Look after the movement and the goals will look after themselves
Why we should enthusiastically join reformist movements and not just to attempt to swap their goals for overtly radical ones. On radical supremacy and the ungovernability factor. No vanguards no masters.
By The Mutualist / whatever-ism.blogspot.co.uk
Jul 4, 2015

This isn't going to be a long one, I've got a point to make and I'm just going to make it.


Radical supremacy

As radicals we reckon our ideas would transform the world into something that is better for everyone. Ironically this "everyone" that we're trying to help mostly either doesn't care or sometimes is even actively hostile to our ideas... now what?

Now we tell them that they're wrong. Wrong about what they think they want, wrong about how change comes about, wrong about history, wrong about the future, wrong about themselves and their place in society...

Is this sensible? No.

Our high ideals and small numbers cause us to become a fringe group, open to accusations of being either 'all-talk and no action' or just violent and anti-social. We spend as much time fighting each other over the finer points of theory as we do achieving progress towards our goals. We know we've done big things in the past and we rightly claim them as part of our radical heritage but we also know that we're certainly not on the brink of global revolution today!

The ungovernability factor

So what do we do?

Join popular reformist movements... Yes I said it.

Why would I say this? Because our whole point is that people are not wrong about what they want, people are not wrong about what  is good for them they are just up against a system that denies them the chance to get it. We should join reformist movements and push for them to be internally anarchistic:
 
Ungovernability starts now, it starts before you get out of bed in the morning
 
  • Ensuring that those most directly affected by the issue that the reformist movement are dealing with are driving it and that everyone else is there to listen, help and be a good ally. 
  • Demanding self-organisation. Minimum use of figureheads, representatives and spokespeople who can easily become co-opted by the ruling class and who institute their own kind of damaging hierarchy within the movement.
  • Making sure that the demands of the movement are somewhat vague and flexible as well as being ambitious as opposed to them being extremely specific which is inherently self-limiting. 
  • Helping to create safe spaces within movements which are completely free from oppressors/ exploiters where people are free to talk and discuss their ambitions openly. No police, no bosses, no fascists etc. 
If we look after the movements in this way the goals will take care of themselves. 
 
We must help create the conditions for people to radicalise themselves. If we make our movements ungovernable they will drift towards ungovernable goals! WITHOUT radicals feeling the need to step in as teachers/ leaders/ a revolutionary vanguard! A little propaganda never does any harm and letting people know you're interested and knowledgeable about radical theory is all good, when the time is right they might ask you some questions and hopefully all that reading that you've been doing will be put to good use!
 
If people do try to take on special leadership roles/ talk on behalf of others/ limit the goals/ bring oppressors-exploiters into safe- spaces then use every tactic in the book. Take the piss out of them, ostracise them, spread rumours about them, deliberately go against their advice/orders... whatever... 
 
If top down reform has a history of pacifying people a taste of winning gets self-organised movements dreaming even bigger, gaining confidence and wanting more. Grassroots reform always turns revolutionary when done right. No vanguard necessary. 
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Look after the movement and the goals will look after themselves