We reliably hear that the conference of the US revolutionary socialist group Solidarity on the weekend 29-30 June voted to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre. [Update, see statement from Solidarity below, received 27.8.19].
This follows the decision by the larger International Socialist Organization (ISO) in March- April to dissolve itself.
With Solidarity, there is no hint of a scandal or row triggering the dissolution. The word is that the group came to consider itself too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an organisation.
These moves mark the expiry (at least for now) in the USA of two major political traditions originating from the Trotskyism of the days of Trotsky: the Heterodox Trotskyist tradition of Max Shachtman and Hal Draper, considerably-mutated follow-ons from which operated within both ISO and Solidarity, and the mainstream Orthodox Trotskyism of Ernest Mandel, represented within Solidarity.
Workers’ Liberty has had friendly relations over the years (as well as political differences) with Solidarity, and we see this as a setback. We hope to learn more.
STATEMENT FROM THE SOLIDARY (U.S.) NATIONAL COMMITTEE
U.K.-based organization Alliance for Workers’ Liberty recently reported our convention’s motion to “to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre” as a kind of “dissolution,” and implied that we are “too small, weak, elderly, and divided to function as an organisation.” This characterization is speculative and inaccurate. There was no motion to dissolve Solidarity or fundamentally alter its organizational structure at the convention.
In the 2019 National Convention, Dan La Botz and other members organized a discussion around developing an educational center for revolutionary socialism in the U.S. as a potential avenue of framing the future of Solidarity. Around twenty comrades, including some in the current National Committee, participated and contributed to some preliminary ideas. These discussions excited many (especially younger) members, and eventually, Dan LB introduced the motion “to set up an exploratory committee to investigate whether Solidarity should transform itself from a membership organization into an educational center. This investigation should be a priority for the income NC.” This motion was passed at the convention.
The NC is working on next steps to organize this discussion of an educational center with the broader membership. We emphasize that this project is not the committee’s sole responsibility - we hope that the membership, especially our at-large members, can take greater leadership and role in directing and thinking more about this project. Dan recently drafted a document that frames these ideas, which one can read here. We will post more information about this initiative soon, but members with any idea, questions, or concerns can feel free to email the NC at firstname.lastname@example.org
comradely, Promise Li, Plainsboro NJ // on behalf of the National Committee