Chicago meeting: On Spontaneous Forms of Organization vs. Vanguard Parties

When: Wednesday, October 19, 6:30 PM (Note new day of the week)
Where: News and Letters Library, 228 S. Wabash Ave., Room 230, Chicago

News and Letters Committees invites you to a meeting on

On Spontaneous Forms of Organization vs. Vanguard Parties

The first of a series of discussions on Liberation and organization: philosophy and revolution

Organization is crucial as we fight to change our oppressive reality of exploitation of labor, racism, sexism, hatred and discrimination against LGBTQ people, and outright wars on civilians, as in Syria, Yemen, and Congo.

From Black Lives Matter to Women’s Liberation and from Occupy Wall Street to the Fight for $15, movements for freedom have been looking for alternatives to discredited models of organization like the vanguard party of “Marxism-Leninism.” Yet organization of people from below and organization of liberatory thought have not yet united in such a way as to create the foundations of a new, human society.

Bring your ideas about revolutionary transformation to a series of discussions on the relationship of a philosophy of freedom to organization.

I, On Spontaneous Forms of Organization vs. Vanguard Parties

Movements for freedom have been looking for alternatives to discredited models of organization like the vanguard party of “Marxism-Leninism.” Appreciation of the self-organization of masses that arises spontaneously from below, as in the Arab Spring uprisings, has been important in this.  So have attempts to create non-elitist forms of organization such as the “horizontalism” seen in Argentina’s revolt a decade ago and, more recently, Spain’s Indignados and Occupy Wall Street.  How do we explain the barriers faced by all these movements, not only attacks from without but pitfalls from within? If spontaneous movements and anti-elitist forms of organization are not the absolute opposite to the vanguard party, what is? What would it take to unite these kinds of self-organization with a liberatory organization of thought so that theory and practice can combine to open the way to the foundation of a new, free society?

Discussion begins with a presentation by Terry Moon, Managing Editor of News & Letters and author of the “Woman as Reason” column.

Suggested readings:

The one-page “possible outline” by Raya Dunayevskaya for a book on “Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy.”

Introduction, Section 2 of American Civilization on Trial: Black Masses as Vanguard, “The Compelling Issue at Stake,” and Part I on Abolitionism and the Civil War.

Grenada: Counter-Revolution and Revolution,” a Political-Philosophic Letter by Dunayevskaya. (It is excerpted in Dialectics of Black Freedom Struggles with an added note on C.L.R. James.)

Readings available via News & Letters Committees, arise@newsandletters.org / 312-431-8242 / 228 S. Wabash #230, Chicago, IL 60604.

You can find more information about the series at http://newsandletters.org/a-discussion-series-liberation-and-organization-philosophy-and-revolution/.

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