Left Unity and – Adding One More Group?

Firstly, even starting a new group is a painful thing to do – not simply because starting a group is hard, but also because the Left already has so many groups and doesn’t need one more, but instead needs a multi-tendency party that can include many of them.

Good Leftists have a strong desire not to add more particles to an already-fragmented Left.  Sadly, one division we must insist on is democracy, since we won’t have a stable unity until democracy prevails.

The bureaucratic (ie undemocratic) groups may form a temporary unity, but never a stable one – their bureaucracies are always self-interested, always conniving for more power, and always willing to depart at a moment’s notice when the unity no longer serves them.

It might protect a party-in-formation more to simply bypass inevitable splitters from the start, than to confuse the process by having an illusory unity followed by a demoralizing split.

However, the attempt at unity may be a way to shake up the bureaucracies of the established organizations.  Any departure from the unity could cause a crisis of legitimacy for the leadership, as the membership is disgusted by the dissolution.

Or maybe not.  It’s likely that upon the (self-instigated) failure of the unity, the bureaucratic leaderships will simply be able to sell their members on continued cynicism about unity, or conflate the need for a solid faction as the same as the need for a totally separate, non-related organization.

This process could rile the membership, though, because the sensible desire to have a visible pole of attraction is very strong.  Sadly, however, the memberships will probably just continue to choke on the contradictions of their own beliefs, longing for a pole of attraction, but justifying their own separateness at the same time, without admitting that these things are in conflict.

However, we could wring our hands forever about what forces beyond ourselves will do, or we can actually get organized.

This will mean, sadly, adding one more particle to the massively fragmented Left.  But as long as it is a particle fiercely dedicated to unification and the emergence of a mass pole of attraction beyond itself, and takes active steps toward this as part of its present (not future) day-to-day activity, then this state of things is a temporary, possibly necessary evil.

We should move against that evil division immediately as it becomes possible.  We should take concrete steps to encourage the emergence of that possibility, before then.

Also in the meantime, many contradictions can be overcome by explicitly allowing and encouraging dual membership between our organization and others.

Where formal merging is not possible, a much greater sense of inter-Left fraternity can nonetheless prevail: much greater mutual consultation, much greater pooling of resources, much greater inter-socializing, many more co-hosted events.

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