The conservative left

Being socialists, we realise that in order to bring about the social change we seek we need large numbers of people, yet the vast majority of left groups today are small, even when compared with bourgeois political parties, let alone the mass movements of yester-year.  This prompts many thinking leftists to ponder the question of recruitment, how can we grow our organisation or our movement.  Quite naturally we try to look at this question empirically, what has worked for us, where have we recruited from in the past, this approach however, which seems fairly dominant on the left, is flawed.

It may seem tautological, but it is important to realise that the left that exists today is composed of the people who are drawn in by the methodology of the left today, and they are a very small percentage of the population.  This means that whenever we look within our own ranks to discern “what has worked” the answer that will invariably return is “more of the same”.

“We recruited comrades X and Y from that ill-attended public meeting last year, lets do one of those again”, “standing in that election allowed us to sign up ten more comrades, lets do more of that”.

This in-built conservatism (with a small C!) is furthered by the fact that the existing membership are predisposed to like your present methodology, after all it was the basis on which they were recruited, and having being practicing it for the duration of their membership it is well within their comfort zone. 

The combination of this inertia with a utter lack of ambition and a focus on short-term gains has ensured that the left has remained marginalised over the past decade.  The obsession with propaganda, often left immeasurable through lack of metric, lest someone realise the ineffectually of the entire approach, I believe, is the primary way this conservatism manifests itself.  That’s not to say propaganda is counter-productive, it is still a “net positive”, its still better to produce it than not, but with our movements resources limited as they are we have to seriously question whether this approach ought to remain our priority, or whether our resources could be better invested elsewhere.

Also posted here

Comments

I think the tendency for the

I think the tendency for the radical left's intellectual heart to hold the public-at-large in complete contempt is probably at the heart of things, as evidenced by the chap who replied previously.

The "left" needs to find out

The "left" needs to find out what the *people* actually wants from political activities. The reason they never do is they won't like the answer. The VAST majority want:
Plenty o' work
Plenty o' sex
Plenty o' beer 'n' fags
Plenty o' telly
Plenty o' footie
Death penalty for kiddy fiddlers, rapists, murderers, and other deviants
Harsh jails where criminals are brutally punished
And some form of independent life, where they can express themselves, without some fucking Guardianista chatterati cunt endlessly telling them they're racist/not to smoke/ not to eat fatty foods/ not to swear/ etc

Up to and until the "left" gets this, and accepts it, they're just pissing their time away, and yes, becomes more bitter, twisted and conservative.

"The VAST majority

"The VAST majority want:
Plenty o' work"

So one of the ways the Left could become more popular is if it supported slavery? That should give lots of people "plenty o' work."

I came across this site and

I came across this site and post/string inadvertently. Slavery? Strong word but it does imply a lack of choice, a lack of ability to recognize options or a plain old desire to whine. The word job is different from work. Work has been around forever: jobs (as a term realistically only) since the enlightenment/industrial revolution/systems of education. I'm done with hearing people say "I've no work to do". There is always work to do. This is not about a movement; it's about self accountability and responsibility. pseudo academic postulating aside, anarchism (small 'a' intentional) is about not having someone else make your decisions for you. Leave politics (with or without the capital letter) out of it. You either take responsibility for your own actions, or you apportion blame on a system of rule/government/restriction/family... anything but yourself. What matters, what everyone NEEDS (as opposed to desires) is a roof over their head, food in their belly, and the ability to recognize that it (life) all comes down to three words: honesty, love (and) why (?). Have that, feel that and ask that in and of all that you do, and strings on posts like these will no longer be of consequence other than to question the intentions of those who engage in them with any regularity. x

Don't be an idiot. It doesn't

Don't be an idiot. It doesn't make you look smart, it makes you look absurd. He/she (for the most part) has a point. Until the "left" understands how most people think and behave, it will continue to be the ridiculous fringe movement it currently is.

Maybe if more anarchists put more serious thought into it rather than just parroting Trot idiocy, anarchism would adapt and grow. A good start might be to stop pretending we have anything in common with the rest of a largely morally and intellectually bankrupt, amorphous "left". The reputation of anarchism amongst the mainstream is tainted rather than aided by such associations.

  Whilst I do agree there is

  Whilst I do agree there is a problem with anarchists frequently parroting trotskyist methodology, I think we have to bear in mind that class struggle anarchism is but one school of socialism.  In order to get anywhere near to that end goal we are going to need allies, it seems pretty natural to me that we would look to our fellow socialists for this at least in the short term, by refusing to consider ourselves part of the left we would burn a lot of bridges unnecessarily.  Anarchism does have an image problem, I've written about it before on this blog, but I don't think that is primarily due to its association with the left.

What do you suggest?

What do you suggest?

I personally think that the

I personally think that the left needs to concentrate on building organisations that have a lower barrier of entry than political organisations, organisations that aren't immediately idealogical in nature, but that speak to the collective self-interest of workers in bettering their own conditions. This might be militant unions in the workplace or community groups residentially, but the important bit is that they serve to build confidence and further organisation among the working class, once such organisation is wide spread, and confidence in our collective ability to change things is general, then we can crack out the ideology and propaganda, at a point where people are more likely to be receptive. Basically, I'm a Syndiclist...

Should point out the above

Should point out the above comment was me, I forgot to log in!

  


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