About the AF aims & principles...

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Steven.
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Jul 20 2009 11:03
Devrim wrote:
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sickdog24, why do you keep banging on about 'the council estates'?

It is a good question. He is not the only person on here who keeps going on about them though. It seems to be a standard line from some people "council estates and workplaces" in that order.
How many people actually live on them nowadays? How many of them have been sold off or knocked down?

yes, it is quite silly, I think it is a leftover from the type of rhetoric from class war with their view of class as a cultural thing.

In the UK, not got the statistics exactly to hand, but about 15% of the population live in council housing, compared to 70% owner occupiers. So it's quite a meaningless obsession.

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Devrim
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Jul 20 2009 13:45
notch8 wrote:
Yeah, referring to places as 'Beirut' is a peculiar Northern Ireland colloquialism, kind of outdated now I suppose. A bit rich too, really :)

I have lived in both Northern Ireland and Beirut, and I know where I would rather live. Next time I go to Beirut, I will walk around comparing the bad parts of town to Belfast.
Devrim

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Jul 20 2009 15:42
buena_exposiva wrote:
Atheism? You mean paranoia over if someone may believe in God.

I think there's a difference between "paranoia" and wanting members of a group to agree with that group's ideas, but we've gone over this already.

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Well that's one point. AF just seems like a pointless organisation, not harming anyone but neither benefiting, then again you can say that about other organisations.

Obv, I think there are benefits (f'r instance, if I tried producing/printing/distroing a newspaper myself, it'd be waaaaay worse than Resistance). But we can agree to disagree about that. But do you think anarchist organisations are inherently bad and pointless, or that there's useful things that "good" anarchist organisations can do that the AF fails at?

Battlescarred
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Jul 23 2009 15:13

Where I live used to be a council estate but it was taken over by a housing association quite some time ago, as have many others around the country.
But yes, a caricature to think that the working class only lives on council estates

Skips
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Jul 23 2009 16:25
Battlescarred wrote:
Where I live used to be a council estate but it was taken over by a housing association quite some time ago, as have many others around the country.
But yes, a caricature to think that the working class only lives on council estates

Yes certainly a caricature. But most council estates are certainly areas of high poverty and areas where the ideas of libertarian communism could possibly thrive.

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flaneur
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Jul 23 2009 18:47

As are many other places. Whether waving about Bakunin at them is a good idea or not is another matter.

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welshboy
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Jul 24 2009 13:22

When I were a lad it were all council estates around yer, as far as t'eye could see. It's all bloody fields now though and they call that bloody progress.
Kids t'day, don't know thar born, moon on a bloody stick some of em etc, etc, etc

J666
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Dec 14 2009 14:27

Hi this my first post and I'm kinda new to the whole thing. I guess I'm just angry about the people in this world who believe they have the right to tax and beat down those who work hard, and reward those who don't follow the rules. It's about time that the people stand up and take action and make it so that these people, whoever and wherever they may be, are fearful of the repurcussions of their actions. It's about time the criminals, the spongers, the con artists, the ripoff merchants and the corrupt officials learn to fear that every action has a consequence. That a group of people exist who will no longer put up with being put down. I do believe that I am not alone in my beliefs. The time has come to fight back. Join me and together we can make a difference.

jonathan cottam
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Apr 2 2010 07:18

Perhaps only 15% of people live on council estates or rented housing, however it is the reality of where I live and all the surrounding areas of my town. Also only two residents in the cluster of flats where I live are working, or have for some time. I guess the point I would make on class, is that these people are part of the excluded not the included, and would make a much more reliable force if they were not obsessed with the hardships of their lives. I would also make the point that as with certain minority groups, these people are socially and economically oppressed and disadvantaged in a way that goes well beyond the Fight Club/Situationist sense that most of the students and ex-students that make up the majority of British anarchism are oppressed.

In Preston, Disobey has for some time worked for the homeless with legal advice, resistance to the courts and police, and housing. Through the pressure we excerpted, two thirds of those sleeping on the street are now in some form of accommodation, we consider these people to be the flower of the proletariate.

Whilst on the subject of Disobey, we are also fighting a project of redevelopment in the town and have linked various causes around it such as those against the bus station demolition and a Caribbean social club also marked for demolition, we count our supporters in the thousands. We have had tough year, but we are all still present and have seen all other left groups in the town, including Solfed and the SWP, disappear from sight, due to increased finances we are now able to take part in national and international events again, and have finally sorted our group out and realised we needed a certain amount of cohesion to keep realising our desires in struggle and now have an aims and principals, or, manifesto, on our sight, which if you look you will not like at all. Also, I won't apologise, because as you know it means nothing, but it has been duly noted that none of the people who made the really offensive comments on the direction of AF thread, were Afed members. I hope our group can work with yours in the future in civil, even amicable way, I personally have got well over it, and wish the discussion had never been started in the first place.

Werther De Goethe
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Apr 2 2010 12:32
jonathan cottam wrote:
two thirds of those sleeping on the street are now in some form of accommodation, we consider these people to be the flower of the proletariate.

Whilst on the subject of Disobey....we count our supporters in the thousands.

What drugs are you on?
confused

jonathan cottam
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Apr 2 2010 17:45

We count our supporters for opposition to the tithebarne project in the thousands, don't know how many we can mobilise. Our membership is seven because we have redefined what it means to be a member, we can draw a considerable amount of local support for any activity in Preston at least. The Tithebarne project is important as we are trying to prevent the growth of capitalist infrastructure in Preston,

I am not on any membership boosting drugs, if you know any please introduce me to your dealer. Tramps are the flower of the proletariate, we love them. More than students. libcom arrow for bullet points beardy

jonathan cottam
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Apr 2 2010 19:41

Not sure what your objection to the comment on the homeless was, but yes, by putting continual pressure on housing and the official hostels, we were able with our own resources to house, in an illegal capacity, a whole of thirty homeless over the six week xmas period, and because of the pressure we excerpted, policies were changed and over twenty of the thirty people living on the street have now been housed, if we hadn't opened housing over xmas some of these people would probably be dead. As ever we are small but effective. our main project is to stop the Tithebarn, we have an action coming up, we expect upwards of thirty people to turn up for this initial action, as ever our tactic is to catalyse mass support around high publicity actions, amongst other actions, we are getting rather good at this, we have two thousand five hundred people offering their support over the bus station campaign alone, over groundwork and internet, we are now connecting all the various campaigns over the Tithebarn, and holding an event to bring them all together. Disobey has been interviewed by the local press and there can be very few people in our main base of Preston who don't know what we are about. Possibly your own ineffectiveness leads you to believe that this kind of effectiveness can only be achieved in the mind under the influence of drugs, however, I assure you, hard work, imagination and experience is enough. circle A

Werther De Goethe
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Apr 5 2010 12:43

No problem with the homeless it's just I wouldn't describe them as the "flower of the proletariat" partly because I'm not from the 19th century but mostly because they aren't.

Counting objectors to Tithebarn as your supporters is a bit rich given the objectors come from across the political spectrum.

Disobey seem to me to come across much like a group of radical vicars. All very nice and that but that's about it.

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Apr 6 2010 07:08

Jon mate, why are you putting this in the thread on AF's aims and p's?

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Sep 6 2010 17:27

In all workplace issues regarding solidarity above all else an injury to one is an injury to all. This is a principle, because an equal society has to engage the radical element of all our affairs, which means that we must relinquish power. And that is part of the process by which religion gains its hold on the masses. The power of the individual is an illusion dependent on their acceptance of authority coming from one who engages oppression over us. All religion is indoctrinated by repressive techniques and dark arts from the cradle to the grave. But we want a free society that allows our youthful urges to flourish into maturity without violence and manifest our collective responsibilities without raising up false pretensions of adulthood as they have purported in their religious texts. For example, in Israel a bus company has recently attempted to authorise sexual segregation on the buses, a decision made by a bureaucrat in a supposedly free, democratic, country. But the reality is far worse, because this is what is faced by prison inmates internationally. The question really is how is it possible for an equal society to make a distance such as these bureaucrats. It is the same for the religious leaders. The truth is they are out of the equation, indoctrinated by moral coercion to a point of habit, they cause a division through the imposition of a mere fantasy. You are not talking about true freedom.

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Sep 6 2010 23:25

I just read the Aims & Principles for the first time, and found it to be a very reasoned and clear document. As just an observer from the outside, point 9 maybe could've been more specific about what AF believes a revolutionary organization is (something that is further explored in the pamphlet 'The Role of the Revolutionary Organization')- like a condensed form of this paragraph from said pamphlet:

Quote:
Tasks of the Organisation

Accepting that the revolution can only be made by the self-activity of the working class, the anarchist revolutionary organisation still has a number of tasks to perform. It must act as a propaganda grouping, untiringly putting over the message that the working class must destroy capitalism and establish a libertarian communist society. It must also show how this can be done by giving examples of self-activity. It must search out the history of past struggles and share the lessons to be learned with the rest of the class as part of the development of class-consciousness. When important developments occur, the revolutionary organisation must spread the news through its links with organisations in other countries. But the organisation is not just a propaganda group: above all it must actively work in all grassroots organisations of the working class such as rank and file groups, tenants associations, squatters and unemployed groups as well as women’s, black and gay groups. It must try to link unionised and non-unionised workers, building a movement at the base.

Point 10 seems pretty clear- the revolutionary organization has a very specific purpose, it is not meant to be a mass organization made up of all workers and supporting the various reactionary beliefs of that mass of workers- a point that is lost on some (from reading the first pages of this thread).

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Sep 7 2010 08:03

Point 10 as it stands was only adopted in July this year, though it was the result of a long, ongoing discussion about the previous version, which just said "We are opposed to organised religion and religious beliefs".

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Sep 7 2010 10:55

Looks like you ended up borrowing some of the wording from the AWSM A&Ps for your new point 10 smile Nice work, it reads much better than your old one.

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Sep 7 2010 11:44

That bit certainly isn't my favourite, to be honest.

knightrose
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Sep 7 2010 15:25

It's appropriate that we nicked from you, you pinched most your A&Ps from us smile

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Sep 8 2010 02:05

Yep, a fair trade I reckon smile

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Oct 24 2010 21:25


It's a free-range organic (...) one but are ya ready to kill one for yourself in time for your next breakfast if you live that long?

Battlescarred
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Oct 25 2010 08:51

Eh??????

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Nov 9 2010 19:36

The Aims & Principles of the Anarchist Federation have changed. Any Hiccups?

I have no objections. This looks fantastic. Regarding the status of cults, and how they are linked with the personality, or image, around which they are based, they give rise to a perculiar sense of ambition in the community. Capitalism is such. But it is the system of exploitation that feeds it. This is its foundation, by which society is flawed. The most oppressed people are the working class, which is why we need the class war. The rigid hierarchy of the boss class allows oppression to dominate our sense of order through an imposed perception of how we see each other. Exchanging parties are determined by control. This is the cause of authority. Nevertheless, the class struggle is here to resist slavery, which takes over the workplace by a peculiar diplomatic energy that is a nuance of the bourgeoisie, when they assimilate themselves to the establishment and gentrify the proletariat. For example, when the General Strike of 1926 was happening how our constabulary took aim and fired upon crowds in Liverpool and in Wales, killing two people on each occassion, you really have to wonder about all the CCTV. And as for posting on forums there is a great debt owing as far as the people that come here and have nothing to give are concerned.

Salud!

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Dec 20 2010 15:20

I find this pro-materialism stance quite depressing. I am not religious, I do not believe in God, I am an anarchist, but I am not a materialist. I don't think we have any hope of understanding the universe from a materialist perspective, to do so strikes me as hugely arrogant and delusional. Science provides results about the behaviour of the material world but it says nothing about what it actually consists of. It seems much more likely to me that the material world is a product of consciousness, of our minds and not vice versa. I cannot see how this is incompatible with an anarchist political stance.

An anti-materialist viewpoint is not the same thing as religion! One is a view of the nature of the universe, the other is the worship of made-up beings.

I've had anarchist tendencies since before I knew what anarchism was. It cheered me up in my internet searchings to find there seemed to be a growing movement, especially local to myself, as I'd like to be involved, but then I find I am to be excluded on wholly irrational grounds.

mons
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Dec 21 2010 01:16

Pikel,

Why do you think it's more likely that the material world does not exist, merely being a product of our imagination? How could it even being the case - what do our minds consist of then? Can't remember which book, but Karl Popper wrote a good chapter criticising anti-realism (which I think you advocate?). On a very simple level, how can you say god doesn't exist if the material world is just a construct of our consciousness? Surely God equally exists and doesn't exist in that case.

The only important thing for contributing to an anarchist 'movement' in regards to this is whether you argue that our present situation is a result of clear causes, and whether we should fight back accordingly, basing our approach on the lessons of the past struggles of ourselves and others. So no appeals to any non-materialist authority.
The trouble with not advocating a materialist approach, and seeing the world from your perspective is that - apart from it being wrong in my opinion - it leaves the door open to views like, 'Our exploitation is not a material fact; it's just a mindset.' And an organisation that seeks to promote working class self-organisation should have no time for those ideas.

I'm interested in the debate though, because a couple of years ago I learnt and read a bit about anti-realism and it nearly half-persuaded me and interested me, but now I can't remember why I thought it made any sense at all.

Yorkie Bar
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Dec 21 2010 03:33
Quote:
I find this pro-materialism stance quite depressing. I am not religious, I do not believe in God, I am an anarchist, but I am not a materialist. I don't think we have any hope of understanding the universe from a materialist perspective, to do so strikes me as hugely arrogant and delusional. Science provides results about the behaviour of the material world but it says nothing about what it actually consists of.

Only if you assume the material world has a hidden 'essence' ("what it consists of") that is somehow separable from its material 'behaviour' and physical properties. However, this is to assume that the world is fundamentally non-materialistic. As such, the statement that materialist science can't tell you what the world 'actually' consists of is pretty vacuous.

Quote:
It seems much more likely to me that the material world is a product of consciousness, of our minds and not vice versa.

It is your opinion that assuming everything that apparently exist is simply a product of your godlike imagination is the less 'hugely arrogant and delusional' than conceding that perhaps the whole world is not about you?

Quote:
I cannot see how this is incompatible with an anarchist political stance.

It would certainly be incompatible with the political stance of the AF, for the reasons explained above, since we believe that people have to change their (real) conditions through (real) struggles and build a (real) better world in the process. If it's all in our heads anyway there'd be precious little point in doing any of that, since according to that view all we really need to do is change our consciousness and that's us sorted.

~J.

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Dec 21 2010 14:49
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Why do you think it's more likely that the material world does not exist, merely being a product of our imagination?

I didn't say it does not exist, it clearly does. I didn't use the word "imagination" either. By twisting what I said you can avoid facing up to it, but it's an obvious ploy. The fundamental issue is you will never resolve the subjective but wholly obvious fact of conscious, sentient experience within a materialist construct. You can see John Searle and others for that one if you like, but as a conscious, sentient entity I don't need to.

Quote:
On a very simple level, how can you say god doesn't exist if the material world is just a construct of our consciousness? Surely God equally exists and doesn't exist in that case.

I didn't say the material world is "just a construct of our consciousness". I said it seems likely that the material world arises from consciousness. I didn't use the word "just", for good reason, it's not a trifling thing. I didn't say "our" because I'm not saying it's a figment of our imagination. It's likely to me that the fundamental stuff of the universe is consciousness and we as autonomous sentient beings are dense concentrations of the stuff. This doesn't explain anything I know but materialism doesn't explain conscious existence. So I have to give up, say "I don't really know", but continue exploring with an open mind.

God exists as an idea but there is no evidence or requirement whatsoever, beyond talk, that it goes beyond that, so I have no problem saying I don't believe in God.

Quote:
The only important thing for contributing to an anarchist 'movement' in regards to this is whether you argue that our present situation is a result of clear causes, and whether we should fight back accordingly, basing our approach on the lessons of the past struggles of ourselves and others. So no appeals to any non-materialist authority.

There is nothing there I can't agree with wholeheartedly!

Quote:
The trouble with not advocating a materialist approach, and seeing the world from your perspective is that - apart from it being wrong in my opinion - it leaves the door open to views like, 'Our exploitation is not a material fact; it's just a mindset.' And an organisation that seeks to promote working class self-organisation should have no time for those ideas.

I don't think that trouble does exist, I don't think the door is left open in the way you describe, firstly because a non-materialist view does not imply that the material world is not a real thing, it just implies that there is more going on under the covers that we probably cannot hope to understand. You use the word "just" again, "just a mindset", but as I say consciousness is not a trifling thing and it needn't be characterised as such.

It appears that there is a desire to relegate non-materialist possibilities to the cranks and loons category by scoffing and mocking rather than actually coming to grips with it. To those of us who have non-materialist views which are more subtle than you appear willing to allow, an unnecessary barrier is erected.

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Dec 21 2010 15:08
Yorkie Bar wrote:
Quote:
I find this pro-materialism stance quite depressing. I am not religious, I do not believe in God, I am an anarchist, but I am not a materialist. I don't think we have any hope of understanding the universe from a materialist perspective, to do so strikes me as hugely arrogant and delusional. Science provides results about the behaviour of the material world but it says nothing about what it actually consists of.

Only if you assume the material world has a hidden 'essence' ("what it consists of") that is somehow separable from its material 'behaviour' and physical properties. However, this is to assume that the world is fundamentally non-materialistic. As such, the statement that materialist science can't tell you what the world 'actually' consists of is pretty vacuous.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here so I can't respond.

Quote:
Quote:
It seems much more likely to me that the material world is a product of consciousness, of our minds and not vice versa.

It is your opinion that assuming everything that apparently exist is simply a product of your godlike imagination is the less 'hugely arrogant and delusional' than conceding that perhaps the whole world is not about you?

Like mons, you have twisted my words to avoid the argument and its obvious. I did not claim to have a godlike imagination, I did not claim that the material world is created by my "imagination", I did not claim the whole world is about me. So I can't respond to this.

Quote:
Quote:
I cannot see how this is incompatible with an anarchist political stance.

It would certainly be incompatible with the political stance of the AF, for the reasons explained above, since we believe that people have to change their (real) conditions through (real) struggles and build a (real) better world in the process. If it's all in our heads anyway there'd be precious little point in doing any of that, since according to that view all we really need to do is change our consciousness and that's us sorted.

~J.

"all in our heads" - again this is a blatant mischaracterisation of what I wrote.

I do believe that creating an anarchist society clearly involves changing our consciousness but I don't characterise that as a trifling matter. It is still a real struggle to build a real better world with real better conditions. A non-materialist view of the world does not imply that the world is not real or that real action is not required.

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Dec 21 2010 15:06

Pikel, are you simply rehashing Descartes?