Anarchist Organization Methodology and YOU! | Communist Quick-Start Training Series

Anarchist Organization Methodology and YOU! | Communist Quick-Start Training Series



hello I'm American Johnson welcome to the exciting world of anarchist revolution we're excited to have you aboard now that you've decided to overthrow capitalism you probably have a lot of questions I know I did when I was in your shoes in this series of training videos we're going to teach you everything you need to know to get started in the global liberation of humanity remember it all starts with you overview of anarchist organization theory and practice as socialists we believe that working together is the cornerstone of human progress by uniting together we can achieve far more than any one of us could ever accomplish on our own our enemies realize this that's why capitalists spend billions and billions of dollars every year developing human resource training programs and devising more efficient ways for employees to work together to increase their profit margins fascists know this as well they use fear and psychological manipulation tactics to mobilize ideological adherents out in the real world these days with frightening results of course there are key differences between the organizational principles of reactionaries and the methods that we as socialists use you can remember these differences using this simple acronym hit me no we're not playing blackjack we're talking about organizing specifically organizing as it pertains to the group structure and the participation of individuals within the group hit me stands for hierarchy information flow and transparency when dealing with structure of organizations as well as motivations and expectations involving individuals within the group using the hit me formula we can analyze the differences between hierarchical authoritarian organizations anarchist socialist organization structures first let's take a look at the differences between the structures of reactionary and socialist organizations reactionary organizations have strict top-down hierarchies the leaders at the top have ultimate and unquestionable Authority whether we're talking about a corporate CEO or a fascistic dictator power flows down from rank to rank with the lowest ranking participants expected to follow orders without question and an anarchist organization hierarchies are flattened as much as possible participating members should see each other as equal comrades with equal opportunities for participating in making decisions as a result of this strict hierarchy reactionary organizations restrict the flow of information management and supervisory bureaucracies are required to collect information from lower levels of the hierarchy this information is then reported up the ranks to give the leaders at the top the information that's needed to make decisions and move forward in anarchist organizations information must be made available to every participant rather than building bureaucratic management structures we must build systems that allow for rapid and efficient sharing of information and coordination of activity this is why anarchist organizations must be completely transparent in design decisions must be made openly unlike in reactionary organizations where leaders make decisions behind closed doors and hand down directives and keep secrets from the rank-and-file now let's look at how individuals fit into both authoritarian as well as anarchist organizations reactionary leaders tend to motivate underlings primarily through psychological manipulation and fear corporate employees are made to fear losing their jobs if they don't perform fascists instill a sense of fear and paranoia in agents by scapegoating social problems to foreigners and immigrants and other minority groups as well as instilling fear in agents that they might receive retribution or discipline for not following orders underlings are promised rewards for loyalty and dedication to their leaders in both fascistic and corporate capitalist structured organizations and such loyalty is ingrained deeply into the fabric of the organization there are strict expectations placed on followers to follow and to trust the leaders of the organization to make the right decisions this can take on religious undertones as lower ranking members of an organization are expected to trust the will of the higher authorities within the group even if the decisions and directives that are being handed down seemed to be making no sense whatsoever we've all had a job where our bosses don't quite seem to know the nature of the jobs that we on the frontlines of the business are performing you have to sign this form which states that you're merely initial deforms that required signers then after you decide to put your initial where you sign so that people will know that you okay just signature with your addition right are tell me the truth do you understand any of this an anarchist organizations on the other hand we must motivate each other as equals rather than relying on external motivation from higher ranking members we must happen to our own internal motivations a burning desire for equality and liberation for our comrades around the world and rather than pressure each other with threats and manipulation we must support each other help one another through trials and tribulations and develop networks of trust and interdependencies so that when one member stumbles the rest of us are there to keep them from rather than expecting some members to follow others we must nurture the expectation that we will all be leaders and bring good ideas and solutions to the table these principles are best summarized in Marx's adage from each according to their ability to each according to their needs so just remember the words hit me and like Richard Spencer you'll never forget the strength of the left anarchism equals order in mainstream society the word anarchism is often associated with chaos anarchists are incorrectly viewed as unhinged Neel lists who want to throw the world into lawless disorder in reality anarchists know that the only way to dissolve unjust hierarchies and build functional egalitarian societies is through order self-discipline and efficient interpersonal coordination the first priorities of any anarchist organization must be the development of communication and decision-making tools and techniques without effective communication channels and systems of open transparently democratic decision-making platforms your organization will rapidly deteriorate I've seen it happen since anarchist organizations are based on flat hierarchies it's important that every participating member has easy access to information and feedback from comrades that's needed to keep moving forward without supervision and micro managerial direction we also need a way to quickly reach consensus and make decisions together as comrades otherwise projects will quickly collapse into disorder [Applause] [Applause] there are some anarchists and other leftists who believe that structure and organization run counter to our principles they see any form of organizational systems as authoritarian and would rather see individuals working together loosely and without structure this position is misguided because a lack of proper organization structure will quickly lead to what we call tyranny of structure lessness the term tyranny of structure lessness was coined by activist joe freeman based on her experiences with the radical feminist movement of the 1960s Freeman noted that radical feminist groups of her era tended to reject the notion of organizational structure outright and she observed that this apparent lack of structure too often disguised an informal unacknowledged and unaccountable leadership that was all the more pernicious because its very existence was denied let's look at a hypothetical example a group of anarchists meet each week to develop projects in their local community two of the members are outspoken forceful and strong-willed the other members are more mild-mannered and meek and less comfortable with public speaking since this group has no formal structure and no organization the two strong-willed members always end up dominating the conversation and controlling the direction of the group when a newcomer is introduced to the group and points out this power dynamic her concerns are quickly dismissed since our group has no organizational structure in place say the two strong-willed individuals and no official leaders it is impossible for us to have any such authority this allows these individuals to become powerful de-facto dictators within the group since their authority officially does not exist and since the group has no formal organizational structure in place it will be virtually impossible for the less domineering members of the group to counter act against their disguised unacknowledged Authority this is why proper structure and organization is vital for the success of any anarchist organization but our organizational structures must be designed with anarchist principles in mind rather than relying on leaders and managers to push things forward anarchist organizations utilize coordinators and action teams to prioritize tasks and carry them out an action team is a group of individuals who work together to develop projects and implement them in the real world action teams are self organized with all members having equal standing among each other coordinators are vital for the success of their action teams mission but they are not leaders rather these are individuals who organize information and keep track of projects so that everyone involved can quickly know what's going on and what needs to be done to keep things moving forward coordinators should never be under any illusion that they are leading the team coordinators have no special powers no privileges and no authority to command and control access to information instead coordinators should see themselves as a support resource for their action team coordinators keep things organized and help team members out as needed but should never make decisions nor issue directives unilaterally if one member of an action team is particularly suited and positioned to coordinate their position might have some permanency but generally speaking it's probably best for the Coordination position to rotate from member to member so that everyone can gain valuable coordinating experience and so that unintended structuralist tyrannies don't inadvertently form the rhythm of anarchistic progress authoritarian organizations rely on strict project timelines and milestones to carry out goals leaders hand down a directive managers design a plan for carrying out the directive and underlings are driven to carry out the actual work of meeting project deadlines and goals because we are self led and self organized anarchist organizations have to be more flexible and dynamic in achieving our goals in order to be productive we should strive to establish a rhythm of activity action teams should meet regularly maintain constant communication keep information flowing freely and key things moving forward dynamically once a rhythm is established a pattern of activity will naturally result assuming communication and decision-making systems are well designed and properly managed by coordinators rather than focus on a plan and milestones that are handed down from higher authorities participants must actively and dynamically engage with the project and work together to keep things on track this may seem like a subtle point but it has profound implications where authoritarian institutions see a project is a linear operation with a beginning a middle and an end anarchist action teams must carry out our work in a state of constant flow with all participants working together to achieve our goals harmony and trust progress for any anarchist organization rely critically on the cultivation of harmony and trust anarchists must work together in harmony nothing will dissolve an anarchist organization more quickly than infighting and discord especially discord servers if members splinter up into factions if internal disagreements can't be resolved quickly and peacefully or if resentments and acrimony are left to foster beneath the surface the anarchist organization is doomed to failure there must be a culture of transparency openness and frankness running deep in any group of anarchists any misgivings or problems must be shared immediately and without any fear of retribution part of this means putting the cause of liberation ahead of our own egos and self interests if a comrade points out in good faith that you might be having problems with your speech or actions it's best to swallow your pride and accept the feedback also in good faith self-criticism sessions are good practice for any active group of socialists giving members the opportunity to reflect on their own activities and bring misgivings into the open before they can erode the group beneath the surface anarchist harmony is rooted in trust if certain members distrust other members how can a group hope to accomplish anything at all as anarchists we must move at the speed of trust which means sometimes slowing down or scaling things down until proper trust and harmony can be established within the group it's almost always preferable to have a small dedicated group of comrades who can work together harmoniously than to try to hold together a much larger group of strangers who are unable to trust one another or act in harmony which brings us to scale of organization when designing an organization due consideration must be given to scale projects and operations to match the size of an organization and size should never be given priority over mission effectiveness growth should be controlled and even limited depending on the focus and orientation of a group there are three basic scopes of scale for anarchist organizations immediate action teams local support groups large scale organizations immediate action teams are very small groups of anarchist activists dedicated to one another and to carrying out small but focused action in general I eighties consist of no more than four or five members who know each other very well these kinds of teams are particularly important and effective in places where anarchist activity must be clandestine clandestine for example within a restrictive workplace that would not allow open unions or within a nation-state that is highly suppressive of anti-state speech and activity it is best if all members of an immediate action team share a common interest or activity such as music a sport a hobby and so on this gives a convenient cover story for meetings and communications and can allow for concealing activity in plain sight through code words and actions that seem perfectly normal to outsiders hey Bill are you ready for guitar practice yes Susan I can't wait for tonight's guitar practice it goes without saying that membership and participation in an immediate action team should be kept strictly secret no members should ever talk openly about their group its members or its activity especially if you're living or working in a hostile environment activities of an immediate action team should be similarly covert and hyper focused in nature placing posters and flyers in strategic locations and developing covert agitation programs could be a starting focus for such teams with great care taken for plausible deniability with all actions local support groups depending on your location it may be possible to start or join a larger local support group these organizations may take the form of a political party chapter a direct action committee or a chapter of an affinity group like foods not bombs the socialist Rifle Association or mutual aid disaster relief these kinds of support groups can carry out a wide range of activities both internal and external ranging from educating members to holding workshops for the public to holding protests and demonstrations and so on great care should be taken to ensure that all activities of such adhere to local legislation before participating in such a group consider fully the ramifications of joining and the fact that you are more likely to be identified in public by participating with such a group local support groups are a great place to look for other members to form an immediate action team another great feature of a local support group is that they can provide a regular meeting space for comrades to come together and talk about things and support one another I like to call this communist Church did you go to communist Church this week I sure did local support groups are well positioned for building dual power structures dual power structures are programs and activities that counteract and counterbalance the activities of the state corporations and other entrenched authoritarian power structures in your community some anarchist local support groups provide charity help communities with much-needed repairs and infrastructure work and otherwise develop outreach programs to support people who are their neighbors and who are most vulnerable and who suffer the most under state and capitalist oppression large-scale organizations regional national and international organizations are a viable option for anarchists but with such scope and scale comes certain trade-offs obviously it will be difficult to have a great deal of trust and harmony with every other member of such a massive organization so activities and goals must be selected and carry out in such a way that a large loosely distributed group can still get things done and may be necessary to have some sort of centralized committee or to break up the activity into smaller more localized chapters this might be it not this this might not be ideal but again you may have to take some trade-offs between anarchist principles and scale activities of these large organizations are often more strategic and long-term in nature for example the IWW is working to build one big union with millions of members all over the world and the internationals commune of arrow Java is seeking out financial support and recruits from around the world to help strengthen and support the besieged Democratic Federation of northern Syria speaking of rojava larger anarchist organizations should strongly consider taking a page from row job and society by building parallel power structures ro Java has pioneered this idea with their women's communes which are councils of women who develop programs and carry out activities in parallel with their wider all gender communes this empowers women by giving them their own space and a platform to pursue their own interests and priorities while still allowing them to participate in the quote-unquote primary government of their community parallel structures within larger organizations strengthen more vulnerable or less powerful minorities within the group without taking anything away from the majority and should be considered by anyone who feels like their voice is in danger of being drowned out by more powerful or privileged members of a group security culture no matter what sort of organization you're thinking of joining or starting you should take seriously the very real threats that exist to our movement and begin developing a security culture to protect yourself and your comrades from such dangers start learning about cybersecurity study how authoritarian regimes use surveillance and infiltration tactics to destabilize leftist organizations around the world and cultivate trade craft such as cryptography and covert operations even if you live in a place that seems to currently have free speech never forget how quickly fascist regimes have taken power in the past and never take for granted that you will never be targeted for your political position to get things started we've put some great articles and resources in the description of this video we will also deal with these topics in more depth in future installments arm yourself with knowledge now or you and your comrades might suffer dire consequences down the road online versus offline these days communication technology like the Internet and the World Wide Web have created some fantastic new opportunities for leftists to participate in praxis like never before while nothing beats participating in leftist activity out in the real world we understand that some of you might not have that option for various reason if you can't find comrades IRL or in real life consider finding or starting a group online just remember that you never really know who you're dealing with on the other side of that computer monitor which makes it even more important to practice good security hygiene and to move at the speed of trust start small but start this can all seem overwhelming just remember that you are not alone there are thousands and thousands of other leftists who are dedicated to building a better world and our movement is growing every day and we all want to see you succeed as a revolutionary activist start small but start now if you can find just one other comrade who you can trust and rely on you will be well on your way to developing leftist organizational activity that can make a very real contribution to the liberation of humanity we'll see you in part two of this series until then i'm american johnson asking you to stay safe stay active and stay to the left you know just because we're talking about the internet and the data superhighway doesn't mean we've got a for people with talk of on ramps and off ramps and all that stuff of course not let's just say it's a way to connect to people all over the world you can you can learn new things you can have fun you can use resources and far away I suppose the wheel sorry are you ready I guess so I'm Gina Smith and I'll be one of your internet tour guides I'm John Levine together Gina and I will be offering some driver's ed for the information superhighway we'll be guiding no driving you non-geeks on the world's largest computer network the internet will be explaining to you how it works well show you how some people are you but most importantly we'll show how you can begin using it yourself John that's right

33 thoughts to “Anarchist Organization Methodology and YOU! | Communist Quick-Start Training Series”

  1. 9:06 "Witches don't have leaders everyone knows that. Besides Granny Weatherwax would never allow it" I'm not comparing feminists to witches I just really love Terry Pratchett and saw an opportunity to reference his books.

  2. Hmmm. Anarchist organization sounds a little like scrum doctrine.

    Scrum programming is when a small (less than 15 people) team of diversely skilled people get together and work on a project. You, as a group, create a "backlog" of features that you want to get done (make a list of big things you want to do). Then y'all break up some of the features into smaller, more manageable pieces called user stories. User stories are smallish, less than 20 or so hours of work and you collectively assign "effort points" which loosely correlate with the amount of hours the task will take. Y'all as a group agree on which stories the group will get done in your time box of a fortnight to around a month. You, as individuals, will pick tasks from the tasks your group has agreed to do.

    Tl;Dr Scrum is a way for a small group to figure out what they're going to do, and do it. No hierarchy.

  3. You are the best breadtuber! Very lucid, clear-minded, and direct. Can't believe I hadn't seen your videos earlier. I've been showing my friends all your videos and trying to get them involved in leftist politics. It's been great!

  4. Just commenting before watching not a dirty commie here just clicked out of consumerist passion over Ninja Turtles. But I will now learn about anarchist organization now so I can socialize this franchise and make TMNT a communist propaganda tool (#bringbackredbandana).

  5. As an officionado of workplace instructional videos, here are some notes for improvement:
    1) Elevator music should be louder, and it should be aggresively corporate
    2) You need as many stupid sounding acronyms as possible
    3) Repeat every key idea at least three times, viewers should be thoroughly patronized
    4) Violently lame memes to appeal to fellow kids
    5) Lists

  6. So apparently I've always been an anarchist, I just didn't know it. This is why I was unsuccessful as a McManager. I always tried to act more as a coordinator, and both fellow managers and crew members chaffed against my style. Managers were mad because I always acted like crew were equals and crew were just confused by me. Ultamtley, the only reason I wasn't fired was because the store manager wanted to fuck 19 and 20 year old boys (like I was at the time).

  7. ok im confuse. Do you genuinely support an anarchy organization or is this critique on the system, like you did with capitalism? If im getting it wrong, then please inform me.

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