Submitted by Alf on July 13, 2010

The first article explaining why we support recent advances in the debate between left communists and internationalist anarchists. Perhaps a better starting point for a discussion than the question of 'platformism'.

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/336/anarchism..

This is part of the July World Revolution which has just come out online, along with a number of other articles (austerity attacks in the UK and Europe and workers' responses, strikes in Kashmir, Kyrgyzstan pogroms and problems of Russian imperialism, oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria, the Israel v Turkey conflict, etc.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also the new Internationalism (ICC paper in the US) is out, with an article that is very relevant to this discussion - on the legacy of Ricardo Flores Magon:

http://en.internationalism.org/inter/155/magon

Boris Badenov

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, they really do demarcate two camps. Maybe not the interpretation of the Russian Revolution (although that certainly counts), but the difference between centralism and federalism is the difference between state capitalism and communism.
I don't get the "idealism" thing either. Class struggle anarchists are most certainly materialists, and wanting to "immediately abolish the state" is not idealistic.
I agree that the rejection of electioneering and "an intransigent internationalism" are common ground, more or less, but I'm not sure what this means practically.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think this is a very good step on the part of the communist left. As the article states it is not something "new". Marxist and anarchist "communists" have been fighting shoulder to shoulder in various small or great class battles for long. This history of comradeship is very crucial and should never be forgotten. I generally agree with the differences. My personal opinion is that;

the difference between centralism and federalism is the difference between state capitalism and communism

Well even the concept "state capitalism" might have been developed first by Bukharin in early 1910's - at least I don't know an earlier usage or at least a well defined framework-. But for the marxists the question of state capitalism is not about its "centralism". For instance, for left communists yugoslavian self-management model can also be a state capitalism while it might not be that centralized on at least factory level. I do not want to enter into a polemic here. I might accept -for instance- the idea that even in the self managed cases there may be a difference between "control" and "management" as Brinton discuss in his book on Russia. In any case, I think even the Stalinist era was not that centralized in Russia. In fact the reason why stalinist counter revolutionary regime shed too many blood may be perceieved as a weakness of state capitalism, since most of the purges in russia ended up with the losing sight of center's original intentions in the "stalinist campaigns", in localities where the center had hardly any control over crucial agents apart from ideological connection.

Please do not misunderstood. I do not want to imply that stalin was "democratic". But at least I tend to think that, stalin -for instance- was not the all powerful dictator as its western liberal critics tried portray during the cold war - which the stalinist self image did not have much to object-.

Even the Cheka -as a clear instrument of state capitalism- was not a centralized apparatus. The center lost control over the political police various times -especially in winters where there were hardly any connection with localities even till 30's-. Even in St.Petersburg, the local cheka acted on its own behalf against the will of both the party and most importantly the center.

Anyway this is totally another issue, probably close to materialism/idealism debate which I think is at the hearth of the difference. What I personally understand from that is the centrality of the "authority" concept in the anarchist theory - which is another debate.

Red Marriott

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

Was this written by someone who knows nothing about the subject? Anarchists and other anti-bolshevik communists don't fail to recognise the 1917 revolution nor denounce it - they denounce the anti-working class role of the Bolsheviks in those events. This is because the Party and the revolution are not seen as identical.

Ret Marut

Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

Was this written by someone who knows nothing about the subject? Anarchists and other anti-bolshevik communists don't fail to recognise the 1917 revolution nor denounce it - they denounce the anti-working class role of the Bolsheviks in those events. This is because the Party and the revolution are not seen as identical.

I didn't initially read this as conflating the two (RR and RSDLP-B), but rather that the issue was set aside as the main concrete historical event about which there are huge divergences between anarchists and marxists, both on the nature of the Russian Revolution (bourgeois or proletarian) and the class nature of the Bolshevik party (bourgeois or proletarian-up-to-a-certain-point-in-history). I don't think that the text meant to imply that everyone who doesn't speak kindly of Lenin necessarily dismisses or scorns the Russian Revolution and what the workers did.

I have to say I'm really excited by this article and I've been excited about the ICC's re-examination of anarchism in recent years--I also think its good to communicate what we see as putting some anarchists on the side of the proletariat and others on the side of the bourgeoisie, even if some of the anarchists that are clearly on the side of the workers have different criteria for making these distinctions.

-soyons tout

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree the formulation on the Russian revolution could have been clearer. But It specifically talks about October and, even though many anarchists did participate in the insurrection, I would say that the majority of libertarians today see October itself as a coup d'Etat rather than a proletarian action.

Demogorgon303

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, they really do demarcate two camps. Maybe not the interpretation of the Russian Revolution (although that certainly counts), but the difference between centralism and federalism is the difference between state capitalism and communism.

I'm not sure I understand why you identify centralism with state capitalism. Certainly state capitalism represents a certain type of centralism but this doesn't automatically mean all centralism is state capitalism.

On an economic level, it's impossible to abolish exchange relations without establishing a co-ordinated plan for production and redistribution. Similarly, the proletariat is stronger in its fight against capital when it unifies itself.

Going back to the original article, do people think left communists and anarchists have a common cause? I think this is a valid question regardless of whether people want to work with the ICC in particular.

Alf

I agree the formulation on the Russian revolution could have been clearer. But It specifically talks about October and, even though many anarchists did participate in the insurrection, I would say that the majority of libertarians today see October itself as a coup d'Etat rather than a proletarian action.

No, as Arshinov points out in his article Two Octobers there were indeed two Octobers that which involved mass action and the further development of working class and peasant organisation and that which involved a coup d'etat and the setting of of organs of "Supreme Power" unilaterally by the Bolsheviks from the other revolutionary groups and the masses as for example in Moscow. The sweeping aside of the Constituent Assembly meant different things for the anarchists than they did for the Bolsheviks as they did for the Maximalists, Left SRS and non-aligned revolutionaries who all took part in the events of October.

Samotnaf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 2 camps are not marxism or anarchism.

The 2 camps are between those who authentically are struggling to subvert their alienation and the alien society in which it's based and those who are content to preserve a "revolutionary" role; this is regardless of whether they call themselves anarchists, marxists, surrealists, situationists, autonomists, communists, stirnerite-debordo-korshchian-Bash Street kiddist Sufis or don't have a label.

The anarchist role and the marxist role might be different in immediate content and in some of their understanding of history, but what unites them in maintaining their alienation is their other-directedness, their idea that they have embarked on an irreversible "movement of becoming" (which in fact never makes any progress) and it's just a question of convincing others , the essentially vanguardist role which never leads anyone anywhere, their specialist notion of themselves, their didactic/political role whose function is to win others over, to seduce them into their organisation or their essentially fixed critique. That's why these politicos are so boring - they are always representing their organisation or clique. Revolution is first of all for yourself - a world-historical self inseparable from the desire and struggle for community based on the dialectic between your own needs and the needs of the rest of the masses of individuals; and from the need to influence and be influenced.

All this stuff fom the ICC is part of their charm offensive, to show how they're not like the old sectarian ICC, how they're "open" whilst temporarily hiding their more crude "party building" agenda; but, apart from those who pass through the organisation temporarily, they're all petrified intellectuals who can't even get the most basic things right ( see this for the ICC's finest hour.

"Bolshevism did not begin with the Bolsheviks. Revoutionaries created it when they concluded that the workers by themselves could not destroy capitalism without leaders and without concentrated centres of class consciousness. The 1st International was the first party of consciousness. In its program - model for all Bolshevik programs to come - Marx put forward openly reformist ieas because he believed they would draw the masses to his party where they would eventually learn the whole truth. Modern day Bolshevism is the logical outcome of this mediated view of revolution. Political consciousness is no longer a means to an end; it becomes an end in itself"

- Call It Sleep (Cronin and Seltzer, 1982)

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Situationist garbage. To compare the first class organisation to the Bolsheviks is false, innaccurate and reductionist, taking no account of the many different currents within it.

Demogorgon303

On an economic level, it's impossible to abolish exchange relations without establishing a co-ordinated plan for production and redistribution.

Which is how linked to idea of centralism? You don't think that a coordinated plan for production and redistribution can be made in a federalist manner?

Demogorgon303

Similarly, the proletariat is stronger in its fight against capital when it unifies itself.

Again, how does this have anything to do with centralism? Proletariat can be unified in a fight against capital in federalist structures. In fact that is the only way proletariat can really be unified, and not subjected to some alienated centre.

Demogorgon303

Going back to the original article, do people think left communists and anarchists have a common cause? I think this is a valid question regardless of whether people want to work with the ICC in particular.

Yes they do, as well as with Trots, Stalinists, Maoists and all other communists.

Volin

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, I read ICC's article with interest and also welcome meaningful debate and co-operation.

I agree with rata's point above...except for the last. I'd much rather read the ICC's analyses from around the world than that of most Trots. Elsewhere, you made the assertion that at least the latter - as well as Maoists and so on, had some grounding in reality because of their greater influence? By the same logic, social democracy would be the most grounded 'left-wing' political movement. The point is that - specifics aside - these types of politics gain a larger audience precisely because they already fit in with pre-existing ideological assumptions; playing on reformist and simplistic demands, fitting in with nationalism rather than questioning etc.

The paragraph on our differences leapt out for me too.

I'm a materialist, most definitely not an idealist! Anarchists' insistence on questioning authority can, and sometimes is, expressed in idealistic or moralistic terms. But in reality it's a revolutinary principle that leads to a material understanding of how to organise, of how to genuinely remake this world into one that's "classless" etc.

The centralism/federalism division is bizarre, because I highly doubt the ICC is consciously working towards a dictatorship in the traditional sense. Rather, federalism is often mistakenly understand as being a fractured and disconnected state of affairs, where people, groups, industries do what they want irrespective of everyone else. Actually, federalism for anarchists is taken to mean a highly ordered method of organisation, unlike the purely local, dispersed model, where things can be co-ordinated - through direct democracy - regionally, and 'internationally'.

On the period of tansition: I still have very little idea of what the ICC advocate in contrast to anarchists.

And Battlescarred has already hit the nail on the head in regards how we see the Russian Revolution.

Samotnaf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Battlescared in response to this:

Bolshevism did not begin with the Bolsheviks. Revolutionaries created it when they concluded that the workers by themselves could not destroy capitalism without leaders and without concentrated centres of class consciousness. The 1st International was the first party of consciousness. In its program - model for all Bolshevik programs to come - Marx put forward openly reformist ideas because he believed they would draw the masses to his party where they would eventually learn the whole truth. Modern day Bolshevism is the logical outcome of this mediated view of revolution. Political consciousness is no longer a means to an end; it becomes an end in itself

wrote:

Situationist garbage. To compare the first class organisation to the Bolsheviks is false, innaccurate and reductionist, taking no account of the many different currents within it.

Agree with the "reductionist, taking no account of the many different currents within it." bit - but then it was partly an attack on Marx playing politics. I guess you wouldn't disagree with a critique of his repeated calumnies against Bakunin, for instance; but maybe you feel ok about the political game strategy of hiding "the whole truth-as-you-see-it"...? And you avoid the critique of "concentrated centres of class consciousness" bit, for obvious reasons - Anarchist Federation garbage, this knee-jerk reaction to a critique of political organisations. And it's not at all "Situationist" in the sense of the SI, the members of which obviously believed in concentrated centers of class consciousness (themselves, to begin with).

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Volin

I'm a materialist, most definitely not an idealist!

ICC

Those who identify with the struggle for the revolution have traditionally been classed in two categories: the marxists and the anarchists. And there are indeed important divergences between them:

- Centralism/federalism

- Materialism/idealism

- Period of transition or ‘immediate abolition of the state'

- Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

I think this is just wrong. I don't think anarchism is in any way 'idealistic', and is based on the same materialist conception of history as Marxism.

Volin

On the period of tansition: I still have very little idea of what the ICC advocate in contrast to anarchists.

The ICC's position can be found here.

Devrim

Volin

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks, I'll read up on it.

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah yes, the "semi-state" ( Not really a state at all comrade"!) one where I can be semi-repressed, semi-imprisoned , semi-shot, and where my freedom of opinion, assembly and press and to strike can be semi-shut down.
I've heard the same kind of sophistries from the likes of Trotskyists like Workers Power! So what's the difference?

Demogorgon303

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Which is how linked to idea of centralism? You don't think that a coordinated plan for production and redistribution can be made in a federalist manner?

Given that any such plan would necessarily have to be centralised, because the "federal" bodies would have to come together to discuss it, agree on actions to be carried out by the relevant "federal" bodies, etc. I'm not quite sure I understand your point.

Again, how does this have anything to do with centralism? Proletariat can be unified in a fight against capital in federalist structures. In fact that is the only way proletariat can really be unified, and not subjected to some alienated centre.

You've presented no evidence that such a centre must necessarily be alienated. The federal structures themselves will most likely be "centralised" bodies, regrouping smaller and disparate components. For example, is a factory committee a centralised or a federal body? On the one hand it represents the unified will of a mass assembly at a given factory - I would call it a centralising body. I don't think such a committee is necessarily "alienated". If a group of factory committees elects a "super-committee" to co-ordinate the actions of the individual FCs, again I would say this is a centralised body.

That's how I would see centralisation working, but perhaps you understand centralisation in a different way?

Yes they do, as well as with Trots, Stalinists, Maoists and all other communists.

We think that these currents represent bourgeois ideology and that their goal (irrespective of what their individual adherents think) has nothing to do with communism. That's why we don't work with them. Do you disagree or just don't think it matters for purposes of organisation?

Ah yes, the "semi-state" ( Not really a state at all comrade"!) one where I can be semi-repressed, semi-imprisoned , semi-shot, and where my freedom of opinion, assembly and press and to strike can be semi-shut down.

This seems a bit abstract. We don't think state power under any circumstances should be directed against the working class - if state power began to be used in such a way it would be a sign of the state detaching itself from the working class and becoming counter-revolutionary. But I don't see many objections to using these tactics against the bourgeoisie. During the course of the revolution and its aftermath I can quite see capitalists and their agents being repressed, imprisoned, etc.

Finally, maybe we should create separate threads to discuss the different areas of disagreement our article identified (or any others people can think of) rather than having them all together in one mega-thread?

Volin

I agree with rata's point above...except for the last. I'd much rather read the ICC's analyses from around the world than that of most Trots. Elsewhere, you made the assertion that at least the latter - as well as Maoists and so on, had some grounding in reality because of their greater influence? By the same logic, social democracy would be the most grounded 'left-wing' political movement.

No, that is not the same logic, as social democracy for many many decades now doesn't have as it's proclaimed goal creation of classless society.

Battlescarred

Ah yes, the "semi-state" ( Not really a state at all comrade"!) one where I can be semi-repressed, semi-imprisoned , semi-shot, and where my freedom of opinion, assembly and press and to strike can be semi-shut down. I've heard the same kind of sophistries from the likes of Trotskyists like Workers Power! So what's the difference?

And not only them, it's a joint trip of majority of authoritarian communists, at least theoretically.

Demogorgon303

Given that any such plan would necessarily have to be centralised, because the "federal" bodies would have to come together to discuss it, agree on actions to be carried out by the relevant "federal" bodies, etc. I'm not quite sure I understand your point.

Well, it seams that we have similar problem - I don't understand your point, as it seams that you think that any meeting and making of joint decisions of federal bodies is - centralization - which is a bizarre idea to say at least.

Demogorgon303

You've presented no evidence that such a centre must necessarily be alienated. The federal structures themselves will most likely be "centralised" bodies, regrouping smaller and disparate components. For example, is a factory committee a centralised or a federal body? On the one hand it represents the unified will of a mass assembly at a given factory - I would call it a centralising body. I don't think such a committee is necessarily "alienated". If a group of factory committees elects a "super-committee" to co-ordinate the actions of the individual FCs, again I would say this is a centralised body.

That's how I would see centralisation working, but perhaps you understand centralisation in a different way?

There is two sides to this problem - first, a bizarre thing that I mentioned earlier, in which you see meeting and decision making (in this case of a factory committee) as a process of centralization - which I really don't understand, and second - the problem of the centralization itself, underlined here as a ""centralised" bodies, regrouping smaller and disparate components". That is what makes centre alienated, the fact that it has power to regroup it's smaller components. And that is the problem anarchists have with it.

Demogorgon303

rata

Yes they do, as well as with Trots, Stalinists, Maoists and all other communists.

We think that these currents represent bourgeois ideology and that their goal (irrespective of what their individual adherents think) has nothing to do with communism. That's why we don't work with them. Do you disagree or just don't think it matters for purposes of organisation?

I disagree, they have as much to do with communism as ICC has. If you read Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin or Mao, you can see that this people were communists who were authoritarians, and that basic flaw in their ideology generated many of their fault reasoning. Same goes for their followers in present day authoritarian communist organizations. And while top down structures brings many of their idiocy by itself, I find it highly problematic to have a shallow critique of them as people who are not communists because of the strategical differences one might have with them. By misrepresenting their positions, which is what authoritarian communists have done with the anarchists for ages, you are just giving ammo to be dismissed as an fallacious critique by anybody really reading and understanding their positions.

Demogorgon303

Battlescarred

Ah yes, the "semi-state" ( Not really a state at all comrade"!) one where I can be semi-repressed, semi-imprisoned , semi-shot, and where my freedom of opinion, assembly and press and to strike can be semi-shut down.

This seems a bit abstract. We don't think state power under any circumstances should be directed against the working class - if state power began to be used in such a way it would be a sign of the state detaching itself from the working class and becoming counter-revolutionary. But I don't see many objections to using these tactics against the bourgeoisie. During the course of the revolution and its aftermath I can quite see capitalists and their agents being repressed, imprisoned, etc.

Well, obviously that is the problem, as anarchists think that any state power is by definition directed against the working class, as well as the fact that we think that all structures which are based on top down hierarchies, such as state, are by definition detached of the working class and in the services of the ruling class.

Of course there is no objection to repression of the ruling class during the revolution, this is one of the topics that many authoritarian communists, most notable Lenin in "State and revolution", tried to suggest - that anarchists have idea that by abolishing the state, ruling class will disappear and everything is going to be swell. Basing their critique on that false premise, they are concluding that their position is much serious one, as it takes into account that during transitional phase there will be a need for repressive apparatus which would suppress reactionary elements, claiming that anarchists don't understand that. While the situation is that we just don't think that repressive apparatuses should be top down controlled by state or other anti-workers structures. If a role of the state, which would be state of federally connected workers councils, would be just that repression, than we could conclude that what we are talking about is just semantic discussion, but it's clear from ICC resolution that they don't think the state should have that role - thus "independent armed unitary organs" - it seams that they see a state as a catalyst for some weird idea of communist jurisprudence.

Demogorgon303

Finally, maybe we should create separate threads to discuss the different areas of disagreement our article identified (or any others people can think of) rather than having them all together in one mega-thread?

I am against splitting, I love mega-threads.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rata

I disagree, they have as much to do with communism as ICC has.

Do you think that an organisation like the ICC which argues for workers to control their own struggles 'has as much to do with communism' as Maoists organising 'people's war' in the mountains?

Devrim

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rata

If a role of the state, which would be state of federally connected workers councils, would be just that repression, than we could conclude that what we are talking about is just semantic discussion, but it's clear from ICC resolution that they don't think the state should have that role - thus "independent armed unitary organs"

I think that the question of what the state is is bound up with the whole concept of the period of transition, and the relationship of the working class to other non-exploitative classes, which in large parts of the world means the peasantry. How are these people to be included within a new society. Do we advocate that they should be 'disenfranchised' whilst the working class takes power through its councils? Surely there must be some way in which they are represented within a new society. In this sense talk of a semi-state has more relevance in the 'less developed' countries.

Rata

Well, obviously that is the problem, as anarchists think that any state power is by definition directed against the working class,

ICC

This is why one cannot talk about a “socialist state”, a “workers’ state” nor a “proletarian state” during the period of transition.

This antagonism between the proletariat and the state manifests itself both on the immediate and the historic level.

On the immediate level, the proletariat will have to oppose the encroachments and the pressure of a state which is the manifestation of a society divided into antagonistic classes. On the historic level, the necessary disappearance of the state in communist society, which is a perspective which marxism always defended, will not be the result of the state’s own dynamic, but the fruit of the pressure mounted on it by the proletariat in its own movement forward, which will progressively deprive it of all its attributes as the progress towards a classless society unfolds. For these reasons, while the proletariat will have to use the state during the transition period, it must retain a complete independence from it. In this sense the dic­tatorship of the proletariat cannot be confused with the state. Between the two there is a constant relation of force which the prole­tariat will have to maintain in its favour: the dictatorship of the proletariat is exerted by the working class itself through its own independent armed unitary organs: the workers’ councils. The workers’ councils will partici­pate in the territorial soviets (in which the whole non—exploiting population is represented and from which the state structure will emanate) without confusing themselves with them, in order to ensure its class hegemony over all the structures of the society of the transitional period.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The first article explaining why we support recent advances in the debate between left communists and internationalist anarchists. Perhaps a better starting point for a discussion than the question of 'platformism'.

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/336/anarchism..

At the moment the link leads to a dead-end reading: Sorry, we could not find the page you asked for

Since we have just reorganised the site, it is possible that the article or text that you are looking for has changed place....

Probably some coding laziness. Bad omen for the world proletariat, as it searches for new pearls of wisdom.

Dead-end apart, the ICC's portal is clunky and anti-intuitive, a labyrinthian homage to web retroism. Its only graphic is the hammering Bolshevik prole, perennially poised to smash skulls of enemies (like parasites). This graphic brutality bodes no good, but it fits the brand perfectly, like the site.

But never mind, it's quite unlikely that the 'advances' in the promised article advance anything 'in the debate between left communists and internationalist anarchists' (presumably the 'best' anarchists according to the apparat). Was there a 'debate' from 1918 onwards? And how do you debate with a nagan magnetised by the nape of your neck? It will be difficult to explain away the exterminatory policy of the Cheka against anarchism since 1918, but one stands to be illuminated. Still, a bad period, so the apparat will attempt to surf fast to post 68, with a few anecdotes about Voline, Makhno and Miasnikov in France in the period leading to WW2. But there wasn't much of a 'debate' then either.

Whereas a serious critic would detect a well tuned and murderous class instinct in Bolshevism, the apparat and their fans feed mythologies around 'mistakes', 'lack of experience', and farcical psychobabble (like Dzerzhinsky's drunken seizures), as apologies for mass terror and genocidal policies.

The various Russian 'left communists' didn't lift a finger to defend anarchists. Left communists were loyal members of the ruling state party and even if some fretted over Kronstadt and the merciless war (not only by the Cheka but by the Red Army) against anarchists, the working class and the peasantry, this growing and brutal repression didn't lead left communists to break with the Red Leviathan when it mattered.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The various Russian 'left communists' didn't lift a finger to defend anarchists. Left communists were loyal members of the ruling state party and even if some fretted over Kronstadt and the merciless war (not only by the Cheka but by the Red Army) against anarchists, the working class and the peasantry, this growing and brutal repression didn't lead left communists to break with the Red Leviathan when it mattered.

Do you have any proof, any text/document etc.?

nastyned

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, I thought left communists were the first to volunteer to crush the krondstadt rebels.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, I thought left communists were the first to volunteer to crush the krondstadt rebels.

That is wrong. You may be confusing with Kollantai and her workers' opposition. They were on the left but not left communists...

mikail firtinaci wrote:

Well even the concept "state capitalism" might have been developed first by Bukharin in early 1910's - at least I don't know an earlier usage or at least a well defined framework-.

Modern Science and Anarchism, Peter Kropotkin 1903. IX.

It will be clear, even from the hasty hints given already, why it is that we come to conclusions so different from those of the majority of economists, both of the middle class and the social-democratic schools; why we do not regard as "laws" certain of the temporary relations pointed out by them; why we expound socialism entirely differently; and why, after studying the tendencies and developments in the economic life of different nations, we come to such radically different conclusions as regards that which is desirable and possible; why we come to Free Communism, while the majority of socialists arrive at State-capitalism and Collectivism.

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/kropotkin/science/scienceIX.html

Piotr Kropotkin, Anarchism, (1905)

The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian empire, Roman empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies. The anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life - the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on - as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, etc.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny. State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism. True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.

http://www.panarchy.org/kropotkin/1905.eng.html

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Demagorgon;

But I don't see many objections to using these tactics against the bourgeoisie.

what do you think about the dispute between Lenin and Miasnikov?

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/aug/05.htm

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dave-B;

thanks for the quotes. I haven't read Kropotkin's Modern Science and Anarchism before so I will surely check it now. But Bukharin of 1915 have a similar -though from a more materialist stand- is this;

And the revisionist E. Fisher, in addition to claiming that “Socialism is essentially nothing but the carrying over of the state idea (Staatsgedankens) into the national economy and social life in general,” tries his utmost to find socialism, referring to monopolization of the various branches of production with such strange names as “electrical socialism,” “water socialism,” and so forth.[46] These misleading phrases obscure the reality of the matter, namely, that in “war socialism” class contradictions not only persist but reach their maximum intensity. In the ideal type of imperialist state the process of exploitation is not hidden by any secondary forms: the mask of a supraclass institution that looks after everyone alike is torn away from the state. This is the basic fact, and it thoroughly demolishes the arguments of the renegades. For socialism is regulated production, regulated by society, not by the state (state socialism is about as useful as leaky boots); it is the elimination of class contradictions, not their intensification. On its own, the regulation of production is far from signifying socialism: it occurs in every familial economy, among every slave-owning natural-economic group. What we in fact expect in the near future is state capitalism.

So unlike kropotkin who saw an essentialist antagonism between centralism -as statism- and anarchy, for marxist Bukharin state capitalism was a historical tendency and not an expression of an eternal dichotomy; "always being"

both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian empire, Roman empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies.

Bukharin says;

Thus, state capitalism is the completed form of a state-capitalist trust. The process of organization gradually removes the anarchy of separate components of the “national-economic” mechanism, placing the whole of economic life under the iron heel of the militaristic state.

In that sense there is a dialectical move from economical chaos to statism which does not mean progress but militarist-imperialist decadance. (It is important that this is 1915 when written);

Any further development of the state organisms – before the socialist revolution – is possible only in the form of militaristic state capitalism. Centralization is becoming the centralization of a barracks. In the upper stratum of society a vile military clique is inevitably growing in strength, resulting in brutal drilling and bloody repression of the proletariat. On the other hand, we have already seen that any activity by the proletariat, under these conditions, is inevitably directed against state power. Hence, a definite tactical demand: Social democracy must forcefully underline its hostility, in principle, to state power.

The difference I quess is on the one hand Kropotkin's more essentialist approach towards centralization as an ultimate evil and Bukharin's more historical materialist one which does not concentrate on singly the form of the organisation but also its content.

In that sense for instance, Kropotkin's rather "idealist" hostility towards what he called state capitalism might be the thing that led him to support allies against the "German militarism" in the WWI. Because, if state capitalism was the "ultimate evil" its most appearent version must be the ultimate expression of what is against the anarchy. This might be the thing that led him to confuse more democratic states' transformation into state capitalisms' by letting him to miss the formal/outward militarization with content.

So Bukharin's definition -though still being limited in many ways- seems to me as a more accurate definition of the concept which sharpened it and got rid of demagocial garbage attached to the term.

Dave B

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Kropotkins objection to ‘state capitalism’ was both ‘political’ with centralisation etc as well as ‘economic’ with the wage labour and remuneration of the so-called lower phase of communism of ‘collectivism’.

And that collectivism (adopted by some self described anarchists) and the so called labour vouchers of self described Marxists were euphemisms for state capitalism by the back door so to speak.

Incidentally it crops up in Stalin’s; ANARCHISM or SOCIALISM?

Page 357- 358

http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/AS07.html#c3

And that for Kropotkin collectivism reproduced the economic relations of capitalism.

Perhaps the following might be a good example of it;

THE CONQUEST OF BREAD by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER 13 The Collectivist Wages System

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/anarchist_archives/kropotkin/conquest/ch13.html

There is some later material on state capitalism from Bukharin in case you are interested.

The economic literature of Western Europe conceives state capitalism as the higher form of capitalism in the hands of a bourgeois government; as the most complete and powerful organization conceivable of the capitalistic classes.
Naturally our state capitalism is diametrically opposite to this. But naturally, too, the kind of state capitalism we have in Russia can easily be converted into the kind of state capitalism conceived under a bourgeois government in case the laboring classes lose power in Russia. We are confident, however, that this will not occur.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/bukharin/works/1922/economic-organisation.htm

30 State capitalism and the classes

The conduct of the imperialist war was differentiated from that of all previous wars, not only by the dimensions of the conflict and by its devastating effects, but in addition by the fact that in every country actively engaged in the imperialist war the whole of economic life had to be subordinated to war purposes. In former conflicts the bourgeoisie could carry them on merely by providing funds. The world war, however, attained such huge proportions and affected such highly developed countries that money alone did not suffice. It became essential in this war that the steel foundries should devote themselves entirely to the making of heavy guns, whose calibre was continually being enlarged; that coal should be mined for war purposes alone; that metals, textiles, hides, everything, should be employed in war service. Naturally, therefore, the greatest hope of victory was for whichever of the State capitalist trusts could best harness production and transport to the chariot of war.

How was this to be achieved? Manifestly, the only way in which it could be achieved was by the complete centralization of production. It would be necessary to arrange things in such a way that production would go on smoothly; that it would be well organized; that it would be entirely under the control of the fighters, that is to say of the general staff; that all the orders of those wearing epaulets and stars would be punctually carried out.
How could the bourgeoisie do this? The matter was quite simple. To that end it was necessary that' the bourgeoisie should place private production, privately owned trusts and syndicates, at the disposal of the capitalist robber State. This is what they did for the duration of the war. Industry was ' mobilized' and 'militarized', that is to say it was placed under the orders of the State and of the military authorities. 'But how?' some of our readers will ask. ' In that way the bourgeoisie would surely forfeit its income? That would be nationalization! When everything has been handed over to the State, where will the bourgeoisie come in, and how will the capitalists reconcile themselves to such a condition 'of affairs?' It is an actual fact that the bourgeoisie agreed to the arrangement. But there is nothing very remarkable in that, for the privately owned syndicates and trusts were not handed over to the workers' State, but to the imperialist State, the State which belonged to the bourgeoisie. Was there anything to alarm the bourgeoisie in such a prospect? The capitalists simply transferred their possessions from one pocket to another; the possessions remained as large as ever.

We must never forget the class character of the State. The State must not be conceived as constituting a 'third power' standing above the classes; from head to foot it is a class organization. Under the dictatorship of the workers it is a working-class organization. Under the dominion of the bourgeoisie it is just as definitely an economic organization as is a trust or a syndicate.

We see, then, that when the bourgeoisie handed over the privately owned syndicates and trusts to the State, it handed them over to its own State, to the robber capitalist State and not to the proletarian State; consequently it had nothing to lose by the change. Is it not precisely the same thing to a manufacturer, whom we may call Schulz or Smith, whether he receives his profits from the counting-house of a syndicate or from a State-bank? Far from losing by the change, the bourgeoisie actually gained. There was a gain because, through the State centralization of industry, the war machine was enabled to work to better effect, and there was a greater chance of winning the war of rapine.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in nearly all capitalist countries there took place during the war a development of State capitalism in the place of the capitalism of private syndicates or trusts. Germany, for example, gained many successes and was able for a lengthy period to resist attack from enemies of a greatly superior strength, simply because the German bourgeoisie was so successful in the organization of its State capitalism.

The change to State capitalism was effected in various ways. In most cases a State monopoly of production and trade was instituted. This implied that production and trade were placed wholly in the hands of the bourgeois State. Sometimes the transformation was not effected all at once, but by instalments. This took place when the State merely bought some of the shares of the syndicate or trust.

An enterprise in which this had taken place was half private and half a State affair, but the bourgeois State held the leading strings. Furthermore, even when certain enterprises remained in private hands, they were often subjected to governmental control. Some enterprises were by special legislation forced to buy their raw materials from certain others, while the latter had to sell to the former in specified quantities and at fixed prices. The State prescribed working methods, specified what materials were to be used, and rationed these materials. Thus, in place of private capitalism, State capitalism came into being.

Under State capitalism, instead of the separate organizations of the bourgeoisie there now flourishes a united organization, the State organization. Down to the time of the war there existed in any capitalist country the State organization of the bourgeoisie, and there also existed separately from the State large numbers of bourgeois organizations, such as syndicates, trusts, societies of entrepreneurs, landowners' organizations, political parties, journalists' unions, learned societies, artists' clubs, the church, societies for the clergy, Boy Scouts and cadet corps (White Guard organizations of youth), private detective bureaux, etc. Under State capitalism all these separate organizations fuse with the bourgeois State; they become, as it were, State departments, and they work in accordance with a general plan, subject to the 'high command'; in the mines and factories they do whatever is ordered by the general staff; they write in the newspapers under the orders of the general staff; they preach in the churches whatever will be useful to the robbers of the general staff; their pictures, their books, and their poems, are produced under the orders of the general staff; they invent machinery, weapons, poison gas, etc., to meet the needs of the general staff. In this manner the whole of life is militarized in order to secure for the bourgeoisie the continued receipt of its filthy lucre.

State capitalism signifies an enormous accession of strength to the great bourgeoisie. Just as under the working-class dictatorship, in the workers' State, the working class is more powerful in proportion as the soviet authority, the trade unions, the Communist Party, etc., work more harmoniously together, so under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie the capitalist class is strong in proportion to the success with which all the bourgeois organizations pull together. State capitalism, centralizing all these organizations, converting them all into the instruments of a single, united organization, contributes immensely to the power of capital. Bourgeois dictatorship attains its climax in State capitalism.

State capitalism flourished during the war in all the large capitalist countries. In tsarist Russia, too, it began to make its way (in the form of war industry committees, monopolies, etc.). Subsequently, however, the Russian bourgeoisie, alarmed by the revolution of March, 1917, became afraid lest productive industry should pass into the hands of the proletariat together with the State authority. For this reason, after the March revolution, the bourgeoisie did not merely refrain from attempts to organize production, but positively sabotaged industry.

We see that State capitalism, far from putting an end to exploitation, actually increases the power of the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless the Scheidemannites in Germany, and social solidarians in other lands, have contended that this forced labour is socialism. As soon, they say, as everything is in the hands of the State, socialism will be realized. They fail to see that in such a system the State is not a proletarian State, since it is in the hands of those who are the malicious and deadly enemies of the proletariat.

State capitalism uniting and organizing the bourgeoisie, increasing the power of capitalism, has, of course, greatly weakened the working class. Under State capitalism the workers became the white slaves of the capitalist State. They were deprived of the right to strike; they were mobilized and militarized; everyone who raised his voice against the war was hauled before the courts and sentenced as a traitor. In many countries the workers were deprived of all freedom of movement, being forbidden to transfer from one enterprise to another. ' Free' wage workers were reduced to serfdom; they were doomed to perish on the battlefields, not on behalf of their own cause but on behalf of that of their enemies. They were doomed to work themselves to death, not for their own sake or for that of their comrades or their children, but for the sake of their oppressors.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/bukharin/works/1920/abc/04.htm

Here I must raise another question. If the working class does not regard industry as its own, but as State capitalism, if it regards the factory management as a hostile force, and the building up of industry as a matter outside its concerns, and feels itself to be exploited, what is to happen? Shall we then be in a position, let us say, to carry on a campaign for higher production? “What the devil!” the workers would say, “are we to drudge for the capitalists? Only fools would do that.” How could we draw workers into the process of building up industry “What!” they would say, “shall we help the capitalist and build up the system? Only opportunists would do that.” If we say our industry is State capitalism, we shall completely disarm the working class. We dare not then speak of raising productive capacity, because that is the affair of the exploiters and not of the workers. To what end then shall we get larger and larger numbers to take part in our production conferences, if the workers are exploited, and when all that has nothing to do with them? Let the exploiter look after that! If we put the matter in this light, not only shall we be threatened with the danger of estrangement from the masses, but we shall not be in a position to build up our industries. That is as clear as daylight.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/bukharin/works/1926/01/x01.htm

Lenin incidentally, at first anyway, didn’t in fact consider the introduction of state capitalism as part of the lower phase of communism but as a minimum programme.

Eg

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/oct/06.htm

Against the wishes of Bukharin and others at the time who wanted to, with the all important word, ‘introduce’ the lower phase of communism that Lenin called ‘socialism’ in his own State and Revolution.

And as Lenin said himself;

The minimum programme is one which is in principle compatible with capitalism and does not go beyond its framework.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/dec/07.htm

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

DB;

thanks for the quotes! It is really interesting how the Bukharin of 1915 -1920 -1922 and 1926 have shifted. As the revolution degerated he started to talk about "our" state capitalism. And in 1926 open defence of it. Though Bukharin himself watered down and later on turned his back to his own definition of the concept, I still think that there is a value of the first definition which is not related to Lenin's claims about state capitalism.

In fact , Stephen Cohen -famous biographer of Bukharin- writes somewhere in his book on Bukharin that one of the most important source of tensions between young bukharin and lenin was the issue of state. His 1915 dated article should be seen in that line because when the article first appeared, I am pretty sure that he was accused of deviating to anarchism. Anyway the question of state inside the Bolshevik party was not handled in a unitary fashion and Lenin's perception was one among the others. The positions taken inside the party in 1920, 1918, 1921, 1923 etc may better be handled in context.

Anyway, about kropotkin;

I think Kropotkins objection to ‘state capitalism’ was both ‘political’ with centralisation etc as well as ‘economic’ with the wage labour and remuneration of the so-called lower phase of communism of ‘collectivism’.

And that collectivism (adopted by some self described anarchists) and the so called labour vouchers of self described Marxists were euphemisms for state capitalism by the back door so to speak.

you are absolutely right. I may have missed the context Kropotkin wrote here and I am sorry about that. But still, don't you think that, at least, both Bukharin of 1915 and Kropotkin of 1905 were close in their denounciation of state capitalism while there was a deep difference in method?

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You just need to remove the period after the URL.

Thanks Felix Frost.

The ICC article on the recent openness between 'left communists' and 'anarchists' doesn't mention the outlawing, persecution and pulverisation of all anarchist organisations by the Bolshevik state. Of course, it would be in bad taste to bring this up, as Ret Marut does on post 5:

Anarchists and other anti-bolshevik communists don't fail to recognise the 1917 revolution nor denounce it - they denounce the anti-working class role of the Bolsheviks in those events. This is because the Party and the revolution are not seen as identical.

On post 6, the ICC advocate Soyonstout diverts attention from this essential point about the anti-working class role of Bolshevism:

I didn't initially read this as conflating the two (RR and RSDLP-B), but rather that the issue was set aside as the main concrete historical event about which there are huge divergences between anarchists and marxists, both on the nature of the Russian Revolution (bourgeois or proletarian) and the class nature of the Bolshevik party (bourgeois or proletarian-up-to-a-certain-point-in-history). I don't think that the text meant to imply that everyone who doesn't speak kindly of Lenin necessarily dismisses or scorns the Russian Revolution and what the workers did.

'Setting aside' this issue of the annihilation of anarchism from 1918 onwards is like asking lambs during a storm that the wolf is also a creature that needs cover, so let's all cuddle together.

How can this decisive historical issue be 'set aside'? Is the systematic repression and murder of huge numbers of libertarians, many who had endured jail and torture under Tsarism, a matter only of a 'huge divergence' as Soyonstout naively claims? So anarchists like Voline, Goldman and Berkman (to mention just three) merely spoke 'unkindly' of Lenin, and had this 'divergence' with Bolshevism, even if 'huge'? Because the ICC claim Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik Party (including Stalin) as their political heritage, this 'huge divergence' is worth exploring fully. In the apologetic vision of the ICC, this repression and summary elimination of thousands would be 'errors' or 'mistakes'.

'Internationalism' is used by the ICC as the dispensation to exonerate Bolshevism's bloody dynamic of domination. It suggests that left communist nuncios define what is what in terms of political domination and repression.Usually mass repression like by Thiers and Noske is bad and anti-proletarian, but sometimes, like when unleashed by communist internationalists, it's ... well, at most errors and mistakes, indeed, most unbecoming and degenerative, but still ... 'our own'. Which is what intoxicated good old Dzerzhinsky, the frightening but exquisite realisation of great inquisitors that he was being set aside by history to create the first proletarian Einsatzgruppen. Himmler too used to worry about the mental health of his protegés in the Eastern front. Poor darlings, they also had to drown their sorrows in Schnapps and blubbering fits.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'Setting aside' this issue of the annihilation of anarchism from 1918 onwards is like asking lambs during a storm that the wolf is also a creature that needs cover, so let's all cuddle together.

No 1918 was the date that the Bolsheviks could be/or seem to be on the verge of liquidation. Contrary to your claims, there were Chekists anarchists or L-SR's. And as we had discussed earlier the L-SR insurrection after Brest agreement could have easily destroy the Bolshevik strenght. In Moscow L-SR' relied on the Cheka in the insurrection -since its military detachments were organised by them which was the only available military troops in Moscow apart from Latvians at the time. Dzerzshinsky who you easily equate with Himmler or Noske, went to the insurgent Cheka hq's in order to negotiate unarmed. Held as prisoner. After the insurrection told his friend that the best things the L-SR's could do for the revolution was to shoot him.

This represents the essence of what happened to revolution and the bolshevik party. Yes both has failed and the second one become the tool of state but in the Bolshevik case this was a tragedy unlike that of Nazi case which was itself born out of the failure and defeat of world revolution.

Mike Harman

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

miciver

'Internationalism' is used by the ICC as the dispensation to exonerate Bolshevism's bloody dynamic of domination

Yes this is brought up in nearly every discussion about the Bolsheviks, and I think it's worth repeating on threads like this when it's turned around to include anarchists in the proletarian camp alongside Lenin and Trotsky.

Same goes for trying to equate centralism to any kind of organisation whatsoever, which is as bad as calling any group of workers numbering two or more trying to improve their conditions a union...

Also since when were Kollontai and the Workers Opposition not left-communists? They appeared too late to be mentioned in 'infantile disorder' but that doesn't put them outside the tradition any more than Miasnikov's group were.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mikail Firtinaci post 25

The various Russian 'left communists' didn't lift a finger to defend anarchists. Left communists were loyal members of the ruling state party and even if some fretted over Kronstadt and the merciless war (not only by the Cheka but by the Red Army) against anarchists, the working class and the peasantry, this growing and brutal repression didn't lead left communists to break with the Red Leviathan when it mattered.
Do you have any proof, any text/document etc.?

I have never come across texts or proclamations (including demands of juries of honour), by left communists from the RCP(B), defending anarchists from the Cheka or, let's say, Makhno's movement from both the Cheka and the Red Army. If you come across any, please post the evidence here. But the proof you ask for is currently negative.

However, you have been an ICC apparatchik, you should be aware of the writings of I Hebbes on the 'Communist Left in Russia'. Does he mention any defence of anarchists by the original Left Communist fraction, or by the Workers' Opposition, the Democratic Centralists, the Worker's Truth or the Communist Workers' Group? Or any attempt by them to join the Kronstadt insurrection, seek solidarity with it in proletarian and peasant centres? Any denunciation by them of Lenin's and Trotsky's slanders and the criminal crushing of the insurrection by Dzerzhinky's and Tukhachevsky's stormtroopers? I may have missed that, and I don't have his book at hand. But the following essay doesn't seem to make any such claim:

http://libcom.org/library/communist-left-russia-after-1920-ian-hebbes

Guy Aldred has dramatically and aptly described the underlying loathing of 'anarchism' by totalitarian apparatchiks:

The terrible massacre of the Kronstadt sailors by Trotsky in March 1921, whom Trotsky had previously termed the flower of the Revolution, and the support of Trotsky by Zinoviev and Dibenko, was a shameless and shameful affair. The fortress and city were bombarded for ten days and it cannot be pretended that the sailors were moved by peasant ideas or that they were other than genuine Socialists or Communists. Trotsky's conduct was defended and even applauded in the Communist press of the world by Radek, who immediately after the October 1917 Revolution boasted a luxurious apartment and maid-servant. Radek's apology no longer carries weight for time exposed him as a panderer. He defended Trotsky's own exile and expulsion and the persecution of Rakovsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev. Radek's 1921 apology was made worthless by his subsequent record and castigation by Trotsky. If we are to accept Radek's apology for Kronstadt in 1921, then we must accept Radek's apology for Stalinism and the Stalinist persecution of Trotsky from 1927 on to the time of his assassination. Radek's own trial and " confession " put him out of court entirely as a witness.

The Kronstadt massacre was succeeded a month lator by the massacre of the Moscow Anarchists when Trotsky shelled their headquarters and finally abolished their propaganda. All this was justified on the ground that Anarchists were counter-revolutionists. Stalin has popularised this cry so thoroughly that no genuine revolutionist takes it seriously. Robespierre assassinated the French Revolution and finally himself by this very same parrot cry of counterrevolution. Men do embrace counter-revolutionary philosophy and they do pursue counter-revolutionary policies; but it does not follow that we must therefore give heed to every clamorous cry of counter-revolution when it is dictated by the hysterical needs of an aspiring bureaucrat, whose aim is to arrest the development of the revolution and to build his sect, or his party, or his clique into the edifice of power.

http://libcom.org/library/communism-story-communist-party-guy-aldred

Before the present discovery of the 'best of anarchism' (after more than 40 years of baffling negligence), the ICC used to accuse 'anarchists' of appetites equal to Stalinists and Trotskyists:

The British Left is better known since Sylvia Pankhurst and the Workers' Dreadnought group were targets of Lenin's pamphlet Left-wing communism, ... However, their struggle against the degeneration of the International has either been buried by the interested slander of Left Communism by Stalinists and Trotskyists alike, or distorted by the equally interested attempts of the anarchists to hi-jack the Left Communist tradition.

http://en.internationalism.org/ads/britrussleft

It seems that the swamps have been dredged of highjackers, parasites and other weeds at last, and replaced by green pastures where delightful and fraternal debates between newly-found comrades can happen. That's why the sinister time of hunter/hunted is to be set aside.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mikail Firtinaci post 34

'Setting aside' this issue of the annihilation of anarchism from 1918 onwards is like asking lambs during a storm that the wolf is also a creature that needs cover, so let's all cuddle together.

No 1918 was the date that the Bolsheviks could be/or seem to be on the verge of liquidation. Contrary to your claims, there were Chekists anarchists or L-SR's. And as we had discussed earlier the L-SR insurrection after Brest agreement could have easily destroy the Bolshevik strenght. In Moscow L-SR' relied on the Cheka in the insurrection -since its military detachments were organised by them which was the only available military troops in Moscow apart from Latvians at the time. Dzerzshinsky who you easily equate with Himmler or Noske, went to the insurgent Cheka hq's in order to negotiate unarmed. Held as prisoner. After the insurrection told his friend that the best things the L-SR's could do for the revolution was to shoot him.

This represents the essence of what happened to revolution and the bolshevik party. Yes both has failed and the second one become the tool of state but in the Bolshevik case this was a tragedy unlike that of Nazi case which was itself born out of the failure and defeat of world revolution.

I don't understand your point(s). What exactly are you trying to refute? That because the Bolshevik régime was on the verge of liquidation it was harmless or incapable of consolidating its power? Quite the opposite, imminent death saved it -- it reacted like all Leviathans and ruling rackets in desperate peril: it launched a civil war on society to preserve its power, just like the Whites did with their terror.

I'm quite aware that there were anarchist and Left-SR Chekists. Have I denied this? What 'claims' of mine do you refer to? But the responsibility of creating the Cheka and launching the Red Terror is entirely the ruling Bolshevik clique's. It doesn't matter than many Bolsheviks (and others) were accomplices or criticised/opposed these measures. What matters is that these criminal survival measures were passed and enacted, not the 'mitigating circumstances' of the ICC's Jury of Honour on Bolshevism. As with your mentors, you don't have a case, you mention whingeing, whining, hysterical demands of 'shoot me shoot me' worthy of a soap, as if this 'tragic' psychobabble would redeem the terrible acts fostered and committed by paranoid assassins and torturers.

Did you know that the heroic Left Communist Miasnikov was also a leading Chekist in Perm? According to Avrich:

Miasnikov ... gained a measure of notoriety for his role in the liquidation of the imperial family. He was personally responsible for the murder of Grand Duke Michael, the tsar's younger brother, who had been deported to Perm'. On the night of July 12-13, 1918, a group of workmen, led by Miasnikov, arrived at Michael's apartment with forged papers of the provincial Cheka. They awakened the Grand Duke, took him and his English secretary, Nicholas Johnson, to the Motovilikha factory, and there shot them to death [Johnson was just some collateral damage].

Whether Miasnikov undertook the assassination on his own initiative or was acting on orders from higher authority is unclear. ... Yet the fact that, as soon as the assassination was carried out, Miasnikov left for Moscow and reported directly to Lenin, suggests that he had acted under instructions. Four days later, it might be added, the tsar and his family were shot, on Bolshevik orders, in the Urals city of Ekaterinburg.

For the remainder of the Civil War Miasnikov remained a loyal Bolshevik. By 1920 he was chairman of the Perm' Provincial Party Committee, having headed its agitprop section. In September of that year he was a delegate to the Ninth Party Conference, held in Moscow, where he spoke on propaganda work within the party. He did not, like several other delegates at the conference, criticize the party leadership. Yet he was seething with disaffection. He was deeply troubled by the oligarchical tendencies within the party, the drift towards authoritarianism and elite rule, a process greatly accelerated by the Civil War. He was dismayed by the growing concentration of power in the hands of the Central Committee, the divorce of the leadership from the rank and file, and the suppression of local initiative and debate. Equally disturbing, though he did not yet raise his voice in public protest, was the introduction of labor discipline in the factories, along with the elevation of technical specialists to positions of authority and the replacement of workers' control by one-man management and bureaucratic administration.

http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/russia/bol_opp_lenin_avrich.html

Commendable reactions, but a bit late in the day, after people like him had fanatically helped to create the monster now devouring them. He felt out of favour during NEP, his revolutionary zeal cramped. But a man of steel no doubt, like the bank robbers and terrorists Stalin and Kamo, like the morally corrupt Dzerzhinsky. Apparently Miasnikov wrote Philosophy of Murder, or why and how I murdered Mikhail Romanov. I don't know if a translation exists, I can't recall if Hebbes cites from it. Approvingly of course, hardly an 'error' by Miasnikov or his bosses in the Kremlin.

If these sordid events among Leviathanic cultists represent to you 'the essence' of the October Revolution, the real social potential and tragedy, as experienced by millions in civil society, and described by historians like Marc Ferro (for example in Des Soviets au communisme bureaucratique) is sorely missed.

Wellclose Square

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I share the deep scepticism of other posters concerning the ICC's sudden discovery of the commonality between 'the communist left and internationalist anarchism', especially in view of the anti-working class practice of Bolshevism, a Leviathanic heritage of which the ICC considers itself an inheritor. I suspect that Samotnaf is right:

All this stuff fom the ICC is part of their charm offensive, to show how they're not like the old sectarian ICC, how they're "open" whilst temporarily hiding their more crude "party building" agenda

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mciver;

I have read the article you quote by avrich, and there is no single sentence that claims Miasnikov was a Chekist. In Leggett's work on Cheka there is a claim that connects the killings of Grand Duke as a Chekist action but this is not also proven. Your link does not include the references, but in the whole paragraphs there are only two references. The article was written in 1984 before the fall of Soviets and the opening of the archives. In that sense your claim that Miasnikov was a loyal Chekist, based on an unrelated quote from Avrich shows nothing but only your irrational hostility towards communist left.

If you have read any of the available sources that gives info. about left communists -Ian Hebbes, Schapiro, Serge, etc.- you could have seen that Left Communists were critical to the regime starting from 1918.

I have never come across texts or proclamations (including demands of juries of honour), by left communists from the RCP(B), defending anarchists from the Cheka or, let's say, Makhno's movement from both the Cheka and the Red Army.

It would be very clear why you can not if you studied a bit of history of revolution without having the intention of blaming someone actually living now. It is because there was no real declared aim to physically destroy the anarchists. Anarchists were among the revolutionaries with whom the Bolsheviks have worked together and fought in the revolution. As the revolution tended towards degeneration, the state created the reasons to support Chekist actions. For instance in 1918 Moscow raids against the anarchists where 500 of them were imprisoned and lots of them were murdered, Djershinsky could claim these were not "ideological anarchists". This attempt of legitimation shows the illegitamcy of attacking the anarchists many of whom were still fighting with Bolsheviks against the whites etc.

Anyway in order to understand Kronstadt you should understand the particularity of the Russian situation. Russia is a huge country -the biggest in the world- which was at that time composed of a great mass of peasantry and weak infrastructural base and harsh enviorenmental conditions. The connection with the villages or even towns could be lost in long winters. In the civil war conditions the channels of communication were very limited. And many times the soviets seem to be falling. During 1918-1921 it seemed at least 3 times that Petersburg -one of the biggest workers center with Moscow- was going to fall to the whites.

So when Kronstadt insurrection started, the states' propaganda that it was an imperialist white thing was the only available explanation for many people across the country. Including Myasnikov living in Perm whichs is south of the Urals!

However Serge, who was not a Bolshevik party member and a figure in the Petrograd soviet administration at the same time in those days, tells the atmosphere clearly in his memories as such;

"DURING THE NIGHT OF FEBRUARY 28-29, I was awakened by a phone call. 'The Whites have taken Kronstadt', an anxious voice told me. 'We are fully mobilized'. It was Ilya lonov, Zinoviev's brother-in-law. This was an appalling piece of news. If true, it meant that Petrograd itself would soon be lost.

'What Whites? Where did they come from? I can't believe it!'

'A general by the name of Kozlovski -'

'But what about our sailors? What about the Soviet? The Cheka? The workers at the Arsenal?'

'I've told you all I know.'

Zinoviev was in conference with the Revolutionary Council of the Army, so I rushed over to the headquarters of the Third District Committee. Everybody was looking pretty grim. 'It's fantastic. But it's true.' 'Well,' I said, 'we must mobilize everyone able to walk. Immediately!' Someone replied, evasively: 'Yes, we must mobilize.' But nothing could be done without instructions from the Petrograd Committee. Several comrades and I spent the rest of the night poring over a map of the Gulf of Finland. We got word that small-scale strikes were spreading through the suburbs. Whites in front of us, famine and strikes behind us! I left at dawn, and on my way out of the hotel I ran into one of the maids, quietly leaving the building with packages under her arm.

'Where to so early in the morning, grandmother? And with such a load?'

The old woman sighed:

There's going to be trouble. You can feel it in the air. They will slit your throats, my poor boy, yours and the others' too. They'll steal everything that isn't nailed down, just as they did last time. So I'm packing off my belongings.'

At intervals along the deserted streets there were little wall posters announcing treacherous seizure of Kronstadt by the counter-revolutionary general Kozlovski and his accomplices, and summoning the workers to arms. But even before I reached the District Committee headquarters I ran into several comrades who had already turned out, mauser in hand, and they told me that the Kozlovski business was a contemptible lie: the Kronstadt sailors had mutinied, and what we were up against was a naval rebellion led by the Kronstadt Soviet. If anything, that was still more serious; and the worst of it was the paralyzing effect of the official lie upon us. For the party to lie to us this way was something new. 'They had to do it because of the mood of the people,' some of my acquaintances explained. But they were frightened too. The strike had become almost general. Nobody even knew whether the street-cars would run.

http://libcom.org/library/kronstadt-21-serge

this must show the existing paralysis of the party in the face of the Kronstadt.

-------

I really do not want to continue this fruitless discussion any longer any more. I think you only have accusations without proof mciver. You are just incapable of showing any document to prove that Bolshevik party including the Left communists was a synical sect secretely aimed at destroying the revolution which is getting very boring to engage with...

If you hate the ICC for whatever reason you already said that and I think everybody saw it.

s.nappalos

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

french anarchist communists first used the term/analysis "state capitalism" in the 1880s.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That is interesting nappalos. The use of the term might have caused by the use of confusing "state socialism" term - its criticism- which some part of the social democracy tended to support.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mikail Firtinaci, post 39

This is what historians Greg King and Penny Wilson write regarding the murder of Michael Romanov and his secretary, and Miasnikov's role in the killings:

Late that evening, a hotel guest named Krumnis was in a room adjacent to that of the Grand Duke, playing cards, when he heard a disruption and raised voices in the hallway. Venturing to crack his door open, he witnessed three men arguing with the Hotel Commissar. They were demanding that Michael be turned over to them for "evacuation." The Commissar knew of no orders to move Michael, and he refused the men access to the Grand Duke's rooms until he heard directly from the Cheka. Pushing past the Commissar, the three men demanded that a serving girl from the hotel restaurant show them where Michael Romanov lived. Krumnis saw her lead them towards the stairs. The three men were actually Bolsheviks from the Ural Regional Soviet, but they did not identify themselves as such, as their plan was to disguise Michael's kidnapping as an escape.

Vassili Chelyshev [another witness] later told other Imperial servants held at the Perm jail how Michael resisted the men at first, but then was taken at gunpoint from his hotel room; Nicholas Johnson [Michael Romanov's English secretary] had refused to let him leave alone and had insisted on accompanying the Grand Duke. Neither man was allowed the time even to put on a coat against the evening's chill. Still watching from his door downstairs, Krumnis saw Michael and Johnson descend the stairs and leave the Hotel with the unrecognized men; he thought that neither looked worried or upset.

Outside, two small horse-drawn phaetons and several men were waiting. Michael, Johnson and a group of six or seven men - Gabriel Myasnikov, twenty-nine-years-old, a member of the Perm Cheka and Head of the City Garrison; Andrei Markov, Commissar for Appropriations in the Perm Soviet; Vassili Ivanchenko, Head of the Perm Military Garrison; Nicholas Zhuzhgov, Assistant Chief of the Motovilikhia Factory; and Ivan Kolpashchikov, a member of the Red Army -- got into them, and they were driven away out onto the Siberian Highway. A sixth man, Igor Novoselov, later wrote an account of the murder, which seems to indicate that he was also present that night in the forest. A seventh version came from Feodor Lukoyanov, who later claimed to have been involved in the murder. According to his sister Vera, one day he burst into a meeting of the Ekaterinburg Cheka and declared: "If you would give me Nicholas, I would solve this sorry affair, just like I did with Michael!" [it seems that a few Chekists, including Miasnikov, very vying for the honour!]

Michael asked where he was being taken. He was told that he was being driven to another town, where he would board a train for Mogilev, located some 1400 miles to the west. The Grand Duke seemed reassured by this answer, and settled back calmly into his seat. In reality, Myasnikov had worked out a far more sinister plan. Michael would be taken away to a clearing in the forest near the Motovilikhia Factory and shot; at the same time, the Perm Cheka would declare that Michael had disappeared-rescued or kidnapped-and arrest the three members of his small Household as suspected conspirators.

Driving through Motovilikhia, they passed a Soviet paraffin store on the edge of town. Nearly a mile further on, the carriages turned off the highway and into the woods, where they stopped. Michael and Johnson were told that they were to meet the train beyond the woods, where it would stop to pick them up in a field between stations. They would have to walk the rest of the way. Getting out of his carriage, Grand Duke Michael began to walk in the direction indicated. Nicholas Johnson was still climbing out when without warning or ceremony, Markov leveled his handgun and shot him in the head. Johnson “swayed and fell into the dirt.” Michael began to run towards his secretary. Kolpashnikov aimed and pulled the trigger on his revolver, but the gun jammed; Zhuzhgov fired, but his shot only wounded the Grand Duke, and left him still on his feet and moving towards them. Markov fired, his shot striking the Grand Duke in the head and sending him in a spiral into the road, where he died at the side of his secretary. The conspirators were not able to properly bury the bodies in the dark, so later that morning, more men returned to the forest to dig the graves of Michael Romanov and Nicholas Johnson.

This is at: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=1486.25;wap2

See also: www.thefateoftheromanovs.com, site for King & Wilson, The Fate of the Romanovs, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2003. The sections citing Miasnikov's Philosophy of Murder, or why and how I murdered Mikhail Romanov and other testimonies, are in Chapters 7-9, pp 205-250, http://www.amazon.com/reader/0471207683?_encoding=UTF8&page=52.

This is the Wikipedia article describing the Michael Romanov/Johnson murders:

On 12 June 1918, the leader of the local secret police [ie, the Perm Cheka], Gavriil Myasnikov, with the connivance of other local Bolsheviks, hatched a plan to murder Michael. Myasnikov assembled a team of four men, who all, like him, were former prisoners of the Tsarist regime: Vasily Ivanchenko, Ivan Kolpashchikov, Andrei Markov, and Nikolai Zhuzhgov. Using a forged order, the four men gained entry to Michael's hotel at 11.45 p.m. At first, Michael refused to accompany the men until he spoke with the local chairman of the secret police, Pavel Malkov, and then because he was ill. His protestations were futile, and he got dressed. Johnson insisted on accompanying him, and the four men plus their two prisoners climbed into two horse-drawn three-seater traps. They drove out of the town into the forest near Motovilikha. When Michael queried their destination, he was told they were going to a remote railway crossing to catch a train. They all alighted from the carriages in the middle of the wood, and both Michael and Johnson were fired at once each, but as the assassins were using home-made bullets, their guns jammed. Michael, whether wounded or not is unknown, moved towards the wounded Johnson with arms outstretched, when he was shot at point-blank range in the head. Both Zhuzhgov and Markov claimed to have fired the fatal shot. Johnson was shot dead by Ivanchenko. The bodies were stripped and buried. Anything of value was stolen, and the clothes were taken back to Perm. After they were shown to Myasnikov as proof of the murders, the clothes were burned. The Ural Regional Soviet, headed by Alexander Beloborodov, approved the execution, either retrospectively or beforehand, as did Lenin [in this version Miasnikov is not at the scene of the killings].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duke_Michael_Alexandrovich_of_Russia#cite_note-143, July 2010

Another source, Crawford, Rosemary; Crawford, Donald, Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of the Last Tsar of Russia, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997, also describe Myasnikov as a Chekist.

I never claimed that Avrich wrote that Miasnikov was a Chekist, that's your inept and tendentious reading. According to the above sources, Miasnikov was a Chekist. As I can't read Russian or verify primary source material in situ, I can't be sure of these 'proofs' either.

Were these killings (two among thousands) the work of the Cheka? Leggett can't confirm this as you say, although that may be because his work pre-dates the Crawfords and King's and Wilson's, who had access to archives. But still, let's give the Cheka the benefit of the doubt, because there seem to have been many unofficial Chekists about, and because we can't be sure of any 'proof', including the sources above. But what's your point? My original post 23 claimed that left communists (including Miasnikov), ... didn't lift a finger to defend anarchists. Left communists were loyal members of the ruling state party and even if some fretted over Kronstadt and the merciless war (not only by the Cheka but by the Red Army) against anarchists, the working class and the peasantry, this growing and brutal repression didn't lead left communists to break with the Red Leviathan when it mattered.

To this, you raise the asinine retort: Do you have any proof, any text/document etc.? (post 25). What is this supposed to mean? If I say: 'Peter didn't email today', the reply: 'have you any proof?' is typical of a student debating society. Of course, if Peter HAD emailed, the proof would be there for all to see. Similarly, if the left communists HAD defended their anarchist mates, this evidence would exist in 'texts/documents'. Surely the non-existence of such evidence is my point, so how can I offer texts/documents contradicting that? In short, it's up to YOU to provide this evidence, as you question my affirmation. Why should I do your research?

My point on Miasnikov on post 37 is that it's highly improbable that he would have shown solidarity with persecuted anarchists in 1918-21. Miasnikov's devotion to Bolshevism precluded it, and the action would have instantly placed him under the gaze of the Cheka. Psychologically, it's unlikely that he would have broken with his fellow 'swordsmen'. He was implicated in murder and Chekist actions even if he was only their assistant and not an actual Chekist. If King and Wilson or the Crawfords are wrong, this doesn't deny that most Bolsheviks would have been keen to help the Cheka, as Nazis would have assisted the Gestapo. I don't see why Miasnikov would have rejected helping the Cheka out. Given the Cheka mentality, offing monarchist parasites sounds like an exciting bonding soirée! Even more so if Vladimir Ilych himself briefed the job, as Avrich implies.

What did any of this have to do with the emancipation of the Russian working class and mankind?

Anyway, for Bolsheviks to be accepted in the Cheka was a great honour and responsibility (like being selected in 'direct actions' to recover typewriters, bulletins and fees). You seem squeamish about this, as if Miasnikov suddenly became tainted for his alleged Chekism (not for the murder of two defenceless hostages). Let me remind you that the leading Chekists -- Uritsky, Latsis, Peters, Volodarsky, Blumkin, Unszlicht and Dzerzhinsky were all Bolsheviks, and proud of their two helmets.

You write: If you have read any of the available sources that gives info. about left communists -Ian Hebbes, Schapiro, Serge, etc.- you could have seen that Left Communists were critical to the regime starting from 1918.

Don't be fatuous. I'm quite aware of what the Left Communists were saying from Brest-Litovsk onwards. But the point I'm making is about their solidarity and defence of anarchists in that period. To repeat myself, there was nothing, or very little, of that, so the current ICC attempts to build bridges when their progenitors burnt them all is hypocritical. Bolshevism tolerates no rivals, all oppositions were and are, in the end, intolerable.

You also say: ... there was no real declared aim to physically destroy the anarchists. ... Anarchists were among the revolutionaries with whom the Bolsheviks have worked together and fought in the revolution.

But in spite of this brotherly love, and the aim of physical destruction not being 'really declared', the outlawing and physical destruction took place. Must a malignant practice be 'really declared' to become real? What matters is that the anarchists were slandered, targeted and eradicated, and the historic evidence for this is abundant (witness Serge, to mention just one, and he's not the best). The eradication was 'illegitimate' you say, ridiculously chiding Dzerzhinsky. Yet this necrophilous apparatchik was wielding the Cheka sword effectively, like a Himmler or a Heydrich would, so I don't see your point. 'Legitimacy' during a Red Terror and Civil War?

Assuming that the degeneration of October you mention is real, there's around only a year of life in its history (November 1917-September 1918). The honeymoon period with 'internationalist anarchism' was even shorter, ending months before that. Neverthless, the apparat wishes to recruit from anarchist groups today based on that little window of 'cooperation'. The supposed historic commonality is a fabrication, it was never sustained in the October revolution, and apologists for Bolshevism inevitably have to skirt around ('set aside') the relentless extirpation of anarchism in 1918-21 (a terror policy ending in Stalin's gulag). In practice a commonality between left communists and best-approved-anarchists hasn't existed in more than 90 years.

Your comments about Kronstadt combine delusion and apologetics. The Serge you quote confirms that Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik state lied and slandered the uprising: ... even before I reached the District Committee headquarters I ran into several comrades who had already turned out, mauser in hand, and they told me that the Kozlovski business was a contemptible lie: the Kronstadt sailors had mutinied, and what we were up against was a naval rebellion led by the Kronstadt Soviet. If anything, that was still more serious; and the worst of it was the paralyzing effect of the official lie upon us. For the party to lie to us this way was something new. 'They had to do it because of the mood of the people,' some of my acquaintances explained. But they were frightened too. The strike had become almost general. Nobody even knew whether the street-cars would run.

This, according to you: ... must show the existing paralysis of the party in the face of the Kronstadt. But this is nonsense, a few deluded rank and file Bolsheviks may have become 'paralysed', but most, actively or passively, supported the crushing of the sailors, together with the strike waves in Petrograd and other industrial centres. The Bolshevik Leviathan of March 1921 was certainly NOT paralysed -- it lied knowingly and spread calumnies against 'counter-revolutionaries', and finally reacted effectively and brutally under the goading of Trotsky:

Talking to the foreign press at the time, [Trotsky] told lies about the mutineers. He said they were not the same naval personnel who had helped the Bolsheviks to power in 1917. He alleged that the mutinous sailors of 1921 were casual elements [and sexually suspect?], conscripted at short notice and permanently embittered against socialism -- and he accused them of being led by White army officers. He was determined to discredit them in extreme language....

At the same time [Lenin] condemned the Kronstadt mutiny as a 'petit-bourgeois counter-revolution' more perilous than the offensives by the White armies. He assured that the Congress that rural revolts would be suppressed with severity....

Midway through the [10th Congress] proceedings the call was made for volunteers to leave Moscow and head north to reinforce the contingent readying itself in Petrograd to take on the Kronstadters. ... Over the ice went Tukhachevski and the Seventh Army. The leading mutineers were seized [and many shot] and sent to labour camps while ordinary sailors were deployed to other naval units. Resistance was ruthlessly suppressed. Trotsky was pleased with Tukhachevski's performance.

Robert Service, Trotsky, a Biography, Pan Books: London 2010, p 283. Israel Getzler's accounts of the Bolsheviks' calumnies and repression of Kronstadt remain most authoritative.

How many Left communists were in the assault against Kronstadt? Ex-members of The Workers' Opposition participated in the assault, and probably others who still called themselves left communists.

Agree, I don't see any point in exchanging ideas with you either. You remain trapped by an ideology that has proven a dead-end. Of course I don't expect you to agree with this. You have invented my 'lack of proof'; well, provide the 'proof' that suits you, do your own research. However, in the end this has little to do with 'proof', but with a deep difference in interpretation of class conflict, mass delusion and social trends under valorisation. Another of your naive inventions is that I claim that Bolshevism was a 'cynical sect aimed at destroying the revolution'. As if religions and ideologies could be dismissed like that, and reduced to conspiracies.

Mike Harman

Also since when were Kollontai and the Workers Opposition not left-communists? They appeared too late to be mentioned in 'infantile disorder' but that doesn't put them outside the tradition any more than Miasnikov's group were.

I have never heard them described as 'left communists' before. It was my impressioın that they were criticised by the left communists as being a bureaucratic, syndicalist opposition.

mciver

But what's your point? My original post 23 claimed that left communists (including Miasnikov), ... didn't lift a finger to defend anarchists. Left communists were loyal members of the ruling state party and even if some fretted over Kronstadt and the merciless war (not only by the Cheka but by the Red Army) against anarchists, the working class and the peasantry, this growing and brutal repression didn't lead left communists to break with the Red Leviathan when it mattered.

Paul Avrich

Then, in March, came the Kronstadt rebellion. Miasnikov was deeply affected. Unlike the Democratic Centralists and Workers' Opposition, he refused to denounce the insurgents. Nor would he have participated in their suppression had he been called upon to do so. For he attributed the rising to "the regime within the party." "if someone dares to have the couurage of his convictions," Miasnikov declared, he is either a self-seeker or, worse, a counterrevolutionary, a Menshevik or an SR. Such was the case with Kronstadt. Everything was nice and quiet. Then suddenly, without a word, it hits you in the face: "What is Kronstadt? A few hundred Communists are fighting against us." What does this mean? Who is to blame if the ruling circles have no common language not only with the nonparty masses but with rankand-f'ile Communists? So much do they misunderstand one another that they reach for their weapons. What then is this? It is the brink, the abyss. (24)

Clearly it had been a mistake to bring Miasnikov to Petrograd. The Central Committee, recognizing its error, ordered him to return to the Urals. Miasnikov complied. Back on native grounds, however, he resumed his agitation, stirring up a hornet's nest in the local party organization. In May 1921, moreover, he exploded a bombshell in the form of a memorandum to the,Central Committee, calling for sweeping reform. A crushing indictment of the Communist leaders, their theories and methods, the memorandum demanded the abolition of the death penalty, the liquidation of bureaucratic forms of organization, and the transfer of industrial administration to producers' Soviets-, it counterpoised revolutionary principle to the expedients promoted by the Central Committee. (25)

The most striking demand of the memorandum was for unrestricted freedom of the press. Criticizing the Tenth Party Congress for stifling debate, Miasnikov called for freedom of the press for everyone, "from monarchists to anarchists inclusive," as he put it, (26) a phrase that would reverberate through the polemics that followed. Miasnikov was the only Bolshevik to make such a demand. He saw freedom of the press as the only means of curbing the abusive tendencies of power and of maintaining honesty and efficiency within the party. No government, he realized, could avoid error and corruption when critical voices were silenced.(27)

mciver

I never claimed that Avrich wrote that Miasnikov was a Chekist, that's your inept and tendentious reading.

Personally, I think it is a bit off to have a go at someone over their reading abilities in a foreign language.

Devrim

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It was claimed by (some at least) Left SRS that they entered the Cheka in order to temper and bridle the excesses of the Bolsheviks. Whether this was true or effective is another matter, what with the contradictions of entering into such a repressive institution and not being effected by it.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the above sources, Miasnikov was a Chekist. As I can't read Russian or verify primary source material in situ, I can't be sure of these 'proofs' either.

then you should not be that insistent; At least if you are having a claim that left communists were loyal chekists. Obviously first quote is based on a memoir and not a party source. The second one; "may be" pointing out to something... but what would it prove? Would it prove that "murder" of some bloody aristocrat by Miasnikov was something against anarchists. That is utter nonsense.

To this, you raise the asinine retort: Do you have any proof, any text/document etc.? (post 25). What is this supposed to mean? If I say: 'Peter didn't email today', the reply: 'have you any proof?' is typical of a student debating society. Of course, if Peter HAD emailed, the proof would be there for all to see. Similarly, if the left communists HAD defended their anarchist mates, this evidence would exist in 'texts/documents'. Surely the non-existence of such evidence is my point, so how can I offer texts/documents contradicting that? In short, it's up to YOU to provide this evidence, as you question my affirmation. Why should I do your research?

That is funny. If you are challenging a generally accepted point of view, which is supported by documents (for instance; LC's were consistently opposing the statist degeration of the revolution) than it should be YOU who should be proving otherwise. But YOU are making accusations towards a political current -based on your irrational personal anger against the ICC-. Your logic is ahistorical. To give an example;

lets assume that fact/phenomenon A comes historically before fact/phenomenon B. You say that fact B is an expression of C; than A should also be an expression of C. In this logic, your A is russian left communists and their political attitudes towards anarchists. Your B is ICC and its attitude. Your C is cynicism. None of this relations in this scheme are logical. They are speculative and hysterical.

For instance, you argue that Myasnikov was involved in the killing of a member of upper aristocracy. Hence he is related to Cheka and hence with the liquidation of anarchists. Going even further you relate this with the "cynicism of ICC". This is at best funny to read if only read like a complo theory.

For instance;

Don't be fatuous. I'm quite aware of what the Left Communists were saying from Brest-Litovsk onwards. But the point I'm making is about their solidarity and defence of anarchists in that period. To repeat myself, there was nothing, or very little, of that, so the current ICC attempts to build bridges when their progenitors burnt them all is hypocritical. Bolshevism tolerates no rivals, all oppositions were and are, in the end, intolerable.

It is impossible to argue against such a hysterical sentence. Because there are no logical links in it. You are simply confusing historical phenomenon with your ideological definitions reaching your ideological assumptions.

How many Left communists were in the assault against Kronstadt?

Show some documents! How many?!

------------

Reading through all you had written, I am convinced that your claim about "evil bolshevism" is based on only two "facts";

1- Kronstadt
2- Miasnikov "murdering" a prince

YOU are -unsurprisingly- neglacting all the party disputes, all the inter-Party oppositions, all the liquidations even inside the Party... all the history. Because just as the 1950's rancid American Russian studies proffesors, your big idea is based on the existance of a "Bolshevik Leviethan". Not a very original idea indeed. Recent archival materials shows that Bolshevik party center -whatever the intention was- DID NOT have utter control over Russia. Chekas -both in the center and provinces- mostly acted on their own behalf -let alone Djerzshinsky's- and state apparatus gained autonomy as the revolution get isolated. Sovnarkom -urged most importantly by INTER-PARTY OPPOSITION- fostered this autonomy in its every attempt to get it under control in a contradictory fashion. This is as such because the "apparat" was getting out of the control of the Soviets. Myasnikov, as an honorable worker who stood against that tide, was a leading bolshevik whose fraction involved in the organisation of 1923 strikes in Moscow -see; russian revolution in retreat simon pirani-;

The extent to which working-class political protest was marginalized can be
judged from the failure of the only significant challenge to the party among
Moscow workers in 1923, by the Workers Group of communist dissidents.
In May, the group’s leaders in Moscow, former members of the 1920
Bauman opposition, were expelled from the party and the metalworkers’
union. Factory mass meetings and party organizations made protests,
exceptional acts of defiance at a time when political opposition automatically
invited GPU repression. But this turned out to be the apex of the
Workers Group’s activity. Party leaders’ fears that the industrial discontent
of the summer would develop into political struggle, and provide a support
base for the dissidents, were misplaced. Most workers, willing if not happy
to accept the social contract, concentrated on winning improvements in
living standards and shunned those who challenged the Bolshevik leadership
politically. The Workers Group, along with the Workers Truth group, was to
all intents and purposes destroyed by GPU arrests in September.11
Just after the twelfth party congress in April, theWorkers Group published
a manifesto,12 the central theme of which was the resurrection of workers’
democracy in the form of workplace-based soviets. It argued that, whereas
during the civil war the emphasis had been on suppressing the exploiters,
NEP required rebuilding such soviets as the ‘basic cells’ of state power.
There could be no free speech for those who oppose revolution, ‘from
monarchists to SRs’, and curtailing democracy during the civil war had
been an unavoidable necessity. But under NEP ‘a new approach’ was
needed, including free speech for all workers: ‘there is no such thing in
Russia as a communist working class, there is just the working class, with
Bolsheviks, anarchists, SRs and Mensheviks in its ranks’, among whom ‘not
compulsion, but persuasion’ had to be used.

pg 195

Rotten cold war conceptions such as yours, to puddle mud on revolutionaries are progressively getting thrown to the dustbin of history as the decayed state capitalism and its self image of an "all-mighty empire" has been crushed with newer materials covered from the archives. This all mighty self image of stalinist counter revolution and its mirror image in the western democratic academia was the perspective of the imperialist poles. It was the basis of the great lie that both imperialist poles have used in their interest.

In that sense it is only sad to see a person who describe himself as communist using that old fashioned lie against a real communist organisation which has nothing to do with the crimes of Russian state capitalism except being its victim together with the revolutionary anarchists....

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Regardless of who was involved in Kronstadt, the ICC takes a clear position on the subject: That there was and is no excuse for the use of force against workers.

Whatever confusions were expressed by the Kronstadt rebels, it is absolutely undeniable that their demands also reflected the interests of the proletariat faced with terrible living conditions, the growing oppression of a state bu­reaucracy and the loss of its political power in the atro­phied soviets. The attempt at the time by the Bolsheviks to brand them as petty-bourgeois and potential agents of the counter revolution was of course a pretext to solve a situa­tion of terrible danger and complexity within the prole­tariat by force.

. . .

But a Communist Left, worthy of the name, while iden­tifying with the Bolshevik heritage must be also able to criticise its mistakes. The crushing of the Kronstadt revolt was one of the most harmful and terrible of these.

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/104_kronstadt.html

One of the first articles in the ICC's International Review theoretical quarterly concerned their view on Kronstadt- something that has to be repeatedly published and republished over the years due to unfounded accusations that the ICC somehow excuses, apologizes for or agrees with what the Bolsheviks did there.

888

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

what's wrong with executing aristocrats?

Demogorgon303

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think some of the discussions on this thread have been interesting so far and show that there is clearly much to be discussed concerning the differences between anarchism and marxism. I suspect that some of these differences relate as much to the different terms we have drawn from our respective heritages (for example, federalism vs centralism) but have actually evolved to the point where we are possibly talking about the same thing. More discussion will help us see if this is indeed the case - at any event, it will help us understand what the differences really are beyond an instinctive reaction to certain words.

Nonetheless, the aim of the original article was to clarify our position on how we see what we call "internationalist anarchism" - that is, as comrades in a common struggle against capitalism.

Given this, I think there the open approach to discussing these questions that has been expressed by most posters here is to be welcomed. An acknowledgement - however tentative it may be for some at this stage - that we are in the same camp doesn't mean all these differences can be automatically or immediately overcome. On the contrary, it means we need to increase our efforts to clarify these differences in the hope that our collective effort can benefit the whole class when the time comes to make the revolution a reality.

I think we can all agree that capitalism is at a point where it now has nothing but utter misery to offer the working class and the mass of humanity. Even in the past few months we have seen that the temporary stabilisation of the economic crisis is exactly that - temporary - and that as it advances the ruling class will make us pay the price required to prop up its tottering system. The BP oil crisis neatly symbolises the wider ecological disaster that the current social system has no way of resolving and will be exacerbated even more as all companies and governments are driven to cut costs. And to this we can add the perpetual war in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the destabilisation of Pakistan, etc.

The only potential obstacle that stands against this real and growing horror is the working class. The only way this potential can be actualised is if the working class is able to unite itself into a coherent force that can overthrow the state. We think that revolutionaries have to contribute to this by making the first step towards that unity. If those that have begun to understand what's at stake can't do this then what hope has the rest of the class does? If we fail in this, then capitalism will smash us.

Some obviously believe that this is a cynical attempt to recruit. And yet, most of the serious posters here know we really do believe what we say about dying capitalism being a threat to humanity.

It's because we really believe in the seriousness of the world situation that we've taken a long hard look at our view of what constitutes what we call the "proletarian camp" and how we have related to it in the past. That camp no longer has the luxury of fannying about while the world burns. Sectarianism is no longer an option and that means all those who call themselves revolutionaries have to get their act together (literally) - and that includes the ICC considering we have made our own share of mistakes on this question in the past.

The article we published is only a first step on our part in that effort but everything has to start somewhere. We are not saying this will be easy. We will all have to unlearn deep-seated habits of thought and behaviour. Hostility, distrust, misunderstandings, etc. do not simply vanish overnight. The movement is paying a heavy price for the mistakes and errors revolutionaries have committed in the past. But if we don't try then we have failed our class.

ajjohnstone

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sectarianism is no longer an option and that means all those who call themselves revolutionaries have to get their act together ... We will all have to unlearn deep-seated habits of thought and behaviour. Hostility, distrust, misunderstandings, etc. do not simply vanish overnight. The movement is paying a heavy price for the mistakes and errors revolutionaries have committed in the past. But if we don't try then we have failed our class.

So would it be of benefit in actually relegating Marx and Engels to history and no longer suffer the unwelcomed baggage that comes with attaching ourselves to them ?
What if we simply disregard the Labour Theory of Value in our socialist propaganda. Forget that Marx and Engels even lived. Who knows, even eliminate even the word socialism from our case. ( some have already come up with their own terminology such as "participatory economics" )

I believe that some view the recent growth of Zeitgeist as due to not being seen to have any adherence to past socialist or anarchist traditions , not as a re-discovery of old ideas but as something new and imaginative and inventive.

So could we leave Marx and Engels to the academics and the archives ? Leave Lenin and the Russian Revolution to historians? Leave Bakunin on the library shelves?

Just a passing heretical thought.

Noa Rodman

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjonston

So would it be of benefit in actually relegating Marx and Engels to history and no longer suffer the unwelcomed baggage that comes with attaching ourselves to them ?
What if we simply disregard the Labour Theory of Value in our socialist propaganda. Forget that Marx and Engels even lived. Who knows, even eliminate even the word socialism from our case. ( some have already come up with their own terminology such as "participatory economics" )

I believe that some view the recent growth of Zeitgeist as due to not being seen to have any adherence to past socialist or anarchist traditions , not as a re-discovery of old ideas but as something new and imaginative and inventive.

So could we leave Marx and Engels to the academics and the archives ? Leave Lenin and the Russian Revolution to historians? Leave Bakunin on the library shelves?

Just a passing heretical thought.

I hope you're only poking fun at the pathos in Demorgogon's speech...

Zeitgeist, really?

ajjohnstone

So would it be of benefit in actually relegating Marx and Engels to history and no longer suffer the unwelcomed baggage that comes with attaching ourselves to them ?
What if we simply disregard the Labour Theory of Value in our socialist propaganda. Forget that Marx and Engels even lived. Who knows, even eliminate even the word socialism from our case. ( some have already come up with their own terminology such as "participatory economics" )

I believe that some view the recent growth of Zeitgeist as due to not being seen to have any adherence to past socialist or anarchist traditions , not as a re-discovery of old ideas but as something new and imaginative and inventive.

So could we leave Marx and Engels to the academics and the archives ? Leave Lenin and the Russian Revolution to historians? Leave Bakunin on the library shelves?

Just a passing heretical thought.

Except this isn't abandoning the baggage associated with certain terms and historical tendencies, it's tantamount to abandoning the history of the class itself! I think the danger of this isn't expressed in the success of the so-called "Zeitgeist movement" but in the rising success of right-wing populism. Through the always diligent contortion of history to suit the needs of the ruling class, the right wing of capitalism has been able to successfully reframe class anger away from class struggle and directly enlist the proletariat in battles against their class interest. The twisting of history (which first requires the forgetting of history) is not a small step in this process, it is one of the most important steps.

To abandon the historical traditions, rather than work to figure out where these traditions converge, is not the answer.

mciver

11 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mikail Firtinaci post 45

Three sources state that G Miasnikov was a Chekist in June 1918. I see no reason to doubt historians King & Wilson, the Crawfords and Wikipedia. I assume these historians have checked original sources.

But you doubt these claims. I wonder what's the basis of your Pavlovian request for 'proof'. Is it the panic attack of a fanatic who fears that one of his cult heroes, a 'honourable worker', was a murderous Chekist? You obviously would like Miasnikov not to be a Chekist, as if that would make any difference to the point I'm making, about the left communist lack of support for 'internationalist anarchists' in 1918-21. For some reason you scoff at the word 'murder', using quotation marks -- are you implying that Miasnikov didn't 'murder' Michael Romanov and his secretary? Didn't Miasnikov write Philosophy of Murder, or why and how I murdered Mikhail Romanov? Isn't this a 'proof' you should be interested in?

You say:

Would it prove that "murder" of some bloody aristocrat by Miasnikov was something against anarchists. That is utter nonsense.

Yes, it was 'something against anarchists'. What is nonsensical and pathetic is your fanatical devotion to the pantheon of the 'communist left'. This is what blinds you to what that tradition really represents. You see the socio-political history of the Russian Revolution as a vast collage of blurred and autonomous fragments, all somehow proving your romantic dogmas. You seem to think that totalitarianism can't have existed in this chaos and fragmentation of power. The contrary is the case, chaos was its foundation.

For example, you scoff at a concern for a 'bloody aristocrat' (always forgetting his secretary). You don't see the interconnections. Yet the sadistic massacres of the Romanovs had nothing to do with class struggle and the fostering of autonomous, independent thinking on the part of the working class. By 1918 the masses had been edged out of political life by Bolshevism. Likewise, the military and Cheka eradication of anarchists, like the extermination of the deposed monarchists and the 'bourgeoise as a class' had nothing to do with the emancipation of the working class either. This terror was needed by a racket absorbing the violent needs of totalitarian domination. (As an aside, the fact that you seem to approve the murder of 'some bloody aristocrat' and his collaterally-damaged secretary shows that cultists are naturally corrupted by Realpolitik.)

The organisation that took charge of the physical extermination of the monarchy and anarchist groups was the same one. Thus your ha-ha at the cowardly murder of two unarmed hostages should accompany the artillery blasts targeting anarchist dwellings in Moscow. Miasnikov, a left communist, was part of this specialist organisation, the Bolshevik's Gestapo. Even if he wasn't a Chekist, his Bolshevism is enough to define him as an enemy of 'internationalist anarchists', certainly in the period 1918-21. I don't know that he personally offed anarchists as he did monarchists, again that is irrelevant to my point. But as a member of a terrorist corporation specialising in social extermination, he obviously went along with their activities, with their 'party spirit'. This is something you don't grasp, that membership in the Cheka, or the Bolshevik Party, meant implicit (or explicit) support for the destruction of anarchism. Unless there are texts/documents that disprove this, ie something like documents by Bukharin, Osinsky, Miasnikov, etc, supporting freedom of speech for the anarchists and criticism of their persecution in April-June 1918, NOT in 1923. I've haven't seen any, you are welcome to find your own 'proofs', but at the moment my case stands. But for some reason you and Devrim focus on 1923, to deflect attention from the period that clearly exposes the ICC sham. 1923 isn't the year that matters.

The ICC assumption that left communists had commonalities and cooperated with 'internationalist anarchists' thus appears as tendentious fiction. Prior to October 1917 there was this de facto organisational cooperation at street level, but after 'the conquest of power' (not an anarchist goal) irreconcilable underlying differences emerged. As Battlescarred states

The counterrevolution led by the Bolsheviks didn't take a protracted amount of time, it started almost immediately after October, with the dispersal of the revolutionary regiments, the killing of Grachov in November, the assault on the anarchists in Moscow and other centres in June 1918 , the killing of Petrenko, Panteleev etc. In fact much of this was as Machiavellian as Volin says.He himself was imprisoned by the Cheka and barely escaped with his life.

Post 19, http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/kronstadt-texts-09052010

This process is well documented by many contemporary and recent critics, so I won't waste time offering you 'proofs'. The de facto break between organised Marxism and Anarchism happened in the 19C, following Marx's and Engels' titanic struggle against the 'parasite', 'adventurer' and 'probable Tsarist agent' Bakunin. The Bolshevik counter-revolution burned the bridges left.

I never said that left communists were loyal chekists as you invent. Miasnikov is the only left communist mentioned, and not as 'a loyal Chekist' but a loyal Bolshevik (up to his expulsion). Of course he must have been that on both counts, in June-July 1918 at least. You ask for 'proof' that left communists participated in the assault on Kronstadt. This is just another Pavlovian request. Factions had just been banned in the Bolshevik Party, so obviously no 'left communist contingent' as such marched over the ice. Bukharin supported the crushing of the insurrection. But it is clear that most Bolshevik members agreed with the repression. Exceptions must have existed, but they didn't stop the main impulse of savage repression. Not even the losses of 10-20,000 Red Army troops made the Party flinch. It acted as a unified corporation, with a good 'party spirit', and that's the only way it could have acted. Simon Pirani writes:
Many Bolshevik rank and filers were alarmed by the assault on Kronshtadt, but it was supported by all the party's organised opposition groups.

S Pirani, Communist dissidence and its context, Review article. The Russian Communist Left 1918-30, by the International Communist Current,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/34414121/Pirani-Left-Communists-Review

The idea that the degeneration was due to the Bolsheviks' integration into the state is a mysticism of possession. It is also an apology for Bolshevik ideology and policies. I'm quite aware that the Bolshevik party in 1917 was not completely homogeneous and that Lenin and Trotsky didn't always get their way. But that's to be expected in any effective representational apparatus. As fort da game says,

... no institution may be reduced to a single operating code (although it is also the case that the greater the distance from which an object is observed the more unified it appears).

http://libcom.org/forums/theory/being-teacher-being-prison-guard-07062010?page=8#comment-388210

After October, Bolshevism managed the Russian state's domination and survival needs, at the expense of civil society. To dismiss this by caricaturising the concept as an evil conspiracy is part of the apparat's arsenal of litanies. Your amusing attempt to amalgamate my criticism to 'rotten cold war conceptions' comes straight from the Stalinist-Trotskyist agitprop. You don't provide names of Cold War warriors who inspired me, only blatherings about the Bolshevik state 'not having utter control over Russia' (what period do you mean? -- the Cold War started after 1945). On the question of ideologists, both camps told many truths, and lies, about each other's regimes, as did the Nazis against the Stalinists and viceversa. Not every claim and counter-claim was 'rotten' (false I take it to mean).

In your romantic version of the Russian Revolution Chekas acted on their own behalf (planting rose gardens?), things were messy, fluid, contradictory and disorganised, borders changed in the Civil War, new proletarian art flourished as famines on the Volga unfolded, by definition this was a golden revolutionary period, with a lot of requisitions and mass murder, and with little accounting to the centre. Real autonomy in barbarism. A lot of Party debates and factions (except when it was crucial to repress the proletariat and wipe out countless greedy peasants). Even Dzerzhinsky the spoilsport ruined a New Years party with his drunken hysteria, shoot me-shoot me and nobody obliged (Miasnikov or Demidov weren't present). The recently opened archives show a fantastic description of breakdown, it was the Asiatshchina as abattoir in flames, toured by Trotsky in his warlord train, all under some imaginary soviet control. This mythology of proletarian affirmation is kept alive by left communists, and their main cultists, the ICC. For example:

It is not the task of revolutionaries today to make abstract moral judgements on the past workers' movement, but to see themselves as a product of that movement - a product, to be sure, capable of making a ruthless critique of all the errors of the movement, but a product nonetheless. Otherwise the criticisms of the past by revolutionaries today can have no grounding in the real struggles of the working class. Only by seeing the protagonists who faced each other at Kronstadt as tragic actors in our own history can communists today claim the right to denounce the action of the Bolsheviks and declare our solidarity with the rebel's defence of class positions. Only by understanding the Kronstadt events as part of the historical movement of the class can we hope to appropriate the lessons of this experience and apply them to the present and future practice of the proletariat. Only thus can we hope to ensure that there will be no more Kronstadts.
http://en.internationalism.org/specialtexts/IR003_kron.htm

In spite of the ponderous tone of objectivity, and the kitschy 'right to denounce' (?) there is no real understanding here, only Jesuitical apologetics. Where some Trotskyists whine about the 'tragic necessity' of the Kronstadt massacres, replace this with the ICC's 'Bolshevik mistakes' (a panto with Lenin and Co. versus the sailors, all 'tragic actors'). This manner of 'explaining away' the party and statist violence against the proletariat and civil society in 1918-1921 hides an acquiescence to future violence. Like all Jesuitisms, it has exorcised nothing, Realpolitik endures. In its violent practice and slanders against oppositionists, councilists and anarchists since 1981, the ICC has confirmed this. It will do it again when it has to, and no fawning at 'revolutionary anarchists' will prevent this.

Lastly,I don't describe myself anywhere as a 'communist'. This is another of your droll inventions. I don't share your totalitarian inclinations, and it would be shameful to bear a name now identical with racketeering.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

McIver

Unless there are texts/documents that disprove this, ie something like documents by Bukharin, Osinsky, Miasnikov, etc, supporting freedom of speech for the anarchists and criticism of their persecution in April-June 1918, NOT in 1923. I've haven't seen any, you are welcome to find your own 'proofs', but at the moment my case stands. But for some reason you and Devrim focus on 1923, to deflect attention from the period that clearly exposes the ICC sham. 1923 isn't the year that matters.

I thought that the things I refereed to were from 1921, but that is not the point. I want to address you general approach.

McIver

In spite of the ponderous tone of objectivity, and the kitschy 'right to denounce' (?) there is no real understanding here, only Jesuitical apologetics. Where some Trotskyists whine about the 'tragic necessity' of the Kronstadt massacres, replace this with the ICC's 'Bolshevik mistakes' (a panto with Lenin and Co. versus the sailors, all 'tragic actors'). This manner of 'explaining away' the party and statist violence against the proletariat and civil society in 1918-1921 hides an acquiescence to future violence. Like all Jesuitisms, it has exorcised nothing, Realpolitik endures. In its violent practice and slanders against oppositionists, councilists and anarchists since 1981, the ICC has confirmed this. It will do it again when it has to, and no fawning at 'revolutionary anarchists' will prevent this.

I'm not sure what yo are trying to do here, but the impression that ıget is that you are trying to equate a bit of amateur thuggery from the ICC with the massacre of tens of thousands of workers. Of course there is no comparison. The RCP (B) in 1921 at Kronstdat murdered thousands of workers. The ICC pushed a few people about.

Without taking it to far, are you really suggesting that people take this argument seriously?

I am sorry. I don't.

I was born in a country where shooting people's younger siblings while they are at home has been a way that organisations have dealt with splits. I live in a country where recent splits in leftist organisations have seen people sitting in police cars pointing out to the cops who to assassinate.

And what exactly happened to you? They pushed you. Did you fall over? Did it hurt? Do we really have to take this seriously?

Or to go through a few things that the left has done to each other recently in Turkey, did they shoot you? Did they torture you (as a member) to toughen you up...or did they push you? Did you fall over? Did it hurt?

I am sorry if it appears that I don't seem to take what you say very seriously. Actually I do. I can imagine that being a long time member of an organisation and then becoming disillusioned with it is pretty traumatic. Especially after people who are not in the ICC and have never even been so have written to me and said talking about you that "He was himself the biggest racketeer when he tried to get me to leave Solidarity on a dishonest basis in 1972"

I don't think that that is important though. Of course we can all change our ideas and mode of behaviour.

I think that there is much in the ICC's past, which is at least dubious and at worst indefensible. On that at least, we probably agree.

However, it is absurd to seriously expect people to take what you say about 'gangsterism' seriously. They pushed you. Did you fall over? Did it hurt?

Before you start to go out about something like the 'Theory of Parasitism' being my favourite bed time reading, I would just like to mention that personally I completely reject it, and that the most positive views towards it in our section are that "there may be something to it, but it has been applied horrendously".

Of course, disagreeing with the theory of parasitism doesn't make us any different than the rest of the ICC. There is though something that perhaps does. I am not sure if I can think of a member of the Turkish section who hasn't experienced immediate members of their family being tortured after the 1980 coup ( this is not unusually, nearly 10% of the population was detained). Except for myself of course. I am not a Turk, but I still have the scars on my body from a short stay with the Syrian security services in the early 1990s.

So when you tell us about gangsterism what do you really think that we are supposed to think about it? Did they push you? Did you fall over? Did you even bang your head?

I am sorry, but I don't take it very seriously.

This doesn't mean that I am not aware of the problems within the ICC. Personally, I think they are huge, but I also think we are moving towards solving them, slowly, very slowly.

If this is something that is possible to achieve in the long term or not is a different question. Obviously personally I hope it is, or I wouldn't be bothering.

To me though your contribution is clear. When people in the ICC go on about, what in my opinion is a completely absurd theory trying to excuse their behaviour during their traumatic splits, which they refer to as the 'Theory of Parasitism', they at least have one example of somebody who seems to be obsessed with slandering the ICC to point to, and whilst I am arguing against it, I will, of course, remember your positive contribution.

Devrim

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ajjohnstone wrote:
So would it be of benefit in actually relegating Marx and Engels to history and no longer suffer the unwelcomed baggage that comes with attaching ourselves to them ?
What if we simply disregard the Labour Theory of Value in our socialist propaganda. Forget that Marx and Engels even lived. Who knows, even eliminate even the word socialism from our case. (some have already come up with their own terminology such as "participatory economics" )

Is this addressed to Demogorgon's post? Are you really suggesting that we are considering jettisoning the entire marxist heritage? Perhaps you can clarify.

In any case, I certainly agree with Sheldon's point:

"To abandon the historical traditions, rather than work to figure out where these traditions converge, is not the answer".

At the moment we are trying to consider where the marxist and anarchist traditions really do converge. Evidently we think we have seriously underestimated this question in the past, focusing above all on where they diverge. Equally, we think that 'the anarchists' would move forward if they also reconsidered where they converge with marxism and the communist left in particular. Demogorgon's point was that there have been some very severe misjudgments in both directions.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unless there are texts/documents that disprove this, ie something like documents by Bukharin, Osinsky, Miasnikov, etc, supporting freedom of speech for the anarchists and criticism of their persecution in April-June 1918, NOT in 1923.

This is really strange. As you yourself quote from Pirani " many party rank and file" were "alarmed". These rank and filists later on constituted many other opposition groups which as Pirani argues, defend freedom of speech for anarchists in 1923. They do not emerge out of the blue. Those includes... Miasnikov who comes from party rank and file!

Anyway I just can not possibly understand this; how could the "blood murder of an aristocrat" and his servant could be an act against the anarchists in a context where anarchists themselves have done such things to the point of even working inside the Cheka?!!!

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim post 53

I thought that the things I refereed to were from 1921, but that is not the point. I want to address you general approach.

But that is the point, the lack of 'commonality' between the 'communist left' and anarchism in the crucial years 1918-21, when presumably it mattered as much as in August 1914. The article The Communist Left and Internationalist Anarchism: what we have in common avoids mentioning the repression of anarchists in Russia in those years, and paints this rosy picture instead:

During the revolutionary movements of the day, anarchists and marxists worked sincerely for the proletarian cause, and despite their disagreements found themselves on the same side. There were even efforts to develop an organised and wide scale cooperation between the revolutionary marxists (Bolsheviks in Russia, Spartacists in Germany, Dutch Tribunists, Italian abstentionists etc) who had separated from the degenerating 2nd International, and a number of internationalist anarchist groups. An example of this process is the fact that an organisation like the CNT envisaged the possibility of joining the Third International, although it rejected this in the end.

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/336/anarchism

You and Firtinaci try to deflect from the issue by raising other topics, see the last posts above. You, for example, stray into my 'general approach', something like my lack of perspective by comparing the ICC's 'amateur thuggery' with the Bolsheviks' murder 'of thousands of workers at Kronstadt'. This is a variant of your previous insinuations, dismissing the critiques of your apparat as personal and traumatised obsessions, typical of 'parasites' according to your gurus. This is a way of shifting the critical issues to a personal level, in order to launch ad-hominem attacks.

But to reply to some of these issues. The ICC is not the Bolshevik Party nor does it (fortunately) run a state. But it claims its traditions from Bolshevism, and considers the Bolshevik Party as its role model, even if it denounces its 'mistakes' ... 'ruthlessly'. Naturally the apparat's capacity to commit violence against oppositionists was limited by its size and historical origins (in Western Europe mostly). But its inner vision, its 'party spirit' was and is the same as the Bolsheviks. This is in itself an issue of great relevance, because the microcosm of a racket's existence reveals its macroscopic vision of the world, its true intentionality. Similarly, the 1907 Bolshevik bank robberies of Stalin and Kamo (supported by Lenin) expressed a criminal and pragmatic nihilism that would serve violent statist needs after 1917.

The ICC's 'amateurish thuggery' of 1981 was all it could muster, but that was enough to intimidate many of its opponents and its members, and seal the group's fate as a totalitarian racket. It's true that Its violence 'only' involved breaking into people's homes, stealing their personal property, pushing them about and slandering them venomously as parasites, provocateurs, secret spies, sluts, masons, etc, for years. That was all it needed to silence critics and rivals. However, the raids of 1981 could have easily misfired and then the ICC's leading thugs would have ended in jail or hospitals or both. That would have been the early petit finale of the ICC, and rightly deserved. The cynical Chirik knew this risk and said that he was prepared to take his racket with him, all for the 'principle of not ripping-off your organisation'. Surely there were other ways to negotiate, and the typewriter with Chénier was half owned by the Lille section anyway. These details didn't stop Chirik, because his main intention was intimidation, and in a particular incident, probably more than that. As an aside, the missing typewriter never stopped the publication of World Revolution, so 'lack of resources' was another fake reason for the gangster raids.

All this has been said many times in these threads, and by others years ago. Yet you ignore the details, and in effect apologises for these actions with the trivial claim that people were only 'pushed about'. Like saying that they should be grateful that they weren't tortured and maimed (or terminated) by the ICC thugs. This is really stupid, as you know that Lille, London, Manchester and Aberdeen aren't in Somalia, Syria or Colombia. The violence implemented by the apparat in 1981 was carefully measured, adapted to the confines of European life, even if risks existed and the top thugs knew it. It served its purpose quite well.

It is a banal truth that this level of violence was not equal to the mass murder of sailors and civilians by Lenin's régime or to the usual gangster activities of leftist and nationalist rackets or Leviathanic hit squads and torturers in certain parts of the world. This is a bizarre irrelevancy.

Your questions: They pushed you. Did you fall over? Did it hurt? also sounds rather unintelligent, or just ignorant. If you had read the relevant posts, you would know that I was never touched. But by contrasting violences, you accept a 'lesser evil', ie, little tolerable and acceptable violences, little 'mistakes', nothing to complain about, like spoilt European petty-bourgeois.

Your mysterious informants from Solidarity (which no longer exists) should publish their recollections here, before they fade completely. If they are objective accounts, they will contribute to historical knowledge and that's always positive. Also glad that they are prepared to use the concept of racketeering, even if only for 1972, and as a sort of adjudication-ad-hominem attack ('biggest racketeer'). I don't think that you agree with the category of racket, but if your Cardanist 'friends' cook it, that's most opportune. What is peculiar is that they don't seem to define the ICC as a racket, as 'they' have written to you in a friendly way. However, the 'old guard' of Solidarity never trusted Chirik and his tradition, and they were 100% right. It's unlikely that they would be writing friendly and informative anecdotes to ICC apparatchiks.

It shouldn't surprise that you remain in the ICC. This is despite your knowledge that the Bolshevik régime murdered thousands of workers (not to mention murdered and helped starve millions of peasants). These killings are called 'mistakes' (fantastic notion this one, mass murder and genocidal indifference described as 'mistakes'). Yet you are prepared to stand by this murderous 'revolutionary tradition.'

You also seem indifferent to the 'bombshell' about Bolshevik relations with the Kemal Atatük régime in 1921 that Goldner alludes to, mentioning an ICC pamphlet, Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party, 1920-1927, written partially by you. Firtinaci suggests that the Bolsheviks may have let the leadership of the Turkish CP be murdered by the Kemalists. This is more than just trading and supporting the Turkish régime in general:

If the bombshell is implicitly the arguement that the Bolsheviks defended Kemalists even letting the turkish CP leadership to be murdered, I believe this is incorrect. By the way I am not the writer of the ICC pamphlet. You should directly ask this Devrim or Leo...

http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/iccs-jury-honour-zeta-reticuli-16062010

I would say that even if it was proven that the Bolsheviks helped set up these killings by the Kemalists, your support for the Bolshevik cult would still remain unconditional. That's the corrupting effect of a political racket.

Finally, it couldn't care less if the apparat considers me a 'parasite', and unfortunately I can't congratulate you for rejecting this Stalinist sham of 'parasitism'.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So the ICC is a gang of future murderers, Gulag architects and totalitarians- because they took back their typewriter in 1981?

The level of openness in the publications of the group, as well as the frank and open dialogue it offers with other groups, is very helpful and a welcome change from other groups. I don't think I've ever seen another revolutionary organization spend as much time criticising their origins and mistakes as the ICC. The organization has completely changed its outlook regarding anarchists, and has been open about how this change came about and why. They also publish internal debates and desire to work out internal differences so ridiculous splits don't happen. They appear to be the polar opposite of 'Stalinism'.

The group was 6 years old in 1981. It is now 35 years old. If the ICC is as you say it is, wouldn't the incidents of violence and totalitarianism and 'organized evil' you describe be more organized, with greater frequency, bigger, than those that occurred in 1981? The ICC is bigger than it was, it operates in more countries and on more continents. I see an expansion in a good way, from reading their history and old press and polemics up to the present day. Not the expansion of some malevolent organized Bolshevik conspiracy of authoritarians plotting some kind of 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'-esque plan to imprison and kill and pillage.

mciver

Devrim

I thought that the things I refereed to were from 1921, but that is not the point.

But that is the point, the lack of 'commonality' between the 'communist left' and anarchism in the crucial years 1918-21, when presumably it mattered as much as in August 1914.

As I said the things I referred to came from those years.

You, for example, stray into my 'general approach', something like my lack of perspective by comparing the ICC's 'amateur thuggery' with the Bolsheviks' murder 'of thousands of workers at Kronstadt'. This is a variant of your previous insinuations, dismissing the critiques of your apparat as personal and traumatised obsessions, typical of 'parasites' according to your gurus. This is a way of shifting the critical issues to a personal level, in order to launch ad-hominem attacks.

No, I think it is entirely reasonable to say that a couple of people being pushed around in the 1980s doesn't really compare with the massacre of tens of thousands of workers.

As for my 'gurus', I am not quite sure who they are supposed to be, but they certainly wouldn't be people who go round calling people names.

It's true that Its violence 'only' involved breaking into people's homes, stealing their personal property, pushing them about and slandering them venomously as parasites, provocateurs, secret spies, sluts, masons, etc, for years.

'sluts' seems to be a new one. I am on the record as saying that I think calling people 'parasities' is wrong. Also I have said, and somebody recalled it on here recently, that I thought that calling somebody a 'freemason' was absurd and the ICC should clarify that it was wrong. I am not really sure what you are arguing againsy here, but it is certainly not something that I put forward.

Maybe there is something that you don't really get here. The ICC that you were involved in constructing, as a young organisation, may have been dogmatic and rigid, but now as it has matured it contains a plurality of opinions.

All this has been said many times in these threads, and by others years ago. Yet you ignore the details, and in effect apologises for these actions with the trivial claim that people were only 'pushed about'. Like saying that they should be grateful that they weren't tortured and maimed (or terminated) by the ICC thugs.

Actually I didn't say that people 'should be grateful that they weren't tortured and maimed', but never mind.

The violence implemented by the apparat in 1981 was carefully measured, adapted to the confines of European life, even if risks existed and the top thugs knew it. It served its purpose quite well.

I think that 'carefully measured' gives too much credit. Of course if you see things as a great conspiracy it probably makes sense. In reality I am sure that the ICC bungled through these events as best as it could making mistakes along the way, which is pretty much how real life political organisations actually operate.

It is a banal truth that this level of violence was not equal to the mass murder of sailors and civilians by Lenin's régime or to the usual gangster activities of leftist and nationalist rackets or Leviathanic hit squads and torturers in certain parts of the world. This is a bizarre irrelevancy.

Yes, it is obviously true and would be irrelevant if you weren't constantly comparing them.

Your questions: They pushed you. Did you fall over? Did it hurt? also sounds rather unintelligent, or just ignorant. If you had read the relevant posts, you would know that I was never touched. But by contrasting violences, you accept a 'lesser evil', ie, little tolerable and acceptable violences, little 'mistakes', nothing to complain about, like spoilt European petty-bourgeois.

I am sorry. Your insescent going on about gangsters made me think something teribble had happened to you. So you were never even touched.

You are right though. I did get bored of reading much of it and skipped through it.

You also seem indifferent to the 'bombshell' about Bolshevik relations with the Kemal Atatük régime in 1921 that Goldner alludes to, mentioning an ICC pamphlet, Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party, 1920-1927, written partially by you. Firtinaci suggests that the Bolsheviks may have let the leadership of the Turkish CP be murdered by the Kemalists. This is more than just trading and supporting the Turkish régime in general:

First I'd like to say that I didn't write that pamphlet or have any part in it. Mikail mentions us as we are members of the Turkish section of the ICC who post on here in English, not because we are the authors. Obviously as a memebr of the ICC I do hold responsibility for its (illegal) publication in Turkish. However, the Turkish state does have a well known tendency for prosecuting writers, and I would rather that people didn't go on about which individuals wrote which articles. I presume that it doesn't matter to you though. We of course are 'gangsters' and no better than the Turkish state.

Secondly you seem to have a very clear idea about my views on Bolshevism without having ever spoken to me about them.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim post 58

As I said the things I referred to came from those years.

The only 'things' mentioned are the misgivings of Miasnikov about the régime, and his attempts to reform a totalitarian machine from within. These attempts were honest, but too late to make any difference. Miasnikov didn't break with Bolshevism over Kronstadt and he didn't, insofar as I know, engage in any discussions with 'revolutionary anarchists' at that time. This is in marked contrast to the Kronstadt sailors, who were put in a course of open armed confrontation with Bolshevism, and perished in the attempt to defend themselves, together with the many thousands of Red Army casualties. To the ICC the 'proletarian nature of Bolshevism' survived because a few oppositionists were raising doubts, regardless of the brutal class domination which was being resisted by civil society, from 1918 onwards.

The point remains, there was no contact, debate or 'commonality' between left communists and anarchists at that time.

No, I think it is entirely reasonable to say that a couple of people being pushed around in the 1980s doesn't really compare with the massacre of tens of thousands of workers.

It may be 'reasonable' to you but irrelevant, as the point is not the quantitative comparison but the implicit intentionality, the vision of the world contained in the use of such methods. The scale doesn't matter, such actions have a vector quality to them. Comparing these levels of violence your way is a mockery of analysis, and this sophistry leads to minimising the 'small violence'. This is what makes you an apologist.

As the 'Theses on Parasitism' and many other texts against 'parasites' remain in the ICC site, and the Theses were being quoted positively by apparatchiks in 2009 and this year, one deduces they remain as key position papers. A new onslaught against 'parasites' is highly possible. Furthermore, the ICC hasn't apologised to past oppositionists, like Chénier and Ingram, and retracted any of its calumnies.

Finally, the laudatory and joyful PR post 57 by devorator1, is in the tradition of enthusiastic new recruits, and confirms that re-branding goes on in rackets as well as in companies. Contrary opinions and facts must be mocked as impossible travesties and caricatures, then worrying incidents vanish and the future is ours comrades. No need to examine anything in detail, no Pavlovian cry of 'proof' to the guardians of the faith, only a fanatic devotion to a myth, no matter how murderous. The ICC will not create new gulags, granted, but it justifies, by default, a tradition that survived through terror.

The need for re-positioning the brand obeys not some deep social need of human emancipation, but the survival of a gang in a saturated and dormant political marketplace. In this context, 'anarchism' appears suddenly as an untapped market. Here Camatte, Adorno and Debord are of more use than Marx. But, as said before, the web isn't an environment where you can just foam at the mouth slandering all and sundry like before. The returning flak is instantly damaging. But who knows, something good may come of it if the Bolshevik tradition is truly criticised and abandoned.

Red Marriott

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

devrim

I have said, and somebody recalled it on here recently, that I thought that calling somebody a 'freemason' was absurd and the ICC should clarify that it was wrong.

It was also recalled that, months later, your recommendation of clarification has been ignored;
Ret

In the case of political groups, the brand image of the organisation is often the first line of defense. We've had on threads here ICC members loyally defending past behaviours that are even indefensible to you, eg, such as the freemasonry infiltration nonsense. Even though it was finally admitted that the person smeared as a freemason wasn't actually one, that article still stands on the ICC site, with no explanatory note attached, as you had recommended. An article that makes the ICC look ridiculous - but is embedded that deeply as a part of its identity and approach to dealing with political challenges, that it must continue to stand proud as historical justification. If it won't let go of such embarrassing madness, how deep is its claimed reassessment and change? Just a small example (though perhaps not to those involved) - but indicative. http://libcom.org/forums/history-culture/platformism-30062010?page=1

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devoration poses the essential issue regarding the attitude of the revolutionary anarchists to the ICC: either it is, for all its flaws, an organisation of the working class, and thus needs defending; or it is a ruthless, cynical racket, expressing the interests of an alien power. The same dilemma is posed with regard to left communism in general, historically and today.

On a separate but related point: is it acceptable that a new poster on libcom, one who is clearly serious about the need for revolution, is immediately accused by mciver of making "PR posts", with the insinuation that this "new recruit" has been duped by the Apparat?

We haven't said anything about the similar treatment mciver meted out on an earlier thread to soyonstout, another "new recruit". Neither did we respond when he poured shit over a long standing comrade, Jerry, who had very recently died. Probably we should have done. It's problematic because there are also the attacks on the integrity of Marc Chirik, and they fall into a similar category, not least for those who knew him. But Marc is at the same time a historical figure; I would contend that he is in a league with Miasnikov, who has also been slandered here. So it's difficult to know where the line between flaming and historical polemic is drawn.

However, I think that attacking new posters like this is indeed flaming, and the moderators should say something about it.

nastyned

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

Devoration poses the essential issue regarding the attitude of the revolutionary anarchists to the ICC: either it is, for all its flaws, an organisation of the working class, and thus needs defending; or it is a ruthless, cynical racket, expressing the interests of an alien power. The same dilemma is posed with regard to left communism in general, historically and today.

You're Bolsheviks, what more needs to be said?

Beltov

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I would be very interested in seeing what evidence you have that Devoration is a 'new recruit'. He's not a militant of the ICC. He's a young person with a background in syndicalism, but as soon as he independently shows support for left communism it's OK for someone who has openly claimed he's not a communist on this forum (and I'd be surprised if mciver has become an anarchist) to bully them. That's what it's come down to.

Android

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I disagree with Alf that there's a duty on "moderators [to] say something about" the way mciver behaves and expresses himself towards other posters on here. While I find mciver posts quite tiresome and obsessed with the ICC. I do not like how nearly every topic that mciver posts on is somehow related to the ICC and his commitment to a theory of political organisations being essentially rackets. Just to be clear I am not suggesting mciver should censored or anything like that, just I feel some of his contributions add nothing to the subject being discussed. While I do find his posts on the ICC interesting albeit rather fixated at times. But I think it is important to discuss issues arising from experiences that more senior posters have had with the ICC and disagree with some that have suggested the ICC should remove some material from their site. All material relating to these questions and the accounts of militants effected should be available, so that those of us not around during these traumatic incidents, splits etc can try and get a grasp on what occurred and the politics surrounding it.

Finally, I agree with Alf as regards mciver's treatment of Soyonstout. The point is though if people have a problem with such posts to response as Devrim has done.

.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The ICC appears to be the only organization regarded as such here. Defense of any other organization or ideology is considered normal practice- unless it is the ICC specifically, in which case you are one of them and thus no longer just a regular member, you're part of some 'outside influence' with malicious designs. It's petty.

So is ignoring Alf's larger point, which he was fairly clear about, and zeroing in on mciver's last reply to me in this thread- which wasn't what he was talking about specifically in reference to the moderator comment.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf, that was not flaming in any way and I do not appreciate you asking us to take action against mciver for his post. I would be very interested in seeing whatever advice or guidance you are giving to new recruits which leads them to join this forum only after joining the ICC to vigorously defend the positions of the organisation.

I think Alf is talking about 'new recruits' to Libcom, not the ICC.

Devrim

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I honed in on the treatment of new posters because it has a profound impact on the way they perceive libcom and the atmosphere of discussion on it. I have put everything else to one side, including numerous personal slurs against existing (or recently deceased) ICC members, precisely because I am not in favour of any kind of censorship here. I am not calling for mciver to be banned, but I do think the moderators have a duty to affirm certain standards of behaviour.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A sidenote;

I am not the writer of the pamphlet by ICC (and previously EKS) "The Left Wing of Turkish CP"

I generally tend to support some of the ideas in it but I do not think that the Bolshevik party let the members of the CP to be killed in the hands of Kemalists. The issue is more complicated than that which is off topic obviously.

jacobian

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mikail firtinaci

Well even the concept "state capitalism" might have been developed first by Bukharin in early 1910's - at least I don't know an earlier usage or at least a well defined framework-.

Jan Waclaw Machajski had a relatively developed theory of state capitalism within a Marxist framework by 1905. Bakunin also mentioned the State Capitalism in his arguments with Marx in the First International, though you might argue that it wasn't a "well defined" theory. However, it definitely wasn't first expressed by Bukharin.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jan Waclaw Machajski

That is very interesting. Can you post the link please? I would love to read his articles.

Red Marriott

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Two articles about him - 1st one has a few quotes near the end;
http://libcom.org/history/white-collars-horny-hands-revolutionary-thought-waclaw-machajski-max-nomad
http://libcom.org/history/what-makhaevism-paul-avrich

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Try it again Alf. I was half expecting a broadside from Dreadnought La Fabienne, moored on the Seine. Whatsamatta, she's run out of 12- inches? Yours is just dinghy stuff.

And your Jury of Honour to indict arthropods? OK, the little greys took no notice, so now you scamper whingeing to Libcom, shame shame.

What's so special about 'new posters', their skin so delicate they need some balsam before they enter the fray? With a name like the devorator? This one didn't sound like a babe to me, more like a catch-as-catch-can wrestler, he was hungry man, knew the polemic tricks, the mocking know-it-all tone about 'our' typewriter (not the one stolen by the apparat from McIver, nor the one half-owned by Chénier/Blaise in Lille, thus half-stolen by Dreadnought & Cie):

So the ICC is a gang of future murderers, Gulag architects and totalitarians- because they took back their typewriter in 1981?

(post 57) Well learned and parroted!

I was puzzled by Beltov's post to Tommy Ascaso:

... I would be very interested in seeing what evidence you have that Devoration is a 'new recruit'. He's not a militant of the ICC. He's a young person with a background in syndicalism, but as soon as he independently shows support for left communism it's OK for someone who has openly claimed he's not a communist on this forum (and I'd be surprised if mciver has become an anarchist) to bully them. That's what it's come down to.

But Tommy Ascaso's assumption is understandable, after all, Devoration1 sneers like a seasoned ICC militant. Furthermore, ICC fans pop up on Libcom, usually guns blazing, so who can tell who's what -- new/old recruits, old timers, candidates, contacts, independent young persons, awols, ex-apparatchiks on chronic leave, prodigal sons, mysterious Solidarity confidants, etc. But why is this obscure point about Devoration1's status important to Beltov? Does he suggest that 'independent young persons' on Libcom are more liable to be bullied by McIver?

Anyway, what does Beltov mean by McIver bullying 'them'? Are there more Devorations,2, 3, etc? Like the invading pods?

'Bullying'? Come off it, try Devrim's pedagogy, for example, when the 1981 ICC violence is mentioned, Devrim refutes the whole idea with a terrifying list of tortures and repressive techniques he's witnessed (and even suffered) abroad, of real violence instead of the chicken-shit waltzing around experienced by ex ICC members in 1981. Adroitly, he forgets the 'agent provocateur' campaigns, and the other exposés of 'probable state agents' and parasitic and masonic conspiracies. Still, following Devrim's method, my 'bullying' is like lullabies compared to the amalgams cited above, aimed at Chénier, Ingram, JJ, RV, etc. So be less patronising Beltov, Devoration needs little protection from bullies on Libcom.

No, Alf, you're wrong, I don't say Devoration1 has been duped by 'the Apparat' what makes you think that? How would I know about your inner rituals? Pod or not, I believe he wants to be a true warrior of the working class out of his own free will, and is out to defend his future sect from denigrators and flamers (the lurking 'arthropods'). Give little mange-tout his due, as shown above, he can bite from his own corner. If he wants to do PR for his group, that's his right, the ICC has been doing it on Libcom for years now. Now, do you see me crying out to the moderators asking them to moderate your recruitment drives?

By the way, thanks for not demanding my ban, I was so relieved at

I honed in on the treatment of new posters because it has a profound impact on the way they perceive libcom and the atmosphere of discussion on it. I have put everything else to one side,

[how generous of you]

including numerous personal slurs against existing (or recently deceased) ICC members, precisely because I am not in favour of any kind of censorship here. I am not calling for mciver to be banned,

[merci!]

but I do think the moderators have a duty to affirm certain standards of behaviour.

How fatherly, this emotional concern for babyish new posters. Like Beltov's distress over the bully McIver. But if you really worry for their mental health, expel them asap, or don't let them join the apparat, just ignore their tantrums. Otherwise these Tartuffian claims about moderation don't persuade. Who ever moderated your 'standards of behaviour' for more than 20 years, your raids, slanders, slurs and fabrications, all in the name of communism? Your racket has called ex-members spies, provocateurs, agents of world capital, parasites and many other niceties, and anarchist groups 'bourgeois'. Whatever humble pie you seem to be eating now is meagre fare, your appetite for devouring opponents was always insatiable. Are you bringing in new people to that? Has the ICC changed? Who knows, who will decide? Retractions and apologies would be a first step in the right direction, even after 28 years of Leninist sectioning.

Nope, the ICC isn't an alien power, the little greys MAY exist, but don't pretend you know, you have never visited Zeta Reticuli, not even by remote viewing.

Not shit over Jerry G or M Chirik either, but my own evaluations. You dislike my unflattering interpretation of events, and opinions of individuals, but that's life. Do you think that 'long standing' and 'historical figures' mean anything to non-converts? That these figures merit special dispensation, reverence and obsequiousness? Why? Of course, in a cult, this slavish ritualised behaviour is vital. You need icons, traditions, authoritative keepers of the faith and let's not forget, Bolshevik hit squads. But the above still applies, if you enter the fray, expect your actions to be judged according to certain standards. If you want respect, earn it, have some merit, and learn to take as good as you give. On this virtual environment, as you say, it's so difficult to know where the line between flaming and historical polemic is drawn. But in real life, at your public meetings where slanders were freely dished out, in your raids and your public press, the line of intimidation was clearly drawn. For years you ignored what other critics like Ingram said, and poured venom and lies over his well-backed up criticisms. And this went on and on, and now you whinge because McIver recounts his side over just a few months.

I admit that recollections can be subjective, as they are interpretative. Yet nothing has been invented, or let's put it this way: the opinions were based on factual recollections, not on fabrications like 'Chénier the police agent' or 'JJ the freemason'. The 'standards of behaviour' you demand from your critics apply to you as well.

Miasnikov wasn't slandered. How? Because I said he was a Chekist, or worked very closely with the Perm Cheka? Or because he was a murderer? But he admitted to murdering Michael Romanov, why avoid this? In this act he was, in my opinion, a cowardly assassin, in his latter opposition to Bolshevism he was uniquely brave and heroic. Too late to make any difference, as it turned out. But most humans are like that, not black or white, nor patron saints for pantheons.

I have never read any ICC reference to Trotsky and Lenin as mass murderers, or willing or unwilling engineers of genocidal famines in the Ukraine. But why do you deny that they were ruthless warlords during the Civil War? Is this a 'slander'? This isn't a thread to deal with that history, the example just shows that these divergences aren't about facts but their interpretation. And that's defined by one's vision. Mine has nothing in common with yours.

guadia

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mikail, concerning machajsky you may be interested in article about him in collective action notes web page here

plus there is a text by his follower max nomad here

mons

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Those who identify with the struggle for the revolution have traditionally been classed in two categories: the marxists and the anarchists. And there are indeed important divergences between them:
- Centralism/federalism

- Materialism/idealism

- Period of transition or ‘immediate abolition of the state'

- Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

I actually think the original topic is interesting, and could be discussed more. I'm not very interested in the whole ICC thing, but for me at least I'm not clear on how different groups define these terms, and whether apparent conflicts are genuine, or just terminological problems.

The materialism / idealism thing is obviously bullshit.

I've had the 'period of transition' thing described to me by one person (trotskyist not left communist, but still) as just meaning initially there would be much more planning and coordination and more meetings, but little else. Is this how left communists see the period of transition? And if so, what is the problem with this?
I imagine anarchists would say that the problem is that the period of transition would have centralised power structures, and so lead to state capitalism, which leads us on to the federalism / centralism divide. It was hinted at earlier in the thread that federalism in the anarchist tradition, and centralism for some left communists, have come to mean the same thing, and differ only in semantics. As for anarchists a federal body would have the ability to enforce decisions, and for left communists a central body would be no more than, say, the delegates of workers' councils coming together. I don't really see the difference.

The final one - on the interpretation of the bolsheviks, seems to me to only be important if it amounts to serious theoretical differences, rather than different historical understandings of the facts of the bolsheviks. If either anarchists or left communists are just shit at history and have just got the facts about the bolsheviks wrong, then that's fine and doesn't mean there are any actual differences in ideology. If on the other hand anarchists and left communists see the same facts but draw different conclusions from them, then that does show a real difference.

I should say that obviously I don't think I've shown most differences between left communists and anarchists aren't real, I just don't know enough. I'd be interested in a clearer - terminology free - clarification of the theoretical differences.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part of the problem here is that in neither case are we talking about monolithic tendencies. This is obviously true of anarchism but among left communists there are some important differences on questions such as the party and the period of transition. For example, the view of the ICC (or its majority position) on the state is different from that of the CWO/ICT. Both however would tend to start from the same basic premise: that the state is the product of a class divided society and that some form of state will exist in the transitional period, precisely because classes will continue to exist until we reach a fully communist society. This is also related to the question of historical materialism because marxists analyse the state as a product of specific historical and material conditions, and have often criticise anarchists for abstracting the state from history.

But then again, a lot of anarchists have taken on the basics of historical materialism. I was reading Maximoff's My Credo yesterday, written in 1933. It's approach to capitalism and its dynamics is what I would term marxist...including a clear view that capitalism has become a decadent system: "The modern phenomenon of imperialism, then, is the stage of fully mature capitalism wherein finance occupies all the commanding positions and we therefore live in a time when capitalism, having attained the goal of its development, has started on the road of degradation and disitegration. This process of decline dates from the time just after the First World War...At the time of writing (1933-34) the crisis has attacked nearly every country in a veritable world crisis of the capitalist system. Its prolonged nature and its universal scope can in no way be accounted for by the theory of periodical capitalist crises. Much rather do these features signify the beginning of degenerative process within the system itself..."

As the article argues, a serious study of both historical currents will discover numerous points of agreement as well as divergences....

mons

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

some form of state will exist in the transitional period, precisely because classes will continue to exist until we reach a fully communist society

So it will still be a class society? Presumably this transitional state will represent its own interests. Which side should communists be on?

What do you think is the difference between anarchist federalism and left communist centralism?

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guadia and Ret Marut thanks for the very interesting links. I think I had read the Arshinov's article years ago os it need a rereading.

About the quote by Maksimov. Alf don't you think that this is something unique in anarchism? For instance do you think that similar examples can be found from pre-20th century anarchists? And finally if you tend to think that Anarchist's methodology has changed over time, don't you think that there should have been more people thinking like Maximoff in the anarchist current?

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i think the time to come clean and admit that mciver is and has been ever since he started posting on libcom a paid agent of the icc, given the task of demonstrating parasitic behavior in order to win people over to the theory.

seriously though, he seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

About the quote by Maksimov. Alf don't you think that this is something unique in anarchism? For instance do you think that similar examples can be found from pre-20th century anarchists? And finally if you tend to think that Anarchist's methodology has changed over time, don't you think that there should have been more people thinking like Maximoff in the anarchist current?

I am sure there are others. I think this was what Devrim was on about when he said he disagreed with our view that the anarchists are not really materialists. I know what he means, but I think he missed the point. Anarchists can indeed be materialists, sometimes, like Maximoff, in a very clear way - although the influence of marxism seems undeniable in the above pamphlet. But the materialism of many anarchists strikes me as extremely vulgar materialism, something particularly clear in the attitude towards religion. And vulgar materialism can coexist very well with idealism - Lenin also made both mistakes at times. Anarchist idealism, the tendency to remove the ideal of liberty, and its antithesis, authority, from real material history, is surely not an invention of the marxists?

You really don't know a lot about anarchism do you Alf? Of course we're materialists. And of course Marx had an influence on anarchism. If your knowledge of Bakunin wasn't confined to Marxist attacks on him you would be aware of this. Anarchist anti-clericalism also has very real material roots, as anyone who knows anything about anarchist history will be aware.

nastyned

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And it's good to see mciver called a parasite at last, you've been a bit slow off the mark here ICC people. Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

surely, we will not denounce our paid agents in the press nastyned

Leo

i think the time to come clean and admit that mciver is and has been ever since he started posting on libcom a paid agent of the icc, given the task of demonstrating parasitic behavior in order to win people over to the theory.

seriously though, he seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

OK, let's cut the crap, how can cheerleading for the butchers of the working class like the Bolsheviks - as the ICC proudly does - be remotely described as 'communist'?

The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR. It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

come on, the guy is seriously sick - this has got nothing to do with politics. pandering his vast ego is surely not going to help him, i mean medically.

this being said, if the traumas of the past involving the icc even contributed slightest to such a sad case, something definately must have went wrong. that is not to say, of course, all the people who left the icc are like him - thankfully.

OK, let's cut the crap, how can cheerleading for the butchers of the working class like the Bolsheviks - as the ICC proudly does - be remotely described as 'communist'?

how can regarding the entire communist left, along with of course the rest of the communist movement of the time (ie the communist international) as evil "rackets" whatever be remotely described as anything but anti-communist? i mean "lenin and trosky engineering genocidal famines in the Ukraine"? it reads exactly like out of the black book of communism, am i supposed to take this seriously?

the anarchist criticism of the bolsheviks, that is the criticism of the repression against anarchist militants, the suppression of the makhnovists, or kronstadt etc. (which i myself am critical of) and the political conclusions drawn from these criticisms (which i don't agree with) are something (well, something which should be taken seriously anyway), and screaming that myasnikov was an evil chekist murderer, saying that lenin and trosky engineered genocidal famines in the ukraine is something else. identifying the anarchist position with one such as his is more of a problem. whats gonne be next, will we be discussing whether lenin was a german agent? the threats of jewish-bolshevism?

The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR.

we don't need pr, we need comradely relations and joint work with serious anarchist revolutionaries, and we need to correct the mistakes of the past. we think basic ties between revolutionary organizations, that is genuinely revolutionary organizations, to be very significant, especially in the coming period.

in a country like turkey, for example, we have to have comradely relations with anarchists who we actually consider revolutionary, at times we have to do joint work or at least stand together, simply because of the conditions we both operate under. this sort of thing tends to happen when a left commie and anarchist revolutionary find themselves in a room full of stalinists and nationalists, or under circumstances of state repression from investigations to court-cases and imprisonment.

It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

to be fair (i know its kinda hard when you are so biased against the icc), i don't think anyone accused mciver of anything. i simply expressed how i find his situation really sad. i do, i really do.

Wellclose Square

The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR. It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

First off, if I post on this forum, is it going to be interpreted as some kind of coordinated conspiratorial and instinctive defense of the ICC? I really hope not. I would hope that it would not be considered an impossibility for an ICC sympathizer to take a critical look at the ICC's attitude in certain cases.

Wellcose Square, if you look at this thread and a number of other recent threads that have been about left communism (most, by my count, by I may have missed some), you will see a discussion of ideas turn into a shit-fight with the occasional idea discussed from time to time. Amongst this shit-fight you will frequently find 3 to 4 page denunciations comparing long-time posters to state secret police, dictators of one-party states who are usually held personally responsible for around 20-???? million people's deaths, etc. Thus I really don't think the 'character assassination' is quite the monolithic crushing of all dissent you paint it as, but rather people who are getting impatient at not being able to speak without being compared to those responsible for some of the most barbarous acts in history (but maybe I'm too biased, who knows?).

* * *

The issue of the ICC or any left communist group's attitude towards anarchism, I think is a different issue--at least not directly connected (some of the more vocal critics of the ICC will probably disagree with this). From my own point of view, I think the ICC have had a huge blind spot when it comes to anarchism over the years, inherited a lot of prejudices from past marxists which are often themselves inherited from the last time many marxists really critically engaged anarchism, back when Bakunin was one of its principle animators. That's a huge mistake and I think the ICC as a whole is trying to (sometimes quite clumsily) reassess those attitudes.

I agree that the materialist/idealist formulation is problematic at best--very few anarchists would not call themselves materialists, so I think if you're going to say something like this, it is better to explain it as I think (I didn't re-read it, but I remember liking it) this article http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/barikad does better in some instances. I think it could be better to get specific about where anarchism is seen as idealist, and just say something like "we think there is often a language of authority vs. liberty which can quickly get ahistorical and rather idealist in anarchism--we have not seen convincingly materialist explanations of the anarchist view on the state after the revolution, for example, they seem to veer too much toward this authority vs. liberty dichotomy which we feel is idealist" (don't mean to put words in the ICC's mouth, just an example of what one could say). I don't know how many of the more class-struggle internationalist anarchists hold the view that communism/anarchism was or could have been possible before capitalism or at any point in history (I would bet fewer than most marxists think ;) ), but this would be the other main point that I (and I think many other marxists) would consider idealistic. By the same token, I think that anarchists would generally not call the ideas of marxists with whom they disagreed "materialist," but maybe "determinist" or something about having a rigid economic teleology of history.

Like the centralism/federalism question, this may be something that will appear as much less of a difference the better both sides understand each other. Having come from anarchism myself I think there is quite a lot that unites left communism and proletarian(or "internationalist") anarchism, and I'm glad to see the ICC beginning to reassess some of its mistakes with regard to the rest of the groups genuinely fighting for proletarian revolution.

Does that last sentence make me an apologist automaton :) ?

-soyons tout

Samotnaf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Totally agree with Wellclose Square.

Leo:

mciver ... seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

Psychologism, as always, substitutes for a real understanding of social relations and of history. It was true for Freud - and Leo has none of his innovative insights (insights negated by his need for bourgeois respectability). Leo is using pop psychology as an ideological weapon to defend his loyal submissive partisan hackery in his tedious political racket. He's without the slightest ability or desire to develop any original contribution to the subversive understanding of capitalism. Like all those who remain in political organisations for longer than a year or so, his belief that the constant repetition of an utterly petrified fragment of truth (in his case, a stodgy critique of wage labour and commodity production which hasn't left the 19th century; a totally unnuanced critique of union rackets... ) is somehow "revolutionary" hides aims other than the explicit aims of contributing to the attack on this society. Hence, when mciver launches an attack, he resorts to a completely bourgeois use of psychology taken from the introduction to The Idiots' Guide To Freud.

The need for representation, for a role, in an organisation with international links and pseudo-historical aims, compensates for a tortuous feeling of being on the margin of existence; organising the organisation compensates for and distracts from the individual need to organise direct activities, with or without others - whichever is relevant, against this utterly insecure world.

mciver certainly has "obsessive" problems, however: like the organisation he was a part of way beyond its sell-by date, his past weighs like a nightmare on his brain. If he seriously wants to develop his opposition to this society he should be applying and developing his insights to the contradictions of the present: it's easy to be right about the past - what him, and others like him, need to do to develop their margin of freedom (assuming this is what they seriously want to do) - is to make new mistakes, rather than endlessly go over the old ones.

In State and Revolution, apparently Lenin's most 'libertarian' work, the old state capitalist scumbag said, "we do not dream of disposing at once ...with all subordination...No, we want the socialist revolution with subordination, control and foremen and accountants". This was said in the middle of a work whose aim was to make "friendly" overtures to all the different currents of revolutionaries in Russia 1917 - a text which, in many other ways for its time, was semi-anarchist. 4 years later, at Kronstadt, we could see what he meant by "subordination" etc. Though only in their wildest wet dreams do the ICC dream of themselves seizing state power, their current rather blundering overtures to anarchists (whose lack of clarity about such things as trade unions might make some of the more frustrated of them attracted to the rigid dogmas of the ICC) are aimed at building their "party" much in the same way as Lenin did during a far greater revolutionary epoch. The ICC might have the delerious aim of being a part of the state which will suppress its "bourgeois" opponents in much the same way as Lenin (with far greater realism and genuine possibility) did before he had the actual means to do so. A critique of the Situationists by the ICC in th mid-70s is an example of this delerium: "The cults of newness...of the individual, of de-alienation, and of the spectacle...have often succeeded in transforming many groups that the class since its resurgence has given rise to, into exotic sects...If they persist...in standing in the way of the task of regroupment of revolutionary forces, the proletarian movement will ruthlessly destroy them."( my emphasis).

For the ICC, Kronstadt was a "tragic mistake", but not the logical outcome of a belief in state power and in being the concentrated centre of class consciousness, of the organisational possession of the revolutionary truth. In the mid-80s I chatted to a friendly American woman on a train in France. After 5 minutes we got onto Reagan (whom she supported) and Vietnam. She claimed Vietnam was a "mistake". Having made my critique in the most gentlemanly fashion, I politely told her I would be ending the discussion and moved to another seat. This after 5 minutes or so. After years and years on these threads and forums I think it would help if we politely told the ICC, whose pretensions to radicality are far more dangerous than the friendly American's conservative crap, to shut the fuck up - and for them to move. But that would require people to recognise that theory has to have practical consequences. And not just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk with those who can find a way of somehow reducing mass murder on the part of a capitalist state to a terrible "mistake".

Anyone can use "marxist" language (Ebert, Scheidemann, Noske, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc) - but decisions about these Great Pretenders have to be made...Do we sit and chat to our future would-be executioners or what?

nastyned

You really don't know a lot about anarchism do you Alf? Of course we're materialists. And of course Marx had an influence on anarchism. If your knowledge of Bakunin wasn't confined to Marxist attacks on him you would be aware of this.

I think that this is a valid point. A lot of people in the ICC don't know that much about anarchism. I also think that they probably don't have the best way to approach understanding it.

Alf commented on the other thread:

Devrim

Alf

The second question, as Noa also clearly recognises, is the Marx/Bakunin split. If our reassessment of anarchism means anything, it will necessarily involve going back to this key moment in the history of the workers' movement.

Why? Modern anarchism is in no way 'Bakuninism'. I don't think that the split in the international is particularly relevant at all.

I really think that going back and reading what Marx said about the split in the international, possibly at least for the second time for many, offers nothing towards understanding contemporary anarchism. It would be much better to actually look at what today's anarchists are saying themselves.

At least then we wouldn't be coming out with absurd things like calling them idealists.

I am sure there are others. I think this was what Devrim was on about when he said he disagreed with our view that the anarchists are not really materialists. I know what he means, but I think he missed the point. Anarchists can indeed be materialists, sometimes, like Maximoff, in a very clear way - although the influence of marxism seems undeniable in the above pamphlet. But the materialism of many anarchists strikes me as extremely vulgar materialism, something particularly clear in the attitude towards religion. And vulgar materialism can coexist very well with idealism - Lenin also made both mistakes at times. Anarchist idealism, the tendency to remove the ideal of liberty, and its antithesis, authority, from real material history, is surely not an invention of the marxists?

Maybe it had some justification historically. I am not knowledgeable enough on it to really comment. However, if it is not an invention of Marxists, it is at least a myth perpetuated by them.

Devrim

nastyned

And it's good to see mciver called a parasite at last, you've been a bit slow off the mark here ICC people.

I don't think that anybody has called McIver a 'parasite'. Leo made a jokey comment about it.

Wellclose Square

Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

I hardly think that there is any 'coordinated character assassination' going on either. In fact, compared to the abuse that has been thrown at members of the ICC, I think it has been very restrained. If you cast your mind back to the behaviour of some groups on this board when criticised, I think that you would have to admit that there is a difference. If one member of the ICC makes an off the cuff comment, it is very little to what has been thrown at members of the ICC on here.

nastyned

Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

I doubt that you read World Revolution, Ned, but if you did, you would know that it is more than a few years since the ICC ran articles like that.

Devrim

Tommy Ascaso

Alf

Devoration poses the essential issue regarding the attitude of the revolutionary anarchists to the ICC: either it is, for all its flaws, an organisation of the working class, and thus needs defending; or it is a ruthless, cynical racket, expressing the interests of an alien power. The same dilemma is posed with regard to left communism in general, historically and today.

On a separate but related point: is it acceptable that a new poster on libcom, one who is clearly serious about the need for revolution, is immediately accused by mciver of making "PR posts", with the insinuation that this "new recruit" has been duped by the Apparat?

We haven't said anything about the similar treatment mciver meted out on an earlier thread to soyonstout, another "new recruit".
[...]
However, I think that attacking new posters like this is indeed flaming, and the moderators should say something about it.

Alf, that was not flaming in any way and I do not appreciate you asking us to take action against mciver for his post. I would be very interested in seeing whatever advice or guidance you are giving to new recruits which leads them to join this forum only after joining the ICC to vigorously defend the positions of the organisation.

I wonder if it's been updated since 2005:

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/286_forums.html

At present, the ICC in Britain has been directing most of its efforts towards two forums, urban75.com and libcom.org. The latter in particular is a major focus for those who identify with a ‘libertarian’ political standpoint. We have taken part in or joined up with a number of threads – on the trade unions, on council communism and anarcho-syndicalism, on whether communism is inevitable, on whether the ICC is a sect…. Debate can be difficult and there is a certain amount of hostility and suspicion towards us, especially from those who are steeped in ‘official’ anarchism. Despite this, we are perfectly able to put forward our positions and in some of the threads there is a real attempt to answer what we have to say, allowing for a genuine discussion.

We certainly intend to continue taking part in these and probably other forums. Readers who want to follow our interventions and the discussions around them should search for the contributions from wld_rvn (urban75) and wld_rvn, beltov, and gustave (libcom). We also strongly encourage our readers and sympathisers to get involved in the process as well. Just click on the relevant forums and they will explain their procedures and ground rules. It would be useful if sympathisers could send us their usernames so that we can follow their threads.

In a forthcoming issue of WR we will give a fuller account of the most interesting web forum discussions we have taken part in so far. WR 2/7/5

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Psychologism, as always, substitutes for a real understanding of social relations and of history.

and you expect people to take you seriously?

mciver certainly has "obsessive" problems

funny you recognize that. you yourself are not that different to be honest, i remember you writing a long, long post in response to... a poem, posted by someone in the icc.

your thing however is probably more of a peer-pressure related behavior rather than obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

however: like the organisation he was a part of way beyond its sell-by date, his past weighs like a nightmare on his brain.

we would have of course bought this if... everyone who left the mentioned organization ended up like him. funny how, except a few examples, none of which are as sad as mciver, most of those who left the icc moved on with their lives, some even moved on with their politics.

In the mid-80s I chatted to a friendly American woman on a train in France. After 5 minutes we got onto Reagan (whom she supported) and Vietnam. She claimed Vietnam was a "mistake". Having made my critique in the most gentlemanly fashion, I politely told her I would be ending the discussion and moved to another seat. This after 5 minutes or so. After years and years on these threads and forums I think it would help if we politely told the ICC, whose pretensions to radicality are far more dangerous than the friendly American's conservative crap, to shut the fuck up - and for them to move.

Do we sit and chat to our future would-be executioners or what?

just so that people can see how sane you are, you are comparing the icc, an organization with a handful of militants, and organization which has a minimal influence, and organization which is not armed... with the reaganites... and you are saying that the icc is more dangerous than the reaganites.

wow whats gonna be next, you gonna root us to the police in order to evade the dangers coming from your "would-be executioners"?

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And boy when they did, they did it in style. On one demo the then ACF attended and distributed literature ( we had taken the decision not to join the demo) we were denounced as the left wing of capitalism in WR for supporting the demonstration whilst the ICC were doing exactly the same thing in distributing their propaganda. Explain the logic of that. I still have the cutting somewhere.
And we took them up on this in a letter in WR . In their reply the ICC refused to recognise the wrongness of their original statement. Mental.

Devrim

nastyned

Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

I doubt that you read World Revolution, Ned, but if you did, you would know that it is more than a few years since the ICC ran articles like that.

Devrim

I wouldn't call five years "more than a few".

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/291_anarchists_WW2.html

However, there are numerous disparate elements that call themselves anarchists who, from their very incoherence, have a role in tail ending and supporting the campaigns of the ruling class. Two particular threads on the libcom.org discussion forums entitled “1939 and all that” [1] and “How do you explain the Nazi obsession with the Jews?” demonstrate how, mainly through the ideological mystification of anti-fascism, these anarchist elements are led to defend democracy, Stalinism and imperialism and thus take up a position against the working class.

The refusal to confront the crimes of Stalinism – and particularly democracy – and instead denounce the ICC when the latter points these out, can only result in support for the bourgeoisie and its rotting system.

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It really does take the cake that people who dare to disagree with the ICC are now , like McIver and Samotnaf, accused of psychological problems, and indeed insanity, ( at the very least accused of being "sad") from a sect that , in the past, has exhibited strong indications of instability.
not to mention the insinuation that Samotnaf will grass the ICC up to the police.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leo

seriously though, he seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

come on, the guy is seriously sick - this has got nothing to do with politics. pandering his vast ego is surely not going to help him, i mean medically.

this being said, if the traumas of the past involving the icc even contributed slightest to such a sad case, something definately must have went wrong. that is not to say, of course, all the people who left the icc are like him - thankfully.

how can regarding the entire communist left, along with of course the rest of the communist movement of the time (ie the communist international) as evil "rackets" whatever be remotely described as anything but anti-communist? i mean "lenin and trosky engineering genocidal famines in the Ukraine"? it reads exactly like out of the black book of communism, am i supposed to take this seriously?

You are not a psychoanalyst or therapist of any kind, so don't mouth the 'common sense' wits of repressive upbringing. You don't understand those words, don't use them as put downs. A practicing therapist would never use those terms anyway. Of course, you could have picked them up as a patient. If anything, you remind me of nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (not on your reading list). Something like her, or a sinister guard in a mental ward. Your choice of graphic suggests it, trying out a self-hypnotic trance, or wishing to mesmerise your readers?

Your posts only display the slavish defence of your cult, this is what has upset you, that your whole ego ideal, offered to Communist Left Forever, has been questioned. What an unbearable heresy!! So instead of engaging with the issues in detail, the expected ad hominems pour out, and you diagnose without a licence or having ever met me, tsk tsk. Relax Leo, have some self-control (won't come from self-hypnosis).

On the political level, your amalgams and distorted quotations also suggest a manipulative Stalinist past, something difficult to filter out in the 'left communist' tradition. Firtinaci reacted similarly, the amusing retort about Cold War academics. Same Party school? By the way, the essay by Nicolas Werth in the Black Book of Communism was quite informative and serious, if that's the same book. Of course Stalinists and many Bordiguists detested and dismissed the whole book, like you do.

But the truth is the truth, it's even revolutionary say some, and its source doesn't disqualify it.

As I say above, learn to discuss with facts, they are not the end all, but a good beginning, at least try. Just denouncing and insulting doesn't help, address the underlying issues. Question everything, starting with your iconic daddy figures. Then maybe you'll realise that all the trite generalities of your gurus fall apart, and that reality hides many more surprises. Including left communist Chekists or murderers, and state indifference to famines in the Ukraine. Not to mention possible complicity in the killing of Turkish communists in 1921 (something unclarified as yet). But of course, you'll swallow all Bolshevik crimes with your indulgences, by being 'critical' of dreadful 'mistakes' and 'errors'.

My denouncing of this apologetic vision is not political? But stay happy and sane.

Finally, if you don't take things 'seriously', will this be the end of the world? When critics write, do they tremble at the thought of not being taken seriously by Leo the First?

Mike Harman

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the ICC vs. the Reaganites, I'm amazed that a militant of the ICC doesn't agree that the enemy within can't be more dangerous to the proletarian movement than the enemy without, you'd almost think this is what years of discussion about parasitism was supposed to explain.

Let's try it in the style of World Revolution and our very own Baboon to see if it makes a bit more sense that way:

"The refusal to confront the crimes of Bolshevism – and instead denounce the anarchists when the latter points these out, can only result in support for the Trotskyists, Stalinists, the bourgeoisie and its rotting system."

Leo

we would have of course bought this if... everyone who left the mentioned organization ended up like him.

To continue the pyschological excursions, some victims of abuse end up abusers, some with long term depression or suicidal tendencies, some go on to lead normal lives - varying responses to abuse do not change the nature of abuse itself.

If there was only mciver around claiming pathological behaviour within the ICC then you might have a point, but we all know that's far from the case, see Cassady's post just two days ago: http://libcom.org/forums/theory/racketeerism-parasitism-27072010#comment-389848

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It really does take the cake that people who dare to disagree with the ICC are now like McIver and Samotnaf, accused of psychological problems, and indeed insanity, ( at the very least accused of being "sad")

to be fair (which you are probably too biased against the icc to be), i never said samotnaf has psychological problems, i said he is obsessed about the icc, probably due to peer-pressure. the mentioned example, that is writing a long, long post in response to a poem, posted by someone in the icc, is not "disagreeing with the icc". calling the icc "future executioners", "worse than reaganites" and calling for the icc members to be banned is not disagreeing with the icc either.

and mciver is not disagreeing with the icc as well. saying that the icc will torture people and send people to gulags etc. because they thirty years ago pushed someone is not disagreeing with the icc. and as central as his point against the icc is, mcivers obsession is against communism itself as much as against the icc. the number of posts he's been writing, going on not only about the icc but also about the communist left, about communism itself, rumblings about how all organizations are rackets, harshest condemnations of everyone (including people who arent in the icc) who dare to disagree with even a minuscule detail of what he is saying... i'm sorry, this guys issue is not political. i am not accusing him of anything, he is clearly sick and anyone can see it. in fact i am sure i'm not even the first one who is saying this here since he first started posting here.

not to mention the insinuation that Samotnaf will grass the ICC up to the police.

of course there is nothing wrong with Samotnaf calling us "wanna-be murderers", but when i mockingly say "whats next, you gonna root us to the police as a part of your anti-icc thing", thats the problem, sure ;)

And boy when they did, they did it in style. On one demo the then ACF attended and distributed literature ( we had taken the decision not to join the demo) we were denounced as the left wing of capitalism in WR for supporting the demonstration whilst the ICC were doing exactly the same thing in distributing their propaganda. Explain the logic of that. I still have the cutting somewhere.
And we took them up on this in a letter in WR . In their reply the ICC refused to recognise the wrongness of their original statement. Mental.

if something like this indeed did happen (i would like to hear the other side of the story as well, obviously), it is clearly a wrong-doing on our part.

"if something like this indeed did happen" No, I'm making it all up.

knightrose

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The pages of WR used to regularly contain lengthy denunciations of Subversion and the ACF. They did so because we advocated many of the same things that the ICC did - hence we were parasites. But honestly, don't worry, they never bothered us, just gave us a few chuckles.

McIver is not, imho, expressing an anti-communist politics. The whole groups as gangs/rackets view has been expressed by many others.

This whole thing could easily be wrapped up if the ICC came up with a wholehearted apology for their stupid behaviour 30 years ago.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the ICC vs. the Reaganites, I'm amazed that a militant of the ICC doesn't agree that the enemy within can't be more dangerous to the proletarian movement than the enemy without

oh come on, he is comparing the icc with the reaganites, wtf am i supposed to say? am i supposed to take him seriously?

the icc is a very small organization, which at this point cant be compared to the reaganites, or to the social-democrats, or to the bolsheviks etc. etc.

you'd almost think this is what years of discussion about parasitism was supposed to explain.

its not, evidently.

Let's try it in the style of World Revolution and our very own Baboon to see if it makes a bit more sense that way:

"The refusal to confront the crimes of Bolshevism – and instead denounce the anarchists when the latter points these out, can only result in support for the Trotskyists, Stalinists, the bourgeoisie and its rotting system."

ok - does it follow from this bit that the icc is more dangerous than the reaganites?

To continue the pyschological excursions, some victims of abuse end up abusers, some with long term depression or suicidal tendencies, some go on to lead normal lives - varying responses to abuse do not change the nature of abuse itself.

people abuse each other at times - i think it is a very one-sided view to see it as entirely icc's doing, although there certainly were mistakes.

If there was only mciver around claiming pathological behaviour within the ICC then you might have a point, but we all know that's far from the case, see Cassady's post just two days ago

he is calmly, without abusing anyone, explaining his thoughts on the splits the icc had and their effects, i don't think there is anything wrong with him expressing that at all, in fact everyone in the icc accepts what cassady wrote over there to an extent, although not to the same extent.

mciver, on the other hand, is an anti-communist nutjob - it would be really unfair to cassady to compare the two.

Battlescarred

And boy when they did, they did it in style. On one demo the then ACF attended and distributed literature ( we had taken the decision not to join the demo) we were denounced as the left wing of capitalism in WR for supporting the demonstration whilst the ICC were doing exactly the same thing in distributing their propaganda. Explain the logic of that. I still have the cutting somewhere.
And we took them up on this in a letter in WR . In their reply the ICC refused to recognise the wrongness of their original statement. Mental.

What can one say, BS? You are right, and the ICC was wrong, very, very wrong.

Devrim

Mike Harman

I wouldn't call five years "more than a few".

Yes, I think it is. The point remains even if it is only five years the ICC doesn't run those sort of articles any more. Even the article you link to doesn't denounce any particular group, but rather talks about some anarchists.

Devrim

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"if something like this indeed did happen" No, I'm making it all up.

meh, i don't really know you, i don't know anything at all about this event - why are you taking everything as an insult? what do you expect me to say? i said it is clearly a wrong-doing on our part.

The pages of WR used to regularly contain lengthy denunciations of Subversion and the ACF. They did so because we advocated many of the same things that the ICC did - hence we were parasites. But honestly, don't worry, they never bothered us, just gave us a few chuckles.

well, that is certainly good to hear, to be honest. hopefully, we'll all have a laugh about it together one day.

McIver is not, imho, expressing an anti-communist politics.

he is now praising the black book of communism, do you really think he isn't expressing anti-communist politics? lenin and trosky engineering genocidal famines in the Ukraine?

This whole thing could easily be wrapped up if the ICC came up with a wholehearted apology for their stupid behaviour 30 years ago.

yeah, apologizing for our part takes time i suppose.

Battlescarred

if something like this indeed did happen (i would like to hear the other side of the story as well, obviously), it is clearly a wrong-doing on our part.

"if something like this indeed did happen" No, I'm making it all up.

I can well imagine it happening and I am sure that you are not making it up. Leo clearly says that if it happened it was wrong. I don't think it is so out of order for somebody to want to hear the other side of a story that he knows nothing about and happened on another continent though.

Devrim

knightrose

This whole thing could easily be wrapped up if the ICC came up with a wholehearted apology for their stupid behaviour 30 years ago.

Yes, I think that it would help if the ICC apologised for many of its actions, and I would like to see it happen. I don't think that it is about to happen tomorrow unfortunately, but I think that it is something that is possible in the future.

Devrim

Leo

to be fair (which you are probably too biased against the icc to be), i never said samotnaf has psychological problems

Leo

just so that people can see how sane you are

Well done.

Devrim

Mike Harman

I wouldn't call five years "more than a few".

Yes, I think it is. The point remains even if it is only five years the ICC doesn't run those sort of articles any more. Even the article you link to doesn't denounce any particular group, but rather talks about some anarchists.

Devrim

Some anarchists, who post on libcom.

Yes, I think that it would help if the ICC apologised for many of its actions, and I would like to see it happen. I don't think that it is about to happen tomorrow unfortunately, but I think that it is something that is possible in the future.

I think that the actual way that ICC members are behaving in real life - like in Manchester at the Class Struggle Forum - is the way we should always have got on. The discussions are comradely, informative, non-confrontational and productive.

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leo "to be fair (which you are probably too biased against the icc to be), "
and then
Leo "meh, i don't really know you,"
So, you know nothing about my attitude towards the ICC and whether or not I am being too biased to be fair.
Knightrose: "I think that the actual way that ICC members are behaving in real life - like in Manchester at the Class Struggle Forum - is the way we should always have got on. " Not reflected by the behaviour of Leo here. To use his crude psychologism " Nut job, etc" you need to start taking the medication like your other comrades are doing. :)

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

and mciver is not disagreeing with the icc as well. saying that the icc will torture people and send people to gulags etc. because they thirty years ago pushed someone is not disagreeing with the icc. and as central as his point against the icc is, mcivers obsession is against communism itself as much as against the icc. the number of posts he's been writing, going on not only about the icc but also about the communist left, about communism itself, rumblings about how all organizations are rackets, harshest condemnations of everyone (including people who arent in the icc) who dare to disagree with even a minuscule detail of what he is saying... i'm sorry, this guys issue is not political. i am not accusing him of anything, he is clearly sick and anyone can see it. in fact i am sure i'm not even the first one who is saying this here since he first started posting here.

Playing the psycho-martinet makes you write the above rubbish, and ignore real differences. You don't read to understand but to misquote and weave lies.

Of course I disagree with the whole tradition of left communism. But I have never said the ICC will torture people and send them to gulags. How can I know that? This lying habit comes from the insidious 'polemical' style of Bolshevism, and the ICC apparatchiks inherited it quite well through Mark Chirik. If you have a Stalinist past (I ignore if you do), and have not transcended it, you would assimilate that approach instantly, because it's in the left communist inner make-up, its pre-suppositions. One could even say its political DNA.

In this sense, the ideological baggage of the ICC doesn't preclude apologising for such future crimes. That's in-built in their justification of Bolshevism, regardless of their inept and 'ruthless criticisms' of the Red Terror, Cheka, Kronsradt, etc. If those crimes against society didn't disqualify Bolshevism/Comintern as a revolutionary currents, then those crimes could be repeated in a future transformation of society, in an 'emergency situation', because they 'worked' once, and by definition they are 'secondary' to the defence of the tradition. 'Wrong doings', 'mistakes', 'errors' are categories of diversion, to avoid analysing what really happened in history.

If this is what Samotnaf means by 'wannabe murderers', then he has a point, though this is in the world-view, not in the present personality of each ICC member. However, under stresses, some people change. Most of the apparatchiks in 1981 went along with a laboratory experiment of this kind, orchestrated by Chirik, who knew perfectly well what he was doing with his naive zealots. He transformed them, he convinced them of the need to raid, to intimidate and slander, and the whole French section approved. The section in the UK resisted and fell apart. It only survived through the ruthless intrusion of Chirik, who increased the heat, and from then on the pattern was set to cleanse the organisation of any opponents and future rivals. The monolithic centralisation went on un-opposed. It was a classical Zinoviev-Treint technique, based on domination by divide et imperas, and Chirik got away with it. This went on even after his death, and an impasse must have been reached in 2005. Who else, what hidden clan was left to expel?

What all that had to do with the 'emancipation' of the proletariat' beats me.

But finally the issue is NOT the ICC or left communism, but the nature of our period, a questioning of the whole past and a vision for the future.

PS I don't think I have harshly condemned everyone (6 billion people?), or civilians not in the ICC, out of spite. Naturally, those who insulted for no reason, sometimes were replied to. Like Leo the Last.

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And of course the position re AF/ACF that I mentioned earlier was still there as late as 2004 as you can see from an article at the ICC site on the AF and the ICC
"AF’s real roots are not in left communism, or even partially in it, but in leftism, the radical wing of the capitalist left."

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Soyonstout:" I don't know how many of the more class-struggle internationalist anarchists hold the view that communism/anarchism was or could have been possible before capitalism or at any point in history (I would bet fewer than most marxists think ), but this would be the other main point that I (and I think many other marxists) would consider idealistic"
But then Marx himself would be deemed idealist as his now famous letter to Vera Zasulich ( not published until 1924) reveals
Russia is the sole European country where the “agricultural commune” has kept going on a nationwide scale up to the present day. It is not the prey of a foreign conqueror, as the East Indies, and neither does it lead a life cut off from the modern world. On the one hand, the common ownership of land allows it to transform individualist farming in parcels directly and gradually into collective farming, and the Russian peasants are already practising it in the undivided grasslands; the physical lie of the land invites mechanical cultivation on a large scale; the peasant’s familiarity with the contract of artel facilitates the transition from parcel labour to cooperative labour; and, finally, Russian society, which has so long lived at his expense, owes him the necessary advances for such a transition. On the other hand, the contemporaneity of western production, which dominates the world market, allows Russia to incorporate in the commune all the positive acquisitions devised by the capitalist system without passing through its Caudine Forks [i.e., undergo humiliation in defeat].
Karl Marx, First Draft of Letter To Vera Zasulich (1881)
He went on to say that the need to pass through a capitalist stage was not inevitable outside of Western Europe.
The Socialist Revolutionaries and many anarchists in Russia believed also that it was possible to establish a communist society without going through a capitalist stage. That did not necessarily make them "non-materialist" . But anyway in reply to what Marx said in an article (22nd January 1849) where he said “The revolution must be first of all a revolution for the bourgeoisie. The revolution of the proletariat is solely possible after capitalist economy has created the conditions” Gottschalk ( also a member of the Communist League) responded in his own paper Freiheit, Arbeit (Freedom, Labour): “Must we, after finally escaping the hell of the Middle Age, throw ourselves voluntarily into the purgatory of a decrepit capitalist power?”
In fact revolutionary anarchism has been consistently materialist down from its origins. Bakunin was a great admirer of Capital and its economic ideas and Anarchists like Cafiero were some of the first to popularise the ideas contained in Capital. As one anarchist complained after the split in the First International he and his comrades were very familiar with the ideas of Capital whilst some of those who now called themselves Marxists had not even opened the book.

knightrose

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Knightrose: "I think that the actual way that ICC members are behaving in real life - like in Manchester at the Class Struggle Forum - is the way we should always have got on. " Not reflected by the behaviour of Leo here. To use his crude psychologism " Nut job, etc" you need to start taking the medication like your other comrades are doing.

Are you suggesting I need to take medication?

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not you, Knightrose, - but Leo the Last.
(You take a form of medication , anyway, knowwhatimean? )

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Risking a grand mal from Leo, I bring up again the question of The Black Book of Communism, brought up by Leo himself.

There's an excellent review of Werth's contribution, by Philippe Bourrinet (probably 1998), unfortunately only in French. Still, the sample paragraph below may be of help on this thread.

Bourrinet exposes the diehard casuistry of the ICT historian Beltrami, who denounced the book, including Werth's essay, with similar apologetics as Leo's. The extremes are interesting, coming from a learned left communist academic, and a know-nothing lay therapist. Both spout the same hysterical apologetics:

L’article de Beltrami est une simple défense inconditionnelle de la Révolution russe et des bolcheviks, telle que n’auraient pas manqué de l’écrire les partisans de Staline d’un côté et ceux de Trotsky, il y a à peine 20 ans encore.

Il parle des «crimes supposés des bolcheviks». C’est aussitôt, pour, implicitement, approuver la politique de terreur menée contre la classe ouvrière de Russie. Lorsqu’il mentionne le massacre des ouvriers de Toula et Astrakan, en 1919, Beltrami précise aussitôt qu’il s’agit «d’ouvriers embrigadés par les mencheviks et socialistes-révolutionnaires» «pour faire passer des mots d’ordre contre-révolutionnaires». Justification pleine et entière du massacre, donc... Il s’agit peut-être de "détails"... D’ailleurs notre vaillant défenseur du «léninisme bolchevisme intégral» susurre que la «classe ouvrière est révolutionnaire ou n’est rien».

L’article défend à fond le bolchevisme - ce qui est la pierre cardinale du lénisme dont tous les groupes "bordiguistes" se sont fait les défenseurs - pour mieux affirmer la nécessité de la «dictature du parti». Certes, l’article n’ose défendre la «terreur rouge» ; certains groupes "bordiguistes" et la plupart des groupes trotskystes et maoïstes l’ont fait dans le passé. Mais il reprend de façon voilée les arguments de Terrorisme et communisme (c’est le titre d’un fameux pamphlet de Trotsky de 1920, en faveur de la Terreur, qui fut réédité par les "bordiguistes" dans les années 70). De démocratie ouvrière dans les conseils ouvriers, il ne peut en être question ; ceux-ci ne sont que d’infâmes "parlements démocratiques", sans la dictature du parti. Aussi l’article appuie le rattachement pur et simple des conseils et soviets à l’État bolchevik : «... s’il est vrai que le parti sous les soviets est comme suspendu dans le vide, il est non moins vrai que les soviets sans le parti sont des organismes aveugles, destinés à se transformer en tragique caricature du parlementarisme bourgeois».

Deux réactions de « l’extrême gauche » au Livre noir du communisme

http://www.left-dis.nl/f/livnoir.htm

The ICC doesn't defend the 'party dictatorship', but that's a nonsensical innovation as parties, either as state capitalist overseers or as 'cabinet members' of a 'supreme national workers' council', are there to establish class hegemony. Otherwise why have parties? As lily-white think-tanks? With this sectarian difference, the ICC and ICT march together as siamese twins, in their fanatical defence of Bolshevism.

Also of interest is a cogent piece by Mac Intosh of Internationalist Perspective, on Werth's study. See passages below.

The Bolsheviks, the Civil War, and "Red Fascism"

http://internationalist-perspective.org/IP/ip-archive/ip_41_bolsheviks-civil-war.html

Indeed, one of the most striking facts that emerges from Werth’s account is the extent to which Lenin was directly implicated in the veritable orgy of violence unleashed against revolutionaries, workers, and peasants in the course of the civil war. The Lenin who emerges from the pages of Werth’s text, the Lenin whose own statements are copiously documented, is very different from the Lenin in Switzerland during the war, upholding the best traditions of proletarian internationalism, the Lenin of the “April Theses,” charting a course towards revolution, or the Lenin engaged in his “last struggle,” against the power of bureaucracy, as portrayed by Moishe Lewin. Those other Lenins cannot be ignored or forgotten, but neither can the Lenin who emerges from the pages of Werth’s text , the Lenin who candidly admitted that the “People’s Commissariat for Justice” would be more aptly labeled the “Peoples Commissariat for Social Extermination” (Werth, p.62, my emphasis), the Lenin who sanctioned the taking of hostages and the bombing of peasant villages in order to break strikes and compel deliveries of food (from starving peasants) to the state and its functionaries. It is inconceivable that a civil war against revolutionaries, workers, and poor peasants, alongside the other civil war against White armies, could have been waged by Dzerzhinsky, Ordzhonikidze, and the pratiki, with their power base in the Cheka, without the virtually unqualified support and initiative of Lenin.

Finally, we come to way in which the Bolsheviks saw and constructed their enemies, especially revolutionaries, striking workers, and peasants reduced to starvation. Terms like vermin or lice are indicative of the sub-human status imposed on them. The objective was not the defeat or surrender of these elements, but their extermination or liquidation. The crimes for which these elements were to be murdered was not so much their actions, as their very biological existence. That is why I see a racialization or biologization as an incipient element of the actions of the Bolshevik party-state in the course of the civil wars. The starving peasant transformed into a kulak, the striking workers transformed into lice, the anarchist or left SR designated as vermin [parasites!!], are we not in the ante-chamber of mass murder and genocide; can we fail to see the embryo of what Rühle would designate as red fascism already growing within the womb of the October revolution? We are certainly not there yet, but the seed has sprouted, and any attempt to explain the triumph of the counter-revolution must acknowledge that Werth has traced its origins to actions of the Bolsheviks at the very moment of their triumph.

That the October revolution and the Bolshevik party-state provide no model for a revolution that has as its objective the abolition of the capitalist law of value and the creation of a human Gemeinwesen is something that revolutionaries have long known. Werth, however, forces us to confront the uncomfortable fact that the path to red fascism, which most certainly was not a straight line, nonetheless has its inception a decade before Stalin consolidated his hold on power; before Kronstadt, before the NEP, before Rapallo. If we are to comprehend the process that led to Kolyma, then we have to begin where Werth begins, with the October revolution.

These contribitions by Bourrinet and Mac Intosh have been online for years. But therapists of Left Communism Forever (a bit like ManUnited forever) don't need reality verification and ongoing historical research. Who needs independent thought, oi that's not revelations but petty-bourgeois heresies!! Bourrinet and Mac Intosh are perhaps Cold War agents, sleeper-parasites who, although not as nutty and rude as McIver, perform similar services to world capital by reading Werth and similar canaille. Only anti-communist nutcases would doubt that Bolshevism was almost like the 2nd Coming, the greatest poop the proletariat ever made.

Battlescarred

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"C’est la canaille !
Eh bien ! j’en suis !"
Singing this uplifting tune I join Bourrinet and MacIntosh.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Finally, we come to way in which the Bolsheviks saw and constructed their enemies, especially revolutionaries, striking workers, and peasants reduced to starvation. Terms like vermin or lice are indicative of the sub-human status imposed on them. The objective was not the defeat or surrender of these elements, but their extermination or liquidation. The crimes for which these elements were to be murdered was not so much their actions, as their very biological existence. That is why I see a racialization or biologization as an incipient element of the actions of the Bolshevik party-state in the course of the civil wars. The starving peasant transformed into a kulak, the striking workers transformed into lice, the anarchist or left SR designated as vermin

are you serious. That is crazy.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leo "to be fair (which you are probably too biased against the icc to be), "
and then
Leo "meh, i don't really know you,"
So, you know nothing about my attitude towards the ICC and whether or not I am being too biased to be fair.

do you claim to be fair about the icc? seriously?

Are you suggesting I need to take medication?

Not you, Knightrose, - but Leo the Last.

or was he too soft and too non-abusive and fraternal to his future "butchers"? surely, you've got to save him, how dare does he defy you and actually be calm and polite?

"C’est la canaille !
Eh bien ! j’en suis !"
Singing this uplifting tune I join Bourrinet and MacIntosh.

its funny how you are quite enjoying the rumblings of a sad, seriously disturbed fella. i'm sure you'll be real proud if the poor guy ends up killing himself, because his ego was pandered by the likes of you rather than being told that he actually needs help.

knightrose

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't worry Leo, BS is a good friend of mine - though sometimes with a wicked sense of humour.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

=) don't we all have a wicked sense of humor sometimes

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To quote Leo from an earlier post

he is calmly, without abusing anyone, explaining his thoughts on the splits the icc had and their effects, i don't think there is anything wrong with him expressing that at all, in fact everyone in the icc accepts what cassady wrote over there to an extent, although not to the same extent.

I have to say that this is news to me. With the sole exception of Devrim I have never heard this expressed by anyone in the ICC. I have read members admitting mistakes were made but its never made clear what the mistakes were. Certainly, of late, we have noticed a change of attitude by them in public - there have been no denunciations of us as parasites, for example, at the meetings of the MDC, but the reason for this remains opaque (though welcome). Until they are much more open and specific about their mistakes its difficult to see how progress can be made. For example, was it a mistake to denounce Chenier as a police aqgent: was it a mistake for the central organs to demand a loyalty oath from all members before this declaration was even discussed? Was the denuciation of the CBG as gangsters,bandits,thieves and, eventually, parasites a mistake? I could go on.

Until this is made clearer we can't begin to take the Theory of Parasitism seriously.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I have to say that this is news to me. With the sole exception of Devrim I have never heard this expressed by anyone in the ICC.

what can i say man, thats how your quoted post came across to me.

I have read members admitting mistakes were made but its never made clear what the mistakes were. Certainly, of late, we have noticed a change of attitude by them in public - there have been no denunciations of us as parasites, for example, at the meetings of the MDC, but the reason for this remains opaque (though welcome).

yeah, i suppose this is why you come across as a calm, nice fella.

Until they are much more open and specific about their mistakes its difficult to see how progress can be made.

fair enough.

For example, was it a mistake to denounce Chenier as a police aqgent

he wasnt a police agent from what i understand, so i suppose yeah.

was it a mistake for the central organs to demand a loyalty oath from all members before this declaration was even discussed?

i dont really know that much about all that, there seems to be a bit exaggerated stories. what the ip people i know told me was that all sides were young and while the issue was not big enough to cause a split, it nevertheless did.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This was supposed to be a historical discussion about the communist left and anarchism. There is another thread about the question of parasitism/rackets, where we could approach some of the questions Cassady raises, although as I have tried to argue, I think we need to examine some of the more general and historical issues behind that question if we are to avoid another round of recriminations. Would it not be possible for Cassady, for example, to express his view of what the ICC is saying about the communist left and anarchism? The problems raised by our article go back to long before the ICC even existed.

Leo

Leo "to be fair (which you are probably too biased against the icc to be), "
and then
Leo "meh, i don't really know you,"
So, you know nothing about my attitude towards the ICC and whether or not I am being too biased to be fair.

do you claim to be fair about the icc? seriously?

Yes, seriously ( which is a big word in your vocabulary)

Are you suggesting I need to take medication?

Not you, Knightrose, - but Leo the Last.

or was he too soft and too non-abusive and fraternal to his future "butchers"? surely, you've got to save him, how dare does he defy you and actually be calm and polite?

Knightrose defy me?!!!? what a crazed and rabid caricature

"C’est la canaille !
Eh bien ! j’en suis !"
Singing this uplifting tune I join Bourrinet and MacIntosh.

its funny how you are quite enjoying the rumblings of a sad, seriously disturbed fella. i'm sure you'll be real proud if the poor guy ends up killing himself, because his ego was pandered by the likes of you rather than being told that he actually needs help.

You probably are ignorant of this revolutionary song, by the way. You continue with your ad hominems, your crude psychologisms and character assassinations whilst studiously avoiding the problems, (oh they're so disturbing and cannot be countenanced) that for example, Bourrinet and Macintosh have raised.
MacIver might be right in surmising that you and young Mikhail might be originally from a Stalinist background, with your amalgams and your "distorted quotations" ..
Finally your guilt trip about how I would be responsible for his putative suicide (wishful thinking?) really does take the (Joffe?) cake and is laughable.if it were not so pathetic.
I suppose we need you here to remind us how the the ICC used to behave, although they did it on a far less crude level than you are doing.( although I do remember one of them coming into an ACF meeting and then invading my body space because I didn't want to read a proffered leaflet whilst shouting at me "Read it! Read it!")
And yes the policies of dekulakisation- and don't forget the equally shameful one of Decossackisation, MacIver and involving a far higher level of incipient racialisation- not to mention the assaults on anarchists, Left SRS,Maximalists etc makes me think that there is a grain of truth in his arguments re. biologisation and racialisation.

Alf

This was supposed to be a historical discussion about the communist left and anarchism. There is another thread about the question of parasitism/rackets, where we could approach some of the questions Cassady raises, although as I have tried to argue, I think we need to examine some of the more general and historical issues behind that question if we are to avoid another round of recriminations.

I don't think that it is at all possible to separate them. To just imagine that we can write one article about anarchism, and that members of anarchist organisations who we spent years insulting will just think "well that is OK then" seems to me to be beyond belief. How can we seriously propose to look at the relationship between anarchism and left communism, particularly in the UK without mentioning parasitism when the largest left communist organisation has spent the past however many years referring to one of the two major anarchist organisations as being 'parasitic' and having roots in 'in leftism, the radical wing of the capitalist left'.

At the very least a formal apology is called for, a written piece on our website, notes in bold print at the top of the articles that state this saying we no longer agree with this position*, and a formal written apology to the AF. Then perhaps people would begin to take us seriously in these discussions.

Cassady

I have to say that this is news to me. With the sole exception of Devrim I have never heard this expressed by anyone in the ICC. I have read members admitting mistakes were made but its never made clear what the mistakes were. Certainly, of late, we have noticed a change of attitude by them in public - there have been no denunciations of us as parasites, for example, at the meetings of the MDC, but the reason for this remains opaque (though welcome). Until they are much more open and specific about their mistakes its difficult to see how progress can be made. For example, was it a mistake to denounce Chenier as a police aqgent: was it a mistake for the central organs to demand a loyalty oath from all members before this declaration was even discussed? Was the denuciation of the CBG as gangsters,bandits,thieves and, eventually, parasites a mistake? I could go on.

Until this is made clearer we can't begin to take the Theory of Parasitism seriously.

To be honest I don't see why anybody should take it seriously. Most of the political positions of the ICC are things shared by it at other communists. The positions on the unions, national liberation and parliamentarianism are things that we can find agreement with with other communist groups. The whole thing about the 'theory of parasitism' is that nobody outside of the ICC and its immediate orbit holds any idea even remotely similar to this one. Now of course, it could be that the ICC is right and that everybody else is wrong on this issue. It could also be that the moon is made of cheese, yet I profoundly doubt it.

Cassady

I have to say that this is news to me. With the sole exception of Devrim I have never heard this expressed by anyone in the ICC. I have read members admitting mistakes were made but its never made clear what the mistakes were.

My impression is that today the vast majority of members of the ICC still stand by the whole idea of 'parasitism'. I have never heard anybody defend it unreservedly, without meeting that, as you and Ronald Reagan both put it ' mistakes were made', but I think the majority of the membership still takes the idea, unfortunately, much to seriously.

I think that it is something that can possibly change in the future. At least I hope so. That doesn't mean though that we can expect apologies in the immediate future.

Devrim

*I don't think the articles should be taken down. They were documents produced by the ICC, and I don't think that we should rewrite history like that by pretending they never existed. They should stay as a reminder of the dangers of sectarianism.

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Devrim has covered my feelings on the matter. Until the matter of parasitism is resolved any such discussion which includes the ICC is inevitably contaminated by the issue.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To just imagine that we can write one article about anarchism, and that members of anarchist organisations who we spent years insulting will just think "well that is OK then" seems to me to be beyond belief

Who imagined that? It's evident from this thread how difficult the issue is. But is the precondition for holding a discussion in a tolerable atmosphere that the ICC simply renounces its previous positions and begs for forgiveness? That's not what I understand to be a discussion. I don't think it's only the ICC that needs to recognise past mistakes.

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If youre talking about the CBG here I think we have done so over the years. If there is an area of contention then perhaps you should outline it so we can respond. In the meantime how about the ICC,s mistakes?

mikail firtinaci

Finally, we come to way in which the Bolsheviks saw and constructed their enemies, especially revolutionaries, striking workers, and peasants reduced to starvation. Terms like vermin or lice are indicative of the sub-human status imposed on them. The objective was not the defeat or surrender of these elements, but their extermination or liquidation. The crimes for which these elements were to be murdered was not so much their actions, as their very biological existence. That is why I see a racialization or biologization as an incipient element of the actions of the Bolshevik party-state in the course of the civil wars. The starving peasant transformed into a kulak, the striking workers transformed into lice, the anarchist or left SR designated as vermin

are you serious. That is crazy.

Stupid academics thinking that noticing that people call their enemies animal names is some kind of significant insight. (this is from the black book of communism)

knightrose

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But is the precondition for holding a discussion in a tolerable atmosphere that the ICC simply renounces its previous positions and begs for forgiveness? That's not what I understand to be a discussion. I don't think it's only the ICC that needs to recognise past mistakes.

No, I'd say the precondition is holding comradely discussions in an open and constructive manner. I don't think we, the AF, have anything apologise for (nor would Subversion have either, if it still existed). Definitely more sinned against, I'd say. I look forward to the next article in WR on the subject.

In any event, what positions would the ICC have to renounce? Nothing that is the core of the politics.

Alf

Who imagined that? It's evident from this thread how difficult the issue is. But is the precondition for holding a discussion in a tolerable atmosphere that the ICC simply renounces its previous positions and begs for forgiveness? That's not what I understand to be a discussion.

I don't think it is renouncing any positions. As I understood it WR has already changed its position on the UK AF, so it is not renouncing anything. To apologise for mistakes is not such a terrible thing to do.

Alf

I don't think it's only the ICC that needs to recognise past mistakes.

It may not be, but then we are not members of other organisations, but of the ICC. Our responsibility is to put our own house in order.

Devrim

Red Marriott

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today, the members of the "ICC" present themselves to the whole world as the victims of our "policy of criticising Bolshevik opportunism towards libertarians" (and persist in demanding their integration/rehabilitation into our milieu). To put an end to all this din, we have made the decision to publicly require of the members of the ICC to attend a Jury of Honour of the proletarian political milieu, which could have all the elements enabling it to come to a conclusion about the cogency of our charges.

"the workers' movement always considered Juries of Honour as being a weapon of defence of comminst militants and organisations communist." http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/jury_of_honour_01

"... calling a Court of Honour is part of the tradition of the workers’ move­ment. ... any militant, when he considers that he has been unjustly accused of faults that he has not committed, has the duty and responsibility to defend his honour as a communist militant, by appealing to a revo­lutionary tribunal.

Any militant who refuses to engage in such a public political confrontation can only con­firm the validity of the accusations raised against him."
http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/jury_of_honour_02

The ICC would surely want to be judged by the standards it seeks to apply to others - if not, according to their own comradely logic this would 'only con­firm the validity of the accusations raised against them'.

I call the first witness; (OK, not all at once, wait your turn and form an orderly queue.) Mciver, take the oath...

(Btw, my captcha just now was "hypocritical mollusc" - is this another reference to the Icy Sea?)

Battlescarred

Soyonstout:" I don't know how many of the more class-struggle internationalist anarchists hold the view that communism/anarchism was or could have been possible before capitalism or at any point in history (I would bet fewer than most marxists think ), but this would be the other main point that I (and I think many other marxists) would consider idealistic"
But then Marx himself would be deemed idealist as his now famous letter to Vera Zasulich ( not published until 1924) reveals
Russia is the sole European country where the “agricultural commune” has kept going on a nationwide scale up to the present day. ...Karl Marx, First Draft of Letter To Vera Zasulich (1881)
He went on to say that the need to pass through a capitalist stage was not inevitable outside of Western Europe.

I meant before the appearance of capitalism at all on a global scale, not that every nation on earth would have to become capitalist before any could become communist/socialist. I have heard it complained that Marx's saying that capitalism has created the hitherto non-existent material conditions and social necessity for communism was a justification of capitalist brutality, of the murder of indigenous peoples, etc., and often in the same breaths it is stated that classless society of abundance would have been possible at any point in human history, thus reducing the question of social organization to choices rather than material constraints (in my opinion)--I don't mean to imply that all anarchists do this, but an explanation of the changes in social organization that is not based on the production and reproduction of the material means of life is, to me, less materialist than an explanation based on this. Perhaps we are defining terms differently. There are two issues here--marxism's emphasis on the materially possible certainly has been distorted by ideas like the Maoist 'stagist' theory wherein in the year 2008 a strike-banning party in Nepal is considered progressive because they are 'eliminating feudalism', and even Marx and Engels may have applied this idea somewhat crudely at times, but I don't think the intent was ever to justify capitalism--I don't think Marx and Engels were particularly interested in justifying forms of social organization but rather in how much longer it would be before the one under which they lived became obviously unjustifiable from the perspective of the material well-being of humanity. In fact I think the communist revolution is the only way to get rid of a number of precapitalist relations that still exist today.

Battlescarred

In fact revolutionary anarchism has been consistently materialist down from its origins. Bakunin was a great admirer of Capital and its economic ideas and Anarchists like Cafiero were some of the first to popularise the ideas contained in Capital. As one anarchist complained after the split in the First International he and his comrades were very familiar with the ideas of Capital whilst some of those who now called themselves Marxists had not even opened the book.

Perhaps we are defining the word 'materialist' differently. Maybe I'm only using it in a very marxist sense, but to me Bakunin in particular, with the focus on inheritance abolition, calling for something like the 'equality of classes' (I know you've probably all read Marx's criticisms) and in particular his identification of authority with religion rather than locating it in economic causes, is to me idealist. I know most anarchists today are way beyond Bakunin, so perhaps it is a moot point, but I don't think Bakunin was a very strict materialist. I know this makes me look like an ass, but I don't know Cafiero (I was an 'anarchist' for only three years, in the USA, and I started out as a Tolstoyan, so I probably missed most of the best of anarchism :oops: ), and I'm sure there were, especially in Spain, probably a lot of anarchists with much more solidly proletarian politics than Bakunin (if I recall correctly some early Spanish anarchists wrote a eulogy for Paul LaFargue making him an honorary 'anarchist' despite his being in the 'Marx' camp).

But back to the point: is it possible we are defining "materialist" differently? Are marxists using it only to mean "historical materialism"? Does what I've written above about forms of social organization being limited by their capacity to produce and reproduce material means of life strike people as "materialist" or "determinist"? I wonder if the "materialism" of marxists is seen as "economic determinist" or at least "productivist" in some way?

-soyons tout

888

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well Bakunin did write a whole essay about being materialist, God and the State - you should read it to see what you think of his definition of materialism (cutting past the flowery prose and various unrelated but entertaining ramblings).

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/081_commy_11.html

This article takes up Marx's approach to the Russian question, in particular the letter to Vera Zazulich, and his rejection of a crude 'stages' theory for each and every country.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It may not be, but then we are not members of other organisations, but of the ICC. Our responsibility is to put our own house in order.

That's precisely what we are doing with the new articles on anarchism. But I think we also have to call on the anarchists to reassess their own prejudices towards the communist left, and as part of that towards the ICC.

Cassady: when you write "Until the matter of parasitism is resolved any such discussion which includes the ICC is inevitably contaminated by the issue", you seem to be saying in reverse what you mistakenly thought the ICC had said at the first MDF meeting, and which we tried to clarify in a letter to the ex-CBG: ie that agreeing with the theory of parasitism was a precondition for an advance in the discussion. We made it quite clear in the letter that this wasn't the case, that there could not be any preconditions for the discussion. Now you sem to be saying that unless we 'resolve' the parasitism question, there cannot really be any progress in any other area of discussion. I hope this is not what you are saying.

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf, you suggested I took part in the communist/anarchist debate - I was referring to that. It seems to me that any debate about the ICC's past dealings with anarchism must refer to your unfortunate "theory of parasitism". As you know the ex-CBG are currently in seperate discussion with you and I hope this will continue.

Felix Frost

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by soyonstout

soyonstout

Perhaps we are defining the word 'materialist' differently. Maybe I'm only using it in a very marxist sense, but to me Bakunin in particular, with the focus on inheritance abolition, calling for something like the 'equality of classes' (I know you've probably all read Marx's criticisms) and in particular his identification of authority with religion rather than locating it in economic causes, is to me idealist. I know most anarchists today are way beyond Bakunin, so perhaps it is a moot point, but I don't think Bakunin was a very strict materialist.

I get the impression that you haven't actually read a lot of Bakunin. There is a lot to criticize him for, but here you are making a rather poor job at it. Bakunin is an idealist because he argued for the abolition of inheritance? As opposed to the proper materialist demand of a progressive inheritance tax I assume?

Bakunin's materialism could at times be of the more vulgar type, but his critique of religion is actually among the best of this work.

And to Leo: If you are going to play the game of dismissing your political critics as mentally ill, you should at least go to the trouble to familiarize yourself with the disorders you are trying to diagnose them with. Saying that maciver suffers from "obsessive compulsive personality disorder" because he might have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the ICC simply makes no sense, and anyone with a basic understanding of psychiatry should know that. As it is, you are just making yourself look ignorant as well as mean-spirited.

Felix Frost

I get the impression that you haven't actually read a lot of Bakunin. There is a lot to criticize him for, but here you are making a rather poor job at it.

I'm probably not doing as well as I could, with the points I've picked. The problem is not that I haven't read much Bakunin, but more that I haven't read much in a long while. Hopefully I'm not criticizing more my own interpretations of Bakunin when I read him (before knowing anything about capitalist social relations at all really) than Bakunin himself.

Still, the call for the immediate abolition of inheritance because
"so long as it exists there will be hereditary economic inequality, not the natural inequality of individuals, but the artificial man inequality of classes ... The task of justice is to establish equality for everyone, inasmuch that equality will depend upon the economic and political organization society - an equality with which everyone is going to begin his life, that everyone, guided by his own nature, will be the product of his own efforts." (Stateless Socialism: Anarchism) belies a misunderstanding of not only the relation of inheritance to property relations, but also the relationship between property relations and the relations of production, and the nature of classes and how make a classless society. That last sentence in particular here seems to be based on a near mutualist conception of socialism as isolated production sans capital with a rule against inheritance to avoid the reappearance of classes, rather than actually destroying the bases upon which things like inheritance exists (atomized economic existence of families based on the private appropriation of the produce of labor) and the things on which those conditions are based. Perhaps idealist doesn't sum it up but there is, in my opinion, a lack of a material understanding of certain ways capitalism functions and an idealistic belief in the power of 'abolishing inheritance.' But I may be reading him wrong, or reading marxist prejudices into him.

-soyons tout

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Felix Frost Post 139, Aug 1 2010

And to Leo: If you are going to play the game of dismissing your political critics as mentally ill, you should at least go to the trouble to familiarize yourself with the disorders you are trying to diagnose them with. Saying that maciver suffers from "obsessive compulsive personality disorder" because he might have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the ICC simply makes no sense, and anyone with a basic understanding of psychiatry should know that. As it is, you are just making yourself look ignorant as well as mean-spirited.

Dismissing and denouncing political enemies, not their arguments or ideas, as 'insane', 'mad', 'sad', 'obsessive' or whatever, is not new. After the Great Purges and WW2, Stalinism perfected this punitive approach with learned clinical diagnosis, enforced sectioning and drug 'therapies'.

I would claim that the usage of these techniques of defamation and ridicule is rife in rackets, and that is in itself a symptom of their repressive psychopathology. It's not 'mistakes' or signs of the 'eternal immaturity' alluded by ICC storytellers. The social roots of such usages in groups require specific analysis and research. Substantial work on this has been done in regards to repressive religious sects and cults, like Scientology and the Moonies, but very little in regards to political sects like left communists, Trotskyists, Maoists, etc.

The explanation that fragile little communist offshoots are being constantly exposed to 'the pressures of bourgeois ideology' explains very little. Those who offer these vague reasons for group dysfunction invariably exclude themselves from the diagnosis. There's always a pure core, the guru-managers of the organisation, who not only diagnose destructive and treasonable petty-bourgeois conduct, but impose surgical, no-nonsense solutions in the party spirit. These have included constant denouncing of 'conscious and unconscious agents of the world bourgeoisie', chekist raids and currently new overtures to forgotten brothers in arms. This is a self-serving and instrumental technique of domination, it shows no concern for understanding the real dynamics present, and no honest attempt to meet minds.

The studies of group and family psychodynamics by W Bion, RD Laing, Jules Henry (superb on 'sham'), Michael Briant (Psychotherapy and the 'Plague'), provide useful insights to analyse the psychopathology of political rackets. This is a research that would benefit from inter-disciplinary contributions using value theory, and the valuable historical studies by Michael Seidman. None of this appeared in the superficial treatment by the ICC on their thread Psychonanalysis and the Communist Movement, but then, how could it?

Re Alf's baffling comment:

[Felix Frost] is also right to criticise Leo's 'diagnosis' of mciver. This is not an appropriate thing to do, and anyway many of the currently accepted psychological 'disorders' need to be questioned very thoroughly. But even if this made Leo seem "mean-spirited", he is anything but that.

Alf Post 80, Aug 1 2010

http://libcom.org/forums/theory/racketeerism-parasitism-27072010?page=2

On the contrary, it's very 'appropriate', Leo was right-on. That is what one would do in a racket, from the baboonish 'balls' in the Acronyms thread, to the 'sad and mad' prognosis of intern Leo. Age has nothing to do with it, mud-slinging confirms the Bolshevik party spirit. One doesn't know if somebody like Leo is really mean-spirited, or that he has some commendable features. How is one to know, or care, as he's only a virtual image? Alf's unrequested assurances are also peculiar, as are his (and Beltov's) outbursts 'defending' sonny boys Devoration1 and Soyonstous from virtual bullying. Are Alf and Beltov their coaches or chaperons as well?

In regards to a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the ICC, I will agree with you. But this obsession is minor, and transient, in comparison to the subject matter -- 'obsessional' rackets and repressive ideologies that have endured since 1917. I have considered it important to put forward a critical view of these unhealthy traditions and shams, that present themselves as products of a social class and supporters of mankind's self-emancipation. This effort has, unfortunately, an 'obsessional' aspect to it, but I couldn't avoid it as it's hugely complicated and time-consuming. Also, I knew that ad hominems would follow. In the life of rackets, little has changed since 1981.

Your comments on Bakunin and the nature and activities of Marxist parties are interesting and stimulate fresh thinking. For other posts.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mciver can I ask you;

do you also think anarchists are also rackets? are you here to save our souls from this wretched idea that humanity can be saved through a communist revolution which requires organization of revolutionaries beforehand? Is this idea is a completely bolshevik, evil, satanic-stalinist, leninist idea?

Or left communists and the members of the ICC are more dangerous because there is a synical and secret bolshie inside, waiting to swallow passer bys?

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Firtinaci Post 142, Aug 2 2010

Mciver can I ask you;

do you also think anarchists are also rackets? are you here to save our souls from this wretched idea that humanity can be saved through a communist revolution which requires organization of revolutionaries beforehand? Is this idea is a completely bolshevik, evil, satanic-stalinist, leninist idea?

Or left communists and the members of the ICC are more dangerous because there is a synical and secret bolshie inside, waiting to swallow passer bys?

'Anarchists' encompasses a huge number of tendencies and beliefs. As an ex-anarchist, you are much better placed to answer your own question.

Political practice is what truly defines a racket, not platforms or positions. The supporting role of ideology can't be ignored however, especially in left communist groups like the ICC. As an aside, 'anarchists' as individuals can hardly be 'rackets', just as individuals who call themselves 'marxists' aren't rackets either. The theory studies political ('revolutionary') collectivities within a false human community, not individuals.

Your circular axioms are incantations without historical substance or logic. The 'requirement' (says who?) that 'revolutionaries organise' before 'the communist revolution' (read transition period, or a period of revolutionary state capitalism) doesn't say for how long. 30 more years? 50, 100? 300? Key, don't you think? But I don't see you demanding your usual 'proofs', you believe any codswallop as long as it comes from your soul saviours.

It's been 35 years now for the ICC, and more than two generations for some Bordiguist rackets. A long vigil into the night, without any slurping echo from the magical womb or gut. Oddly, you are not 'organised', so why don't you practice what you preach? Rejoin, back to the Playstation with Leo.

I like your dark similes. You could write some children's stories, like Struwwelpeter when the waiting gets too boring. Or upstage Leo, wipe out the whole ICT site with a trojan and blame the parasitic attack on the Istituto Onorato Damen. Wicked but fun! If some busybody finds out and accuses you of racketeering, say that it was a mistake due to immaturity. If he gets shirty, well, tell him to piss off, or call him a fucking parasite, or nut. You would be following a well known revolutionary tradition.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 'requirement' (says who?) that 'revolutionaries organise' before 'the communist revolution' (read transition period, or a period of revolutionary state capitalism) doesn't say for how long. 30 more years? 50, 100? 300? Key, don't you think?

1. Period of transition is not state capitalism. That idea that those two are equal remains to be proven.

2. The period of transition -in my perspective- lasts as long as the world revolution continues to be finished - i.e. as long as the proletariat needs to be holding arms against enemy class.

3. There can be no clear answers on how long this process would take. Marxism is not an art of prophecy. There are no guarantees of victory. As Lukacs once said;

The unity of theory and practice exists not only in theory but also for practice. We have seen that the proletariat as a class can only conquer and retain a hold on class consciousness and raise itself to the level of its – objectively-given – historic task through conflict and action. It is likewise true that the party and the individual fighter can only really take possession of their theory if they are able to bring this unity into their praxis. The so-called religious faith is nothing more than the certitude that regardless of all temporary defeats and setbacks, the historical process will come to fruition in our deeds and through our deeds.

Here too the opportunists find themselves confronted by the dilemma posed by impotence. They argue that if the Communists foresee ‘defeat’ they must either desist from every form of action or else brand themselves as unscrupulous adventurers, catastrophemongers and terrorists. In their intellectual and moral degradation they are simply incapable of seeing themselves and their action as an aspect of the totality and of the process: the ‘defeat’ as the necessary prelude to victory.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lukacs/works/history/ch02.htm

4. That is why to blame left communists and their insistance on the neccessity of organization for the defeat in Russiais simply opportunism

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

'anarchists' as individuals can hardly be 'rackets', just as individuals who call themselves 'marxists' aren't rackets either.

just as professors in the academia. The best radical is the unorganised thus harmless one.

soyonstout

Still, the call for the immediate abolition of inheritance because
"so long as it exists there will be hereditary economic inequality, not the natural inequality of individuals, but the artificial man inequality of classes ... The task of justice is to establish equality for everyone, inasmuch that equality will depend upon the economic and political organization society - an equality with which everyone is going to begin his life, that everyone, guided by his own nature, will be the product of his own efforts." (Stateless Socialism: Anarchism) belies a misunderstanding of not only the relation of inheritance to property relations, but also the relationship between property relations and the relations of production, and the nature of classes and how make a classless society. That last sentence in particular here seems to be based on a near mutualist conception of socialism as isolated production sans capital with a rule against inheritance to avoid the reappearance of classes, rather than actually destroying the bases upon which things like inheritance exists (atomized economic existence of families based on the private appropriation of the produce of labor) and the things on which those conditions are based. Perhaps idealist doesn't sum it up but there is, in my opinion, a lack of a material understanding of certain ways capitalism functions and an idealistic belief in the power of 'abolishing inheritance.' But I may be reading him wrong, or reading marxist prejudices into him.

I agree that this isolated quote can be read that way, but Bakunin was a collectivist and didn't advocate mutualism.

Bakunin

The materialistic. realistic, and collectivist conception of freedom, as opposed to the idealistic, is this: Man becomes conscious of himself and his humanity only in society and only by the collective action of the whole society. He frees himself from the yoke of external nature only by collective and social labor, which alone can transform the earth into an abode favorable to the development of humanity. Without such material emancipation the intellectual and moral emancipation of the individual is impossible. He can emancipate himself from the yoke of his own nature, i.e. subordinate his instincts and the movements of his body to the conscious direction of his mind, the development of which is fostered only by education and training. But education and training are preeminently and exclusively social ... hence the isolated individual cannot possibly become conscious of his freedom.

from Man, Society and Freedom

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Firtinaci Post 145 Aug 3 2010

Quote:
'anarchists' as individuals can hardly be 'rackets', just as individuals who call themselves 'marxists' aren't rackets either.
Quote:

just as professors in the academia. The best radical is the unorganised thus harmless one.

I don't see the analogy with professors. An individual anarchist or marxist of course can be in a group, and these groups could or not be rackets. But the members are not rackets, just like a witness of Jehova is not the 'Watchtower Society' (in the case of a religious cult). Professors in academia are not rackets either, even if their departments behave like rackets.

A disturbing implication is that 'radicals' should be 'organised' to be 'harmful', regardless if the organisation is a racket. In any case, racket is a concept you reject. But organise for what and how? Just to be 'harmful'? I take it you mean a Bolshevik-left communist outfit. Whoever finds him/herself in such an organisation is already harmed, and will harm others in turn. Ideas of domination have their own forceful logic, and their implementation will be as destructive and deluded as the ideas. This is why the practices of rackets should be exposed and avoided. It may help Individuals trapped in such groupings to get out. But the longer you stay the more difficult it will be to get out.

By 'harmless' I take you to mean 'impotent'. Yet mankind will organise itself as needed when it has to. There is nothing rackets can to to foster or hasten that process, and even less 'enlighten' it when it gets going globally, if this happens. That's why rackets are redundant, they have no role to play, they indeed missed the train at the station.

Sam Moss's points, already on various threads, remain valid, in my opinion they should be read with the Camatte/Collu text on Organisation.

http://libcom.org/library/impotence-of-revolutionary-group-international-council-correspondence-moss

http://libcom.org/library/on-organisation-jacques-camatte

888

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why are people going on about abolishing inheritance (a very minor part of Bakunin's program) when Marx advocated all sorts of nonsensical reforms?

Camatte is just throwing a tantrum in the futile "On Organisation", all his negative experiences about organisation become universal truths. I can see why McIver would like that text.

mciver

Dismissing and denouncing political enemies, not their arguments or ideas, as 'insane', 'mad', 'sad', 'obsessive' or whatever, is not new. After the Great Purges and WW2, Stalinism perfected this punitive approach...

Indeed it is not new at all. One young member of the ICC loses it and starts calling people names, which in my opinion is well out of order. However, in mitigation, maybe he was under the impression that it was an acceptable way to talk about politics here when analogies like this are used about the ICC:

Ingram

A stark naked man is running wildly down the street. In each hand he carries a kitchen knife. As he runs he is cursing everyone he sees while simultaneously slashing at his own body with the knives. Some cuts are but shallow flesh wounds but the further down the street he gets the deeper the slashes get, drawing more and more blood

At first passers-by merely avoid him, just another crazy guy on the street. But some recognise him. Some realise he is a former acquaintance. Some recognise him as a relative. The shout at him, remonstrate with him, try to persuade him to stop hurting himself His response is to shout at them, to cut them too with his knives, raving all the time that they are his enemies.

In self defence, and with compassion in their hearts at this clearly demented, mentally disturbed person, they attempt to prevent him injuring himself and them. This is immediately denounced by the lunatic as a conspiracy against him. How else, he raves, can one explain the convergence of what he believes to be the unwarranted attacks on his sacred person. That their actions are triggered by his insane behaviour just doesn’t occur to him.

And why should it? For, demented as he is, he is sublimely unaware that he is deranged. To him, his ravings are perfectly sensible, the slashes merely necessary surgery to remove alien growths on his body, the evil daemons who inhabit his body. The passers by must be tools of the government, or alien beings conspiring against him. And as such they must be destroyed!

Everybody on here knows that it is considered OK to call or imply that the ICC 'mental' and that it goes on all the time. I think the most recent example was something a few days ago,(August 2nd):

This is paranoia masquerading as a political analysis and is one of the many reasons people consider the ICC to be a cult.

In fact little comments like this are so-common that nobody even notices them anymore.

Yet one person it the ICC say that somebody else is mental and all manner of criticism emerges, funny that.

Devrim

888

Why are people going on about abolishing inheritance (a very minor part of Bakunin's program) when Marx advocated all sorts of nonsensical reforms?

Yes, I agree with this.

888

Camatte is just throwing a tantrum in the futile "On Organisation", all his negative experiences about organisation become universal truths.

This too, I think the whole thing is just another theorticisation of name calling.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

888 Post 148 Aug 3 2010

Camatte is just throwing a tantrum in the futile "On Organisation", all his negative experiences about organisation become universal truths. I can see why McIver would like that text.

And I can see why you would 'dislike' that text, as you identify with the IWW. You have expressed another dislike, Bordiga.

But this doesn't take us very far, dislikes and likes. It's more interesting and productive to develop why, and put your case forward. Perhaps you have in Libcom, but I haven't found the relevant posts.

Re Camatte, if you dislike Bordiga, you would tend to see with suspicion anybody who based a substantial part of his social critiques on Bordiga, as Camatte did. To say that Camatte was throwing a tantrum doesn't refute anything, as Camatte's views on the sterility of vanguard organisations are developed seriously over many texts. Agree, his 'negative' views about organisation would tend to support a hypothesis with universal application. Nevertheless, don't ignore that Camatte was dealing specifically with gangs/rackets in the Bordiguist left communist tradition.

Your own 'positive experiences' with organisations could be made to have universal truth and application as well. It's up to you to present alternative views about organisations. Why they are created and represent, what functions and successes they have, why they degenerate and disappear, etc. But you could also reject, for now, identifying universal underlying trends, and accept only isolated experiences and facts. That's valid too.

My interest in Bordiga is limited, I don't share Camatte's early enthusiasm. Perhaps it's because of Bordiga's totalitarian party views. His lifelong and passionate adulation of Lenin was cultish and misplaced. However, Bordiga's critical speech at the Sixth Enlarged Executive Meeting of the Communist International in March 1926 is worth reading today, even if his criticisms were reformist absurdities, pure ideology by then. The counter-revolution had triumphed long before, but the party/state reformists refused to accept this. Their loyalty was to the party-state form, when what really mattered was to abandon and denounce that corrupt and murderous movement. As Rühle put it, Red Fascism.

Of course that's not all of Bordiga, his insights on what communism was (as opposed to Stalinism), for example, were a contribution at the time.

Incidentally, there's a rumour that Bordiga welcomed the landings of Allied forces in Italy in 1943-44, in a radio interview. Insofar as I know, there was an inconclusive investigation of this maybe even a 'Jury of Honour'? Perhaps the left communist Zentrales could report on this, which may have been a little peppery dish cooked by Bordiga's rivals in the ICP, or by Stalinists. But we know the ICC is quite capable of similar fabrications, ie Chénier 'the state agent'.

Onorato Damen makes incisive points against the Bordiga cult in his Centralised Party, Yes -- Centralism over the Party, No! http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2010-03-17/centralised-party-yes-centralism-over-the-party-no

Nevertheless, in spite of his accurate insights, Damen was also an apologist of Bolshevism, as is the ICT, so another cult there, not to mention the infestation of Bordiguist replicants in Italy mostly. These splits can't be explained as the outcome of the attempt to suppress internal debate in the shape of so-called 'organic centralism'. They are inherent to Leninist gangs and will re-occur endlessly. The pretended points of divergence are always trite doctrinal issues, or inanities about 'idealism versus materialism or dialectics'. None address a main issue: how is it that they have been irrelevant to the 'class struggle' that supposedly produced them, for more than two generations?

Critical individuals and reviews like Debord, Camatte, Adorno/Horkheimer, Dauvé, Théorie Communiste, Postone, Pike, Perlman, Temps Critiques, the Dupont brothers, etc, have attempted to explain aspects of current reality without recourse to Leninist mythologies. None have the total truth, that's a given impossibility. Yet it would be absurd to suggest that they all suffered or suffer from 'tantrums'.

Devrim's This too, I think the whole thing is just another theorticisation of name calling. is a repeat of his anti-intellectual, reductionist quip. This isn't 888's point, who, in spite of his unfounded remark about 'tantrums', asserts that Camatte is making a wrong generalisation from his negative experiences. This is a valid remark in my opinion. But Devrim, like most ICC apologists, resort to pseudo-psychological fantasies: the critics of rackets are traumatised and enjoy name-calling. His associates go further: madness, egomania. These are hypocritical code words for the old 'parasite' and 'probable agents of the world bourgeoisie'. But this is to be expected from apparatchiks.

The hint could already be here: 'don't call my group a racket and I won't call you a parasite'. But the exchange wouldn't work as it's not about same with same.

To start with, 'parasites', according to the Theses, owe their objective existence to the host.'Parasite' means oppositionist, ex-member, groups and individuals who share something (unpleasantly) with the main organism and who should be virulently exposed and resisted. The retort that 'parasite' is merely a derogatory term for critics and 'others' outside the legitimate movement, has foundation. Even more so as Ingram, McIver and others have proven that the claims were based on lies and defamations.

But 'racket'? In this case there's no objective existence in the sense of being 'a real social product of the international working class'. Those links with class have been liquidated, the period has changed and the claims of 'belonging' to a class are therefore sectarian and ideological. This circular delusion is totalitarian, as 'group mentality' must replace and dominate any personal interpretation of revealed truths. However, the preservation of the group without objective basis in society becomes unbearably stressful. Survival is essential to generate the indispensable correct consciousness, the fate of mankind depends on this. To carry this out without the test of social practice is undoubtedly a huge burden. It's made even more difficult by the 'parasites' that infest and ambush the organisation, at best weak links who couldn't resist the permanent pressures of bourgeois ideology. At worst, agents provocateurs and spies.

The loss of mature, individualised functions of mind brings about the psychotic state of a 'collective mind', where there is no moral sense or mature judgement (all is only good or bad). These insights are based on W Bion and RD Hinshelwood.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mciver

The hint could already be here: 'don't call my group a racket and I won't call you a parasite'. But the exchange wouldn't work as it's not about same with same.

I think that everybody who posts here regularly is aware that I don't call people parasites, and I am pretty sure that I have ever done so in my life. It is not in any way about an 'exchange'. For me it is important to start by behaving in a comradely fashion. It is not important if others don't, it doesn't mean that we should try any less.

mciver

But Devrim, like most ICC apologists, resort to pseudo-psychological fantasies: the critics of rackets are traumatised and enjoy name-calling.

Actually, I don't think that is what I said at all. What I said was that many people who went through the experience of being in the ICC of that period were 'traumatised' by it. This includes people who are still members today.

I don't think that to say this is 'psycho-babble. There are lots of traumatic events in life, death, divorce...etc. I don't think to say people are effected by them is a 'pseudo-psychological fantasy'.

As for people 'enjoying' name calling, I don't think I used that word, and I don't imply that people do 'enjoy' it.

mciver

His associates go further: madness, egomania. These are hypocritical code words for the old 'parasite' and 'probable agents of the world bourgeoisie'.

I don't see where the plural comes in here. I think one person said it, and others in the ICC actually expressed disagreement with that line of argument.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That is true Devrim, you have not referred to anybody as parasite in your posts. I regret if I gave that impression.

To reduce criticisms of your organisation to trauma (or a theorisation of name-calling re Camatte, sorry not enjoying this, you're right) is ambivalent, as it avoids their substance. It could imply that traumatised individuals have clouded judgement, or that for some irrational reason Camatte wanted to insult the ICP.

Naturally, this could be true, but it's quite subjective and impossible to establish. That's why it's better to deal with the factual information and avoid the pyscho-babble as you say. But irreconcilable areas would soon be reached, regardless, because the presuppositions aren't shared.

It's not possible to have a 'comradely' tone with individuals who belong to a group that burgled and stole my private belongings, and not content with that, attempted to physically attack my companion, and me, the second time. She would have been outnumbered by a troop of amateur chekists. I will only say that, had your apparat been able to touch one hair on her head, it would have gone down that night. Lights out. A 'historical event' for a 'historical figure', to use Alf's grandiose language. We wouldn't be having these exchanges now, which would be a good thing.

To the apparat, the issue was 'the defence of the organisation'. The defence of our physical integrity was the issue for us. There was nothing to negotiate. Symbolically, those events revealed the underlying nature of such rackets, their true as opposed to their fictitious standing, their might-makes-right vision of power.

Up North, another couple with two young children were 'visited' as well, to recover internal bulletins. The mother opened the door with the youngest in her arms, ignoring that it was the wolf (or Baboon) at the door. No surprise, the apparat's property was returned immediately. Hurrah, another blow for 'the defence of the organisation' against dangerous parasites.

None of this is invented. Neither did Ingram invent anything. The Aberdeen members also had children, they did what they had to do. First things first. But the apparat did fabricate slanders and tendentious accounts. For years it also concealed the sordid details of the 'direct action'. The interpretation of the events of 1981-2004 is the difference.

I can't comment on the traumas of current ICC members who were in the organisation then. In the sense that victimisers can become victims, perhaps, but how, do they have insomnia, tics (not ticks-- parasites!!)? I can't see why you mention this, except perhaps as a way of saying 'we all did wrong'? Well, that's not true, the oppositionists didn't want to intimidate the ICC and didn't fabricate slanders. They never retaliated, they fell apart, which was Chirik's intention, not the pretended 'recovery of ICC material'.

Leo's posts on my mental state aren't a personal flaw or mistakes, they come from a culture specific to Leninist macho cults. There was no 'plural' in the ICC 'disagreement' here, no 'others', c'mon, apart from Alf's patronising comment about how inappropriate this was, and how Leo wasn't really like that (?), who else? You didn't register disagreement then. The principle of looking after 'our own' prevails, a little 'disagreement' is allowed, like a conductor notices a note out of tune. Not 'appropriate', try again, and leave Wikipedia alone.

mciver

Incidentally, there's a rumour that Bordiga welcomed the landings of Allied forces in Italy in 1943-44, in a radio interview.

I think it's so cute how left-communists consider something like this to be scandalous.

Honestly, if I had lived in an Axis country or an Axis-occupied country, I would have welcomed the Allies with open arms. If I had lived in an Allied country, I would have sought out the next enlistment station.

Principles are okay, I guess, but sometimes the real world just sort imposes itself, ya know?

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And to Leo: If you are going to play the game of dismissing your political critics as mentally ill, you should at least go to the trouble to familiarize yourself with the disorders you are trying to diagnose them with. Saying that maciver suffers from "obsessive compulsive personality disorder" because he might have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the ICC simply makes no sense, and anyone with a basic understanding of psychiatry should know that. As it is, you are just making yourself look ignorant as well as mean-spirited.

"he might have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the icc"? seriously? "a bit of", do you think? he "might"? go back and look at how many pages this guy has been writing on an internet forum recently. how many hours do you think has he been spending writing all these posts? he is completely rigid, insults everyone who even expresses the slightest disagreement with him, he is excessively devoted to writing his posts on a web-forum, he goes on rumbling about events that happened 30 years or so earlier, he is overconscientious. the guy seems to spend his entire time on libcom, responds to every post made concerning his obsession, goes on about everything, every single point. look out what these symptoms point to - i ain't no psychologist but i took lessons and read a bit on the topic. it is an obvious text-book definition. i simply said the king has got no clothes. i don't really mind being called ignorant, uneducated etc. as for mean-spirited, perhaps i am... but i'm not the guy who has been insulting every militant or supporter of the icc as well as everyone who criticized him here. i suppose being mean against icc people doesn't count. i suppose it is no problem at all in calling us a racket, a gang, a cult, future murderers, bolshevik butchers, worse than reaganites etc. even our dead comrades aren't to be spared, it is completely fine to insult them, to mock their memory, that is not mean at all... but saying that this anti-communist nutjob is an anti-communist nutjob is. perhaps it is mean, perhaps its just blunt.

mciver is not a "political critic" of the icc. you are one, for example, cassady also is, so is ingram, lots of other people - but he isn't. he is, if you take him seriously, a "political critic" of communism in general - the sole reason people are padding his back here is because he is anti-icc, but on a more general scale, he is openly an anti-communist. had anyone else with the same behavior pattern but without the obsession with the icc started posting on libcom, s/he would be banned - and there are examples of this happening on this website (remember kevin keating?).

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the angelic honesty above

mciver wrote:
Incidentally, there's a rumour that Bordiga welcomed the landings of Allied forces in Italy in 1943-44, in a radio interview.
I think it's so cute how left-communists consider something like this to be scandalous.

Honestly, if I had lived in an Axis country or an Axis-occupied country, I would have welcomed the Allies with open arms. If I had lived in an Allied country, I would have sought out the next enlistment station.

Principles are okay, I guess, but sometimes the real world just sort imposes itself, ya know?

Something like what? The scandalous stand of the Italian Left, as that of Mattick's group (not a 'left communist') and others (including anarchists) was an extension of the antiwar position taken in 1914 by others including the Lenin faction of the RSDLP, Luxemburg, Liebknecht and a few others in the German SPD. In Spain, preamble to WW2, the question resurfaced in 1936-39. What I'm alluding to is a supposed abandonment by Bordiga of this principle he was supposed to have upheld. If that claim was a fabrication, ie, if it wasn't true, then it showed that those lying methods existed, perhaps in his movement. It's a historical issue to clarify, don't know what's so 'cute' about it.

I totally believe you, ya know, that you would have supported the lesser evil in WW2. Your tradition, at least in method, would be Plekhanov's, or Noske-Ebert's, etc, in the SPD. Not cute, but supportive of progress in history. Had you been in the eastern Reich in 1945, I believe also that you would have welcomed the Red Army with spread out wings and, with any luck, enlisted with Ehrenburg's poetry team, or the NKVD to be of service under Pieck and later UIbricht. But who would you have warmly feathered on August 39? Difficult that one.

I also agree that the world of Realpolitik just sort of impresses itself, like onto putty, and especially onto honest anti-German Germans. Paul Klee's beautiful and poignant painting of the real angel of history, I see, bears a name can be usurped by two-bit putti, little winged nocturnal helpers that could have well replaced Oboe, leading Lancasters and B-17s to Berlin or Hamburg, or Dresden. I propose a new name: putto dresdenio.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

duplicate post deleted

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leo diagnoses again

"he might have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the icc"? seriously? "a bit of", do you think? he "might"? go back and look at how many pages this guy has been writing on an internet forum recently. how many hours do you think has he been spending writing all these posts? he is completely rigid, insults everyone who even expresses the slightest disagreement with him, he is excessively devoted to writing his posts on a web-forum, he goes on rumbling about events that happened 30 years or so earlier, he is overconscientious. the guy seems to spend his entire time on libcom, responds to every post made concerning his obsession, goes on about everything, every single point. look out what these symptoms point to - i ain't no psychologist but i took lessons and read a bit on the topic. it is an obvious text-book definition. i simply said the king has got no clothes. i don't really mind being called ignorant, uneducated etc. as for mean-spirited, perhaps i am... but i'm not the guy who has been insulting every militant or supporter of the icc as well as everyone who criticized him here. i suppose being mean against icc people doesn't count. i suppose it is no problem at all in calling us a racket, a gang, a cult, future murderers, bolshevik butchers, worse than reaganites etc. even our dead comrades aren't to be spared, it is completely fine to insult them, to mock their memory, that is not mean at all... but saying that this anti-communist nutjob is an anti-communist nutjob is. perhaps it is mean, perhaps its just blunt.
mciver is not a "political critic" of the icc. you are one, for example, cassady also is, so is ingram, lots of other people - but he isn't. he is, if you take him seriously, a "political critic" of communism in general - the sole reason people are padding his back here is because he is anti-icc, but on a more general scale, he is openly an anti-communist. had anyone else with the same behavior pattern but without the obsession with the icc started posting on libcom, s/he would be banned - and there are examples of this happening on this website (remember kevin keating?).

I'm glad that Leo now considers Cassady and Ingram of the ex-CBG, and 'lots of other people' (probably once 'parasites' or 'agents of capital' like anarchists) as political critics. That's some admission, even if the Theses on Parasitism will remain online forever.

I don't think anybody is 'padding my back' here. What for?

I have offered a contrary account and interpretation of events to the one presented by Leos' overseers for over 28 years, around five of those years on Libcom. That requires thoroughness and constant verification of historical evidence. I understand that people like Leo aren't used to thoroughness in research, and neither is his racket. His reaction suggests strong negative projections, a rage that his icons and belief system are questioned.

However, compared to the mountains of paper and dpi dedicated to denouncing 'parasites' for over a generation, by an 'international organisation', my individual output has been puny. Before the internet, critical 'parasites' had almost no way to reply to the avalanche of ICC lies and paranoid invective. Now it's different: that's what's intolerable, people talk back, critics spend their 'entire time' on Libcom attacking an organ of the proletariat, trying to make up for the lost chance to reply. What impertinence from the lower orders!

Leo doesn't have to read what he dislikes, nobody is forcing him. But of course this won't do, an 'anticommunist critic' of his cult must be attacked and silenced, not his ideas directly, but he as a person. It's an old and predictable technique.

I don't insult people who criticise me, but insults are not the same as criticisms. People who insult, mock, lie, distort and obfuscate, shouldn't complain. I assume that people who insult online have thick skins, that they can take as hard as they give. If you object that people reply to your current or old insults, or evasions, then learn manners, engage with minds, don't put them down with stupid one-liners and lazy ad-hominems.

Leo repeats Alf's previous whingeing, with the sly banning insinuation ('of course' Alf wasn't asking for this) but now more openly angled. Soon, the demand: McIver must be banned. Preparing for this future demand, Leo adds another amalgam (like the Cold War academics), one with 'Kevin Keating'. Not someone I've ever met or read. As remarked before, this amalgam suggests a leftist-Stalinist background, or a natural inclination to insidious gangsterist methods. It doesn't seem that Leo's hacking into the IBRP's Wikipedia page was a laddish 'mistake', but something seriously manipulative and destructive. That an individual who admits to such malignant behaviour was later accepted as a member says a lot about the tolerant cynicism of the organisation (see Devrim post 49 http://libcom.org/forums/theory/racketeerism-parasitism-27072010?page=1)

This is a mindset that can fabricate amalgams and slanders, and feigns victimisation and a hurt ego. But this isn't only a personal failing, Leo is not a loose cannon, he is a faithful and reliable ICC trooper. The style is the man, or the racket. Would have been ideal in the 1981 raids.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It doesn't seem that Leo's hacking into the IBRP's Wikipedia page was a laddish 'mistake', but something seriously manipulative and destructive. That an individual who admits to such malignant behaviour was later accepted as a member says a lot about the tolerant cynicism of the organisation

You don't need to 'hack' a Wikipedia page. It can be edited by any user.

Devrim

Wellclose Square

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You don't need to 'hack' a Wikipedia page. It can be edited by any user.

Well, there's editing and 'editing', isn't there? What was the nature of Leo's (doubtless thoughtful and incisive) 'edits'?

Likewise, you don't have to kick a door down to gain access to someone's home. The door can be opened by any occupant (holding a babe in arms?).

Keep digging yourselves deeper... keep obfuscating... keep insulting... keep confirming the analysis...

(captcha - 'obtuser stated')

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wellclose Square

keep obfuscating...

I think that this word means obscuring things. I don't know why you would say I am. I think I am pretty open and clear about things.

Wellclose Square

keep insulting

Please, name one individual on here that I have ever insulted. I don't do it.

Wellclose Square

Well, there's editing and 'editing', isn't there? What was the nature of Leo's (doubtless thoughtful and incisive) 'edits'?

I don't know. I was told at the time, but I can't clearly remember. I think it was something about linking to an ICC article critical of the IBRP. Leo or Clieshbothom could probably confirm it.

I brought this up originally to demonstrate how misunderstandings can get blown up out of all proportion. The IBRP were convinced the ICC had done this, and were rather annoyed about it. It turned out that it hadn't even been done by an ICC member at all, and the ICC had no knowledge of it.

I think that that demonstrates what a profound level of distrust there is.

Ironically enough, if I was motivated by obscuring things, and covering them up, I certainly wouldn't have brought this up in the first place. I think that it doesn't demonstrate just how eager some people are to jump on anything at all, even when they know nothing at all about the events and the circumstances.

Devrim

Wellclose Square

Keep digging yourselves deeper...

Imagine a naked man frantically digging a hole in a street... the little molehill he creates soon comes to resemble a mountain... (by the way the naked man isn't the ICC for once)

Tommy Ascaso

Talking about wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:International_Communist_Current

Looking at that, I would imagine that it was done by somebody in Turkey. 'Mayis', the user name on there is the Turkish word for 'May'. There is also one preposition mistake, which suggests that it may not have been written by a native speaker.

It wasn't something that we did as an organisation. I didn't do it. I have never done anything on Wiki. It could have been Leo, but he talks to it characterising 'individuals', not organisations. I don't think anybody else in the Turkish ICC can write English that well, but I could be wrong.

It could be a supporter or sympathiser. I don't know.

On the actual edit, I don't think that it is something that that in any way helps us in any way, but I don't think it is a heinous crime either.

Devrim

Angelus Novus

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's an eerie meeting of minds between Left-Communists and George W. Bush: for Left Communists, Auschwitz is just another massacre. For George W. Bush, every bad guy is Hitler.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

You don't need to 'hack' a Wikipedia page. It can be edited by any user.

Wellclose Square is completely right about your obfuscating. The example of Wikepedia shows it. Not only that but sophistry (fallacious intent to deceive), though you may not even be aware of what you're doing.

The issue is not that 'it's not hacking' -- here you are deflecting, or obfuscating -- of course there's no unauthorised entry, but that's why it can be easily abused by someone who wants to sabotage and disrupt, which is exactly what hackers do, and what Leo's 'editing' did (how neutral it sounds), according to you. It's an aspect of online vandalism from another group, and that's why the IBRP were annoyed. Why shouldn't they be? The 'any user can edit' is a candid gem. Why didn't the IBRP get this, this laudable democratic aspect of Wikepedia? The destructive act of course wasn't only Leo's, but it can be laid squarely on the group he belonged to.

Why should anyone 'go and ask' individuals about this, like Leo and Cleishbotham? This is a grotesque request, similar to Firtinaci's 'go and ask' so and so about a 'bombshell' pamphlet on the early Turkish CP and Comintern. Those involved should clarify these issues without any prompting, now that they have been posed online. Otherwise it's only a revealing anecdote, and my comments remain conditional, but it's not up to me to find out more. Nothing is transparent in a racket, too many agendas create layers and layers of opacity and responsibility for acts is diluted.

The intention to cause harm, to annoy and spread suspicion among groups (for years in this case!), that's what I was referring to. Of course it's commendable that you admit it, but you did this because you don't think it's important, just like you have minimised other destructive behaviour (ie, the violence in the ICC 1981-82 raids). In a serious and open group, acts like Leo's wouldn't be tolerated. They are typical underhand 'parasitic' activities (using your own term), aimed at creating suspicion and confusion among groups and their readers online. Unfortunately I don't think you get it.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There's an eerie meeting of minds between Left-Communists and George W. Bush: for Left Communists, Auschwitz is just another massacre. For George W. Bush, every bad guy is Hitler.

Auschwitz was committed by Germans, and their 'massacres' and holocausts are the best, they follow the unique winning Germanic path, nobody can do better than Germans and don't think of competing for a minute. They shall always be n.1, or so fantasises Putto. He is not a left communist, God forbid, but only a centre-communist, probably in the tradition of angelic Communist saviours like Zhukov, Konev, Rokossovsky.

Germany, now unified, remains n.1 in the mass production of toadies, doormats and other variants of anti-Germans. That must be conceded.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

to 888

Wellclose Square wrote:

Keep digging yourselves deeper...

Imagine a naked man frantically digging a hole in a street... the little molehill he creates soon comes to resemble a mountain... (by the way the naked man isn't the ICC for once)

Who is it then 888? The image was used by Ingram originally. A riddle? Moleman? Have the ICC bought some pants, some modesty then?

Leutha

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As regards Bordiga's radio broadcasts, check out:
Essen Soviet makes appeal to Brits
I put this post up some time ago, but no-one has responded.

The Essen Soviet was an iconic momemnt in Left Communist ideology, but actually, reality is a little bit more complicated.

All the puff up of groups like the ICC make more confusion than they clarify, make ideologies which block a clearer understanding of the political processes which we need to learn from.

The Communist Left as peddled by Left Communists is a fantasy, an attempt to string together a few historical incidents to create a satisfying myth, and the conceit of some kind of superhuman understanding, which in reality masks relaity and creates confusion.

mciver

The issue is not that 'it's not hacking' -- here you are deflecting, or obfuscating -- of course there's no unauthorised entry, but that's why it can be easily abused by someone who wants to sabotage and disrupt, which is exactly what hackers do, and what Leo's 'editing' did (how neutral it sounds), according to you.

Looking at Wiki that is exactly how they refer to it. Should I have used another word? Of course if you want to find 'obfuscation', you can find it in words like 'edit' even.

mciver

It's an aspect of online vandalism from another group, and that's why the IBRP were annoyed. Why shouldn't they be? The 'any user can edit' is a candid gem. Why didn't the IBRP get this, this laudable democratic aspect of Wikepedia?

I understand that they were annoyed. I too thought it was pretty bad behaviour.

mciver

The destructive act of course wasn't only Leo's, but it can be laid squarely on the group he belonged to.

Which was? I don't think he belonged to any group then, but I can see that facts like that are no reason not to pin the blame fairly on the ICC.

mciver

Why should anyone 'go and ask' individuals about this, like Leo and Cleishbotham?

Firstly I didn't say anyone should "go and ask". I said:

Devrim

Leo or Clieshbothom could probably confirm it.

As I am sure they can. I am mystified as to what I am supposed to do. Should I ring one of them up to find out exactly went on? To be honest I doubt anybody is that interested. I don't quite see what is wrong with asking people involved to find out what went on though. If anyone really wants to know, I am sure one of those two could confirm it.

This is a grotesque request,

This is a grotesque request, similar to Firtinaci's 'go and ask' so and so about a 'bombshell' pamphlet on the early Turkish CP and Comintern.

I presume you are talking about this exchange:

mikail firtinaci

To return to Goldner -- there are no riveting quotes from the ICC pamphlet Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party, 1920-1927. Do you know what is Goldner alluding to? Could you open a thread on this? WHAT 'theoretical bombshell'?

If the bombshell is implicitly the arguement that the Bolsheviks defended Kemalists even letting the turkish CP leadership to be murdered, I believe this is incorrect. By the way I am not the writer of the ICC pamphlet. You should directly ask this Devrim or Leo...

I can't quite see what Mikail is supposed to have done wrong here either. He doesn't want to comment and points you in the direction of people who may.

We didn't use the term 'bombshell'. Lauren did, so I don't know exactly what he means. If you want to know what the pamphlet says, an easy way would be to buy a copy.

mikail firtinaci

They are typical underhand 'parasitic' activities (using your own term), aimed at creating suspicion and confusion among groups and their readers online.

Not my term actually, as I am sure you actually know by now, but don't let small details like facts get in the way of your points.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devrim

mciver wrote:
They are typical underhand 'parasitic' activities (using your own term), aimed at creating suspicion and confusion among groups and their readers online.

Not my term actually, as I am sure you actually know by now, but don't let small details like facts get in the way of your points.

By 'your own term' I meant that of the organisation you belong to, not you personally. But unfortunately the dividing line is not easy to maintain, as I'm sure you'd agree. That's a downside of belonging. What are the benefits, can't tell, up to you as well.

Small details matter a lot, will bear that in mind and regret if I have seemed to insult you. Your opinions and statements have annoyed me, but not you as a person. I don't know you and you have not personally tried to harm me. It's true that you don't use the term 'parasite' and your outspoken opposition to its use is on record.

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't know. I was told at the time, but I can't clearly remember. I think it was something about linking to an ICC article critical of the IBRP. Leo or Clieshbothom could probably confirm it.

it wasn't a hack or sabotage or anything, i had simply added a link to the icc's list of articles about the ibrp there, and was actually planning to do the same thing to the icc's page, as in putting a link to the ibrp articles on the icc since i wasn't an icc supporter or sympathizer at the time and was at an equal distance to the icc as i was to the ibrp but stopped working on wiki before i did that. i might have reorganized the ibrp page a bit as well, adding more material from their site and all, but i'm not sure, i don't remember - the problem was with that one link, of course. i was simply trying to help with wiki pages on left communist things, i think the most effort i put was in the icp's wiki page.

wikipedia obviously can be edited by anyone. that is in fact the thing about wikipedia.

when i explained the situation to clieshbothom of the ibrp, he was alright with it and we kept having a fraternal discussion.

Angelus Novus

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mciver,

I'm not an Anti-German, as pretty much everybody on this forum knows by now. And as already discussed ad nauseum on this thread, Anti-Germans are pretty much non-existent as a political tendency at this point.

So your posts are about as accurate as they are interesting.

Please go back to wanking over back issues of Invariance.

Samotnaf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know this is off-topic (feeding the ICC's delusions of self-importance by endlessly showing up their ideological distortions and sectarian mentality has become a drag) but Angelus Novus - you never replied to my post (post 125) on that thread; I'd be genuinely interested in a response - it seems important to analyse and overcome all identities other than proletarian, and the German v anti-German confusions don't help. I don't want to have an arrogant competitive slanging match, but a genuine reflection from you about what I said would help towards overcoming part of the remnants of Jewish identity you still seem to have, and would help me clarify some things. I know this is a particularly touchy subject, given Auschwitz etc., but, unless you have no interest in overcoming some separate identity, it seems vital that the history of your own colonisation by a collectivist identity, and its remains, has to be confronted if you want to determine your existence: "The end of alienation follows the straight and narrow path of alienation itself".

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Post 154

I think it's so cute how left-communists consider something like this to be scandalous.

Honestly, if I had lived in an Axis country or an Axis-occupied country, I would have welcomed the Allies with open arms. If I had lived in an Allied country, I would have sought out the next enlistment station.

Principles are okay, I guess, but sometimes the real world just sort imposes itself, ya know?

Post 174

I'm not an Anti-German, as pretty much everybody on this forum knows by now. And as already discussed ad nauseum on this thread, Anti-Germans are pretty much non-existent as a political tendency at this point.

So your posts are about as accurate as they are interesting.

Please go back to wanking over back issues of Invariance.

The first post above more accurately reveals you as an Allied imperial warmonger, or an antifascist, or a Stalinist, or all that. Your camp is naturally capital. 'Anti-German' of course as well, who cares that the political racket/s called 'Anti-German' are sooo retro-antiquities today, to use your quaint jargon. 'Anti-Germanism' is still an endemic syndrome in Germany, not necessarily a political movement. Its ideological foundations were established by the Western military occupation, then eagerly upheld by various academic and media houseboys in the postwar years. This filtered down to the broad layers of doormats and German-hating political rackets... and putti.

Re the Nazi holocaust, how profound to notice that genocides have singular characteristics. But the fiercely competitive ideologists who dissect and push for these unique features, do so mostly to establish winning criteria for 'more badness', to justify 'lesser evils' against 'ultimate' ones, and further wars to end all wars, further reparations and retaliations, all sponsored by Leviathanic saviour-networks, who always stand in for mankind.

What's missing in these unique World Cups for 1st Genocide is that the victims themselves are seldom asked which is their favourite. How would you like to leave this world dear, via gas chamber, starvation, batching by machine gun, machete, napalm, A-Bombs, freezing, urban renewal by area bombing, drowning, hard-labour, forced marches, etc, etc? Do you prefer leaving your details in fancy IBM cards or just mass grave-yarding or vaporising like in Hiroshima? I have never seen examples of this quantitative, or even qualitative research, based on the consumed. Have you? But it would help the contest, maybe Germany would still come on top, I'm not biased, and you would soar happily.

To me, from your post above, Zhukov, Konev and Rokossovsky are your recruiting marshalls, hardly Marx or Adorno, although they too engaged in progressive bettings of this kind, creating templates for Marxist plasticines.

Thanks for the kind suggestion, but a bit awkward coming from you. What would an angel, even less a putto, know about wanking?

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Quote:

Leo

I don't know. I was told at the time, but I can't clearly remember. I think it was something about linking to an ICC article critical of the IBRP. Leo or Clieshbothom could probably confirm it.

it wasn't a hack or sabotage or anything, i had simply added a link to the icc's list of articles about the ibrp there, and was actually planning to do the same thing to the icc's page, as in putting a link to the ibrp articles on the icc since i wasn't an icc supporter or sympathizer at the time and was at an equal distance to the icc as i was to the ibrp but stopped working on wiki before i did that. i might have reorganized the ibrp page a bit as well, adding more material from their site and all, but i'm not sure, i don't remember - the problem was with that one link, of course. i was simply trying to help with wiki pages on left communist things, i think the most effort i put was in the icp's wiki page.

wikipedia obviously can be edited by anyone. that is in fact the thing about wikipedia.

when i explained the situation to clieshbothom of the ibrp, he was alright with it and we kept having a fraternal discussion.

I can't understand why the IBRP was annoyed then and suspicious of the ICC. Why? But if after you explained this the IBRP were alright with it, then fine.

Thanks for explaining.

Joseph Kay

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this fucking thread :cry:

Leo

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can't understand why the IBRP was annoyed then and suspicious of the ICC.

i think it has got to do with the prevailing unfortunate atmosphere of mutual mistrust and lack of dialog between the two organizations that dev was talking about.

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Leo

i think it has got to do with the prevailing unfortunate atmosphere of mutual mistrust and lack of dialog between the two organizations that dev was talking about.

That was exactly what I was talking about. The IBRP just assumed this had been done by the ICC. Mistrust was at such a point that they didn't even ask them. As it turned out, it wasn't done by the ICC at all, and by chance we were able to sort it out.

Devrim

Joseph Kay

this fucking thread :cry:

Well yes, it is pretty sad. Imagine if your organisation had broken into some people's houses to retrieve a typewriter back in the 1980s. Oh wait, they did. It is just that people don't feel a need to bring it up every five minutes.

Maybe we could try to return to what the actual article had to say.

Devrim

Devrim

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By 'your own term' I meant that of the organisation you belong to, not you personally. But unfortunately the dividing line is not easy to maintain, as I'm sure you'd agree.

I don't really see any problem in maintaining it. Membership of the ICC is based upon adherence to its platform, which doesn't have any mention of the term 'parasitism'. Outside of that members have lots of different opinions, which they discuss in public and within the organisation. It may not be the ICC that you were involved in creating, as I wasn't a member then it is difficult to judge, but it is the ICC today.

Devrim

Joseph Kay

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i hope DAM created a theory of syndicalist tapewormism to explain the incident.

Tommy Ascaso

Devrim

Well yes, it is pretty sad. Imagine if your organisation had broken into some people's houses to retrieve a typewriter back in the 1980s. Oh wait, they did. It is just that people don't feel a need to bring it up every five minutes.

Is that a comparable incident? The only reference to it that I can find through google is your posts on here.

It shows how much people went on about it then. It would have been 1986 I think, and the Hull branch, which was responsible for producing the paper, left the organisation, after producing an issue backing one of the CNT splits, probably the ones that went on to become the CGT. They were called CNT (R) at the time as I remember), and kept the typewriter. People were dispatched from London to go up there and 'retrieve' it. Ask somebody who was in DAM at the time.

Devrim

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay wrote:
this fucking thread

Well yes, it is pretty sad. Imagine if your organisation had broken into some people's houses to retrieve a typewriter back in the 1980s. Oh wait, they did. It is just that people don't feel a need to bring it up every five minutes.

Maybe we could try to return to what the actual article had to say.

Devrim

Two issues:

1. The question of this original thread. The ICC supports left communists debating with 'internationalist' or 'revolutionary' anarchists. Those anarchists who share a vision of action will agree with the ICC. The optimistic aim of the debates will presumably include 'common interventions', growth and even future regroupment. (However, I doubt very much that the left communists will ever become anarchists.)

How the groups involved will explain their differences, like how is it that there was no debate for more than 40 or 90 years, is interesting for a study of self-analysis in groups. Following Bion, it's unlikely that this self-analysis will be successful.

The current posts suggest minimal agreement on the political history. The ICC position that the anarchist Bakunin was a 'parasitic' adventurer has been exposed as unfounded (see the recent Battlescarred post, one among many based on the evidence).

The exterminatory persecution of anarchism by the Bolsheviks in Russia from 1918 is another fundamental divergence needing clarification from the ICC most of all.

To anarchists who claim to be mostly interested in action, the above is probably irrelevant academia. They may be the ICC 'focus'.

2. To anarchists who wish to clarify history, the ICC's past dismissal of Bakunin and anarchism poses real difficulties. Even more so if these dismissals are justified in the ICC's Theses on Parasitism and other past articles.

The contention here is that the Theses are essential to the ICC's doctrinal survival and won't be rejected. Furthermore, these Theses affirmed the ideology and practice of the ICC as a gang. This sterility came about due to social isolation and programmatic delusion (Bolshevism). It's unlikely that social isolation will cease to be a factor of stagnation, even with a temporary numerical growth due to anarchist collaboration.

This typical comment suggests that self-delusion remains rampant: Well yes, it is pretty sad. Imagine if your organisation had broken into some people's houses to retrieve a typewriter back in the 1980s. Oh wait, they did. It is just that people don't feel a need to bring it up every five minutes.

This was brought up a lot recently because the ICC as an organisation denies this reality, or deforms the events like in the above flippant remark, to avoid confronting the truth: that the raids were not to retrieve material, but to intimidate. (The ICC posts of 2006 justifying the raids are eye-openers). Real, scathing self-criticism is not possible in a racket. But no amount of reasoning will persuade. An organisation that claims to be produced by the proletariat but has engaged in acts of unprecedented vandalism and defamation from 1981 onwards is not suited to inspire confidence. Why it stopped behaving like this circa 2007, likewise why didn't it engage with anarchists for generations is not explained. 'Mistakes' and 'immaturity' are circular and explain little. Destructive actions that are justified and ignored can't be transcended. For this, the ICC will ultimately implode.

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tommy Ascaso Post 187

Well I haven't really got a problem with people going and collecting organisational property, and I don't know much about either incident. I guess I'm just assuming that this wasn't as 'bad' as the ICC one because people haven't been going on about it for the last 25 years (although this perhaps says more about the kind of people that are interested in left communism).

As I think others said last time this was discussed it was the claiming that internal bulletins were organisational property that was mental, never mind creating a theory of parasitism to justify the whole thing.

For years the ICC claimed that it was recovering 'organisational property' in the raids of 1981, and many in Libcom simply accepted this mendacious version. Yet the raids of 1981 were not launched for this reason, but to terrorise the ICC membership and intimidate opponents. This was immediately perceived and denounced by News of War and Revolution in Leicester. Their merit is that they were the first to define the ICC's actions as one of a gang, as an attack against militants of the working class.

In 1981 who owned the equipment in a split wasn't clear. The statutes of the organisation didn't deal with this potential problem. The equipment was paid with dues collected from all members and was kept at some members' homes. The internal bulletins were kept at homes as well.

When the ICC sections in Lille and Manchester and members of the London section resigned in September 1981, the first two ex-sections kept the typewriters they were using. The Lille section had half-paid for their typewriter with their personal funds. The London seceders took a typewriter from Alf's home when he wasn't in. I ignore if that was the only typewriter in the London section. But World Revolution continued to appear in those months so the false claim that the publication was threatened was part of an orchestrated hysteria. I don't use the word 'stole' because I don't go along with the hypocritical pretence of the ICC that ownership was clear-cut. Their legalistic claim became their 'retroactive' trump card, something solved by might is right.

This said, the seceders in Lille-London-Manchester should never have kept the equipment they were using, the separation should have been negotiated and clarified from both sides. The seceders unwittingly gave Chirik's thugs the opportunity they wanted, to intimidate and impose the functioning of a monolithic sect onto a then fluid and activist milieu. This rigid grid of 'the defence of the organisation' was then exported to all ICC sections.

(The fake 'theory' of 'parasitism' started its long gestation there, drafted by ignoramuses. It still glows in its glory online, with all the gore against the IFICC, including raids, threats and physical aggression against 'parasites'. This is from the early 2000s. Devrim is right, all this should stay online, a permanent exhibit and warning. Sadly, most of it in French only, with few morsels in English.)

The ICC's leadership seemed to take the splits on their stride but Chirik in the Paris apparat started to plan their retaliation posed as 'recovery'. He savoured every minute of his secret police campaign, his own Kronstadt!! Loyalty oaths were demanded from the remaining World Revolution members. The Leicester section had already split and if I'm correct the Aberdeen section and others followed suit. None of these splits were co-ordinated, with the exception of the Lille-London-Manchester sections, comprising around 15 or so members. Alf was instructed to say that the ICC wouldn't react although of course this was to lull. In October the ICC launched its defamations, targeting Chénier of the ex-Lille section. The paranoiac Chirik needed to spot a 'secret leader' of a conspiracy, projecting his own past onto others. As is well known, Chénier was denounced as a 'shady' element and an agent provocateur. Then the baboons pounced at the beginning of November. A two-pronged attack, first slander and vituperation, to demoralise and soften-up, followed by relentless and violent recoveries and burglaries at various dwellings in the UK (Lille was honoured by Fabienne who barged in with other guests, armed with pliers -- mind you, not piolets). I won't repeat Ingram's account here, the best there is.

In their absence, the chekists burgled McIver's and Klara's flat hoping to find the typewriter there. But it wasn't kept at any known ex-member's home. So in revenge they stole McIver's private typewriter plus other valuable items and Klara's personal papers. This was 'hostage' material, quite in the tradition of the Cheka-GPU. They came back, but their entry was now blocked. Why they returned will be ascertained one day. The stolen material was lost and McIver refused to negotiate with Stalinist burglars. Like in Manchester and Lille, they also cut phone lines and pushed people around. R Weyden was hit. This probably excited the baboons in heat.

Various printed documents related to these events will be uploaded on the Libcom library this year, with explanatory notes. For historians and sociologists of rackets, for what it's worth.

The parallel with the CNT Hull branch is clearly false, given the data on offer. This 'same as' case seems like another attempt by Devrim to deflect issues by pooh-poohing them or making irrelevant analogies. The ICC's actions were clearly more than about typewriters or internal bulletins. Incidentally, all the typewriters were taken back or half-stolen by the apparat. But not McIver's. This loss didn't matter of course as it was either well deserved (a parasitical philosophe) or a mistake due to immaturity. Chirik the eternal, the historical, adolescent. And so it was.

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As a member of the then Aberdeen section of the ICC, I would fully endorse this version of events.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Increased discussion, interaction and cooperation between individuals and organizations that share a common point of view on a number of political issues is certainly a good thing. A greater positive impact can be had if the revolutionary minorities from different currents act together when they can- such as issue common statements (such as joint declarations against war or for solidarity), participate in eachothers public meetings, pool resources for fundraising and solidarity work (such as the campaign to help the militant Tekel workers maintain and strengthen the group that formed after the big strike wave- 'The Platform Of Struggling Workers'), etc.

There should be an increased effort on everyones part to create or maintain friendly discussion (especially on areas of disagreement). There is suspicion toward appeals like this due to the idea of 'party building', trying to raid other groups and 'steal' their members. I don't think any of the revolutionary groups of the libertarian, left communist and syndicalist currents engage in that kind of behavior. Sectarianism should be pushed aside whereever and whenever possible.

devoration1

Increased discussion, interaction and cooperation between individuals and organizations that share a common point of view on a number of political issues is certainly a good thing. A greater positive impact can be had if the revolutionary minorities from different currents act together when they can- such as issue common statements (such as joint declarations against war or for solidarity), participate in eachothers public meetings, pool resources for fundraising and solidarity work (such as the campaign to help the militant Tekel workers maintain and strengthen the group that formed after the big strike wave- 'The Platform Of Struggling Workers'), etc.

There should be an increased effort on everyones part to create or maintain friendly discussion (especially on areas of disagreement). There is suspicion toward appeals like this due to the idea of 'party building', trying to raid other groups and 'steal' their members. I don't think any of the revolutionary groups of the libertarian, left communist and syndicalist currents engage in that kind of behavior. Sectarianism should be pushed aside whereever and whenever possible.

Whistling in the dark? Fiddling while Rome burns? Certainly a denial of reality...

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wellclose square;

I think what ICC is doing is the thing that lots of left communists are not doing; that ICC is considering the organisational question as a central issue. I am not pointing this at you but; to see this as a synical attempt to recruit and neglacting the organisation question is really what "whistling in the dark" metaphor corresponds to.

It may be too late if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not. And I think that requires just what devoration said. It is really healthy to develop organisational-collective discussions, carrying out collective practices and trying to expend the discussions inside the milleu to a greater audiance as much as possible.

Left communism has a historical weakness in that respect; historically at least from the late 1920's till the 2nd world war this was not a choice but practical isolation. I hope in the contemporary context it can be overcomed finally - when there is no more any objective obstacle. I hope anarchists and marxists should work together for the common cause as close as possible. If ICC's attempt would contribute to this, it should be most wellcome.

mikail firtinaci

It may be too late if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not.

Too late for what?

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whistling in the dark? Fiddling while Rome burns? Certainly a denial of reality...

I'm not familiar with any such incidents in recent history. Care to share?

Optimism and a positive attitude seems something of a rare attribute among working class militants and pro-revolutionaries.

rata

mikail firtinaci

It may be too late if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not.

Too late for what?

for humanity!

mikail firtinaci

rata

mikail firtinaci

It may be too late if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not.

Too late for what?

for humanity!

I hope you are joking.

Alexander Roxwell

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What does "I C C" stand for? Who are they?

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rata;

I just take the necessity of communist revolution very serious and feel its urgency. If that sounds funny or crazy for you I am sorry. But since I was born, I am living in a country which is in a kind of low intensity civil war. And this is deepening an ethnic tension that is giving legitimacy for the governments and burgeoisie who are turning the life into a hell. Day by day this atmospere is poisoning the working class and hindering its crucial ability to solidarise more. That is why I really fear that in a point in time working class maybe so atomised that it may lose all its strength to overthrow capitalism. And this situation is not limited to Turkey at all.

The International Communist Current. A Marxist group in the Left Communist tradition, the ultra left wing of Bolshevism.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alexander;

I don'r rhink that ICC describes itself as bolshevik. This article is a good summary of what they stand for I think;

http://en.internationalism.org/the-communist-left

this is from the same article about their perspective on the Bolsheviks;

7. The retreat of the revolutionary wave and the isolation of the Russian revolution gave rise to a process of degeneration within both the Communist International and the soviet power in Russia. The Bolshevik party had more and more fused with a bureaucratic state apparatus which grew in inverse proportion to the proletariat’s own organs of power and participation - the soviets, factory committees and red guards. Within the International, the attempts to win mass support in a phase of declining mass activity engendered opportunist "solutions" - increasing emphasis on working within parliament and the trade unions, the appeal to the "peoples of the east" to rise up against imperialism, and above all, the policy of the United Front which threw out all the hard-won clarity about the capitalist nature of the social patriots.

In that sense I thing the general difference between left communists and anarchists on the Bolsheviks is that, while anarchists saw in Bolshevism an innate counter revolution, the Left Communist current does regard this approach as idealistic and argue that Bolsheviks have been degenerated and integrated into state in the historical process and not because of their innate positions. Here is the reason why;

Already in 1919, the Democratic Centralism group, led by Ossinski, Smirnov and Sapranov, had begun to warn against the "withering away" of the soviets and the increasing departure from the principles of the Paris Commune. Similar criticisms were made in 1921 by the Workers' Opposition group led by Kollontai and Shliapnikov, although the latter was to prove less rigorous and durable than the "Decist" group, which was to continue to play an important role throughout the 20s, and which was to develop a similar approach to that of the Italian left. In 1923, the Workers’ Group led by Miasnikov issued its manifesto and made an important intervention in the workers’ strikes of that year. Its positions and analyses were close to those of the KAPD.

All these groups not only emerged from the Bolshevik party; they continued to fight within the party for a return to the original principles of the revolution. But as the forces of bourgeois counter-revolution gained ground within the party, the key issue became the capacity of the various oppositions to see the real nature of this counter-revolution and to break with any sentimental loyalty to its organised expressions. This was to prove the fundamental divergence between Trotsky and the Russian communist left: while the former was to remain throughout his life wedded to the notion of the defence of the Soviet Union and even to the working class nature of the Stalinist parties, the left communists saw that the triumph of Stalinism - including its "left" turns, which confused many of Trotsky’s followers - meant the triumph of the class enemy and implied the necessity for a new revolution.

nastyned

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ah, so they ICC aren't Bolsheviks, they're Bolsheviks. Glad we've cleared that up.

devoration1

Whistling in the dark? Fiddling while Rome burns? Certainly a denial of reality...

I'm not familiar with any such incidents in recent history. Care to share?

Your contrived insouciance ('whistling'... 'fiddling'...) about the long-drawn out public decomposition of the parasitic Bolshevik sect you're so keen to promote (on this and other threads) is quite a departure from the usual acknowledgement of 'mistakes' and 'immaturity' from other ICC members and sympathisers. That's right, try and carry on as if nothing has happened...

888

Why are people going on about abolishing inheritance (a very minor part of Bakunin's program) when Marx advocated all sorts of nonsensical reforms?

Including, of course, abolishing inheritance.

His 10 point program in Communist Manifesto, to be put into place once the proletariat won state power:

Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by Wellclose Square

Wellclose Square

Your contrived insouciance ('whistling'... 'fiddling'...) about the long-drawn out public decomposition of the parasitic Bolshevik sect you're so keen to promote (on this and other threads) is quite a departure from the usual acknowledgement of 'mistakes' and 'immaturity' from other ICC members and sympathisers. That's right, try and carry on as if nothing has happened...

What the hell are you talking about? There have been comments made elsewhere that appeals for cooperation among communist organizations is simply an attempt for one group to recruit from the others, or a forceful integration under the guise of regroupment. Trying to bring this thread back on its original point, I wrote that this is not the case, and that I was not familiar with any attempts by the libertarian, left communist and syndicalist groups to 'raid' one another simply to bulk up their membership; this excuse for not participating in political discussion or joint activity (like the examples I gave of joint declarations against war, participation in eachothers public meetings/events, joint support and solidarity work for workers in struggle such as the Tekel workers) is bullshit.

If some people do not want to discuss with or do joint work with other groups that have similar opinions (especially regarding core issues like internationalism) that's their choice- but to use quips of 'oh it's just a stunt to recruit new members/steal members away from other groups' is a bullshit excuse.

This isn't particularly an ICC issue either. Any time different revolutionary working-class groups can work in tandem and discuss should be applauded- which is what this thread was originally about. Since this thread is about a specific appeal of the ICC, I not only don't believe my comments are a 'denial of reality', there is proof that this isn't the case via their press (where letters, discussions and leaflets from other non-left communist groups are published with greater regularity recently):

-Statement by KRAS (Russian anarcho-syndicalists, part of IWA I believe) regarding the war in Georgia:

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2008/08/kras-on-war-in-georgia

-Article on the conversations over a decade between the ICC and Russian revolutionaries (KRAS, Group of Proletarian Revolutionary Collectivists, International Communist Union, etc):

More recently, as recounted in International Review n°118, we have helped to set up an internet discussion site (russia.internationalist-forum.org) with some of the internationalist elements in Russia (KRAS, GPRC and more recently the ICU), with the aim of broadening and deepening the key debates animating this milieu.

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/119_moscow.html

-An article from a Spanish anarchist forum on Chavez:

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/295_chavez

-Debate with the Hungarian anarcho-communist group Barikad Collectiva:

In spite of important political divergences on almost every question, the atmosphere of the discussion was friendly and open and it was possible to explain the respective points of view at length. This was certainly due largely to the fact that both groups want to achieve the same goal, i.e. the classless society, and both are also agreed that this can be realised only through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism on an international scale.

In addition to this there are a number of common programmatic points:

- the only class that is able to carry out such a revolution today is the proletariat;

- in the process towards revolution the proletariat cannot ally itself with the bourgeoisie or any part of it;

- revolutionaries defend an internationalist position on imperialist war;

- the so-called national liberation movements and anti-fascism are bourgeois and have nothing to do with the proletarian struggle;

- the working class is an international unity that transcends national boundaries; revolutionaries have to emphasise the common and general interests of the working class;

- an expression of the unity of the working class is its tendency to centralise its struggle.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/barikad

Why are such discussions and cooperation a bad thing?

As far as what happened 30 years ago (which is what I'm sure your comments are about), I do not care. I don't believe it has any bearing on who they are and what they are doing now. It's a nonissue.

mikail firtinaci

rata

mikail firtinaci

It may be too late if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not.

Too late for what?

for humanity!

mikail firtinaci

rata;

I just take the necessity of communist revolution very serious and feel its urgency. If that sounds funny or crazy for you I am sorry. But since I was born, I am living in a country which is in a kind of low intensity civil war. And this is deepening an ethnic tension that is giving legitimacy for the governments and burgeoisie who are turning the life into a hell. Day by day this atmospere is poisoning the working class and hindering its crucial ability to solidarise more. That is why I really fear that in a point in time working class maybe so atomised that it may lose all its strength to overthrow capitalism. And this situation is not limited to Turkey at all.

Mika, yes it sounds crazy, and I guess not only to me but to anybody who is not part of some cult. The fact that you were born and living in a country which is "in a kind of low intensity civil war" doesn't really change anything, because I was born and living in a country which was in a high intensity civil war, and than bombed by NATO, so please cut the pathetic. Also, I assure you that you are not the only one taking necessity of the revolution seriously. And when I see your relation to ICC I don't think we are talking about the same revolution.

What is crazy about your statement is that you are linking future of humanity with relations of the workers movement ("proletarian camp") towards a miniature group as ICC is. This is not just idealistic, it's crazy. And it's something which will guaranty that anybody who is sane starts thinking of ICC as a cult, seeing that the people who are in it's sphere of influence are developing cultish relations towards it. It wouldn't been different if ICC was a larger group - it would just mean it's bigger cult. That relation toward some specific organization is something which is coming directly from religion closet, and doesn't have anything to do with a revolutionary movement.

devoration1

...

-Statement by KRAS (Russian anarcho-syndicalists, part of IWA I believe) regarding the war in Georgia:

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2008/08/kras-on-war-in-georgia

...

Why are such discussions and cooperation a bad thing?

So, as this thing has been repeated several times on Libcom, and some cooperation between KRAS and ICC was talked about now and earlier, I checked it with KRAS comrades. Just got of the phone with one of their very active members. To make it clear - there is no cooperation between KRAS and ICC. KRAS, as all serious class anarchists are, is sharing the "internationalist" approach with ICC, and that, in a situation in which majority of the movement is nationalists (such as in Russia), can be important issue and something which is creating the feeling of closeness between people and groups. But KRAS is aware of ICC stand on the state in transition period, and this is for KRAS, as it will be for any anarchist organization in the world ever, obstacle which is preventing any direct cooperation between organizations. KRAS did participate in some discussions with ICC, but they newer co-organized anything, neither are they planing any joint actions.

Wellclose Square

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

devoration1 wrote: There have been comments made elsewhere that appeals for cooperation among communist organizations is simply an attempt for one group to recruit from the others, or a forceful integration under the guise of regroupment.

That really isn't the impression I've had from most of the comments I've seen on this thread. Is your statement an example of projection on your part (as an individual and an ICC member)? Is it policy now? I gather you were once a member of the IWW who 'saw the light', so perhaps it's easy for you (and the ICC?) to reduce people's uneasiness or hostility to a simple matter of 'poaching of membership'. That betrays either bovine stupidity on your part or a single-minded determination to ignore history ('a nonissue'). I think the latter. It almost seems a crass cliche to say 'those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it', but you were asking for it. What's that? Oh, you don't care...

Samotnaf's right - feeding the ICC's delusions of self-importance has become a drag.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

so rata as far as I understand the problem for you is not that revolutionaries should develop solidarity because the revolution is a vital necessity for the future of humanity but the ICC and "people close to them" saying this.

Do not you think that this is a bit of secterianism?

rata

What is crazy about your statement is that you are linking future of humanity with relations of the workers movement ("proletarian camp") towards a miniature group as ICC is. This is not just idealistic, it's crazy.

I think mikail clarified he wasn't talking about the future of humanity resting on the shoulders of the ICC but on the "necessity of communist revolution" and, I would assume, the currency of basic ideas - that we share, btw - such as class consciousness and struggle, internationalism etc.

We may well still be talking about a different revolution but I'd also say, comrade, that this comes across as being needlessly sectarian.

---

Shame the original article has been completely ignored in this thread.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

KRAS did participate in some discussions with ICC, but they newer co-organized anything, neither are they planing any joint actions.

I said political discussion as well as other examples of cooperation (which can include joint declarations and/or activities). It is one of several examples of a positive move towards outreach- with the goal of further discussion, clarification and cooperation. After seeing some of the vitriole simple communication is a step forward.

That really isn't the impression I've had from most of the comments I've seen on this thread. Is your statement an example of projection on your part . . .reduce people's uneasiness or hostility to a simple matter of 'poaching of membership'

It was one particular accusation that has been made on this thread- By You

Samotnaf

All this stuff fom the ICC is part of their charm offensive, to show how they're not like the old sectarian ICC, how they're "open" whilst temporarily hiding their more crude "party building" agenda

Wellclose Square

I share the deep scepticism of other posters concerning the ICC's sudden discovery of the commonality between 'the communist left and internationalist anarchism', especially in view of the anti-working class practice of Bolshevism, a Leviathanic heritage of which the ICC considers itself an inheritor. I suspect that Samotnaf is right:

The quote you are referencing is the one quoted above by Samotnaf.

I thought it might be worthwhile to recognize and reject accusations some posters (including you) have made. Am I 'projecting' something that you yourself said?

I recognize what happened. It gets repeated anytime anything having to do with any topic distantly related to the ICC comes up ad nauseum on here- it's very hard to ignore it and still read threads on Libcom. How it was just like Kronstadt and so on. You and others who share your dislike of the ICC simply latch onto this story and regurgitate it. I don't condone the behavior described in Mciver's account of what happened, and while not being a member I do agree with a lot of the ICC's politics, and the loathing expressed by you and a half-dozen or so other posters is a juvenile distraction.

mikail firtinaci

Do not you think that this is a bit of secterianism?

Volin

We may well still be talking about a different revolution but I'd also say, comrade, that this comes across as being needlessly sectarian.

I am not sure how can somebody seriously claim that a person is sectarian because of a (negative) reaction to this:

mikail firtinaci

It may be too late [for humanity!] if the "proletarian camp" does not start to take this seriously whether they are close to the ICC or not.

mikail firtinaci

so rata as far as I understand the problem for you is not that revolutionaries should develop solidarity because the revolution is a vital necessity for the future of humanity but the ICC and "people close to them" saying this.

No, mikail, what is the problem for me is when a tiny left-wing bolshevik group thinks that clarifying relations with it is essential for solidarity among revolutionaries and for revolution that is vital necessity for the future.

devoration1

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is it not obvious that mikail's first language isn't English?

No, mikail, what is the problem for me is when a tiny left-wing bolshevik group thinks that clarifying relations with it is a essential for solidarity among revolutionaries and a revolution that is vital necessity for the future.

And thats not at all what he said or meant as Volin pointed out:

Volin

I think mikail clarified he wasn't talking about the future of humanity resting on the shoulders of the ICC but on the "necessity of communist revolution" and, I would assume, the currency of basic ideas - that we share, btw - such as class consciousness and struggle, internationalism etc.

We may well still be talking about a different revolution but I'd also say, comrade, that this comes across as being needlessly sectarian.

devoration1

Is it not obvious that mikail's first language isn't English?

Well, English is not my first language either, and from what I can see mikail is quite fine with using it on this board.

Volin

I think mikail clarified he wasn't talking about the future of humanity resting on the shoulders of the ICC but on the "necessity of communist revolution"

No, Voline, in fact mikail didn't clarified things in that manner at all. In fact, after several questions in which I tried to get him to correct himself, he never took it back, he just presented to us his opinion which is, essentially, placing equivalence between relation of the workers movement with the ICC to the solidarity of revolutionaries needed for the revolution. That is a cultish relation towards a specific group, and I am really not sure what better way is to define it.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, mikail, what is the problem for me is when a tiny left-wing bolshevik group thinks that clarifying relations with it is a essential for solidarity among revolutionaries and for revolution that is vital necessity for the future.

well rata to clarify myself;

1. The point for me is not that the ICC says it. The point is we need to develop solidarity because;

a. We are weak.
b. We may be late about the outcomes of the unfolding gradual barbarism.
c. I think there is a period coming which necessitate us to work together because left communists and the internationalist class struggle anarchists are all the working class have in its theoretical-political ammo right now.

2. I don't agree that left communists are bolsheviks. As I try to argue many many times, I believe left communists are the most clear critics of the Bolshevism among the marxists. Though I believe that Bolshevism and the Russian counter revolution are not the same things; Unlike the trotskyists or others left communists also never sided with the russian state.

3. I believe the defence of the positive elements of the Bolshevik experience -which is not limited to post 1918 period!!- does not mean that there is a defence of Russian state and the counter revolution. It only means that there is an other perspective, an other methodology is used to understand the source of russian problem. In my perspective, the intentions of the historical subjects are not that determinant in the outcome. So rather than judging the agents by looking at the outcome, there should be a historical analysis constantly moving between agents and the conditions TOWARDS THE OUTCOME. Obviously this is another topic that should be discussed later.

4. Finally, I also see the groups like IWA and the AF in england as revolutionary groups. They make me feel that our ranks is not that little in fact. But in reality we are really few. By we, I obviusly mean the internationalist-communists/anarchists. And to turn this objective limitaion into a positive impetus for more solidarity and discussion among various revolutionary currents is something I think that "proletarian camp" is capable of.

That is really what I hope for.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This post seems to have got into an odd position on the thread so I am rewriting it. I agreed with Volin's post because he takes a stand against needless sectarianism and also because he regretted that the thread has been derailed. I think it may be necessary to start a new thread because the basic questions here still need to be addressed in a fraternal way. Mikail and Devoration have expressed the same hope.

Volin

rata

What is crazy about your statement is that you are linking future of humanity with relations of the workers movement ("proletarian camp") towards a miniature group as ICC is. This is not just idealistic, it's crazy.

I think mikail clarified he wasn't talking about the future of humanity resting on the shoulders of the ICC but on the "necessity of communist revolution" and, I would assume, the currency of basic ideas - that we share, btw - such as class consciousness and struggle, internationalism etc.

We may well still be talking about a different revolution but I'd also say, comrade, that this comes across as being needlessly sectarian.

---

Shame the original article has been completely ignored in this thread.

Voline (the real one) wrote:

"At Kharkov, the pursuit of the Anarchists assumed proportions unheard of before. Snares and ambushes were organised to catch all the Anarchists in the city. A trap of this kind was set up in the Free Brotherhood Bookshop. Anyone who came to buy a book was seized and sent to the Cheka; they even imprisoned people who stopped to read the newspaper Nabat which appeared legally before the break and was posted on the wall of the bookshop." This was in December 1920, while the Bolsheviks were still. 'revolutionary', in the eyes of the ICC.

As if to demonstrate the continuity of Bolshevik and ICC tactics, Voline (the real one) described this incident from November 1920:

"The same evening, I gave a lecture on Anarchism at the Agricultural Institute at Kharkov... Returning home, I worked a little on an article for our newspaper, and went to bed about 2.30. I was hardly asleep when I was awakened by an ominous hubbub; shots, the clanking of weapons, the noise of boots on the stairs, knocking on doors, shouts and curses. I understood. I had only time to get dressed. Someone knocked furiously at the door of my room. "Open or we'll break down the door." As soon as the bolt was drawn, I was brutally seized, carried off and thrown into a cellar in which there were already several dozen of us."

(Both quotations are from Voline's The Unknown Revolution)

Volin (or someone taking his name in vain) said:

"We may well still be talking about a different revolution but I'd also say, comrade, that this comes across as being needlessly sectarian."

Funny how the term 'sectarian' is a term of abuse bandied about mostly by those already in sects (don't worry, 'Volin', I don't think you're in a sect) and applied to those who don't happen to be 'organised', or 'members' (dangling appendages?). The accusation of being sectarian is, I suspect a form of projection (don't worry, devoration1, you'll get your turn) thrown about by those who recognise their own status as sectarians and cannot recognise any other status. But, 'Volin', I should change your user name - how about Victor Serge?

Wellclose Square

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

devoration1 wrote:
The quote you are referencing is the one quoted above by Samotnaf.

I thought it might be worthwhile to recognize and reject accusations some posters (including you) have made. Am I 'projecting' something that you yourself said?

I recognize what happened. It gets repeated anytime anything having to do with any topic distantly related to the ICC comes up ad nauseum on here- it's very hard to ignore it and still read threads on Libcom. How it was just like Kronstadt and so on. You and others who share your dislike of the ICC simply latch onto this story and regurgitate it. I don't condone the behavior described in Mciver's account of what happened, and while not being a member I do agree with a lot of the ICC's politics, and the loathing expressed by you and a half-dozen or so other posters is a juvenile distraction.

I'm also aware that you asked me 'what hell are you talking about?' but unfortunately I haven't mastered the art of quoting people quoting people quoting people on different pages without losing the whole of this text (an infantile disorder, or am I just too long in the tooth...?)

As it happens, that was not the quote from Samotnaf I was referring to (and I'm not going to go and search for it in case I lose this... you'll just have to take it on trust(!)).

You are projecting your own shared organisational insecurities - even as a non-member, merely sympathiser of the ICC, the group you solidarise with (which, incidentally, is not synonymous with the revolutionary proletariat). It is you who has implied that the sole content of people's distrust of, contempt for, and hostility to, the ICC, is reduceible to a question of rival organisations and recruitment - notwithstanding Samotnaf's suggestion of recruitment as a motive for the wooing of 'internationalist anarchists', which is still a valid suggestion, even if by far not the sole reason for the distrust of the ICC. You strike me as a keen, recent 'convert', so perhaps you should just make your own mistakes... Good luck to you. We never stop learning, and continue to make mistakes... but there are sharks out there. Be careful.

Red Marriott

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Today, the members of the "ICC" present themselves to the whole world as the victims of our "policy of criticising Bolshevik opportunism towards libertarians" (and persist in demanding their integration/rehabilitation into our milieu). To put an end to all this din, we have made the decision to publicly require of the members of the ICC to attend a Jury of Honour of the proletarian political milieu, which could have all the elements enabling it to come to a conclusion about the cogency of our charges.

"the workers' movement always considered Juries of Honour as being a weapon of defence of comminst militants and organisations communist." http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/jury_of_honour_01

"... calling a Court of Honour is part of the tradition of the workers’ move­ment. ... any militant, when he considers that he has been unjustly accused of faults that he has not committed, has the duty and responsibility to defend his honour as a communist militant, by appealing to a revo­lutionary tribunal.

Any militant who refuses to engage in such a public political confrontation can only con­firm the validity of the accusations raised against him."
http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/jury_of_honour_02

The ICC would surely want to be judged by the standards it seeks to apply to others - if not, according to their own comradely logic this would 'only con­firm the validity of the accusations raised against them'.

So what dates can you make to defend yourself in the dock, Alf? Or do we have to go round and kick your door in to get you there?

mciver

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The I'm a victim is the ICC's own sectarian projection. It's not surprising that members of a sect cry 'sectarianism' when they face criticisms of their ideology and practice. Thus Wellclose Square's criticisms (and from others, who aren't in any group) are 'sectarian'. This is a new interpretation of the word sectarian. It simply means 'insulting' the ICC.

Political criticisms can't be accepted by most ICC members. Contrary political opinions must be neutralised with complaints of unfair treatment, personal 'loathing' and 'needless sectarianism'. With that, no need to confront opposing views and interpretations of past ICC actions. That was the mindset underwriting 'parasitism' -- a universal conspiracy by the world bourgeoisie to attack the ICC. That has been toned down -- 'dislike' and 'loathing', coming out of the blue from unfair 'sectarians' with axes to grind. The ICC never provoked any of this, it was always the 'others' who plotted and unmasked themselves as clan adepts, parasites and probable state provocateurs.

This paranoiac mentality is the old legacy, and thrives among eager new devotees. They aren't interested in history, the ICC's or the systemic crimes of Bolshevism, just in how to avoid the end-days by entering a cult.

The Voline quotes by Wellclose Square are historical evidence, not proof of irrational 'dislike'. But to Devoration1, the nauseous mention of Kronstadt and the persecution of Russian anarchists in 1918-20 expresses a 'loathing' for the ICC, 'a juvenile distraction'. From what? A ridiculous claim; doesn't this thread deal with the differences between left communists (thus originally Bolsheviks) and anarchists? How can those issues be a distraction?

A peculiar solidarity of cuckoos has been displayed, with complaints against haughtiness towards non-English speakers, or the bullying of little darlings. Unreal, this is a cultish distraction.

My criticisms have been defined as 'denigrations', 'flaming' and something like intolerable heresies towards dear departed ones. But recollections are not lies or inventions. As if kowtowing for the ICC should be a universal practice. Even banning has been insinuated, testing the waters. The criticisms have also been diagnosed as symptoms of insanity, but who knows, the subject matter does contaminate.

There was no counter-factual narrative to the 1981 events, just like when Ingram and the CBG raised the issues off and online. That's why things were posed repeatedly, and in vain. This convinces that the paranoia will always survive in the bunker. Nevertheless, what is defined as 'dislike' and 'loathing', even if projections, does conceal an irreconcilable divergence that brutally surfaced in 1981. And its genealogy, albeit heavily mediated, does go back to 1917.

There can be no debate or a meeting of minds with rackets. This is not 'sectarianism' but a fact of life.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Wellclose square;

I think to there is no dispute here about the counter revolutionary actions of the Chekas.

But does it mean that all the bolshevik party was to blame for the Cheka actions?

Does not it sound like saying that all the germans was to blame for the genocide?

As I tried to point out many times;

- The vecheka was such an organisation that the party as a whole had no control over. Even the sovnarkom had no control over the cheka. It was autonomous inside the state and even inside itself.

Various local branchs of it acted on their own behalf even without responding to, let's say NKVD - the comissariat of internal affairs or the central vecheka.

In that case, party rank and file had hardly had control over the vecheka or provincial cheka.

In that sense the international left communist movement which was partially expelled from comintern before the second congress can not be guilty of its actions.

The bolshevik party members who also shared the similar fates with the anarchists eventually also can not be blamed for its actions. Yes I agree that left communists probably had mistakes and many bolsheviks had huge mistakes and some of them had also participated the counter revolution and betrayed.

But still, emergence of an organisation during a revolution which is killing the children of the revolution should be analysed more seperately and more cautiously. And if this analysis is going to help us to understand the root of counter revolution and draw lessons from it, then we should avoid simplistic generalizations that equate state violence with the whole party. In that sense maybe rather than showing evidences for violence that nobody argued against the existing of, we may start to understand its roots, its development and its organisational characther.

Should not we?

Wellclose Square

I'm also aware that you asked me 'what hell are you talking about?' but unfortunately I haven't mastered the art of quoting people quoting people quoting people on different pages without losing the whole of this text (an infantile disorder, or am I just too long in the tooth...?)

As it happens, that was not the quote from Samotnaf I was referring to (and I'm not going to go and search for it in case I lose this... you'll just have to take it on trust(!)).

Here's a screenshot- the Samotnaf quote is in the post you made, following the statement, "And Samotnaf is right when he says:"

EDIT: Too small. Link: http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx195/devoration1/quote1.jpg

Page 2, Post #38

Unless you're trying to say that you made a technical error in including that particular statement, and meant to quote another one, which doesn't seem likely given that's the post he made in this thread on page 1.

You are projecting your own shared organisational insecurities - even as a non-member, merely sympathiser of the ICC, the group you solidarise with (which, incidentally, is not synonymous with the revolutionary proletariat). It is you who has implied that the sole content of people's distrust of, contempt for, and hostility to, the ICC, is reduceible to a question of rival organisations and recruitment - notwithstanding Samotnaf's suggestion of recruitment as a motive for the wooing of 'internationalist anarchists', which is still a valid suggestion

I'm fully aware a number of people have hostility towards and distrust of the ICC for several reasons. One of them is, as you agree, the 'question of rival organizations and recruitment'- something that has been mentioned in this thread by at least 3 people (you, Samotnaf and Mciver)- which is why I then brought it up.

For a brief moment, you engaged in a coherent and well grounded criticism- in reply to Volin above (with a quote from Voline and an authentic political question regarding the question of the Bolsheviks in 1920 etc); so you are capable of discussion with groups and people you don't like and/or don't agree with.

If you have politically grounded reasons for disagreement, which you've demonstrated that you do, why not express them?

But to Devoration1, the nauseous mention of Kronstadt and the persecution of Russian anarchists in 1918-20 expresses a 'loathing' for the ICC, 'a juvenile distraction'. From what? A ridiculous claim; doesn't this thread deal with the differences between left communists (thus originally Bolsheviks) and anarchists? How can those issues be a distraction?

You misunderstand, badly, the first point: I find the nauseous and repeatitive comparison between what happened in 1981 to you with Kronstadt. The history of Kronstadt is a valid lesson and point of discussion for everyone in revolutionary politics and beyond- you comparing what happened to you in 1981 to what happened to the thousands of workers at Kronstadt is nauseating.

I defy you or anyone else to start on Page 1 of this thread and say it "deals with the differences between left communists and anarchists". This thing was a trainwreck from the beginning, derailed. The little actual political discussion in this thread could fit in the proverbial Dixie Cup.

rata

No, mikail, what is the problem for me is when a tiny left-wing bolshevik group thinks that clarifying relations with it is essential for solidarity among revolutionaries and for revolution that is vital necessity for the future.

I think you misunderstood mikail here. I don't think this was what he was trying to say.

Also, do you really think that the main problem with the ICC is their stand on the state in transition period?

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fuck me! I just wanted a simple answer from the ICC. Did you falsely accuse a comrade - Chenier - of being a police spy? This doesn't require reference to the Bakunin/Marx split or a great historical debate.

Alf

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

We will answer your question, Cassady, and many of the other accusations thrown at us on this thread, elsewhere, and in our own time, because it is clearly impossible to deal seriously with these issues right here. And it is not relevant to a debate about the communist left and internationalist anarchism.

Cassady

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm 62 Alf, you better hurry, time's a'wasting.

devoration1

Wellclose Square

I'm also aware that you asked me 'what hell are you talking about?' but unfortunately I haven't mastered the art of quoting people quoting people quoting people on different pages without losing the whole of this text (an infantile disorder, or am I just too long in the tooth...?)

As it happens, that was not the quote from Samotnaf I was referring to (and I'm not going to go and search for it in case I lose this... you'll just have to take it on trust(!)).

Here's a screenshot- the Samotnaf quote is in the post you made, following the statement, "And Samotnaf is right when he says:"

EDIT: Too small. Link: http://i755.photobucket.com/albums/xx195/devoration1/quote1.jpg

Page 2, Post #38

Unless you're trying to say that you made a technical error in including that particular statement, and meant to quote another one, which doesn't seem likely given that's the post he made in this thread on page 1.

You are projecting your own shared organisational insecurities - even as a non-member, merely sympathiser of the ICC, the group you solidarise with (which, incidentally, is not synonymous with the revolutionary proletariat). It is you who has implied that the sole content of people's distrust of, contempt for, and hostility to, the ICC, is reduceible to a question of rival organisations and recruitment - notwithstanding Samotnaf's suggestion of recruitment as a motive for the wooing of 'internationalist anarchists', which is still a valid suggestion

I'm fully aware a number of people have hostility towards and distrust of the ICC for several reasons. One of them is, as you agree, the 'question of rival organizations and recruitment'- something that has been mentioned in this thread by at least 3 people (you, Samotnaf and Mciver)- which is why I then brought it up.

For a brief moment, you engaged in a coherent and well grounded criticism- in reply to Volin above (with a quote from Voline and an authentic political question regarding the question of the Bolsheviks in 1920 etc); so you are capable of discussion with groups and people you don't like and/or don't agree with.

If you have politically grounded reasons for disagreement, which you've demonstrated that you do, why not express them?

But to Devoration1, the nauseous mention of Kronstadt and the persecution of Russian anarchists in 1918-20 expresses a 'loathing' for the ICC, 'a juvenile distraction'. From what? A ridiculous claim; doesn't this thread deal with the differences between left communists (thus originally Bolsheviks) and anarchists? How can those issues be a distraction?

You misunderstand, badly, the first point: I find the nauseous and repeatitive comparison between what happened in 1981 to you with Kronstadt. The history of Kronstadt is a valid lesson and point of discussion for everyone in revolutionary politics and beyond- you comparing what happened to you in 1981 to what happened to the thousands of workers at Kronstadt is nauseating.

I defy you or anyone else to start on Page 1 of this thread and say it "deals with the differences between left communists and anarchists". This thing was a trainwreck from the beginning, derailed. The little actual political discussion in this thread could fit in the proverbial Dixie Cup.

Thanks for that.

devoration1 wrote:
Unless you're trying to say that you made a technical error in including that particular statement, and meant to quote another one, which doesn't seem likely given that's the post he made in this thread on page 1.

No, I observed that Samotnaf's statement - while true - does not represent the substance of what has been said by critics of the ICC. Agreement with one statement (Samotnaf's) does not preclude agreement with more substantive critiques of the ICC articulated by posters such as mciver, whose own analysis of the wreckage of the ICC has been excellent, conducted at a higher level than your reductive projections of 'sectarianism'.

Nice try... but you really didn't have to go to all that trouble. Anyway, I thought I told myself to stop feeding you these scraps?

Samotnaf

I know this is off-topic (feeding the ICC's delusions of self-importance by endlessly showing up their ideological distortions and sectarian mentality has become a drag) but Angelus Novus - you never replied to my post (post 125) on that thread; I'd be genuinely interested in a response - it seems important to analyse and overcome all identities other than proletarian, and the German v anti-German confusions don't help. I don't want to have an arrogant competitive slanging match, but a genuine reflection from you about what I said would help towards overcoming part of the remnants of Jewish identity you still seem to have, and would help me clarify some things. I know this is a particularly touchy subject, given Auschwitz etc., but, unless you have no interest in overcoming some separate identity, it seems vital that the history of your own colonisation by a collectivist identity, and its remains, has to be confronted if you want to determine your existence: "The end of alienation follows the straight and narrow path of alienation itself".

devoration1 - this was the Samotnaf post I was specifically referring to in one of my more recent posts, when I agreed it was (and is) getting a bit of a drag feeding the sectarian mentality, delusions of self-importance and ideological distortions of the ICC. And in case you come back and say that wasn't what I said I was agreeing with, I'll say it again now, just so it's on record: It's getting a bit of a drag feeding the sectarian mentality, delusions of self-importance and ideological distortions of the ICC And, yes, you're quite right, I have concurred with Sam on other points - both he and I have posted more than once on this thread.

And now I'm going to go all 'Mother Hubbard' on you - the cupboard is bare...

Wellclose Square

But, 'Volin', I should change your user name - how about Victor Serge?

Nice one.

It might surprise you that I'm firmly against any apologism for the Bolsheviks. The genuine materialist interpretation isn't that they started off as a revolutionary force and become reactionary, but that they could never be a revolutionary force - and not out of the corruption of 'bad men' but because of real structural and material factors. Just as a party cannot represent, lead or take the place of the working class today. Of course, I believe this because I'm an anarchist communist and not a left communist.

That said, bringing it back to our own situation, when we (anarchists) seem to agree with the likes of the ICC (or other internationalist Marxists) on most things I think this is positive and worth encouraging. It doesn't mean I don't think they're mistaken on many issues, including the 'transitional state', but we can still co-operate until this becomes an issue.

Wellclose Square

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for the courteous reply, Volin.

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Devoration1 to Wellclose Square post 223

... You misunderstand, badly, the first point: I find the nauseous and repeatitive comparison between what happened in 1981 to you with Kronstadt. The history of Kronstadt is a valid lesson and point of discussion for everyone in revolutionary politics and beyond- you comparing what happened to you in 1981 to what happened to the thousands of workers at Kronstadt is nauseating....

Did something untoward happen to Wellclose Square in 1981? Was he strolling around London or Manchester, got run over by French babbons speeding around like in the Périphérique? I confess I wasn't aware of Wellclose's existence then, this is news, another deposition for a Jury of Honour: a confession of ICC attempts against future critics. Granted, 1981 not like Kronstadt 1921, Chekist sleighs with machine guns crossing the ice, not like loaded voitures with ICC simians, duh!

Now, like against morning sickness, there are remedies against nausea. I understand now why chaperones Alf & Beltov were concerned by your delicate constitution. Maybe devour more slowly, or more to the point, stay away from nauseous threads, difficult to eradicate wrecker-parasites (an appropriate Yezhov term). Or better still, look at what's really written. Wellclose Square and McIver have not compared what happened to the ICC seceders in 1981 with Kronstadt, or the destruction of Russian anarchism by Bolshevism. Quote McIver where he makes such a clumsy comparison. What he has said on, a few occasions, is something like this, where he replies to the mindless fabrications of apparatchiks:

McIver Post 56 (reply to Devrim)

... The ICC is not the Bolshevik Party nor does it (fortunately) run a state. But it claims its traditions from Bolshevism, and considers the Bolshevik Party as its role model, even if it denounces its 'mistakes' ... 'ruthlessly'. Naturally the apparat's capacity to commit violence against oppositionists was limited by its size and historical origins (in Western Europe mostly). But its inner vision, its 'party spirit' was and is the same as the Bolsheviks. This is in itself an issue of great relevance, because the microcosm of a racket's existence reveals its macroscopic vision of the world, its true intentionality. Similarly, the 1907 Bolshevik bank robberies of Stalin and Kamo (supported by Lenin) expressed a criminal and pragmatic nihilism that would serve violent statist needs after 1917.

The ICC's 'amateurish thuggery' of 1981 was all it could muster, but that was enough to intimidate many of its opponents and its members, and seal the group's fate as a totalitarian racket. It's true that Its violence 'only' involved breaking into people's homes, stealing their personal property, pushing them about and slandering them venomously as parasites, provocateurs, secret spies, sluts, masons, etc, for years. That was all it needed to silence critics and rivals....

All this has been said many times on these threads, and by others years ago. Yet you ignore the details, and in effect apologises for these actions with the trivial claim that people were only 'pushed about'. Like saying that they should be grateful that they weren't tortured and maimed (or terminated) by the ICC thugs. This is really stupid, as you know that Lille, London, Manchester and Aberdeen aren't in Somalia, Syria or Colombia. The violence implemented by the apparat in 1981 was carefully measured, adapted to the confines of European life, even if risks existed and the top thugs knew it. It served its purpose quite well.

It is a banal truth that this level of violence was not equal to the mass murder of sailors and civilians by Lenin's régime or to the usual gangster activities of leftist and nationalist rackets or Leviathanic hit squads and torturers in certain parts of the world. This is a bizarre irrelevancy.

Your questions: They pushed you. Did you fall over? Did it hurt? also sounds rather unintelligent, or just ignorant. If you had read the relevant posts, you would know that I was never touched. But by contrasting violences, you accept a 'lesser evil', ie, little tolerable and acceptable violences, little 'mistakes', nothing to complain about, like spoilt European petty-bourgeois.

McIver Post 59 (to Devrim again)

No, I think it is entirely reasonable to say that a couple of people being pushed around in the 1980s doesn't really compare with the massacre of tens of thousands of workers.

It may be 'reasonable' to you but irrelevant, as the point is not the quantitative comparison but the implicit intentionality, the vision of the world contained in the use of such methods. The scale doesn't matter, such actions have a vector quality to them. Comparing these levels of violence your way is a mockery of analysis, and this sophistry leads to minimising the 'small violence'. This is what makes you an apologist....

The whingeing impudence of Devoration1 continues:

I defy you or anyone else to start on Page 1 of this thread and say it "deals with the differences between left communists and anarchists". This thing was a trainwreck from the beginning, derailed. The little actual political discussion in this thread could fit in the proverbial Dixie Cup.

But the first post on this thread mentions:

The first article explaining why we support recent advances in the debate between left communists and internationalist anarchists. Perhaps a better starting point for a discussion than the question of 'platformism'.

The title of the ICC article is : The communist left and internationalist anarchism: What we have in common

It starts with:

For a few years now, certain anarchist individuals or groups and the ICC have overcome a number of barriers by daring to discuss in an open and fraternal way. Mutual indifference or rejection between anarchism and marxism have given way to a will to discuss, to understand the positions of the other, and to honestly define points of agreement and disagreement.

So to define points of agreement and disagreement DOESN'T include dealing with differences between left communists and anarchists? Either you can't grasp the written word or accept only your bureaucratic shoe-horning of words. This suggests that the apparat (plus flunkeys) decides how a 'social media' thread should progress, no 'derailing' that alters the precise intention of the 'political discussion'. Anything else except a strict adherence to the agenda of amiable discussions with fraternal anarchists is 'wrecking'. But this is a pompous and arrogant claim, there was no derailing, on the contrary, there were more than 230 posts and some excellent 12" salvoes from Battlescarred, curare darts from Nastyned, accurate and helpful precisions from Felix Frost, Rata and Volin, even some angelical treats. What more do you want? Do you propose banning your critics? Well, to cure your nausea, restrict your overtures to your home site, where at least you can virtually firewall or fumigate wrecking protozoa.

That's what these posts are, little mange-tout, that's blogging life, relax, and the nausea may yet go.

Now that you have defied anyone on the meaning of this thread, you still have not offered to devour your hat. Perhaps you should try chomping it down now, your steel one that is. It befits.

A comment on Volin's Post 230

Wellclose Square wrote:

But, 'Volin', I should change your user name - how about Victor Serge?
Nice one.

It might surprise you that I'm firmly against any apologism for the Bolsheviks. The genuine materialist interpretation isn't that they started off as a revolutionary force and become reactionary, but that they could never be a revolutionary force - and not out of the corruption of 'bad men' but because of real structural and material factors. Just as a party cannot represent, lead or take the place of the working class today. Of course, I believe this because I'm an anarchist communist and not a left communist.

That said, bringing it back to our own situation, when we (anarchists) seem to agree with the likes of the ICC (or other internationalist Marxists) on most things I think this is positive and worth encouraging. It doesn't mean I don't think they're mistaken on many issues, including the 'transitional state', but we can still co-operate until this becomes an issue.

I agree with your brief description of Lenin's Bolsheviks. If Otto Rühle was right on Bolshevism, then it's highly probable that he would have considered left communists as a type of red fascists, so watch out, such 'issues' may jump at you sooner than you think. The Bolsheviks didn't make 'mistakes' against the anarchists in the Russian Revolution. They exterminated them. Bear that in mind, ask explanations as to why it was so crucial to do this. The Leninist tradition defended by the ICC has always been a determinant of their actions. It's up to them to clarify that past and transcend its destructive legacy. Hiding it or justifying it as 'mistakes' won't do.

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Firtinaci, Post 222

Wellclose square;

I think to there is no dispute here about the counter revolutionary actions of the Chekas.

But does it mean that all the bolshevik party was to blame for the Cheka actions?

Does not it sound like saying that all the germans was to blame for the genocide?

As I tried to point out many times;

- The vecheka was such an organisation that the party as a whole had no control over. Even the sovnarkom had no control over the cheka. It was autonomous inside the state and even inside itself.

Various local branchs of it acted on their own behalf even without responding to, let's say NKVD - the comissariat of internal affairs or the central vecheka.

In that case, party rank and file had hardly had control over the vecheka or provincial cheka.

In that sense the international left communist movement which was partially expelled from comintern before the second congress can not be guilty of its actions.

The bolshevik party members who also shared the similar fates with the anarchists eventually also can not be blamed for its actions. Yes I agree that left communists probably had mistakes and many bolsheviks had huge mistakes and some of them had also participated the counter revolution and betrayed.

But still, emergence of an organisation during a revolution which is killing the children of the revolution should be analysed more seperately and more cautiously. And if this analysis is going to help us to understand the root of counter revolution and draw lessons from it, then we should avoid simplistic generalizations that equate state violence with the whole party. In that sense maybe rather than showing evidences for violence that nobody argued against the existing of, we may start to understand its roots, its development and its organisational characther.

Should not we?

Firtinaci expresses himself effectively in English, pace his linguistic and patronising chaperones, Devrim & Devoration1.

His post doesn't mention the basic fact that Lenin and Bolsheviks close to him, like Sverdlov and Trotsky, proposed this terror machine in November-December 1917. The Sovnarkom decree imposing its creation was written by Lenin and supported by the Bolsheviks. The first Cheka Head was the Bolshevik Dzerzhinsky, a sociopath like most of his Bolshevik-Chekist associates: Peters, Volodarsky, Menzhinsky, Blumkin, Latsis, Uritsky and Unszlicht. The fact that Left SRs and anarchists were also Chekists (not after 1918) doesn't deny that its creation directly benefited Bolshevik domination and sped up their control of the state and civil society. There were some Bolsheviks or Left SRs like Steinberg who criticised the Cheka, but this didn't stop its formation and repression, not only against old régime supporters but against revolutionary opponents, workers and peasants. Local branch autonomy by Chekas was often more effective in unleashing terror, all was grist for the mill.

None of the points by Firtinaci erase the contention that the leading hierarchies of the Bolshevik Party supported the Cheka unconditionally in the decisive years 1918-21. That's what mattered, not the whingeing by reform-Bolsheviks, however decent and still loyal to the emancipation of mankind. The 'autonomy of the Cheka' argument proves nothing, except that it was allowed to do its job well, relentlessly endorsed by Lenin and Trotsky. How can a Cheka, or a Gestapo, be 'controlled' in the naive and romantic insinuation of Firtinaci? Even to imagine this is an absurdity, how can civil society 'control' a body set up by a clique to terrorise and bludgeon civil society into servility and obedience? The question is not how could the soviets have accomplished this in 1918-21, but why this is an impossibility in all cases.

Firtinaci's floating facts are strung together to a sophistic axiom: The Bolsheviks and their supporters in Comintern could have no responsibility over the terrorist Leviathan that emerged from 1919 onwards, replacing the old Tsarist régime. It wasn't of their doing, even if the Bolsheviks created this Leviathan, they didn't create it, so in this sense even the 'identification with the state' didn't exist or can't account for the Cheka's domination. An army of 200,000 Chekist troops materialised from nowhere in 1920. Who created this machine then? Perhaps a mass immaculate conception, awesome progress since Bethlehem, the babies were all uniformed, armed, well weaned (with huge devouring appetites) and presumably most over 16. A miracle of the October Revolution, all due to the 'autonomy' of Chekism.

But, Firtinaci may concede, OK, some Bolsheviks participated in the counter-revolution and betrayed (which ones, proof?) but not 'all the party'. Fine, one has a limb with gas gangrene, but hey look, here's a healthy patch, a few thousand good cells, let's avoid simplistic generalisations, and so opined intern Mikail.

The slothful resort to 'mistakes' is noted, their byzantine accumulation, including 'huge' mistakes, happens until the cows come home, around the 30s. But the Bolshevik communist essence must remain unsullied, a Platonic noumena, to avoid becoming bastards (ironically, the ways of history are mysterious).

In political history, even in Sociology, such an account could be called blatant apologetics. Or the fabrication of a cult-mythology. Or science fiction, why not.

The negative analogy of the Bolshevik Party with 'German' blame over the Jewish genocide is grotesque but an interesting give-away. German civil society in 1933-45 was not equivalent to a state-party in any way, even if Firtinaci implies it, revealing a totalitarian view. But membership in the Bolshevik Party was voluntary, an adult choice (even if we allow for all kinds of survival pressures). Membership in Comintern even more so. Those who didn't want to ask the right questions in 1918-21 did so because they didn't want to see, or dig out the truth. Or they saw too well. Try it again Mikail.

But this isn't the thread to air this specific and crucial issue, perhaps some anarchists will. Those who do mind what happened to the original Voline, and who don't think that this history is a side issue.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

mciver;

Unlike you I am a marxist communist and unlike you I don't use terms like "leviethan" or "civil society" for an analysis of historical processes.

I propose you to read on the relations between the Vecheka, soviets and the sovnarkom. Then you will see that chekas' autonomy and irresponsibility towards soviets and how this was deepened over time.

I never implied that lenin was right on his policy towards Cheka. This is only your shadow boxing which is actually quite stalinistic. It is true that Lenin was defending cheka autonomy inside sovnarkom against the first SR and then Bolshevik leaders of the commisariats of justice and interior, this autonomy. In provinces too, chekas were semi independent against the local soviets. But if you have chosen to study the history of the russian revolution rather than blaming the victims of counter revolution -like left communists-, then you could have seen the constant tension between the cheka's autonomy and the soviets. The same tension, in a much more general respect also existed between the party leadership and the rank and file as the former increasingly attached itself to the "commisariats".

In your post there are also crucial points that are wrong. You are either consciously lying or motivated by your crude anti-communist hatret. In both case they deserved to be cleared up;

1. You argue that; bolshevik party was willing to form and even volunteered for the formation of the Cheka. Even the most anti-bolshevik historians like Leggett, tells that this is indeed wrong. Dzerzshinsky many times complains that he could not find any bolshevik members to join the Vecheka to do the "dirty job" so (he continues) only crazy people or adventurists are left to him (I am quoting from memory since I dont have the book).

2. 200.000 is not the Cheka organisation. Cheka had military detachments which carried out the military duties but also worked on railroad constructions etc. When initially formed it was less than 100. The military detachment was formed by the left SR's and it was under their control till the Brest and the LSR insurrection followed.

3.

There were some Bolsheviks or Left SRs like Steinberg who criticised the Cheka, but this didn't stop its formation and repression, not only against old régime supporters but against revolutionary opponents, workers and peasants.

That is simply crazy. As its name implies cheka was set up as an "extraordinary commission". Obviously the fate of most extraordinary commission was to become permanent as the counter revolution strengthened. Still, the idea of an extra-ordinary commission was there and there was a continous struggle to limit its power -such as death sentence- both inside the party and outside of it. Since there is not many factual data, we don't know the extent of opposition. But available data shows that Dzerzshinsky himself complained many times about the some party opposition and press which showed Cheka as a monstrous organization.

4. Finally about my analogy with germany and bolshevik party. Obviously germany is not the best example. But the extent of hatret against the bolsheviks led me to use it. I am not implying that bolsheviks were equal to society. But it should be seen that it was a huge party, which included many true revolutionaries many of whom gave their lives for the cause of revolution even in... the cheka cells.

Obviously these kind of "minor details" are simply "apologisms" from your crude zorastrian "good against evil" liberalism. This is the usual banalism of opportunism which defends itself by a moral ignorance; according to that revolutionary activity-as every human activity- implies defeats and wrongs. So opportunism abstentee from communist practice by arguing that it leads to defeat. So opportunism can claim to use its "clean" measures to judge earthly dirty people which are "destined" to defeat. (For example; if you are defending that there were positive as well as negative lessons of Bolshevism you are defeated from the beggining). However for marxists historical analysis is the key for understanding the reasons of defeat and not some essentialistic-mystic satan inside people. That is surely something you can not do from your ivory tower by reading dusty cold war anti communist classics of yours.

I invite everybody who are interested in inter-bolshevik party opposition to read these two very interesting documents/articles published just about the same time by two of the organisations of international communist left;

http://en.internationalism.org/ir/142/workersgroupmanifesto

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2010-06-09/the-bolshevik-left-and-workers%E2%80%99-power

mikail firtinaci

Unlike you I am a marxist communist and unlike you I don't use terms like "leviethan" or "civil society" for an analysis of historical processes.

Apparently Marx had no problem with using the term "bürgerliche Gesellschaft" (i.e. "civil society").

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Firtinaci Post 234

My intention is hardly to convince you or your group of anything, or correct your interpretation of events, labels or use of terms. Such a reform project is beyond my capacity or interest. You are doing like you should, given your presuppositions. Each organisation attracts the personnel that suits it. But I'm not an organisation or in one, so to accuse me of 'opportunism' (?) is a laughable Pavlovian yap.

Your correcting points don't clear up or correct anything, on the contrary, more layers of tedious and confusing banality agglomerate.

The leadership of the Cheka was initially all Bolsheviks, that's all that mattered, that the main organisers were Bolsheviks, not all the rank and file. That wasn't needed, I don't see why stating this is wrong. Also, what does it matter that Dzerzhinsky had trouble getting Chekists who weren't 'crazy' or 'adventurers' (some weren't?) or that he couldn't find 'any Bolshevik' to do 'the dirty job'. You mean he never found any? More irrelevancies posing as stunning 'minor details'.

Even if that were true, the point is that the Bolshevik Party, as the governing state party, supported and benefited from the Cheka. They were symbiotic, they had to survive in tandem. You know nothing of political parties and how they are consolidated in a totalitarian party-state. It matters not one iota that a party labels itself 'proletarian'. On that you're as good as your last act, there are no 'internationalist' indulgences or dispensations. If your last act is mass murder of your own constituents, of the class that supposedly you 'represent' or that 'produced' you, then you're stuck with that. The rest is ideology, or the foundations of a new repressive cult.

If Dzerzhinsk cursed about not getting the right staff, there you have an enraged employer facing a labour shortage. How agony-auntish. And so what? Admittedly, trained, skilled torturers and killers may have been scarce in 1918. But not for long. They were found and hired above the market rate, after all, Russian society had just experienced four years of mass murder in WW1, and was now re-joining the bloodletting. Willing executioners must have saturated the body politic, in spite of your romantic hysteria. None of these anecdotal conflicts with the Cheka were basic and irreconcilable. They were negotiated but in the end total domination won, and Stalinism just cut the crap, the machinery for 'red fascism' was already in place for Stalin to expand his 'real domination'.

Resources for Dzerzhinsky's growing criminality were never lacking under Lenin. This dynamic was unstoppable, even if chaotic, conflictive and fluid. The more atomisation was fostered, the more the dynamic of counter-revolution and repression asserted itself. The soviets as autonomous organs of class affirmation had ceased to exist, these are much more fragile organisms than ever imagined, and extremely vulnerable to draconian military threats. Once the spirit of questioning, of solidarity and self-sacrifice for mankind is crushed by intimidation, it perishes, it can't be revived. Certainly not among that same generation of defeated humans, and not by the demagogues who stifled and killed that spirit.

Another irrelevant 'correction':

200.000 is not the Cheka organisation. Cheka had military detachments which carried out the military duties but also worked on railroad constructions etc. When initially formed it was less than 100. The military detachment was formed by the left SR's and it was under their control till the Brest and the LSR insurrection followed.

This is supposed to 'correct' my statement:

An army of 200,000 Chekist troops materialised from nowhere in 1920. Who created this machine then?

This was the Cheka's Internal Troops. I didn't claim that they were 'the Cheka organisation', so I don't stand to be corrected on fabricated 'minor details'. The other details provided by Firtinaci about this internal army of repression are completely worthless for the issues at hand. Still, he forgets to mention that apart from 'railroad construction' these troops were responsible for maintaining the Gulag, the whole vast network of Stalinist lagers. Mass deportations and mass murder were also what they did, and naturally they were there at the Kronstadt crushing. Those 'military duties', not railroads, were their main activity. These 'minor details' do matter, not the banalities collected by amanuensis Firtinaci.

In spite of his monarchist apologia, Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago is a much more comprehensive study than Legget's, of the system founded by the Cheka (and Lenin and Trotsky).

Good luck in the left communist rapture.

jura

mikail firtinaci

Unlike you I am a marxist communist and unlike you I don't use terms like "leviethan" or "civil society" for an analysis of historical processes.

Apparently Marx had no problem with using the term "bürgerliche Gesellschaft" (i.e. "civil society").

Only to show its analytical inconsistency. I think it is not "the state and civil society" that Marx uses but "Burgeoisie and proletariat" i.e. classes as basic concepts for his class analysis. In breaking up with the left hegelianism, he systematically developed this alternative approach. I think the best source is here;

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/critique-hpr/intro.htm

That is at least what I think.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The leadership of the Cheka was initially all Bolsheviks,

No there were SR's too in the top level leadership.

Also, what does it matter that Dzerzhinsky had trouble getting Chekists who weren't 'crazy' or 'adventurers' (some weren't?) or that he couldn't find 'any Bolshevik' to do 'the dirty job'. You mean he never found any? More irrelevancies posing as stunning 'minor details'.

That partially explains the extent of early violence in 1918-1921 in the provinces. As serge notes in his memories and Leggett shows, there were a lot of lumpens and literally crazy people who were in Cheka and who acted on their own behalf in insane actions. Killing, loothing and torturing for personal benefit or just for "fun". These kind of people were also continously eliminated from the Cheka ranks. So the cheka organization had a huge adventurist and crazy people population in its ranks who were also getting liquidated by Dzerzshinsky on a regular basis.

the point is that the Bolshevik Party, as the governing state party, supported and benefited from the Cheka.

No the bolshevik party is not lenin and trotsyk. And the party was physically liquidated in the end through the process out of which state-the organisation of violance gained gradually a total independence.

You know nothing of political parties and how they are consolidated in a totalitarian party-state.

yeah I live in a place where the concept's third world variant has born and was among the most violent and still is. In a sense you are right. I not only know it but live it even in my personal history.

If Dzerzhinsk cursed about not getting the right staff, there you have an enraged employer facing a labour shortage. How agony-auntish. And so what?

So the bolshevik party was not full of bloody murderers as you try to portrait.

This was the Cheka's Internal Troops. I didn't claim that they were 'the Cheka organisation', so I don't stand to be corrected on fabricated 'minor details'.

Yes it is an important "detail". The people who did the interrogations, searchs, tortures were not these 200.000. These were simply the military detachments. And they were used in civil war, in street battles, in various kind of military activity but not in the core cheka activity. This also shows your lack of rigour and patience and lack of interest in understanding the roots of the counter revolution. Your sole aim is to call whole the bolsheivk party membership counter revolutionary - which is impossible to prove.

In spite of his monarchist apologia, Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago is a much more comprehensive study than Legget's

ahahaha :) Is this is a joke? Cheka -with the name Vecheka, it was so unpopular after the end of the civil war that it had to be recreated under an other name and - only existed till 1922 and its main activity was not Gulag camps at all. Gulags olny became more widespread under 1930's and Stalin. Moreover gulag system was not only under the control of the Cheka -Cheka had its own prisons which should not be confused with the gulags. In fact it was also and mainly the NKVD which organised the Gulags though OGPU and GPU had their own gulag networks.

klas batalo

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this fucking thread, is right... :cry:

mikail firtinaci

Only to show its analytical inconsistency.

As late as in the German Ideology, Marx wrote this:

Marx

The form of intercourse determined by the existing productive forces at all previous historical stages, and in its turn determining these, is civil society. [...] Already here we see how this civil society is the true source and theatre of all history, and how absurd is the conception of history held hitherto, which neglects the real relationships and confines itself to high-sounding dramas of princes and states.

Civil society embraces the whole material intercourse of individuals within a definite stage of the development of productive forces. It embraces the whole commercial and industrial life of a given stage and, insofar, transcends the State and the nation, though, on the other hand again, it must assert itself in its foreign relations as nationality, and inwardly must organise itself as State.

Marx reinterprets Hegel's concept of the civil society (which, in turn, was Hegel's reintepretation of Ferguson and early English political economy), but seems fine with using it.

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

this fucking thread, is right...

hey laozi, nobody is forcing you to follow this fucking thread, and from the proud schematic of your brain you display, everyone can see why it's so fucking hard to follow.

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes it is an important "detail". The people who did the interrogations, searchs, tortures were not these 200.000. These were simply the military detachments. And they were used in civil war, in street battles, in various kind of military activity but not in the core cheka activity. This also shows your lack of rigour and patience and lack of interest in understanding the roots of the counter revolution. Your sole aim is to call whole the bolsheivk party membership counter revolutionary - which is impossible to prove.

Detail of what? I mentioned this huge Cheka army to stress it couldn't have been created without active Bolshevik resourcing and consent. You obfuscate by bringing in irrelevant details that many others here know already, and you continue to do so, in your role as amanuensis of trivia.

I regret to say that your coming from a country with endemic violence doesn't confer you with dispensation for slothful thinking and Stalinist knee-jerk reactions (amalgams and 'ivory tower' clichés, typical of leftist windbags).

there were a lot of lumpens and literally crazy people who were in Cheka and who acted on their own behalf in insane actions. Killing, loothing and torturing for personal benefit or just for "fun". These kind of people were also continously eliminated from the Cheka ranks. So the cheka organization had a huge adventurist and crazy people population in its ranks who were also getting liquidated by Dzerzshinsky on a regular basis.

But the Bolshevik régime was directly responsible for unleashing this necrophilous killing machine onto civil society, you don't seem aware of the implications of what you're saying. Proletarian consciousness amid an abattoir system of daily liquidations? Maybe the violence around you has inured you, and you fantasise that autonomous critical thinking was possible in a disintegrating society. You dream that the soviets that appeared in 1917, survived throughout the 20s. But that's an apocalyptic mythology, whatever its root.

On the use of 'civil society' and 'Leviathan', I'm perplexed (shouldn't indulge that) by your infantile remarks. So certain words and concepts are not on, because 'Marx' didn't use them? Is this any argument? Jura deals with the historical fact well, but why waste time explaining, it's like throwing pearls around. And 'Leviathan'? A good term from Hobbes, and Fredy baby claimed it effectively for his His Story.

jura

mikail firtinaci

Only to show its analytical inconsistency.

As late as in the German Ideology, Marx wrote this:

Marx

The form of intercourse determined by the existing productive forces at all previous historical stages, and in its turn determining these, is civil society. [...] Already here we see how this civil society is the true source and theatre of all history, and how absurd is the conception of history held hitherto, which neglects the real relationships and confines itself to high-sounding dramas of princes and states.

Civil society embraces the whole material intercourse of individuals within a definite stage of the development of productive forces. It embraces the whole commercial and industrial life of a given stage and, insofar, transcends the State and the nation, though, on the other hand again, it must assert itself in its foreign relations as nationality, and inwardly must organise itself as State.

Marx reinterprets Hegel's concept of the civil society (which, in turn, was Hegel's reintepretation of Ferguson and early English political economy), but seems fine with using it.

jura I think in this quote there is a defence of materialism. But I think civil society as a concept in terms of class analysis is not a basic concept. As far as I know for instance in 18 Brumaire, it is class analysis that we see rather than a discussion on the relation between state and civil society.

At the root of my objection to the use of civil society is the certain liberal perspectives which as their basic concepts use a dichotomy of the concepts "state" and "civil society". I think this is not only a bit primitive -in the sense that it is based on early 19th century liberalism- but also harmful; Because the mentality behind is that there is a unified social whole which is facing the state as it is.

McIver;

On the use of 'civil society' and 'Leviathan', I'm perplexed (shouldn't indulge that) by your infantile remarks. So certain words and concepts are not on, because 'Marx' didn't use them? Is this any argument?

No not at all. Everybody can use any concept as the way they want. This only shows your analytical approach. And in your case it is oportunist obscurantism.

Detail of what? I mentioned this huge Cheka army to stress it couldn't have been created without active Bolshevik resourcing and consent. You obfuscate by bringing in irrelevant details that many others here know already, and you continue to do so, in your role as amanuensis of trivia.

So when you can't see the relevance of something your boring insults start huh? Good method of discussion. How did you learn it? By reading stalin?

I regret to say that your coming from a country with endemic violence doesn't confer you with dispensation for slothful thinking and Stalinist knee-jerk reactions (amalgams and 'ivory tower' clichés, typical of leftist windbags).

No I know the leftist and stalinism very well since stalinism at least is very alive here and I know what it resembles. It is like your mirror image with with only approval of "leviethan". In essence there is no difference between you and them with the exception that what you reject they approve. Why? Because you both have a shared methodology underneath. To see the question of power as primary and reject a serious and undemagojical analysis.

Maybe the violence around you has inured you, and you fantasise that autonomous critical thinking was possible in a disintegrating society. You dream that the soviets that appeared in 1917, survived throughout the 20s. But that's an apocalyptic mythology, whatever its root.

and why?

mciver

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

why what?

Why you may be inured to violence if it's Bolshevik stamp-approved, why you fantasise, why you dream about phantom soviets, why your belief system is based on an apocalyptic mythology, whys whys whys, I don't know know which why you mean, but how could I reply to any of them, because I'm not even a lay shrink. Sorry, can't refer you, not qualified. But I know a man who can.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I asked why do you think that the Soviets lived only in 1917. But I suspect expecting a logical answer is too much. And yes, since your comments and criticisms are nothing but a verbiage of hatred and anti-communist, there is not much you can say actually. Except something like; "There was violence and soviets were fragile ornaments of history"

mikail firtinaci

At the root of my objection to the use of civil society is the certain liberal perspectives which as their basic concepts use a dichotomy of the concepts "state" and "civil society". I think this is not only a bit primitive -in the sense that it is based on early 19th century liberalism- but also harmful;

I won't divert this thread any further but the contradiction between "civil society" and "state" is just about the only thing that Marx praises about Hegel's theory of the state in his 1843 critique! Hegel was the first thinker to clearly distinguish "civil society" as an arena of private interests (i.e. the economy), whose inhabitant is the "bourgeois" from the realm of the state (i.e. the political), whose inhabitant is the "citoyen". There is thus a contradiction between private interests and the interests of society as a whole. What Marx criticizes about Hegel are not the concepts themselves or their contradictory relationship, but the illusionary, idealistic and purely conceptual solution of the contradiction by forcibly subsuming the civil society under the state, while this contradiction, according to Marx, can only be solved in practice (by abolishing both and reuniting the torn-apart citoyen-bourgeois).

I believe that the concept of "civil society" was of immense importance in the development of early Marx's thought (as even the 1859 Preface suggests). There is nothing inherently "bourgeois" about it.

mikail firtinaci

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What Marx criticizes about Hegel are not the concepts themselves or their contradictory relationship, but the illusionary, idealistic and purely conceptual solution of the contradiction by forcibly subsuming the civil society under the state, while this contradiction, according to Marx, can only be solved in practice (by abolishing both and reuniting the torn-apart citoyen-bourgeois).

Well I can not object to that. Thanks for your comments. Appearantly I need to read and re-read much. What basically I had in mind while arguing that the main contradiction hence the focus of analysis are classes, was marx's definition of proletariat as a class "outside" of civil society in Contribution to the Crit. of Hegel's Phil. of law.

Still I hope I could make my concern clear. I think it can be said that the civil society and the state dichotomy is not working anymore in the current conditions of state capitalism where burgeois civil society is only an extension of the state without any (at least) antagonistic contradiction between them.

mikail firtinaci

I think it can be said that the civil society and the state dichotomy is not working anymore in the current conditions of state capitalism where burgeois civil society is only an extension of the state without any (at least) antagonistic contradiction between them.

So you're saying we live in a sort of "state capitalism" where the interests of individual capitals (or, more generally, commodity owners) directly coincide with the interests of the capitalist state? I don't think that's true at all. Again, I'm sorry to divert the main discussion, which to me has been quite interesting so far – and there's probably no need to continue in our particular exchange.

Tommy Ascaso

Those who identify with the struggle for the revolution have traditionally been classed in two categories: the marxists and the anarchists. And there are indeed important divergences between them:

- Centralism/federalism

- Materialism/idealism

- Period of transition or ‘immediate abolition of the state'

- Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

All these questions are certainly very important. It is our responsibility not to avoid them, and to debate them openly. But still, for the ICC, they do not demarcate "two camps".

These are massive differences, apart from materialism/idealism which I think you're wrong about.

I think you can strike " Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party' off the list because many left Marxists do just that. Lenin was a right wing Marxist. Luxembourg and Trotsky sitting in a tree..... council communists and or libertarian Marxists seem the most rational out of the group. Stalinists and Maoists aren't my cup of tea.

Fuck Lenin.

What I'm trying to say is anarchists and certain Marxists can and do get along. Many Marxists can see the corrosive effects of centralized hierarchical institutions with broad sweeping authority.

devoration1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By recognition of the October Revolution, it means believing that the October Revolution was a proletarian revolution, and that through the organs of proletarian struggle (factory committee's, worker's councils, mass assemblies, etc) had established, briefly, working class political power and supremacy.

Left communists believe that the revolution degenerated over the next few years (and that Kronstadt signals the end of working class power definitely and the creation of state capitalist totalitarianism in control, though certain remnents of proletarian political work such as the opposition groups in the RCP(b) survived until the mid to late '20s) mainly due to the isolation of Russia and the failure of the revolutionary wave to spread successfully, and also due to mistakes made by Bolshevik party members and leaders (such as confusing the party with the class, merging the party and organs of class power with the state, etc).

This is nothing like the left wing of capital (which includes Stalinists, Maoists and Trotskyists) who defend the USSR after the early '20s, consider China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, etc 'real existing socialism', believe in socialism in one country, etc etc etc).

Keep in mind that council communism, which is descended from the Dutch and German left fractions, is a branch of Left Communism (the other being the Italian Left fractions).

Volin

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

devoration_1

By recognition of the October Revolution, it means believing that the October Revolution was a proletarian revolution, and that through the organs of proletarian struggle (factory committee's, worker's councils, mass assemblies, etc) had established, briefly, working class political power and supremacy.

As has already been mentioned here though, this is exactly anarchists' position. We don't think the Bolsheviks' own seizure of the state apparatus can be conflated with this class power. Likewise, their mixing of the state and party wasn't just a mistake it was rooted in their make-up from the very beginning.

And in that sense we generally share the same position as council communist theorists, who may be included in left communism but came to reject that there was any such degeneration for the same reason we do.

devoration1

11 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The last sentence of your first paragraph is something we disagree on.

Many left communists see the Bolshevik party then the RCP(B) as originally a proletarian party. The original 2nd International (of which the RSDLP was a member) position certainly was that it was the goal of the party to take state power. This was commonly accepted by most Marxists of the day. It was a mistake, it was not in the interests of the working class, and could not have amounted to anything but state capitalism. But that is with the benefit of hindsight. At the time, the Bolsheviks and the Russian working class were the first to establish a 'dictatorship of the proletariat' over the area of a large nation, and confront the practical problems of ruling and administrating a country, as well as fighting an imperialist war against the Central Powers and a civil war against the white armies. I don't believe there was a conspiratorial scheme to take state power, and I don't believe that the Bolsheviks/RCP were bourgeois from the beginning.

Whats that Bakunin quote that if you take the most militant revolutionary and give him absolute power, he'll become more brutal than the tsar within a year (or something like that)? I believe it is evident from his writings (especially works like State And Revolution) that Lenin was a sincere communist- however his actions as the years went on show a trend toward totalitarianism gradually becoming more and more prevalent. Same for Trotsky- in a report on the first congress of the 3rd International, an observer said he found it very strange that Trotsky, the militant anti-militarist, showed up wearing a Red Army uniform and full regalia like a Western army general.

While some anarchists, like you say, agree with that analysis of the October 1917 revolution I wrote in the earlier post, left communists still believe in the need for a global centralized revolutionary class party in a revolutionary active class-struggle situation. While not agreeing with most of what the Bolsheviks did, the Third International certainly was a huge theoretical advance for future communists to work from (its form, not so much its content overall, which included things we object to like the right of nations to self determination, work inside trade unions, etc).

Volin

We don't think the Bolsheviks' own seizure of the state apparatus can be conflated with this class power. Likewise, their mixing of the state and party wasn't just a mistake it was rooted in their make-up from the very beginning.

I think this is a strange way to contradict the notion that that certain elements of Bolshevism made a mistake with regards to substitutionism. This characterization is made with the benefit of historical hindsight, not to suggest that there was a simple careless error made with regards to the question.