racketeerism and parasitism

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Alf
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Jul 30 2010 03:56

So, no such thing as a 'proletarian political camp' then? At any rate, this wasn't our invention.

mciver
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Jul 30 2010 10:41

Alf Post 32

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There seems to be a widespread, almost unquestioning acceptance of the idea that the ICC has caused hostility to itself because of the theory of parasitism - the 'man running down the street stabbing himself' theory. In reality, hostility to the ICC, not just from leftists but from those who appear to share similar political ideas, long precedes the theory of parasitism; in fact, we developed the theory to try to understand some of the reasons for this hostility, to understand it as a general political phenomenon. Do you think that if we hadn't developed the theory, this hostility would not have existed?
Quote:
I think we were wrong to describe Subversion as parasitic. It obviously had its own politics and was not primarily focused on attacking the ICC. On the other hand it was not averse to spreading the 'ICC are loony' argument ( I seem to recall one article about the ICC coming from another planet) and it was after one such attack in 1996 that we began to classify Subversion as parasitic, having previously considered it part of the proletarian milieu. I think this was an exaggerated reaction at a time when we had withdrawn into what we later called a 'fortress spirit' and were in general over-using the concept. But again: we didn't simply invent the hostility towards us. It was there within Subversion even if it wasn't the reason for their existence.

In my view, the above doesn't explain much. From its inception the ICC harshly criticised and denounced any tendency from the 'proletarian camp' that refused to 'regroup' with it. M Chirik even stated that groups in the UK like the CWO which refused integration were to be 'destroyed'. He didn't mean physical attacks but something like a 'political-theoretical demolition', in the style of Bolshevik hatchet jobs. Interestingly, the concept 'parasitism' was used in the aftermath of the split led by the late D Ross, from the US section, in the late 70s. Perhaps this was the first time.

As was to be expected, this approach and model created a cumulative reaction in the 'proletarian camp', as 'factions of capital' were amalgamated with pro-situs, anarchists, and others who kept their distance. This wasn't the only approach used, but it became the main one, especially from the top apparat. Instant polarisations were the norm, to further splits and attract the membership of the targeted groups. It never worked, but this hardly mattered then.

No point in trying the 'even handed' card now. It is true that the ICC caused most of the hostility to itself. This was to be expected, as the template is an intransigent Bolshevism. Historically there's much more to this, as 'Bolshevism' didn't originally exist prior to 1917. And the Lenin faction was one among others in the RSDLP. But the super-militant and militarised ideal became the Comintern's main export after 1919, and this is what survives in petrified form. Modulations of the approach evolved in US Trotskyist rackets, like Robertson's Spartacists, or Healy's WRP in the UK. The style is similar. The caricature 'Dave Spart' represented reality, but a 'Dave Eek' , or 'Icy Dave' would have been as right on for left communism.

Although immaturity could partially explain why, this didn't apply to Chirik, an 'experienced militant' with many years experience and a founding guru of the ICC. It would seem that a group 'suivisme' and a fawning desire to emulate great patriarchs explains the phenomenon better (Chirik being one of the last surviving Bolsheviks). Chirik steered the ICC with a steady and relentless hand after 1981, and it could be said that he owned it. After all, he placed it near the abyss in November 1981 and nobody complained. It was his racket. Funny 'proletarian minority' this, whose physical existence was at the whim of private passions and a pissed-off guru.

Alf's version above doesn't mention the internal consequences of this aggressive and intolerant approach to the 'milieu'. This was a 'monolithic' implosion, a totalitarian attempt to homogenise the membership so that nothing rocked the boat. Here the arguments that the organisation was 'immature' or 'fragile' were handy, and that it had to defend itself from alien influences. These were the conscious or unconscious ideological attacks from 'the bourgeoisie'. The initial hostility and implicit violence against external groups was turned inwards. A two-pronged attack from the seul contre tous band of brothers. But not that brotherly. You couldn't trust anyone, the top apparat itself had to be constantly purged, as it was the medium of 'councilist' deviations and ever-popping-up secret clans. A series of witch-hunts and splits took place, a miniature 'Bolshevisation' from 1981 onwards, lasting like 20 years. The political differences, if any, were never addressed. Other considerations mattered more: the need to protect the 'fortress' against larval clans which butterflied into 'parasites' on forced exit. The term immaturity doesn't explain anything, it just deflects attention with clichés like 'separation from the class due to the counter-revolution' or the even more banal 'mistakes'. So a 'proletarian minority' takes 20 or more years to 'mature'? Using what criteria or terms of reference, and who defines these? What are the social and political roots of 'mistakes'?

Another question would be: why the change? Is it the 'high level of class struggle?' But there was an ever higher level in 1968-75, and the 'fortress spirit' still took over. So there is no link. A more plausible explanation is the self-perception of dead end, which could be positive if it leads to a profound re-examination of a whole sterile trajectory. But that won't happen, it's not part of the approach and model and a racket can't change horses in midstream.

Alf's account about Subversion is self-serving, and still excuses calling them 'parasites':

Quote:
On the other hand [Subversion] was not averse to spreading the 'ICC are loony' argument ( I seem to recall one article about the ICC coming from another planet) and it was after one such attack in 1996 that we began to classify Subversion as parasitic, having previously considered it part of the proletarian milieu.

In other words, it's admitted that the concept 'parasite' was used to excommunicate and punish, as a form of revenge against criticism. But in this case this was only a 'mistake', an 'over-using' of the concept. And how about the many other instances? This is truly an admission of theoretical and political bankruptcy, the incapacity of a group to take responsibility for its acts.

And a typical case of negative projection:

Quote:
But again: we didn't simply invent the hostility towards us. It was there within Subversion even if it wasn't the reason for their existence.

The reason for their existence as a persecution criteria remains. The apparat decides how much time a 'parasite' is spending in 'attacking them' and if it's decided that it's a full-time job, not part-time, then that's not on, the mallet falls (fortunately sans Dzerzhinsky). That a political phenomenon with profound theoretical and practical implications requires persistent exploration and exchange of ideas is irrelevant to the paranoid inquisitors. They decide that any long-lasting criticism of their practice is 'parasitism' and thus of no significance. This circularity is deadly because it offers no way out, and the impasse is unlikely to be solved by a charm campaign towards 'revolutionary anarchists'.

The criticism and transcending of Bolshevism is relevant to those who imagine and strive for a human world without domination. What was the meaning of the period of 1917-28 is worth discussing and clarifying, as are many other issues. There are no final answers to these questions.

And it's also true that there are other productive issues in life.

1ngram
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Jul 30 2010 10:44

"There seems to be a widespread, almost unquestioning acceptance of the idea that the ICC has caused hostility to itself because of the theory of parasitism - the 'man running down the street stabbing himself' theory. In reality, hostility to the ICC, not just from leftists but from those who appear to share similar political ideas, long precedes the theory of parasitism; in fact, we developed the theory to try to understand some of the reasons for this hostility, to understand it as a general political phenomenon. Do you think that if we hadn't developed the theory, this hostility would not have existed? "

This is putting the cart before the horse. The hostility towards the ICC was because of how it acted towards those leaving the organisation. It THEN developed the theory of parasitism, as Alf says, to "understand" (sic) the hostility. While an abandonment of this "theory" would be welcomed its the rationale for the preceding actions that ostracised the ICC and which continues to do so. While some at least now accept that, for example, Chenier wasn't a police agent, does the ICC still think that, for another example, there was an anarchist clan at the heart of their central organs for twenty years or more, or that there was an organised masonic attempt at penetration of their organisation? It was the ICC's inability to deal with the political issues that caused these splits that led them to deny any political content to them and to declaring them either "personal" at one extreme or the activity of state security at the other.

Much of what McIver says in his latest post is undoubtedly correct but I do not agree that the ICC are necessarily stuck forever in their dead end. When you come to a dead end there is always one way out and that is to turn around and go back to where you went wrong. Don't waste your effort bashing your head against the brick wall in front of you. Will the ICC have the courage to do this? We can but hope so

knightrose
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Jul 30 2010 11:32

Subversion only published one article about the ICC. We did not wish to use our paper for debates nobody would understand. But our members attended ICC meetings in manchester due to interest in what was said. What we got in return and had received since 1975 (as social revolution) was hostility and an attempt to wreck. Mciver will know because he was one me them. So we have moving to apologise for. Instead we are offering the chance for comradely discussion.

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Jul 30 2010 11:47
knightrose wrote:
Subversion only published one article about the ICC.

Would it be possible to see it, please?

Devrim

mciver
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Jul 30 2010 13:56

Knightrose post 37

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Subversion only published one article about the ICC. We did not wish to use our paper for debates nobody would understand. But our members attended ICC meetings in manchester due to interest in what was said. What we got in return and had received since 1975 (as social revolution) was hostility and an attempt to wreck. Mciver will know because he was one me them. So we have moving to apologise for. Instead we are offering the chance for comradely discussion.

I agree there's nothing to apologise on your part. From memory, your account of happenings in 1975 is accurate, the wrecking mentality was there from the start. The aim was to split what were perceived to be confused nearby groups (rivals), in order to facilitate the growth of the only coherent pole of regroupment. Possibly this is what you refer to by wrecking. The concept 'parasite' didn't exist yet. It was probably applied to Wildcat (and Subversion) mostly because ex-oppositionist R Weyden joined in 1982. He was certainly a most detestable little arthropod, almost as pernicious as Ingram.

If you share the hope of a 'thin red line', that implies a positive view of how an apparat will evolve. I think you'll be sorely disappointed. But who knows.

Sorry for the wrecking attempts. Glad they didn't work. Some arthropods are impossible to eradicate, too versatile -- they uphold a lineage by moulting exoskeletons and live on after death. That's hopeful.

knightrose
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Jul 30 2010 17:47

Hi Dev - the article was probably pretty crap and not worth bothering about. We'd have just published it because we were fed up with being slagge doff.

As to the Social Revolution days, there's a certain irony to the way the WR folk treated us. When we split from the SPGB, we were heavily influenced by, amongst others, WR and Workers Voice - we read everything they produced avidly. So it hardly did relations much good, or our morale, to have our very first public meeting invaded by a largish group of WR members intend on trashing us. We were very young and inexperienced at the time and could well have become allies, despite some pretty confused views on the unions (but not wars or parlaiment or reformism).

I do hold to the 'thin red line' view. It seems perfectly valid.

ernie
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Jul 30 2010 18:01

Knightrose

Fully agree on the importance of developing a comradely discussion. We may not agree on how to understand our actions but our common areas of agreement are very important and the foundation for the continuation of the discussions that have begun: as you have already pointed out.. The development of this atmosphere of confidence and solidarity, despite differences and disagreements, iis vital to the future development of the international revolutionary movement. It will also have an important impact on those seeking a revolutionary alternative to capitalism. Seeing revolutionaries being able to discuss together, which by necessity means expressing disagreements etc, can only inspire confidence in the proletariat ability to offer a future to humanity.

knightrose
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Jul 30 2010 18:00

yeah, hindsight is a wonderful tool smile But equally, not using it is foolish.

ernie
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Jul 30 2010 18:44

True!

Beltov
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Jul 30 2010 19:02

To come back to Noa's question, "What do the theses actually positively propose/contribute?"

Very briefly, the working class has only two weapons: its consciousness and its organisation. Political parasitism goes to the destruction of the organisation. No organisation, no revolution. So, the organisation has to defend itself or it dies.

Yes, we have made mistakes in how the theory has been applied, but as the Russian proverb goes, 'only he who does nothing never makes mistakes'. Agree with Knightrose that hindsight can be a useful thing.

I'd also like to come back to Noa's point about Mehring. We've answered this before here. Mehring thought Marx was departing from a class analysis to one that was personalised and conspiratorial. We disagree and try to develop on the reasons why.

Say we apologise, say we ditch the whole theory of parasitism, will this mean attacks on the organisation will go away, never happen again? Was it just about a bunch of individuals who couldn't get along? As marxists, we understand that certain political behaviours and approaches have their roots in class society, in the outlook and interests of particular classes. In the destructive environment of decomposing capitalism such behaviours find fertile soil. The workers' movement has always attracted political adventurers, nihilists, opportunists, careerists, provocateurs and will unfortunately continue to do so. The threat posed by them in general isn't going to go away. In many cases they will increase. The organisation has to remain theoretically armed and ready to fight to defend itself in practice. It would be naive to be otherwise.

Cassady
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Jul 30 2010 19:06

I have to wonder who you mean when you refer to

political adventurers, nihilists, opportunists, careerists, provocateurs

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Jul 30 2010 19:14

Well, we could start by discussing whether such problems existed, and were recognised in, the past workers' movement - with people like Lassalle, Hyndman, Nechayev....

knightrose
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Jul 30 2010 19:15

Sadly, every group I've ever been in sad

The most interesting part of this discussion is seeing for the first time that not all ICC members think and say the same thing.

ernie
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Jul 30 2010 19:24

Interesting indeed, but actually it is more accurate to say that we are publicly expressing our differences, within the ICC there has always been a multiplicity of differences: but we have not always expressed them publicly. The internet and especially forums life libcom pose to us the need to be able to express our differences in public. Something we are still learning to do.

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Jul 30 2010 19:27
knightrose wrote:
Hi Dev - the article was probably pretty crap and not worth bothering about. We'd have just published it because we were fed up with being slagge doff.

I can remember the ICC writing articles slagging us off in the 1980s. Maybe we were lucky in that nobody would have ever considered having a go back in 'Communication Worker' bulletin, so we didn't really have any voice to reply with.

It is very easy to get into a mutual slinging of so-called 'polemics', which become more and more derogatory (I am talking in general not implying that your one article was doing this). I think especially now that there does seem to be a possibility of developing real working relations, we have to 'walk on eggs' as it were. This means not only that people should be careful about what they write, but also that people in the groups being written about should take a step back and try to bear in mind that people do make genuine factual mistakes in articles, and sometimes cause offence without realising what they are doing. In short a degree of tolerance is also called for.

Considering, as we all know, that there have been problems in the past, I think that it is important that we try to keep them in perspective. To recall a personal anecdote, I remember sitting in a pub in Ankara with 'Jock' from the IBRP, and talking about their grievances with against the ICC. One of them was that they believed that the ICC had 'sabotaged' their wikipedia page by linking to some critical articles by the ICC. A rather red faced Leo ended up holding up his hand and admitting doing this. It must be said that the ICC were not at all responsible, and he had done it as an over enthusiastic 17-year old before EKS had even thought about joining the ICC. Yet this had been something that people in the IBRP had been quietly pissed off with the ICC about for years.

Mistakes still will happen. It needs an attempt at understanding from all parties.

Quote:
As to the Social Revolution days, there's a certain irony to the way the WR folk treated us. When we split from the SPGB, we were heavily influenced by, amongst others, WR and Workers Voice - we read everything they produced avidly. So it hardly did relations much good, or our morale, to have our very first public meeting invaded by a largish group of WR members intend on trashing us. We were very young and inexperienced at the time and could well have become allies, despite some pretty confused views on the unions (but not wars or parliament or reformism).

I think that they were probably pretty young at the time too. To me the sort of approach adopted by the ICC in its early years and the constant denunciations of others has a lot to do with both youth and immaturity, both of the organisation itself and of the individuals involved, as I think most of them would admit if asked about it today. I think that the shrill denunciation of others comes from an insecurity about what you are saying yourselves, and is something that comes from 'youth and inexperience', so we could say that it was something that effected both sides.

I think that today, the ICC itself has matured, is more ready to accept that their can be different viewpoints, and is able to address these things in a more productive way. Not only from the 'oldsters', but if our experience in Turkey is anything to go by even very young comrades have a degree of political maturity that didn't perhaps didn't exist in the organisation in the 1970s.

Devrim

rata
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Jul 30 2010 19:28
knightrose wrote:
The most interesting part of this discussion is seeing for the first time that not all ICC members think and say the same thing.

I think it is just an old good cop - bad cop routine, they have probably prepared it earlier. wink

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Jul 30 2010 20:06
knightrose wrote:
Sadly, every group I've ever been in sad

The most interesting part of this discussion is seeing for the first time that not all ICC members think and say the same thing.

Of course all ICC members don't think the same thing. There may have been times when they have said it though.

I think that there are two reasons for this. The first is one of what I see as one of the real differences between anarchist organisations and left communist organisations today. Left communist organisations are based upon a tighter level of agreement than anarchist ones. Whether this is a good thing or not is a different question, but I think that if you compare the platform of the ICC with the basic principles of the AF, which are the basic level of adherence for both organisations, there is a clear difference, so the first point is that being a member of the ICC means that you probably have more agreement with your fellow members than AF members do.

The second is a view that exists in the ICC that things should be discussed internally before being presented to the outside. I think that this more than anything has contributed to the view of the ICC as 'robots'.

One of the issues it raises is how much 'theoretical and tactical' unity, as somebody may have once refereed to it is necessary in an organisation. Certainly if we were involved in a strike and our press and leaflets were saying one thing and our comrades were arguing the same thing, I would be quite annoyed if one of our members came along and argued the opposite. At the other end of the spectrum, there are the debates in the ICC's press about economics and the period of reconstruction after WWII. I don't think that there is any need to 'insist on theoretical unity' on this point.

Even in the 'robotic' ICC people aren't expected to argue for positions they disagree with, but there must be a line around which there can be some unity of action, and a voluntary commitment amongst members of any organisation to adhere to that.

Where that line is is a different question.

Devrim

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Jul 30 2010 20:13
ernie wrote:
Interesting indeed, but actually it is more accurate to say that we are publicly expressing our differences, within the ICC there has always been a multiplicity of differences: but we have not always expressed them publicly. The internet and especially forums life libcom pose to us the need to be able to express our differences in public. Something we are still learning to do.

Ernie is right here. I think that it is also true that the ICC's statutes, and their statements on 'tendencies and minorities', which basically talk about the relationship of a majority position to a minorities, and how the organisation should try to 'over represent' the minority in its committees, and give it at least some space in the press, have been swept away, at least in terms of the press, by new technology.

There is a huge difference now between the situation with the internet, and that with the print media when they were written.

Devrim

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Jul 30 2010 20:14
rata wrote:
I think it is just an old good cop - bad cop routine, they have probably prepared it earlier. ;)

Which cop am I, Rata? smile

Devrim

rata
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Jul 30 2010 20:36
Devrim wrote:
Which cop am I, Rata? :)

The good one of course! smile

baboon
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Jul 30 2010 21:15

I think that Devrim is right about the fundamental weakness of the ICC at the time was one of organisation. It gave rise to a certain instransigence and immaturity that was a danger to the organisation of revolutionaries. The Bordigists show how a certain instransigence can be positive in that, in the face of adversity, one can maintain internationalist positions of the working class. But the downside is the threat of ossification, of turning in oneself and this raises the danger of isolation. In such circumstances all sorts of individualism will flourish. The ICC had great weaknesses but it conducted a struggle, with faults on its side, for the defence of proletarian organisation.

soyonstout
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Jul 31 2010 00:45

I have to a say that the 'opening outwards' of the ICC has been a very encouraging thing for me. I knew the ICC and regularly read their press for about three years but was put off by a lot of the abuse of the concept of parasitism (I don't think it's a very good concept to begin with), and didn't get in touch with them until the crash of 2008. But I do see it somewhat as growth pains or the mistakes of inexperience and youth.

Reading the press of all the left communist groups from the early 2000s or the 1990s was always discouraging to me because of the attitude of all these groups. In addition to the 'parasitism' abuse, there seemed to be an attitude amongst some of the non-ICC groups, especially those closer to anarchism, of waiting for the ICC to do something embarrassing and using this as 'ammo' to denounce, isolate, and shame them--the ICC were specifically left off of a some lists of left-communist groups and I was even told once by a left-communist that I needed to learn to read French to get the 'history of the Italian Communist Left" books that had broken links on P. Bourinett's website (not by Bourinett), and I didn't know the ICC had a book about it. It seemed to me that both the ICC and its critics were often unwilling to give the other the benefit of the doubt (and I'm sure they had their reasons) or to take the others mistakes with a grain of salt. Also, most of the groups mixing anarchism and communism seemed obsessed with situationist-style language and provocative yet incomprehensible prose. This situation has changed for both the ICC and the more 'eclectic' groups--the former is more intentional about discussion and more even-handed, and the latter have become significantly more practical and communicative as well.

I think some of the negative behavior can be attributed to inexperience and youth is because since developing my own political positions on the union question (through experience at work, discussions, reading this), I got hostile and discouraged in my interactions with the anarchists in my town, many of whom are at least somewhat leftist/frontist and some of whom are 'trots-without-the-party' leftists. I didn't know how to talk to people who supported transforming the unions without getting really denunciatory, impatient, and alienating--and it was exactly because I was so insecure in my political positions and I was afraid of getting wooed into some popular front or union reform sham or being too unclear or concilliatory. I described this to a comrade in the ICC once, quite apologetically. "So did we" was his response. Another older comrade told me about how rude he was to Bookchin one time because he was hanging out with him only a month or so after he had become definitively marxist and not anarchist--he totally refused to engage with the guy or discuss anything but the weather, because his recently arrived at political positions were still somewhat new/untested/insecure, but they were important. I think in many ways the ICC had to define itself as distinct from councilism and anarchism on the one hand, and of course in stringent opposition to leftism on the other in the early days. And this didn't leave a lot of room for comradely discussion, exchange, or trying to work together with other proletarian groups.

I don't think any of the groups I've mentioned above are rackets though, because I think its very difficult to say that about a communist organization as a communist. As communists we obviously know that the bourgeoisie has ideological dominance in most spheres of our world, that they are quite adept at making people believe, for example, that Obama's forcing people to pay for private health care with no price caps is some kind of reform because the insurers can no longer deny coverage to anyone. So there is a struggle against bourgeois ideology. I think the only organizations that you can describe as rackets are those organizations that have gone over to the bourgeoisie (some of whom retain the name 'communist'/'socialist'/'workers' etc). What are the supposed characteristics or 'rackets'?

*apologies for the misuse of inverted commas and quotations marks--texting has made me lazy about this and I didn't really know the difference to begin with

nastyned
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Jul 31 2010 09:29
soyonstout wrote:
But I do see it somewhat as growth pains or the mistakes of inexperience and youth.

The ICC spent 14 years developing their faeces on parasitism so this excuse is obviously complete nonsense.

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devoration1
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Jul 31 2010 10:22

How would you classify the actions of the Argentine 'Círculo de Comunistas Internacionalistas' & Ukrainian 'Worker's Revolution' ? The metaphor of parasitism (requiring a 'host' to attach onto to extract personal satisfaction or financial gain) seems pretty accurate.

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Jul 31 2010 10:55
devoration1 wrote:
How would you classify the actions of the Argentine 'Círculo de Comunistas Internacionalistas' & Ukrainian 'Worker's Revolution' ? The metaphor of parasitism (requiring a 'host' to attach onto to extract personal satisfaction or financial gain) seems pretty accurate.

I presume the Ukrainian 'Worker's Revolution' was the group in the Ukraine who ripped off all the Trotskyists. I would classify that as fraud, and old fashioned criminality.

Devrim

mciver
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Jul 31 2010 11:43
Quote:
How would you classify the actions of the Argentine 'Círculo de Comunistas Internacionalistas' & Ukrainian 'Worker's Revolution' ? The metaphor of parasitism (requiring a 'host' to attach onto to extract personal satisfaction or financial gain) seems pretty accurate.

What sort of inane question is that by Devoration1? And 'parasitism' a metaphor? Like La Fontaine's or Mengele's? Does Devoration1 expect individuals to have informed opinions on the actions of these supposed 'parasites'? On what basis? He simply assumes that his apparat's version is the definitive one, like the last word of the oracle. There are various accounts on the confused issues around the mentioned Argentinian group, from the ICC, the ICT and the IFICC. Most of this stuff is in French and Spanish, and it's difficult to see what are the political issues. One will have to go back to the relevant sites to get a better picture. (Re The Ukranian Workers Revolution issue, Devrim, please provide more factual info, or links.)

But to simply take Devoration's perorations on board won't do. His racket lies and lies all the time, so what credibility do they have? Maybe a jury of honour, as suggested by Ret Marut, might not be a bad thing after all.

Nastyned is 100% correct, about the unconvincing explanation of 'youth' and 'immaturity', as if Chirik didn't know what he was doing, as if the surviving little treints of the apparat were spring chickens in 1985-98. So try it again, little mange-tout!

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Jul 31 2010 12:28
Quote:
Re The Ukranian Workers Revolution issue, Devrim, please provide more factual info, or links.

This group was an actual fraud. That isn't my personal political opinion. It is generally agreed to be what happened. Basically a group of people pretended to be the Ukrainian section of all these groups:

Wiki wrote:
Organisations affected

Organisations which were affected by the fraud (with the name of the purported Ukrainian party in brackets) include:

* Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee) (Communist Struggle Group)
* International Bolshevik Tendency (Young Revolutionary Marxists)
* International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party (Radical Communists)
* International Committee of the Fourth International (Workers Revolutionary Party) (Workers Revolutionary League)
* International Trotskyist Opposition (Ukrainian Trotskyist Opposition)
* International Workers' Committee (Ukrainian Workers Committee)
* League for a Revolutionary Communist International (Workers Power - Young Revolutionary Marxists)
* League for the Revolutionary Party/Communist Organisation for a Fourth International (Revolutionary Workers Organisation)
* League for the Fourth International (Revolutionary Communist Organisation)
* News & Letters (Ukraine Workers Group)
* Socialist Labor Party (Socialist Labor Party of Ukraine)
* Workers Liberty (Ukrainian Workers Tendency)
* World Socialist Movement (World Socialist Party)

Probably the best page for info it it is this one run by the IBT, which has a wide sample of statements from various groups who had been conned.

Devrim

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Jul 31 2010 13:10

Mciver, your hysteria is unfounded. I brought up two organizations (though the former turned out to be one individual acting 'in the name of' a group) that have demonstrated harmful activity on left communist organizations for the purpose of causing harm (the circulo on the ICC & IBRP, the Ukrainian group on the IBRP). I am asking whether people here would consider their actions as 'parasitic'- not as in the Theses On Parasitism, 'parasitic' as the term is commonly used in English (or Americanized English)- a manner in which a thing, person or group attaches itself to a 'host' (another thing, person or group) to extract blood, money, personal satisfaction, 'the life force', whatever from.

Do you acknowledge that there is such a thing on the earth as a parasite, and that the entire biological category of parasite and its use in English as a descriptor of people or group actions was not completely invented by the ICC?

What is my 'racket' exactly? You know very well and have been specifically told I do not belong to any organization, including the ICC. Over the course of about a year I've come to agree with many of their positions, and find their answers to a number of questions more satisfactory and credible than those who oppose them.

Circulo-

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/280_impostor.htm

Ukrainian 'Worker's Resistance' (EDIT: I called them Worker's Revolution earlier, my mistake):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_Resistance

Politics attracts unstable and criminal elements. 'Mini-Fuerhers' and con-artists pop up in every political trend, on left and right, electoral and extra-parliamentary groups. The far-rights examples of these are often flamboyant- in the US the famous klansman David Duke went to jail for gambling money he was sent as donations for his neo-nazi group 'EURO', Kevin Strom, the former voice and #2 in the neo-nazi 'National Alliance' was brought up on multiple child molestation charges, former leftist and current neo-nazi 'leader' Bill White simply could not sate his ego enough- to the point of breaking up and splitting the neo-nazi 'National Socialist Movement' and forming his own nazi party (after being a general nuisance as a 'libertarian socialist' for years).

While the far-right seems a haven for nutters, there are plenty in everyday electoral politics (a US Senator from Alaska last year and now a NY Congressmen have been brought up on tax evasion and improper donation charges, a former governor is going to jail for trying to sell Obama's old Senate seat, etc)- and they happen on the left and in revolutionary internationalist politics too.

Can those who criticize the theses on parasitism on its face (not in how it was used) admit that there are unstable people, ego-maniacs and outright criminals that find their way into revolutionary politics?

Are people who want to be 'mini-fuerhers' and party bosses to the point of breaking up organizations and spreading rumors/lies a problem? Are criminal elements who either tarnish the name of the group or steal from it a problem?

Do you believe or can you accept that such people do in fact or can in fact exist?

1ngram
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Joined: 9-09-06
Jul 31 2010 15:22

Devoration 1 - are you channelling Vyshinsky?

It was a standard technique of the Stalinist prosecutions to generalise the existence of categories such as trotsky/fascists, oppositionist/Mikado-ists, to demand that such amalgams could exist, did exist and should be taken seriously - and then use acquiescence to specifically identify and target political enemies as examples of such. Your latest post simply reeks of this approach.

As Alf seems now to acknowledge, parasitism was created by the ICC when it felt itself under attack from all sides. It was created to justify its refusal to respond to the criticism being made of its behaviour. Its the ICC's behaviour thus which lies at the very heart and root of the situation and at the root of its conception of parasitism. I have called in posts both old and new for the ICC to tell us whether it still believes that splits in their organisation were not because of political differences but the fault of a whole gamut of bourgeois infiltrations ranging from criminal elements, anarchist gangs who were at the heart of their central organs for 20 years through masonic conspracies to secret police penetrations. So far we haven't had a response. All we seem to be getting are obfuscations such as yours which lead us away from the heart of the matter into what lawyers call "leading questions" about whether what you define as parasitism exists.

Who exactly do you have in mind when you ask us these 'innocuous' questions about "unstable people, ego-maniacs and outright criminals that find their way into revolutionary politics"?

And when you ask " Are people who want to be 'mini-fuerhers' and party bosses to the point of breaking up organizations and spreading rumors/lies a problem? Are criminal elements who either tarnish the name of the group or steal from it a problem?", whose name(s) are already on your charge sheet?