The next steps for IOPS
By Anders Sandstrom at Jan 16, 2011
One of the main purposes of a regional federation could be to, as a response to a request from a group or organization within the region, offer help and support with the activities needed when starting a local chapter/organization and to help already existing organizations in their work to organize, develop and grow. More specifically the help could include sending people from one of the more advanced organizations within the region to the country requesting help and there participate in workshops, seminars, forums, give talks and so on. The regional federation could organize certain sub councils that focused on different tasks such as producing and organizing helpful introduction material, planning talks and so on. In my view this would be a very powerful resource for organizations that are in an initial state and not yet so developed. Talking from own experience it is very hard to get things going when you are only a handful of people in a country devoted to parecon/parsoc. Having access to regional resources would help immensely, not least by increasing motivation.
All of this would of course create costs and would need financing. This is potentially one of the more controversial questions. It is an example of a question that our organizations need to develop a way to deal with that is consistent with parsoc values. Initially a regional federation would have to rely on donations but it is important to explore other more long term possibilities one of which could be to introduce a system where an organization, when it applies for membership of the regional federation accepts to pay a regional due. Over time the federation could build up funds to be used for these expenditures.
One important aspect of the work to establish and run regional federations in the way described above is that it introduces many difficult and most likely controversial questions that would need to be solved in a manner that is consistent with parsoc values. In this way it would also work as a testing ground and “school” for decision making and so on within parsoc organizations.
A project like this would need a lot of work and effort but would be worthwhile in my view. A first step could be to assemble regional meetings where possible and to discuss these matters and for the more developed organizations to discuss the prospects internally. For obvious reasons the more advanced organizations would have to be leading in these efforts.