Anons of Zig Forums who have been involved in:

Anons of Zig Forums who have been involved in:

Campaigning around some issue, building a union (tenant or trade), building a party, or any other kind of real life organising

What have you been involved in (don't have to specific obviously) ? How did it go/is it going? What were the problems? What worked well? How did working in that environment effect your ideological positions?

For me, one of the biggest problems faced is in two parts, first, people who are unreliable and in it for the wrong reasons, basically larpers and socialites, who never show up but still take up space. The other part to this problem is working organising around real life, as organising can be extremely time consuming. The problem as a whole is keeping people engaged and proactive. What this means in practice is that people who work a lot i.e. the working class, parents, older people, i.e. people who are not students or neets, who would otherwise be reliable peopole, find it difficult to find the time to organise, meanwhile people who have never had a job find lots of time, but are very unreliable. The skew is very much to the latter. Some people are unreliable because they have commitments and these people are totally excused, some are unreliable because they are a larper and these are the worst people possible. Also usually the most sectarian,

one of the biggest drawbacks from far leftist groups (this doesn't apply to issue campaigns or union building really) I'm talking communist parties and anarchist collectives, is sectarianism between these groups of people. There are 3 or 4 trot groups in my small city, one ML party with any kind of presence and its youth wing, as well as the student versions of all these groups. Collectively i'd say there is maybe 2-500 "active" (in the losest possible sense) communists in my city. Its about the same for anarchists maybe slightly less. They are however probably divided over 20 groups. These groups spend an awful lot of time bitching at each other on facebook and very little amounts of time organising.

This 500-1000 people could have a huge impact if they were all working together on real issues, but instead they each have their 10 member clique/talking shop and none do anything of real value to the working class, with some notable exceptions, but definitely no mass movement. In my opinion these people should stop being autists and come together to form a mass movement

I am a Maoist if I had to be anything, but i don't even say really ever what i believe about history or theory while organising because it is basically completely irrelevant and unhelpful.

Coming hand in hand with this is identity politics. In the UK where I am the main sticking point on the left is trans rights. Mostly they all agree on all the isms, there are leftists out there who are pro strong borders etc, but they are by no means racist and the argument for lexit etc means that it isn't such a hot take topic as trans rights. Honestly i see way, way more discussion about trans rights than muuuh anargiddies gant fight imperialism vs muuuh tankies love state gabbidalism

The way I see it, yes, the idpol lunatics are damaging to the movement, but in general if you talk to them are not as insane as the internet makes them out to be. They are damaging basically because its a bad look for the leftist movement as they tend to fit all the stereotypes of the student left. As well as this, when are you are trying to say, organise workers or tenants in a union, they have a tendency to try and push in measures for identity problems which aren't there (not in society, but in that specific space) which takes up meeting time and mental energy and such, the problems, which are real problems in that they exist are generally comparatively little compared to the broader struggle . This isn't an ideological position, its a matter of numbers, there simply are not that many trans people around and in leftist spaces at least they are generally treat with respect (with exceptions which i do accept)

In my opinion however equally as damaging are the so called "terfs" and for the same reasons. They take up space over what are comparatively very small, but also very real issues. The issues generally are of inclusion into spaces. Can transwomen go in womens bathrooms etc. Which again, important question, but also, for the vast majority of people, not a problem they will encounter.

These groups feed off of each other over leftbook, twitter etc, they are loud, and they are not reconcilable.

This is not a post about idpol or trans rights, this is a post about the fact that instead of talking about building a broad movement for class struggle against capitalist imperialism, they are wearing themselves out on minutae.

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On top of that, very often you are forced to take a side on an issue you have no real strong feelings for either way.

These kinds of dicussions are not very engaging for the wider public, and yet they are pushed to the forefront and become the battlegrounds for division.

On the flip side, what I have seen work, time and time again, is organising direct action around an issue that directly attacks capital or defends its victims. When there are real world consequences, with people actually responsible, the tendency for division melts away. The more successful the attack/defense, the less division there generally is, as people are more willing to put aside their quibbles. The opposite is also true, on twitter there is basically nothing to lose and no stakes, hence people will be endlessly autistic, also you don't actually have to look anyone in the eye.

All the left agree: Workers should be paid whats due and much more. Tenants shouldn't get evicted for no reason. Public space should be public, the homeless should be fed, cared for a get mental health and drug treatment, education should be free and so should healthcare etc etc. So they should focus on the economics and let the other stuff go. I will say that for the TERFS this is simply a case of shutting up, for trans people it is a case of them being pushed out of certain spaces, so i'd er on their side, because the TERFS are just loud and obnoxious and annoying and the problem would go away if they would just shttt

I never really knew any of this before I actually went out and organised and it seriously effected what I believe. I used to be an anarchist, I am no longer, as I saw a clear need for leadership and coherence of the organisation and in many cases a top down power structure, in no case have i seen democratic top down power done badly, i have seen many cases of horizontalism done awfully, I have also seen it work however and you almost definitely will not engage will not engage people by telling them they have to join a party and follow its line.

The point of this isn't however a leninist over anarchist debate though. I've worked with good leninists and shit leninists. Good anarchists and shit anarchists. The point of my post is this: the one thing i've learned is that the people actually doing organising and doing it well are ideologically flexible, reliable and generally have a life outside of organising (unless they are a paid organiser or something). Almost none of them would say outside of being close friends that they believed in le immortal science of leddidism, even though they do.

If you are confrontational and sectarian you are bad for this movement. Don't focus on all this bullshit, focus on getting the job done, make the choices that will facilitate this. If you think it makes more sense to be more horizontal, do that, if you think it makes more sense to make a decision yourself without referring to the group so much, do that. Push the class struggle as a whole forward, not some obscure branch of 100 year old ideology.

What are your experiences and lessons?

Nice thread, and I fully agree with the commitment part, really every party or org worth its name should have compulsory gatherings and a real level of influence on its members lives, no self help shit but you should look at it like getting a part-time job at the very least, 3-4h a week should be the absolute minimum.
How exactly you deal with the bans and the organisational stuff is your choice really, my litany of complaints against The Party is big as the sea sometimes but organising is their thing.
Also they had a slogan which translated to "Lead in Learning, Lead in Struggle", they even organised study groups to help people and sent tutors out back in their heyday, so there's an idea. The internet has kinda ruined everything with sectarianism and shitty memes of course but serious activism should weed out the joke larpers after some weeks or so, friend of mine got expelled after just a month, for example.
Aesthetics, political surroundings and so on are very location-specific and there is a very wide spectrum of people.
Second proposal would be reaching out to fellow travellers, some sort of unofficial link to people who want to help but are for whatever reason appaled by parties, and by link I mean something irl, internet-only outreach is just shitposting and spectacle in the end. It happened to me by accident because I hate MLs so much I've watched Battleship Potemkin 14 times, but party activists should be extremely flexible about having contacts from outside the party who can swell the numbers and offer support when needed.
I'm ultra armchair, but alienation can be a boon sometimes, so there's no need for gloom.

We have a comrade in our group, who attends our meetings only to scrounge cigarettes and money. She stays for about 15 minutes, then she leaves.

What does your group do?

what did you think of it?

My biggest lesson from the short time I've spent organizing is never ever let narcissists get anywhere near a position of leadership. If they ever don't get their way on something they'll try their best to torpedo the entire thing.

You'd think so, but then you have the stupid fuckers that think they need to "deplatform" right-wingers rather than engage them and live in a delusional fantasy world where this won't boomerang back on them.

I worked on a "targeted" state level legislative race in 2016 (republican)
we lost to the incumbent democrat
the perfidious state GOP pulled the rug out from under us 8 weeks before the election
knocking on doors and pretending to solicit feedback from people and using their comments to launch into a sales pitch
also doing the same over the phone
it didn't really effect my politics. That came later when I read Marx.

To be exactly, we are a communist party which is organized in sub-groups across the whole country. Activities of these sub-groups differ very much from each other, but this is what we do:
-Atleast 3 meetings per month: General group-meeting, Theory-school and a culture/movie event.
-We release every 3 months a small local newspaper which we hand out on the streets. (The party itself has a "real" newspaper, but every group should make a local newspaper additionally)
-Beside all that, we do the typical party stuff, like elections etc.

This is some retarded liberalism. Only reactionaries and their enablers virtue signal about "free speech" (which isn't something they practice or ever will) and you shouldn't play their game. We aren't hypocrites because we see how free speech is bullshit and are open about our aims to deplatform reactionaries. Reactionaries have to be ostracized.


Speak for yourself you stupid fuck. We're not living under socialism yet and unfortunately we have to navigate the world of liberal laws and communication methods. "Deplatform" the reactionaries and you only fuel their victim complex and radicalize them against us further. Worse, you provide justification for deplatforming yourself, which they will gladly and happily do. Have a look at the Espionage and Sedition Acts sometime. You can thumb your nose at current power structures all you want but that doesn't change the power they have over people right now. Our historic task isn't to silence people who disagree with us, it's to convince them that we have the solutions.

Quite ironic considering the vast majority of censorship-happy retards are liberals.

Ran for a national office last year.

I didn't get elected, you know. In the end I'd say the outcome was worse than I expected in the beginning and better than I expected towards the end. My initial aim was to build a grassroots bloc and raise awareness for my particular ideology and against the DNC/GOP. Towards the end I wasn't sure I'd get even 6 votes - I exceeded this very meager expectation, but not enough to make much of a dent. Better than nothing, and I don't regret running and would recommend it.


Well, the first thing I encountered was bureaucratic. Surprisingly, this was generally a very small part of my frustrations - the elections division was relatively easy to deal with and didn't try anything funny. However, the corporations division is who you have to register PACs with, and I didn't even know about that on time so my ability to accept donations was pretty much fucked because I would have had to register a corporation with them in order to open a campaign account with the bank. The first several times the bank denied my request, they couldn't actually tell me this was the reason why.

Those issues are in large part on me, though - I started relatively late, alone, and without a whole lot of knowledge of the system. Had I planned better I could have gotten around this using the same amount of resources at my disposal.

Another problem is the relatively obscure nature of my ideology - running as a Georgist meant I didn't have much of a pre-existing bloc. Like if I was running as a socialist or a libertarian or a green or even a fascist – those ideologies have broad enough existing bases that I would get niche support from some small segment of the population by default. Like I could just say "socialist" or "libertarian" and they'd be there for those words. Georgist doesn't work that way, and when you explain what it is a lot of times you'll have people parsing it as either libertarian (because no income tax) or socialist (because land as common property), often dependent on which of those ideologies they like less.

Running write-in was the option I could afford, but meant I wasn't displayed on the ballots on the day, of course.

A much larger problem than most of these, however, was dealing with the press. Aside from a few independent outlets, the media largely wouldn't mention me. I'd filled out all the forms, had a presence online, I was even running ads - but the biggest local papers and news outlets acted like I didn't exist. This only (sort of) changed after I nagged them about it online where people could see - after which I was mentioned once. They also barred write-ins from the debates.

Twitter refused to verify that I was a political candidate, too.

What worked well? Well, running political ads on TV is surprisingly cheap. A lot of people were more receptive to my ideas than I would have expected when these ideas were discussed directly. Those are the things that come to mind as having worked well.

It didn't really effect my ideology. Everything that was wrong with politics and electoralism when I went in was still wrong when I came out. That said, I think I understood the process much better after running than I did before running - so I think everyone who has the time and isn't doing something else should run. Zerg rushing the elections with anti-establishment candidates would be good, even if just to reveal by demonstration how the system was automatically stacked against them.


Do you really thing a land value tax is going to solve everything?

There are 30 communists (half are about to die of age) in my city of 6-8 million. there's also some anarchists, maybe like 20-25.
You're blessed my niqqa.
The city's communist group's main activities are
-release strong opinions on shit going on in the country (which nobody reads)
-go to labor marches (not protests, since there are none)
-study sessions (very superficial)
-sell shit to make money to donate to socialist groups
There are only two things I'm interested in, theory and the party's size. I can't figure out how to improve either.

LVT would solve rentierism and land inflation, so yeah I think it would solve a ton of poverty and homelessness and be more efficient for production. It wasn't my only position, but yes the primary tenet of my economics is getting rid of landlordry as a profitable profession. I'm not super impressed with the ML model, which at this point I honestly think is probably about the closest realization of Marxism that there's ever been - I can't really say I've seen a better way of addressing the wage problem, so I focus on what I'm convinced can definitely be fixed. It's a legitimate ethical issue - maybe a geo-mutualist society could solve both landlordry and wage slavery at once, but I have zero clue how to transition into that sort of society. My concern is that it would be scary!

Our historic task is to organize the working class into socialism and through that into communism. The only thing that matters is how we achieve these ends. We need only analyse the current situation and act in whichever ways benefit our interests the best.
Clinging to ideals like "liberal power will clamp down on the left the second we make any noticeable move" and "our historic task is to convince fascists that we are right" is counter to our goals as communists.
Sometimes barring fascists from public forums is effective. Sometimes violence is. All moves must be on the table, or else we fail. Our enemies do not hold punches and do not limit themselves, we must operate on the same level or else we will be outmaneuvered.
Specifically, scare-mongering about overt state action doesn't seem to have any basis, as the vast majority of anti-left repression in the US today happens through indirect means. An activist gets picked up for some minor infraction that may or may not have actually occurred, and ends up dead in jail from """suicide""". No law is necessary for this to occur, only the existence and autonomy of capitalist law enforcement.

There is a covert campaign of anti-left assassinations happening in the US that you aren't even aware of because of your idealistic focus on politic topics that are insignificant to material reality. You blind yourself with moralism. Drop it.

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Yup toxic personalities is also a huge problem and where I’ve seen failures in top down democracy it is usually because of this, combined with the social capital these people can often acquire. This is another problem, if someone is likeable or a natural leader their bad ideas can have more weight than somebody who is more reserved but has better ideas

nope. We should start as we mean to go on. The majority of people are not fascists, therefore this doesn't qualify as a public use of public space.

based, but surely you have some insider critiques of the republicans campaign. What issues lead you to reading Marx?


this is both sickening and heartening, sickening because you pretended to care for the people, heartening because they won't be listened to, won't get what they want, and therefore will be less likely to vote republican.

in your honest opinion how do you think the electoralism is going, how much party energy does it use up and how much power/influence does it actually build?

is it a communist party?

as i said above i am fine clearing fascists out of public space but in this day and age digital space is basically unlimited so i'd still allow it as part of general discourse, however the real problem is equalizing the narratives so the ones people actually believe in get the time in the sun, rather than the media putting stuff to the fore.

so you ran on an independet georgist platform?

Did you have plan, like a strategy that you came up with before that you then implemented? How did you attempt to raise support? Obv ads on TV and stuff but did you campaign on any issues or go doorknocking or something? Did you have a campaign team? How did it function/was it structured?

yeh my city has a pretty rich radical history which is pretty good but also fairly strong social democracy which means everyone who is "left wing" are in the green/labour zone.

I assume you are a member of this small communist party? Have you tried doing community survival stuff, land expropriation like taking over an abandoned building, working with the labour movement, trade unions and such, building maybe a tenants union? These are the ways i think you get real power and not many places have tenants unions although the movement is growing and can be very effective done right.

damn son

Essentially - with a few other big issues tied in.

Not really. It was very much a learn-as-you-go experience - starting off I wasn't sure I'd even be able to get in as a registered write-in. There was an early point when I thought I might have to run a completely symbolic campaign where my votes wouldn't even be counted.

Contacted every media outlet I knew of, flyered mailboxes (somewhere over 1000, but way short of the whole area), attempted to recruit volunteers (got a few bites online, but they ghosted me when I started talking canvassing routes), told everyone I knew (unfortunately not many people), told the Georgist community online and local political discussion groups.

Doorknocking I managed to put off forever for bitch-ass reasons - IE I saw some mixed messages about it online and used that to justify my existing anxieties about getting extremely sweaty going door-to-door in the heat. It's essential, even moreso for this sort of campaign. I don't think of myself as a particularly good speaker or even a particularly enchanting person, but I definitely still lost voters by not doing it.


Animal rights activism. It's not strictly leftist (there are right wing vegans unfortunately) but it has taught me a LOT about activism and what works. The fact that veganism is growing rapidly tells us that the far left can learn from the success of the animal rights movement.

I've been involved in all sorts of activism, but this board is probably more interested in the Animal Justice Party.

Currently the ""AJP has three elected politicians"" in state parliaments in Australia. No far left party has ever come close to this.

I see us picking up a few more upper house seats in other state elections, but that's it. We're a single issue minor party, we're not trying to take over the country.

Recruiting young people. Most members are over 50, just like the Communist Party of Australia.

Having clear lines of responsibility, eg. we don't want volunteers being assigned to multiple organisers. We are getting better at this though. Having good systems set up will help.

Having old people on board is good because they are reliable. The issues OP highlights don't really apply to people over 50. They won't be around for ever though.

Don't just assume that people will join, you need to actively approach people to join. Get petitions going so that you can get their email address and put them on your mailing list.

Picking vote grabbing issues like "ban live export" and pushing them as your core policies.

I'm more anti-SJW than I was before. There is a huge online anti-AJP presence by vegan SJWs. They are real people, it's not COINTELPRO, I've met some, they are just INSANE. SJW is a mental disorder.

Why were you a write in? I understand the donation difficulty, but what was the difficulty in getting on the ballot?

Damn lads leave some line breaks for the rest of us.

Ballot fee iirc was something like $1,500. Or $5,100. Either way too much for me at the time. Or you could get a "pauper's affidavit" (that may not be the proper name, I don't think, but something like that) to get on the ballot if you had some amount of signatures by a certain date I wouldn't have been able to meet.

I don't remember exactly, but the full spend of my entire campaign (including stuff like transportation and publishing the declaration of candidacy (around $40) necessary to finish write-in certification) was probably shy of $500 - at no point during all of this could I have put down more than that on anything.

How did you get TV ads on that budget?

It's surprisingly cheap.

There are actually discounts for political campaigns, and then those are tiered - IE they're basically bids which are refunded (via credits) if another buyer outbids you. Mind you I only bought on one network (with two stations). Cheapest slots were around $10-$15 for something like 2000 estimated viewers (I think) and the most expensive I bought was probably around $100 (iirc it was a low ball for a late show slot which didn't get outbid - probably the best single slot I managed to pick up). Unfortunately I don't really have a way of measuring how the TV ads performed as far as attracting actual voters - the small gains I made (over what I expected) could have owed more to flyering or the brief online promos I ran. A Facebook promo attracted some immediate, noticeable attention from a few users around the same time as the flyering and there was also a YouTube ad which may have reached a few people but probably mostly played for bots. I can basically guess that the TV ads may have reached the largest amounts of people, but whether those people decided their votes based on the ads is another question.

I think our party has a hard time with elections. In some parts of the country, the groups are very weak and inactive. In the last EU elections, we have lost 20 percent of our votes. Yeah, its all disappointing, but I see no alternative. And yes, we are a communist party.

see this is why i think that although i don't totally reject electoral politics for now i think it is not the most effective way to be organising. This is for a few reasons

In the UK the socdems have gone leftward with Corbyn, same in America if Sanders, AOC etc, there are European examples, like the new Denmark government elected today. This means that they are gonna soak up any and all electoral radicalism, which is probably a good thing, although it means communist parties are going to get squeezed. The Socdems have the funding and at the end of the day you aren't going to win.

Why waste your energy getting elected when you can build power in your communities through tenants unions, trade unions, reclaiming land and buildings, contributing to food drives etc etc

These none electoral strategies help to build the organs of working class power, and when they are there, then they can form a party for themselves to fight for their interests.

Disaster relief, advising a grassroots organization, Arms training, miscellaneous base building.

How did it go/is it going?
Success failures dead ends enduring struggles. Little bit of everything.

What were the problems?
Depends on which issue. I've been all over the place. Most predominantly its wreckers and clout chasers causing bickering and microdramma. My advice is stay away from the left except for a few good comrades and organize with the general working class.

What worked well?
Anything that had a clear set of achievable goals that were formulated to apply specifically as a response to the situation before us with at least 1-2 dedicated and well organized central liaisons.

How did working in that environment effect your ideological positions?

It tought me the importance of reading theory with an eye for real world application and to take account of and record my real world praxis so that it can inform my theoretical lense.

Best thing I ever did on the ground is make a lose by-the-hour schedule with 3 points of focus the day before and then journal the highlights of my experiences.
You can expand that to week/year etc if you want.

When organizing in your community it helps if you're actually a fucking organized person comrades.

We should still have Communist Parties running for office. I'm not suggesting it should take away resources from other activism though. Even if it's a token effort, who else are we to vote for?

In some countries (eg. Australia), you can get public funding just for running in elections, so we shouldn't turn down free money.

Why i somewhat agree with you, i think that electoral politics are also important and in some occasions electoralism is our most important strategy
Emmm politics 101
This is not the case with most countries and you can still try entryism in this ,already pro-worker parties , and if they prove too bouj you can always split and ,with your new found popularity , win elections
In my country (and methinks in most eu states)
you get state funding if you have like 1.5% of the vote(and even more if you manage to get pm's elected like zero-intrest lawns, more funding etc)

No one can deny that electoral politics are by far the most secure way to get in to power
See Venezuela (or by far the best example is Czechoslovakia)
And even when the communist or leftist parties join bouj governments ,they tend to raise their appeal(if the government doesn’t go full retard)
See italy after WW2
So electoralism is actually pretty ok ;)

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you sound like a most based and pilled comrade.

cannot be said enough

same with

This is basically what made me start considering Maoism, the whole idea of organising around something achievable and using that struggle to develop people/organisations/approaches is probably the most important lesson i learned

I'm assuming from what you say you've been involved in the left for a while?

Could you expand on the "lose by the hour" journal thing I don't quite get it?

Have you done these activities as part of a group or collective or is it kinda a bunch of different groups you've been part of?

I think my thing is it often inevitably does take up resources from other activism.

I don't know where you live, but for me i'd say the conditions are pretty different to Venezuela or Czechoslovakia, In the UK my self.

We also had entryism for years and it ultimately failed