organisation

The elephant that wasn’t there

A quick response to Scott Napalos’s recent piece What went wrong with the organizing, from John J. at the Seattle Free Press.

Recently, the IWW’s Scott Napalos put out a piece covering revolutionary politics and their relation to our projects, and which – by way of explanation - also touched on broader issues of motivation and obstacles to our organizing.

Thoughts on organization

A 1923 article by Armando Triviño, organizer of the Chilean IWW, discussing the IWW and the role of anarchism in the workers movement. Translated from the book Armando Triviño: Wobblie by Víctor M. Muñoz C. Editorial Quimantú, Colección Papeles para armar. Chile 2009

Thoughts on organization
Armando Triviño

Industrial unity: a response to “Locality & shop”

[i]We received a number of replies and great discussion from the piece by S Nappalos on the IWW’s locality versus industrial structures. E.A. Martinez has sent a lengthy response raising points of criticism and agreement that is worth engaging. While the discussion centers around structures of the IWW, bigger issues are at hand.

Area, shop, and revolution: a case for both locality and workplace unitary organization

An article by Scott Nappalos on some of the different IWW organizational structures that exist currently and why they continue to exist or fail.

[i]There’s been a long debate within the revolutionary union movement about structure and specifically about the relationship between locality-based units and workplace/trade/industrial based units.

Micropolitics and the Left

This article is an attempt to investigate certain problems of the left via the lens of micropolitics and macropolitics, terms first introduced by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (D&G).

Faced with the challenging nature of texts from post-structuralist thinkers like D&G or Foucault, many people make the assumption that they are really motivated by an elitist desire to confuse, intimidate and befuddle the masses and divert theory into useless abstractions, far removed from the concerns of ordinary people for social transformation and liberation from oppression and exploitation.

What next for engineers? - Ken Weller

1972 reprint by Big Flame of a Solidarity pamphlet by Ken Weller about the learnings for workers from the ten-week strike at Ford Dagenham in 1962, as Ford management begin to get tough at the Halewood plant.

Democracy mystified: a critical review of the book, Against Democracy by Miriam Qarmat (ICG) - Roi Ferreiro

Roi Ferreiro reviews Against Democracy, and subjects its attack on “democracy as a ‘thing in itself’” (“a fantasy of Bordiguist idealism”) and “liberty, equality and fraternity”—an attack that he depicts as abstract, ahistorical, reductionist, and reactionary “sophistry”—to a withering critique, asserting that such all-or-nothing verbal radicalism (“demagogy”) encourages “political indifferentism and passivity”, and he asks the rhetorical question, “is it possible for the ‘affirmation of the collective existence of men’ to be realized in any other than a ‘democratic’ way, and more concretely, in any other form besides that of ‘proletarian, direct and revolutionary democracy’?”.

Democracy Mystified – A Critical Review of the Book, Against Democracy by Miriam Qarmat (ICG) – Roi Ferreiro

Introduction

On being eaten by the young

John O'Reilly on some organization issues he sees in the IWW.

Like all organizations, the IWW has its problems to contend with. One of the ones that I've been observing recently that I think we continually cycle back towards is the problem of "being eaten by the young." Despite its name, its a problem that has nothing to do with age (I've seen people in their 20s be eaten by the young and I've seen retired people eat the old).

Has PCS been outflanked to the left by a bosses’ union?

A look at two of many attacks faced by workers in HM Revenue & Customs. The contrasting responses from clerical grade union PCS and senior grade union ARC are worth noting, but not for the reason you might guess.

Listing all of the ongoing issues and disputes within HMRC at present would be an essay in itself. Suffice to say, there are a lot. In this post I want to talk about two in particular; the imposition of detrimental new terms and conditions for staff and the quotas in the new performance management system which are aimed at making it easier to sack the “bottom 10%” of staff from the job.

Shotgun organizing - John O'Reilly & Juan Conatz

John O'Reilly and Juan Conatz talk about 'shotgun organizing' which they define as an individualized way of thinking every problem needs to be solved in the most intense and forceful fashion possible, regardless of whether or not it can be handled differently or of the effects on a workplace organizing committee.

About a year or so ago, one of us was having a one-on-one conversation with a member of the union involved in a campaign that was not public at the time.