In reply to "Ecology of organisations"? by AWL
I think I pretty much agree with all of this, and would just add that (1) given that we agree that we can't reasonably expect to organise workers "on the basis of where they work or how much industrial leverage they have" but are essentially just gathering up ones and twos, it makes it all the more crucial to have a perspective for what individual workers in the less-than-ideal workplaces can hope to do, and
(2) just as we won't see One Big Party it's fairly unlikely, for better or worse, that we'll see One Big Union either, which I think is a useful note of humility to bear in mind with these kind of strategy discussions - we could end up by agreeing that everyone should join Unison, or everyone should join the IWW, or whatever, but odds are that future upsurges of workers' struggle will look much more like the recent waves of cleaners' struggles in London, with the mainstream unions playing both a positive and negative role, the politico syndicalist/minority union projects playing some kind of a role, and the struggle itself giving birth to new organisations like the UVW that don't fit neatly into the mould of either the mainstream labour movement or the traditions of syndicalists trying to create revolutionary anti-capitalist unions. I'll probably come back to this point in my longer response to your longer response, just wanted to say that reality will probably be a lot messier than whatever we decide the right answer might be.