Maybe the title should be, “The Left is dead. Long live The Left!”
After listening, my feeling is similar to the feeling I have after most left discussions. I want to have hope we can get it together, but I see no real change in tactics, I see no real change in organization, and hear variations on themes I’ve heard for decades. I have zero time for the post and trans-human stuff. I find most of it juvenile fantasy, which is why it is easily taken up by right leaning silicon valley billionaires.
The Left loves to talk about “what is to be done.” The question of how to unify is equally important. If we can’t do that, we will truly be dead. We lost the class war waged by the right, but they fight on with the resolution of hungry vampires. As we know, that is capitalism. Its logic is ceaseless accumulation and the commodification of all things. I’ll assume this is obvious to anyone who happens to come across this. Instead of writing a lot of paragraphs people won’t read, I’ll try a list people won’t read:
1. We need an umbrella organization that all groups and individuals can join and participate in. Something like an I.W.W. and WSF – and maybe eventually a party – all in one, but better, of course. This would almost instantaneously give us money and power in numbers. We need both.
2. How? One way would be for influential lefties and leaders and heads of orgs to get together (you know, organize) and simply declare they are starting this thing, and want people to be involved.
3. That organization would attempt to organize groups and individuals into a coordinated, efficient, powerful left with a plan.
4. The plan would be an actual step-by-step plan to fight the destructive policies of the right and to actually take power. It could change as we go of course, but we need an actual plan and actual coordination. Why do we believe that simply “being active” is enough to win anything lasting? We have to be at least as organised as capital if we want to ever consider winning. That means worldwide organization.
5. The idea would be to focus on what people could agree to do that would move us forward in a positive direction. That sounds simple. What I mean is, start small and focus on productive things people agree on instead of getting mired in arguments and endless discussions. Ideally we would be learning, teaching, and doing all at the same time. The idea is to act and learn as we go. Easier said than done. Probably the first thing people would have to decide would be what decision making processes would work. Fine. A lot of left leaders have been down that road. Let them figure it out. If they as people we look up to can’t get past that, we need other people to look up to and to get our ideas from. I could go on, but that’s the general idea. I haven’t heard anyone on the left propose it – it being, left leaders (and I use that term loosely) should organize themselves into an umbrella organization, and that organization should organize the rest of us. Barring some development like that, or other better ideas, I don’t have much hope.
I know this begs many questions, but I thought I would put it out there anyway. For example, there’s the old, “real movements have to organically develop from the grass roots, they can’t be imposed from above.” Well, if left leaders could organize themselves into an organization that was capable of organizing others, I’d say that would be pretty grass roots. What’s left of the left needs radical ideas to make radical change.
Good luck to us all. We’re going to need it.
Jason Adams & Mohammad Salemy,Kodwo Eshun, Liza Featherstone, Paul Feigelfeld, Stefan Heidenreich, Doug Henwood, Katerina Kolozova, Catherine Liu, Davor Löffler, Antonia Majaca, Jaleh Mansoor, Metahaven, Nina Power, Judith Rodenbeck, Anjalika Sagar, Steven Shaviro, Jonathan Thomas, and Anton Vidokle, amongst others