[Marxism] Couple of organizing thoughts

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 26 03:41:40 MDT 2004


>From Hunter Bear -  August 25 2004 [Wed. morn]

These are a couple of thoughts apropos of coalitions, based on Duane's [
Campbell] thoughtful and feedback-soliciting comments with which I am in
general, though not total accord. [I never am in total agreement with
anyone!]  I am not a member of the DSA member discussion list, though I have
been a DSOC/DSA member since about '78.  Duane, of course, is welcome to
share these brief thoughts of mine -- such as they are -- wherever he
wishes.]

[I have been up a fair part of the night on a Pocatello [Idaho] police
matter -- which has been satisfactorily resolved.  They, BTW, functioned in
a perfectly appropriate fashion and I trust the principals are finally
getting some sleep. Now, even my super loyal half-Bobcat cat, Cloudy Gray,
is sleeping at this computer.]

First, I make a distinction between "alliances" and "coalitions."  The
former is loose, flexible, and explicitly pragmatic, sometimes relatively
short lived, and definitely observes all of the autonomy and "identity
integrity" of the partners.  [It can sometimes be mercurial.] Those
qualities should essentially  apply, of course, to "coalitions" -- but I am
inclined to see coalitions as much more formal and cohesive and generally
characterized by substantive direction and longevity.

Each model is frequently quite useful in our necessarily pragmatic and
statistically limited existence -- whoever "our" is.  And nothing human can
be an erector set.  But neither has to be viewed by its components as
permanently institutionalized.

Each model has to be grounded within a bona fide mutual respect.

Each model has to be based on "enlightened self interest"  of an explicitly
mutual nature.

Each model, maintaining an effective focus on the here-and-now in the
context of  Vision "over the mountains yonder," has to avoid "ideological
primacy."

Each model has to avoid cannibalism.

Each model has to avoid inter-meddling in the internal affairs of the
respective components.

Trite as it sounds, "continual communication" -- preferably face to face --
is critical in any alliance or coalition.

And, of course, in the last analysis there is no substitute for fresh,
grassroots, democratic and direct face to face community organization!  As I
have said -- sometimes to the point of redundancy -- that's the hardest work
in the Cosmos.  And, if that organizing is genuinely effective in the
"radical" sense, it is never "respectable" in the eyes of the Big Mules.

Anything organizational [or union contract-wise] is only as good and
effective as its members wish to make it.

Fraternally / In Solidarity -

HUNTER GRAY  [HUNTER BEAR]   Micmac /St. Francis Abenaki/St. Regis Mohawk --
and DSA, CCDS, SPUSA, Solidarity [and UAW and UALE]
www.hunterbear.org
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