I finally got around to closely reading statements by political organizations that some comrades and friends belong to.

First, the statement from Miami Autonomy and Solidarity (MAS). I really like that MAS are “working towards theoretical and strategic unity” – this is a process – and I like that they talk about “tactical coordination” rather than tactical unity. The over all goal is to assist “the practical struggles of the working class to transform itself into a revolutionary class capable of overthrowing capitalism and the state.” Yep.

“more experimentation is needed to develop tools and practices which will aid in the development of a genuine multi-racial, working class movement in the US. We believe that building such a movement is the task of all serious anti-racist, anti-statist, anti-capitalist revolutionaries.” Again yep.

“Not everyone who is in a class knows they’re in a class.” This is part of the goal, to build class consciousness: make people aware in an explicit manner of their class position, build class loyalty, and make clear the need in the short term for change in the balance of power between classes and the need in the long term for the abolition of economic class relationships in society.

Liberation will come through “the development of self-managed mass organizations, which are developed through class struggle.”

MAS decribe their role in revolutionary struggles in a way which speaks to how they see their mass work as well:

“The role of members of our revolutionary organization in this struggle is one of equals making arguments and seeking influence through persuasion within the popular revolutionary struggle; as active militants on behalf of the directly democratic revolutionary struggles; and trying to defend against those who would seek to dominate within these popular revolutionary struggles through coercion or by seeking to institute systems of control, domination or exploitation.”

Second, Four Star Anarchist Organization (4*@O), out of Chicago.

4*@O’s statement of principles is shorter and written in a more approachable language than MAS’s statement. I like that it has positive language: healthy supportive relationships, democratic control of workplaces, and so on. I also like how it addresses different social spaces – familiy, housing, work, neighborhoods, and the interaction with the natural world.

I really like 4*@O’s Mid-Term Goals statement. I like it for several reasons. One, I like that it exists! It’s great to have goal setting rather than reactive activities. Two, I like that these are mid-term and not short-term goals. There’s a patience and modesty to that wording – particularly given the points they make about implementation of these goals, the practices will come in the mid-term, not over night – and that’s something I really respect, I think that’s smart. I think the goals also express ambition: “make anarchism an idea that can be a leading idea”, “develop working class leadership.” Both are great, and necessary. I like the subsidiary steps they lay out as well.

Third, Common Action, from the Pacific Northwest. I really like this part a lot: “Anarchism will be brought about by the struggle between the vast working class majority of society and the tiny minority that currently rules. A successful social transformation will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class.”

I like the emphasis on “those crucial points where working class people are organizing together for control over our lives, the decisions affecting us and against oppression.” (This statement is largely the same as the put forward by Common Cause, from Ontario.)

Finally, Amanecer’s statement of purpose. I like this very much: “We aim to organize ourselves as revolutionaries, developing our skills and strategy to which we can apply our energy. We aim to work with other people with whom we share political affinity as well as inspire new conscious revolutionaries. We aim to build a new base for anarchism that is rooted in the struggles of everyday folk. Together we will build a political home, a place for discussion and creation of a vision to guide the organizing efforts of revolutionaries, and a place for reflection, development, and growth. (…) learn revolutionary strategy and theory from the people and their movements.”

I like the emphasis on process here – this all something that will happen over time – and the clear statement of what the organization does and plans to attempt to do, in broad strokes, rather than what the organization currently believes.