2 min read
Wed 09 Feb 2000 Writing

Organising after the General Election: The Role of Political Education

Our talk for the Left Book Club

We spoke at the Left Book Club in Dalston last week about organising for participatory, reflective and accessible forms of political education throughout the country.

We began with some findings from the Labour Together review, focusing on the widely reported disorganisation and bureaucratic feeling of the party, to which "community involvement" often appears as a plea for grassroots activist power.

We explored how political education might be interpreted as practical collective facilitation, and the shifts in thinking that might require of us; namely:

  • Explicitly politicising our own everyday lives and activism and "organising against our own oppressions", to directly build the movement.
  • Walking back from big abstract goals (like "win the election and teach socialism in schools") to the concrete problems facing us that can give political education a focus, and help us see direct action as a problem solving and learning experience

From this perspective we think about our work in Common Knowledge as political education. When we build infrastructure that gives activists autonomy, it is so they can develop their organising through trial and error in other dimensions.

Talking about an emergent strategy of practical experimentation got the room chatting about how we could take Left Book Club itself forward, which included a fun collective education in how to run a Zoom call for a reading group.

In the middle of this discussion, there was a power cut in the basement we were in, everything went pitch black and it all got a bit theatrical and fun. We want to thank Brekhna and the rest of Left Book Club for inviting us to speak. They left us with a copy of Rereading Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism which was very kind of them.