At the suggestion of Akai, I've copied a part of the thread on the Domino's campaign to a new topic.
I disagree; if anything I think the secretariat model risks concentrating hands in the power of particular individuals, particularly if the local involved is riddled with informal heirarchies. The idea that the ASF is a federation of member affiliates while the IWW has a general membership of individuals is rediculous. The IWW puts as much value on the branch or workplace assembly and the sovereignty of the directly democratic decision-making process contained therein as any other syndicalist organisation. What you describe is I believe a propaganda line trotted out by certain individuals who repeat the same garbage over and over in order to forestall a more open debate.
I understand this is your view unsupported by not much in the way of evidence but big on innuendo. But perhaps I didn't explain what I meant clearly enough. The ASF is a federation of member affiliates. Similarly, the IWA is a federation of member sections based on countries around the world. A single individual does not join the IWA in the same manner a single individual can join the IWW. In Australia, an individual worker joins a group affiliated to the ASF be that a local general membership branch type of group like ASF Melbourne or an industrial association like GTWA. One affiliate is chosen to be responsible for the administrative function of the ASF Secretariat. If there is a problem, then another affiliate is found to perform that function. This means that the ASF Secretariat has no power to expel an individual. If an individual is a problem it is the responsibility of the affiliate that individual is a member of to sort the problem out. Only affiliates can be expelled from the ASF (as happened once in 1992) and this can only be done by an ASF Congress. So your assertion that the Secretariat model "risks concentrating hands in the power (sic) of particular individuals" is without foundation and you would not be able to cite a single example precisely because none exists.
By contrast, any individual, sight unseen, may join the IWW from anywhere in the (usually anglospheric) world by simply writing to an IWW delegate or directly to the General Executive Board in Chicago - the name itself implies executive power. All IWW delegates and Regional Organising Committees derives their mandate ultimately from the General Executive Board. It is the GEB that issues charters. A ROC is subordinate to the GEB [see Section 8(a)]. Therefore, I would suggest the implication that there is no substantive difference between the two methods of organisation is 'ridiculous'. Furthermore, individuals are elected to the GEB by general election by most number of votes. I suggest that this is a greater risk of power concentration in individual hands than the ASF model which seeks by practical means to dissipate power as evenly as possible. The AS in ASF describes a method, not an ideology in and of itself. It is a method informed by the theory and praxis of anarchism.
I'm personally sorry that there hasn't been more supposed [support of the Domino's campaign by the IWW in Australia] but by the same token there is a fair amount of bad blood between certain ASF and IWW members which has yet to be rectified. I for one would rather provide solidarity with people who spend less time playing personality politics than they do organising.
This is somewhat disturbing as it implies that solidarity shown is dependant on the good relations between individuals. Solidarity should based on the merits of the struggle, not on whether not some individuals are nice or nasty. I'm surprised that this would even need explaining! I would have thought that this is not the case with regard to the IWW as it is the IWW itself that places an emphasis on what unites us and not on what divides us.
Well you could always pick up a copy of Direct Action; if you couldn't get through to the ROC you could always call a delegate and ask their advice. My phone number is in the directory as well as on the website. You can't tell me that you haven't seen a copy of Direct Action or that it was too damn difficult for you to pick up the phone and call someone to find out what was going on.
Here you identify youself as editor of 'Direct Action', paper of the Australian IWW. There is a very good reason why the then Secretary of ASF Brisbane emailed the ROC besides the advice given previously by the Melbourne IWW; an email is time and date stamped and as such provides evidence that an instruction from the assembly of the ASF Brisbane has indeed been carried out. It's called accountability. Your suggested method of communication is problematic for two reasons; First, unless the phone conversation has been recorded, what evidence would there be that it actually took place? Secondly, you run the risk of creating the very informal hierarchy that you accuse (without any foundation whatsoever) the ASF of being guilty of. That is precisely what you would have if self-appointed, self-important individuals get on the blower to other self-appointed, self-important individuals to decide who is and who is not worthy of solidarity. Furthermore, the fact that you did not trouble yourself to pick up the phone and call the ASF Brisbane before you published an article in 'Direct Action' calling for a boycott against the wishes of the drivers, including a gmail address (presumably by somebody in the IWW) to that end, you leave yourself open to the charge that you hold a double-standard and are, therefore, a hypocrite. Not to mention that you and/or others in the IWW presume to know best how to conduct the campaign. Should not the onus be on you as editor to find out what's going on?
I wrote previously on the other thread:
In my view, the IWW is a historical response to a primarily American situation and I think it presumptuous to imagine that the IWW template will export easily to other countries/cultures as evidenced by its near non-existence outside the Anglosphere. The IWA sections were created and developed in their countries/cultures of origin which makes far more sense to me.
Well, to argue that seems to me to argue that there's something particular about the Australian wage system which differentiates it from the rest of the world, which seems to me at least to be patently absurd.
Well, you are wrong. Not only is the wage system (awards, etc.) different but, more importantly, the entire industrial relations system is differentiated from not only from America but Europe as well, including the UK, the model that would be the closest historically and politically. Have a closer look, mate.
Mate, to employ the vernacular, you're a flaming drongo talking through your hat! If you want to have debate, bring it on! But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!