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Bounded ChoiceTrue Believers and Charismatic Cults$
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Janja Lalich

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231948

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231948.001.0001

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The Cadre Formation

The Cadre Formation

(p.149) CHAPTER 8 The Cadre Formation
Bounded Choice

Janja A. Lalich

University of California Press

This chapter gives an excellent account of the DWP's cadre formation, which represented the living embodiment of the party's goals and ideals. Through the process of cadre transformation as outlined and guided by Dixon, the founders and their newly recruited members came to be true revolutionaries, with their own organization and their own revolutionary leadership. The cadre members were bound by a shared political commitment and a vision of the future, and their energies were spent on perfecting themselves in the image of the cadre working feverishly toward building a party that would be new and different, Marxist and feminist, non-dogmatic and American. The cadre was formed of like-minded close friends, spouses, and relatives. Study groups with different areas of focus came to be formed, such as one for factory workers, one for hospital workers, and so on. Militants in those workplaces were to recruit into the study groups from among their coworkers. A double standard took hold in the leadership early on: Dixon was never held accountable in the ways her followers were, nor did she ever live by the organization's rigid rules and norms that she herself put in place. The cadre grew to have 125 to 175 full-time militants, with other levels of general members. As a leftist organization led by women with a unique line on proletarian feminism and a staunch critique of social democracy, the DWP attracted intelligent, hardworking, dedicated women and men who were looking to make a commitment to the cause of social change.

Keywords:   Cadre formation, revolutionary, non-dogmatic, study group, militants

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