Let’s see if this works. If it does, the image will still suck cuz I’m bad at this stuff.

Our local; other groups; areas/types of work; some of how things relate

The points/spaces/spheres
There’s the core local, that’s the perspective this diagram works from, it’s in the middle. The lines represent relationships and directions of possible work.

The local engages in internal work based on the needs and priorities of members and the other work we’re doing.

The local has ties to close comrades locally who are not members of the same political organization but who we see eye to eye with on most important stuff and trust. The local is tied to a larger organization. We have relationships to other anarchists and leftists, locally and nationally. The larger organization has these relationships too. The local has ties to mass organizations. These organizations have or can internal tendencies, whether formal or informal. The local also orients toward people who are not currently strongly active in struggles and organizations.

The lines and types of work
In all of our work I think there are three or four basic elements, which are doing the needed work, developing and moving political ideas and eventually recruiting, connecting with people, and connecting people with each other.

In internal work, above all we want to build new relationships between people and deepen existing ones. We want to educate ourselves and each other on ideas and analysis, including having discussions and giving presentations and reading and so on. We also want to build skills and confidence. Some of that can be routed/achieved through our mass work, but not all of it. We also want to learn together about the ideas and history of our larger political organization and tradition, other political organizations and traditions, the policies and procedures and practices of the mass organizations we’re part of and their histories, as well as other mass organizations we can learn from or could relate to. We want to reflect on the work and experiences – political and mass – that we’re involved in as individuals and as a group. We want to write up stuff as part of reflecting and discussing and as part of trying to spread ideas. This goes to some degree for our interaction with our broader informal group, our comrades who are not members.

Our relationship to the national organization is also a type of internal work. We want to get to know other members beyond our local area, deepen our understanding of the organization’s and other members’ ideas and writings, and put forward ideas ourselves. Other members of our political organization are also involved in some of the mass organizations we are part of; this will likely continue or expand.

In relationship to other lefties outside our political organizaiton and our immediate group, we can move ideas and build relationships. This may sometimes overlap with membership of mass organizations. We can relate to members of other groups individually, as a local, and through the national organization. This will partly depend on what sort of relationship we’re talking about – informal discussion with individual members, debate or collaboration on a project with a local of another group, or some level of coordination or disagreement beyond the local level. In general, among other things, we think it’s important to encourage people of various political views to get involved in mass work. Mass work changes everyone involved including people who already have radical ideas or think of themselves as revolutionaries.

Within mass organizations, our main experience with this as a local is in one. Among us, we have experience organizing new people into the organization (sometimes but not always through experiences of fighting bosses), experience doing member development and training, and doing administrative work. We have some experience building relationships with people and between people locally and across the organization. Based on these experiences, it seems like as a local we want to do the work needed to build and maintain the mass organizations/mass work we’re involved in, do it well and effectively for the good of the organization, for building our own skills and abilities, and to build relationships. We want relationships with the internal cadre of these groups. We also want to help develop more cadre for the mass organization out of the less cadrified members of these organizations. We also want to network with likeminded people in the organization, perhaps as an internal tendency of various possible levels of formality and perhaps not. We also want to connect people across organizations. Say we know good cadre in one organization and similar folk in another organization. It is good for various reasons to put these people in relationship with each other. (Sort of like this: “You’re doing this great anti-gaybashing work, you should meet this other person we know who is doing important feminist work,” and so on.) We don’t hoard relationships. In general, we want to use our relationships in part to spread ideas and win people to anarchism and, when it makes sense, to our political organization.

In relationship to relatively unorganized and unpoliticized sections of the working class, the local orients to these people in two ways – we can go to people directly as our group, and we can work through/work as members of an existing mass organization. If we go directly to people, this has two types of work (and both depend on relationship building and to some extent connecting people each other). One is to do new mass work: we begin work with some constituency about an issue that we aim to get them to take action on in a way that they haven’t. This can potentially result in new mass organizations coming about, perhaps permanent but more likely temporary. Another way is to try to move ideas with and to people directly.

We can also relate to these sections of our class through mass organizations. This is sort of mentioned above. We already do this often in our mass work – we try to organize people who haven’t taken action collectively to do so, to involve them in the mass organization and make them loyal members of the organization.

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