Organisation update

MAY 2022 Forums World Socialist Movement Organisation update

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 244 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #130506
    Brian
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    .No questions asking what members perceive as our weakness and how they can be addressed.We have to pin-point what is missing/lacking from our Party  

    I suggest you take another look at the survey questionnaire.  Although these concerns are not directly addressed, because they would be leading questions, we have split the 'concerns' into several questions.The whole point of the exercise is to capture the information and evidence on "what is missing/lacking".Nevertheless, its essential this information and evidence attains credence with the members responding being sufficient for validity.  If we are unable to get sufficient members responding then we most certainly have a big problem on our hands.I urge all comrades to get  the survey/questionnaire returned a.s.a.p. and not to wait until the last moment.If we have missed any member just make a post here and I'll follow it through.

    #130507
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    What about obataining feedbacks from the others companion parties of the WSM ?  

    #130508
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    As people know i have been pushing for a conference dedicated to re-appraising the Party and its functions for quite sometime. Yet, an emergency conference on what, is my first thought. i think we have to have a conference agenda develop from a rigourous online/branch exchange. And this was the part missing from the survey/questionnaire…No questions asking what members perceive as our weakness and how they can be addressed.We have to pin-point what is missing/lacking from our Party because progress has not just stalled but we are suffering a regression despite a host of advantages such as a healthy cash reserve and the ability to devote that to subsidising many other resources.If Tim detects the green shoots of recovery, i hope it is true. But we have to place things in perspective and we are not experiencing any growth in the Party but a contraction and for the time being, despite the attacks upon it, the working class are not offering any coordinated or even coherent defence or resistance against the capitalist class. In many parts of the World our fellow-workers have actually adopted the positions of the ruling class.From YMS post…and he can correct me if i am wrong -…but it appears he is asking simply for a conference focused on organisational structure. Isn't that as the saying goes, re-arranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic? I fear our malaise which is reflected in many other organisations is far deeper than simply the way we are organised as a Party.  A conference is there to bring forth discussion and debate on differences and hopefully to resolve or at least clarify them for the Party membership to have the final say on. I don't think there will be a magic bullet and to be honest, i don't think we can achieve it without incorporating cooperation from our rivals in what is called the Thin Red Line and that won't happen either, if they do not also re-prioritise their own politics and maeet us half-way. But i do know that our political positions cannot be reconciled until we or them reach out in comradeship. And i know some members will not consider various political groups worthy of the term comrade and i know other groups have their own hostility clause.

    Besides of adopting the stand of the rulign class, workers are embracing extreme nationalism, and it looks like   we are coming back to the 1930. We are one of the few political organizations who have a clear understanding that nationalism is a very  dangerous trend, and that wars will never benefits mankind. We do not have any common interests with our rulers

    #130509
    Mike Foster
    Participant
    Marcos wrote:
    What about obataining feedbacks from the others companion parties of the WSM ?  

     The committee's role has been set out to focus on the SPGB, rather than the other parties. Once our report has been put together, the companion parties will have access to it and would be welcome to comment on it if they wanted to.

    #130510
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Mike Foster wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    What about obataining feedbacks from the others companion parties of the WSM ?  

     The committee's role has been set out to focus on the SPGB, rather than the other parties. Once our report has been put together, the companion parties will have access to it and would be welcome to comment on it if they wanted to.

    How are you going to do that when none of the companion parties participate in this forum or in the WSM forum ? The expression 'if they wanted to" sounds like it is optional

    #130511
    robbo203
    Participant
    Mike Foster wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    What about obataining feedbacks from the others companion parties of the WSM ?  

     The committee's role has been set out to focus on the SPGB, rather than the other parties. Once our report has been put together, the companion parties will have access to it and would be welcome to comment on it if they wanted to.

     Marcos has a  point.  Perhaps a different kind of survey should be carried out involving the companion parties to  identify areas where greater cooperation could be introduced.  Its all about breaking down a sense of isolation that plagues the movement I would add to that, the proposal to carry out a survey of ex members of the SPGB (going back say, 10 years).  Not only would the views obtained be of interest to the committee but, if the surviey itself was skillfully carried out to arouse interest at the prospect of a modernised and reorganised SPGB , it could very welll result in the return of some ex members to the Party

    #130512
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    robbo203 wrote:
    Mike Foster wrote:
    Marcos wrote:
    What about obataining feedbacks from the others companion parties of the WSM ?  

     The committee's role has been set out to focus on the SPGB, rather than the other parties. Once our report has been put together, the companion parties will have access to it and would be welcome to comment on it if they wanted to.

     Marcos has a  point.  Perhaps a different kind of survey should be carried out involving the companion parties to  identify areas where greater cooperation could be introduced.  Its all about breaking down a sense of isolation that plagues the movement I would add to that, the proposal to carry out a survey of ex members of the SPGB (going back say, 10 years).  Not only would the views obtained be of interest to the committee but, if the surviey itself was skillfully carried out to arouse interest at the prospect of a modernised and reorganised SPGB , it could very welll result in the return of some ex members to the Party

    And the revival of some companion parties, and the revival of some ex-members. The SPGB and its committee should not be acting like the  entral committee of a vanguard party. or an isolated organization, it must  include all the members, ex-members and companion parties. They say that four eyes can see better than two eyes

    #130513
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I think Marcos, Robbo and others like myself can exercise a bit of patience and see what comes of this exercise before we engage in any rancorous debate.

    I, myself, consider this initiative to be the first step in a long journey and hopefully, in time we become better equipped and we will be joined by those in the companion parties to extend the range of the exchanges.

    For the time being, this discussion thread will just have to do.

    Observations and comments from WSM members and ex-members and non-members will be most welcomed and those involved in producing a report would be wise to take them into consideration.

    #130514
    J Surman
    Participant

    I'd like to inject a little positive here. It's easy to understand the frustration from some contributors when things appear to be stagnant or moving backwards even but there are already some new angles to be explored offered on this thread and with the survey yet to be completed there will surely be other relevant suggestions or areas for discussion.There are several of us here from far flung parts both in the UK and the rest of the world but I'm not sure the frustration is increased by that. As gnome pointed out earlier it has not been possible to fill all posts. Let's give those comrades  who are doing necessary work, in whatever area, recognition for the time they put in with their best efforts along with holding down a job and trying to fit in 'having a life.'Perhaps we can consider that while we all tread different paths we seek the same destination.FOR SOCIALISM.

    #130515
    Bijou Drains
    Participant
    J Surman wrote:
    I'd like to inject a little positive here. It's easy to understand the frustration from some contributors when things appear to be stagnant or moving backwards even but there are already some new angles to be explored offered on this thread and with the survey yet to be completed there will surely be other relevant suggestions or areas for discussion.There are several of us here from far flung parts both in the UK and the rest of the world but I'm not sure the frustration is increased by that. As gnome pointed out earlier it has not been possible to fill all posts. Let's give those comrades  who are doing necessary work, in whatever area, recognition for the time they put in with their best efforts along with holding down a job and trying to fit in 'having a life.'Perhaps we can consider that while we all tread different paths we seek the same destination.FOR SOCIALISM.

    I concur, the comrades putting work into this project need our support in the work they are doing. That is not to say that they are above criticism, however we need to recognise that the survey is a start point, a consultation exercise in an attempt to find out the general views of party members, it is not a vote nor does it have any binding status within the party.I know cde Johnstone (aka pte Frazer) may disagree with me, however I do think there are some very positive developments ion the party at the moment. If you look at it from a brief SWOT analysis perspective:Strengths – We have an unbroken history of organising for Socialism for the last 113 years with all of the strength that brings in terms of a back catalogue of incredible articles, theoretical strength, legitimacy. I would say, unlike many other organisations we don't have skeletons in the closet about past positions, etc. etc. We are also a party with a great deal of material strength, we have money, a valuable property, equipment, etc.Weaknesses- We have an aging and stagnant membership, we have a slow moving decision making process for the party that has its basis, as Brian points out in 19th Century Trades Union organisation and also, I would argue has processes developed to ensure that a similar situation as arose in the SDF, does not arise in the SPGB. Hopefully we are in the process of renewing these decision making processes and that can impact on membership.Opportunities – Capitalism is one of our main opportunities, it provides us with fertile ground for socialist ideas. The announcement of 20 years of wage stagnation, the housing crises, the threat of war, starvation, foodbanks, homelessness, the destruction of public services, the suppression of the trades union movement, the apparent awakening of younger people to the problems we face, etc. etc. are all of our opportunities.Threats – To me the major threat is inactivity, if we don't get out there and put our case across in whatever way we can, we will not make progress. If we sit and wait for the working class to come to us, we're stuffed. The internet is one way, however I am a firm believer that the traditional methods, public meetings, debates, paper sales, etc. are productive in ways that the internet is not. One of the main reasons for the Corbyn phenomenon was the public meetings held all over the country. We had a speaker at a debate at the Durham University Union last year and there were over 150 attendees.

    #130516
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Tim, i may well be a pessimist (i prefer to consider it realism) but i am also a very patient person…I've waited this long so i can wait a bit longer to see how things develop, as i recommended in a previous post. We can learn from our mistakes…but we have to know what have been the mistakes to rectify them.

    #130517
    robbo203
    Participant
    Tim Kilgallon wrote:
     I concur, the comrades putting work into this project need our support in the work they are doing. That is not to say that they are above criticism, however we need to recognise that the survey is a start point, a consultation exercise in an attempt to find out the general views of party members, it is not a vote nor does it have any binding status within the party.I know cde Johnstone (aka pte Frazer) may disagree with me, however I do think there are some very positive developments ion the party at the moment. If you look at it from a brief SWOT analysis perspective:Strengths – We have an unbroken history of organising for Socialism for the last 113 years with all of the strength that brings in terms of a back catalogue of incredible articles, theoretical strength, legitimacy. I would say, unlike many other organisations we don't have skeletons in the closet about past positions, etc. etc. We are also a party with a great deal of material strength, we have money, a valuable property, equipment, etc.Weaknesses- We have an aging and stagnant membership, we have a slow moving decision making process for the party that has its basis, as Brian points out in 19th Century Trades Union organisation and also, I would argue has processes developed to ensure that a similar situation as arose in the SDF, does not arise in the SPGB. Hopefully we are in the process of renewing these decision making processes and that can impact on membership.Opportunities – Capitalism is one of our main opportunities, it provides us with fertile ground for socialist ideas. The announcement of 20 years of wage stagnation, the housing crises, the threat of war, starvation, foodbanks, homelessness, the destruction of public services, the suppression of the trades union movement, the apparent awakening of younger people to the problems we face, etc. etc. are all of our opportunities.Threats – To me the major threat is inactivity, if we don't get out there and put our case across in whatever way we can, we will not make progress. If we sit and wait for the working class to come to us, we're stuffed. The internet is one way, however I am a firm believer that the traditional methods, public meetings, debates, paper sales, etc. are productive in ways that the internet is not. One of the main reasons for the Corbyn phenomenon was the public meetings held all over the country. We had a speaker at a debate at the Durham University Union last year and there were over 150 attendees.

     I agree with this analysis but it is not a criticism of the work of the committee to suggest 2 further surveys be carried out involving1) ex members2) companion parites Amother suggestion I would like to offer for the committee to consider is the introduction of a "buddy system" in the SPGB and indeed throughout the WSM.  See here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_system.   It is a highly effective way to break down the sense of isolation that is a major cause of inacitivity and the drifting away from the Party Finally, as regards the handful of members who have strangely  succumbed to the siren calls of the Corbyn phenomenon I am confident  that if and when a Corbyn government comes into being, the inevitable disillusionment that they and hundreds of thousands of others will feel will provide fertile soil for the regeneration of the SPGB but only if the SPGB itself has sufficiently adapted and modernised itself to face up this enormous challenge

    #130518
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Robbo, my only concern with formally involving ex-members is that some may well be antagonistic to ourselves after leaving and their feedback may well be biased and in fact poisoned.I know it does not refer to yourself and a few others who remain comradely,  but it could include Socialist Studies members and a few other individuals who is now on a political trajectory well away from the SPGB goals.Plus on a practical level, would our contact details still be up to date.This thread on this forum should be sufficient for the moment for those ex- and non-members to contribute.  

    #130519
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Sorry to bring all you far-flung 'advisers' back to reality but none of you seemingly has any idea about the difficulties the party is presently facing.  The handful (literally) of comrades, some, no doubt, "aging (sic) and stagnant", who are currently undertaking the administration of the party had a mammoth task identifying the email addresses of existing members (we only presently have around 220 valid email addresses) let alone contemplate including those who have left "going back say, 10 years".  Those without email addresses will have had their survey sent to them by post.It was the membership of the SPGB which overwhelmingly passed, at its 2017 Conference, a motion to conduct a survey of its membership with the Executive Committee empowered to agree the precise terms of reference.  Ex-members were (rightly) not included and neither were Companion Parties. Once the findings of the survey have been collated, others will have access to it, as has already been stated, and will be welcome to comment on it should they choose.

    #130520
    robbo203
    Participant
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    Robbo, my only concern with formally involving ex-members is that some may well be antagonistic to ourselves after leaving and their feedback may well be biased and in fact poisoned.I know it does not refer to yourself and a few others who remain comradely,  but it could include Socialist Studies members and a few other individuals who is now on a political trajectory well away from the SPGB goals.Plus on a practical level, would our contact details still be up to date.This thread on this forum should be sufficient for the moment for those ex- and non-members to contribute.  

     Alan, I understand the point that some ex members might be antagonistic in their response to a survey but even an antagonistic response might reveal some useful information from the point of view or reorganising the Party's structure.  You are not obliged to go along with the sentiment expressed but it could be helpful to know what antagnised them. i suspect though that the majority of ex members leave becuase they dont see the Party getting anywhere.  This becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.  Disillusionment breeds disillusionment.  Declining numbers breeds a further a decline in numbers.  Part of the point of the exercise of a  survey of ex-members specifically – please note I am keeping this quite distinct from the survey of existing members – is precisely to rekindle their interest in re-joining (something I am considering myself at this moment in time, I should add) Sure the contact details of many are likely to be out of date and so obviously a percentage of the survey forms sent out will be wasted.  That goes with the terrain.  The point is to focus on the positive possibilities – namely, those ex members who might respond and respond favourably.  If you are going to target propganda then it makes sense to target it at those people who you know to be most likely to socialist inclined and that is precisely ex members of the SPGB!  If they can be persuaded that the SPGB is doing something radical about overhauling and modernising its whole structure who is to say it wont reignite their interest in some cases? What have you got to lose by doing this?  It doesnt surely take that much for the committee to enlarge its brief to carry out a second survey using the data on the computer system and perhaps a third survey with regard to the companion parties.  I fully understand the need for a survey or members only but you have also got to look outwards and not just inwards at the membership itself if you want to halt and reverse the decline in members

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 244 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.