IWW workers thread

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Caiman del Barrio
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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
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Apr 23 2011 16:06

dp

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Chilli Sauce
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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.

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jef costello
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Apr 23 2011 18:08

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

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Juan Conatz
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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
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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, Jim Clarke 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 Jim Clarke started abusing his admin powers to delete my posts at will.

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Chilli Sauce
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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
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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.

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Joseph Kay
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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?

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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).

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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.

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Apr 24 2011 15:24

Oh caiman, if you're going to try and drag this out for the rest of the weekend I would suggest that you stick to trying to argue that the discussion wasn't relevant to the OP. The first post of yours that I deleted was a personal attack on me for not moderating the thread and contained unwarranted criticism of my political activity.

It might be an idea to re-read this section of the board rules and think about whether you got off lucky with just having your posts deleted.

Quote:
Be civil!
The internet is not as far removed from real life as you'd like it to be. People are real, have real feelings and thoughts. Do not abuse people because of their ideas and beliefs for no reason. Be aware that not everyone has read as much Bakunin as you. Be nice to new posters and people developing their ideas. ANY KIND of oppressive, sexist, racist, unreasonable personal abuse, discrimination etc. is not allowed and threads will be removed and offenders banned. Please respect people's privacy and refrain from posting up personal details without their permission. Untrue smears or allegations against other forum users or related individuals or organisations are not permitted.

No trolling
From Wikipedia: "a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion." Trolling is not allowed, and may lead to posts being deleted, users warned and persistent offenders banned.

N.B.
If your thread or post goes against any of these guidelines it is likely to end up in the bin or deleted

As it goes I should have just unpublished them so that other admins were able to view them and we could deal with it collectively. If that had happened I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be posting now.

If you want to criticise board moderation, fine you're doing it now, and if you have any problems with my political activity you are more than welcome to discuss it with me face to face or bring it up in one of our local's meetings. That thread was not an appropriate place to do it, I don't even mind if you want to do it on here but your posts were cock-waving, disruptive and have practically ended that discussion and seem to have got you the attention you wanted. You should really think about the way your behaviour reflects on yourself and impacts on others.

Anyway, I've got no interest in continuing this discussion on here but will happily talk it over with you when you get back as I can't see any point in falling out over you being a dick on the internet. If anybody wants a taste of the posts I was deleting have a look at caiman's twitter.

Harrison
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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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 Jim Clarke 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".

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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...
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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
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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!

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Apr 24 2011 17:09

Everyone, chill out!

It's just the internet!

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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.

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Apr 24 2011 17:15

I wasn't being jokey about deleting your posts. Your first post was a personal attack on me for not moderating the way you wanted and was having a go at me for posting on that thread. There were three other admins involved in that discussion but for some reason when you decided you needed to get involved you used it as an excuse to attack me.

If you don't think I'm taking your criticisms in person seriously, that's probably because I don't think a lot of them are serious. I accept that I've put a hell of a lot less personally into things over the past few months but I've still done a huge amount compared to most of the people you know yet you constantly feel the need to assert that you're doing more or that I'm doing things wrong. Any of the London SolFed members on here will have seen that on the e-mail list and it's quite clear to others in the local.

I think it's far more important for us to think about the things that we've been able to achieve together and should just end the cock waving about political activity which I accept I have been involved in. Because we've been working together on things we've made SLSF the quickest growing local anarchist group in the country, we're involved with a squatted social centre, we're involved in a dispute that is starting to go global, we've been heavily involved in the local anti-cuts movement whilst getting more involved with the anarchist movement nationally. We've also had a fair bit of fun over the past few months so there is really no point in us arguing about any of this, that's why I ignored this thread until today and tried to stop encouraging you be responding on twitter. I feel bad about what I posted on twitter and have deleted it, so sorry for that.

As I've said in the other post I would really prefer not to argue about this on the internet and discuss it face to face, it's not worth falling out over!

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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
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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
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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 Jim Clarke. 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...
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Apr 24 2011 17:56
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
and fuck all of you who just wanted to see some online beef. ;)

?