I have much more to say about this as a way of explaining how Unity Caucus and other groups operate. On the surface, groups that operate under democratic centralism are democratic internally but all agree upon joining to adhere to the decisions of majority rule. Not outrageous - except when Unity considers itself the UFT and tries to force everyone else in the UFT who are not Unity members and did not sign on to dem cent to follow that in the mass organization - the UFT itself -- and that has been a tactic of smaller groups controlling larger mass orgs - stifle dissent by labeling it undemocratic - we voted, the majority won, not shut up and follow along. Except that they manipulate democracy in the UFT.
I also maintain that Unity itself is not a democracy but top-down -- there are votes but people vote the way they are supposed to. Shanker, Feldman, Randi - make basic decisions and people follow -- Mulgrew may be allowed to make a few of his own. Then they use the Unity cadre to impose those decisions on the rest of the UFT.
Here is a comment sent to me by email:
Democratic centralism seems to be a very idealistic principle. It claims to resolve an apparent contradiction of opposites. A diversity of perspective, emphasis of thought and idea wonderfully coalesces into an agreed upon unity of plan for collective action. But doesn't this idealistic principle ultimately morph into an actual reality on the ground that is far more specific and commonplace?Actually ICE is a consensus group while MORE is a majority vote group - and I think not just a simple majority vote but something more than a majority for important issues. I think simple majority rule can cause deep splits in groups when the minority just misses.
Doesn't idealistic democratic centralism morph into either majority rule and/or consensus democracy (more or less what MORE does), or in the case of UNITY and some groups, rigid democratic dictatorship for either left or rightest policy? With the latter, you can forget the nice centralism. It's absolute conformity or be socially excluded, eliminated or demonized, and, in its extreme form, bodily assassination.Politically divergent dictatorial, totalitarian and subversive organizations have morphed into democratic dictatorships from socialist democratic centralist idealism? Meanwhile it amazes me how organizations manage to put group-think blinders on their followers.