Plan C MCR: 2nd 6 month strategy review
On Saturday the 28th of September Plan C MCR spent the day reviewing their previous 6 month strategy and setting out plans and targets for the next 6 months. For a reminder of our last 6 month plan, head here. The morning was open to both members and Friends of Plan C, whilst the afternoon was a closed decision making session for members only. We started with two more theoretical discussions;
1) Discussions around Plan A, B and C based on an article by members of Plan C for the German magazine “Arranca” (forthcoming)
The first session of the strategy day revolved largely around the following questions and topics:
– Is neo-liberalism different to ‘capitalism’?
– What precisely are our objections to Plan A politics?
– What do current Plan B politics look like?
– What are the genealogies of Plan B politics?
– If/How would Plan B politics transform under a Labour government?
– Strikes are still a key demand on many parts of the left. What is a post-Fordist strike?
We had an extended discussion on Universal Basic Income and this included the following points:
– Paul Krugman advocates UBI in the NY Times.
– ‘A communist path to a better capitalism’ – This was an interesting (and provocative!) line taken from Stuart White’s first
lecture on UBI –
– Offers a way into some interesting conversations to be had and allies to be made within Plan B.
– What are the limits of the UBI conversation? No Borders politics, for example.
– Hopefully Plan C leaflets already take this into account – with non-negotiable elements, for
2) Discussion around #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics
This piece was written somewhat recently, it was very controversial, but asked serious questions around issues we have also been thinking about. These issues include: luxury, technology, plans, ecology of the left and ‘folk politics’
Accelerationism was originally a capitalist idea from the late 1980s, early 1990s, the idea that capitalism was continue to accelerate until it hit some sort of singularity. It has been taken up on the left as capitalism seems to have reached a dead-end, but the left is unable to see or plan for a post-capitalist future.
Many of us agreed with the article’s generally positive outlook towards technology, as long as it is tied to the right politics. There was a great deal more concern about the vanguardism of the authors and their (open to interpretation) promotion of secrecy, authority. Etc. The question is whether the authors’ embrace of technology is somehow linked to their vanguardism, or if the two can be separated out, with the former being kept. There was also a suggestion that Plan C read Donna Haraway in order to think about how nature itself is a construction, and how this construction has been used as part of capitalist strategy.
There was a general agreement that there is a difference between theorizing with people and theorizing for people, with the former being very valuable and the latter tending towards authoritarianism. We do want to convince people, but there is a difference between winning ‘broad arguments’ and enforcing a highly detailed dogmatic stance. We want to further explore the idea of the ‘ecology of the left’ – who are we working with? Do we agree with the idea of a coalition between ‘specialized groups?’ what would Plan C’s role be? There was a general agreement that there is no ‘right’ form of organization – we need to be flexible and dynamic.Practical concerns were also raised about access to technology and the working conditions, etc, of many of the people in the Global South involved in making the West’s gadgets. This comes back to the necessity of having technology with the right politics, but obviously we are far from such a situation existing in real life.
We have been developing a second tier of membership for Plan C Manchester – The Friends of Plan C. This is slowly developing and we are really appreciating the support and critical ideas we are receiving from our Friends. If you are interested, get in touch to find out more!
We are also running a monthly drinking session – Manchester Autonomous Drinkers (MAD). This is providing an easy and regular chance for various groups and fellow travellers to meet, exchange news and gossip, plot, plan and have fun
Our international networking group have had a successful 6 months. We have continued working on building closer ties with …ums Ganze! (Germany), Alpha Kappa (Greece) and Drasi (Greece) and are hoping to announce new developments soon. We were delighted to attend the …ums Ganze! congress in Berlin in August where we participated in a workshop and the closing plenary discussing organisation across Europe. We’ve also been involved in organising solidarity demonstrations for both Clement Meric (France) and Pavlos Fyssas (Greece), both murdered by fascists in the past 6 months, which has brought us into communication with other European organisations and projects.
Our Anti-Bedroom Tax group has not been as successful as we would have liked it to have been. The shape of the left in Manchester, the time period in which we started work and the geography of Manchester were all contributing factors in limiting our success. We hope we’ve learnt some useful lessons about the difficulties of local, community based organising but for now it seems we lack the capacity to make a successful intervention into this area.
Workers Against Work
We feel that our Workers Against Work initiative has been fairly successful in its first 6 months. We’ve written a few basic texts which have been received fairly well and have provoked discussion both inside our organisation and beyond. We’ve met lots of fellow travellers with similar ideas to our own and are still developing ideas for activity.
The Next 6 Months
We will continue developing our Friend of Plan C initiative and running our Autonomous Drinkers sessions. We also hope to start running monthly discussion events with outside speakers discussing topical and interesting issues.
Workers Against Work
In the next 6 months we hope to continue developing arguments and positions against the work based politics embodied in both Plan A and Plan B. We are hoping to write more, present and host discussions more and also begin developing more concrete activity. We will be spending the next few weeks discussing more concrete aims and targets for the coming 6 months.
We decided that we will begin to focus some of our energy and efforts on Anti-national politics. The past 6 months has seen the return of the EDL as a street force as well as the continued strengthening of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). We need to continue analysing the current forms which nationalism is taking as well as the racism and fascism which it helps to propagate and. We hope to co-operate with other groups in Manchester and Plan C nationally to experiment with effective response to nationalism, racism and facism.
We want to continue building links with the organisations we are working with in Germany and Greece. We are working on a shared online project and are thinking about how we can take these relationships forward. Hopefully we can bring more organisations into this initiative.
If any of this has interested you please get in touch with us as we’d love to hear from you.
Plan C MCR