Ideas for the struggle
Ideas for the struggle #11 - Popular consultations: spaces that allow for the convergence of different forces
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. I have previously argued the case for the need to create a large social bloc against neoliberalism that can unite all those affected by the system. To achieve this, it is fundamental that we create spaces that allow for the convergence of specific anti-neoliberal struggles where, while safeguarding the specific characteristics of each political or social actor, common tasks can be taken up that help strengthening the struggle.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. I have previously referred to the necessity of building unity among all left forces and actors in order to be able to cohere a broad anti-neoliberal bloc around them. Nevertheless, I do not think that this objective can be achieved in a voluntarist manner, creating coordinating bodies from above that end up being a simple sum of acronyms.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. There continues to be a difficulty within the left to deal with differences. In the past, the tendency of political organizations, especially parties that declared they were parties of the working class, was always towards homogenizing the social base within which they carried out political work. If this attitude was once understandable due to the past identity and homogeneity of the working class, today it is anachronistic when confronted with a working class that is quite differentiated, and with the emergence of a diversity of new social forces. Today, we increasingly have to deal with a unity based on diversity, on respect for ethnic and cultural differences, for gender and for the sense of belonging of specific collectives.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. Democratic centralism implies not only the subordination of the minority to the majority, but also the respect of the majority towards the minority.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. For a long time, left-wing parties operated along authoritarian lines. The usual practice was that of bureaucratic centralism, influenced by the practice of Soviet socialism. Most decisions regarding principles, tasks, initiatives, and the course of political action to take were restricted to the party elite, without the participation or debate of the membership who were limited to following orders that they never got to discuss and in many cases did not understand. For most people, these practices are every day becoming increasingly more intolerable.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. We have previously stated that politics is the art of constructing a social and political force capable of changing the balance of forces in order to make possible tomorrow that which today appears to be impossible. But to be able to construct a social force political organizations must demonstrate a great respect for grassroots movements, and contribute to their autonomous development, leaving behind all attempts at manipulation. They must take as their starting point the fact that they are not the only ones with ideas and proposals; on the contrary, grassroots movements have much to offer us, because through their daily struggles they have also learned things, discovered new paths, found solutions and invented methods which can be of great value.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal 1. Popular movements and, more generally, the different social protagonists engaged in the struggle against neoliberal globalization both at the international and national levels, reject — with good reason — attitudes that aim to impose hegemony or control on movements. They do not accept the steamroller policy that some political and social organizations tended to use that, taking advantage of their position of strength and monopolizing political positions, attempts to manipulate the movement. They do not accept the authoritarian imposition of a leadership from above; they do not accept attempts made to lead movements by simply giving orders, no matter how correct they are.
By Pete Dolack September 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Systemic Disorder — All of us who struggle for a better world are disheartened that so many advances of the 20th century have been lost. The mounting crises of the environment, the global economy and ever more constricted political systems are unmistakably moving humanity toward a cliff. And yet social movements, for all the victories here and there, again and again fail to sustain momentum. Why are we in this predicament? No single person or organization can fully answer such a question, of course, but we do need to seriously reconsider what has been done and how. In this spirit, Marta Harnecker’s “Ideas for the Struggle” is a document that merits wide discussion. Originally written in 2004 and updated this year, the paper consists of 12 short, closely linked sections. And although written with Latin America in mind, the ideas are borderless.