Monday, May 28, 2012

Vatican Reprimands U.S. Nuns' Social Justice Work: How Might Revolutionaries Orient Themselves to Such Things?


We all know the saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows—or at least seemingly strange ones. It’s trite, but it is something that we’re going to have to get used to and get sophisticated about, if genuinely mass upsurges are again on the global agenda. The motleyness of the Occupy movement has put questions about this at the forefront of my mind. Mass movements are sometimes-bewildering assemblages of people, ever shifting in relation to one another and to common enemies.

What does it mean to do communist work in the midst of a mass movement? What is communist leadership? How do we orient ourselves to diverse forces and, more grandly, what does it mean to form a historic bloc of forces which can carry through radical revolution that will transform people's lives and lead to real liberation?

One important but under-theorized dimension of this is the question of how revolutionaries should relate to progressive and even radical religious people. And, on the obverse of that: What is the best way to isolate hardcore reactionaries of a religious bent?