What I Want from an Organization
This post was written as a series of reflective pieces by individual Caucus members as we discuss and debate the role and form of the Libertarian Socialist Caucus going forward. It does not represent the consensus of the body at large.
The world is dying, or rather, being killed. Those that are responsible are showing no real signs of changing.
I’m middle aged and have already spent over half my life working for a wage to survive, and I’m exhausted. If I get another 20 years of life I’ll be lucky.
What I want out of an organization is hope. Hope in a world free from domination and drudgery. And not in some distant future, but here and now.
The full realization of a free humanity maybe won’t happen before I’m dead, but there’s certainly time to plant the seed and see it spout. That steady work matters to me more than seeing the fully mature tree of freedom.
At the heart of this all is a new way of social organization. One built on freedom, solidarity and mutual aid. One that rejects all forms of dominance and coercion. One where the full expression of humanity is open to all.
More and more I don’t think we can plant this seed by begging and pleading with our oppressors. We have to find a crack in the pavement or some forgotten plot of land to plant it and watch over it and nurture it ourselves.
We have to live as if we are already free!
All this, I guess, is to say that if the working class wants to be free we have to build our own institutions. And not to act as intermediaries between us and the ruling classes, but to act as expressions of our freedom. Where The State acts as the organ of capital’s will, The Commune is to be the organ of a free humanity.
I am beginning to firmly believe that if you have the power to challenge the state thru elections/the ballot you have the power to completely ignore the state. Or to put it a different way, why put in all the effort to build up enough power to confront the state when that same effort could be put into building institutions specifically for the working class in the first place?
DSA, with isn’t roughly 90,000 members seem more interested in continuing to play the role of Oliver Twist, asking for more but in no position to demand, or even take.
LSC has tried for years to inject a libertarian socialist analysis into the org and it’s either been out rightly rejected or only adopted after extremely bitter battles.
A too large portion of the organization still wants to play the master’s game, which is one it can never win. The only winning move is to not play at all.
LSC’s greates success is showing the need for a national Libertarian Socialist organization rooted around political education and connecting various anti-authoritarian leftists across the US.
There will always be Libertarian Socialists/Anarchists in DSA and they should have a place within the org to come together for support and comradeship.
However, DSA has shown itself to be too hostile of a place to do what LSC originally wanted to do. The internal fights of DSA sucked too much breath out of LSC’s projects. And for that original dream of LSC to live it has to do it outside of DSA. I’m not sure what that really looks like, but I want to find out.