Nuit Debout

July 2024 Forums General discussion Nuit Debout

  • This topic has 65 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Anonymous.
Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 66 total)
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  • #118837
    ALB
    Keymaster

    There was (yet another) anti-austerity march in London yesterday organised by the Peoples Assembly, Stop the War and CND, at which the chant "Cameron Out" went up without indicating who they wanted "In" (no doubt Jeremy rather than Boris) as if changing the Prime Minister would change anything. Some of our "The problem is not the Tories … It's capitalism" leaflets were handed out.There's also elections to the Greater London Assembly going on at which we're standing 3 candidates. Other members were involved in activity in connection with this. See:http://spgb.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/another-saturdays-stalls.htmlVoilà tout.

    #118838
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I note the demonstration is claiming over 100,000 took place. But looking at the pictures and at the banners and placards and seeing who the speakers were, it was more a pro-Labour Party protest. Perhaps you saw it from another perspective being there. .I know members are very busy elsewhere with the GLA election campaign and street stalls so I was pleased that they made that extra effort, ALBFor sure, for the moment, the Left shuns our message but does that mean it shouldn’t be delivered? And our task is to find and explore new methods of explaining our case and communicating it – even to a mostly unreceptive audience but one in other ways are in search of answers…and believe they have them in Corbyn (and Sanders).As I have said before, we cannot keep doing the same or calling for more of the same. I have suggested a special conference to review and re-evaluate everything. Socialist Studies call themselves the re-constituted SPGB, I suggest it is time now that we ourselves re-constitute. I’m not saying we should emulate ever fad or fashion in politics but address fully why we have not succeeded in accomplishing our objective or even getting anyway closer towards it. A much needed introspection is fundamental to understanding the failure.As Einstein said “"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    #118839
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Private Fraser rides again !

    #118840
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I'm at least consistent, tenacious and relentless…qualities looked for in socialists. And it is always better the devil you know

    #118841
    SocialistPunk
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    As I have said before, we cannot keep doing the same or calling for more of the same. I have suggested a special conference to review and re-evaluate everything. Socialist Studies call themselves the re-constituted SPGB, I suggest it is time now that we ourselves re-constitute. I’m not saying we should emulate ever fad or fashion in politics but address fully why we have not succeeded in accomplishing our objective or even getting anyway closer towards it. A much needed introspection is fundamental to understanding the failure.As Einstein said “"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    Alan, I suppose one of the reasons we have difficulty re-evaluating everything, is there will be so many differing ideas as to what is or isn't the problem. Because we don't have a leadership, there isn't a specific plan to follow. This isn't a criticism by the way, not having leaders is one of the best things about the SPGB/WSM.

    #118842
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    I note the demonstration is claiming over 100,000 took place. But looking at the pictures and at the banners and placards and seeing who the speakers were, it was more a pro-Labour Party protest. Perhaps you saw it from another perspective being there. .I know members are very busy elsewhere with the GLA election campaign and street stalls so I was pleased that they made that extra effort, ALBFor sure, for the moment, the Left shuns our message but does that mean it shouldn’t be delivered? And our task is to find and explore new methods of explaining our case and communicating it – even to a mostly unreceptive audience but one in other ways are in search of answers…and believe they have them in Corbyn (and Sanders).As I have said before, we cannot keep doing the same or calling for more of the same. I have suggested a special conference to review and re-evaluate everything. Socialist Studies call themselves the re-constituted SPGB, I suggest it is time now that we ourselves re-constitute. I’m not saying we should emulate ever fad or fashion in politics but address fully why we have not succeeded in accomplishing our objective or even getting anyway closer towards it. A much needed introspection is fundamental to understanding the failure.As Einstein said “"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    if you look at the history of the party, we have done the same thing with varying results over the years, the party in 1950 was developing substantially. In the 1980s we had some remarkable progress using the same old tried methods of public debate, meetings etc. I am of the view that the public mood has gone back to live events. Public meetings, debates, etc. can capture public interest.these days, because they are differemt However I think it is a mistake to think there is one universal propaganda strategy,different strokes for different folks

    #118843
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Again, Tim, i agree with you and once more i have argued very much the same very often and i have used the very exact same words as yourself … plus another well known phrase – "Let a thousand flowers bloom"  and this is also the answer to SP…We should embrace diversity in our approaches. There is and should never be a specific plan. Never put all your eggs into one basket, as they say.But some say such a policy essentially leads to cheap shoddy propaganda that is counter-productive to an image we seek to project (pun on another proposal). Others say such autonomy challenges Party democracy decision-making. But you, me and everybody else are all working blind.You say more live events such as debates, public meetings etc. For sure.I will say more internet/web/social media presence. For sure. And i think this leads to the conclusion that both can easily be merged and synthesised so that they complement and enhance one another and become a much more effective means of communication. We video or record our meetings but what about live streaming of meetings where we also take online questions. I have argued that EC and conference/ADM should be conducted on some variant of Skype. The revolution should be televised, well, at least, the Party's democracy. Yes, the party had some degree of success in the past. Open air meetings were our forte and brought attention to ourselves and developed speakers of outstanding ability.When i first joined, this was the tpical the activity…A weekly Monday evening branch meeting with usually a dozen or more in attendance (inquorate  meetings were unheard of), discussing the weekly EC report and when it was completed we continued informally in the pub.Saturday street selling the Standard with a branch order of near enough a hundred,Outdoor meeting on the Sunday afternoon plus inthe evening during the good weather at a recognised "Speakers Corner"In the Winter a series of indoor public meetings.We had a branch membership that rose to about 40-50 at its peak.We held debates and meetings which were mostly advertised by fly-posting and we were the most prolific that the council had a special file upon the branch. We were endowed with the services of a few talented screen-print artists.We had two or three retail outlets for the Standard. And if memory serves me correctly the print run was over 7000 for the Standard and party membership stood at just over a thousandBut things change and things move on. The world's most well known and most frequent venue for outdoor meetings – Hyde Park Corner – is a travesty these days…The rest around the country have simply disappeared due to traffic and parking and lack of interest.We have new methods of relating to one another. We should be posting "selfies" of our party on every web platform.I have suggested that regular lit stalls should be performed by every branch capable. KSRB have demonstrated their usefulness in making ourselves known and gathering contact info. I am a proponent of being active participants in every protest and demonstration and march, with banners and flags. Is everybody who holds a SWP placard a member of it…of course not,  but it gives a visual indication that they are. CPB at one rally i went to dished out simple crude red flags with their initials screen-printed on to it…were they spurned by marchers ?…no…they ended up with not enough to distribute. Dare i mention it…where is our marketing and advertising and self-promotion? Took us decades to acquire a logo but where is the opportunities to use it…the badges, the tea-shirts, the caps and where are the slogans and sound-bites to go with itAnd before the Moderator decides we are off-topic, when Occupy arose i suggested truck-loads of lit. to be delivered, togive them all our available all our promotional items and donate second-hand books along with our own party stuff and even offer our premises and printers for their use and now with Nuit Debout, i say the same. Lets find out more and if there is a talking-space for us, let's get doing itEven if there is only the beginnings of an overlap with our principles we should embrace it. We go where we share something in common. There is simply a more effective approach than the random politics such as an blind unfocused election campaign…using valuable resources in the hope of reaching someone half-interested out of thousands when there are protests where they are taking part in because they are fully interested. We could go on but all the possibilities and potential is not worth a damn unless we can make our message one that receptive to the audience. I recall BrianJ often regaling conference with questions on what our USP was …what our Unique Selling Point was…the issues that make us stand out differently from the other parties but which also resonates with the public. And here is where, i think, we are operating blind…we still don't know those. W could have conducted our own surveys if we weren't prepared to pay..(i believe i have a vague memory of Standard survey)The website can be interactive with an on-line polls to elicit view and answers from visitors -one immediate if not perfect remedial step that is entirely practableWe have never conducted any sort of systematic survey into how we are perceived (much less the extent that we are known and not confused with other organisations)Have we concentrated upon what fellow workers are concerned about and would respond to? More economics? More environment? …We do stuff because it has always been done that way…hence my Einstein quote. And i will add another.  "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." – Albert Einstein.We require to think our strategy differently..to think out the box…and like every experiment face the fact that some will fail, but we learn from the experience of what not to do…and that helps narrow the future options. ALB and others are right, i am a bit of  Private Fraser but my own predictions of our ultimate decline isn't what we should be discussing…it is my positive prescriptions for reversing that negative trend. And to the dismay of other members, it does mean more engagement from Party members…and my somewhat doom and gloom prognosis of the Party's future is that we cannot expect the commitment necessary for an upturn to appear …but i'm the last to say we shouldn't try

    #118844
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Oh, i should add we were a SOCIAList Party . On Friday and Saturday nights we met in the same pub, one frequented by many politicos and petty-criminals (plus Princess Margaret although she never drank in the public bar but rather the Oyster Bar). We went around the pub (and nearby ones) selling the Standard and getting involved in all arguments and banter (with one another too). It was over few pints that i acquired my political knowledge and reading lists. I mentioned the football team elsewhere. We were a political presence in the City, bigger than the IS (as the SWP was called at the time) and out-doing the SLL (as the WRP was called) and the IMG. Militant was still mostly hiding in the dark in Labour Party and the Trades Council. It was branch of autodidacts. Just like many other branches. We didn't recruit in universities, we were the road to university.

    #118845
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Oh, and a final thought. I don' have the answer. You don't have the answer. But i think if we indulge in some collective group think and hold a special dedicated conference , it will be closer to an answer

    #118846
    ALB
    Keymaster

    I posted a question about Nuit Debout on a French-language ultraleft discussion forum I'm on and got two replies.Both confirm that it is a part of the more general discontent over the French government's attempt to revise the Labour Code and end "jobs for life". Below is  a rough translation of what they say.One quotes a letter written by Henri Simon (who was associated with the old Solidarity group in Britain in its day) on 8 April:

    Quote:
    Since a week, separate from but more or less linked to this movement, some militants are trying to benefit from the confused situation to launch an Occupy-style movement. Under the label "Nuit Debout" they have started an occupation of the Place de la Republique (at least, of 25%  of it given the small number of participants) each night with open discussions. Up to now they have only assembled a few hundreds (perhaps a thousand some evenings) for the denates which have not led to any concrete actions. Nevertheless they persist hoping that some event will come to give an impulse to their project, such as for instance the "grand" demonstration planned for tomorrow.

    The other from a couple of Bordigists calling themselves "Robin Goodfellow" attributes the publicity about them to media looking for something different during an ordinary labourstrike and demonstration movement. On this latter they say more or less the same as us:

    Quote:
    That, 48 years after the "victory" of May 1968, there is a need to mobilise to stop a lengthening of the working day and a decrease in wages says a lot about the deadend of reformism and the fact that as long as the capitalist mode of production is not abolished no "reform", even one obtained at the cost of a massive general strike, can bring about a durable improvement in the lot of the proletariar.
    #118847
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Further comments on this ultraleft forum are not so unfavourable. For instance:

    Quote:
    We must not confuse the recuperation with the dynamic that is present in the movement. I think it is inscribed in a deep and generalised reflection on the perspectives offered by the capitalist mode of production. Even if this reflection is often confused and carrying illusions, we should not remain blind to what is most basic in this dynamic.

    It is still the case, though, that it is not regarded as too significant as it does not involve people in their places of work and that one of the "illusions" it is said to carry is its concern for democratic forms — which of course is precisely what we find encouraging in it. But then we are not ultralefts.

    #118848

    Well, one journalist has mounted his high horse:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36072119

    #118849
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Mouvement Communiste adds their critical analysis of Nuit Debouthttp://mouvement-communiste.com/documents/MC/Leaflets/BLT16024ENVF.pdfHave we got too high expectations of a protest that admits it is on a learning curve?Or are some commentators with more insight seeing through the rhetoric and posturing?

    #118850
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

     A very VERY lengthy time-line account of French activism and the appearance of Nuit Debouthttp://dialectical-delinquents.com/france-a-reader/

    #118851
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    One more article for your reading pleasure. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/22/on-the-uprisings-in-france/

    Quote:
    However, it would be foolish to automatically assume that #NuitDebout militants are actively trying to adopt more “radical” solutions than the ones suggested by the old political guard. Marxist theory is unanimously rejected in favor of more liberal-leaning approaches to feminism and immigration; talks around the economy are rooted in Keynesian reasoning – which begs us to ask the question: what makes the #NuitDebout movement so different than the French political parties its organizers are desperately trying to break free from? Their “multifaceted” approach and refusal to subscribe to an ideological current might seem “fresh” to some participants but it’s ultimately proof that most are ignorant of the power structures that pave way to the many forms of oppression they’re decrying
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