Tuesday, 3 August 2010
On seizing the moment
'Many years ago, the labour historian Ralph Samuel wrote that one of the things he disliked about the Communist Party was that there was always a tone of emergency in the organisation. Something or other always had to be ‘done now’, ‘could not wait’, and so on.
This criticism is misplaced. If a revolutionary organisation is to play its role in the chain of events, whatever that role might be at any given time, it must act with dispatch. There is always something to be done, and, if it is to be done to maximum effect, it needs to be done in a timely manner.
But ‘timely’ is a variable quantity. What is necessary to prepare for imminent revolution may have to be accomplished with greater speed than the preparation for a demonstration in normal times that is six months hence.
But since all organisations, even revolutionary organisations, produce their own inertia, adhering to past patterns of work even when new challenges arise, there will always be a battle to turn the organisation to a correct orientation in good time.
Other political forces, both enemies and rivals, will not wait. So timing will always be of the essence for revolutionaries.'
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