What Are Some Organizational Models (and Sources) of Class and Community Struggle?

John Clarke, former major organizer for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), recently requested information about different models of class (and, presumably, community) struggle. Apart from the Leninist democratic centralist model, what are some other models? Sources?

John Clarke

This is one of my appeals for ideas and sources. We are clearly living at a time when the class struggle is becoming very much more decisive and sharp. Mass social resistance that takes forms that go beyond the present levels of relative class compromise are needed, if we are to mount even defensive struggles that can prevail.

In this situation, organization forms that can take forward that resistance and provide a means of sustaining it, are of great importance. Midnight Sun just included an article on how various forms of struggle are being united and developed in Nigeria. The example of the resistance committees in Sudan is a powerful one. I want to try and gather up organizational models emerging today or that existed in the past and write something that can be usefully applied in the present context.

This is a period that can produce sudden explosive upsurges but there is a great need for rank and file union and community based initiatives that can ensure such moments aren’t diverted and contained. Obviously, preconceived models can’t just be imposed at will but, on the other hand, relevant approaches that are being taken can be enormously helpful, as people move into struggle.

I’d welcome any help with good examples of what I’m talking about. Leave a comment or send me a message. We’re not quite ready for All Power to the Soviets but there is a huge role for dynamic and participatory organizational forms that can advance our struggles.