Just a couple of thoughts to throw into the IOPS re-evaluation mix after the predictable failure of the 12 June deadline. I think we need to move beyond just asking ourselves very restricted organizational questions as those in the latest poll, and begin a more serious re-evaluation, for example of some key assumptions.
1. One of the key assumptions behind the founding of interim IOPS (and continuing in many discussions even now despite everything) seems to be that of IOPS becoming some sort of huge Internationale. I would argue that that assumption is wrong, a delusion of grandeur if you like, and the sooner it is dropped, the better.
2. The word Internationale itself is historically burdensome, if not irksome, from an anti-authoritarian perspective that IOPS supposedly shares.. The second and third Internationales were authoritarian, bureaucratic, repressive organisations. The tiny first Internationale of Marx and Bakunin broke up quickly along authoritarian/anti-authoritarian lines.
3. Any anti-authoritarian, internationalist organization on a global level could only come about from below, as a result and wish of self-networking or self-federating grassroots organizations engaged in social struggles. That seems a long way off at this point (the WSF would seem to have been the last failed attempt).
4. These three arguments above may also be at least one reason why IOPS has been so relatively ignored by many on the left spectrum, including by most of its own ICC. (This is only pure conjecture on my part of course, but the deafening silence of almost all ICC members throughout our short existence has now culminated in the majority ICC 'go-away-I'm-busy' debacle.)
5. Given the huge complexity and differences of global social, radical, anti-capitalist movements and non-Anglophone mass movements, their massive self-organizing and -linking on a global level will most likely only happen via increasing communication, dialogue, alliances between these different movements. Is this happening enough, or at all?
6. IOPS could make the facilitation of this global communication and linkage between social movements one of its main activities, not in terms of trying to absorb them into IOPS but of enabling a greater degree of self-consciousness, coherence and self-organization, ultimately at a global level, as a 'Movement of movements' that will find its own institutional forms, forms we cannot as yet know.
7. If IOPS were to pursue its IOPS-as-Internationale and correlative 'credibility' delusion, it would, logically, need to become much more 'credible' in terms of 'representation' than the first 'preconditions' poll suggested. I hope people realise that with, say, 4,000 members, it would not only need to be 50% women, but the number of members from Asia would need to be roughly 2,256 and from Africa 496, from Europe about 400, but only 208 North Americans could be admitted (sorry guys, ya gotta go) and 24 Australians and New Zealanders!
8. It would also need to 'represent' BILLIONS of people and movements, so let's just start with the world's radical peasants for example (Via Campesina with 150 million peasants in 60 countries; the Brasilian MST with 1.5 million members; the Guatamalan CPR, Indian KKRS and Navadanya/DWD, Bangla Deshi Nayakrishi Andolon, South African LPM, Mexican EZLN), or Chinese workers, Cambodian and Bangla Deshi textile workers, 20 million literally enslaved men, women and children etc. IOPS does not quite fit the bill, no?
9. Not being an 'Internationale' in spe, IOPS does not have to 'represent' anyone. Its 'prefigurative' nature would lie not in any numerical quotas but in its internal participatory democracy and, hopefully, solidarious, pleasant and humane internal and external relations. Obviously I would thus argue for the abolition of the previous chapter/convention preconditions (as the majority did, BTW, in the 'first first' poll...).
10. So, what instead of IOPS-as-Internationale? How about IOPS, both as chapters and website, as (a) consciousness-raiser, beginning with ourselves (as in early feminism); (b) facilitator of inter-movement dialogue, coherence-building and self-organization; (c) creative intervenor in social direct actions and movements (the leaven in the dough); (d) support, affinity and mutual aid network? (All of this of course predicated on enough members not only wanting any or all of this, but prepared to debate and act on it, perhaps doubtful at this stage?)
11. Re interim status, ICC and founding convention: could we not get over all that quite simply by having a poll about simply declaring ourselves founded and ditching the ICC? Too simple?