Prospecting conjunctures

« What can Labor do for itself? The answer is not difficult. Labor can organize, it can unify; it can consolidate its forces. This done, it can demand and command.»—Eugene V. Debs

A vision of organizational work that is particularly prevalent in progressive circles is to assert that it is necessary to organize "in our environment" of life, job , study,etc. We can immediately observe a contrast with what was the "motorbike" of the socialists of the years. 70-80 where we did factory placement which consisted of dispersing the activists of a group or party through the factories to find themselves directly in the classroom, this approach is used much less today, the groups still making the "establishment" have disappeared or reduced to the state of collective groupusculars.

However, as different these two visions may seem to present themselves to us, they both come from the same reasoning which can be summarized as follows :

« Militant.e.s (organizers, organizers) + oppressed = movement.»

But the state of the second model lets us assume that there is something wrong with this equation. For the majority of the young radicals of the time having established themselves in factories nothing , or very little, has arrived. As to the current situation and my experience, despite our desire to make sure that "things happen" in our locality, it often happens that the dough does not rise : the craze seems to be lacking, resources are scarce, people are not able to get involved, everything has to be started over, etc.

Sure, we can observe that in the case of an attempt such or such aspect could have been improved or that our "line" should not be the right one, etc. But I believe that the reason for these weak stammerings is not there.

I believe that another position of analysis vis-à-vis organizational work must be taken.
The work and activity of organizer-organizers should only be seen as one of the last factors allowing worker-workers to activate and get into action. These struggles or "events" are the result of complex and difficult circumstances. (not impossible) predictable, but existing before the organizational work. The work of organizers can therefore only be highly fruitful in certain specific sites, for reasons beyond our control.

Otherwise explained, think of our social class as a field : riches are in his soil, invisible at first glance and sending our modest forces to dig in so as to systematically cover the ground would probably only allow us to unearth a few rocks, rare minerals remaining hidden in a piece of land that has not been covered, lack of sufficient strength to expand to its full extent.

What are the implications of this change of analytical position?
Even if systematic local work can uncover unexplored conjunctures, it would be above all to leave things to chance, while the factory setting would look more like a historical re-enactment of past movements at best, from cosplay at worst.
Although systematic work will often be particularly formative at the individual level of the organizers, this approach cannot be the leadership of an organization or movement.

As an organization, we should therefore pay special attention to the birth of "events" and the appearance or discovery of promising circumstances. Of course, this implies that we have at our disposal a good number of flexible organizers, from Salt dedicated, can go to work in key sectors or regions where potential is observed. Sure, it also requires a certain flexibility in the organization itself, so that she can reorient her activity : many progressive organizations have , for example, abstained during Mississippi 1964 Freedom summer, too caught up in their obligations and work in progress, missing a valuable opportunity. We must therefore collectively be able to coordinate our efforts on specific sites., and not to disperse in an unplanned way our meager forces.

These sites conducive to "events" are not, however, systematically those that one might think at first glance, a hot shop is a perfect example : the agitation is strong there and the spirit of revolt animated, but quickly, workers will leave their workplace to look elsewhere, lack of real prospects. In the reverse, these sites can appear very quiet, but under them is the junction of many contradictions where a bit of agitation can cause a strong effect , short, a cross between tectonic plates to capture the image of the terrain. It is therefore not enough to have an organization capable of directing its efforts in a concerted and rapid manner., the ability to determine the direction and direction of one's efforts is equally important, if not, more.

I cannot however give a formula allowing to systematically discover these promising sites., this is a long and painstaking job that can be done through interviews, researches, etc. We therefore need to find ways of thinking and discovering the circumstances that are favorable to our organizational work..

If I may, my "intuition" leads me to believe that the struggle of the Uber workers and the taxis is one such site and that the public sector struggle has been "missed" (but it is not over, remember it, the FSSS continue to fight). Otherwise I think the countryside 15-5-7 can join employees in an interesting situation and that the issue of employment agency workers should be addressed more directly.

But so, finally, on the task at hand, I will only say two words : investigation and convergence.


This text finds its inspiration in Mike Ely's pamphlet "Sites of a communist beginning"

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