The “Twin Pitfalls of Tailism and Adventurism”: on the campus movement in California

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Advance the Struggle has produced a very good assessment of the strategic and tactical debate inside the 9/24 walkout in California, and some key ideas and questions about where things need to go.

check it out.

they write:

“Some organizers at UC Berkeley stated that an occupation at that time would have been premature, and would not have advanced the anti-budget cut movement. It is defeatist and conservative to assert that an occupation would be “premature,” “out of place,” or “detrimental” to the movement. On the other hand, springing it on the general assembly by trying to lock down Wheeler Hall was straight-up reckless strategy……..Two days later at an anti-budget cut conference at SF State SUP was vilified by an alliance of Trotskyist groups, and other liberals, for being “undemocratic” for its perceived support of the failed occupation. This misconception was reconciled after a long discussion, but unfortunately obscured the real point of contention: the twin pitfalls of tailism (following behind proposals for petitions and legalistic protests) on the one hand, and adventurism (isolated militant action) on the other. Both of these approaches sidestep the political consciousness of the masses.”

and

“The strategic question faced is should there simply be legalistic mass protest in Sacramento, or can there be simultaneous “illegal” statewide shutdowns of numerous educational institutions and workplaces? Unions might engage in legal one-hour pickets, but union members should take this struggle into their own hands beyond the legalism of union politics. If a statewide strike is going to take place, we must think about what type of statewide organizational formation needs to exist for such a massive strike wave to take place. Politically, such a statewide network should see the bankruptcy of petitions, and of the general approach of petitioning power in a “respectable” and legalistic way. It should also not limit itself to advocating mass assemblies, but think a political step further about what to propose at mass assemblies in order to deepen the consciousness of the participants and advance the struggle.”

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