Stewart Home - what's up with him?

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korep
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Feb 12 2010 04:00

well, i frankly don't care if this inflates his ego or not. If it does, then i'm happy to inflate his ego (with butyric acid fumes) until he explodes. But i don't really care if whatever i do gives Home some points in a game he's playing inside his head. That's his problem.
I'm interested in deeds, ideas, and the circumstances behind them, i.e. how they are related. I'm interested in the social & cultural, and how they affects ppl's views on ideology. I'm interested in critique and analysis, especially of concrete people, groups and events. So, regardless of the increasingly obvious fact that he's full of nice fluffy butyric gas, Home could still be on to something, though probably not the thing he THINKS he's on to. I'm currently somewhat interested in this whole quagmire of supposed interconnections btw fascism/anarchism/socialism/etc, which some of his discussed material also connects to. I've also seen folks hype Home & his "work", so i'm interested in critique of him & said "work" as a matter of arming myself with some counterarguments.

Dannny, ok so you like him? what do you see as his "contribution" or "merit"? Or, more interestingly, where do you stand re: his political positions (and your own...)?
Also, your writeoff of the principiadialectica text is 100% not a functioning argument. It doesn't matter if my interest in him is fleeting, sinking or levitating, neither does it matter what someone else takes seriously or not. The information i quoted from the text in question is either a good or a bad representation of Home, and that's to be settled with information and arguments, not with appeals to the undisclosed opinions of invisible friends.

i guess the problem with me is that i'm out in the terrain of the intellectual, i.e. somewhat abstract theorizing. 'Suppose i should go find some forum of intellectuals/(f)artists to pose questions to.

Dannny
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Feb 12 2010 17:00

The PD text suggests that Home is a Strasserite who has posed as a
communist in order to spread disinformation etc because of his former
"association" with Tony Wakeford, who is a nazi. Home has written
quite a lot about Wakeford:
http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/wakeford.html after Wakeford's
Trotskyist punk band Crisis featured in his book on punk, Cranked Up
Really High, ­ which is well worth a read. It is clear that he has
nothing more than contempt for the political "development" of this
man.
Home describes his political positions as influenced by the attempts
to synthesise the best of the Italian and German Left Communists. Mine are too, although I'm not as hostile to anarchism as he apparently is.

korep
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Feb 14 2010 19:48

ok, thanks for clarifying. It's not easy to get a comprehensive picture of ppl's politics w/o having inside info and/or spending shitloads of time on it, esp when they write as much and as, ahem, polemically as Home. That's why i'm asking for other ppl's views. I might even have more than a passing interest in him & his shtick, if he didn't seem like a pretentious (f)arty provo jerk, who wants to endlessly produce opinions about everything and everyone, but is unable to get anything concrete done, esp in cooperation with anyone else than his grandiose Self.

Also, his hostility to anarchism does obscure a lot of what he has to say about it. Oh, and i wouldn't read "red-brown" as meaning exclusively strasserism, but more generally the connecting points/common ground between various left ideologies (statist or autonomist) and fascism (left-wing and in general). Some "harcore anarchist" might even use the term about any form of authoritarian communism, starting from leninism an so forth.
Interesting too btw that Home has lots to say about the connections between anarchism and fascism, but not about the ones between socialism/communism and fascism...

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888
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Feb 14 2010 20:40

Fascism steals from the proletariat its secret: organisation. - Bordiga

So apparently Home's idol, Bordiga, admired the fascistic way of organising.

Wellclose Square
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Feb 14 2010 20:44
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So apparently Home's idol, Bordiga, admired the fascistic way of organising.

Is this an example of the Stalinist amalgam technique?

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888
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Feb 14 2010 21:00

It's an example of Home's technique. Although that quote does possibly suggest Bordiga's love of the ultra-centralised party was a bit dubious...

korep
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Feb 15 2010 14:17

well, the early proletarian proto-unions in italy were called fasces, and although they generally weren't very clear ideologically (which only armchair intellectuals tend to be anyway), at least some were quite clearly libertarian. So basically even the name of fascism is co-opted from something that was originally just proletarian self-organizing. Then again, i'm not saying that some *certain other ideologies* have any greater claim to this heritage by default. Also,one could say that lumping those forms of self-organizing together with an orthodox communist cadre party is somewhat amalgaming...

Garco
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Apr 14 2010 01:47

'Ret Marut' said:

"A professional artist's role is economically different from others; they generally don't generally get a wage, they get 'commissions', 'grants' and 'gallery sales'. They market their supposedly 'unique' creativity, they cultivate opportunist relationships with rich gallery owners, they publicly market themselves etc. You can say that a rich artist is technically 'exploited' by a gallery owner, much as a multi-millionaire footballer is by his club, but it's a mutually beneficial form of 'exploitation'. One not really requiring of a collective class struggle against the 'exploiter'. To make everyone who sells their labour equivalent to each other is to deny we live in a class society; Tony Blair collects a wage..."

I would extend with this evaluation on the grounds that while it is true that the lifestyle of a rich artist is different to mine, it is perhaps not true to intimate usefully that the rich artist is really 'exploited' by the gallery owner. And I would also argue that a millionaire footballer is not exploited by his club. I would say that the mediations here, between gallery owner and artist, and footballer and club, are those of traders (or entrepreneurs) doing a business deal. Of course, it is true that in business deals one side or the other often secures an advantage, or rips off the other, but that is not the same as the exploitation of a wage slave. Both of these 'artists' (the artist and the footballer) often/usually have managers who do their deals for them. In this sense, since they are really talking about the intimate trade of their minds and bodies, it seems to me that their managers are pimps and they are prostitutes – but with the crucial difference to actual pimps and prostitutes being that artists and footballers employ their managers, rather than the other way around. However, this is not a useful conceptual route to go down, in my opinion, since it is too loaded with irrelevant pre-conceptions and images.

I think that useful ideas concerning this issue are:

1.) That these rich artists and footballers have somehow forfeited their existence, on the grounds that they are simply too rich and powerful, and therefore wield too much power, or 'managerial' influence, in this society. This does not mean that any one of us could not become instantly the same as these characters by the means of simply winning a huge amount of money on the lottery. It is not a moral issue. We are all guilty entrepreneurs and rich bastards in waiting.

2.) These people, despite their managerial powers, are alienated in the sense that Marx defined every single person on the planet under capitalism:

In this passage, from The Holy Family, Marx says that capitalists and proletarians are equally alienated, but experience their alienation in different ways:
"The propertied class and the class of the proletariat present the same human self-estrangement. But the former class feels at ease and strengthened in this self-estrangement, it recognizes estrangement as its own power and has in it the semblance of a human existence. The class of the proletariat feels annihilated, this means that they cease to exist in estrangement; it sees in it its own powerlessness and the reality of an inhuman existence. It is, to use an expression of Hegel, in its abasement the indignation at that abasement, an indignation to which it is necessarily driven by the contradiction between its human nature and its condition of life, which is the outright, resolute and comprehensive negation of that nature." (from Wikipedia)

This, surely, is where the 'class struggle' is located. However, it also neatly describes why the class struggle is not enough, why, in fact, the total upsetting of the whole economic order is necessary for the establishment or re-establishment of conditions of life which do not derive their basis from the capitalist economy.

Thus, self-management, by which I mean worker’s self management - or the continuation of the capitalist mode of production in any form whatsoever - is not the solution to the problem of living a degraded, alienated and inhuman existence.

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Leutha
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Apr 17 2010 12:41
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(As the italian surname 'Bordiga' does not contain the letter u, i don't spell it 'bordiguist'. Call me a nitpicker smile )

Neither does the Italian name Bordiga contain the letter h. However either letter can be introduced to ensure the letter is read as a hard g, as g when followed by the letter i is generally soft, if you get my gist.

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Farce
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Apr 19 2010 16:56

Also, having been called out on it, the comment I left in this thread in Feb about "non-shit elements of anarchism" was phrased in quite a dickheadish way. Obviously I do have genuine disagreements with Class War - specifically relevant to this thread, I think the way they play up to the violent media stereotype of anarchists makes it easier for opponents of anarchism such as Home to write us all off as mindless thugs - but those disagreements should be talked about in a mature and respectful way instead of just lazily characterising other people's politics as shit, so sorry for not doing that. I still have complete respect for all the CW members I've met personally.
No apology for the primmos, though. tongue

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JoeMaguire
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Apr 22 2010 23:27
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I'm into revolutionary shamanism and forms of drug taking that expand consciousness and improve communication by overflowing all attempts at canalising life. LSD + Voodoo = A Classless Society.
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waslax
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Apr 23 2010 09:17

The height of radicality, that. If only a movement based on that could get off the ground these days. cool

Wellclose Square
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Apr 23 2010 16:54
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I'm into revolutionary shamanism and forms of drug taking that expand consciousness and improve communication by overflowing all attempts at canalising life. LSD + Voodoo = A Classless Society.

Psychedelic Bordigism (q.v.).

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CRUD
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Apr 23 2010 18:48

Only an idiot would equate Italian nationalism with anarchist syndicalism.