Z Poll: Take it and Spread the Word!
By Mark Evans at Apr 15, 2011
A major reason why society is heading towards environmental catastrophe, all out war, etc. - or at best a continuation of poverty and exploitation - is due to the failings of the left to organise effectively.
What is needed is an organisation that addresses and transcends the weaknesses of traditional left approaches to organising. The description of the Z Polls imagined new international is - I believe - such an organisation. If made real this organisation could actually change the course of history.
An additional issue is that many of us are already committed to existing good organisational efforts - but do we honestly believe that these efforts can bring about the change we all want and need? We need to face-up to this question. We all need to be shifting our efforts over to organising that can actually win the new society we desire. This requires a change in our priorities.
The great thing about the poll is that it allows us to assess whether shifting our priorities over from our existing efforts to a new organisation is worth it before making any actual changes. We can all look at the results of the poll as they come in and if positive and convincing we can start to shift our priorities over to this new organisation in a relatively risk-free manor.
It will require many dedicated people in different parts of the world to be organising for this change. Identifying a group of people from around the world who agree with the organisational description and it’s program, and are willing and able to give money and / or time to such an organisation, is the first step to establishing this new international. That is the basic function of the poll.
Beyond this initial step I assume we will be looking to clarify the details of the organisation. For example, as part of the Structure and Policy the imagined organisation states that members must “provide means for fairly, peacefully, and constructively resolving internal disputes”. Perhaps as part of the second phase towards establishing this new organisation we might identify within the initial membership a working group to produce a document that lays-out the processes for such resolutions. To my mind this would be an important part of establishing a stable organisation. The same goes for other aspects of the organisation.
Another possible positive outcome of the Poll is that it creates an opportunity to bring together the various existing organisations that are already attempting to operating along participatory lines. Plus there are isolated individuals who are interested in getting involved in this kind of organisation but find themselves too far from any of these existing organisations. Bringing all of these groups and individuals into one organisation would, I believe, by itself be a positive step forward.
But I do think and hope that the poll could result in much more than unifying existing isolated groups and individuals already organising along participatory lines. The initial results from the poll are very promising. However, we do need many more people to take the poll if we are to identify a large enough group of dedicated people to initiate a new international organisation. We can all help here in two ways. First, obviously, take the poll yourself. Second, tell others about the poll and encourage them to also take it and then to tell others about the poll. With some effort from us all this could generate a massive result of historical significance.
I very much look forward to seeing the results of the poll as they come in over the coming weeks and I hope to be making real this imagined organisation with many of you in the coming months.
Thanks to the Z staff for this great initiative!