Catalonia situation

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Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 10:30

The definition of people, sociological, given by Spanish anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists has not changed over time, remains the same as that given by Bakunin and the first internationals up to the present day of the Spanish libertarian movement, the people = working class, proletariat.
It can be tracked perfectly in the press itself year after year. I remember reading that Camilo Berneri complained about this partisan and populist use of the word the people.

The CNT and the CGT are not irrelevant, places like Olot, Granollers and other provinces or more rural areas the CNT and CGT have a significant influence on local activism. In Barcelona also it is remarkable the port docks of CNT; the maritime CGT in Tarragona and Barcelona, as well as in general has strength in public sector: admins, transport and education.
Obviously they are not front line unions, but they have to be taken into account. This is well known by IAC and CUP.

These documents of the "real movement" as you say, have been created by the left, at the initiative of the CUP have formed defense committees in all towns and neighborhoods of Catalonia, in which maxists, socialists, anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and people not very politicized that is being politicized as a result of all this.

In my opinion analyze that Catalonia is going to get independence with this "popular revolt" is too innocent. What we see is a new space of massiveness for the social and economic struggles in Catalonia, a new cycle that will kick off with the general strike of 3-Otc. This new cycle will also influence the left in a more republican position and the confederal model. That seems to me.

Seriously MT, I'm curious, where is the problem in that statement that comes from a congress in the Spanish transition?

Mark.
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Sep 25 2017 11:30
Steven. wrote:

Especially considering the planned strike, can anyone clarify when the CNT says they support self-determination, does that mean they are for the right to hold a referendum, without repression from the Spanish state? Or does that mean they support a vote for independence?

Initially I thought maybe they meant the former (which wouldn't contradict anarchist principles), but if they are calling a strike in solidarity with the pro-independence parties, then it looks like they mean the latter (which do).

That seems like a particular worrying development, as it would mean risking workplace unity over disagreements on nationalism (in terms of whether workers decide to take part in the strike or not). Did CNT members vote on whether or not to strike? If so what was the result, and what was the specific question asked?

The call for a general strike came from the CGT so I suppose the practical question for the CNT was whether it was going to support it. The article in Rojo y Negro on the strike call has been taken down - I don't know whether this indicates disagreement within the CGT or whether there's some other reason. These articles are still up and give an idea of the CGT's position:

http://cgt.org.es/sites/default/files/Catalunya%201-O.docx

http://rojoynegro.info/articulo/ideas/la-cgt-ante-la-represión-desatada-el-estado-catalunya

http://cgt.org.es/noticias-cgt/comunicados/cgt-en-defensa-de-las-libertades-y-de-la-democracia-directa

As far as I can see the statements are about opposing repression and there's no call for a vote for independence.

Edit: statement from assembly of CGT in the port of Barcelona (in Catalan):

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/spip.php?article12615#.WcjkodHTWhA

Notice of strike action from CGT Catalunya (in Catalan). This is a notice that had to be sent out for legal reasons. Again I see no suggestion here of a call for a vote for independence:

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/IMG/pdf/vaga_cgtcat_3oct.pdf

MT
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Sep 25 2017 11:01
Ragnar wrote:
Seriously MT, I'm curious, where is the problem in that statement that comes from a congress in the Spanish transition?

Which statement do you mean? I read only the English statement.
So, if you say "people", the general population automatically knows that you mean "the wage labourers"? Not bosses, not small-owners, not little profit making business(wo)men who live like the rest of the "normal" working class in the same neighbourhoods and basically poorly? That is what you are trying to say? That "people" represents just an innocent synonym for the "class"? Because that is hard to believe. This term is common aslo in Slovakia and (some say) it represents the same thing as in Spain. But I think it is a rather artificial and populist "crutch" for those who are desperate to have influence (and power) and try to adjust to the general autoritarian leftist terminology to attract attention.

Furthermore, the capitalist concept of basic freedoms? Like the right to private property? I can see that sometimes you have to use language of law in struggles against bosses, fine, but at least you should be specific and avoid populist nonsense of "basic freedoms". An dif being specific menas saing "the right to self-determination" then that is extremely poor as this means, of course, the state. Again, just another leftist bullshit. What comes next "we support the right and will of the people to fight in the war of "our nation/nationality" against another "nation/nationality" (waged by the capitalists and politicians, or if you like by the "autonomous communities of the people"...)? I know that the example is an exaggeration and I hope the discussion won't get derailed by it, but shouldn't one of the first things the anarchist should be wary of be the acknowledgement that "assemblies" can agree on many things democratically including lynches, pogroms, war, national independence etc. etc.? Or is it anarchist to just go with the flow, forget about anarchism and support what "the people" wish?

My main issue with the statement is that its beginning and ending are populist and as Steven says, perhaps even nationalist. On the other hand, I have no issue with these parts:

Quote:
As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation, a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.

However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.

But the issue is the statement as a whole. And the statement should be seen as a whole.

nization
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Sep 25 2017 12:05
Quote:
The definition of people, sociological, given by Spanish anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists has not changed over time, remains the same as that given by Bakunin and the first internationals up to the present day of the Spanish libertarian movement, the people = working class, proletariat.
It can be tracked perfectly in the press itself year after year. I remember reading that Camilo Berneri complained about this partisan and populist use of the word the people.

I suspect Camilo Berneri had good reasons for doing so... and just because Bakunin's definition has remained the same doesn't mean it isn't a dubious one... it was already dubious in its time.

And I've never said that the CGT was irrelevant... as for the CNT, that would lead to a debate regarding the definition of the word "relevant" which I have no interest in at all...

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 12:14

If Steve is the first: "does that mean they are for the right to hold a referendum"

I gonna said again the reasons for general strike in Catalonia:
"The CGT, IAC, COS and CNT call to general strike in Catalonia of 3-Oct with support of independentists, CUP and Podems. It is an unprecedented political strike (as they are prohibited by law, such as class solidarity strikes) against repression, in favor of basic freedoms, the right of association and assembly. This is a question that recalls the claims of the beginning of the Spanish transition over the years 78. "
These issues are always vindicated when one is emerging from a dictatorship. It was made before the Second Spanish Republic, was made before the current Spanish Parliamentary Monarchy.

I feel that it does not seem true to us that the Spaniards use populist words as a people to say the working class MT, "the people will make the social revolution" if you track the newspaper Solidaridad Obrera until the 30s you can see that interested use, for example.

Basic freedoms are very necessary to make revolutionary syndicalism, periods of repression or clandestinity are not good for syndicalisme. They are also useful to weave ties in communities, creating cultural, political, vindictive associations, and to have social impact. Also to have certain de facto rights that give you security when starting campaigns, protests and be able to grow numerically to be able to overflow the capitalist framework.
The rights and freedoms of expression, demostration/protest and association are a basic pillar to be able to build our new society, do not you think?

MT
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Sep 25 2017 12:33

I don't think you've answered my questions. If you want to go on in a straw-man offtopic posting, then sorry, I'm not interested in such a debate.

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 12:54

http://lasoli.cnt.cat/25/09/2017/posicionament-cnt-catalunya-balears-davant-situacio-catalana/

Positioning of the CNT of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in the face of the Catalan situation

Every state is based on repression and, in the last term, it is maintained about violence - as unfortunately we are checking out on our skin the people who live in Catalonia. When the State has threatened its territorial integrity, it has not hesitated to use repressive forces indiscriminately.

These attacks are born of the fear of the powers established for the effective use of collective freedoms for the exploited and oppressed people of the territory. And it is that nothing fears any institutionalized power as much as the working classes take their own destiny into their own hands: they can not allow any form of dissent to get hold of their hands.

But from the CNT we celebrate dissent and rebellion as a song to freedom in the construction of a world where people can decide on themselves about everything that affects them.

We also use this moment to appeal to overcome the fear, organize and get rid of the backlogs that workers and workers have suffered these years.

Let us take advantage of any moment of weakness of our oppressors to conquer what is legitimately ours: the richness of humanity, which has created a generation after generation of working classes and which seek to appropriate States and Capital! Let's do this by extending the protestive struggle in all corners of Catalonia, the Peninsula and the world.

And for all this, we invite you to join the General Strike calls that will be made soon, as well as any call made by our unions and other libertarian organizations.

Partners! Mates! In the streets! The time has come for you to act!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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OliverTwister
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Sep 25 2017 12:54

This thread is hilarious.

Presumably people think that the CCOO/UGT position of "wait for the restoration of normalcy" is more in line with anarchist principles. Presumably CNT members should sit tight, ignore police repression and fascist provocations in their neighborhoods, allow police ships to dock in the port, etc.

Maybe the CNT's national committee should overrule the decisions of the Catalan branches, and the Catalan region. Or maybe they need an international secretariat which can tell them they are wrong.

A general strike against police repression, for freedom of assembly, etc ... yes, that is exactly what a revolutionary union should be doing in a situation where society is being militarized. As I said, if there were a revolutionary union in St Louis, I would hope that they would be trying for the same.

The idea that I automatically defend the CNT is insulting and a poor argument. I actually think that their Catalan branches are taking the right steps here, and are doing well to avoid nationalist traps, while also being relevant to the current struggles. Moreover, I trust that they are figuring this out collectively and democratically based on their experience of being in the thick of it, rather than being keyboard warriors checking whether Bakunin or Berneri said this was OK.

MT
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Sep 25 2017 13:01

thanks ragnar for posting the strike call. it sounds fine. however, the discussion here evolved around the stamenet which is here: http://libcom.org/forums/news/catalonia-situation-22092017#comment-598368

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 13:21

The chronology is:

This is the first statement:

Quote:
http://cnt.es/noticias/cnt-ante-el-1-o-frente-la-represi%C3%B3n-defender-los-derechos-y-libertades

CNT before the 1-O: Faced with repression, to defend the rights and freedoms

Faced with the escalating repression we are suffering after the call for referendum on self-determination in Catalonia on 1 October, the National Labor Confederation neither wants nor can remain silent:

- CNT has always been in favor of the right of self-determination of peoples in their congressional agreements. We find no reason to rethink our position in the case of the Catalan referendum.

- Citizens of Catalonia must be able to express themselves freely. The right to decide on all aspects that affect our lives is the basic pillar for the construction of a free and equal society.

- The Constitution imposed by the regime of 78 can not serve as an excuse to appeal to try to deny the word to society or when social demands do not like parties in power. The legitimacy, more than questionable of a constitution imposed under conditions of democratic exception, does not flounder in the same way when these same parties end up with universal health, destroy public education, deepen social inequality with their neoliberal policies or cut our fundamental liberties.

- Society must advance in the pursuit of rights and freedoms without fear that their struggle involves infringing unjust laws. On the contrary, historically, civil disobedience has been a motor of progress in calling into question seemingly immovable structures of power.

- That is why CNT will denounce and combat all repressive movements of the State that try to coerce or prevent the people, in this case the Catalan, from expressing their will in complete freedom.

#SensePor #Not afraid

Permanent Secretariat National Confederation of Labor

Bilbao on 20/09/2017

Later come the statement of CNT Catalonia and the Balearic Islands that robot put how we can see in the link of MT wink and yestarday in the end the statement to general strike on 3-Otc

MT
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Sep 25 2017 13:33

that was not the chronology in this thread, but anyway, the first statement is as bad as the one that came later which was put here by robot. if not worse, as it operates with category of citizenship. I really can't remind myself of any anarchist organization that would use such terminology in public statements and I think of even the lamest... I can imagine a situation where one would ask after readig the first statement: "CNT? what kind of NGO is that?" smile

nization
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Sep 25 2017 13:35
Quote:
The idea that I automatically defend the CNT is insulting

Whereas this one isn't:

Quote:
Presumably people think that the CCOO/UGT position of "wait for the restoration of normalcy" is more in line with anarchist principles.
Quote:
Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 13:46

This kind of terminology is for my parents that are not have too muchs politics ideas or they are like a commons workers to they understanded what we want to said. The Basque fellow workers who currently play the role of the SP of CNT know well how to deal with these issues, having lived the Basque social context when ETA operated and the state repressed.
In the other hand, well... in fact, CNT or CGT or whatever union is not a anarchist organization that for example FAI, FAC or Embat they are.

Spikymike
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Sep 25 2017 13:48

Well I'm not at all convinced that the CNT is ''doing well to avoid nationalist traps'' with these statements that add the rights of 'citizens' to the 'rights of peoples to self-determination' in a situation which is pitting two branches of state and their respective political power mongers against each other whilst seeking to rally the workers or 'people' behind their own capitalist ambitions. A straightforward statement of opposition to both the central government and the Catalan regional government even if of necessity with the stress being against the latest central government provocations would have been more convincing. In this situation it would seem that the manipulation by both arms of the state are likely to have more results favourable to them than the CNT's optimistic hope that the general sympathy for Catalan autonomous democracy in the face of those provocations will produce something that can escape the political boundaries of both, but we will see I suppose.

MT
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Sep 25 2017 13:51
Ragnar wrote:
What basic anarchist principles are ditched?

make up your mind, then. it is really hard to debate with people who act like acrobats...

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 14:06

it is not about acrobats, if not about having a communicative policy to reach the whole working class with the terminology they understand.

no1
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Sep 25 2017 14:11
Ragnar wrote:
This kind of terminology is for my parents that are not have too muchs politics ideas or they are like a commons workers to they understanded what we want to said.

So the CNT is talking about the "right of self-determination of peoples" and about the basic rights of the "citizens of Catalonia" because workers are not educated enough to understand basic internationalist concepts?? Workers are a bit thick, Is that what you're saying?

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 14:21

I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history. Or that if you want to reach broad layers of the working class that contemptuously is called choni or cani in spain (your Chavs) or are not almost politicized does not come with the same slang/argot that we use here, we are presupposed a theoretical knowledge in politics and ideology.
These are propaganda, advertising and marketing.

MT
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Sep 25 2017 14:24
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- Citizens of Catalonia must be able to express themselves freely.

So, you say that no-one could find anything more consistent with anarchosyndicalist principles, like for example "In CNT we believe in freedom of expression." (it took me 10 seconds to come up with this...).

The thing is that this terminology really doesn't seem to be a simple unfortunate use of the terms. Rather, it seems to be a left-wing terminology most probaby written down by leftists in a leftist organization.

MT
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Sep 25 2017 14:37
Ragnar wrote:
I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history. Or that if you want to reach broad layers of the working class that contemptuously is called choni or cani in spain (your Chavs) or are not almost politicized does not come with the same slang/argot that we use here, we are presupposed a theoretical knowledge in politics and ideology.
These are propaganda, advertising and marketing.

If you are not able to speak with unpoliticized people in their own language only with or only without using "proletariat" or "working class" etc., then you are a hell of a bad propagandists and know really little about how people speak and what they understand or not...

And like if that was not enough, you create another acrobat stunt. You say that this terminology is for the "people" and one should speak in their language. You imply that those who criticize this are some kind of dreamers or losers or whatever arrogant idea you have about them, who in their practice use a sterile politological terminology only. Not only it is bullshit, but you forget to at least check the first CNT statement that contradicts your claims (and yeah, this language is surely the common languange of the "people"...):

"And it is that nothing fears any institutionalized power as much as the working classes take their own destiny into their own hands: they can not allow any form of dissent to get hold of their hands."
"Let us take advantage of any moment of weakness of our oppressors to conquer what is legitimately ours: the richness of humanity, which has created a generation after generation of working classes and which seek to appropriate States and Capital!"
http://libcom.org/forums/news/catalonia-situation-22092017?page=1#comment-598411

Ragnar
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Sep 25 2017 14:48

Almost, but you are close to understanding why we express the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists in these ways and why it works for us.
And now I have to go to work. have a nice day.

nization
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Sep 25 2017 14:56
Quote:
you are close to understanding why we express the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists in these ways and why it works for us.

Nuff said... haven't you thickos got it yet?

MT
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Sep 25 2017 15:04

I wonder which post is it that Ragnar responds to... His post makes no sense.

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Sep 25 2017 16:53

With anarchists like these, who needs bosses.

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Juan Conatz
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Sep 25 2017 17:15

The language used in those statements is pretty off for a revolutionary union, IMO. However, from experience, statements written in somewhat unexpected political situations are often rushed and often have contradictory stuff. Also tbh, I really don't care that much about what the CNT had to say about this, I'm more interested in what is happening and why. This thread so far hasnt been that helpful with that unfortunatly

Salvoechea
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Sep 25 2017 17:59

I feel situation between Spain and Catalonia is reaching to a similar point of Turkey vs Kurdistan, without violence. Catalan-born middle class and youth have broken with Spain a few years ago. They feel part of another different country with other constituent values. Present day Spain embraces the concept of spain of castilians which is centralist and imperialist, while catalans preferred a federal spain with a balance between Iberian regions/countries [but its elite doesn't matter about workers].

However the mistakes made by Partido Popular with all its patriotic rhetoric and denying there was a problem with Catalonia, have sent hundreds of thousand people that preferred another form for Spain, and not necessarily a rupture. Most of these people are placed in the left.

So, roughly, we have a neoliberal centre-right (PDCAT), a socioliberal centre-left (ERC) and a socialdemocratic left (CUP; with a national liberation marxism). Catalan proletariat usually voted socialists (PSC) or post-communists (ICV). With the crisis in 2007-11 the socialist space collapsed, appearing a big popular street movement (15M) with an important participation of social movements and anarchists (and trotskists, and CUP, and ICV, etc). After the reflux of the street movements (2013) appeared a new political party (Comuns) that managed to inherit ICV space as well as a big part of PSC's.

Parallel to that process there was another process. Catalan government, Generalitat, had tried big to get new power from state, and central Parliament (Madrid) blocked all of that, thanks to Partido Popular. So, many catalans took that as the last straw, and began a new popular independentist movement, different to the previous «patriot» catalanist one (and sometimes even racist). Catalan independentism rose in five years from a 15% to a 35%. Obviously is absurd to consider all of them as middle class or bourgeois. There's an important working class presence in that movement, specially significative in rural areas or small cities. But also it can be traced in metropolitan cities trough the vote of CUP (normally ex-communists voting CUP).

In the last years that populist independentism had the dream of a fair referendum. State refused. So, catalans began to change the motto «independència» for «democracy». Ideally referendum is equiparated to democracy. So, spanish government dening to answer catalans in the same way as UK did, is presented as anti-democratic. Similar to Turkey. Government of Rajoy mistakes (and a huge level of corruption, never seen before I have to tell) eroded State credibility in Catalonia and now the level of independentists rose to close 50%. Spanish politician denied that level of disafection, but catalan said: «Easy, lets vote and we'll sort it out, then!» Spanish politician told them to fuck off. Catalan politician were pushed by its bases to call the Referendum. This is a train crash.

What is to be done by anticapitalists? Remember that Catalonia is probably the most dinamic place in Spain after Basque popular movement half-defeat. So, we had been unable to put a unitarian agenda to become an important actor in this scenario. In Spain Podemos is blockin social explotion but also anticapitalists are unable to put forward any important movement. So, Social axis can be discarded as a way to turn down the so-called «Regime of 1978» (the year of the present spanish Constitution). But, Catalonia means another clear disafection. Half of Catalonia does not feel spanish and have broken with Spain.

Spain is sending 5000 policemen (and some military) to stop the Referendum. Catalans want to vote, and people is getting arrested, Generalitat websites are taken down, Police is searching ballot boxes and stuff like that. And people is getting angry. Another thing to remember: the 50% of independentists acording to surveys are the 50% most interested in politics. And even more, they are wondering how is their country going to look like in the future. Even more, as European Union is supporting Spain... every day more people is prefering to break with it, as well as NATO, in a sort of LEFTXIT. Liberals are leading the process, but there is a window for anticapitalist forces opened by a constituent process, as well as for the pure rejection of state crude repression.

Are we doing something? Well, catalan anarchists, are in the middle of a debate. Some groups (probably most of them by the way) are in the same barricade as their neighbours. We have shared demos with CUP, communists and other social movements. We're not for PDCAT or ERC. Remember: the other side is lead by Partido Popular, PSC, Ciudadans (another wannabe Macron) or pro-demobilisation Comuns. We're for rupture, for another 14th april 1931.

We don't think there will be a Catalan Republic by voting. Kurdistan may be free because they have militias, but not Catalonia. Liberals are not going to use the force. They're not going to exercise the monopoly of violence. But there is another opportunity to set fire to a big state of Europe, bringing an ingobernability. We'll see if the level of participation on the Referendum is enough to continue with another wave of social mobilisations. This time on the social axis, not national.

As for the international anticapitalist movement, is important to present this referendum in the terms «democracy vs submission», and to present Spain as another Turkey. Anarchist have an opportunity to be part of a democratic revolution. We need to push for a socialist revolution, of course, after winning some struggles before.

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 25 2017 17:55
Juan Conatz wrote:
I'm more interested in what is happening and why. This thread so far hasnt been that helpful with that unfortunatly

sadly true, it is more about purity standards,

http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/lleida/20170923/431499722409/mas-de-un-millar-de-personas-reclama-votar-con-tractoradas-en-lleida-y-vic.html

peasants with tractors blocking central points in Lleida

Salvoechea
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Sep 25 2017 18:25

You can follow the events from here (an anticapitalist publication)
https://directa.cat/cop-de-lestat-contra-referendum-de-l1-minut-minut

University strikes, 28th and 29th
https://www.llibertat.cat/2017/09/universitats-per-la-republica-convoquem-vaga-d-estudiants-39998

There're some buildings occupied by students at least from last thursday

Salvoechea
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Sep 25 2017 19:40

On the other side it is like a military/fascist parade with neonazi and fascist groups saludating police and Guardia Civil on their way to Catalonia:

https://twitter.com/huelva_vox/status/912355265558843397

https://twitter.com/huelva_vox/status/912355265558843397

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Sep 25 2017 19:57
ragnar wrote:
I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history.

Unfortunately that "cultural hegemony" has clearly colonised the thinking of the CNT in their statement, with its stale leftist parroting of "self-determination" and "rights of citizens". As already stated by Spikymike & co, it could easily have stated a clear opposition to all bourgeois factions and political choices and against the state repression. But no, opportunistically appeal to the most populist issues in the hope of increased popularity. Typical leftist pseudo-anarchism. Is the CNT doomed to forever capitulate to bourgeois politics and alliances when it comes to the crunch?

If poor old Bakunin is to be misused above here in attempts to justify anarcho-reformism, let's recall what he said about flirtations with bourgeois parties;

Quote:
"...all historical experience shows that an alliance concluded between two different parties always benefits the more backward - the more advanced party is inevitably weakened because the alliance diminishes and distorts its programme and destroys its moral strength and self-confidence; whereas when a backward party lies, it always finds itself closer than ever to its own truth ... I have no hesitation in saying that all the Marxist flirtations with bourgeois radicalism - reformist or revolutionary - can have no other outcome than the demoralization and disorganization of the nascent power of the proletariat, and therefore the further consolidation of the power of the bourgeoisie." (Bakunin, 1870s.)