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Joining Organizations and Supporting Working-Class Leadership

In middle-class workshops, Seán Ruth1 has been talking about the need to organise effectively over the next twenty years in order to stop the worst effects of climate change and ensure that less oppressive societies emerge after the collapse of capitalism. As human beings we are most powerful when we willingly join together in organisations that enable us to combine (rather than suppress) our thinking and acting.

Re-evaluation Counselling is itself an organisation that makes those of us in it more powerful than we would otherwise be. The aim of RC is to change the world by spreading the use of the discharge process, sharing the theory that backs up our practice, and developing Communities that support us to act in connected, powerful ways. We only occasionally act together outside of RC to directly affect the world—for example, in United to End Racism or Sustaining All Life delegations to social forums or United Nations conferences. Mostly, to use our RC understandings to directly change the world we need to become part of organisations and movements outside of RC. We need to organise within them to make them more rational and effective, or build new ones.

Most of the discussion I’ve heard about getting RC into the hands of working-class people has focused on individuals and small groups rather than organisations. It has been about how to use RC in everyday situations, how to give people sessions rather than look for them ourselves, how to discharge classism or internalised classism. We are getting better at these things, but I don’t think they’re going to have enough of an effect on what happens over the next twenty years. 

Both Dan Nickerson2 and Seán talk about recognising the strength and understanding of reality that working-class people often have from their life experience and about welcoming and supporting their leadership. It seems to me that a good way to do this is to join organisations in which many (or at least some) working-class people are, or could be, taking leadership. Unions are some of the obvious ones, but there are also political, cultural, and community organisations.

I think RCers will not have time to build the sort of world-changing organisations and social movements that are needed over the next twenty years. Most of us will need to focus on existing organisations and put RC into the hands of their leaders and activists—including working-class leaders and activists. Wherever we decide to work, we’ll need to talk about class oppression and liberation and support working-class leadership.

We’ll only be able to do this if we discharge on it in sessions. Probably the first (partly) irrational and oppressive organisation we were a member of was our family, and that must have had a massive effect on how we organise and allow ourselves to be organised. 

I’d love to hear responses to this. 

Caroline New

Bristol, England

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion list for RC Community members

(Present Time 183, April 2016)

1 Seán Ruth is the International Liberation Reference Person for Middle-Class People.
2 Dan Nickerson is the International Liberation Reference Person for Working-Class People.

Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00