[Marxism] Fwd: Re: [Solidarity] Basis of Political Agreement Referendum Results

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Fri Jan 10 23:58:47 MST 2014

I posted the forwarded message below to Solidarity's membership 
list-serve a little while ago.

I am posting it here because

a) I am a Leninist,  and if discussing "internal" problems in public was 
good enough for Lenin, it's good enough for me;

b) The national leadership and staff has not managed to fix the national 
membership list-serve so even if I WANTED to keep the discussion 
"internal" that would be impossible unless I abandon all efforts to 
raise these problems beyond a few individuals;

c) The national leadership acted in bad faith when it refused to accept 
their proposal's defeat due to overwhelming membership abstention and 
extended the deadline at a time when discussion through the national 
online discussion bulletin was impossible, and

d) The leadership's proclaiming a new basis of political agreement 
"approved" when no-one had ANYTHING to say about it until I spoke up, 
and when I did the rest of the membership never saw what I said, shows a 
peculiar idea of democratic functioning that --frankly-- suggests to me 
it would be a mistake to take their probity for granted in any serious 

Obviously, the sort of statement I have just made, in a serious 
political organization, would be a declaration of war, a pledge to 
organize a public faction against the leadership of the group.

However, I am not calling on people in Soli to organize a faction 
because my point is precisely that Solidarity has lost the capacity to 
function as a serious political organization, as the main vehicle 
through which its members define themselves politically and coordinate 
their political activities.

I have tended to view Solidarity in this way since our spectacular 
failure to act as a serious political organization in relation to the 
Occupy movement, and I hope the national leadership takes on the task of 
thinking through what this means, instead of goofily proclaiming 
approval of a new fundamental basis of political agreement AS IF anyone 
(apart from me and one or two indicudals in  the current leadership) 
gave a flying fuck about it.


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [Solidarity] Basis of Political Agreement Referendum Results
Date: 	Sat, 11 Jan 2014 00:51:36 -0500
From: 	Joaquín Bustelo <jbustelo at gmail.com>
To: 	info at solidarity-us.org, solidarity at groupspaces.com

On 1/7/2014 12:58 PM, info at solidarity-us.org wrote:
> Solidarity's referendum on our Basis of Political Agreement has resulted
> in a majority YES on all points, and the constitutional quorum requirement
> of 1/3 of membership voting has been met, so the text is approved.
I ask that the Political Committee, the National Committee, and failing
that, the next convention, declare this referendum null and void on the
basis that the only member (AFAIK) who expressed a critical view of this
proposal was prevented from communicating it to the rest of the membership.

Without challenging that this was due to technical problems of the
service provider (groupspaces), and not suggesting at all that this was
due to any intentional action or inaction of Solidarity's elected
national leadership or staff, the FACT that my article, the sole
substantive discussion article (whether for or against) on  the proposal
that I am aware of, was never seen by the membership, and that it was a
very critical article, makes the claim that the points of unity were
approved akin to Microsoft's claims that its click-through licenses are
fair since so few people reject them.

Especially when you consider it from my point of view, that the fact
that no one else has had anything to say for or against this proposal to
completely redefine the basis of our organization's existence in either
the pre-convention discussion or the post-convention  referendum
discussion shows that this is basically the socialist equivalent of a
motherhood-and-apple-pie July 4th speech.

In the latter case, the speech may seem innocuous but it is used to
bolster imperialist arrogance and aggression.

In our case, the "adoption" of the statement only deepens our refusal to
look at reality and call things by their right names: Occupy, a profound
political earthquake and upsurge was "related to" by Solidarity from the
outside (in the best of cases). Though it challenged corporate privilege
and capitalist rule in a much more profound and sweeping way than the
Wisconsin fight that prepared the ground for it, we welcomed the latter
(at least verbally) qualitatively more enthusiastically than the Occupy

And I believe the explosion and collapse of the Madison  branch in the
wake of the Wisconsin battle is also rooted in the political
disorientation and instinctive sectarianism that our reaction to the
Occupy upsurge showed.

Basically, we've got our heads stuck up our asses so far it is coming
out of our throats.

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