Creating Laboratories of Hope: Rethinking the Question of Organisation Today

by Despina Koutsoumba and Panagiotis Sotiris


During the past few years, the question of organization has returned both in positive and negative terms. The experience of impressive mass protest movements, based upon forms of direct democracy, horizontal coordination, equal voicing, along with their inability to be ‘translated’ into political movements and dynamics has opened up the great debates upon organization, either towards a direction of a refusal of party form or to the direction of a rethinking of the party form as connection between movements. At the same time the various expressions of a crisis of the anticapitalist Left, at least in some of its variants, not only in the sense of its politics but also in the sense of its organizational culture, have brought again forward the importance of the question of organization.

The same goes for the contradictory results of various attempts at creating broad left electoral fronts. To answer all these challenges we need a profound rethinking of the question of organization, by going back to Gramsci’s conception of the party as elaborator and laboratory of programs, strategies and political intellectualities but also to the ‘gnoseology of politics’ inherent in the leninist project. To these we also need to add the strategic importance of the United Front, as a means to facilitate the encounter of different experiences, histories of struggles, political traditions, and sensitivities and also to transform the experiences coming from the movement into political strategy.

Consequently, instead of traditional forms of ‘building the party’ or tactical electoral fronts, we suggest -based upon our experience both positive and negative from the attempts to facilitate the realignment of the anticapitalist Left in Greece but also upon important new theoretical contributions to these debates – the need to think exactly of new, original, necessarily contradictory, democratic variations of the united front strategy as laboratories, knowledge processes and facilitators of the encounter between struggles, discourses and anticapitalist strategies.

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