Winning v Absolutism

Looking at concerns on-line about the demise of the commons and the general social decline in working class communities. Someone comments: John McLean Helen Crawford et al would be spinning in their graves looking at what is happening now. You need to wonder for a minute why. Is it because the state are continuing to do what they have done even before John McLean’s day. Silencing dissent by harassment jailing and murder. Or would it be to wonder what with McLean’s legacy behind us and the most effective organising connective tools on the planet that we seem to be politically regressing rather than progressing in the kind of change we need and what McLean fought for?

Institutional change is not to be confused with cultural progress, which we do quite well with all of these groups, interests and a whole variety of progressive interests and movements. But can we win by just being inclusive, diverse and open to everybody’s ideas. These things are important and we need them. But without some overarching aims and a strategy for winning how do we make institutional change? How do we fight the Bank of England, Wall Street and the most organised corporations on the planet?

Many appear to be continually on the track of finding ways of separating ourselves into interest groups, which again is ok, if we are not bothered about winning (institutional) change. Many will not tarnish their absolutist political principals by working with others, But only the delusional can think they have all of the answers, or whose who think their work, or cause, is much more important than any other. That is the very problem here, there is work that is more important. The work that needs to be done first, before we all go down the Swanee. The work that we need to decide on, to organise and do together.

Some set the bar so high around these ideals that they have difficulty reaching it themselves, never mind persuading others to participate. Well the problem for them is as mentioned, no one has all of the answers, that’s why we need compromise, and collaboration. That is why we need coalitions and stronger solidarity. Coalitions are not formed because we all agree about everything, that wouldn’t be a coalition. Coalitions are formed to fight bigger enemies and the one we are fighting right now may be the biggest we will ever know. People need to quickly make up their minds to what is more important, a united front to the worst atrocities against humankind and our environment, or the continued balkanisation of the left into single issue groups that become so absorbed in their cause that they start to ignore what we all have in common in tackling the bigger issues like climate.

John McLean legacy was in organising and teaching. That’s what each of us need to be. Teachers in one class or lesson and students in another.