This introduction is to briefly clarify what exactly the purpose of these documents is. We have found that many people, especially if fairly new to politics and/or anarchism, may initially be a bit daunted by the size of the collection and the amount of detail in some documents. Their first reaction may be "Do I have to learn this off by heart and agree with every word before I can become a member?" The answer is "no".
Others having been through the pressing plants of Leninism and social democracy wish to know if this is some sort of transitional programme or blueprint for revolution. Once again; "no"
The documents here are Position Papers - they argue for our ideas about specific issues and give some guidelines or activity. In recognition of a need for a closer connection of political analysis and the direction of organisational activity, they will be supplemented by Sectoral Analysis & Orientation papers, which will look at specific sectors of society, analyse the balance of powers, and direct the organisation's intervention.
Most of documents here such as women's oppression, the national question, the environment and animal rights, racism, etc. are general statements of policy on a range of issues. Our policy has been hammered out since the WSM was formed in 1984 by democratic debate across the organisation involving all the members. These positions are not carved in stone. Ideas must constantly be debated and, even more importantly, tested in action. We are not a party of leaders and led. We are not looking for good parrots or paper sellers to join.
Without new ideas there can be no progress. There is always room for disagreement on policy and for the expansion of policy. The constiution outlines how members are expected to implement policy in their political activity.
If members were to find themselves in major disagreement on several major areas of policy we would encourage them to leave. We are not an organisation which attempts to hold together people of widely differing ideas.
No one can predict or plan in advance how a revolution will occur. The working class as a whole most exercise its democratic control and no organisation can substitute itself for the class. We are certainly not one which would attempt to do so. These are a set of ideas which we hope will win influence within the class. They are not any kind of programme or carefully planed blueprint for revolutionary success. Only the workers themselves can guarantee that.
Current 'position papers' are:
These documents describe how the WSM operates and what the roles of various officers and sub groups of the WSM are.
Position papers that were written for specific historical events or which for some other reason are no longer in force. Position papers that have not been debated after three years must be ratified or they are moved to this section.