IWW workers thread

36 posts / 0 new
Last post
Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 23 2011 15:57
IWW workers thread

http://libcom.org/forums/general/iww-part-time-workers-15042011

As you can see, an honest, genuine question from a new(ish?) poster has been manipulated by three longterm members into a highly specialised and exclusive debate of the relative methods of SF and IWW. Now, I'm a SF member and I understand why and how we differ from the IWW, but I really don't think it was either the time or place for that discussion. The poster in question hasn't returned to the thread, and neither has anyone else apart from the three individuals indulging themselves in a highly esoteric cock-waving exercise. It was all very very unsavoury and a classic example of the poverty of Libcom forums. Some of us may well remember that this was an almost constant criticism of Libcom circa 4-5 years ago, and efforts were since made to talk to new posters or folk outside of Libcom's incredibly narrow yuppy clique in a fashion that at least resembled humane, albeit if still not friendly or anything approaching remotely normal. Unfortunately, Jim Clarke has reversed the clock by unleashing yet another round of isolationist ghetto banter.

And to make matters worse, in another spate of stupid behaviour, he started deleting my posts (maybe five so far this afternoon?) and telling me to take my qualms to Feedback (Anarchistblackcat anyone?). I'm doing so to indulge him. However, i think Libcom admins should make an effort to restrain themselves and think about how their weird alienating ramblings come over on the internet, which they amazingly don't seem to realise is like an amphitheatre full of thousands watchign.

I also resent having my reasonable posts deleted just cos the admin in question didn't like being criticised for indulging in scenesterism.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 23 2011 16:06

dp

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Apr 23 2011 18:08

IDK man, as one of the posters in question, I don't think that thread was actually that bad. The first 11 posts, as far as I can tell, were in direct response to the poster and all seemed to take into account the fact that poster was a newbie. S/he didn't respond up to that point--four days after the original post--and it was only on post twelve that things start to get technical.

Perhaps this would have been better handled if admins did more splitting of threads (for example, bringing everything after post 12 into theory), but I don't think this case is as severe as you're making out.

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Apr 23 2011 18:08

http://www.wikihow.com/Calm-Down

Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
Offline
Joined: 29-04-08
Apr 23 2011 18:16

Could have been split for sure, but I was pretty interested in the conversation as a Wob who's really interested in SolFed's development. I don't think it was that bad. Your complaint sounds a bit personal, tbh.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 23 2011 18:26

Hardly surprised that Chili Sauce doesn't see a problem, seeing as how the discussion is clearly of huge interest to him, Tommy Ascaso and apparently Juan Conatz (Blackrainbow was implying similar feelings to my own towards the thread's end). Is this really how you wanna respond to these sorts of questions though? How ghettoised are all of you? I'll remind you all of this next time you start criticising anarcho-scenesterism, cos you're all clearly involved in your own subscene...

I suppose the specifics here may or may not bear out my case: maybe the OP didn't post for other reasons, maybe s/he's really interested in the SF vs IWW debate or whatever. The whole trajectory of the thread reminded me of the dark old days of Libcom 4-5 years ago. That said, I only really got fucked off when Tommy Ascaso started abusing his admin powers to delete my posts at will.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Apr 23 2011 18:52

Caiman, this all does seem to be getting a bit personal.

"Anarcho-scenesterism"? I mean, come on, we do need a place to discuss the differences in radical approaches to workplace organizing. Perhaps that wasn't the best thread for it, but, for me personally, debates like that really help me clarify my own thoughts on organizing. Of course I'd never approach my co-workers using terms like "mediation", but it will inform the manner in which I approach them and the sort of practical activities I suggest we undertake in the workplace.

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Apr 24 2011 03:14

Have to agree with Caiman here on the content of that thread, though I didn't see the posts that were deleted. People need to think a bit harder about how they talk to new posters. This got my back up particularly:

JK wrote:
As I understand it, the IWW are trying to offer comparable support to a mainstream union (qualified individual representation etc). In London they're fairly active. If you're looking to get organised collectively, London SolFed

What a way to respond. "As I understand it the IWW are basically the same as UNISON, PS join SolFed" Fucking hell JK.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Online
Joined: 14-03-06
Apr 24 2011 09:14
Yorkie Bar wrote:
What a way to respond. "As I understand it the IWW are basically the same as UNISON, PS join SolFed" Fucking hell JK.

I went to a meeting in Brighton addressed by one of the UK 'leadership', who is himself a TUC full-timer, and the IWW was sold as a democratic, militant trade union offering a comparable role, including qualified individual reps. There was no hint that the differences go beyond being 'militant' and 'democratic', in fact the revolutionary stuff/preamble was explicitly downplayed to the point of insignificance. So I'm basing this on first-hand experiences, what are you basing your outrage on? If you don't like this description, maybe suggest they don't launch branches by describing themselves that way.

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Apr 24 2011 11:38

It's not that I think the UK IWW is actually really brilliant, it's just a bit shit that someone asked about workplace organisation and you responded by banging the old ultra leftist drum (in dumbed down language as a sop to the fact you were addressing a newbie) and then plugging your own organisation instead of offering any real advice.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 13:37
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Caiman, this all does seem to be getting a bit personal.

"Anarcho-scenesterism"? I mean, come on, we do need a place to discuss the differences in radical approaches to workplace organizing. Perhaps that wasn't the best thread for it, but, for me personally, debates like that really help me clarify my own thoughts on organizing. Of course I'd never approach my co-workers using terms like "mediation", but it will inform the manner in which I approach them and the sort of practical activities I suggest we undertake in the workplace.

Hey Chili, go back and read the OP. You're basically parroting it while still attempting to disagree with me.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 13:39
Joseph Kay wrote:
Yorkie Bar wrote:
What a way to respond. "As I understand it the IWW are basically the same as UNISON, PS join SolFed" Fucking hell JK.

I went to a meeting in Brighton addressed by one of the UK 'leadership', who is himself a TUC full-timer, and the IWW was sold as a democratic, militant trade union offering a comparable role, including qualified individual reps. There was no hint that the differences go beyond being 'militant' and 'democratic', in fact the revolutionary stuff/preamble was explicitly downplayed to the point of insignificance. So I'm basing this on first-hand experiences, what are you basing your outrage on? If you don't like this description, maybe suggest they don't launch branches by describing themselves that way.

Please this a meta-discussion. For the record, I broadly agree with Jim and Chili's depiction of the IWW in the thread in question, I just thought that it was a completely inappropriate time to bring it up.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 13:40

Oh yeah and JK, are you gonna allow Jim to delete any posts that criticise him? Is Libcom now adopting the ABC rule of "no discussion of modding outside of Feedback"? If you yourself think that Libcom has gone down the drain, then what role does the conduct like Jim's in that thread play in it?

Arbeiten's picture
Arbeiten
Offline
Joined: 28-01-11
Apr 24 2011 14:05

I think the sentiment expressed in this discussion, though obviously imbued with personal issues as well, is something LibComers have to be aware of. There was a thread the other day from a new member that has joined since march 26th who had concerns about the black bloc. Rather than discuss his concerns the thread seemed to devolve into knit picking the relative merits of insurrectionism (even though earlier in the thread it was pretty much a consensus that black bloc arn't insurrectionist).

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Apr 24 2011 14:53

Mm reading through that it definitely wasn't the sort of thread that would be welcoming to a new person and yeah it did turn out a bit ICC (in that it started out as being about what the IWW could offer and ended up being about the differences between the IWW and SolFed).

That said, I disagree that such conversations shouldn't happen, one of the participants should have simply taken the initiative to call for it to be split early on/started a new thread and then kept the original to the pros and cons of Wobbly membership given the situation.

And Jim if you were deleting stuff because you didn't like it that'd be bang out of order, hopefully that'll get sorted out as the last thing libcom needs is a reputation for censorship.

Harrison
Offline
Joined: 16-11-10
Apr 24 2011 15:57
Rob Ray wrote:
yeah it did turn out a bit ICC (in that it started out as being about what the IWW could offer and ended up being about the differences between the IWW and SolFed).

its happened to me as a new poster (thread about lenin & state capitalism that unfortunately pitted me against various ICC members), and i've also done it to new posters (although not realising i was doing it) on the thread 'Have your say', and sort of on the recent thread that Arbeiten mentioned (although tbf the poster did just re-post an article and not ask a question, so i tried to guess what question he was trying to stimulate)

i think its quite an easy trap to fall into ....

For someone making a new thread, would maybe help if there is some kind of drop down menu that sets a 'Requested degree of sectarianism' laugh out loud

I think unfortunately all forums naturally have this certain problem....

i was also thinking that some super-separate 'Advice' sub-forum, that workers with disputes / looking to get unionised could post in (could be very strictly moderated to remove sectarianism / libertarian slanging matches), could also be hidden from non-members so bosses can't easily find it on google.

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 15:56
Rob Ray wrote:
That said, I disagree that such conversations shouldn't happen, one of the participants should have simply taken the initiative to call for it to be split early on/started a new thread and then kept the original to the pros and cons of Wobbly membership given the situation.

EXACTLY what I was arguing for...not sure what you're disagreeing with?

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 16:05

Jim your last post is the worst yet! Telling me to "be civil" before calling me a "dick", accusing me of cockwaving and disruption when you were the one hijacking advice threads to oneup other organisations! That's a hugely inflammatory post, yet you present it as an attempt at reconciliation and refuse to continue the discussion.

And how dare you lecture me on "my behaviour", as if your shoptalk and oneupmanship on that thread were somehow welcoming or inclusive? Seriously Jim, I'll accept that I shouldn't have flown off the handle so much but what did you expect as you continued deleting my posts, one after the other? You were cracking jokes about deleting my posts with other Libcom admin, it was a deliberately provocative action.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Apr 24 2011 16:11
Quote:
not sure what you're disagreeing with

Mainly the implication of the "poverty of conversation" thing which I assume relates to conversations about the difference between tendency A and tendency B (ICC/SolFed, AF/ICC, Solfed/Wobbly Solfed/AF etc)? I'd agree they can be very boring but get the impression you would like to see them disappear altogether. I think there's a place for them, just not in a newbie thread (or libcommunity).

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 16:13

Actually Rob I've been clear from the start that my objection was to the conversation's location. In fact, I think I'm right in saying that I accepted that there was a place for discussion about SF and IWW's differences in one of the myriad posts Tommy Ascaso deleted. Unfortunately i can't remember and they've all been deleted unilaterally, so I'm gonna have to take his word for it that my criticisms of the thread's development were actually "unwarranted personal attacks".

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Apr 24 2011 16:21

Ah righto, carry on then (well, actually I think you should both calm down a bit and if you're really bothered take it to the wider libcom collective for an adjudication on whether Jim was over the top in his deleting decisions or you were over the top with your rhetoric).

Sir Arthur Stre...
Offline
Joined: 21-01-11
Apr 24 2011 16:42

This is a load of petty crap. "wahhhh he called me a dick first miss!' seems to be the order of the day, 2 comrades who are heavily involved in the same organization and campaigns getting pissed off over perceived intent on the internet.
Jim you're being a bit officious and definitely passive aggressive.
Caiman, you're just using a load of aggressive strawmen "scensterism", "isolationist ghetto banter" inorder to grab the high ground. I know this spat has been bubbling for ages, I see it every weekend. So why not discuss it and try and work it out properly instead of engaging in this bullshit?

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 16:57
Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling wrote:
Caiman, you're just using a load of aggressive strawmen "scensterism", "isolationist ghetto banter" inorder to grab the high ground.

TBF you came into this late and missed his jokey deletion of a number of my posts, while wisecracking about it on Twitter to other admin. But this

Quote:
I know this spat has been bubbling for ages, I see it every weekend. So why not discuss it and try and work it out properly instead of engaging in this bullshit?

is probably fair, although he doesn't seem to take my criticisms seriously in person!

Auto's picture
Auto
Offline
Joined: 12-04-09
Apr 24 2011 17:09

Everyone, chill out!

It's just the internet!

GASR's picture
GASR
Offline
Joined: 11-12-10
Apr 24 2011 17:14

And solfed, an organisation which should be the most *useful* right now, wonder why they have problems recruiting people. STOP navel gazing all of you and grow up.

Awesome Dude's picture
Awesome Dude
Offline
Joined: 31-07-07
Apr 24 2011 17:26

An IWW worker thread in which only one IWW workers has posted. Why not retitle this a bitch 'n' moan?

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Apr 24 2011 17:44

Thanks to JC for his contrition, however minimal or qualified it may have been. I don't ever think I seriously criticised you for actual inactivity - fuck, this was the great non-sequitur we used to attack Raw et al for all those years back! - and that's not really my issue.

Actually, my problem was more with your conduct on the thread in question. I stand by my original point that it's very poor form to divert a worker's attempts to get advice into an SF vs IWW battle (and yes, that is cockwaving almost by metaphorical definition...borderline sectarianism in this context in fact) and I wasn't the only person to comment thus on the thread (Blackrainbow seemed to as well, although tbf he was kinda losing the argument! wink ). That criticism equally applies to JK and Chili (is he a mod too now then?).

However, you were the one who started deleting my posts wily nily. You've been an admin long enough to know just how inflammatory that is, especially to someone like me who's a longterm poster and who acts in good faith, albeit one who's prone to melodrama and hyperbole (we all know this!). You didn't even really offer an explanation, instead you cracked funnies. Of course from that point on I was incensed. Once again, I think you knew that that was exactly what would happen, so your behaviour was tantamount to trolling really.

That said, I can't exactly remember what I said in the posts (mainly "stop deleting my posts!!" no?) so I accept the possibility that I said some outta order things in a couple of them. I'm sorry for that and I'm sorry for the personal attacks in the OP of this one, which I'll edit out.

More generally, i really think Libcom posters should consider time and place for discussion of the differences between their organisations. On both this thread and on the original one, we've had people talk about how alienating they found it as new posters to watch their genuine questions turn into sticks with which to bash 'rivals' (as if the IWW are SF's rivals anyway! We have dual carders ffs!). TBH, outside of very specific contexts (eg when someone asks), these discussions are only really of interest to already entrenched members of both orgs (and fellow traveller gossips ahem GASR wink ), hence the "scenester" accusations.

Finally, sorry to other Libcom posters who didn't wanna see this...and fuck all of you who just wanted to see some online beef. wink

gypsy
Offline
Joined: 20-09-09
Apr 24 2011 17:52
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
Finally, sorry to other Libcom posters who didn't wanna see this...and fuck all of you who just wanted to see some online beef. ;)

Caiman, I wouldn't mind seeing this thread if you didn't actually know Tommy Ascaso. But since you do can't you just deal with this via some private emails? a face to face chat? same goes with Jim other the Twitter stuff.

Sir Arthur Stre...
Offline
Joined: 21-01-11
Apr 24 2011 17:56
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
and fuck all of you who just wanted to see some online beef. ;)

?

Luckyfour's picture
Luckyfour
Offline
Joined: 27-02-11
Apr 24 2011 19:40

Jim, you should have created another sub thread, and not baited Caiman by deleting his posts and not engaging with him. Caiman, you shouldn't have responded with personal insults, that's not exactly inviting behaviour for a newbie either. Overal guys, as Gypsy pointed out, you could have played this stupid drama out over email. Kiss and make up now, this is boring.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Apr 24 2011 21:22
Quote:
Chili (is he a mod too now then?).

Nooo....no, no. I'm no masochist.