Do you think that a an armed militia seperate from the communities, but with no control or influence over society, would be a go

Yes
38% (6 votes)
No
63% (10 votes)
Total votes: 16

Posted By

EL
Sep 30 2005 09:51

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EL
Sep 30 2005 09:51

Hey, i just wondered what people think of the makorvist army and weather or not something similar would be acceptable in a future anarchistic society? violet black star

Admin - thread spelling corrected

knightrose
Sep 30 2005 10:00
Quote:
the makorvist army

who?

MalFunction
Sep 30 2005 10:16

greets

possibly means insurgent army of the ukraine (makhnovist)

suggest a good read of alexandre skirda's "Nestor makhno - anarchy's cossack" AK Press, 2004 before answering this question.

one would hope that such an army would not be necessary in anarchist society, but whether one might prove of assistance in getting there is another matter.

also the question assumes that the Insurgent army was independent. situation was far more complicated than that.

mal

EL
Sep 30 2005 10:20

It was basically an army in south Ukraine just before untill a few years after the 1917 revolution, which protected the soviet russia from western armies and capitalist uprisings but at the same time stopped the bolsheviks from inflicting authority upon the South Ukranians. It urged people to form into utopian communities but refused to control them or even point them in the right direction. It was named the makorvist army because its leader was Nestor Makhor. The officers were elcted by their suborbinates and they tried to keep decision making as democratic as possible. violet black star

EL
Sep 30 2005 10:31

It was pretty much wiped out by the bolsheviks though. I didnt mean that the makorvist army was totally independent, i meant that a future one should be! smile

knightrose
Sep 30 2005 10:51

The Makhnovists were fighting during a revolutionary process, not in an anarchist society. They were obviously very brave and effective. Whether they have anything to offer a situation like we face today is another matter.

oisleep
Sep 30 2005 10:58

could an armed militia separate from the community exist without exerting control or influence on it?

redtwister
Sep 30 2005 14:33
knightrose wrote:
The Makhnovists were fighting during a revolutionary process, not in an anarchist society. They were obviously very brave and effective. Whether they have anything to offer a situation like we face today is another matter.

I wonder how close, in practice, the EZLN/Zapatistas are in fact to the Makhnovists? From what I have read, there are some interesting practical similarities, even if some distinctly different 'politics'.

Chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
Sep 30 2005 15:29

As I understand it, the zapatista commmunities are the ultimate command of the EZLN; Marcos and the lot just see themselves as executing the wishes and general policy decided in the villages. The Zapatista struggle has minly been about huckering down in the jungle and engaging in defensive action and propaganda work in order to defend the communities.

The Insurgent Army of the Ukraine, however, was engaged in a wide-ranging war of movement, including a lot of offensive operations, in order to actually destroy the enemy forces.

redtwister
Sep 30 2005 15:56
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
As I understand it, the zapatista commmunities are the ultimate command of the EZLN; Marcos and the lot just see themselves as executing the wishes and general policy decided in the villages. The Zapatista struggle has minly been about huckering down in the jungle and engaging in defensive action and propaganda work in order to defend the communities.

The Insurgent Army of the Ukraine, however, was engaged in a wide-ranging war of movement, including a lot of offensive operations, in order to actually destroy the enemy forces.

Well, except that they started on the offensive. I think its more a question of what possibilities they think they have. they have definitely been on the defensive.

I also don't thinkk that the EZLN actually governs. Supposedly, and so far I have seen no proof otherwise, everything is handled through large, slow public discussions that can take months or longer. Not that the EZLN can't do their own thing, but they don't seem to make decisions about what the whole community should do. But then I am skeptical of anyon coming out of that whole Guevarist/foco/guerilla tradition. They at least seem flexible and responsive to the realities of the situation and unwilling to terrorize the population, unlike traditional guerilla groups.

chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
Sep 30 2005 16:35
redtwister wrote:
I also don't thinkk that the EZLN actually governs. Supposedly, and so far I have seen no proof otherwise, everything is handled through large, slow public discussions that can take months or longer. Not that the EZLN can't do their own thing, but they don't seem to make decisions about what the whole community should do.

That's the point I was trying to make in my earlier post -- that, rather than being an autonomous military force, the EZLN see themselves as the armed expression of the base communities.

redtwister
Sep 30 2005 18:25
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
redtwister wrote:
I also don't thinkk that the EZLN actually governs. Supposedly, and so far I have seen no proof otherwise, everything is handled through large, slow public discussions that can take months or longer. Not that the EZLN can't do their own thing, but they don't seem to make decisions about what the whole community should do.

That's the point I was trying to make in my earlier post -- that, rather than being an autonomous military force, the EZLN see themselves as the armed expression of the base communities.

Ah!

Chris

knightrose
Sep 30 2005 19:56

the question surely, is whether the base communities see them as their armed expression ...

Lazlo_Woodbine
Oct 1 2005 12:57
knightrose wrote:
the question surely, is whether the base communities see them as their armed expression ...

There's a fair few people in Manchester and UK generally who've gone to do solidarity work in Chiapas, so could probably ask them.

knightrose
Oct 1 2005 13:53

the question I put was partly facetious, in that I think they probably do see them as an expression of their struggle. However, I was being serious because I think it's the correct question to ask in all circumstances.

Blacklisted
Oct 1 2005 14:49
Quote:
There's a fair few people in Manchester and UK generally who've gone to do solidarity work in Chiapas, so could probably ask them.

Sorry to derail this thread, but wondered if anyone could point me in the direction of the above? We are sposed to be runnin a public meeting on October 19th about indigenous resistance struggles focussing on Zapatistas and West Papuan resistance and we need to find one speaker for each of those topics, but so far Im struggling so if anyone knows anyone whod fit the bill can ya reply or PM me please?

(by the way, Ive allready emailed Kiptik, Solidarity South Pacific and Free West Papua campaign but got no reply yet)

Also yeh I agree with what others have said about the Zapatistas being governed by the communities rather than other way around, they seem quite far removed from the behaviour of the normal guerilla tradition in South America. And this new 'Other Campaign' thing sounds interesting I reckon, Ive a friend in Mexico whos been going to the meetings and is well excited, maybe caught in the moment but is talking bout potential for revolution within a decade!! black bloc

How independent from the communities were the Machnovist Army? I dont know much about them but from what Ive read they dont seem as independent as the question supposes...?

Lazlo_Woodbine
Oct 1 2005 19:44

The only person I know for sure went to Chiapas is now doing similar work with unionists in Guatamala... Ask around in The Basement and you might get some response... Sorry, it's been too long since I lived in Manchester sad

Ask Lucy 82 and Captainmission?

Blacklisted
Oct 1 2005 20:05

Shit sorry I forgot to say, I aint in Manchester, Im in Reading and the meeting will be at RISC in Reading.

The important bit of yer quote wasnt the 'manchester' bit, it was the 'people doing solidarity work with Chiapas' bit. embarrassed

Lazlo_Woodbine
Oct 2 2005 15:35

Ah! Probably best off contacting ChiapasLink in the South-West, then.

They've got this website

http://www.chiapasnews.ukgateway.net/

But it looks a bit old. People in Bristol would probably know how to get them...

Nick Durie
Oct 2 2005 18:13
Quote:
Also yeh I agree with what others have said about the Zapatistas being governed by the communities rather than other way around, they seem quite far removed from the behaviour of the normal guerilla tradition in South America.

Before the uprising when a vote was taken to go to war the pro-war side got a 54%/46% majority. Those who voted against launching the war had their houses torched and were ordered to leave the communities.

This new communication from the Zapatistas is almost word for word the same communique as one made several years previously by the EZLN. Since that time the EZLN has been trying to foist its views on the communities.

It's also notable that despite Marcos' protestations about the link between homosexuals facing oppression ect. the communities are homophobic, sexist places - the worldview of the people more correspondent to an apocalyptic reading of genesis and revelations than the lore of Mayan mysticism.

This nonsense about the Zapatistas being totally different from everything that has come before seems mostly based on the noble savage stuff punted to 'civil society' (liberal/lefties), and I must say lapped up by them, by Marcos. It's racism to talk about the zapatistas as saints or holy apostles of the coming indiginous revolution - they are no different from people here, no worse, but fuckin in no way better.

The EZLN while markedly different in some respects from traditional Maoist armies is nonetheless the child of the FLN and generally when people don't tow the line in the communities they get punted out, or at least they did till the eyes of the world (liberal/lefties) were on them.

I say all this BTW as a supporter of the Zapatistas.

posi
Oct 2 2005 22:11

Hi, I'm not trying to be facetious, but presumably it can't be the case that 46% of Chiapans - or even a large proportion thereof - were forced to leave their homes after the vote?

I don't know much about the Zapatistas. Can anyone point me in the direction of an article which talks about their less romantic side?

Knowing the little I do about peasant life in the Ukraine in the early part of the century, I imagine that the Makhnovist communes were rather similar to the Zapatistas as far as sexism, heterosexism, respect for individual automony goes...

Volin
Oct 2 2005 23:48
Nick Durie wrote:
I say all this BTW as a supporter of the Zapatistas.

Woaah!...there was me thinking you were rampantly against the Zaps, 'cos if what you're saying is true it'd be a little difficult to "support" them in any meaningful sense.

One of the reasons, right or wrong, I liked them is because I had always thought they had the Chiapan communities right behind them and were entirely/mostly at their (the people's) command when it came to the army's deployment.

You're use of the "liberal" slander is also interesting...for actually, they have such appeal to us whities not merely, if it all, because they're made up of mainly indigenous Mexican people but because they do not fit the mold of Maoist, vanguardist, violent militias/organisations and show a quite different libertarian quality and tendency in direct contradistinction to those groupings in Colombia etc. Not "in some respects" but in essence. An indigenous uprising is inspirational but only in regards to how and what they are doing.

Likewise I dont know of any claims of homophobia and sexism, though I admit it's quite possible and in no way justifiable.

Mike Harman
Oct 3 2005 09:46

Good to see Nick Durie back, where you been?

posi
Oct 3 2005 10:46

interesting article here: http://libcom.org/library/chiapas-aufheben-9

and someone I know who spent some time there described them as 'hillbilly sexist' - though apparently things are getting better for girls as far as access to education, playing sport etc. goes, so I think the Zaps have had a broadly positive influence in that restpect.

redtwister
Oct 3 2005 15:18
posi wrote:
interesting article here: http://libcom.org/library/chiapas-aufheben-9

and someone I know who spent some time there described them as 'hillbilly sexist' - though apparently things are getting better for girls as far as access to education, playing sport etc. goes, so I think the Zaps have had a broadly positive influence in that restpect.

There is a lot of sexism, but there is also a space open where the women in Chiapas have been able to challenge it in a way that did not previously exist, and that is more interesting to me. if that space were to close, it would signal a definite shift.

chris

Anarchoneilist
Oct 6 2005 09:34

I voted "no" because I'm not, in theory,

in favour of any militia that isn't community

or workplace representative.

Saying that, every case should be judged

on it's own merits. red n black star

The Porkadian
Oct 6 2005 19:49

isnt it the case that if a militia was independent eventually one person or a group of people would find the urge to take over because as we all know power corrupts, and who would they be answerable too .... the people ? or no one ?. would they have free reign over what they did and not be responsible for any of their actions.

I voted no. roll eyes

MalFunction
Oct 7 2005 09:13

greets

suspect a fully autonomous army is not feasible, in as much as it requires feeding - unless it controls and grows its own food; it needs raw materials to manufacture its weaponry - unless it does all that itself; it'll need fuel for transport itself, etc etc etc

so any armed militia would either carve out its own territory and become an autonomous self-sufficient political entity or it remains an expression of the people who feed, arm it etc.

and the first option reduces to the second option albeit on a smaller scale?

mal

Steve
Oct 7 2005 09:22

Any future militia would have to be rooted in the community and workplace and be fully controlled by it. Any seperation would lead to elitism and a 'vanguard'.

Nick Durie
Oct 7 2005 10:24
Quote:
Hi, I'm not trying to be facetious, but presumably it can't be the case that 46% of Chiapans - or even a large proportion thereof - were forced to leave their homes after the vote?

I don't know much about the Zapatistas. Can anyone point me in the direction of an article which talks about their less romantic side?

Knowing the little I do about peasant life in the Ukraine in the early part of the century, I imagine that the Makhnovist communes were rather similar to the Zapatistas as far as sexism, heterosexism, respect for individual automony goes...

Chiapas was a Russian colony until the Mexican revolution. It's a fucking huge area, about the size of Western Europe or something silly like that - Mexico itself being an enormous empire with vast geographical, cultural, linguistic differences. The Zapatistas grew out of campesino unions that were formed in the South of the state in the 60s and 70s to defend against the latifundistas and their thugs. These had to become clandestine when state collusion saw their leadership assassinated and a growth in massacres. The North of the state did not have this history and is in some regions industrial.

the concomitant was the growth of the Maoist armies in the 70s following the failure of lefty civil rights agitation which culminated in a massacre in D.F. of over a thousand people - police opening fire on demonstrators. It was at this point that some of the lefties got a brain and realised that symbolic protest does not topple dictatorships. The FLN was formed during this period along Guevaraist lines (guerrilla focos etc) altho its ideology is Maoist. The Chiapas battalion was wiped out fairly early on however by the state, and it was not until the 80s till it re-entered the region, infiltrating communities through charity and indiginous relief works - the woman pursuing this strategy I believe was commandante Ramona. This enabled the FLN to build links with these underground community associations and the EZLN was formed.

The Aufheben article listed below is correct to point out the extent to which the FLN and the EZLN were not distinct until the rebellion, and to some extent are still linked. In other aspects it is factually inaccurate however and the overall wanky tone [Aha! we've discovered they're secretly Maoists, so now we can really slag them off!] is typical of useless tosser, middle class lefties who've never so much as seen a gun, let alone fought in a revolutionary army. The EZLN at this period consisted of six people, who were later to become the leadership, marcos I think, and the evidence seems to suggest this, remained the chief of staff of the FLN in Chiapas until very later. They certainly were active for a decade or so in the region (the S Chiapas) before the rebellion, and Marcos has been quite candid in communiques and letters about the degree to which the crossover between the Zapatistas and the EZLN did not start to happen until much later on.

Those who were forced out at the start of the war were those living in the villages in the jungle where this stuff had been happening. Most people who live in Chiapas do not live in this region, otherwise the EZLN would not have needed to sieze government, military and administrative buildings in them; they already had de facto control of their own communities through the use of the EZLN as a militia acting as the arm of the campesino unions in defence against government and paramilitary incursions.