SSMP and full-time organising [was 'Troublemakers']

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Devrim
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Jul 30 2007 08:46
Nate wrote:
That's because I'm thinking of people who organize unorganized shops, which is all I know about.

Yes, it is clear again that these arguments are coming from a lack of experience in the class struggle.
Devrim

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Jul 30 2007 16:23

Devrim,

Nonsense. By "that's all I know about" I did not mean "I only know about the work of external organizers and not about anything else in the class struggle." I mean "when it comes to what union organizers do, I only know what external organizers do because I did that job for a while and I know others who have done or still do that job." The argument I have with Revol is a very specific one. Revol thinks that people who work as union organizers are basically the equivalent of cops and so should be excluded for membership in any decent radical organization. My argument is that at least in the United States this is false, that people who work as union organizers are not the equivalent of cops and so shouldn't be excluded from membership like that.

Also please note that my argument doesn't entail any claims about the function of unions. I only make claims about the function of one position within unions as it works in the US. I've said repeatedly (in the other thread on this) that I don't know how this function works outside the US. You said yourself that you don't know what a union organizer is and that this seems to be something unique to the US. If that's so, then I have no claims to make about union organizers outside the US. If my argument is wrong and union organizers in the US/of the US style are the equivalent of cops so that they should be excluded from membership radical organization then please explain it to me. Using either arguments or evidence - preferably evidence drawn from experience. Your ad hominem is neither argument nor evidence.

Nate

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Jul 30 2007 17:04

Nate, I don't have much to say about this argument. I think that there are two questions that need to be addressed first;
1) What is the role of the unions?
2) How should communists orientate themselves in workplace strugles?
But maybe an even more basic level is about the role of organisation and class.
You seem to becoming from what I would see a a social democratic viewpoint, which beleives that it is the task of revolutionaries to organise the ruling class.

I would say though that there seems to be a contradiction in your argument. One the one hand you are saying that it is just another job, then on the other you are saying that it is a part of building working clas organisation.

Personally I don't think that they are as bad as cops. I am not exactly sure as to their function, but from what I know I don't think they should be in communist organisations.

Devrim

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Jul 30 2007 17:24
revol68 wrote:
infact the only reason it doesn't happen now is because of the lack of self organisation and struggles, as such the justification of being a full time organiser in the present is premised on our failure. There can be an analogy made with a cop who has never had to beat striking workers in that the only reason they've not happening is cause there is a lack of militant class struggle

Excellent post, one which I'd agree with completely.

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Jul 30 2007 20:48

Revol, sorry for putting words into your mouth. My bad. Your view is basically that organizers of today are like friendly cops who do community service or whatever, right? For now they may seem harmless or something but as the struggle heats up they will be forced to act against workers. Right?

Devrim, You're confusing me with someone who advocates for the unions as a revolutionary strategy. I don't think that getting a staff organizer job is a good way to act on radical politics. If NEFAC or any other group said "our plan as radicals is to all get jobs as union organizers" I wouldn't support that plan. My argument is simply that being a paid organizer - more specifically, one without the power to hire and fire - is not grounds for being banned from this or that group and that Revol's characterizations of what organizers do (or will have to do) are inaccurate (or implausible).

I actually agree with a lot of what Revol's saying if applied to other positions within unions, positions with power over members whether elected positions or appointed.

As for those other issues, I'm interested in them. For their own sake much more than in relation to this topic. You could start a thread on them.

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Jul 30 2007 21:05
Nate wrote:
Devrim, You're confusing me with someone who advocates for the unions as a revolutionary strategy. I don't think that getting a staff organizer job is a good way to act on radical politics. If NEFAC or any other group said "our plan as radicals is to all get jobs as union organizers" I wouldn't support that plan. My argument is simply that being a paid organizer - more specifically, one without the power to hire and fire - is not grounds for being banned from this or that group and that Revol's characterizations of what organizers do (or will have to do) are inaccurate (or implausible).

I actually agree with a lot of what Revol's saying if applied to other positions within unions, positions with power over members whether elected positions or appointed.

As for those other issues, I'm interested in them. For their own sake much more than in relation to this topic. You could start a thread on them.

Nate,

I think that the main point here is in the first sentence. It is not about whether unions are a revolutionary stratergy. It is about whether they can defend workers living standards today.

I see what you are arguing with revol. I don't think that it can be settled without a discussion on the nature of the unions are though.

Yes, I think I will soon. At the moment though I am more interested in discussing the UK postal strike.

Devrim

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Jul 30 2007 22:06

Devrim,
I don't think what unions can or can't do for workers living standards has a whole lot of bearing on whether or not union organizers are going to be required to police the working class. I will say that the former is a more interesting and important discussion than the latter.
Nate