Egypt: What exactly are you supporting?

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Khawaga
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Feb 11 2011 15:20

Who specifically are you referring to bzfgt? Posters here have been very critical of the protests and so far I've seen no empty calls for solidarity. From what I gather people are mostly interested in just trying to figure out what the heck is going on and hopeful that working class actions might develop into something bigger. Kontra made much more interesting points than FdG, who, in his usual style, comes in with a pre-produced straw-man to knock down.

bzfgt
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Feb 11 2011 17:12

Well clearly I'm not talking about every argument on here and I don't want to go back and read the whole thread again, I was thinking about a few things like the post that was an embedded video of a weeping and eloquent Egyptian in London, comments like this

Quote:
I don't think anyone should get out of bed in the morning, afternoon, evening or night until there's a full-blown perfect revolution just outside their front door with the whole of the working class, having read and understood Marx, Bakunin, Malatesta, Korsch, Debord and the whole history of the Workers Councils beforehand, seizing and transforming the means of production and distribution whilst suppressing all its commiodity form and content...As for watching birds - that might be fairly safe as long as you look at them out of the window from bed, but drinking tea - too risky - the boiling water could scold you, the cup may be cracked, tea leaves might tickle your throat....

and above all this

Quote:
Many of us don't disparage the fight of other members of our class because of their skin color or ethnicity. As internationalists, we are in solidarity with all expressions of the self-activity of our class.
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Feb 12 2011 00:57
bzfgt wrote:
and above all this
Quote:
Many of us don't disparage the fight of other members of our class because of their skin color or ethnicity. As internationalists, we are in solidarity with all expressions of the self-activity of our class.

Which was a response to this:

eating poultices wrote:
We can go back in time and look at people cheerleading the Iranian revolution or the Zimbabwean anti-colonial struggle or the ANC in South Africa or the Sandinistas or whatever political fight.

Who ever mentioned any of these? The answer: no one. It's a straw man.

Or this:

fort-da game wrote:
Quote:
the Zapatistas, FLN, ANC or any other bunch of leftwing heroes

Another straw man. More than disingenuous, fort-da game is coming here in bad faith.

Perhaps it's all well and good that fort-da game is willing to simply agree-to-disagree and take his show on the road.

Or maybe the better metaphor would be that he go shopping elsewhere; he might find the ideological equivalent of Marks & Spencer.

petey
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Feb 17 2011 19:54
RedHughs wrote:
I could dig up the thread where he expresses the need to deal with "libcom" via the "broad brush" - ie, to impute whatever one person "here" said to anyone else who posts here as well. Why this "technique of 'the amalgam'" should not be applied to him also as "member" here, he naturally never said.

yes, and i think i made that point too during that thread, but now he won't have to hear it again.

it's amazing re-reading this that as late as p. 5 someone could say:

Quote:
the arguments in favor of 'solidarity' have been increasingly axiological and moralistic
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Feb 17 2011 22:53
petey wrote:
it's amazing re-reading this that as late as p. 5 someone could say:
Quote:
the arguments in favor of 'solidarity' have been increasingly axiological and moralistic

Sounds like boilerplate PostModernism.

bzfgt
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Feb 18 2011 00:24
Hieronymous wrote:
petey wrote:
it's amazing re-reading this that as late as p. 5 someone could say:
Quote:
the arguments in favor of 'solidarity' have been increasingly axiological and moralistic

Sounds like boilerplate PostModernism.

What does it have to do with Post-Modernism?

bzfgt
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Feb 18 2011 00:26
petey wrote:
RedHughs wrote:
I could dig up the thread where he expresses the need to deal with "libcom" via the "broad brush" - ie, to impute whatever one person "here" said to anyone else who posts here as well. Why this "technique of 'the amalgam'" should not be applied to him also as "member" here, he naturally never said.

yes, and i think i made that point too during that thread, but now he won't have to hear it again.

it's amazing re-reading this that as late as p. 5 someone could say:

Quote:
the arguments in favor of 'solidarity' have been increasingly axiological and moralistic

Why is it amazing? It may have been too much of a generalization, but the 'racist' nonsense was quite recent.

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Feb 18 2011 03:20
petey wrote:
it's amazing re-reading this that as late as p. 5 someone could say:
Quote:
the arguments in favor of 'solidarity' have been increasingly axiological and moralistic

Sounds like boilerplate PostModernism.

bzfgt wrote:
calls for 'solidarity' have little content.

Frankly, all these imperatives about "going slow," "tempering your enthusiasm," or "watching birds," "drinking tea" and going shopping instead of being moved by the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, Syria, Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, the occupied Palestinian territories, Algeria, Libya, and now even Wisconsin are fucking bullshit! As a recent publication of the ICC put it:

Quote:
Whatever flags the demonstrators carry, all these protests have their root in the world wide crisis of capitalism and its direct consequences: unemployment, rising prices, austerity, and the repression and corruption of the governments who preside over these brutal attacks on living standards. In short, they have the same origins as the revolt of Greek youth against police repression in 2008, the struggle against pension ‘reforms’ in France, the student rebellions in Italy and Britain, and workers’ strikes from Bangladesh to China and from Spain to the USA.

I'd add to that list the food riots in 2008 that swept the globe. With terrible harvests this past season, food prices are already spiking upwards again. Large parts of crops froze in the last few weeks in North America, so there will be even more shortages and rising prices.

I work in a program at a public library where the part-timers (like myself) are all non-union, but the rest of the staff are full-timers in a public sector union -- as is everyone else working at the library. My boss furloughed 40% of the hours of us part-timers for 2011 (the full-timers only were furloughed a couple days for the year). I find common class interests with those working class insurgents in all the above places. This is class war and those of us doing wage labor are on the losing end of it -- unless we take the example of the mass strikes in places like Egypt and start fighting back.

It seems like nearly half my friends have relatives or partners who are laid off, if they're not out of work themselves. If they're still employed, many have had drastic wage cuts and in some cases have had most benefits -- like health care -- eliminated. I know more than a few, even those with kids, who've moved back in with parents -- putting three and sometimes four generations under one roof. Many working class people haven't been so lucky and a layoff leads to eviction -- or foreclosure -- and then the only alternative becomes living in a tent city as a collective survival strategy. Welcome to Planet of Slums, First World Style.

If I have to endure another dilettante giving us the inventory of her closet and a list of his consumption habits and hobbies, while at the same time telling us that what we're "enthusiastic" about "isn't communism," I'll have to call bullshit on the "commie-emperor's new clothes." And paraphrase Raymond, the idiot-savant in the film Rainman, and say Marks & Spencer "sucks!" (as much as K-Mart), as do all palaces of conspicuous consumption.

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Feb 18 2011 02:28
bzfgt wrote:
the 'racist' nonsense was quite recent.

Don't bullshit us about this either.

There's a disgustingly strong tinge of anti-German-German anti-Arab "nonsense" going on here. At least that was the message from some of the Eastern Europeans and this on other threads. Lots of bullshit about how the Egyptian insurgents were anti-Semitic.

Amongst the classless angel nihilist "communists," it was more overt; without knowing the slightest details about the class dynamic in Egypt, it was a facile dismissal of the struggle with a single anti-intellectual brushstroke.

bzfgt
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Feb 18 2011 03:12

Good Lord. SInce I have no inclination to slog back through this thread or check other threads, I won't try to argue about the details of what the EEs were saying, and frankly I don't really remember. But if, in the claim that "it" was more overt with the CAs, the "it" refers to racism, as it seems to, you are making an extremely tenuous, ill-considered, and, frankly, bullying claim. If the CAs had little information about what they were talking about (which hasn't been established either way) that is hardly the same thing as racism. Of course it is possible that they were, consciously or not, motivated by racism, but you have not provided the shadow of an argument that this is the case. If you're going to impute things like this you should have your shit together a little more rather than shooting from the hip and hoping your righteous indignation will carry the day. Your initial post was ill-considered but forgivable, but the fact that you aren't backing down from this is despicable.

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Feb 18 2011 03:26

What are CAs?

And you were the first one to specifically mention "race," so slog back through the thread or not, only you can answer why you chose that word.

bzfgt
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Feb 18 2011 04:08

CAs='classless angels'. You mentioned that we support working class revolt regardless of the color of skin. FDG took this as an imputation of racism. Now you are saying that was not your intent? Your last post gave the impression you were owning and even elaborating that imputation. Now I am confused.

magidd
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Feb 18 2011 04:23

I wood like to make few notes:

1. Here is the text of egyptian anarcho-communist.
Audio Interview: http://electricrnb.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-03T00_56_54-08_00?x
Interview edited by Anarkismo.net

He said:
"Anti-capitalist revolutionaries are not very numerous in Cairo - the communists, democratic left and Trotskyites are calling for the same demands about the constitution and new elections, but for us as anarchists - anti-capital, anti-State too - we will try to ensure that the committees that have been formed protect and secure the streets, make them stronger and try to turn them into real councils"

2. If we look at the russian revolution of 1917-1921 we will see few stages

a) Mass uprising against dictatoship at the february of 1917. That was spontanious mothement wich united different classes like workers and some parts of burgua who did not support dictatiship of Zar.

b) Class strugle grow workers were getting into strikes more and more. They are united in counciles and factory committees and struggling more o less against burgua govenment.

c) October revolution of counciles in 1917. Than it was transformed by bolshevic party and state bureaucracy into new burgua (state capitalist) dictatoship.

d) Workers and peasants strugle against Lenin's state capitalism for free counciles : strikes in Petersburg, vest-sibirian and Kronshtadt uprisings.

Summary:

Proletariat need long-time experience of struggle after the begining of revolution. Proletariat needs time for reconstruction of his self-consciousness during the struggle. Way from february 1917 to march of 1921 (Kronstadt uprising) is long way.
May be Egypet naw is in february... But we allredy can see tsunami of strikes. There is split between byrgua and proletarian classes.
Of course i am not saing that situation in Egyt 2011 is the same as in Russian 1921.

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Feb 18 2011 08:47
bzfgt wrote:
Good Lord

Huh? No wonder you said you're confused here. Anyway, you should've said "Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر)," which despite being an atheist myself I would have preferred.

bzfgt wrote:
SInce I have no inclination to slog back through this thread or check other threads

So put another way bzfgt, you're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie [or thread] and wants to know*... but won't bother to find out.

The classless angels bleated on and on about how the events in Egypt were bereft of class content, until the strike wave that's been going on since at least 2006 became too apparent to continue to deny.

Part of the classless angel criticism from Croatia, Slovakia, Britain, and elsewhere was based on our purported reliance on "news," rather than critique. This was at the same time some of us were discussing the implications of the escalating actions of tens of thousands of strikers, starting with textile workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, as well as:

Quote:
-Thousands of railworkers who took strike action, blockading railway lines in the process.

-6,000 workers at the Suez Canal Authority who walked off the job, staging sit-ins at Suez and two other cities.

-1,500 workers at Abul Sebae Textiles in Mahalla who struck and blockaded the highway.

-Hundreds of nurses at Kafr al-Zayyat hospital who staged a sit-in and were joined by hundreds of other hospital employees.

And other strike actions:

–Bus workers in Cairo

-Employees at Telecom Egypt

-Journalists at several newspapers

-Workers at pharmaceutical plants

-Workers at steel mills

(much strike action has happened since, but these were the ones in progress when the classless angels were preaching that "the people" in Egypt wanted nothing more than liberal democracy)

We found inspiration in this working class self-activity and were encouraged by the militancy of fellow members of our class. We referred to our sources, which were often the first-hand accounts of Egyptian radicals -- like the twitter and blog posts of Hossam el-Hamalawy, as well as articles and interviews he's given from on the ground in Cairo. His credibility was dismissed because one of the classless angels quoted him as saying something about Netanyahu being a Zionist puppet of Yankee imperialism -- or some other jargon -- and hence he was obviously an anti-Semite and his accounts were dubious.

The nick-picking and trying to impose the cookiecutter of one's own ideology over events is disingenuous and an act of bad faith regardless of how many times one self identifies as a "pro-revolutionary" and a "communist."

*And no less despicable than Theodore Donald "Donny" Kerabatsos

MT
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Feb 18 2011 11:17

H., it's funny how one can distort reality in just two weeks and misinterpret thigs that were said. or i would rather say you never understood the point as you misread or didn't read the original debate on the class perspective in a previous topic which is now lost somewhere in this portal now. anyway, all i want to say is that generalizations you write here are outrageous and you are simple turning into a manipulator.

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Feb 18 2011 20:15

MT, your comments are only appropriate in lib community.

lettersjournal
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Dec 12 2011 05:21

Hello comrades,

I rejoined this board briefly as 'whatisinevidence' to express my disgust at the defense of Aufheben (if you missed it, I trust you can search for it - especially my 'Stalinist farce' line). Red Hughs suggested it was disingenuous for me to do so without saying who I was. I felt my points stood on their own, but maybe he was right.

Leaving behind the disingenuous moniker, I have returned in earnest to see if those who attacked those critical of the Egyptian uprising have changed their minds. I think one of the ways 'communist' support for bourgeois revolutions maintains itself is by constantly moving forward to the next big event without reflecting on what happened with the last one.

As an opponent to such support, I propose a return to this discussion in light of the events of the last several months. Or even better, a return to the discussions with Lazy Riser about Palestine. There seem to be plenty of threads on this board and no need for new ones. It would do us all good to stop reading the news, anyhow.

I will contribute this to the discussion in the most direct, crude political way:

1) The Egyptian uprising, like all political uprisings, has nothing to do with communism or even the struggles of workers for better conditions or wages.
1a) It follows from this that Frere Dupont's suggestion that communists are better off watching birds than going to the demo is sound.
1aa) If a communist must 'do' something or 'study' something, investigations into the billions who are not protesting/striking/etc tend to be more compelling or are less likely to involve compromising principles.

2) There were/are certainly workers in Egypt striking for better wages or whatever, and the political demonstrations against Mubarak or the military junta or Israel or Islam are at best distractions from those strikes.

3) The trouble is that there does not seem to be any connection between working class strikes for better wages/conditions and communism. The former is a part of capitalist reproduction (and certainly is important for developing a '1st world' economy). Probably communists are better off bird watching here as well, unless they happen to find themselves in the thick of it at work. But then, the sorts of ideas on this website don't seem to be of much help either: a website administrator was worried about how to explain striking to her students. To put it very very crudely, the workers best at striking for better wages are not communists (why not? seems as good a question as any to investigate for those trying to spread communist ideas or build communist organizations).

4) Then again, the Libcom support for the Egyptian revolution might simply be a case of basic class solidarity (ie. a political project of the third estate identifying with the activities of the third estate in a far-away place).
4a) Ah, but now I see that it's impossible to talk about Egypt without also returning to the argument here about 'academics'/the middle class.

ps. While Hieronymous was wrong to think I was a part of this discussion the first time around (as I told him on the phone), he is correct about something: I am an anti-Egyptian communist. Feel free to cross out Egyptian and fill in the blank with the name of any other nation, current or future. I would think being anti-Egyptian would be the first thing any communist in Egypt would be, though I can imagine why someone in Tahrir square would want to keep their anti-nationalism quiet.

(This might be laying it on a bit thick, but I'm curious if any communists in Egypt publicly raised the proposition of solidarity with Israeli tent protesters.)

lettersjournal
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Dec 12 2011 05:17

It must also be said that the position 'against' bourgeois revolution in the Middle East poses an ethical dilemma in light of the torture and violence carried out against would-be bourgeois revolutionaries (eg. doctors in Bahrain). At the same time, it is ethically impossible to argue 'for' bourgeois revolution.

To plagiarize: It is impossible to connect abstraction to reference to actual suffering human beings who only want what they want (this, already an abstraction too far).

For this reason, it is impossible to argue categorically against any war because of the sufferings of all soldiers, and the good cause that they are fighting for (their wage mostly, and the escape from where they come from). And also impossible to argue in favour of any war.

That is ethically. That is politically. And, that is positionally.

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Dec 12 2011 15:07

Don't know where that is all coming from Letters; most people "supportive" of the uprising/intifada (few here referred to it as a revolution because it simply wasn't) did so out of solidarity and a hope that it would translate into actions in the workplaces (which it did the week Mubarak had to step down, likely why SCAF told him to step down). And what's happening in Egypt is in any case not "finished"; what we saw in November will happen again and again and again. Most likely another food riot because of the insane inflation.

Quote:
(This might be laying it on a bit thick, but I'm curious if any communists in Egypt publicly raised the proposition of solidarity with Israeli tent protesters.)

They most likely didn't. If anything communists in Egypt would tell them to fuck off and eat shit, which indeed did happen. Nationalism is extremely strong in Egypt, and anti-Israeli sentiment likely stronger after 60 years of being the ideal scapegoat for all of Egypt and the Arab world's ills. I've talked to plenty of Egyptian radicals who are very sensible people, but as soon as Israel is mentioned all reason disappears.

lettersjournal
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Dec 12 2011 20:25
Quote:
Don't know where that is all coming from Letters; most people "supportive" of the uprising/intifada (few here referred to it as a revolution because it simply wasn't) did so out of solidarity and a hope that it would translate into actions in the workplaces (which it did the week Mubarak had to step down, likely why SCAF told him to step down). And what's happening in Egypt is in any case not "finished"; what we saw in November will happen again and again and again. Most likely another food riot because of the insane inflation.

Why put "supportive" in quotation marks? There were threads hundreds of posts long that were almost entirely links to news articles, and people who dared to criticize the uprising as bourgeois/democratic were denounced as racist and other things (in addition to libcommunity threads mocking them). The critical voices were in a small minority. I can link to posts if you'd like.

Quote:
They most likely didn't. If anything communists in Egypt would tell them to fuck off and eat shit, which indeed did happen. Nationalism is extremely strong in Egypt, and anti-Israeli sentiment likely stronger after 60 years of being the ideal scapegoat for all of Egypt and the Arab world's ills. I've talked to plenty of Egyptian radicals who are very sensible people, but as soon as Israel is mentioned all reason disappears.

If this is true, then you are saying that the Egyptian people/blogs/etc praised on here were in fact anti-Semitic (eg. there was one blog linked to a lot, a Trotskyist whose Trotskyism was ignored because he posted exciting news bulletins)? Are you willing to excuse anti-semitism or nationalism by Egyptian 'communists' just because they are Egyptian? I would hold them to the same standard as anyone else: no quarter to racism, nationalism, or anti-semitism, especially not as communists.

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Fall Back
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Dec 12 2011 20:35

Communism is for us not the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. We call communism a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself. The conditions of this movement do not result from the premises now in existence.

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Khawaga
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Dec 13 2011 03:04
Quote:
If this is true, then you are saying that the Egyptian people/blogs/etc praised on here were in fact anti-Semitic (eg. there was one blog linked to a lot, a Trotskyist whose Trotskyism was ignored because he posted exciting news bulletins)? Are you willing to excuse anti-semitism or nationalism by Egyptian 'communists' just because they are Egyptian? I would hold them to the same standard as anyone else: no quarter to racism, nationalism, or anti-semitism, especially not as communists.

Oh, believe me, I've called them out on this several times to their faces (I used to live in Egypt). And they're not anti-semitic, it's just a weird form of anti-imperialism (though the line between anti-zionism and anti-semitism is extremely thin). Blanket condemnation of Arabs' anti-Israel stance (like yours) is too simplistic as well though. You have to bear in mind that Israel has been the bogey man in Egypt since the 1960s; it's an official ideology that the state has used time and over again to divert attention from domestic affairs. Even during the Egyptian intifada that bogey man was used time and over again. It's not like that crap will disappear over night.

Quote:
There were threads hundreds of posts long that were almost entirely links to news articles, and people who dared to criticize the uprising as bourgeois/democratic were denounced as racist and other things (in addition to libcommunity threads mocking them). The critical voices were in a small minority. I can link to posts if you'd like.

Well that's your interpretation and a rather one sided one as well. There were certainly bourgeois elements to the uprising, as there was working class and islamist. I think the general "libcom" line on the uprising was being cautiously optimistic, but recognizing that it would most likely lead to a change of the regime, not in social relations.

posi
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Dec 13 2011 09:35

lettersjournal's post is an excellent example of the very worst tendency of ultra-left ideology: obsessed, above all else, with not supporting (or "supporting") things which are less than totally clean. It's a view in which the world is full of dangerous bourgeois traps, and the very essence of communist practice is staying clean by staying as far away from them as possible. Even at the expense of total dissociation from real class movements.

Quote:
The Egyptian uprising, like all political uprisings, has nothing to do with communism or even the struggles of workers for better conditions or wages.

Sorry, that is total nonsense.

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Dec 13 2011 12:32
lettersjournal wrote:
[...]
I will contribute this to the discussion in the most direct, crude political way:

1) The Egyptian uprising, like all political uprisings, has nothing to do with communism or even the struggles of workers for better conditions or wages.

Wrong. Political uprisings that include a substantial working class component inevitably are influenced by the material needs of the working class - as such they always contain, as one element amongst many, communist potential. It is the job of reactionary forces to dissipate, detourner or destroy that potential. It is the job of communists to oppose the strategy of the reactionaries by accentuating the positive (tendencies towards autonomy, self-organisation and auto-valorisation of direct needs) and criticising the negative (decompositional fault-lines, such as religious sectarianism, racism/xenophobia, etc). It is not the task of communists to side with the reactionaries by attacking the movement in toto for the "crime" of failing to match up to some abstract list of "revolutionary principles" which transcend and overrule working class desire and delegitimate them - this is another alienation, another altar on which the "actually existing" working class is to be sacrificed.

lettersjournal wrote:
1a) It follows from this that Frere Dupont's suggestion that communists are better off watching birds than going to the demo is sound.

The "Twitcher Tendency" perhaps? Twitcherism is the non plus ultra of reactionary ultraleftism.

lettersjournal wrote:
1aa) If a communist must 'do' something or 'study' something, investigations into the billions who are not protesting/striking/etc tend to be more compelling or are less likely to involve compromising principles.

"less likely to involve compromising principles." - the altar on which the working class is to be sacrificed. Whatever you do, do nothing. Because, Marx forbid, that in doing something you compromise the eternal sacred and transcendant principles of "communism", before which the working class must prostrate themselves as mere worthless dogs and worms who crawl in the dirt.

lettersjournal wrote:
2) There were/are certainly workers in Egypt striking for better wages or whatever, and the political demonstrations against Mubarak or the military junta or Israel or Islam are at best distractions from those strikes.

The idea that political demonstrations against the regime that bans strikes and send in cops, army and baltagiyyah goons to break up picket lines, has no connection with strikes and industrial struggles, is not held by the social actors in Egypt. I find their viewpoint more compelling than yours in this instance.

lettersjournal wrote:
3) The trouble is that there does not seem to be any connection between working class strikes for better wages/conditions and communism. The former is a part of capitalist reproduction (and certainly is important for developing a '1st world' economy). Probably communists are better off bird watching here as well, unless they happen to find themselves in the thick of it at work. But then, the sorts of ideas on this website don't seem to be of much help either: a website administrator was worried about how to explain striking to her students. To put it very very crudely, the workers best at striking for better wages are not communists (why not? seems as good a question as any to investigate for those trying to spread communist ideas or build communist organizations).

Sure, as Fall Back has already sarcastically pointed out - what have working class economic struggles, antagonistic self-organisation, auto-valorisation of direct material needs, etc, got to do with "the real movement that abolishes the current state of things". Frankly, if your idea of communism spits on the needs of workers, then I spit on your idea of communism.

lettersjournal wrote:
That is ethically. That is politically. And, that is positionally.

That is bollocks. Or to use the Marxist terminology - New True Socialism (yet again... roll eyes )

lettersjournal
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Dec 13 2011 17:01
Quote:
Sure, as Fall Back has already sarcastically pointed out - what have working class economic struggles, antagonistic self-organisation, auto-valorisation of direct material needs, etc, got to do with "the real movement that abolishes the current state of things".

Yes, it is a good question. Centuries of working class economic struggles and bourgeois revolutions have not resulted in communism (or posed the possibility of communism). Why is that?

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Dec 13 2011 17:54
lettersjournal wrote:
Quote:
Sure, as Fall Back has already sarcastically pointed out - what have working class economic struggles, antagonistic self-organisation, auto-valorisation of direct material needs, etc, got to do with "the real movement that abolishes the current state of things".

Yes, it is a good question. Centuries of working class economic struggles and bourgeois revolutions have not resulted in communism (or posed the possibility of communism). Why is that?

One things for sure, it's not due to any lack of armchair revolutionaries with curates egg arguments about why social actors should never act for fear of violating "principles". Because the movement has had a rake of them, like, for ever...

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Hieronymous
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Dec 13 2011 20:36

I removed this post because I believe that yoshomon/lettersjournal/whatisinevidence revived this thread in an act of bad faith.

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ocelot
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Dec 13 2011 23:02

edit: original posts this was in response to removed.

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 14 2011 11:08

Yeah guys, just remind yourselves that the OP is a self-styled "nihilist" who believes his mission is to undermine the radical movement.

In short, don't feed the troll.

lettersjournal
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Dec 14 2011 17:56
ocelot wrote:
lettersjournal wrote:
Quote:
Sure, as Fall Back has already sarcastically pointed out - what have working class economic struggles, antagonistic self-organisation, auto-valorisation of direct material needs, etc, got to do with "the real movement that abolishes the current state of things".

Yes, it is a good question. Centuries of working class economic struggles and bourgeois revolutions have not resulted in communism (or posed the possibility of communism). Why is that?

One things for sure, it's not due to any lack of armchair revolutionaries with curates egg arguments about why social actors should never act for fear of violating "principles". Because the movement has had a rake of them, like, for ever...

You are right. Lack of 'armchair revolutionaries' (which is a good description of all of us here, as we sit down to type our responses) or abundance of 'armchair revolutionaries' does not seem to matter much for working class economic struggles or the possibility of communism. But my question remains.

In my original post, I argued that communists should not participate in bourgeois/nationalist/democratic uprisings, that it is better to watch birds than participate in them. I have been attacked for saying this, but rather than attacking me I think it would be more interesting if those who disagree create an argument about why communist participation in these uprisings is a good idea. We have a lot of historical examples of this sort of participation. Same with civil wars.

As far as sacrificing and altars, surely the altar of bourgeois revolution is more crowded with skulls than the altar of principles of obscure communists. Nobody in Egypt is aware of my existence or ideas, but the handful of Egyptian 'radical' groups mentioned here (like the anarchist group interviewed) have been promoting the state ideology of anti-semitism (er, anti-Zionism). Silence is preferable to that.