Fascism and anti-Fascism

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meerov21
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Nov 1 2018 21:14

jef costello
I mentioned having met antifa members earlier and described, them, you completely ignored this, as you have everything else, so let me ask you this:
Why do you think antifa is a youth street gang? Have you met any members? Have you had any discussions with them? Have you any idea what they believe?
I ask because you have characterised anti-fascism and antifa and said that you will not discuss any other interpretation of them because it is incorrect, so, in the simplest terms possible:
why do you believe antifa is this way?
Please don't talk about Stalin or Spain, these are interesting topics, but they are not what we are talking about.

Well, first of all, I will talk about what I think it is necessary to talk about. In particular, I will talk about Stalin and Spain, following Gilles Dove, for example if i like wink

Yes, I met a lot with representatives of the antipha movement in Russia, at a time when It was strong and included, perhaps, several thousand people (at least it held marches with the participation of 1-2 thousand people only in Moscow), I also met with alot of representatives of this movement in Germany, as well as with representatives of various antipha initiatives from different countries. Also, I am familiar with some American anarchists (my friend was one of the organizers and participants of the Class Struggle Camp during Occupy Wall Street and I even participated in the discussion of the program of this group) and I know a lot about some people. In addition, I follow the publications and news from the United States and participated in the discussion of this topic in various forums.

Now I have the following opinion: "Usually, when people talk about anti-fascism, they mean the unification of the left liberals, totalitarian groups (Stalinists, Maoists, etc.), the social-democrats... and some part of the anarchists. The main goal of this movement is the protection of bourgeois Republic and tolerance.... Such a movement is a common political bourgeois trash with elements of totalitarian influence."

So what do you want to say now? Are you saying that the majority of antifa are supporters of class struggle and revolutionary non - party Councils? I have hardly met such people among antifa for many years, maybe I know a few anarchists who participated in antifa in the past and thought this way, but such people are very few. But okay, let's say I'm wrong. Please introduce me to the great organization of antifa, which stands on class positions, protects non-party self-management of workers and deny bourgeois democracy entirely, and they not a Leninist. I once thought it was a Redneck-revolt, but now people write that it is not.

meerov21
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Nov 1 2018 22:36

Meerov wrote:
We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not.

Mike Harman
To know that you need to do that, you'd need to know their first language, and therefore be interested in that information at the moment. If you just say "I don't care what your first language is" then you're ignoring an actual accessibility issue. Similarly booking a second floor meeting space with no lift when someone planning to attend is in a wheelchair would be a sure sign that you "don't care" that they're in a wheelchair.

I have already explained in detail that for me there is no fundamental importance of race or nationality of a worker or a like-minded person, and it is even indecent to be interested in this, since I am interested in him as a person, as well as I am interested in the degree of his involvement in social-revolutionary work. His language is important when and if it becomes a problem for class agitation. His skin color or hair color is important only when and if he was attacked. These issues are secondary, auxiliary, and their solution should be subordinated to the main goal - unity in the struggle of classes and the libertarian movement unity.

Mike Harman
Yes this is the 'I have a black friend' defence for racism, but the opposite of this is not, "I don't care if you're black or not".

The opposite of this is exactly "I don't care if you're black or not".

Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Furthermore, I'm not going to be nervous about "privileges", because I'm not exploiting anyone. Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false. I also think that this idea is a form of bourgeois chauvinism that is actually used (I don't know, consciously or not) to separate workers of different races.

The world of capitalism creates thousands of pay (and other) hierarchies. You prefer to talk about some privileges and forget about others.

Maybe in your country the average white worker has some privileges over the average black worker. But similarly, a black worker who lives in the capital or has a good job has privileges over a black man who lives in a poor neighborhood.

Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

So What? Do you want to make an American black worker think all the time about his privileges in front of Africans or just another black who gets paid less because he lives in the suburbs in USA?

The world of capitalism creates thousands of pay (and other) hierarchies. This is not the fault of white workers, nor the fault of black US workers: Both do not control the business and state. I do not believe that white workers must apologize, I do not believe that a poor black American needs to apologize to African or russian.

Racism is when you talk about race all the time, instead of talking about class. We are all equal to each other if we are oppressed by bosses.

Otherwise, following your logic, you should be talking about thousands of forms of privilege inside black workers class in the US and the world. What for? We can't fix it as long as capitalism exists.

For the purposes of scientific analysis of society?... OK, this may be important. In order to clarify the question of who is to blame or responsible for whom? It is a racial schism. Neither white workers nor black workers in control of business and government, and cannot be responsible for the policies of corporations.

You referred to an article that talks about privilege. This article is hypocritical. Why doesn't the author talk about the privilege and difference in salary and position between a black doctor and a black unemployed man, a black worker from a rich military factory, and a black worker on a poor farm?

It ends with the words: "Perhaps the worst part, though, is when these words are placed in the mouths of people of color. In Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington’s character begins the difficult process of integrating his football team: “Listen up, I don’t care if you’re black, green, blue, white, or orange, I want all of my defensive players on this side, all players going out for offense over here.” There’s something lovely and seductive about the belief that, in 1971 Virginia, black equals green equals blue equals white. But naïve rhetoric aside, a good coach in a Nixon-era American high school would care about the racial background of his players; he’d have to. Especially if he were black."

But what's the connection between what we're discussing here and some bourgeois Manager coach making a lot of money? Fuck him. His players have nothing to do with it, and they are not to blame for the fact that they are white or black.

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Khawaga
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Nov 1 2018 23:05
Quote:
Maybe in your country the average white worker has some privileges over the average black worker. But similarly, a black worker who lives in the capital or has a good job has privileges over a black man who lives in a poor neighborhood.

Shit, Meerov is actually using (*gasp*) that liberal-academic theory of intersectionality right here. And he even uses the way in which such theory understands "privilege" (however poorly I think that choice of word is, it is rather easy to understand what is actually meant by it).

I guess Meerov has started to subscribe to liberal-academic identity politics, given that such an intersectional analysis is one of its cornerstones.

Mike Harman
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Nov 1 2018 23:28
meerov21 wrote:
Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Except that Obama exploited blackness to appeal to both white liberals and black people electorally, while presiding over militarised responses to Ferguson, a ramp up in deportations of immigrants, drone warfare etc.

For example when police were shooting black protesters in Ferguson, Obama was giving speeches about how Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown could have been his own son - this was an effective (not with everyone of course, least of all the actual protesters) way to distance himself from the police violence and attempt to 'calm tensions' and similar.

Obama's role as America's 'first black president' meant a lot of people overlooked his actual policies and actions. It is not even relevant whether presidents are 'bastards' - it's a structural position (which is why I get pissed off at 'anti-identity-politics' people like Adolph Reed who want to put someone 'nice' (Bernie Sanders) in the presidency).

Similarly Trump's overt racism and misogyny is very closely linked to appeals to whiteness. Just because people are bastards, does not mean they are not bastards in very different ways.

Meerov wrote:
Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false.

[Meerov then goes on to list a couple of dozen privileges in an attempt to undermine the concept of privilege]

Meerov wrote:
Racism is when you talk about race all the time, instead of talking about class.

This is an incredibly bad definition of racism. You should read this endnotes article:

Chris Chen wrote:
As a result, “race” gets theorised in divergent cultural or economic terms as evidence of the need to either affirm denigrated group identities or integrate individuals more thoroughly into capitalist markets momentarily distorted by individual prejudice. On the one hand, “race” is a form of cultural stigmatisation and misrepresentation requiring personal, institutional, and/or state recognition. On the other, “race” is a system of wage differentials, wealth stratification, and occupational and spatial segregation. Whether defended or derided by critics across the political spectrum, the concept of racial or cultural identity has become a kind of proxy for discussing “race” matters in general. Conversely, dismissals of “identity politics” grounded in functionalist or epiphenomenalist accounts of “race” propose an alternative socialist and social democratic “politics of class” based upon essentially the same political logic of affirming subjects — i.e. workers — within and sometimes against capitalism. This division between economic and cultural forms of “race” naturalises racial economic inequality and transforms the problem of racial oppression and exploitation into either an epiphenomenon of class or the misrecognition of identity.2

https://libcom.org/library/limit-point-capitalist-equality-notes-toward-abolitionist-antiracism-chris-chen

Meerov wrote:
But what's the connection between what we're discussing here and some bourgeois Manager coach making a lot of money?

I see, 'privilege' is artificial and false, but high school PE teachers are bourgeois?

Meerov wrote:
Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

Median wealth per-adult in Japan is approximately $125,000. Median wealth of a Black american is about $1,600
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wealth_per_adult
/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianthompson1/2018/02/18/the-racial-wealth-gap-addressing-americas-most-pressing-epidemic/#219737407a48

The US is actually 25th in world rankings (including white Americans), below Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. If you take the median wealth of black Americans only, then it'd be about 125th, which is where Benin and Bangladesh are.

You might reject 'privilege theory' but don't adopt third worldism instead.

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R Totale
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Nov 2 2018 10:00
link wrote:
I would therefore ask the question to Khawaga, Fleur, jef Costello, black badger, noah fence then; would you get involved in anti-fascist activities in cooperation with the likes of the Labour Party, trotskyist organisations, Maoists, Stalinist communist parties and trades unions and would you join or support the anti-fascist campaigns that they organise?

My boring answer would be a) depends on the circumstances, and b) to distinguish between working with those organisations as organisations and working with individual members. To turn your question on its head: if fascists staged a blatant provocation in your area - if you lived in Pittsburgh, for example - would you think that having an open public meeting about how to respond would be a good or a bad idea? And if you'd be in favour of such a response, how would you ensure that no leftists turned up? Or, if you call an open meeting and leftists turn up, are you then working/uniting with them?

Quote:
RC Totale suggest there is nothing to respond to because Meerov doesn’t mention SUTR or GDC. I thank him/her for the explaining a response but I don’t agree that these have to be mentioned for I simply see a valid, general criticism was being made of anti-fascism esp in the paragraph I quoted in post 34. Are you or Is anybody willing to agree with this statement, if not how do you disagree?

Yes, I think that "antifascism" is a broad umbrella term that covers a wide range of activities and organisations, some of which fit that description, others that don't, and so being clear about who you mean is more productive than claiming you have a critique of all antifascism, which is inevitably going to wind people up. Or, if you think that description really does apply to all antifascism, then you need to give very strong proof as to why, not just act like it's already resolved.

Quote:
As the SUTR was brought up, who will be supporting this campaign (and why?) and join the march it is calling for on November 17th ?

I don't support SUTR, and will always prefer to support independent militant antifascism where possible. That said, it seems likely that the march on the 17th will be a target for far-right groups so it does seem like it'd be a good idea for people to be in the general vicinity of the march ready to respond if necessary. Also, I should admit that there have been times when racist groups have been marching near me, with no independent militant antifascist response organised, and so I've reluctantly turned out to the SUTR mobilisation rather than stay home and do nothing - was I wrong there? Would the correct response have been to stay home?

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R Totale
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Nov 2 2018 10:06
meerov21 wrote:
So what do you want to say now? Are you saying that the majority of antifa are supporters of class struggle and revolutionary non - party Councils? I have hardly met such people among antifa for many years, maybe I know a few anarchists who participated in antifa in the past and thought this way, but such people are very few. But okay, let's say I'm wrong. Please introduce me to the great organization of antifa, which stands on class positions, protects non-party self-management of workers and deny bourgeois democracy entirely, and they not a Leninist.

From https://torchantifa.org/points-of-unity/ :

Quote:
We don’t rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn’t mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.
3. We oppose all forms of oppression and exploitation. We intend to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement of oppressed people centered on the working class... We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!

From here:
https://www.iww.org/projects/gdc

Quote:
The capitalist class of bosses, financiers, landlords, and their cops wage relentless and violent class war upon the working class. The General Defense Committee (GDC) is a committee of and supports the revolutionary unionism of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The GDC's goal is to defend and support the entire working class, divided and under attack by those who wage class war against us. We therefore promote, through organization, action, and outreach, a mass, non-sectarian defense of the class, in order to build a self-organized working class that treats differences as strengths and opportunities to live in solidarity. Community Self Defense means we intend to build our revolutionary community precisely by defending it and the earth on which we live.

Our power as a class will never come from our possession of wealth, but from our ability to organize the class to defend ourselves. We must secure defense against legal attacks, but do not imagine that legal and financial defense alone are sufficient. Any revolutionary union that does not expect oppression from the master class, and organize to meet it, has failed to learn from past waves of repression.

We say defense means organized action taken explicitly to defend members of the class against the different forms of oppression that structure our society. Our membership expects the GDC to be an arena of mutual education through mutual struggle. Exploiters rely upon the fractured unity of the working class. By standing in solidarity across and directly attacking the diverse oppressions of the class, we intend to embody the notion that an injury to one really is an injury to all, and to openly use our defense to build the resilience, strength, and fighting spirit of the working class. Because the class war is not limited to the workplace, our defense of the class cannot be limited to the workplace. Oppressions like racism and sexism structure class oppression and division. Both degrade the solidarity members of the working class should have for each other, and are predicated on acts of violence within the class, and structures of violence organized by the state. We are against all oppressions. By organizing against the diverse oppressions of the working class, and centering our revolutionary and anti-capitalist foundations, we intend to directly overcome those divisions. Through this struggle we advance the goal of an anti-capitalist revolution by building the size, solidarity, and strength of working class.

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Nov 2 2018 10:10
meerov21 wrote:
Meerov wrote:
We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not.

Mike Harman
To know that you need to do that, you'd need to know their first language, and therefore be interested in that information at the moment. If you just say "I don't care what your first language is" then you're ignoring an actual accessibility issue. Similarly booking a second floor meeting space with no lift when someone planning to attend is in a wheelchair would be a sure sign that you "don't care" that they're in a wheelchair.

I have already explained in detail that for me there is no fundamental importance of race or nationality of a worker or a like-minded person, and it is even indecent to be interested in this, since I am interested in him as a person, as well as I am interested in the degree of his involvement in social-revolutionary work. His language is important when and if it becomes a problem for class agitation. His skin color or hair color is important only when and if he was attacked. These issues are secondary, auxiliary, and their solution should be subordinated to the main goal - unity in the struggle of classes and the libertarian movement unity.

OK, but since you're describing a situation specifically where language did become an issue for class agitation and you were unable to resolve it, does that not suggest to you that maybe your approach could use a little improvement in some ways? Also, think I've said this before, but I genuinely am interested in hearing about your actual class struggle experiences, and if you posted more about workplace struggles in Russia I'd be much more keen to read it.

link
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Nov 2 2018 12:55

RC thanks again for a serious response but obviously we are coming at this from a different perspective. I would argue that political clarification is at this time the most important goal and that political activity flows from that. My starting point is that the left parties are the left wing of capitalism so I am not going to support them. In fact I would say they are more dangerous than the right wing at certain times because they use workerist language, they talk socialism and use that to con workers into support for bourgeois goals. Regarding fascism, which as Harman is suggesting cant be defined simply so has to be critised in general anyway, the threat they pose is primarily fought by the left to get the left more support.. To get workers an wavering radicals drawn up in leftist politics. The left pretends that fascism is the big threat so that we all end up supporting the left wing of capitalism

Instead of going to the sutr march on the 17th how about going to the CWO meeting and there discuss how it was that the SPD used its socialist rhetoric to fight against a socialist revolution, to murder workers who were struggling against the state, and to join up with the liberal and right wing bourgeoisie to preserve the capitalist system in German post WW1.

The Labour Party is totally integrated into capitalism now and will always support other factions of the bourgeousie against radical workers in struggle. The Stalinist parties are products of Stalinist rule in Russia, a brutal dictatorship on a par with any fascist regime, and seek the same state capitalist dictatorship of their forerunners. The Trotskyists when it comes down to it always support their big brothers in the LP and the Stalinists and in particular push the idea of the lesser evil to support one sort of capitalist regime against another.

In more than one way you indicate you willingness to support these con artists presumably because of the lesser evil argument. That is how they get to you and draw you in.

So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally

Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

I think that support for the left as a lesser evil today will make it harder to fight against the left in future.

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Nov 2 2018 14:15
link wrote:
RC thanks again for a serious response but obviously we are coming at this from a different perspective. I would argue that political clarification is at this time the most important goal and that political activity flows from that.

I think we disagree there in that I'm skeptical of how far political clarification can take place without coming out of political activity, but a discussion of the chicken-and-egchicken-and-egg nature of praxis is possibly outside the scope of this thread.

Quote:
So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally

Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

This paragraph, and particularly the first bit, is what I'm interested in - it's easy enough to say just sack the left off and don't have anything to do with them in the context of places like London or Brighton, but what about, to choose some examples, Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford or Huddersfield? I think we can all agree that, in the long run, we would like to see the revolutionary movement develop to a point where there are well-organised anarcho, or leftcom or whatever, groups in those areas capable of operating independently, but in the meantime, how should revolutionaries in those places, who're often likely to be more or less isolated, respond to the specific challenge of increased racist activity in their local areas?

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Noah Fence
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Nov 2 2018 17:25
Quote:
Quote:
So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally
Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

This paragraph, and particularly the first bit, is what I'm interested in - it's easy enough to say just sack the left off and don't have anything to do with them in the context of places like London or Brighton, but what about, to choose some examples, Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford or Huddersfield? I think we can all agree that, in the long run, we would like to see the revolutionary movement develop to a point where there are well-organised anarcho, or leftcom or whatever, groups in those areas capable of operating independently, but in the meantime, how should revolutionaries in those places, who're often likely to be more or less isolated, respond to the specific challenge of increased racist activity in their local areas?

I’m with Link here - I myself live in an isolated area but I don’t see that as a reason to get involved with or support in any way organisations that perpetuate and underpin capitalism. Even if the individuals involved are anti racist(or whatever) and even if the one of the supposed purposes of a group is to oppose racism, their support of capitalism is ultimately a support of racism!
Further to that, as Link seems to suggest, the left wing of capitalism is a far bigger hindrance to our endeavours than really anything else. This shit has always been a sponge to soak up and decommission working class discontent. It’s probably the biggest obstacle in the revolutionary road.
Lesser of two evils? Meh, from where I’m standing there’s only one evil and I would never want to perpetuate any of it beyond that which I’m forced to on a daily basis.

Black Badger
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Nov 2 2018 18:30

link wrote:

Quote:
I would therefore ask the question to Khawaga, Fleur, jef Costello, black badger, noah fence then; would you get involved in anti-fascist activities in cooperation with the likes of the Labour Party, trotskyist organisations, Maoists, Stalinist communist parties and trades unions and would you join or support the anti-fascist campaigns that they organise??

this is actually a fair question, so i'll try to come up with something approximating a coherent response. like presumably many others here, it all depends on the context. i am not interested in organizing any action or project in which social democrats, Leninists (including but not limited to Trotskyists, Maoists, and Stalinists), or trade unionists are using anti-fascism to further their own particular sectarian goals (just as they use racial injustice or police abuse or any other cause). they would all be welcome in a group or project where their participation would be strictly individual rather than organizational; further, such a group or project would need to be created using explicitly anti-hierarchical organizational methods. if they as individuals could adapt to horizontalism and near-consensus decision making, then i'd welcome them as individuals. at the first sign of them working to create a clique of like-minded folks to steer the decisions in a particular (non-consensual) direction, then they'd need to be expelled. cooperation on anarchist terms may seem clunky for non-anarchists -- and even for many anarchists! -- but that's the baseline starting point for me.

but i'm not an organizer. i am what i've termed an "instinctual anti-fascist" in that i know fascism in all its different variations is a looming and real danger to people i care about as well as my own self. i take an agnostic position about how various local antifas organize; it's just not up to me, but i remain skeptical as hell about the long-term viability of generic antifa organizing and organizations. here in the states, the largest semi-antifa outfit was ARA (anti-racist action; mostly active in the 1980s and 90s), and they were very much like a popular front, but with more anarchists. i never wanted to be involved with them because they welcomed all kinds of social democrats and Leninists (since their respective organizations and parties didn't engage in physical confrontations the way ARA did). my other long-term observations/contacts have been with some German autonomous antifas who were most active from about 1993 up to about 2008. their politics were perhaps as diverse as ARA, but their focus was keener, and at least the folks i associated with were clear that there were larger, more systemic issues at play than the street-level antics of skinheads and neo-nazis. despite most of them being marxists of one sort or another, their organizational methods were anti-hierarchical and always aimed at near-consensus, so i never had any problems with their projects.

but as much as i'm not an organizer, i'm also not an activist (i wasn't really before, but now that i'm on probation, i cannot be involved in anything where adversarial contact with law enforcement is even a slim possibility -- i don't really need to return to jail, thank you very much). the times over the past 15 years when i've been at demos i've been there as a street medic. prior to my jail time and probation, i attended a few antifa actions in my area, and was pleased with the strength of the anarchist black blocs i witnessed and was also pleased to see Leninists -- and shockingly, even a few liberals -- engage in physical defense of public space from the fash. fortunately in those early skirmishes, the local police intervened only briefly and half-heartedly, so nobody from our side was arrested. more recently and in other places, this is not the case. sadly, none of the antifa formations i know of have been able to adapt to stronger police interventions, and have not altered their tactics accordingly. my sense is that this is more a failure of strategic thinking in general among north american radicals rather than a particular failing of antifa. that said, there are plenty of problems with anti-fascism as an organizational mandate (the trouble being mostly due to the imprecision of the "fascism" -- which makes it possible for pro-imperialists, for example, to be "anti-fascists").

tl;dr:
anti-fascism, like trade unionism, is a defensive strategy with a particular set of mandatory tactics that, by themselves, will never be revolutionary enough to destroy what radicals want to destroy. but that doesn't mean i will ignore fascists or shitty bosses.

link
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Nov 4 2018 22:23

I think Noah has provided a very good response, R Totale. You are still arguing from the point of view that it if there is no alternative, that it is right to support labour and left wing campaigns despite yr. reservations. Noah's statement is based on principles it seems to me.

Think of it this way, I presume you don't suggest that you yourself can or will go round defend working class areas in Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford, Hudderfield and anywhere else that fascist activity can appear ( a pretty big scope since only one or two isolated individuals on the right wing is necessary). So all you can do is make propagandise and make appeals for others to support the left wing of capitalism. Ooops propagandising to support capitalism almost by accident - is that really your priority?! If you are going to propagandise, shouldn't you be progagandising to support a revolutionary movement, whether thats anarchist or left comm, but certainly led by the working class themselves??? It is more constructive short term and long term and stops you falling into the trap of tailing-ending the left of capital.

Moreover, aren't there more constructive campaigns that you could to get involved in. Given the recent press reports about increased violence against hospital workers and the fire service, wouldn't it be a more direct defence of workers to get involved in defending them. Why is anti-fascism more important than this or say domestic violence (you could actually volunteer at a battered wives centre and help workers directly), or anti FGM or anti-forced marriage and help endangered worker class girls.

Sorry, if im stretching the argument here but isn't this how the trots operate by creating campaigns about whatever is flavour of the month, even if there goal is just want to gain new members.

Be honest, say what the left wing and the right wing of capitalism area and how to fight them both.

So working class districts should defend themselves but against both wings and not let the leftists run campaigns that take over control. Without this independence from both wings of capitals, They will get betrayed and sacrificed for others' political gain. And just to be clear, I would add here that if anarchists and left comms take control that too is negative, its called substitionism and leads to political minorities/the party taking power. I want to see an independent working class managing its own struggles.

link
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Nov 4 2018 23:09

Black Badger thanks for your detailed response to the question I posed. Im sure you realise I posed the question to a list of posters because of the poor response to serious points from Meerov but I am pleased to see a lot of genuine discussion of issues have appeared since. I can see that you are drawn to both anti-fascism as well as recognising the limitations of its approach. I hope you can see I have made points relevance to your argument in the past above in reply to RCTotale.

My starting point is that I don't see the leftists (the social democrats, Leninists Trotskyists, Maoists, and Stalinists and trade unions that you mentioned) as sectarian nor do I see the leftist anti-fascism campaigns nor trade unionis is defensive strategies. The problems you have encountered with these groups are problems that I think will always emerge in working with them. I see them as either part of the state apparatus of capitalism or as campaigns that can only confuse and distract workers from the struggle against capitalism itself - as you suggest that is the real problem but for me iy is true at all times.

I am personally more drawn to the German militants that you mentioned to find out more about their politics, so its a shame they are not around now.

I like what you said about organisation in the first paragraph. It strikes me that this is I would view workers' councils and the way they should function. Ive been reading more about councils in Russia and in Germany over a period now and im fascinated by how they can include all workers and their delegates and provided a forum for political discussion as well as a structure than can make decisions on behalf of workers and put them into action. I do agree that any worker can be involved whatever political affiliation but I reckon such organisations will only come into being when there is a high level of struggle and the political awareness of the working class would be so much stronger that there is the possibility of limiting the bourgeois influences they bring.

meerov21
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Dec 6 2018 06:20

Me: Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Mike Harman
Except that Obama exploited blackness to appeal to both white liberals and black people electorally,

Barack Obama could exploit anything and anyone. He could use his skin color for any purpose. However, his skin color plays no role in the case of the moral evaluation of this exploiter and bureaucrat. Skin color has nothing to do with the moral qualities of a person. And this is my main thesis. That is why I said that I do not care about the race of exploiter and I do not care about the race of my comrade in the social movement. This moment of race may be relevant to the analysis. But it does not affect the moral evaluation of these people.

me: Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false.

Mike Harman
[Meerov then goes on to list a couple of dozen privileges in an attempt to undermine the concept of privilege]

Wait a minute. Are you American ?
Do you want to talk to me (a Russian citizen who lives under American sanctions) about my privileges?

Me: Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

Mike Harman
The US is actually 25th in world rankings (including white Americans), below Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. If you take the median wealth of black Americans only, then it'd be about 125th, which is where Benin and Bangladesh are.

I doubt this data and can later provide data on GDP, but suppose you are right. So what does that change? Did I say that black workers in your country live better than anyone else? I said that in my country, as well as in Africa and Asia, tens or hundreds of millions of workers live worse than black Americans.

I also said that white workers in the United States do not control the wages of anyone, since they do not own factories and do not control the state. Therefore, they cannot be responsible for the fact that, on average, their salaries are better than those of black workers.

I do not argue with the fact that capitalism divides workers into thousands of social groups that receive different wages and working conditions. It depends on many factors: specialty, education, race, region and country of residence. But it is made by business, the state and the market, not by white workers, not by Asian workers and not by black workers!

Exactly for the same reason, a black American worker cannot blame a black American doctor for his higher salary.

For the very same reason, a poor worker in Africa or in India cannot blame a richer black worker in the USA.

I said that the theory of privileges is hypocritical and racist, because it refuses to take all these circumstances into account. Instead of talking about the general class struggle, It prefers to focus attention on questions of race, while taking into account certain privileges, and closing eyes to other privileges (division between black workers, division in working conditions and wages between workers from different regions and countries etc). And most importantly, this theory makes difficult to see the system of capitalist alienation which covers the entire working class of the planet.

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Dec 6 2018 19:09
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I said that the theory of privileges is hypocritical and racist, because it refuses to take all these circumstances into account.

You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

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Dec 7 2018 01:52
Khawaga wrote:
You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters? Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

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Dec 7 2018 05:15

WTF are you on about? First, I am pointing out that (for the second time), Meerov is using privilege/intersectional theory while thinking he's critiquing it. Second, what else is a THEORY supposed to do, but for, you know explaining things? Or do you really believe that class analysis can overthrow capitalism? Or in other words, you're an idiot that yet again is tilting at straw men.

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Dec 7 2018 07:24

Thank you AFP, your posts have given me the ability to perform the seemingly impossible act of staggering whilst sitting down.

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Dec 7 2018 07:57
AnythingForProximity wrote:
Khawaga wrote:
You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters?

Aye, you're right, Clinton mentioned intersectionality once so that means it's very bad and we shouldn't think about it. Also, Bernie Sanders says he's a socialist, so that means socialism is bad too. And Novara types say they're literally communists while bigging up Labour MPs, and that one green party fella posted on the Scott Walker/Jacques Brel appreciation thread said he was an anarchist, so... aww fuck, someone better ask the admins to shut the site down.

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Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

If that's the milestone we're using, it seems only fair to point out that the theories of Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin haven't led us to a successful overthrow of capitalism yet, and they've had a considerable head start.

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Dec 8 2018 03:17

AnythingForProximity's picture
Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters? Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

There were about 300,000 people In the Spanish section of the anti-authoritarian (Bakuninist) wing of the Internationale in the 19th century who led strikes and class revolts. In France at the beginning of the 20th century, 600,000 revolutionary CGT syndicalists were preparing a general strike and occupation of factories. And there are dozens of examples. Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

If intersectionalists could create anything other than small sects, or if it do something more then fight several times on the street with followers of the right-wing subculture, there would be something to discuss. Their theories are powerless.

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Dec 8 2018 06:58
meerov21 wrote:
Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

its been explains already that this isn't true, but you persist with this lie, do you think "interaectionalists" invented race, gender etc no your mad that people won't pretend this issues don't exist

meerov21 wrote:
If intersectionalists could create anything other than small sects, or if it do something more then fight several times on the street with followers of the right-wing subculture, there would be something to discuss. Their theories are powerless.

Tbh anarchism and the left are full of small sects so they should fit right in. But what actual sects have they created, cause what I've seen is people who are already eg anarchists adopting a more advanced analysis

And we know that you think everything should be more militant except fighting the fash who should be left to do what ever they like

It seems you value the opinions of the right and their propaganda more that anyone on what you claim is your side

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Dec 8 2018 16:51

This anti- intersectionist fetish is really pretty weird. These guys seem to be obsessed with it to the point of idiocy. It doesn’t matter how many times you conflate the understanding of, and appropriate reaction to, different elements of oppression within a class struggle framework, with right on liberalism, it will always be bullshit, and it will always look like plain simple old prejudice.

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Dec 8 2018 16:29
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Tbh anarchism and the left are full of small sects so they should fit right in.

That actually made me lol.

meerov21
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Dec 9 2018 18:54

its been explains already that this isn't true, but you persist with this lie, do you think "interaectionalists" invented race, gender etc no your mad that people won't pretend this issues don't exist

This is a very empty and boorish remark. Of course, I do not think that intersectionalists invented race or gender, and I have never made such statements anywhere. Intersectionalists are engaged in shifting attention from primary issues (government violence, bureaucratic control, labor alienation, exploitation, criticism of wage labor) to secondary and turned anarchism into left-wing liberalism. They help the capitalist system to destroy class identity and replace it with questions of race and gender debates which are safe for capitalism. Capitalism can protect racism as well as racial and gender diversity and political correctness .

In addition, intersectionalists make any debatures a mockery. These people, who are all the time afraid, as if someone would say something non-correc. They behave like neurotics during debates, and it is very destructive to the culture of debate.

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Dec 9 2018 18:57
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They help the capitalist system to destroy class identity and replace it with questions of race and gender debates which are safe for capitalism. Capitalism can protect racism as well as racial and gender diversity and political correctness .

In addition, intersectionalists make any debatures a mockery. These people, who are all the time afraid, as if someone would say something non-correct, are in fact neurotics, destructive to the culture of debate.

Yep, that can certainly be the result of the approach of liberals. What the fuck has that got to do with the recognition by anarchists of different instruments of oppression that are used against our class???
Really meerov, I don’t want to slide into personal abuse but when it comes to this particular topic you come across as a fucking idiot. I know that you’re not but the reason for your pathological refusal to differentiate between race, gender etc in a class struggle framework, and daft liberal reformist pc nonsense can’t help but lead me towards that conclusion.

meerov21
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Dec 9 2018 19:11

Really meerov, I don’t want to slide into personal abuse but when it comes to this particular topic you come across as a fucking idiot.

And this is why no debate with intersectionalists is possible. Beautiful illustration of my words. Neurotic and abusive style of behavior makes it impossible to exchange views. You're waiting for me to say something insulting in response, right? This is typical.
And of course we are not talking about using different tools. It is about shifting the debate to questions that are safe for capitalism + to defense of some minority racism, etc.

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Dec 9 2018 19:32

No, I do not want you to insult me, though labelling me an intersectionalist is pretty insulting considering your views. What I want you to do is address the point that I have put repeatedly. Yet you refuse to engage with it and no doubt will do the same again.
Ffs Meerov, I’ve read other posts of yours with great interest and I nearly always admire people who come on here and fearlessly express a view that’s different from the general concensus, but if you do that you can’t just repeatedly ignore the questions and challenges on central points to the discussion and not expect to get called out on it.

Black Badger
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Dec 9 2018 20:02

Poor Meerov, victimized again by principled anti-authoritarians...

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Dec 9 2018 21:25

Meerov, can we go back to talking about that factory strike you mentioned above? I don't know as much about class composition in Russia as you do, but would you say that the Russian government tries to "include" certain groups and get them to identify with the nation/state, while excluding and scapegoating others - from your post, I'd guess that Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz workers might be excluded in certain ways that ethnic Russian workers aren't? Is that a fair summary?

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Dec 9 2018 22:25
meerov21 wrote:
Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

That's an excellent point – which no doubt means that people are going to call you an idiot a few more times for making it, because that's how things are on Libcom these days when it comes to identity politics.

In the way you just described, "privilege theory" is very reminiscent of Lenin's concept of "labor aristocracy", which also sees one part of the working class as being complicit in the exploitation of the other. Of course, in the course of the further degeneration of Leninism (which from the very beginning was nothing more than Kautskyism dressed up in radical language, and which already substantially deviated from Marx), it was the Maoists who really took up the concept with enthusiasm, as it provided them with a theoretical justification for shifting the role of the revolutionary agent from the proletariat to the third-world peasantry. It is therefore probably not insignificant that the originators of the concept of white privilege, Noel Ignatiev and Theodore Allen, came from a Maoist background: both were members of the "anti-revisionist" Provisional Organizing Committee (POC), with Ignatiev joining the openly Maoist Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) after the former organization fractured. Sakai's Settlers is another link between the two ideologies, mainly notable for explicitly articulating the viewpoint that other idpol-ers are usually only willing to hint at: namely, that race overrides class, at least in the US. We can even see it on Libcom: LeninistGirl, one of the most militant advocates of intersectionality around here, recently came up with the fascinating discovery that women make up a class, and immediately went on to use the good ol' labor aristocracy theory as a preemptory explanation for why other libcommers were not likely to appreciate this theoretical breakthrough.

Just as an example, I recently re-read the text through which I'd first discovered Libcom some years ago: We are all "amigos", a powerful account of an IWW member's experience of not just organizing across race lines, but also realizing that race is used by the bosses as a tool to divide the working class. I was disappointed but not surprised that some identitarian vomited their "privilege theory" all over it in the comment section, shaking their finger at the author and reminding him that standing up to his boss alongside his Latino co-workers in no way made him lose his white privilege, so he'd better not dare forget that. It's interesting to imagine the kind of holier-than-thou idiot who believes they are defending the oppressed while doing the bosses' work for them. Splitting the working class by accusing them of privileges indeed...

Noah Fence wrote:
What I want you to do is address the point that I have put repeatedly.

Stop embarrassing yourself; you have no point to put forward – you just keep asserting "no, what we're doing is different!" without a single shred of evidence and insulting people when they note that no, there is in fact no noticeable difference between what you are promoting and what the liberals are promoting. But sure, do tell how this allegedly existing anarchist intersectionalist politics differs from liberal intersectionalist politics, in theory and in practice, and what the relationship between the two is. Did anarchists develop their version independently (if so, calling it by the same name as the liberal-bourgeois ideology invites confusion, don't you think?), did they need to modify the original bourgeois version in some ways (if so, in what ways?), or was it just a lucky coincidence that a "theory" developed in the US academia could be lifted wholesale from its origins in legal scholarship and redeployed for revolutionary purposes? If it is this last option, do you know of any historical precedent for anything like this?