Alternatives for a New Century
NACLA’s “decollectivization” was well underway by the early 1990s. Everyone had a job title and there were intended lines of authority. Of course, on a five-leftist staff, lines of authority tend to get blurred, as do job assignments. But the idea was that NACLA was now a professional outfit. Rob Sauté, who with Mark Fried was given the task of rebuilding NACLA in the late 1980s, began the painstaking process of bringing the organizational budget under control, a process fine tuned by Pierre LaRamée and Marisa Maack. Under the direction first of Susan Wood and then of LaRamée, a computerized donor data base was created along with a method of tracking the interests and activities of foundations. There is still a tension between collective work and a structure with clearly defined tasks and lines of authority. The idea that “there is no alternative” has extended neither to NACLA’s worldview nor to its workplace; the desire to maintain structures of collective work and decision-making is alive and well—if not always triumphant—at NACLA.