Some Thoughts on Networks and Building a Mass Movement for Revolution

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From a member of the Revolution Club:

In continuing to think about what’s concentrated in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, I’ve gone back to the piece on “Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution” and want to share some further thinking.

Building a mass movement for revolution cannot be understood simply as us, people in the Revolution Club, mass distributing HOW WE CAN WIN, the strategy for revolution, agitating on the crimes of the system and the way out, and building for screenings and major events meant to cohere and harvest new people off a period of work. Neither can it be simply understood as giving concrete assignments to people we meet to contribute to those things.

What is essential to developing a mass movement for revolution that amounts to more than a bunch of diffuse sentiment and “thumbs up” is establishing, developing, and integrating networks of individuals in key locations and among key sections of the masses to carry out work that is in line with the overall strategy. Working through this process to achieve a critical mass of sufficient size and determination to overcome obstacles to expanding and developing even more networks.

This will include an element of broad outreach and mass agitation—we are still “beating the bushes,” creating public opinion about revolution and looking for people who want to step into the revolution on different levels. Very importantly we need increasing masses of people coming to know who BA is. AND we must cohere networks of people and break out of working with people on purely an individual basis or we will never achieve the necessary geometric growth, and we will necessarily limit the mass movement to that which the existing Revolution Clubs, social media, and are able to reach at any given time, which will restrict us to a process that only increases our forces incrementally.

A mass movement for revolution does not mean the Revolution Clubs going out and working with isolated individuals to go out and do work in a diffuse way. Working with individuals will certainly be a part of the process, but we must strive for that to no longer be the principal aspect of our work. A mass movement for revolution must mean networks of individuals coming together with others to learn more about and spread this movement for revolution. These networks, in their quality and quantity, should be a key measure of how we are doing at organizing a truly mass movement for revolution.

The dynamic that we are aiming for is what I would call networks building networks.

We should be aiming to organize networks of individuals into distribution and postering teams, promotional teams for the new film; groups that get together and debate and discuss revolution through engaging BA and the new film; a network of high school students who organize a “revolution table” in the cafeteria; who are watching clips from the new talk and showing them to others; networks organizing film showings (major ones and people who group together family/friends/colleagues/classmates); groupings that make and sell tamales (and other fundraising work); groups who are organizing protests and walkouts in their school or workplace against the consolidation of fascism etc...

The thinking throughout this has to be finding different ways in for people to carry out meaningful revolutionary work wherever they may be in the process. People need to do this from “where they are at.” By this I mean people need to be able to participate in more ways than we currently have thought through. Right now, people either have to join up with the Revolution Club, or come to one of our events, or share social media posts in order to participate. So if someone works full-time, or has kids, or has health problems, or has super-controlling parents, how can we enable them to contribute? How can we enable them to begin a process where they are contributing, learning, and contributing more? Taking on more responsibility through the whole process? The key to all of this is that the work of individuals needs to result in the formation of networks or else, however important the work may be, this will end up as diffuse sentiment that cannot be mobilized or wielded.

This means that we need networks and forms of organizations in neighborhoods, on campuses, in high schools, among different social groupings and collectives. We need to unleash people with concrete tasks that they can complete from beginning to end, and we have to struggle to win people to see these tasks as necessary and essential contributions to the revolution. We absolutely need to mobilize people right now to promote this new upcoming speech from BA being released on film and get it out very broadly and through this process form more organization. We need networks of people who know who BA is and are on deeper and deeper levels engaging this film and the new communism and are spreading it to others.


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