Recomposition blog's done. Post mortem?

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Nate's picture
Joined: 16-12-05
Sep 30 2018 18:48

"The majority of the contributions, as far as I can tell, are from people who were part of the Recomp editorial collective." This made me curious because I hadn't thought of the site that way. So I just went thru all the pieces on the site and looked at the authors. I count 13 pieces and 9 authors. Of the authors, Nick, Marrianne, and Rachel were part of Recomp. The other authors are Arvind, Mike, MK, Deirdre, Don, G DeJunz, none of whom were part of Recomp and I think never wrote for it either. So the new site's authors are like 33% ex-Recomp. It's my understanding that IWW GHQ staff are also 33% ex-recomp. That percent's not relevant to either the new site or GHQ.

There is a gesture toward recomp in the about page but it basically says 'that site was cool, I wanna to do some of that site did too.' It is true that Marianne was technically part of the recomp editorial body. My recollection is that Marianne was basically inactive the whole time she was nominally part of Recomp. That was my memory and she's enough of a friend that I felt I could say so directly to her, so I asked her if that's right and that's her memory of it too. She wrote like 3 pieces over the life of that blog, never solicited anyone else to write for it and never did serious editing of people's pieces. So the recomp thing isn't really a thing, it seems to me.

I agree that the post on the site could have once run in the Industrial Worker, it's a shame about the fate of that publication. When Marianne mentioned to me that she was thinking of starting a new blog about IWW organizing I said to her that I wish the IW would run more stuff like that and I was like 'maybe you should run for IW editor on a platform of doing this kind of stuff.' I couldn't talk her into it, though I didn't try hard.

It's funny to me that you're like 'this site bores me.' They've run postmortems on past campaigns and written about current IWW organizing. I get that that's not for everyone but I don't think it's the same-old-same-old. I started to find work stories boring by the end of recomp, which says more about me than the site. Likewise you being bored by this says more about you, like it sounds like you're kind of just in general annoyed and bored by the IWW. I get that, I've repeatedly felt that at times over the years, sometimes that's been because my own involvement hasn't been satisfying to me and sometimes it's just been life stuff for me and I've become inactive as a result.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 30 2018 20:12

I counted different. It looked like to me that 75% of the pieces so far were from people formerly part of Recomp. There are some that are uncredited, but a few of those I recognize the authors as being former Recomp. It seems its a big deal to a few of you to not have this blog associated with Recomp, even implicitly. I don't really understand why that is. To me, it looks like a continuation of Recomp with some of the same people and mostly the same framework of looking at things. I don't think its dishonest to say that, anymore than figuring out a lineage and continuation of tiny operaismo/workerist journals is, many who involved the same main people or same people who were previously in the orbit of things.

I didn't say 'this site bores me'. Please refrain from inventing phrases I never said or just refrain from responding to me at all if that's what you're going to do. What I said was "Doesn't really do anything for me, but nothing wrong with that". Which means, that a continuation of pieces and analyses that could have appeared in Recomp or in the IW in a certain period is not something that excites me anymore, but I can understand why people would want to do that. Personally, I think too much has happened over the last 2-3 years, when it comes to critiques of the solidarity unionist model or the fights/near splits that happened to just go back and redo the Workers Power column or Recomp again. But I could also see a reason to just repeat the gospel so it isn't forgotten or overrun with other stuff.

Joined: 15-04-06
Sep 30 2018 23:47

I realize we have our differences and gone our own ways. Some of us on a good foot, most of us prolly not. I do not want to comment on whatever reasons the original project failed or remorphed as. It's just not my place.

The one thing I would like to relay is both personal and germaine to what both projects can mean.
The personal. I've been jotting down notes about time spent in the movement, for some thing I hope to write. At the moment, was mainly thinking about the old timers. The Dolgoff's, the ones who had decades in the workers' moment at times of greater struggle the 1920s, the 1930s and so forth. The struggles were different. Their experiences were different. And that's just how all of our struggles are and will be.

Well, let me get to the point and stop wasting your eyesight and time.

The one most important thing they did not do, in any meaningful way, were to share the nuts and bolts shop floor stuff. The how to and reflections on tactical, strategic successes and failures. Some were very good at telling you how shitty a job you were doing,how wrong we were about shop floor things, but never really how to go about stuff. I'm not a theoretical person, I respect those folks who are. I respect those who have that capacity. As a young anarchy-syndicalist, working shitty jobs, reading what I could, trying to acclimate in approaching workplace stuff in a manner other than rhetoric, I longed for those with experience with concrete shop floor experiences to share some of their pearls of wisdom. It rarely came.

While not a Wob, I have had respect for those of you who engaged in real shop floor stuff. For those of you who know from getting your hands dirty in the drab day to day work of trying to advance your views of building a moevment beyond bread and butter. Yet one that must concretely traverse the terrain between the two. And to those of you who spent many a night and a day writing down and sharing those experiences. Much that has been written has value that goes beyond those who wrote it. Or those projects, newspapers, etc which have served as vechiles bringing forth your word. As boring and as mundane as a lot of the nuts and bolts and experiential may stuff may be, I salute you all for the great value that your words may have brought to a younger generation. And possibly future generation of newbies.

Anyway, much value to all your many efforts.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Dec 1 2018 14:41

Was trying to remember where the "" thread was for a while before I realized it was this one - anyway, just to bump this and say that they've got some interesting coverage of ongoing struggles at Canada Post.
Also, very belated reply, but Juan, when you talk about critiques of the solidarity unionist model - is there anywhere you'd recommend as being a good written summary of them? I'm sure that podcast you linked is good but I don't wanna spend 90 minutes listening to it if there's a quicker alternative I can read.