January 16th 2010,
Out of the Blue Centre, Edinburgh

Over the last year, comrades in the RCN have become more and more aware of the ideas and activities of comrades In The Commune, based south of the border. Like many on the left, older members of Commune have been round the block a bit in terms of organisational affiliation. But the RCN was attracted to their continued commitment to openness, debate, the self-emancipation of the working class and opposition to borders and immigration controls. Their vision of Communism in the 21st Century, as detailed in their platform statement (See editions of the commune publication) seemed to tune in with our own and so we organised our first official meeting in the form of a day school on the 16th January this year.

This ‘Global Commune’ event was designed to discuss what we meant by communism in the 21st century. There was a plenary session with Chris Ford (The Commune) and Allan Armstrong (RCN) setting the scene, three workshops and a feedback session. Around 30 people attended and debated ideas in a positive, comradely fashion.
The workshops were –

What communism isn’t – the legacy of official communism
How communists should organise
What communism would look like

It was an event, which was extremely satisfying, not just as a meeting of ideas, but as a shared recognition of how comrades should operate in the here and now. No quarter was given to aggressive behaviour under the guise of hard politics. Comrades would treat one another with respect and recognition that we are comrades and therefore need to nurture one another’s political development. Our vision of communism in the 21st century appeared to be less about the line and more about the dialectic.

Since January, RCN comrades have discussed further our orientation towards The Commune. We feel that while retaining our commitment to the SSP and to establishing a republican communist pole of attraction within it, we wanted to work more closely with The Commune.

Our second ‘Global Commune’ day school will be held on the 22nd May, again in Edinburgh. Anyone interested, should contact RCN members for details.

Mary McGregor, 5th February 2010