In the proliferation of "critical" educational scholarship there is a glaring omission, and that is research on the Party-form. Indeed, even when theorists like Gramsci and Lukàcs are discussed in critical education their work is always abstracted from its context: the Communist Party. This article contends that if critical education wants to orient toward the overthrow of capitalism then it has to take the Party seriously. I counter the misrepresentations and caricatures of the Party-form by carefully reading Lenin, Lukàcs, and Dean. I show that the Party is a student of the mass struggle, that it is disciplined to the full subjectivity of the proletariat, and that it is ultimately a form of unknowing and the organization of a lack. I conclude by delineating four concrete steps that critical educators can take toward building the Party.
Original citation and link to published original article: Ford, D. R. (2016). Joining the party: Critical education and the question of organization. Critical Education, 7(15). http://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/criticaled/article/view/186151