Looking for articles/resources to save 30,000 member strong organisation's anarchist structure

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
happychaos's picture
happychaos
Offline
Joined: 14-04-06
Mar 19 2016 09:34
Looking for articles/resources to save 30,000 member strong organisation's anarchist structure

Hi everyone,

I am involved in an internationally unique parent-run early childcare education organisation that has 30,000 members and an anarchist federation structure.

While it still has a radial education model (parents-as-educations, child-led play) it has lost most of its social movement history and memory.

Unfortunately it is struggling because it is losing parents to corporate alternatives, mums are having to go back to work earlier and for longer hours or being forced off the dole, volunteer numbers are dropping as a result of this, it relies almost completely on Government funding (which happened in the 90s) and has to meet their expectation. The organisation is dysnfunctional organisationally in places, particularly around decision making and consensus (which is used at all levels of the organisation, not just at the base, but regionally and nationally) which is also driving the change.

It is being restructured with what looks like a corporate model, and although the centres themselves will still be co-operatives run by parents as you know under a corporate franchise models some autonomy is acceptable. The restructure is also seeking to centralise Governance decision making and they are looking at employing more people centrally and to professional these roles which are currently done by volunteers.

I'm looking for any practical articles and resources that will:
* help us fight to keep the principles of federalisation
* explaining how federations should work in simple language (including key principles)
* arguments to keep it
* ideas on how to make it work better around common problems
* arguements to counter professionalisation etc

I say practical because theoretical arguements only go so far (although happy for these as well). I have to be able to convince people based on where they are coming from (practical needs being met, which they aren't currently) rather than from an anarchist background.

Can provide / clarify more detail if necessary. Sorry if its not clear, just had another baby and need some sleep! smile

Thanks all.
HC

akai
Offline
Joined: 29-09-06
Mar 19 2016 12:06

l don't know any such resources but actually this is a problem that is not unique. ln other words, l know a number of organizations that, when they get to a certain size, or when their original active membership is surplanted, tend towards professionalization and lose their original character. This has also happened with a number of collective work projects and it has a long history.

That said, as you pointed out, if such a text were to be effective in this situation, it should be practical more than theoretical and should really talk about the concrete organization. This said, although you may not have much time now, the only way l can imagine you can be really effective is to organize a group of those opposed to these changes, which will agitate and come up with the concrete arguments.

The general arguments against professionalization would be the same for all anarchists who are against concentrated power into a few hands and in favor of encouraging participation, shared decision making, rotation of duties etc. Any anarchist coming from this point of view could help you with those arguments, but you are the one who knows the organization, the details, the people involved and why it is that they are moving away from this way of organizing. l know nothing about what you are referring to concretely, but l can imagine different circumstances that might lead to this, which might need to be addressed.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Mar 19 2016 17:16

Hey, yeah sorry not sure I can think of anything which would be helpful.

Basically if there are problems damaging the organisation, and it is badly organised, then to save it I would have thought the best thing to do would be to try to think of practical, specific proposals to improve the organisation in a federal, democratic way. As Akai says, this would seem much more important than making appeals on theoretical grounds.

happychaos's picture
happychaos
Offline
Joined: 14-04-06
Mar 21 2016 09:51

Hey, thanks.

No issues re: organising and as mentioned above I don't need heavy theory. I'm looking for propaganda essentially. I can argue this myself but wanted to save myself the time and trouble of writing it and have practical examples to reference to.

Regards HC

akai
Offline
Joined: 29-09-06
Mar 21 2016 10:07

Can understand you wanna save time but basically, whatever you produce based on the real experiences and situation of the organization will be more valuable than anything else.