Much of the issues that plague the left are due to failure to organize. Ideas consume online left spaces that produce exalting of personalities in favor of real organized struggle. There are several reasons people choose not to join organizations. Lack of accessibility, disabilities, white chauvinism, and male chauvinism are all contributing factors. While these are real material issues making one’s ability to mobilize a hindrance, there has to be a distinction and understanding of what it means to join an organization.
There is much romanticizing about organizations that do not take into account how much many of them replicate the world we are trying to dismantle. Countless organizations exist today because of fractures due to many of the aforementioned hindrances organizations didn’t care enough to address or fix. There are people who would like to pretend these issues are not serious enough, but for many under the thumb of the nonsense (which is oftentimes violent), it is.
With that said, is the solution, instead, to not organize at all?
When we take on particular politics, like communism, it is with the understanding that we are intending to create another way of living. How can we do that isolated from community? How can we do that without organizing community?
Revolutionary organizers are community builders. Unlike mobilizers who move people to act. Good strategies often mesh (not mash) organizing and mobilizing into one effort as a part of a continuum of things that happen. Oftentimes we see people conflate one for the other, which is a large part of the problem.
Revolutionary organizations provide avenues for addressing the issues that are affecting communities, welcoming conversations that build trust and respect through political education, group process, consensus, and mass building. Members of revolutionary organizations are principal participants and decision-makers working towards change. If this isn’t happening in an organization, then that organization is not interested in building “another world”. That organization is not for you.
The priority for organizing the oppressed should be on building the capacity of the people to become equipped with the ability to advocate for themselves. It should be questioned how we can do that without engagement and building towards the world we’d want to see. Revolutionary organizations can provide those who are socially marginalized with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to work for their own freedom and the transformation of their [our] material reality. Revolutionary organizations create a network of support.
The apprehensions towards joining an organization are understandable, but not entirely reasonable. Perhaps it’s essential we depersonalize the call to join an organization and try to understand the importance of organizations as it adheres to our political ideological commitments. There are many African centered revolutionary organizations committed to the struggle that prioritize accessibility, that prioritize child care and assist members in times of need. One would, however, sincerely need to be invested in wanting to join one that suits them. There are several roles to play within organizations that only require your skillset and don’t require being overwhelmingly active or having to exert more than you can.
Like we often tell liberals invested in the two party system that offers them nothing, if you are unable to find a revolutionary organization that suits and protects you then what is stopping you from building your own for the world you’d want to see?