DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Re-Joining The IWW

59 posts / 0 new
Last post
Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Sep 16 2011 02:18

Yeah, I don't think you really know what you're talking about and some of the claims you make (organizing bosses and workers) seems more like you have some left communist axe to grind rather than any considered political perspective or anything based in reality. In fact it's difficult to understand what exactly you're trying to say.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 16 2011 06:56

I agree that OBUism is one of the fundamental problems of 'apolitical syndicalism (especially at low points of struggle), but...

Quote:
Although the IWW is nowhere near being a mass organization, it does try to become one and so it tries to recruit anyone.

this wouldn't be true if the DUs had their way. As the document makes clear, we stress activity over membership.

Juan, there is some legitimacy to the workers and bosses comment, but now might not be the best time to get into that discussion...

Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Sep 16 2011 14:25
Quote:
You haven't been to Seattle? Strange, I thought you were someone else then. 2-3 comrades from Turkey did visit Seattle in 2007, I think.

I am not one of them.

I lived in the US and went to lots places over there but unfortunately Seattle wasn't one.

Quote:
I personally have done talks and trainings about the SeaSol model in at least 10 cities, as well as promoting online extensively, I don't think it's that absurd to claim some credit for their formation. When I said "we have advocated", by 'we' I mean myself and a few others in SeaSol, about half of whom are also IWW members. The IWW has no strategy of creating solidarity networks

Ah OK, I misunderstood then, apologies.

Quote:
Yes, there are a few that coincidentally have a similar name, but not many.

Well, "Solidarity Network" is quite a common name to be honest, and the Seattle model is a very specific thing. Just type solidarity network on google and none of what shows up in the first page has got anything to do with the working class explicitly or any relation to the Seattle group. And the Seattle group itself doesn't show up in the first page (its on the top of the second - the rest of which again mostly has got nothing to do with the working class).

Quote:
It was started by IWW members from the Seattle GMB but has spread far beyond that, yet it still works closely with the IWW. SeaSol certainly isn't a front group, being much larger and more influential than the Seattle GMB.

Yes, this was what I thought as the case.

Quote:
I agree that OBUism is one of the fundamental problems of 'apolitical syndicalism (especially at low points of struggle), but...
Quote:
Although the IWW is nowhere near being a mass organization, it does try to become one and so it tries to recruit anyone.

this wouldn't be true if the DUs had their way. As the document makes clear, we stress activity over membership.

Yes, but how will the DUs have their way in a situation like this? I mean I don't know how the internal dynamics of the IWW work nowadays but I presume there are votes, and how will it be possible to win the organization for a position against paper membership if the existing paper membership is the majority and will be voting against you?

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Sep 16 2011 17:04

Well mate, I'm know going to get into internal dynamics (or strategy for that matter!), so I guess you'll have to wait and see with the rest of us...

Also, I'm not sure where your experience of the IWW comes from (US, UK, libcom), but between those three, the IWW is a very different place in each one.

888's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Sep 16 2011 18:32
Quote:
Well, "Solidarity Network" is quite a common name to be honest, and the Seattle model is a very specific thing. Just type solidarity network on google and none of what shows up in the first page has got anything to do with the working class explicitly or any relation to the Seattle group. And the Seattle group itself doesn't show up in the first page (its on the top of the second - the rest of which again mostly has got nothing to do with the working class).

Point taken. However, if you type "Solidarity Network" in quotes, SeaSol does turn up on the first page, as does East Bay Sol. And I am aware of approximately two dozen solidarity networks that definitely do follow the SeaSol model, although quite a few of them may not be functional at the moment.

Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Sep 16 2011 19:13
Quote:
Also, I'm not sure where your experience of the IWW comes from (US, UK, libcom)

US and libcom. I've never been to Britain.

Quote:
so I guess you'll have to wait and see with the rest of us...

Yes, we will wait and see.

Quote:
And I am aware of approximately two dozen solidarity networks that definitely do follow the SeaSol model, although quite a few of them may not be functional at the moment.

Yes, I think this is quite believable.

About two dozen solidarity networks although quite a few of them not functional at the moment, yes. This isn't bad, not bad at all.

It also isn't "dozens of solidarity networks spreading like an avalanche all around the world". We can only move forward from where we really are.

mciver
Offline
Joined: 3-12-09
Oct 12 2011 07:01

888, Jul 2011, posts 3 and 11

Quote:
Great post, you should definitely join.

A 'great post'?

Your recruiting and apologetic glee is understandable, but are you so desperately in need of unemployed leninoids? Maybe devoration1 will make a good UK parliamentary negotiator. On a recent post, we read this frank opinion about the IWW:

Quote:
As far as i'm aware the IWW isn't trying to be a revolutionary organisation, but a militant, democratic trade union, to which this kind of [parliamentary-trade union] activity is an obvious corollary.

post 12, http://libcom.org/forums/general/real-27092011

This opinion refers to the UK IWW, but couldn't it apply to the American brand, re-joined by devoration1?

How can one ignore the charming little ax graphic of soyonstout (post 10) -- were you working in an abattoir this summer? But even if an individual has a valid 'ax to grind' against a racket, soyonstout sides with the racket, not surprising, but that makes his graphic another tendentious one-liner. Being inventive, he even pasted mciver wrote and fix'd on his little tool. Still, the ax graphic had some wit. Not like the demented shovelling of Zanthorus on another thread:

Quote:
One only needs to read mciver's post which is full of the worst drivel which can only described as 'ultra-left' in the worst sense of the word to see that arguing in defence of the last successful proletarian revolution in world history is a waste of time as against the councillist and anarchist drones.

post 29, http://libcom.org/forums/theory/was-lenin-nationalist-populist-20072011

'Councilist drones' is fine, and suitably Leninist, Zanthorus. But 'anarchist drones'? Isn't this a bit tactless on Libcom? And mental -- who in his right mind would try to break solid rock with a shovel? But it seems Zanthorus enjoys it:

Quote:
... the soil is less like soil and more like solid rock which breaks even the hardest of shovels everytime I try to get a foothold.

OK, try breaking it with your head, or borrow jesuisrien's little tool.

This visceral ICC reaction against anarchists lingers from the 80s, when anarchists were 'parasites' lurking in murky swamps. But invectives against 'councilists' are fine, they were ruthlessly excommunicated from the ICC by Chirik in 1985. 'Councillists' became 'parasites', and thus 'objectively' capitalist agents. However, this Bolshevik endearment is not cool on Libcom, which is nowadays a limpid stream.

Contrary to Zanthorus' hallucinations, his 'last successful proletarian revolution in world history' was nothing of the kind. The tragic period of 1917-27 confirmed the domination of value in the minds of the millions of European workers that survived WW1. The mystifications of the October revolution duped millions worldwide. It was a decade that never pointed to mankind's emancipation. Instead, the bloody conflicts and wholesale repression lead to WW2. But an ecstatic mythology about this lost 'world revolution' was embellished by left communists, to exorcise their irresistible irrelevancy.

Following Zanthorus, devoration1 weaves his own self-management fables, as shown on his initial post on this thread:

Quote:
Despite the official industrial unionist ideology, in practice Wobblies showed themselves capable of organizing, directing and participating in general and mass strikes, forming and motivating active worker’s councils and finally administering the daily needs of society on their own without a state or Party. The creative power of the working-class was again demonstrated through the advanced workers of the IWW in the expats who participated in the industrial projects of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic- such as the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony.

Ignoring the year of this wonderful 'administering the daily needs of society on their own without a state and Party', devoration1's platitudes justify the self-exploitation of the deluded workers of the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony. The year was 1922, fresh after Kronstadt, where an authentic community of sailors, workers and their families was drowned in blood by devoration1's political ancestors.

That the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony in Siberia acted 'without a state and Party' is totally false. The following quotation from a recent thread on Libcom, started by the studious devoration1 himself, contradicts his spurious claims, proving that the Bolshevik state, including the Cheka, subsidised and monitored this 'experiment' through state contracts and Kuzbass-based Bolshevik party cells:

Quote:
Lenin took part in the decision to create the Autonomous colony. After meeting with the initiator, Rutgers, and with Bill Haywood and G. Calvert, he wrote a letter on 19 September 1921 [ie, scarcely 6 months after the crushing of Kronstadt and other workers' and peasants' revolts] to V. Kuibyshev in which he spoke about their intentions and plans, and turned his attention to the fact that "something on the order of an autonomous state trust of workers associations" was planned.

In a 12 October memo to V. Molotov, accompanied by a draft decree of the Politburo on the question, Lenin expressed some doubts:
"The question is difficult:
Pro: if the Americans fulfill what they have promised, the value will be gigantic. Then we will not regret the 600,000 silver rubles.
Contra: Will they complete it? Heywood [sic] is a semi-anarchist. He's more sentimental than businesslike. Rutgers has fallen into leftism.
Calvert is the arch talker. We have no business guarantees. These are entertaining people. In an atmosphere of joblessness, they form a group of "prospectors of adventure" which ends in a squabble. But then we lose part of the 600,000 silver rubles that we have provided them."

http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/sotsgorod-cities-utopia-01122010

What an an exposé of the cynical warlord & businessman Lenin! His contempt for his 'entertaining' Dutch and American lackeys couldn't be more stark. Lenin's main concern is not losing his 600,000 silver rubles (what, no collateral!!), mercilessly exacted from the Russian workers and peasants. It's also revealing that Rutgers (who later became a Lysenkoist), Haywood and Calvert had nothing to say about the relentless repression unleashed by the Bolsheviks against Kronstadt, Petrograd and in Siberia at that time (see Nick Heath's most informative The Third Revolution/Peasant and worker resistance to the Bolshevik government, www.katesharpleylibrary.net.

Heath writes:

Quote:
In Ishimsk district in the north-eastern region of the Tyumen the grain and seed requisition was directed by Jacob Mayers, who had been an anarchist and member of the Industrial Workers of the World in the USA [another of devoration1's forefathers]. He was now a staunch Bolshevik [dual membership!] and one of the cruellest and most cynical of their local leaders. He claimed that seed requisitioning was hundred per cent. (page 12)

Not that these glaring brutalities mattered to the social engineers of the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony (AIC). How could such an important experiment leading to higher worker productivity not drown screaming Cheka requisitions? The AIC economic project could also be seen as a 'revolutionary alternative' -- workers' self-management against concessions to one-man management in state industry and the NEP. Most worthy and inspiring indeed.

89 years later, devoration1 adds his own panegyric to workers' self-management under Lenin's state capitalism. He finds the AIC experience 'very inspiring' for America today (as self-management is for Chomsky). The 'class struggle' in the AIC became the 'struggle for higher yields', for the coffers of the 'proletarian state' (certainly not a 'cancer'), as AIC apparatchik Bauer, head of the émigrés, described his paymasters. But these Stakhanovite propensities didn't save the AIC.

In spite of the notably increased productivity, the Bolshevik state, which provided the contracts with the AIC (some seem to have been for the military), as to all state trusts, kept a close and paranoid eye on the AIC:

Quote:
The application of anarcho-syndicalist principles in life, the autonomous status of the colony, the alternative character of the anarcho-syndicalist idea of socialism - all this created a certain uneasiness in the state party apparatus. Thus, one of the members of the Central Committee of the Profintern (the Trade Union International) expressed the apprehension that 'the organization of the colony on a free foundation might lead a situation where those ideas of the American group, which protected and supported comrade Trotsky, compel us to send a military unit to suppress an uprising of the 'IWW', if [the industrial city of] Kemerovo is occupied by the Lumpenproletarian members of the 'IWW'.' Similar concerns were also expressed by one of the communist leaders of the Kuzbass, who thought that Kemerovo might turn into an anarcho-syndicalist stronghold of the Kuzbass.

Anatoly Shtyrbul, Doctor of Historical Science, Professor of the Omsk State Teachers' University,The Autonomous Industrial Colony Kuzbass. An experiment in industrial autonomy and international solidarity of the workers (1922-1926) http://struggle.ws/russia/kuzbass_colony.html

But there is no evidence of any danger of an 'anarcho-syndicalist uprising' in the AIC, something like an 'IWW Kronstadt'. In any case, the Bolshevik state, under the 'right' and 'centrist' communists Bukharin and Stalin, nullified the contract with the AIC in December 1926. No strikes, no whimpers against the mass redundancies this time. Surely there was some quiet whingeing from the disappointed social engineers and the few hundred American 'expats', but nothing of this sort has seen the light.

Those who returned to the US were extremely lucky, when we compare their fate with that of thousands of Americans who emigrated to the 'proletarian bastion' in the early 30s, escaping the unemployment of the American Depression. Most never returned, perishing hideously in various gulags, after 'increasing the productivity of labour' of Russian industry, in Stalin's first Five-Year Plan. This, with the genocidal peasant collectivisations, was another 'very inspiring' miracle of social engineering, praised by Trotsky's Left Opposition. The heart-breaking story of these American workers and their families is told by Tim Tzouliadis in The Forsaken, London: Penguin Books, 2008, http://www.warbirdforum.com/foresake.htm

Tzouliadis, like Paul Mattick and others earlier, establishes a direct link between Lenin's régime and Stalin's:

Quote:
Was it surprising, therefore, that Lenin, who began the process, gave way to Stalin, who accelerated the disappearance of millions? Stalin methodically and ruthlessly applied the same methods on a larger scale, but the rhetorical statement When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism, was Lenin's own. (page 355)

Such barbaric cruelty can't be explained away with the circular left communist 'doctrine of errors'.

Like in the 20s, Bolshevism in the 30s also had its cliques of brazen fellow-travellers, like Walter Duranty, Eugene Lyons and Anna Louise Strong. devoration1 adds his homilies to theirs, and he can re-join whatever sect he likes, but it shouldn't be ignored that praising workers' self-management under a Lenin-IWW trust is not fundamentally different from fellow-travellers supporting 'primitive socialist accumulation' under Stalin.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Oct 12 2011 09:10

Dude, you need to get a hobby.

mciver
Offline
Joined: 3-12-09
Oct 12 2011 09:59

Thanks for the advice.

What would you recommend as hobby, apart from mimicking retro Americanisms? Reading Chomsky's gems on self-management? Or perhaps 'organising non-radical workers' in 'functioning radical unions', one of your many saucy vocations?

petey
Offline
Joined: 13-10-05
Oct 12 2011 12:17

how about practicing prose without the snark and ad-hominems? these are marks of puerility. lots of people here have both theoretical and practical issues with the IWW, but don't resort to superciliousness, and thereby make their points more effectively. none of them, btw, have strained so far as to connect the IWW with stalin.

Quote:
89 years later

indeed.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Oct 12 2011 21:23
mciver wrote:
Thanks for the advice.

What would you recommend as hobby, apart from mimicking retro Americanisms? Reading Chomsky's gems on self-management? Or perhaps 'organising non-radical workers' in 'functioning radical unions', one of your many saucy vocations?

Dude, at least know you're talking to, not only am I an American, I'm very critical of the IWW. The difference, however, is that I can speak to people in a language that doesn't reek of retro leftist jargon and that I attempt to provide some sort of practical solutions, not just sniping holier than thou from the sidelines.

Arbeiten's picture
Arbeiten
Offline
Joined: 28-01-11
Oct 12 2011 13:38

yes but if you don't understand the 1922 Russian minutiae thoroughly, what help is there for 2011 American!!!!! (Leftist Philistine here laugh out loud )

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Oct 12 2011 13:53

The AIC experience reminds me of the agricultural community set up by Victor Serge and other French communists near Lake Ladoga in this period. Serge, purbind to the faults of Bolshevism, blamed the failure of this project on the hostility from backwards and xenophobic muzhiks ( basically, benighted peasants) But there is an alternative testimony to this from Marcel Body. The local peasants had taken part in the Revolution and had struggled for the socialisation of the land, and were not too pleased when a group of French authorised to exploit the whole area of land thanks to their high placed friends in the State apparatus, arrived on the scene. Serge, as usual, failed to see this and remained convinced of this for the rest of his life( readers might detect an antipathy towards Serge on my part, and they would be right).

888's picture
888
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Oct 12 2011 19:27
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Dude, you need to get a hobby.

Mad internet ranting is a hobby.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Oct 12 2011 21:32
Quote:
one of your many saucy vocations

I do fucking love making sauces now that you mention it. I made a cream sauce today with homemade sundried tomatoes, homemade herb olive oil, and homegrown coriander. Oh, and gorgeous parmesan. Damn tasty.

That said, I've also been into this really boojie pesto. Double the price of the cheap stuff, but fucking hell is it good.

Perhaps I could suggest a cooking class for yourself. What did the workers eat during the 1917 Russian Revolution? Perhaps you could try your hand at that?

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Oct 13 2011 07:20

No, make your own pesto. It's much better and much tastier.
Toast some pine nuts till they're a light gold.
Get the blender out.
Wash a big bunch of basil. Crush a couple of garlic cloves.
Grate some parmesan.

Slam basil into blender. Add crushed garlic and pine nuts, the parmesan, some black pepper. Blend while slowly adding extra virgin olive oil.
Result, a cracking pesto at a fraction of the price of store-bought ones. Easy and quick to make with none of the nasty preservatives you get in the bottled pestos. Pure self-organised libertarian communist pesto.

Arbeiten's picture
Arbeiten
Offline
Joined: 28-01-11
Oct 13 2011 09:47

I cut my pesto by hand (instead of the blender) as I'm an anarcho-primitivist. Also, add some cashew nuts wink

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Oct 13 2011 10:58

A good variant is using a bunch of coriander instead of basil and sustituting brazil nuts for the pine nuts.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Oct 13 2011 18:12
Quote:
Pure self-organised libertarian communist pesto.

The best kind of pesto!

My sis is a chef (and an anarchist) an makes a killer anarcho-pesto.

mciver
Offline
Joined: 3-12-09
Nov 6 2011 13:33

The following IWW letter from 1945 includes a passage on the Kuzbass Autonomous Colony, confirming that the IWW was aware of the deadly fate of its members involved in that Bolshevik 'concession'. This letter and contents aren't mentioned by devoration1 on his opening post, which says a lot about a shabby and tendentious research:

Quote:
The 1945 January 27th issue of the Industrial Worker carried a letter sent by the Editor to Russia in reply to a request for a free copy of the paper. It was not intended as an indictment of the Communist policy—that would need volumes—but merely mentioned a few cases of Communist murders of members of the I.W.W.
And—you can read your Lenin on this—two vile rats named Djugashvilli and Bronstein took to the Kronstadt a large army of gunmen and two lying tongues. They induced the strikers to "arbitrate the issues" and when the strikers, believing in their honor, were willing to arbitrate, the gunmen put them up against the wall and machine-gunned them.

Do you remember a period when the name of Thiers caused nausea among decent people of all kinds because he did these things in Paris after the fall of the Paris Commune? Do you know that the infamy of Thiers is buried in the minds of decent people beneath the much greater infamy of the two men who were YOUR governors at the time?

These rats are known to the world under aliases. Stalin and Trotsky they called themselves. But in our social science, rats are still rats, no matter what they call themselves.

We will trade you whole files of the Industrial Worker for the lives of the men your govt. murdered in the Kronstadt. Many of them were our boys; they had Wobbly cards and Wobbly buttons on them when they died. And even though most of the others didn't belong they were still our kind of people. Workers with hearts; with guts; with thinking, rational minds, and with a hope of the future. Can we dicker with YOU for their lives?

WE WILL TRADE
Do You, Mr. Ivanov, remember the Kuzbas Colonies? Do you know that hundreds of our boys went to Russia in the hope of helping build a "Workers Fatherland?" Do you know, that seeing Russia with her life blood pouring from the wounds of civil war; seeing the country without rail transport, without minerals, without any of the raw materials of modern industry, these boys pooled their money, bought tools, and forming themselves into co-operative groups, left the semi-civilized USA to go to the uncivilized USSR? Your govt. welcomed them, it offered them 50 % of the product of their labor; it lauded them for their sacrifice and solidarity. And then—it cheated them of food and wages; it lied about them—and finally—murdered them in cold blood!

We will trade you many a file of the Industrial Worker for their lives. But can you deliver?

Can you give us back the lives of Shatoff and Andreychine—men whose competence and services your govt. lauded so highly, but who were murdered because they foolishly believed they had the right to their own thoughts? We'd rather have some of the Jimmie Higginses you have murdered, but we'll trade for the lives of these two boys.

We will trade you many a volume of the Industrial Worker for the diaries of William D. Haywood which your govt. burned, lest the wage workers of the U.S. learn something of the truth of the tyranny then in birth, but now in full maturity in your Communist heaven. Would YOU dare send it out to us, knowing that willingly, we would print it?

http://www.iww.org/en/history/library/iww/Chicago-Replies-to-Moscow

Not too late (like another 89 years) to respond to Petey's post:

Quote:
how about practicing prose without the snark and ad-hominems? these are marks of puerility. lots of people here have both theoretical and practical issues with the IWW, but don't resort to superciliousness, and thereby make their points more effectively. none of them, btw, have strained so far as to connect the IWW with stalin.
Quote:
Quote:
89 years later
indeed.

(Post 41)

This thread wasn't about theoretical or practical issues related to the IWW. The life of the current IWW, in the US or anywhere, isn't my concern. Like left communism, the IWW is an archaic brand, meaning whatever their individual acolytes fancy. They include simple bread and butter unionists, 'class struggle' pugilists, anarcho-pesto gourmands, nostalgics for one humongous industrial union, etc. it's a sort of portal, or umbrella brand, sponsored by multiple sub-brands and anarcho-leftists.

devoration1's announcement that he was rejoining the IWW (USA) started this promo-thread. After cavorting with 'left communism' on Libcom for a while, devoration1 told the world how the IWW self-management experiment of the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony (AIC) of 1922-26, under the early Bolshevik régime, inspired him to rejoin the IWW. The case was instructive for a study of rackets, confirming that there is a synergy among ideologies of left communism, anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian communism. One of the main differences seems to be the 'manipulating political party' (like the Bolsheviks), otherwise the 'differences' seem to be all negotiable, as the light brigades charge.

More important, devoration1's interpretation of that historical event in the Kuzbass needed to be exposed as an apology of the Bolshevik régime's labour policy. He didn't mention the tragic finale of that self-management experiment, which was like a death foretold. To repeat devoration1's cheery account:

Quote:
The creative power of the working-class was again demonstrated through the advanced workers of the IWW in the expats who participated in the industrial projects of the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic- such as the Kuzbass Autonomous Industrial Colony.

That was all that devoration1 got from the events -- a proof of the 'creative power of the working class'.

The letter's mention of the 'burned diaries' of 'Big Bill' Haywood is important, as it suggests that this IWW promoter of the AIC in Kuzbass had seen the true nature of Bolshevism and, in his desperate isolation and illness at the Lux, tried to leave a testimony of his true feelings. Similarly, what publicist John Reed also thought in his last days about the seedy Zinoviev and his Bolshevik underlings will never be known. But in all probability it wasn't cheery and inspiring.

devoration1 didn't reply to mciver's criticisms, but he didn't need to. Dudes in arms 888 and Chilli Sauce reacted zestily against mciver's comments. Their sole concern was to praise devoration1's return to the fold, and, like the ICC's trainee soyonstout, dismissed mciver's comments with ad hominem one-liners.

Petey's post forgives these snarky ad-hominems by his comrades 888 and Chilli Sauce, and focuses instead on my puerility when responding to their inanities. His reprimand has no credibility, as it's not neutral or moderating. This is shown also by his ignorant assertion that I 'strained so far as to connect the IWW with Stalin'. This isn't the case, if Petey paid attention, he would have found no evidence that I tried to connect the IWW with Stalin. True, I consider devoration1 a left-communist and thus an apologist of the social origins of Stalinism, but devoration1 doesn't represent the whole IWW, and he's clearly unaware of the IWW's complicated history.

Also, that the tragic experiment on the Kuzbass happened 89 years ago is no reason to imply it's inconsequential

Quote:
89 years later -- indeed.

devoration1 certainly didn't think so: the case inspired him to play the prodigal son and open up this swooning thread. Furthermore, when has the passage of time meant that a historical issue is of no relevance? This indifference to learning is smug and ridiculous, and who determines what's relevant?

To its credit, the IWW refused affiliation to the Comintern in 1920, and in 1922 it also rejected membership in the Bolshevik pantomime of the Red International of Labour Unions (Profintern). Naturally, there were IWW naives, careerists and racketeers (James P Cannon exemplifies the latter) who joined Moscow's early franchise in the USA. But the IWW never supported Stalinism. How could it? For all who wanted to see, anarchism and anarchosyndicalism in 'Soviet Russia' were ruthlessly hounded and liquidated by the Leninist Cheka from the early years of the Bolshevik régime, an extermination policy never opposed by left communists.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 12 2011 14:55

Not completely sure about that last sentence, McIver. I'm pretty sure Miasnikov was opposed to the outlawing of anarchism and anarchosyndicalism as expressed in the plaform of his group.

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Nov 12 2011 17:39
Quote:
Like left communism, the IWW is an archaic brand, meaning whatever their individual acolytes fancy. They include simple bread and butter unionists, 'class struggle' pugilists, anarcho-pesto gourmands, nostalgics for one humongous industrial union, etc. it's a sort of portal, or umbrella brand, sponsored by multiple sub-brands and anarcho-leftists.

Dude, you're a freakin poet.

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Nov 12 2011 18:05

I must concur. "Anarcho-pesto gourmands" is an absolute classic. Keep up the good work McIver.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Nov 13 2011 12:52

surely gourmet rather than gourmand? ( Gourmand implying a certain greediness?)

mciver
Offline
Joined: 3-12-09
Nov 19 2011 08:48
Quote:
What did the workers eat during the 1917 Russian Revolution? Perhaps you could try your hand at that?

(Post 46)

Historical evidence confirms that food was extremely scarce, so unlikely that 'the workers' ate pure self-organised libertarian communist pesto (perhaps egocrats like Radek did, if Larissa Reisner prepared his cuisine, or Trotsky's chef in the Kremlin). But this was the well-fed communist 'vanguard' -- devoration1's favourite bon mot for the worthy ancestors of left communists. Vanguard meant being first in the food queues (with a Nagant tucked under your belt).

The population, including the famished workers, had to do with whatever they could get after interminable dawn queuing, bartering in the black market or from escapades to the villages. In the wake of the Cheka and Red Army requisitions, the starving peasants ate vermin and grass. Or, before the arrival of these ravenous locusts, some peasants would organise a last grande bouffe, slaughtering their emaciated animals. In some areas of the Ukraine in 1921, cannibalism was reported. Maybe the villagers should have ambushed and put Bolshevik locusts on the menu, like in the film Themroc.

There is extensive research on the plummeting living standards of the Rusian population in 1917. The situation, worsened after the Bolshevik 2nd Coming, a continuation of the barbarism of WW1. But this wasn't a thread on your pure self-organised libertarian communist pesto, let CS open another on his favourite sauces, or a delicatessen.

Battlescarred

Quote:
Not completely sure about that last sentence, McIver. I'm pretty sure Miasnikov was opposed to the outlawing of anarchism and anarchosyndicalism as expressed in the plaform of his group.

(Post 52)

There seems to be little documentation supporting your above assertion. Which platform of his group do you mean? Miasnikov's 1923 Manifesto of The Workers' Group of the Russian Communist Party doesn't mention or oppose any outlawing of anarchist and anarchosyndicalists. Perhaps you mean articles/letters to the Party written by Miasnikov probably in the summer of 1921(after Kronstadt)? In his reply of 5 August 1921, Lenin, his then fellow Bolshevik, rejected Miasnikov's support for "Freedom of the press, from the monarchists to the anarchists, inclusively..." http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/aug/05.htm
Adam Ulam in his Stalin, mentions in a footnote: [Gabriel Myasnikov] "... was naive enough to advocate freedom of the press 'from the monarchist journals to the anarchist ones'". (Tauris Parke, London 2007, page 201)

Perhaps this is what you mean? But even if it is, the isolated criticisms of Miasnikov or individual Bolsheviks against the persecution and elimination of anarchism and anarchosyndicalism, doesn't disprove the point: the repression of the Bolshevik Party and its totalitarian state against anarchism and (later) anarchosyndicalism was ruthless and relentless. This repression happened, and it went mostly unopposed because Bolshevik 'party spirit' and 'loyalty' (zealotry and subservience) was the priority even for left communists. Any left communist 'opposition' to the terror was ignored, finally pulverised, and most of it was lukewarm and post facto anyway. Corpses and victims couldn't be revived or rehabilitated, or gulags closed down.

There's no evidence that Miasnikov and fellow Russian left communists criticised or opposed the Vecheka's military destruction of anarchism. For example, the anarchist strongholds in Moscow were crushed on the night of 11/12 April 1918. The Theses of the Left Communists on the Current Situation were published a few days later, in Kommunist n.1, 20 April 1918, without any mention of these persecutions and liquidations (see G. Leggett, The Cheka, Lenin's Political Police. Clarendon Press, London, page 35). Gregory Maximoff's The Guillotine at Work, Vol 1: The Leninist Counter-Revolution, Cienfuegos 1979, also provides ample evidence of the destruction of Russian anarchism by the Lenin-Trotsky régime. The original 1940 edition apparently includes a section on the individual persecution of anarchists.

But anyway it didn't matter that Miasnikov opposed repressive Bolsheviks policies. The horse had bolted already. His later opposition was at best a naive delusion, at worst a 'responsible' toadysim, quite in the 'let's 'reform the Party' spirit. Miasnikov's opposition to Bolshevism is overrated -- he was a fanatical supporter of the Red Terror at the beginning, and a psychopathic murderer. He may have been a Chekist, and it's unlikely that he would have opposed the Vecheka's liquidation of anarchists in June 1918, when he was busy implementing some local Red Terror in Perm. It is said often (by latter-day Party toadies) that Miasnikov denounced the crushing of Kronstadt and that he supported the strike wave in Petrograd happening at the same time. But he didn't join the mutineers or the strikers, which would have been more to the point, given his alleged devotion to the 'international working class', not whinge later that Bolshevism's brutal acts were 'harmful deficiencies'.

Regarding other left communists like the KAPD in Germany (not to mention the more-popist-than-the Pope Bordigists), they too didn't join any mutinies against Bolshevik power or resist the elimination of anarchists and the Makhnovschina in 'Soviet Russia'. Imagine some co-ordinated efforts and international conferences to oppose Bolshevik exterminations from Gorter, Pannekoek, Bordiga, Hempel, Mattick Sr at that time? Any links with Berkman, Goldman, Volin, etc, to denounce what was really going on? Maybe it happened, in a parallel universe like cloud cuckoo land.

Quote:
surely gourmet rather than gourmand? ( Gourmand implying a certain greediness?)

(Post 55)

True. Gourmet perhaps applies to those who, like you, enjoy preparing just a decent pesto, and Lübeck marzipan. On the other hand, gourmand, or IWW pestoists, is reserved here to those who give lamentable and unrequested advice on hobbies, and imagine it's amusing to wisecrack about starving people.

tastybrain
Offline
Joined: 11-11-07
Nov 19 2011 01:43
Juan Conatz wrote:
Quote:
Like left communism, the IWW is an archaic brand, meaning whatever their individual acolytes fancy. They include simple bread and butter unionists, 'class struggle' pugilists, anarcho-pesto gourmands, nostalgics for one humongous industrial union, etc. it's a sort of portal, or umbrella brand, sponsored by multiple sub-brands and anarcho-leftists.

Dude, you're a freakin poet.

So which are you, Juan?

mciver
Offline
Joined: 3-12-09
Nov 19 2011 08:35

Most of the Juans I've met were decent people. It's also a beautiful sounding Spanish name, when pronounced properly (a soft 'huan' is best, more musical). Cheerio.

tastybrain
Offline
Joined: 11-11-07
Nov 19 2011 12:21

Oh yeah, Juans are great. Decent. Hard-working. Salt of the earth, really. People named Jeff, on the other hand, tend to be selfish and neurotic with both self-aggrandizing and depressive tendencies.