO, when they couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger to type in the word hello, at the IOPS website, let alone try to start up a chapter.

        Shit, shit, shit, shit. And you go me because I cannot for the life of me conjure up sincere confidence surrounding some professional politicians messianic “dream”? Jesus.

        My experience of IOPS had a profound effect on myself being merely a six day a week worker nobody with no previous experience in “organising”. I support Z, I supported your Z school, I promote and advocate parecon as the only coherent economic alternative to market capitalism and central planning regardless of feasibility. Read all the books and essays and debates and email them to friends now and then. I joined and heavied The Next System Project early days for its conservative approach to system change exemplified by its resource section that contained what I regard as horrible and dubious ideas, like Evonomics and the Capital Institute, yet totally ignored what should have been a walk up start, Parecon. I joined, tried to promote and contributed to the Shared Program but see it going nowhere, like IOPS.

        These are my own pathetic attempts at contributing to things. Truly pathetic I know, but with what time I have and life circumstances, that is all I can do. So all I can say is, that all these serious organisers who have been in the organising and activist game for decades had better come up with the truly revolutionary goods here or all this shite about “Our Revolution” will be no more substantial than Russel Brand’s book, which I stupidly bought and actually read.

        I will and did enter the revolutionary space that was IOPS (better known as ITPOSO, International Tragicomic Participatory Online Soap Opera), because it offered a space for me to contribute and learn, but I would not want to enter this space called Our Revolution, started by people on the professional political side of the fence, even if, many involved are truly radical (and I am trying to be nice here). I would have to see those radical folk come to the fore first before I gave over to some politician in a suit’s organisation!

        I’m still reeling from the fact that so many “good” people, radicals/revolutionaries, have deserted IOPS, perhaps hoping the riff raff left can pull it together themselves. IOPS certainly ain’t no Chiapas cultural regional revolution so there ain’t no real driving direct gut wrenching life or death motivation, nor Paul Street to be seen anywhere at any time, but it still offers something if people are willing to pay for it.

        Yeah, I know you are a kickarse (you’d write kickass) life time revolutionary member and make me look like a trivial pathetic lazy coward cynical dick non-entity, but that can’t be helped, history has had its say.

        Now imagine all this being said, face to face at one of those Our Revolutionary meetings (or any meeting, say, an IOPS chapter meeting) because that’s what I do. I go off. That’s me in a nutshell exposing myself to all these Z readers willing to trudge through this self obsessed bullshit of a comment. Sorry of it ain’t what you wish to hear, but it’s what happens down here within the nitty gritty. The shit that splits.

        “Hey, you dick, you left the lid off the toothpaste again! That’s it. I’m outa here!”

        If Our Revolution and others can’t handle this crap from me, then forget it. But it’s honest crap even if you, for the life of yourself can’t understand where I am coming from Michael. That’s diversity. That’s being fucking human. And I can’t help that. I’m not you nor a Chomsky. Not even close. Give me a footy and a guitar and I’ll be on my fucking way thanks. I’m just a dick in a dick job surrounded by shite living a precarious existence with one thing and one thing only that gives me some hope, and that’s Parecon…not human nature (whatever that fucking is) or hopeful grasping towards human goodness and decency, although one hopes.

        “…by linking committed lefties who eschew dogmatism, the IOPS will fill a huge gap.” Patrick Bond

        “Should we support, participate, contribute our skills, whatever they may be, to build IOPS? Of course.” Lydia Sargent

        “Above all, it is urgent we all make sense of it, and draw together the strands and build a resistance to the hi-jackers. In signalling the return of political imagination, IOPS is a way of beginning to achieve this.” John Pilger

        “IOPS has created a space in which we can all come together, connect, share experiences, and organize together in our joint struggle for a better world.” Harpreet Paul

        “IOPS envisages a community of value-sharing individuals, committed to bring change by the consent of their visions, rather than a consensus over a single idea. IOPS will become real if as many people as possible believe in the value of their ideas for change and the power of communicating them. I believe popularizing the idea of IOPS is the best way to demonstrate this.” Denitsa Dimitrova

        “Yet, as contradictory as it sounds, somewhere on the road no real progress for the foundations of that internationale happened. This needs to be reversed. Time is now to get IOPS on its feet.” Fernando Ramn Vegas Torrealba

        “One important role of revolutionary organization is to defend horizontalist, participatory, self-managed aspects of struggle within mass movements, and to resist bureaucratization, professionalization, and vertical representation. Another one is to connect and translate different struggles, and promote global circulation and communication of struggles. IOPS could not come in a better time.” Andrej Grubacic

        “IOPS offers an opportunity to reach across borders, time zones, organizations, communities, and individual interests and grow solidarity.” Elaine Bernard

        “Will IOPS succeed? Who knows? But if we don’t create and join an organization such as this, our prospects are likely to be rather grim.” Stephen Shalom

        ““IOPS has a potential of becoming one of the few emancipatory spaces for internationalists who are opposed to sectarianism and, authoritarian and hierarchical structures.” Mandisi Majavu

        “But in this case it is also about building the international ties that are critical in taking on global capitalism and global injustice. No project toward the building of organization comes with any guarantees except one: This will not be easy. That said, if we want to win power for the global dispossessed, I don’t think that we have any alternative but to build radical organizations. IOPS is one such effort.” Bill Fletcher

        “IOPS creates the space for us to do the essential work of movement building and envisioning a better world. Without these elements, we’ll continue to work in isolation.” Cynthia Peters

        “We certainly don’t have all the answers, but the only way we will get them is to continue to network and to work out our ideas with like-minded radical democrats and socialists around the world, and I hope IOPS can provide us a way to do this and to develop some global political clout as well.” Ann Ferguson

        “The International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS ) has the very real potential to be all this and more. It is the “future” left-egalitarian organization we’ve been waiting for. It’s time to stop waiting and, as a start, to join.” Paul Street

        “By bringing together people and organizations that have been working in that direction for a long time, the International Organization for a Participatory Society (IOPS) has the potential to become a fundamental contribution to this process. Ever since the decadence of the Internationals, we have been looking for ways to connect local struggles globally.” Ezequiel Adamovsky

        “What has been missing is an organisation that provides a vision broad enough to appeal to a wide constituency but also specific enough to sufficiently inform us on how another world could realistically look like. What has been missing is an organisation that encourages people to engage in political activism in a supportive and enjoyable environment. As its organizational descripton proves, IOPS can become this organisation if we make it happen!” Florian Zollman

        “The International Organization for a Participatory Society/Socialism (IOPS) has the potential to be the organization we need. Please join us!” Greg Wilpert

        “…signing up for the IOPS site and taking part in the new community of serious people committed to social change. You can share ideas, your events, your articles or actions, with people that can provide meaningful feedback and encouragement quickly. This is an opportunity we don’t want to and can’t afford to miss.” Antti Jauhianinen .

        “By joining IOPS, you become part of a growing community of people that are committed to constructing a new world.” Jason Chrysostomou

        “I believe IOPS can be a place for revolutionary activists and thinkers to share lessons, organize together, enjoy one another, and, most of all, win changes in a trajectory of growth and struggle leading to a better world.” Michael Albert

        “The role of IOPS in these exciting developments should be obvious enough to all of us. It will provide a much needed network of national and international solidarity where members can exchange views, share ressources, raise funds, elaborate voting systems, and build projects together.” David Marty

        “If you are interested in helping build a popular organisation for revolutionary social transformation than please take a serous look at the IOPS site and consider joining.” Mark Evans

        “If you think about it, you’ll see there is a need for something like IOPS. The only way to make it into what is needed is to do it.” Justin Podur

        The above are all excerpts from testimonials from members of the Interim Consultative Committee of IOPS. All the above are or were automatically considered members of this organisation. There are among them a few who endeavoured to create local IOPS chapters and who participated significantly on the website. Here are the names of those I know who did so,

        Michael Albert, Mark Evans, Harpreet Paul, David Marty, Florian Zollman, Jason Chrysostomou. Apologies to those I missed.

        Of the others, I heard not a peep. I saw no activity on the site whatsoever. I heard of no action going on secretly or quietly behind the scenes. Nothing. Ziltcho. Squat.

        • avatar
          Michael Albert August 27, 2016 1:17 pm 

          As you know, I am well aware of such things as you discuss, and, from my own experience of it, of much much more. All I can say is, having expended years of effort, and before that decades, including traveling to many countries for meetings, talking with people in small groups and giving public talks, writing I would giess hundreds of letters and dozens of articles, and even a set of books to be helpful, I too find the situation incredibly frustrating. But when people stopped focusing on IOPS, myself included, it was not due to giving up on its vision or ideas, but due to concluding that it just wasn’t going to fly – at this time. Nothing I could do, or I think anyone else who was trying could do, was going to reverse that. So, working on other projects, as you note some of us moved on to, made more sense then trying to do something that wasn’t going to happen or collapsing into doing nothing, say, or, well, throwing bricks over it.

          The truth is, there are I would wager many routes to whatever IOPS would have become if successful. We tried one that didn’t work. I consider my efforts now no less so then then, when I was traveling, say, all around Europe and the U.S. to advocate for it, to be still working for that new type of organization. No change in level of effort or commitment, but a change of circumstances and prospects.

          And, it involves new frustrations, I assure you – it goes with the territory. So, for example, it seems to me – though I acknowledge others will have different views, that at least in the U.S. anyone who was attracted to the potentials of IOPS should now be focused on the potentials of “Our Revolution” which has what IOPS lacked, visibility and numbers of people interested – at least in the U.S. – but to a considerable degree so far lacks what IOPS had, worthy comprehension of organizational policies suitable for addressing real social change.

          • avatar
            James August 27, 2016 11:11 pm 

            In total agreement.

            To the last point, I understand that completely because you wrote an essay previous to this that outlined what aopeared to me something not much different to IOPS. In relation to Our “revolution” . That was my impression. But my initial comment was really no more than an extention of your own. A thought about why such faults as you noted would exist, right from the get go, nothing more. The first one merely wondering why such a thing wouod be left out and the second, my way, not yours, of pointing to a mind set that comes from a completely different approach to shit where self management, as I defined it, just isn’t in the vocab or mot that important at the moment.

            Of course the only way to fix that is to have tough hardened radical thinkers and activists inside to elicit change in those areas. But I also expressed a somewhat sceptical attitude towards this newly claimed “revolution” jumping on the coat tails of a professional politician’s electoral campaign with a lot of rhetoric but not much in terms of coherent shared revolutionary program. My initial comment was neither dismissive, sceptical yes, nor ranting at all. I gave you the rants subsequent to your response. My cynicism has been explained and only time will tell whether it dissipates. Let us hope then that there are and were many who read your essay and will turn their attention to such critical issues. And maybe they read my comment and got their backs up to prove me the wirthless cynical bastard that I am . Who knows?

            Did you send this essay to some important people in the org? Movers and shakers in the org? To all the 2,600 party people around the ountry as a memo oerhaps? Are they all aware of these short comings? Because I wonder how many, read it?

      • avatar
        Michael Albert August 27, 2016 1:26 pm 

        Yes, my essays do raise reasons for concern, of course, but to take the reasons of concern into formulations that denigrate the efforts and essentially predict and even guarantee their failure, without trying to instead influence events on behalf of their attaining success, is what I was questioning.

        You have a right to your view, of course, and I have a right to suggest that criticisms and dismissals of campaigns and projects, especially on this scale, including particularly criticisms that are ranting or hostile but also even just elegant and civil, but which offer no alternative, no path toward better, don’t really help unless the criticisms they make are somehow new, and will help others arrive at better results rather than being old, constantly repeated, and just add to cynicism.

        • avatar
          James August 30, 2016 11:06 pm 

          So Solomon feels it would be better to have different “backgrounds” running this new NPO. There is bickering aplenty already at the top end. Top end because self management bottom up thinking is peripheral, not something these “backgrounds” are used to. The type of org it is is questionable. The name is unbelievably questionable. “Our” and “Revolution”? Whose really and is “revolution” now equal to the more vague term of “transformation”? What do “they” even really want?

          The more one reads about this the more unattractive it seems. “Progressives” or those who truly believe in the revolutionary principles and vision behind something like IOPS “should” throw their effort into supporting something as unattractive as this because there are numbers and visibility? To be critical of this NPO without offering new and alternative ways of achieving system change is somehow contributing to the cynicism and bullshit? Jeepers.

          This in neither a revolutionary organisation nor “our” one, whatever “our” means. It is funny that IOPS didn’t fly considering the enlightened opinions of so many of those with even modest legitimacy within radical progressive ranks. Those who said the time is right. To not join would be missing an opportunity. That this space is what is needed, now, so the left doesn’t work in isolation. Then so many of them just walked away, or ignored its existence. Just like blurbs for someone’s new book! Now this new “Our? Revolution?” NPO is what they all should be throwing their weight behind because of numbers and exposure?

          Where’s the weight behind this Shared Program idea that many of the same enlightened minds endorsed? Where’s the constant weight behind something like The Next System Project other than just signing on? And why not continue to throw more weight behind IOPS by publishing and writing on the website to try and garner some activity and move people to, at the very least, some online place that at the has real revolutionary principles behind it. Not one already plagued by a bunch of political bickering top end big daddy white geezer people in suits smoking and drinking “insider” bullshit that always comes with anything remotely connected to electoral politics even though it is meant to be grassroots run? Cynicism? My arse? Just observation.

          I understand your frustration and respect greatly your work and effort. I read all your stuff. I endorse and advocate your vision. But this is a sign of progressive left weakness rather than opportunity. It is a sign of the way the establishment gains control of movements and moves them to a less radical space. It tempers them, lessens them ideologically and makes them more well mannered so as not to offend. Then all the smarter, been around for longer, who know this game, “progressives” show their knowledge in interviews and essays regarding it all. Things like IOPS languish in darkness, apparently too progressive for the now. No one is ready for it yet, apparently, even those many who endorsed it, and what I write is cynicism because I can’t, in all my unexperienced ordinariness come up with better, new ideas?

          Seriously. All those endorsing things like A Shared Program, The Next System Project, IOPS, the need for visions, the need to change the system, and all those constantly writing the same old same old tired anti cap stuff, over and over, need to look at themselves and realise that if they all worked in unison, in concert, full tutti, like a fucking large concerto, then maybe you might get some excitement from me. If they all wrote, at the very least just wrote, on the IOPS website, articles, essays, ideas, and didn’t even respond to comments, it would be a start. Something. Something little. On the ground stuff is the real important shit but it is always fragmented, small, isolated and physically problematic. No matter how big this “Our? Revolution?” NPO is it is neither revolutionary nor ours. Not even close yet. Not remotely. To make it so would mean to take it over. For those truly with revolutionary ideas to do so. Well, truly, what kind of effort would be required for that? What would be the odds when all those endorsing truly radical or revolutionary orgs, movements or projects that wish to change the system don’t even rock up to the party in any visible way other than a signature and testimonial.

          There’s your depressing and frustrating bullshit, right there.

          • avatar
            Michael Albert August 31, 2016 7:07 pm 

            I see no point in reply…but one, at one point you mention the thing that would need to happen, however difficult or unlikely, is that this new entity would need to be taken over by better views than those currently driving it – hopefully held by the membership not just a few dominant leaders – but despite that correct insight, you make no effort nor even contemplate steps that might contribute to that, and only denigrate the effort and the people who try.

            You are frustrated to an immense degree, it would seem, by what I would guess is literally a fraction of the frustration effects that I and many others have endured over the years. If you can’t keep on, and can only write stuff like this, okay, I can understand, and I can commiserate, even, but I cannot respect it. I am sorry.

            • avatar
              James August 31, 2016 11:04 pm 

              Steps to contribute to that? Seriously? You actually join it and involve yourself trying to shift the trajectory of the org from the bottom up. How else would you do it? Petition? It ain’t rocket science. But this org has a professional politician as its figure head. A top down structure. A reputation, and political reputations to look after as well. No doubt a lot of pandering to grass roots activism while being careful to look after these other “backgrounds” reputations.

              You say IOPS’s time had not arrived, yet you think, and fair enough, that you can move something like this towards those kinds of revolutionary ideals. You may be right but from what I’m garnering from what I am reading, I don’t like your chances. And you may think putting energy into supporting and getting others to support this move to be the right one, but then I look over at a floundering existing website, IOPS, that a few ordinary riff raff are trying to get going again without any support from those “big names of left activism” who all originally did for IOPS initially what they are now doing for OR, and I think, what’s this shit. That org ain’t even for me, it’s for the US only, and it’s aligned with professional politicians who I wouldn’t trust in a million years, top down, probably at heart not even anti-cap, and I’m meant to be excited?

              If all those signatories were active members of the org they all initially supported, that they all said should be joined, that the time is right for, approx three years ago, that is IOPS, and were operating now as members of that org, trying to pressure and influence this new NPO, this fledgling org purporting to represent “us” and what they contend is “revolutionary”, then maybe I would feel a little more positive but that is not the case.

              Yeah, I signed the petition, yeah I’ll say good luck and I hope you win but I then turn to all those who signed and say, turn around and go back and put some support into rebuilding IOPS, the org that is really of revolutionary import. Put some effort there. Help the riff raff rebuild it. Carry out your fight as a member of IOPS. Continue your work in other areas, other activism but as an active member of IOPS the org you originally supported. The org that I joined because I was urged to do so, where I helped form a local chapter, where I met some pretty cool people and got to dialogue with them. An org I thought I might get to actually chat to and learn from some of these signatories that I read all the time. But alas, most didn’t show up, even though I did, regularly. They didn’t show up yet urged others to. And now what, I am being asked and urged by many of the same to support something that actually smells a little off to put it mildly in comparison because, well, the time for IOPS isn’t now, so let’s get real and practical.

              Yeah, my ire is toward all those who wrote testimonials for IOPS and then walked. I am not a professional activist. I have not organised my life or built my friends and social relations around activism and organising. I have come late to this shit and not with confidence but with a shit load of determination to learn about crap and put my emotions on my sleeve at embarrassing cost. I work six days for not much and have a family, kids, partner and cat. I may not be a full fledged member of the precariat but am not that far away from joining. So one thing I do not appreciate is a competition with someone like yourself about who may be the most frustrated and who has a right to be. That’s bullshit.

              My view is valid and coming from a different place than most. In some sense I am doing the same as you. I am trying to get all these signers of things to turn around and rejoin IOPS. All of them. Fucking join, fucking write some shit and publish it there. Show some support for those trying to reimagine it. You don’t have to do much else. Others may get a kick from seeing an article by Peters or Fletcher there rather than at Z. They might get a kick if Street wrote something and had a chat. A fillip for those trying to make it work. They can all keep doing what they are doing. They don’t have to comment all the time. Just show some activity now and then. Support. Like you Michael are asking for some to do for a NPO that I find most dubious.

              So what’s the difference between you and me Michael? Nothing really. I just want these people to turn around and look back at IOPS and do what they originally said they would. Then they might get my support for this NPO shit. One step back to IOPS , two steps forward towards whatever they want. I don’t want to compete with anyone over the amount of activist work being done by individuals. I will always lose that. It’s bullshit anyway.

              So why not put a petition out to restart IOPS. It’s that easy. Get all these people to recommit to a real revolutionary org. Would they do that? Would they? What are the odds of that shit going down? What sort of crap criticism will I get for trying to push this shit?

              Am I an idiot or what?

  2. avatar
    James August 26, 2016 3:27 pm 

    To the first one…Bernie is still a senator aint he? Supporting The Hilster? Enough said.

    To the second….self management just ain’t in a politicians vocabulary. “Decision making in proportion to the degree one is affected? What the frick is that? Where’s my campaign manager? Oh, and those staffer people? What, they walked!? Mother….s.”

    To the third…got nothing. Suffice to say that right from the get go they got some serious organisational and policy flaws and that doesn’t augur well if you ask me. So maybe don’t ask me. But I reckon that’s exactly how they’re thinkin’, top down revolution-let’s-all-tread-carefully-lite, so they need some hard-hitting party gate crashers to change things up. What are the odds?

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