Notes on the fly. Lynd and Grubacic’s book makes much of the category of accompaniment, drawn from liberation theology. In that version a lot of it is about how people outside the working class can and should relate to the working class movement. I’d like to talk about other differences – where people are not so much external to each other in class position as in politics. I tried to talk about this my last post, on lines. I like this metaphor that someone on Kasama has used, of movements as a sort of ecosystem within which there are multiple tendencies, organizations, and organizational forms. I have more notes on this somewhere, tasks of the class vs tasks of organizations and the differences between them. In a way the New Socialist Group talks about this as well – creating spaces of engagement between multiple view points. That’s not synthesism, there are standards, there’s a floor, a lower limit that forms a requirement for participation. That floor does not define all of our aspirations, though. We want more unity and higher quality than that, but that comes out of activity on that floor, within that space. So, create a space of encounter, encourage encounters to stick and become engagement. That makes it possible to walk with people across differences, and as a result (well, hopefully…) higher unity begins to result. This is not a matter of rejecting the goal of being hegemonic or having everyone think the same – I’m for that, the best ideas should set the standard/agenda and everyone should hold correct ideas. In fact, this is an attempt to achieve that goal where it doesn’t previously exist. Create a structure of opportunity, opportunities to meet people where they are and from that meeting to move them to a better position. This can look like an absence of position or agenda but doesn’t have to be. How to assess progress/success of this sort of effort? Need multiple criteria according to multiple registers or the various components which make up this sort of effort and space (some possible criteria, qualitative and quantitative, individual participants, groups of participants, all participants, structures, actions accomplished, material produced). Unevenness is the norm, advances along one axis are often simultaneous with backward moves along another.

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