A view on "Class War" by a former member - Julian (1986)

A view on "Class War" by a former member - Julian (1986)

Written by a young Frenchman just after he left Class War (CW) and published in the one-off Flamethrower insurrectional anarchist magazine. The 1986 article was influenced by the optimism of the times; the recent nationwide waves of intense rioting in 1981and 1985, the recently ended year-long Miners Strike, the then-ongoing printers strike at Wapping (the TNT lorries mentioned were scab delivery vehicles) etc. Few could see the dramatic downturn in class struggle that was soon to begin ...

(The AFA Affair referred to was an alleged attempt by the anti-fascist Searchlight group to smear CW with false claims that they had links to fascist organisations.)



Up to last year CW was an attractive paper put out by an informal group of participants from London and supporters in the country. I was keen to contribute to its production. It has become yet another political structure - which has no future but slow death in general indifference or violent death by repression.

This transformation is due to a limited number of persons in London who, mistaken by the quantity of paper they sell, intoxicated after seeing their names too often in the bourgeois press, and helped by the passivity of most members, have taken on "building the movement"and imagine - without admitting it publicly - that they are now at the head of the organisation that will spark, fight and win the revolution. The federation is composed mainly of anarchists, veggies, feminists and various drop-outs bent on recruiting the working class. They dish out the old anarchist ideology - though a modernised version - and choose as targets the most immediately apparent effects of capitalism - the rich and the cops - without EVER thinking of what should be written or done to have a real action on the world and against the system.

Class War isn't based on any practically applicable theory, hasn't any practice to build a theory on and these deficiencies have often been felt during the low activity periods. But instead of discussing these gaps and ways to tackle them, the leadership - aware it has nothing to gain from such debates - prefers loud speeches and has always managed to impose its diversions: at the end of the miners' strike, during which no revolutionary critique of the NUM was published for fear of putting off the miners, the first problem cropped up: what was Class War and what was it to become as it had not much left to go on about? Inspired by its nostalgia for the '81 summer [riots], the leadership took the Bash the Rich Campaign out of the hat - a smoke screen that effectively prevented any profound discussion for over 6 months. This campaign has remarkable similarities with the Spanish Stalinists' strategy under Franco and both failed for the same simple reason: the proletariat doesn't give a shit for militants nor for these artificial, desperate calls for action. A group identity crisis developed in autumn '85, was forgotten for a while in the excitement of the riots which came at the right time to distract everyone's attention from the problems we were facing, but came back again more vividly around Xmas. Voices then rose to demand, at last, sensible debates. This is when the miracle happened: somebody suggested that if one got 'organised', everything would be fine. So one 'organised'. The leadership dug out a 60-year-old piece of irrelevant anarchist rhetoric, forbade any discussion of this text in London, sent it off to all the correspondents in the country - who didn't know what was going on - had it amended and adopted at the Manchester conference. During this conference there was much small talk, one created the federation, one decided to encourage others to trash cars (already preparing excuses not to get involved oneself), but as usual, there wasn't a thought for revolutionary writing or action.Thus the paper is condemned to become the federation's propaganda organ yet the federation has still nothing to say.

This is distressing, the more so as Great Britain is a western democracy where the social situation is the richest in potentialities. People here put daily into practice the slogans CW can only sing, but even it is one of the rare groups that condone the slaying of pigs, it will never catch up with a general movement to which it has no relevance or participation as an organisation (the involvement of individuals in riotous or similar situations is another matter), and which will soon find it cumbersome.

CW isn't a group of street-fighters either: Wapping is a playground and a rehearsal stage which has been left unexploited for months; we were merely present, seizing the rare opportunities to have fun we found, but we proved unable to have any influence on the course of the dispute through dialogue with the print-workers (I admit they're not very receptive), and to carry out any effective physical intervention against the cops or Murdoch's lorries. One CW group went so far as to sneak into the local TNT depot ..... in order to stick leaflets about sabotage on the windscreens of the vans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is more, and perhaps the most serious of all, CW shows its inconsistency by the way it lets the right and its media, and the left with AFA, manipulate it. Few realise they will be the scapegoats when trouble flares up again; and anyway those who do have no possibility to get their opinion through. I know what I am talking about!... "We have always given interviews to everyone, we have no reason to change our policy now", was once said to me during a meeting. It is an elementary trick in the ruling class's book to blow out of proportion, then crush, any group or movement that might be dangerous in the future. Letting a professional journalist and an alleged video-maker in the meeting-room, even if they may be used now and then, is not the bset way to avoid recuperation. As to the 'AFA Affair', it is a caricature: the Labour Party and anti-fascist rackets like Searchlight have only had to write a few lines to a comrade's pal's chum to stop definitively any action against the nazis, to get CW fighting them on their liberal ground, and to play at will with these blind activists eager to get arrested to prove they're not fascists, as the recent expedition to Liverpool shows.

Class War's main fault, and it includes all the others, is to be a political organisation as hundreds have existed in the world before, imbued with ideology, unable to look at the past and gain knowledge from it, more concerned with denouncing this society than with searching for its weaknesses and go on the offensive in a considered and coherent manner. This organisation seeks to set up a determinate political system (anarchy) which the poor in revolt (the sacro-sanct working class ) are not interested in. If it survives, it has a chance of finding itself on the side of reaction when the revolution comes because it will struggle to impose its errors and to subsist, whereas the destruction of such organisations will be part of the revolution.

London, June 1986.

Source; Flamethrower, London, 1986.

Posted By

Red Marriott
Oct 17 2009 22:43

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Battlescarred
Oct 21 2009 11:25

A lot of spontaneist twaddle from some kid doing a bit of slumming before going back to his class

alphafunction
Oct 21 2009 17:14

A knee-jerk response - unable to respond to the argument which would require a bit of thought and reflection about yourself and your own organisation, you accuse the author - who plainly says he wants effective organisation instead of the useless ones that tend to exist - of being against all organisation. Also with no evidence - except perhaps that he makes some observant points that trouble you - you accuse him of being bourgeois.

I never knew the guy, how old he was when he wrote this, or the sociological background of his family. I wouldn't care if he did come from a privileged background as it wouldn't discredit his arguments. What I happen to know is that he committed suicide shortly after writing this.

Red Marriott
Oct 22 2009 13:52

Battlescarred makes a lot of assumptions; if he knew the author so well as he claims, presumably he'd know he went, not "back to his class", whatever that was - but went off a cliff instead. His depression was made worse by unfair criticisms from politicos he knew (not CW) - some things don't change apparently, even after death.

Assuming that only a 'slumming bourgeois' would make such criticisms of groups like CW is also pretty dubious.

alphafunction; good post - Julian was in his early to mid-20s when he wrote the piece.

oncha
Feb 10 2010 18:54

I knew him, and on that basis (and not based on this article) I would concur with the idea that he was a bourgeois young man slumming it for a few years.

Don't get me wrong - what he says here does have some sense in it. Although only in a negative sense that what he says about CW's bad aspects is true and sensible. It's obvious he doesn't have much to say that's constructive and the thought that a big revolutionary movement would arise that would deal with CW is ridiculous and was ridiculous even when he wrote it. Also there's a clear "small affinity-type politico group carrying out acts of violence" feel to his article. At the end of the day his anti-politico stance is just a version of a politico stance.

OK so that's what I'd say about the article. Now on to the guy himself.

I don't know how well you knew him, ret. I stayed several times in a squatted flat he shared on the Holloway Road with a Cypriot woman who unfortunately started taking heroin. I don't know where she ended up, but I can guess it wasn't somewhere pleasant. There were just the two of them living in the flat. It was on the ground floor. They didn't know each other well or talk to each other much. She was getting beaten up by her boyfriend and didn't talk to anyone much. One of the things Julian was doing at the time was reading through old copies of "International Times" that an older "face" had lent him. He also threatened an Australian guy who had upset one or two local manipulators in the Islington activist anarchist milieu by expressing contempt for anarchism and the anarchist scene. Julian told this guy he had better watch out, because he, Julian, knew some "dangerous people".

Julian was alluding, of course, to the emigre militants of Os Cangaceiros. Unbeknownst to Julian, the Australian guy was in contact with the OC guys and gals and got along fine with them. He laughed in Julian's face and spat at him. What should he have done? Cowered, because the guy who made the idiotic threat had mental problems? Or just ignored him? Well maybe he should have ignored him, or maybe he didn't know the extent of Julian's mental problems. Julian was acting like a wannabe gangster, is the truth. He didn't like the Australian guy, and was so proud of himself to be associating with the OC people, that he thought he could walk tall and if he got into personal stupid mutual dislike with anyone, then the other party should bloody well watch out or else they'd get five masked OC bandits bursting through their door carrying iron bars. What a dickhead. The OC weren't idiots like that. In fact, behind his back (this was when he was alive), a couple of them made it clear they thought he was pretty immature. This was in relation to some crap he was coming out with saying that what was wrong with the Red Army Fraktion was not that they "didn't have the people behind them", but that they should have been organized more tightly into cells. I come from Germany, and don't take kindly to people who praise these bozos or make footling tactical criticisms like this. The RAF f***ed things up in Germany for a couple of decades - that's all. They had zero contact with the working class, lots of contacts with various states, and even in the mid-1980s it was time for anybody serious to reject their positions completely. The OC spoke a lot of sense about this, by the way, and weren't convinced by this idiot Julian's posings.

Julian was basically a bourgeois kid who became an insurrectionist anarchist for a short period of time (sure, he criticised the word "anarchism", but look at his attitude and practice) and gravitated towards the "cool" figures in "the milieu", and tried to borrow some of their kudos. He thought he was really cool for knowing certain individuals and being invited to where they lived. Some of these figures were more violent than others. If you actually look at what he says in this article, he goes on about "theory", but what "theory" did he actually have? None whatsoever.

Don't forget that most of the most sensible and combative elements in the working class gave CW (and all the other politicos) a wide berth, and didn't need Julian's advice on doing so. Sure, you could imagine someone writing such an article to work out stuff in his own head, having previously run with CW, but Julian doesn't exactly make a good job of this here.

Incidentally one or two of the OC had a not very nice attitude towards Julian's suicide. They just took the view that this wasn't unusual in their heroic circles.

(Personally, ret, I'm not convinced he did actually commit suicide, although I'm persuadable if someone posts some evidence. His full name, and the place and date of his alleged death would be useful. And the inquest? Two of us from Germany were interested at the time but we thought some of the people involved in the line along which the story got to us were showing bad judgement, so even though it may well be true, and the guy obviously had mental problems which came out in his "desperado" self-image, I wouldn't say it was 100% certain. I'd put it at more like 60%. If he didn't commit suicide, maybe he went back to where he came from, just as battlescarred suggests? Maybe he was a "funny" all along? I've known other "funnies" with not too dissimilar mental problems. For some reason, a lot of them can't keep it together mentally. What percentage would you give to the idea that he killed himself?)

I'm mentioning all of this not because it is intrinsically interesting, but to indicate that my view of Julian is based on an acquaintance with him and not simply on this "text", which as you probably know, he was helped to write by an older guy who is also from a bourgeois background but has the merit of not acting like Julian did. Perhaps he'd like to contribute to this discussion? He and a former Angry Brigader were offered the chance to set up what became CW at the beginning of the 1980s, but turned the "opportunity" down - although the former AB guy originally said yes before changing his mind to no.

One last thing - did you know who Julian's girlfriend was? I can't remember her name 100% - I think it was probably "Katrina". Anyway, her dad owned Curry's the electrical retail chain.

Drum roll.

"Katrina" was slumming it too.

I once met Julian and her on a demonstration in Paris - well, it was at the rally at the end - and when he shouted "down with the State" at one speaker (which was the only thing he did other than listen to the politician or union leader making the speech), she gave him an admiring kiss. We aren't really talking mature stuff here.

I have no problem whatsoever with individuals who come from the bourgeoisie and join the proletarian struggle in a serious way, rather than just "slumming it" for a short time, as battlescarred puts it. But when they seem to choose mainly to mix with their own, or vaunt some idiotic desperado image among politicos who aren't as "hard" as they themselves think they are, well...no thanks...

Of course, there are some contradictions here, because Julian is right in what he alludes to about CW chickening out in response to AFA/etc. smears against them, and changing the flavour of their "anti-fascism" accordingly. CW should have physically stood up to the RCP, for example, who threatened them with violence around this time.

I don't know why you idolise this guy, ret. OK it's sad he topped himself, even if he was a bourgeois slumming it as a squatter for a few years. And maybe some people responded thoughtlessly to his article, perhaps not realising the part that his depression played in writing it. Maybe if one was an acquaintance of his, and thought the article was crap, one should not have let rip completely against it, especially given that some of it was sensible and also given that one doesn't want even people like Julian to top themselves (well at least, I don't want that, and I guess you don't either). But this latter consideration doesn't apply now, 20 years later. Nor does it make the above any less true. Let's have some truth, then maybe we can get reconciliation. Everybody makes mistakes.

Or maybe you feel a bit guilty that you didn't help him more? That would be understandable, but taking off the rose-tinted spectacles might be some help to you yourself now?

Saying negative things about him now is NOT the same as saying negative things about him then. There is no possibility of adding to his problems now!

I would have been surprised at the time if he was in his mid-20s, given how immature he was, and would have guessed he was 21-22. Now you come to say it though, maybe he was a few years older.

His dad worshipped Marshal Petain, although I wouldn't hold that against him. My dad worshipped Hitler, which is even worse. He said he was on the run from the French army, which if true would be to his favour. Presumably if it was true that his dad worshipped Petain, then his dad must have been very favourable towards the French army, so perhaps there was this aspect to the son-father relations in this particular bourgeois family.

Maybe Julian's fantasies about being like the RAF but more intelligent and successful were something to with getting back at his military father, once he'd run away from the French army?

I discussed Julian's position as a deserter with him and we discussed finding him somewhere to live and work in Germany, but he preferred England. After that conversation, he visited Paris (and I met him there), so was it actually true that he was on the run from the army? He knew I was from a working class background and not interested in grovelling to "faces" in the way he did, and therefore he assumed I was thick. He was certainly into the idea of being "cool" - if you don't recognise this, I don't know what to say, really. Maybe he didn't realise that I'd think it was peculiar that an alleged French deserter living in England would return to Paris for a demo? Maybe instead of killing himself, what he actually did was get his dad to sort him out some kind of amnesty so he could go back to France and avoid military prison? That kind of thing happens with rich young men all the time in Germany, France, and every country. It's really nothing so big to talk about.

Another possibility is that someone rumbled that he was a "funny" and got rid of him one way or another, and has never boasted about it.

I got the impression after his disappearance that several people were hiding stuff about this guy.

Maybe you should update and nuance your view of him? The reason he annoyed many people was NOT because of this article or his superficial "anti-politico" critiques of CW - it was because he was an arrogant dickhead.

At least, please let's not say that everyone who thought he was a dickhead must have been the kind of person he criticised in this article, because that's not true.

Jon Oncha

PS Did I meet you a couple of times in Tottenham around this time?

Red Marriott
Feb 10 2010 20:50
Quote:
I don't know how well you knew him, ret.

Not very well at all - but what I said against battlescarred etc's criticisms is not dependent on needing to know him well. You may well be right about his background but it's beside the point as regards what I said about him. As alphfunction already said;

Quote:
I never knew the guy, how old he was when he wrote this, or the sociological background of his family. I wouldn't care if he did come from a privileged background as it wouldn't discredit his arguments.

.

Quote:
I don't know why you idolise this guy, ret.

Oh, stop talking inaccurate shit - where did I ever say anything remotely like that? So defending what he said against shallow criticism means I idolise him? Get real. I respect the fact that he broke with CW and that he made the valid criticisms in the above article - which is more than anyone else in CW had done at the time, even those who quietly grumbled privately about what was wrong with the group. I could've hated the guy personally and still ackowledged that. Unlike yourself, my judgement of his critique of CW is based on his critique rather than a judgement of his personality.

Quote:
He was certainly into the idea of being "cool" - if you don't recognise this, I don't know what to say, really.

I do know - you're talking irrelevant patronising crap again. He wasn't a friend but a friend of friends and I'm little interested in defending or denouncing the personality of someone who died 25 yrs ago. (Unlike yourself apparently.) I found him a little odd at times but not a dickhead - but, for whatever reason, he didn't try to impress me at all with who he knew etc - maybe he thought that worked more in your scene.

oncha
Feb 10 2010 23:40
Quote:
You may well be right about his background but it's beside the point as regards what I said about him

The only things I've read that you've said about him (assuming you wrote the introduction) have been that he was French and in his mid-20s, wrote this just after he left CW, and what he wrote was influenced by "the optimism of the times"; and when someone said he was a bourgeois slumming it for a while, you said that "his depression was made worse by unfair criticisms from politicos he knew (not CW)", in which context "some things don't change apparently, even after death". Sure, what I said is obviously beside the points that you were making, but still, it's very relevant in a useful discussion of what his article was all about. To some extent I think it's a case of both him and CW making accurate criticisms of each other but not knowing how to participate in the class struggle.

It's a truism, but it's easy to criticise something negatively. Being positive is harder, and I've said why I think the positive content of his article is crap. That would apply completely regardless of his background.

I thought it relevant, however, to give some background that supports what battlescarred said.
I don't know why you think battlescarred assumes that "only a 'slumming bourgeois' would make such criticisms of groups like CW". He didn't say that. He just said that that's what Julian was. What he says is accurate.

When you say "not CW", what kind of radical approaches did the people you mention prefer? Were you one of these people?

I'd be interested to know where they were coming from. They sound as if they formed the same kind of view of him as I did. (Whether they should have held their tongues is a separate issue).

Quote:
Unlike yourself, my judgement of his critique of CW is based on his critique rather than a judgement of his personality

So why mention that he committed suicide?

A person's critique and their personality are inextricably linked!

My comment about idolising was a response to your implying that saying he was a bourgeois slumming it for a while (itself implying that he wasn't serious about taking part in working class struggle) was similar to unfair criticisms of him which fuelled his depression and may have helped bring about his untimely death. I accept that if someone had known he was possibly on his way to suicide at the time, they should have held back a bit in making totally dismissive criticisms of this article that he might get to hear about. Perhaps the Australian guy was wrong to spit at him - I was in another room and only caught some of their altercation - but then again, Julian had stupidly threatened him with violence. I accept that his death was sad and unnecessary even given what I know about his privileged background. However, as you say, it's 25 years later now and there is no reason for battlescarred or me or you not to say what we think without holding back.

Have you got any criticisms of this article, in which he's clearly promoting some idea of headbanging that is more extreme than CW's? Or is the only interesting thing about it that he makes some accurate criticisms of CW?

I note that you choose not to respond to my point that the only constructive bits of his criticism of CW involve him being just as much of a politico militant as they were - albeit with a bit of a different flavour. That comes out clearly in his "text" even if we forget everything we know about his personality and background.

Quote:
I respect the fact that he broke with CW

(my italics)

Situ alert? smile

Quote:
and that he made the valid criticisms in the above article - which is more than anyone else in CW had done at the time, even those who quietly grumbled privately about what was wrong with the group.

How do you know that it was more than anyone else had done? Many people leave politico groups and politics altogether and have a pretty good "critique", which comes down to "yuck, the hell with that scene of nutters and time-wasters". God, that's most people who ever go through those sorry scenes - it certainly applies to most people I know who left the ACF around that time. Most of them don't express their criticisms by writing articles and getting them published.

Quote:
I could've hated the guy personally and still ackowledged that. Unlike yourself, my judgement of his critique of CW is based on his critique rather than a judgement of his personality.

What do you do with the thoughts you have on people's personalities and how they relate to their actions??

Jon Oncha

Red Marriott
Feb 11 2010 00:21

I don't understand your great interest with this ancient history - but don't share it either. Maybe there's an old boys network you can hook up with somewhere that will satisfy it. But your criticisms of Julian - if they're true - would apply equally to many members of anarcho groups past and present, including CW; the posing, similar background, trying to play the hardman etc. But so what? It's no great revelation and doesn't totally discredit whatever might be good about what they did or said. But most of that scene would always respond to criticism by trying to discredit someone's personal reputation/credentials - as a convenient way of avoiding dealing with the specific criticisms being made.

oncha
Feb 11 2010 11:55

Agreed! Except that his criticisms of CW in the article aren't worth much, given a) where he was coming from and b) what he's saying should be done instead of what CW were doing. I have no interest in discussing CW's weaknesses in the mid-1980s unless positive lessons are drawn - and the positive lessons this guy was promoting were rubbish. It's relevant that a) and b) are linked.

The promotion of the "group of headbanging hardmen" idea comes out clearly in the article. You're right - CW had many people who went along with a version of this (even if that wasn't the original idea when people set up CW). But Julian didn't criticise that - he just wanted it to be more so. Despite the fact that many of his criticisms are accurate and he spills a few beans, he's actually with CW in obscuring the essential.

Also it's not silly to ask "can we expect any more of a rich kid?"

If the reason articles are posted here isn't so that people can discuss them (perhaps in-depth), they might as well be sent to a library, e.g. IISH in Amsterdam or BLPES in London. No sarcasm intended - me and a couple of mates have just sent a load of German-language stuff to IISH. These libraries will last longer than Libcom.

A big issue here is small groups and violence.

Before you criticise me for not saying anything positive, my take is that spreading the confidence to express discontent with capitalist institutions is the thing to do - which seriously can only usefully be done in a very low-key way in these horrendous conditions which are getting worse.

Red Marriott
Feb 11 2010 21:27

If everyone not from a w/c background who joins a political group is "slumming it" then prob. most anarchos/leftists are 'slummers'. As were Marx, Bakunin etc. We can only speculate what Julian would've done with the rest of his life so we don't know if he was temporarily slumming or not. But others, from w/c backgrounds, made similar criticisms of CW and expressed agreement with what Julian said in the article, so I remain unconvinced by your arguments (as well your interpretation of the article).

Of course vested class interests/prejudice are sometimes misrepresented as 'impartial' critique but I'm not convinced that applies here. Some ex-members of CW have become what the classic CW definition would call middle-class - landlords, journalists, professors etc - including those from w/c backgrounds - maybe they were just slumming too. None of which is very important or interesting except to show that things are not as simple as you claim. BTW, the only reason I posted the article here is cos an admin asked me to, not cos I have any great interest in discussing it.

Farce
Feb 11 2010 22:53

There's a pretty massive difference between being a landlord and being an academic, surely?

Steven.
Feb 12 2010 00:09

farce, he is saying that by class war's terms.

And it's correct, Ret posted the article here following a request from me since it was quoted in a much better critique here:
http://libcom.org/library/paper-tiger-class-war-aufheben-6

I thought it would be helpful to have the source archived as well for reference.

oncha
Feb 12 2010 09:45

[admin; personal details removed]
I take your point, ret, that you only posted it because steven asked you to, but I would have thought that someone involved in posting a given article (steven maybe?) would be interested in discussing it. Otherwise we really are talking about journalism.

Red Marriott
Feb 12 2010 12:15

[Admin; details removed]

You said earlier;

Quote:
this "text", which as you probably know, he was helped to write by an older guy who is also from a bourgeois background but has the merit of not acting like Julian did. Perhaps he'd like to contribute to this discussion? He and [admin; details removed] were offered the chance to set up what became CW at the beginning of the 1980s, but turned the "opportunity" down

In light of now knowing who the "older guy" you refer to is; this is pure fiction. Your gossip sources are letting you down here.

You're obviously still so stuck being obsessed with the ancient past that you feel the need to sign up to this site just to attempt to discredit a long dead person and anyone living associated with defending anything he said. Which is typical of why much of your scene was such a pile of shit. Get a life, dickhead.

The Outlaw
Feb 12 2010 15:28
Quote:
Class War isn't based on any practically applicable theory, hasn't any practice to build a theory on and these deficiencies

I think that's a bonus, not a negative.

Farce
Feb 12 2010 16:33

Even the "no practice" bit? eek

oncha
Feb 12 2010 23:32

Don't be silly and rude, ret. I haven't insulted you. I've said very clearly that I agree with the negative criticisms of CW that Julian makes in the article. So we have that in common.

I just don't agree with what he implies should be done instead. It's you who seems to be viewing everything in black and white. If you think my interpretation is wrong, why not offer an alternative one?

Also I can't be burnt-out otherwise I wouldn't be saying this stuff.

So I can't be attempting to discredit "anyone living associated with defending anything he said". For goodness sake, I'm not attempting to discredit you. I am attempting to discredit Julian, but then I don't seem to need much help in doing so, because it seems others are well sussed about this guy.

[Admin; details removed]

Weren't you trying to discredit anyone who criticises what Julian wrote? It sure seems that way. OK I'm answering my own question - but the question is, why did you say it?

Your attitude is encapsulated in the way you say things are more complicated than I think. Sure they are. No-one fully understands anything. You seem to think it's Julian and you versus CW, when as I said, Julian's article indicates a 'small politico group carrying out violence' attitude which is more extreme and far more one-sided than CW's was. I think that attitude is crap.

If this article is to be discussed usefully, I'm so sorry but I think that's a useful point to make - and if you want to argue against it, can you do so without calling me names, maybe?

There is no point in posting articles here unless they get discussed, because there are much better places to archive stuff - i.e. hardcopy libraries (which may well some day put their stuff online of course, but in any event will live longer than Libcom). Maybe you can put up in the discussion or shut up? You're coming over as "cloth ears".

[Admin; details removed] You attitudinise and say my info is just gossip, and so on. I find it pretty pathetic that you start getting nasty when my main concern here is to discuss the article you posted - i.e. where its author was coming from, what he meant, and what was good and bad about it. Anyway maybe we can continue without nastiness if you're interested?

Red Marriott
Feb 12 2010 23:54

You can call dead people dickheads - then I can call you the same if that's my opinion. Nor do I need you to formally "insult" me before you say something or use some debating technique that merits you being insulted. You're trying to set the terms of a debate no one but you is interested in.

Your "main concern" is to smear those who criticised aspects of your past political affiliations - the fact that you try to discredit the persons who made the criticisms is typical of that scene - it indicates a weakness in dealing with the criticisms themselves. After 25 years of silence - via the safety of the internet - suddenly it's an important issue for you. roll eyes As I said, get a life. None of this is very important anymore - except for those who have something so lacking in their present that the safeguarding of their historical past/legacy assumes a ridiculous importance as a substitute for failure to find any agency now.

You were apparently considerably closer to Julian than I ever was, despite now thinking him "a dickhead". You were apparently closer to the 80s anarcho scene and CW than me; that scene was full of people from middle class backgrounds - eg, CW had at least 4 ex-public schoolboy members (the ones I met were OK people) - so any 'accusations' of 'guilt by association' with the middle class are even more true of yourself. Maybe you're projecting your own guilt onto others. So you are making yourself look more stupid and contradictory with every post. You're just continuing the identity politics of CW - all 'credibility' reduced to background. I'm not that idealistic - I've met arseholes from all backgrounds.

The Outlaw
Feb 13 2010 02:14
Quote:
Even the "no practice" bit? eek

I think not getting stuck with an ideology is the only way forward as long, the movement must be like fucking water!

oncha
Feb 13 2010 10:40
Quote:
Your "main concern" is to smear those who criticised aspects of your past political affiliations.

Nope - you just aren't getting it. I was never close to CW or any of its members.

The article you posted puts forward a politico position that shares essential features with CW's. To concentrate on what it doesn't share with CW is totally confused. No wonder you don't want to discuss it.

Saying you posted it just because someone asked you to is ridiculous. You're obviously fine about talking about the article's strong points, but have difficulties in dealing with its weaknesses - and in particular, as I keep saying, you don't observe how it shares a lot of ground with CW. For some reason, you just won't respond to that idea.

Nor have I said that all working class people are wonderful and all middle class people are arseholes, which is obviously what you hear me saying, through your cloth ears. [Admin; personal details removed...]

You are the one who seems to be stuck in the past.

Nor have I tried to smear you with guilt by association.

Although, of course, if the cap fits, feel free to wear it!
[details removed...]
I was never close to Julian. I was close to his flatmate (and that I do regret!), some mates of mine tried to help Julian, and I participated a bit despite thinking he was a dickhead. I was pleased, in the end, that he didn't want to come to Germany.

Get it into your head that I was never involved with the practices and ideas that he criticises in this article.

We were never "politicos". Our main activity was in Germany. Some of us overlapped a bit with scenes in London. Of course we did have weaknesses. OK well I suppose we were politicos a tiny bit. But unlike Julian, we never were close enough to CW ideology to start "writing texts" about it, or distributing other people's. Neither were OC. They had some theory but unfortunately never got to reflecting on violence. We ourselves did do so, but only a pathetically small extent, in my opinion several years later.

(As for you, you're obviously still a headbanging politico to a significant extent, even if you don't want to be - I mean look at how much you post to a "libertarian communist" website. Good luck with any escape attempts you make. You sound like a spell outside of prison could do you good).

As I said, the issue raised by the article you posted is the issue of small groups and violence.

It's still relevant now. It's not something I'm obsessed with, but when it comes up for some reason in some place where I find myself, I like to try to get a discussion going.[details removed] You are absolutely right that some middle class people aren't complete arseholes, but the point is that all "politico" and other "radical" scenes are run by middle class people who almost always prefer each other to the scum of the great unwashed. (They understand each other better than they understand us). Those who come from the great unwashed would do themselves a fucking big favour if they wised up to this. I do admit that even though you've called me rude names, I wish you'd understand the point I'm making here.

It seems you don't want to discuss that, which is a shame, because some of the same shit that was big then is still big now.

And I'm not trying to safeguard any political past or legacy. What are you actually talking about??? You're the one who posts a lot of politico stuff from 25 years ago here. I had a bit of politico stuff in my archive but I burnt it before the end of the last century. The non-politico stuff I sent to Amsterdam. The thread of people over the decades who've been anti the whole small-group-violence shit from a proletarian-radical point of view has been very thin, so that stuff was well worth keeping, I thought then and still think now.

And what's this "25 years of silence" thing? Everybody knows me in Berlin, where I live!

I just am not what you want me to be, it seems. Clean out your ears!

Jon

gypsy
Feb 13 2010 10:44

Jon from someone who was a baby in the period of time you are talking about. I was wondering what political movement you were in? What was the anarchist/left communist scene like when you were in London? And I would also like to know what it is like now in Germany?

Steven.
Feb 13 2010 15:02

Ally, that is a fair question, but you should start a new thread in the history forum if you want to ask it. There are quite a few people on here who were involved in it then who could answer you - so let's please keep any general discussion there.

gypsy
Feb 13 2010 15:05

ok sorry mate.

Lexxi
Feb 13 2010 15:10

The Internet Police strike again! groucho

Jason Cortez
Feb 13 2010 16:35

Let's see beyond

oncha wrote:
small groups and violence.

you really haven't said anything worth reading. And you haven't really said very much at all about that. Why you think anyone is particularly interested in your views on the personality and background (esp family) of Julian is beyond me.
If your writing here is anything to go by

Quote:
The non-politico stuff I sent to Amsterdam

.they must be overjoyed.

Red Marriott
Feb 13 2010 20:53
oncha wrote:
... an older guy ... and a [admin; details removed] were offered the chance to set up what became CW at the beginning of the 1980s, but turned the "opportunity" down - although the [admin; details removed] guy originally said yes before changing his mind to no.
[...]
I actually know what I'm talking about when I refer to [admin; details removed], with whom my mates and I have cooperated in Germany and another European country. [Admin; details removed].

Yes I do say that - I've checked this out with two people separately [admin; details removed] mentioned in the quotes above. Neither of them have any reasons to lie one way or the other about this ancient history - but both say that what oncha says is pure fantasy, as are much of his other claims. His claims of involvement with [admin; details removed] are total fiction too, who has "never been involved with anything in Germany or with any German comrades".

So it's the same old mix of pointless bitchy gossip, inaccuracies, fantasy, half-truths etc...

oncha
Feb 13 2010 21:28
Quote:
they must be overjoyed.

Jason: they asked me for my archive and I was happy to give it to them. I wrote probably less than 0.1% of the material in it.

[Admin; personal details removed]

Red Marriott
Feb 13 2010 22:13

Frankly, I know myself that some of your claims are wrong and I'm more inclined to believe those I've asked than someone who acts like you. One of your most obvious errors is that "the older guy" had a falling out with those who founded CW years before - he would've been the last person they'd ask to be involved.

But your releasing of info on people from a position on the net where you know more about them than they do about you seems to give you a real buzz - which looks a little sad and desperate for attention.

oncha
Feb 14 2010 01:16
Quote:
"the older guy" had a falling out with those who founded CW years before - he would've been the last person they'd ask to be involved

You're getting confused, ret.

[Admin; details removed]

Alternatively of course, maybe I'm a twisting smearing disinformationist, but let's be serious shall we?

Jon

Jason Cortez
Feb 14 2010 14:43

This thread is increasingly becoming more like this one

frankiel
Feb 15 2010 01:08

Joncha: Hans told me you'd been up to your tricks again, posting this shit here. If you continue with it, I'll tell them about how you stole those 30.000 euros from Christina in Dresden and how you spent the summer of 2004. In short: get out of here!

To the good citizens of Libcom: Don't worry about this bloke Joncha. We have known him for years. He has been in Hamburg and Prague since we chased him out of Berlin. He lived in London in the 1980s. He used to have a fine mind until he cracked up, after which he's been known to do all kinds of shit, usually based on his past, and often confusingly sounding sane for quite some time. Just ignore him and don't feed this troll and he'll go away. Now I've mentioned Christina this is likely to be very soon.

With regards from Frankie in Berlin.