Login Join IOPS

Ideas for IOPS June 2016

  • Written by:
  • Published on:
  • Categories:
  • Comments:
  • Share:

The future of IOPS is being discused a lot at the moment. I've been one of the core organisers of the London chapter (I think this is one of only two active chapters if I'm correct?). It feels like we are going strong in London, so I thought I'd give some input. 

I'd like to answer this question by looking at the original idea of IOPS. My understanding is that the core original idea of IOPS was to form a website whch would help revolutionaries in different countries and towns, meet up, form groups, and then they could take action. The type of action would depend on what the groups decided. The 'History' page on this website reads "As IOPS was conceived by its initiators, it was to consist of local self-managing “chapters” formed by members living sufficiently close to each other to have regular face-to-face meetings, growing and constituting itself in a bottom-up fashion".

This still sounds like a sensible idea to me. 

So the core function of the website should be simply to help/encourage revolutionaries to meet up. Once they meet, they can help each other decide what to do. In my opinion, the IOPS website doesn't *need* to play any other significant function beyond this. I humbly suggest if the IOPS website and 'idea' of IOPS plays no other function then helping set up a number of new revolutionary groups, then it has done it's main job. So the website should be geared, as far as possible to this task. 

Having said this, a concern has been raised that people don't know what to do when they meet. I further humbly suggest that when new groups meet, they do what we did in IOPS London.  What we did was agree to discuss a range of revolutionary or activist groups, past and present, and try to take draw lessons from these groups. The lessons we took from this process, positive and negative, have informed what kind of actions we have started to plan together. I strongly suspect if new groups commit to this kind of precess, ideas for action will come.

I finally humbly suggest once we have many IOPS chapters meeting regularly (and probably engaging in a variety of actions/projects) and there is a desire in these groups to have increased international IOPS coordination, then this type of discussion can be innitiated at a later date by the groups. But this doesn't need to be a consideration at the moment.

Discussion 2 Comments

  • Lambert Meertens 7th Jun 2016

    There are at least two issues that need to be considered.

    The first is that in most areas there is no hope in the foreseeable future of a sufficient concentration of members spontaneously arising to make regular face-to-face meetings a viable option. We have many “geographically isolated” members in such areas. They have never met another IOPS member in person, nor are they likely to meet one in the near future. So whether they know what to do when they meet is a moot question. If they have no meaningful way of participating in the life of IOPS, we are failing them and do miss out on their potential.

    The second is that I’m fairly convinced that most new members more or less stumble online on IOPS. (Maybe our next research project should be an entrance survey, but with only one or two new members a month it would have to run for a couple of years to produce meaningful results.) That has to mean that actually many more people, being potential members, stumble upon IOPS, of which only a fraction decides to join. That fraction can be substantially increaed if we succeed in showing ourselves as a lively bunch and projecting a welcoming image through our website. And since I believe we must be honest, that means we have to become a lively and welcoming organisation.

    These issues are related in the sense that if we can attract more members by being more convincing, and also presenting ourselves in a more convincing way, more locations will achieve a sufficient concentration of members to form a functioning chapter. Conversely, functioning chapters can hold actions and events that advertize IOPS and show our organization as being alive.

    The reality is that the growth of IOPS has come to a virtual standstill. In the first year, we grew by 200 members a month. Now that is down to 2 members per month. To get the ball rolling again, we will have to adopt some changes.

  • Lazy Coward 13th Jun 2016

    As I was not aware of this blog post due to my device screwing with me (thanks Jason) I will repost my response from the project here.

    Hi David,

    "I think we should stick to this aim, and deprioritise anything else."

    Didn't we already try this during the enthusiastic early years? Didn't we fail? Hence only two chapters left? Why deprioritise anything? What's there to deprioritise anyway? What the hell are peope doing? And what's the point of supporting such an elaborate site if it's not being used? There's nothing stopping anyone forming chapters and acting by the IOPS rule/history book now, is there? Nothing stopping signerupperers from forming groups and using the site for promoting meetings etc.. But even that isn't happening. Never really did much. But does the rest of the site just squat there like an unresolved sharp five over a c major triad? Nice and cool as that does sound. No use for much else other than aesthetic appreciation?

    I totally understand tye local chapter, local action stuff. Act locally and just think globally. Of course and it's necessary and can be helpful, is helpful. But thinking globally ain't enough, nor is small groups merely acting locally. And if it was easy for small local groups to act locally and merge and interact with other small like minded groups and grow and grow, with the plethora of material written about left history and lessons learned, shit, we'd be hammering by now, like cutting through Giant Steps chord changes effortlessly at a crotchet equals 320. No?

    As I wrote before, the Big Daddy White Geezer Hegemonic Power Grid (BDWGHPG), that has been sold heavily to the world particularly since world war one and the establishment of the Creel Committee in the US, from Ed Bernays' Propaganda, to the post depression, post WW2, Mont Pelerin Society, the growth of right wing foundations and well funded think tanks, right up to the post Keynesian, post Vietnam war, post civil rights movement, post anti-Vietnam movement, PR sell of the Trilateral Commission which felt there was an excess of democracy, is an almight leviathan that can handle with its hands tied behind its back, fragmented small local action and groups. The Next System Project at least recognises a need for greater long term vision and overall awareness of capitalism's ills and need for system change. So do the People for a Shared Program people. A move towards a hegemonic left.

    Like, imagine if all those like people posting shit, like blogs that is, on the Shared Program site, or elsewhere, who like are or were signerupperers of this place, were posting the said same stuff here, like for people to read and comment on or engage in discussion, because like this site is actually quite good for that, better than most media sites, like...just like...it would look at the very least like, active. Create some digital energy that may translate into analogue and stronger knit groups actually meeting.

    But I doubt it, because the problem is deeper. Me thinks it ideologically ingrained resistance and the fear, anxiety and precarity the current system creates breeds a distrust of pretty much everything. If you've been screwed over constantly by people who always come across well mannered and sincere, why would anyone trust a small bunch of raggedy activists who have read a few things, have few radical revolutionary ideas and with no real power to influence anything. The image of the Next System Project and the radically gentle and weak language of the Transition Town Network testifies to this lack of trust and the perceived need to tread carefully. Hence why specific single issue groups or pressure carry more weight. Concrete ideas rather than flighty let's change the world ones. But we gotta change the world and treading carefully doesn't really cut the mustard and it s not gonna happen just with another bunch of small groups getting together and meeting face to face, over there and over there, silent in any other way other than locally, hoping that more will see the light in such activity and join.

    Oh, what do I know, I'm just hangin around because I got nothing better to do.