Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jack A. Smith

Guardian making organizational plans for Clubs


First Published: The Guardian Sustainer, July-August 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Guardian Clubs will exist in about 10 cities by the end of the year. Work is beginning now to meet this deadline.

During July and August we’re concentrating on investigation and planning work, contacting our closest allies in various cities, looking for leadership people and doing the groundwork necessary to establish a modest nationwide organization.

In September and October, Guardian representatives will visit the various cities and hold meetings with interested Sustainers and readers in order to set up the Clubs.

At this stage we’ve definitely selected five cities: New York, Boston, San Francisco-Bay Area, Chicago and Los Angeles. The other five will be picked in a few weeks.

We have decided that during their first year, each Club will be limited in size to between six and 25 people. This means that for a period of time a lot of good friends will not be eligible for membership but this will change as soon as the various Clubs become stabilized and active in the community.

Here is some of our thinking about the structure and organization of the Clubs:

During the first year at least, it’s going to be a very centralized operation, with most of the guidance coming directly from the Guardian. The Guardian will issue the charters for each Club, select regional coordinators and have the final say on membership, activities and program. As the Clubs develop so will the democratic aspects of organization, but during the initial period it is essential that we keep tight control.

It is important that the Clubs be more than just paper organizations. Meetings should be held regularly, every two or three weeks. Club members will have real work to do–organized study, local action and Guardian-building. Each member will have specific tasks to handle. Dues will be collected from non-Sustainers (Sustainer contributions will be considered dues).

The Guardian will undertake to produce and provide study courses for the Clubs as well as information sheets on everything from how to organize a demonstration to distributing the paper at bookshops. We are naming a Guardian staffer to handle coordination of the Clubs project and he (William Ryan) will be in close touch with each Club on a regular basis. We haven’t decided yet whether to issue a separate newsletter for Clubs only or expand the Guardian Sustainer to include Club news. However we do it, communication will be frequent with plenty of opportunity for the Clubs to make their views known on a number of political and organizational subjects. We also plan to have various Guardian people, particularly from the leadership, make periodic visits to confer with Club members. At some point during the first year we anticipate holding a national meeting of the regional Club leaders to sum up our work, correct mistakes and plan for the second stage–expansion of the clubs in size and number, broadened local decision making, and new, more sophisticated tasks.

At some point during the later summer we will publish an article about the Clubs in the Guardian, inviting interested people to contact us about membership in a local Club. Priority for membership will generally go to members of the Sustainer system but you should let us know as soon as possible before September whether you wish to be considered for the Clubs. Once each Club reaches its upper limit of members, the lists will be closed until we decide to move on to the second stage.

Who are Guardian Clubs looking for as members? First, people who specifically agree with the 10 political points included in this newsletter and agree with the Guardian’s general political line. Second, activists who are serious about working hard for the Clubs and the independent Marxist-Leninist political tendency they represent. Third, militants who are into revolutionary politics for the long haul, recognize the central importance of party-building and the struggle against revisionism and dogmatism, and who are dedicated to uniting all who can be united against the common enemy.

Our September newsletter will contain more specific information about the Clubs. Until then, we want you to understand we are completely dedicated to building the Clubs, that we wouldn’t launch such a project unless we felt optimistic about its chances, and that we believe the Clubs will eventually be an important influence upon revolutionary politics in our country.

The Clubs will not be an overnight miracle. It’s going to take a lot of work and the process will be slow. But for serious independent Marxists, this just might be what you have been waiting for. Much of the rest, of course, is up to you.