Question on the relation between solfed and CNT practices

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yeksmesh
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Jan 16 2013 02:27
Question on the relation between solfed and CNT practices

First and for all I want to clarify that with this post I don't want cause problems or try to get organisations dirty laundry out into the open, my question is simply borne out of curiosity.

Now how does solfed view the adoption of a number of practices by the Spanish CNT such as its creation of an institute for alternative economics which is composed and favours the creation of cooperatives and the participation in the bloque critico (which includes the CGT and the left-nationalist SAT) of the CNT. As both of these measures often are greeted with quite a bit of hostility when they are brought up in theoretical discussions on this forum in which as I have heard participate a few experienced members of solfed and other members of the anarcho-syndicalist movement. And although I assume the views promoted on this forum aren't necesarily in line with solfeds views it still seems a bit contradictory to me, can anyone clarify this point for me?

edit: it was SAT not SAC, my bad

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 16 2013 08:41

Well, all affilated national organisations to the IWA are free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't conflict with the IWA constitution. Forming and supporting co-ops or finding the space to work with other political tendancies and organisations doesn't.

Although as far as I know the CNT isn't in any sort of direct coalitions with the SAC, which would be a constitution problem. That said, SF is on record opposing the decades old "no contact" rule which applies to the SAC.

I also want to note, should anyone unfamilar with the CNT be reading this, the vast majority of their activity revolves around independent workplace struggle (which of course means working alongside non-members and members of other unions), not forming co-ops or striving to create big syndicalist coalitions.

Dannny
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Jan 16 2013 09:18

It should perhaps also be noted that not all regions of the CNT participate in blocs with other unions.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 16 2013 09:35

Yeah pretty much what Chilli said. The IWA (which I've just discovered has now finally updated the website!) has a set of statutes which bind member groups, anything which isn't in conflict with those is really none of SF's concern, so it's certainly not a problem if they're doing bits and pieces on co-ops and doing occasional tie-ins with the liks of the CGT (hell it's not like SF doesn't work with AF and the IWW from time to time).

As an org on its own SF has a fair range of views on co-ops and several of our members are active co-op members, particularly in housing, so while we don't prioritise setting new ones up (I'd certainly vote against putting funds out which we need for our core work on the union) we don't actively discourage them either.

And on libcom itself, while I think the majority of people on here have strong critiques of co-operativism as a revolutionary tool I don't think anyone's going to say don't do it. It's more a case of "well sure, if it allows you to do better under existing capitalism without having to put up with the bosses/landlord why not, but bear in mind what it actually is* and don't expect it to change the world."

* A workplace-specific phenomenon that locally collectivises the process of competition within capitalism rather than challenging capitalism itself.

Harrison
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Jan 16 2013 13:30

Incidentally i think the original poster might be referring to another spanish union when they say SAC, which is a swedish ex-IWA union

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 16 2013 13:32

Ahh...

akai
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Jan 16 2013 13:45

The original poster is probably referring to SAT.

I think it would be fair not to refer to any joint demonstrations with SAT as a "CNT practice" as there don't seem to be any confederal agreements on SAT. Such joint demonstrations in this block are decided on local level.

Anyway, I think on such a forum like this you are not likely to get an official organizational position, although if there is one, I'd like to hear it.

As for some other points which a SF member has claimed SF is "on the record" for, I just would remind that person that SF is also on the record of having different opinions and by this I mean in the official IWA records of Plenaries and Congresses.

Finally, if you are talking about the institute for alternative economics in Spain ICEA, it is not an organ of the CNT, only has some participation of a few individuals from there, as well as individuals not from there.

I think it would be very fair to say that in any organization which is anarchosyndicalist and open to all workers, you certainly will get some variety of opinions. Thus you can find individuals in CNT who support different theories, most or less libertarian. Officially the CNT promotes cooperativism, but presumably of the more libertarian type. If any individual members of the CNT though have different views, for example some ideas close to Parecon, this cannot be taken as an official CNT position.

So the same would be true through many of the IWA sections, that there may be a wider spectrum of people in the membership, so not always with the same ideas.

Dannny
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Jan 16 2013 16:41

People who can read Spanish might be interested in this recent piece from the Oviedo CNT blog opposing the strategy of united actions with other unions:
http://cntoviedo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/la-invencion-del-sindicalismo-co...

syndicalist
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Jan 16 2013 17:39

Sorry, not being in Solfed I don't want to weigh in on that. So I'll be a bit broader.

During the 100th CNT Anniversary, they did a thing on self-managment: http://libcom.org/news/barcelona-conferences-“alternatives-capitalism-self-management-spotlispotlight”-13032010 exploring alternatives to capitalism. Seemingly there were different views on this. And, seemingly, even within the anarcho-syndicalist movement there are nuances and particulars that may separate comrades, some less significantly then others. I suppose, the key is, does it all wind up in a form of libertarian socialism/libertarian communism that the
IWA Principles point towards?

On broad worker alliances: Unless your organization is a majoritarian organization, broad worker alliances, based on workplace assemblies, inter-organizational delegate councils/committees and so forth are prolly required. I mean, Spain is in crisis, unemployment towards the 20%, social and workplace attacks by the bosses and state, would require some form of organic and base-to-base
alliance. Wouldn't you think?

akai
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Jan 16 2013 17:57

A few comments. Yes, the Oveido piece is interesting and a lot of people in our part of the world have read it with interest. I think it would be fair to say that it would be representative for the ideas of some unions of the CNT. Also it is a challenge to trends towards alliances under the label "combative syndicalism" which of course is a label used to include options which even the ones in CNT who agree with this strategy cannot call anarchosyndicalist.

A point though about the conference Syndicalist mentions is that it was not organized by the CNT, but the Centenary commission of Barcelona. So this is a rather specific group of people within the CNT. But, that said, it does show the different factions.

As to the last question, don't know who it is addressed to, but I would say it depends on whether or not there is a concrete struggle involved and whether or not the tactics are agreed on. I would not generalize. There are situations which show that cooperation, for example in the same workplace, is necessary but also plenty of examples of struggles ultimately undermined by one party going a different route. In the case of Spain, there are positive and negative examples.

I could say more concretely about how coalitions turn to shit very quickly using the example of Poland, which I know best, but that might go well off topic. But still, the reality is the same: in order to have any benefit, there has to be basic agreement about tactics and determination not to bend to make deals or collude with the bosses.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 16 2013 22:20
Quote:
As for some other points which a SF member has claimed SF is "on the record" for, I just would remind that person that SF is also on the record of having different opinions and by this I mean in the official IWA records of Plenaries and Congresses.

Fair enough.

But my understanding is the the last official position expressed by SF within the IWA is one of opposition to no-contact. In fact, within SF--and this especially happens with new members--when folks criticly enquire about the SAC situation, our express, on-the-record opposition is offered by way of explanation.

Speaking in personal capacity here, but I'd venture a super-majority of current SF members are against the no-contact rule.

syndicalist
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Jan 16 2013 22:18
Chilli Sauce wrote:
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As for some other points which a SF member has claimed SF is "on the record" for, I just would remind that person that SF is also on the record of having different opinions and by this I mean in the official IWA records of Plenaries and Congresses.

Fair enough.

But my understanding is the the last official position expressed by SF within the IWA is one of opposition to no-contact. In fact, within SF--and this especially happens with new members--when folks criticly enquire about the SAC situation, our express opposition is offered by way of explanation.

Speaking in personal capacity here, but I'd venture a super-majority of current SF members are against the no-contact rule.

Well, I hope you get the same treatment WSA got for expressing that view. roll eyes

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Jan 17 2013 00:20

Wow harsh much syndicalist?

I dunno if Chili had even joined the Wobblies in 2004, let alone SF (er, 2010 was it Chili?), he certainly had nothing to do with the IWA vote (for people who don't know about it, the explanation is in this 2007 thread). Hell as was said in that thread, I don't think anyone here was part of that decision.

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2013 00:36
Rob Ray wrote:
Wow harsh much syndicalist?

I dunno if Chili had even joined the Wobblies in 2004, let alone SF (er, 2010 was it Chili?), he certainly had nothing to do with the IWA vote (for people who don't know about it, the explanation is in this 2007 thread). Hell as was said in that thread, I don't think anyone here was part of that decision.

Maybe so, but even proffering the loosing of the no-contact policy lead to death (by way of explusion). So, maybe a bit tongue in cheek on my part, but the matter was serious for some in the IWA....as was the enforcment of the policy of no contact with the CGT.....even tho some in CNT did...but that's another adventure, I mean, matter.

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Jan 17 2013 00:49

Actually did you mean you hope Chilli "doesn't" get treated like the WSA in post #12? Cos that would make more sense in context with #14. Otherwise you're hoping the IWA will react to Chilli's pro-contact sentence by expelling him from the international.

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2013 00:55
Rob Ray wrote:
Actually did you mean you hope Chilli "doesn't" get treated like the WSA in post #12? Cos that would make more sense in context with #14. Otherwise you're hoping the IWA will react to Chilli's pro-contact sentence by expelling him from the international.

I was being snarky.... Of course I don't hope he or anyone gets expelled for such a stupid position that the IWA takes/took. I mean, the biggest section of all never abided by it in Spain (certainly as it regards the CGT). So, yes, I hope those comrades who share that view are not treated as shabbily as we were. (here comes the napam, syndicalist).

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Jan 17 2013 01:02

Aye well hopefully things have moved on a bit, I do think SF as a whole would have a knee-jerk reaction of being more open and co-operative now, with the possible exception of matters around USI-Roma and CNT-Vignoles as those are ongoing, serious disputes where the existing nationals need unequivocal support.

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2013 01:08

I hear you Rob. France is a mess and that's sad. But my own view is contact is not endorsement.
Exchange of information harms no one. Periodic solidarity -- as long as it does not come at the expense of comrades -- is right and principled. London cleaners should stand out a bit. Well, for me. And all of this is said from a strictly personal point of view.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 17 2013 08:57

FWIW, I took Syndicalist to me "you" in the sense of SF.

That said, the whole post sort of surprised me, comrade. I know the WSA's treatment still touches a raw nerve, but I'd think having sections who've come to agree with your position would be a step in the right direction.

akai
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Jan 17 2013 09:33
Quote:
But my understanding is the the last official position expressed by SF within the IWA is one of opposition to no-contact. I

Have read all the minutes since 1996 and haven't seen a word of that. Only saw SF berating others for breaking that rule, officially speaking.

Unless SF took this position in some other mailing between official meetings.

In any case, if the positions are opposite to what is said at the meetings, good to know this.

Now Syndicalist is not really telling the truth again about the WSA since it had internal problems, a weird faction that they themselves voted to the Secretariat and which eventually dropped out of the IWA. So this position on SAC did not cause any expulsion. Of course ignoring congress decisions and lack of consequence should not be the norm. This is another topic though and I resent that some people bring all sorts of topics back to the same old song.

Also, there is misleading information as the IWA has no decisions which prevent anybody from contacting CGT, as implied anove.

I really don't like the misrepresentation that goes on here by people not in the IWA.

Finally, nobody prevents any individuals from discussing with others and I myself have spoken on many occasions to people from all different options. However the questions related to certain things have a concrete basis in the promotion of non-libertarian syndicalist methods and the use of large amounts of money, provided by social democracy, to spread influence. This is about Spain in the 80s, Russia in the 90s and this is something still going on. All anarchosyndicalists which live in countries where large amounts of money is flowing in, donated by people who are subsidized by the state and destined for alternative unionism and other options do in fact need moral support. I find it completely off the wall if anybody thinks the biggest problems which this exist in countries such as Italy or France when it is clear that the hot points of the social democratic so-called "revolutionary" syndicalists are in Latin America, Eastern Europe and N. Africa.

In any case, am truly sorry that the comrades in Latin America or Eastern Europe don't register on some people's minds and we still have to deal with problems of Eurocentrism.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 17 2013 10:04

Ah, well, maybe my understanding is incorrect. It's just what I've been told by some of the SF 'old-timers' wink, but there's no reason to make assumptions that our "positions are opposite to what is said at meetings". In any case, I tried to make it clear I was speaking in personal capacity based on information that had been relayed to me second hand.

Also, let's try not to make this thread into a WSA/IWA debate. Please.

akai
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Jan 17 2013 11:02

Thanks. I am not saying that you are wrong, it's just that I was looking at archives of meetings, but there is other correspondence. In any case, I would not be surprised if there are different opinions about it in SF and if these get articulated in different ways at different points in time. That, in fact, is quite normal.

But one thing that I would say should be quite clear: the discussion of this topic, if it is to be had, should be had inside the IWA, not on internet forums with random people. The reason for that is clear, because it concerns our policies and it is important to hear opinions on it from the sections, more than it is important to hear the opinions of people who are not in the international. So, my personal opinion is that if any sections don't agree with something or think there could be a better practice, they need to start an organic process in the IWA which could be discussion, motions to the Congress etc. Believe it or not, this process tends to work well. At the last Plenary there were points just for internal discussion to get to know the ideas of the Sections and so on.

You'll be getting a complete transcript today and I would recommend reading discussion points 6 and 12. In any case, I was personally quite supportive of the SF opinion in point 6. Sorry to IWA people if I write this here, but in fact I think that some people from SF are more likely to pay attention to this if I write it here because probably they spend more time looking here.

As this wasn't about IWA and WSA and certainly not SAC, I would bring this question back to the question of Spain and give some concrete examples.

Of course, the CGT is not an anarchosyndicalist union, it does not function this way. On an international level it plays a negative role in the expansion of non-libertarian practices and such practices are threats. We even see that long-time colleagues of the CGT can be undermined by the implications of these practices, ie. the recent split in the CNT Vignoles, with one faction going in the direction of the kind of professionalism practiced in the CGT. If there is anybody who knows that the CGT is not anarchosyndicalist, it is the CNT.

However, there are situations where joint action is beneficial. I said I'd give concrete examples, There are sometimes workplaces where both the CNT and CGT exist. In such a situation, if some action needs to be taken and they can agree on radical action, without compromise, it is obviously better to do it. This does not guarantee success. For example, in Catalonia there was a recent successful strike which both took part in. On the other hand, there was a strike in ABB which so far hasn't really been successful (although I believe a court may still award the workers some lost money due to the application of the wrong collective agreement). Regardless of what we think of the CGT overall, it is clear that the workers have a better chance to act to together and the ZSP supported this strike with many solidarity actions. (The CGT's comrades in Poland did not support it at all. This is another story, but in fact, the ZSP supported workers of a union which acts against our interests here and in our region, with the knowledge that in fact, CGT is such a large and hierarchical organization that these concrete workers have no idea what their international functionaries had been doing in Poland. So we have to look at an overall picture.)

On the other hand, one cannot be dogmatic on this and insist on cooperation in every situation because of two facts. First is that most of the conflicts the CNT are at workplaces involve only the CNT and can be won by the CNT alone. So it can act independently without any loss of effect. Secondly, the CGT or other unions in many workplaces lack militance and act the same as many mainstream union. In such cases, there may be no benefits as well, although it is always worth encouraging the militance of the other unions in any struggle. In general, if you are a militant union, in the situation where there are other unions which do not want to take action, you have a choice: either act towards general accord with the other unions, which means giving up claims or actions, or sometimes deciding to act alone. We should not assume that acting alone, against the inactivity of other unions, is bound to fail. It is just a challenge.

A concrete example is about the union Solidaridad Obrera, which CNT sometimes cooperates with. It is a union which historically was formed against the bureaucratic practices of CGT, its founders coming from the renovado tradition of CNT (which later became CGT) but not agreeing with its direction ultimately. But in the summer, it was the CNT which called an indefinite strike in the cleaning sector of the metro of Madrid. Not the SO, although it has had a presence in the metro for a while and it is perhaps among its most well-known union. Which means that we can assume CNT was not able to agree with SO on this. In such a case, CNT should never be bound by any dogmas about "joint actions" and so on, because you cannot benefit from joint plans with the ones who don't want to fight.

This is why I said before that the decision to make some joint actions should be made on a per-case basis and related to concrete benefits of workers. Not some ideological premise.

What we have, in many cases, outside the IWA, is an ideological premise based on the uninformed belief that all people who hold red and black flags are the same should be striving for joint actions. This however goes against the facts on the ground in many cases where certain organizations are acting without militancy, using unacceptable means or acting to protect their union jobs instead of struggling. I will not however say this is a general rule to these organizations, since even the CGT has its struggles, and as we said, we even supported them.

This said, the person who asked this question can take this into account. However, the question itself is a good one, especially in light of the fact that there is in the CNT much reflection on this and also there is a difference between joint concrete struggles and symbolic appearances.

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Jan 17 2013 11:27

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for people to explain a bit about the IWA's internal life when asked akai, as long as it's clear that they are doing so as individuals rather than reps. Excessive secrecy can be just as damaging as airing dirty laundry imo.

It's easy to end up with Trot-bot syndrome where a paper-thin pretense of unity actually worsens division by forcing people to maintain a false support for every aspect of something, or just leave. I don't think you're advocating that obv, but it tends to be in the back of my mind as I've seen it go sour before.

akai
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Jan 17 2013 12:23

I am not saying that but the fact of the matter is that particularly here, people from an IWA section are discussing things with people from outside the IWA but have not brought up the matter inside the IWA. What I don't like, personally, is if anybody complains on forums but their sections have never taken any steps to make discussions or alternative motions inside the IWA. This has a long and negative history and in many cases, historically, people should be called out about it. Because there have been complaints about some things in the past, but when you check it, you find out that people supported something or never made any other proposals.

But just to clarify where SF has been on record in the IWA to "normalize relations with SAC", because I looked over the documents more carefully. This was in 1996, although already in 1998 etc there were other positions. But one background to the question is the following. There was a proposal and counterpoint. The proposal to normalize relations, made by FAU was to normalize relations ONLY ON THE INFORMAL LOCAL LEVEL.

Quote:
Quote: "FAUs motion is only asking the Congress to recognise local informal contacts with the SAC such as it is 'normal' to have with auy reformist union at the grass-roots level."

This motion was not passed. What should be noted is the counter-attitude of NSF, which proposed a commission be made to investigate issues. Quote: NSF said "

Quote:
IWA should develop local grassroots contactss within SAC, for example comrades from SUF in attendance at the Congress."

and NSF said: "NSF wants more contact on a grassroots level. but no ofiicial contact".

The CNTE, which suffered the most concretely from SAC infusion of money into the split in CNT, and which is often cited as the origin of the no-contact rule said the following: quote: "Feels it has suffered the most from SAC and particularly its Spanish equivalent the CGT. Agrees with local relations, but not official ones."

In fact, so it happened then that only one section at all was against any contacts with SAC. The majority were against official contacts.

The reason the FAU's motion failed, it seems to be, is that the majority of the IWA thought it was normal, even those in the region found it desirable, that the rank and file communicate amongst themselves, but not that there be any type of organic relations, that is advocated and carried out by the organizations officially, on either the federal or local level.

Now, my assumption here is that this difference might be seen as slight to people, especially those which are in organizations which carry out relations through individuals, delegated or not, without a federal decision. As such, I even assume, because in 1998 there was a clarification and retraction of SF delegate's vote on another issue from 1996, that the two positions may have been confused. It is not clear from the outside and I could only ask SF old timers, but the fact is that SF old timers sometimes have different interpretations of what happened in 1996, so, I admit that there is a possibility of confusion. In any case, that would actually be the time SF went on record in the IWA about this SAC contact rule, but it is not clear whether SF was supporting contacts at the federal level or the local and informal level (as per the actual motion).

In any case, there was never a motion to regulate relations on the formal level and the FAU is on record as stating several times that it has no organic contacts with SAC. (Last time I remember was the 2006 Congress.)

Now in 2000 there was a Congress and a point by FAU about relations with organizations outside the IWA and a countermotion by NSF. At that Congress, SF supproted the motion of NSF and said that the main thing was to have solidarity with the IWA Sections. This was a motion about autonomy to decide relations. It wasn't about SAC but would imply relations with SAC as well, It was supported by 1 section of the IWA: the section which proposed it. So SF with this recognized that there should be elements of solidarity taken into consideration when having international contacts. And they supported this position in subsequent votes. This has been an overwhelming majority position ever since.

So, this is an attempt to clarify what has been the historical discussion in the IWA. The overwhelming majority of the Sections opted to chose the defense of solidarity with IWA sections by avoiding official relations with organizations deemed to have gone against the concrete interests of a member section. But at the same time, people recognize the value of contacts at the grassroots level.

The discussion, if SF has a different view, first has to be had in the SF. Does not SF really see no problem in official relations between organizations like this on the federal level? If so, it needs to bring the discussion in the IWA. Then it would need to defend its position, for example, including going through the analysis of what some organizations are doing on the international level. We are not talking about France or Italy, although the situation in the Vignoles is a clear harbinger of what the proponents of professionalized syndicalism can do.

I speak personally now about this, but see no real reason we'd want to have organizational relations with organizations which pump money into this country and region to support hierarchical and reformist syndicalism, which is against our interest. On the other hand, I always gladly talk to others, even from those types of organizations. As it turns out though, these people tend to be completely ignorant of what is going on. Sometimes this is the result of the fact that some things are done without their knowledge, but more often it is the fact that the bigger organizations of the CGT type are hierarchical and some decisions seem to be made by a clique on the top, with no real comprehension on the bottom. In any case, I make a difference between rank and file workers and the political leaders of the more hierarchical organizations which are carrying out an international agenda to promote their form of syndicalism, as mentioned before, often on the funds of the state.

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Jan 17 2013 13:04
Quote:
What I don't like, personally, is if anybody complains on forums but their sections have never taken any steps to make discussions or alternative motions inside the IWA. This has a long and negative history.

I think we have a difference of opinion here then, because to me it's often worse to force individuals to clam up when they disagree with particular policies, because they can simply leave and start pissing from the outside in.

Also, surely it can only be a good thing when someone's disabused of an inaccurate notion in a public setting? Far, far too often the alternative is that an inaccuracy becomes folklore because it's getting whispered about in pubs or PMs without ever seeing the light of day. It's naive to think this stuff won't get talked about at all outside of formal processes.

To me there's a big difference between explaining the spectrum of views across the org on certain policies (eg. on no contact) and feeling that those differences amount to such an irredeemable situation that we need to kick off a formal internal dialogue.

If that was in process best practice would be different because obviously it's not a good idea to be soliciting/influencing outside views when that could pressure and warp internal decision-making processes, but that's not on the agenda and afaik there's no plans for it be.

Finally, I'm well aware there's internal means of pushing for formal policy changes thanks, I'm choosing not to use them because I don't feel strongly enough that the situation needs formally changing to attempt direct intervention, so the whole "put up or shut up" thing is kind of redundant.

akai
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Jan 17 2013 13:13

I think you misunderstand my intention. In general, if somebody disagrees with a policy or practice, or has an idea to improve or change things, that person is just better off making discussions within the organization involved than not. What was the situation is that, unfortunately, we sometimes, on the level of our local organizations or internationally, have people who choose to find solace in people who might agree with them instead of discussing the problem internally. The other problem then is about the distortions that happen on the internet. For example, here throughout Libcom you can find distorted or inaccurate information because people don't have the time to monitor things. Especially on the organizational level. Then there is also some strange tendencies to confuse the opinions of non-delegated individuals as representative of an organization. For example, there were a number of posts here on Libcom which referred to people talking on a las Barricadas forum in Spain and claiming that it seems the CNT has a view because.... Because what? That some individuals write their opinions on a forum? It could also be that these opinions are completely non-representative, as well as that some comrades pointed out provocateurs signining as members of their organization, who were not.

This is the intention of my criticism here. If the SF has a confederally mandated opinion against an IWA regulation, it should first and foremost bring this to comrades. And, as I said, then they need to go through a process which includes listening to all the factors and arguments. This process, I would argue, would also be educational, because I presume that not everybody keeps up with all the details of what is happening on the worldwide level.

I hope you understand that, by talking here, my intention is certainly not to shut anybody up. But the processes in the IWA are first and foremost matters for internal discussion and this discussion is not helped by building friendship networks with those who support the reformist unions and chatting with them instead of discussing with the rest of the IWA. This is also a cultural and language issue which needs to be addressed and I find it a divisive problem.

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2013 13:20

Akai, please do not call me a liar again. And resent the fact that you seem to claim that only IWA people can talk about the IWA. I put in more then 20 years into the IWA. You may not like what I have to say, but I'll be damned if I'll not comment.

The truth is the matter of the SAC got thrown at the WSA more than once. Was it the main reason for issues with the IWA, no. Was charge of so-called "parallelism" brought up, it was. "Paralellism" was always the code word for breaking the "no-contact"

Whatever the IWA chose to agree was always selectively enforced. WSA contact with SAC
was always informational, periodic solidarity with workers in struggle and not much else.WSA had an office in NYC and lots of people traveled through it, including Swedes. All of them were decent enough people and we maintained contact with them. And alot of the relations were strained for many years because of the Spanish situation, no doubt. But somehow this gets construed as parallelism.

Look, we can all be selective in what we see, what we do and what we enforce. And we can also be mature enough to say that sharing information, periodic solidarity with workers in struggle and so forth does not lead to ideological misunderstandings on anyone's part.
If these sorts of exchanges, contacts alone cause ideological positions to change, then those positions were not firm to begin with.

syndicalist
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Jan 17 2013 13:29

Chilli...... I was being snarky. Up until 1999ish, WSA always had good relations with DAM and then Solfed. Perhaps through my snarkiness I was sort of saying, problems can arise from such a change of position towards the "no-contact" position.

And, respectfully, I will continue on my bandwagon until I fall off or am too senile to remember how to climb up on it. What was done to us was painful and I will just not let it go. I will respect others wishes and not turn your thread into a sharing of those opinions at this point.

Have fun.

akai
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Joined: 29-09-06
Jan 17 2013 13:46

Well, I see things a different way. The most problems arise when a section is not very clear about its positions or have unclear practices.

The SF can have any position it likes. But ultimately, for those who have different positions, the main question is whether they press their individual ideas against decisions and undermine solidarity or try to work towards creating a common position.

In total disagreement with Syndicalist, certain types of official contact indeed can lead to incredible misunderstandings and even ideological misunderstandings. In my opinion this is a problem of fence-sitting on issues and having unclear relations to practices and this is a main issue. The idea of talking to people is not the issue at all.

Case in point is that I talk to all sorts of people all the time. Including you. And we speak very nicely most times despite disagreements about certain issues. But I don't foresee any problems arising from this. Why would it? My personal positions are clear, the positions of my section have been clear.

SF, I believe, would not have any problems if they wanted to discuss things on merit. They would only have to have stronger arguments taken into consideration all the factors. Problems would only be caused if they approached it with the attitude that everybody else is an idiot or having various lacks in argument or coming into it with very unclear practices. This was the downfall of FAU's position.

From a completely rational level, the presence of people with quite strange positions, statements and practices in the WSA was the reason that the WSA caused concern. If it weren't for this, it wouldn't have been that much of an issue. This I am sure of, but I am also equally sure that you want to present a different view of the development and martyrology of the WSA, so I don't wanna go there. But if you want, remember I am sick in bed with nothing to do so I will start preparing my arguments. smile

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
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Joined: 6-11-03
Jan 17 2013 13:58
Quote:
If the SF has a confederally mandated opinion against an IWA regulation, it should first and foremost bring this to comrades.

Sure, but it doesn't and everyone here said as much before voicing any personal opinions. If it were ever to be proposed for discussion in a formal sense of course that would be announced to the IWA directly first, I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise.

As for abolishing chat between people in different unions? Unenforceable, even if it was desirable.

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Jan 17 2013 14:10
akai wrote:
Well, I see things a different way. The most problems arise when a section is not very clear about its positions or have unclear practices.

The SF can have any position it likes. But ultimately, for those who have different positions, the main question is whether they press their individual ideas against decisions and undermine solidarity or try to work towards creating a common position.

In total disagreement with Syndicalist, certain types of official contact indeed can lead to incredible misunderstandings and even ideological misunderstandings. In my opinion this is a problem of fence-sitting on issues and having unclear relations to practices and this is a main issue. The idea of talking to people is not the issue at all.

Case in point is that I talk to all sorts of people all the time. Including you. And we speak very nicely most times despite disagreements about certain issues. But I don't foresee any problems arising from this. Why would it? My personal positions are clear, the positions of my section have been clear.

SF, I believe, would not have any problems if they wanted to discuss things on merit. They would only have to have stronger arguments taken into consideration all the factors. Problems would only be caused if they approached it with the attitude that everybody else is an idiot or having various lacks in argument or coming into it with very unclear practices. This was the downfall of FAU's position.

From a completely rational level, the presence of people with quite strange positions, statements and practices in the WSA was the reason that the WSA caused concern. If it weren't for this, it wouldn't have been that much of an issue. This I am sure of, but I am also equally sure that you want to present a different view of the development and martyrology of the WSA, so I don't wanna go there. But if you want, remember I am sick in bed with nothing to do so I will start preparing my arguments. :-)

Basically I don't like white-washing. And i don't like the fact that not one bit of real internal IWA discussion took place regarding the actual WSA situation. Those who built the oranization, went long miles for the IWA and international anarcho-syndicalism were just shoved out the door. For this, I will never forgive folks. Dats just the way it goes. End.