Favourable only so far

Submitted by AWL on 13 October, 2015 - 5:11 Author: Martin Thomas

On 10 October the national committee of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty published its draft proposals to go to this year's Workers' Liberty conference, on 21-22 November, and opened the pre-conference discussion.

In some activist socialist groups, the "pre-conference discussion period" is pretty much the only time when extensive debate is licensed. Workers' Liberty is not like that. Every activist can propose innovations, raise objections, or advocate censures, and group with like-minded others to do so, any time of the year.

But the pre-conference period is a set time when we step back to take a longer view and to assess a whole year's activity. Four regional pre-conference meetings have been organised, as well as more local branch discussions, to prepare the conference.

This year, fairly unusually, all the proposals from the committee come with the approval of the whole committee and without minority counter-documents. We have wide agreement about turning towards activity in the new Corbyn Labour Party.

However, there will be amendments or alternatives from other members. Getting it right is important. Bland consensus is not our way. The Corbyn earthquake has created political openings none of us expected. If we fumble or dither, they can be missed; and if they're missed, it may be a while before we see their like again.

Our guideline will be Antonio Gramsci's declaration: "The decisive element in every situation is the permanently organised and long-prepared force which can be put into the field when it is judged that a situation is favourable (and it can be favourable only in so far as such a force exists, and is full of fighting spirit).

“Therefore the essential task is that of systematically and patiently ensuring that this force is formed, developed, and rendered ever more homogeneous, compact, and self-aware..."