I’m critical of organizations to an extent that groups I’m a part of are reluctant to assign names in an attempt to keep it as abstract as possible. One day we might be the Radical Heaux Band and the next day we may be developing rules that detach us from the relationships that create such an entity. Some of you might think it’s a joke, but some anarchists, despite their critiques, mirror vanguard politics intentionally or otherwise. That’s why I’m reluctant to participate in anarchist-friendly groups such as the DSA even as I find many friends and comrades among them.
This was reinforced, to many of us with this critique, when Danny Fetonte got elected without folks knowing he was a police union organizer. To which, he very much willfully hid. No, DF isn’t a cop, but police unions are in fact fascist unions and instrumental in protecting cops from liability in any case. DF may not be a pig, but he provides the mud and the slop for them. I could banter on and that would subtract from a bunch of key points I want to get into. This may get into a bullet point frenzy, but what can I say? I’m trigger happy.
1. DF is a member of the Austin DSA.
2. Members of the Austin DSA knew DF’s background as he ran for the NPC.
3. Either members knew DF willfully misrepresented himself, didn’t care, or were unaware.
4. When shit hit the fan, Austin DSA had a meeting about it that was led, moderated, and pushed forward by… the accused, DF, who hogged the mic.
5. Key members of Austin DSA seem ride or die as others have critical issues of DF.
So what about outside of the Austin DSA?
1. NPC and DSA found out
2. Huge shit storm
3. NPC worked on a resolution
4. Although more than half voted to remove DF, it wasn’t enough to remove DF
Considering that the NPC knew by this point that DF had not only misrepresented his experience, that thousands of members had issues, that working groups had issues, and that a due strike was on hand, NEARLY HALF VOTED FOR HIM TO REMAIN. HALF. What does this mean? That despite some cop organizing cis white dude have thousands of people upset and tons of money might not get paid through a due strike, nearly half the NPC saw this and went tots worth it. If somehow those who voted to keep him in were not aware of this, then talk about gross negligence at this point.
What I’ve described to you is a really, really small summary of the status quo, because there’s something even larger at play we must recognize. This is normative as fuck. Put everything for the collective on line for the cis white guy whose shady as fuck? You bet said most political parties ever. This is exactly in line with the anti-party critique and why anarchists disregard parties. I don’t want this to be the lone take away though, I want to talk about solutions. Ideally, I would shout from the top of my lungs to disband, and self-organize in informal capacities without rules yadda yadda, yet.. We know that’s not going to happen. I encourage you to recognize the power within yourselves as individuals to organize and commit action that is yours, not some obscure entity that lays claim to the power of people as all formal entities usually are, but I’m going to offer two takeaways. The organizational critique which is super normie, non-anarchist, and then the anarchist one.
The Organizational Takeaway
Austin DSA members have expressed maybe making another chapter, but the problem is the jurisdiction and power that has been given to the Austin DSA. This should be resolved either in the form of the current Austin DSA dismantling and recreation of another chapter or allow another chapter to co-exist within the same geographical area. This is the local level takeaway.
At the greater level? The DSA NPC should institute an ability for total recall, whether at the hands of the chapter or caucus the member is from or as a whole. It is absolutely absurd that a person elected into power by the masses CANNOT be removed by the masses, especially as they willfully misrepresented themselves to gain such power.
On top of this, political education. Your members need to understand the fuck a lot of people do NOT WANT DF in a position of power, especially after listening to the Austin DSA audio recording of him. The guy is unapologetic trash. There’s no understanding from him WHY PEOPLE DON’T WANT HIM THERE and he reduces it to conspiracies, plots, or other gas lighting bullshit. Since DF being outed for who he is, he has proven that he is even worse of a person.
The Anarchist Takeaway
The power lies not in the organization itself, but in your ability to come together as people. If you were to dissolve your chapters today and turn those dues into direct resources for you to directly operate in your areas, you could each be effective groups in your own pursuits, without the need for a name or an organizing body outside of yourselves. These party structures consistently recreate the same problematic issues, day in and day out over the course of ages, precisely because of inherent flaws nobody has been able to absolve.
What is happening to you is the exact prediction of our concerns and critiques. We knew shit like this would happen and it did, albeit not in the fine details of a police organizer, but trash taking power for the sake of power. Leadership roles, as they currently exist and are conceptualized in this society, shouldn’t. Of course, leave it to an old white man chasing power at a national level to fuck shit up, because that’s historical as fuck. By abolishing leadership roles and empower us as collective leaders, folks like DF become more irrelevant. You are the source of the power, not DF, not the NPC, and not even the DSA. You as people coming together, you are the most important part of all this. Organize, agitate, and help regardless if you remain in the DSA or not.