AF and nefac

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Devrim's picture
Devrim
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Joined: 15-07-06
Jan 28 2007 19:05
newyawka wrote:
Devrim wrote:
A few questions I would like to hear the answer to are;
* What is the nature of the IWW? Is it a union, or a network of militants, or some sort of mixture of both?

haven't we been through this 100 times? perhaps you're not getting the answer you want. i see no problem with "both", though my (limited) expereince is that in NA it's primarily and very much a union.

Yes, we have been through it. I am not attempting to argue the politics here though. I want to hee why the AF made this decision as I know that some/lots of them have similar attitudes to the unions to us.

It seems that other people would to:

spikeymike wrote:
As someone close to the AF (even before it dropped 'communist' from its title)and aware that it has had a promising, but rather inconsistent history in its attitude and practice towards trade unionism, I would also like to see some published account of how the approach to the IWW has developed

Devrim

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Volin
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Feb 3 2007 16:16
Spikymike wrote:
I have been tempted myself to explore the current practice of the IWW (in the absense of anything better at present) as a means of connecting with workplace militants, but my knowledge and experience suggests that this is an unpromising scenario.

Just out of interest, can you expand on that? It's been said before, but it was pretty clear that not a lot was coming out of trying to organise or support Workplace Resistance Groups (etc.) as a strategy on its own, even though I agree with it. The AF's not dumped that approach as far as I know, but a few members have decided to join the IWW seeing as its very similar in general terms and actually because it seems the most promising alternative.

I'm just a member of the IWW on paper at the moment (as I'm sure many are) and haven't been involved in much but I've not been all that impressed with it...

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 3 2007 17:17

Well of course paper members don't make anything much work and unfortunately it seems that in the UK many IWW members are just that,having joined for a mixture of political, nostalgic, emotional, social and reasons other than any immediate need to gain or provide practical workplace solidarity.

Part of the problem is perhaps that the IWW structure was developed for a different situation in a different era and lacks the abillity to adapt to being just an organised network of militants which would have some use.

It clearly is not going to make much headway as a genuine alternative union in competition with the big boys though it could play (and to some extent has played) a limited part in supporting smaller groups of non-unionised workers in particular struggles.

It is unfortunate that class struggle anarchists and others in the various groups have been unable to realise the reality of class struggle in the modern world and at least suspend their ideological dreams for a bit of combined workplace cooperation.

I am aware that the AF would have supported something like this but couldn't usefully go it alone offering a third option to the Sol Fed and IWW, which has tempted some to throw in their lot with the IWW - but let them explain the political compromise and whether it has been worth it?

I suppose that genuine workplace struggle groups (as opposed to leftist TU rank and file groups or groups based on the above co-operation) are only likely to have an existence during periods of heightended struggle and in between will inevitably have a precarious existence separate from the organised political groups?

It is noticeable that there was a lot of co-operation and susequent political realignment amongst those involved in the wider class struggle anarchist and internationalist communist scene during the last big miners strike and to a lesser extent during the Liverpool Dockers struggle for intance.

Even combined, our political forces cannot create these kind of situations, but we need to stay alive to the potential to work together in such situations and in some of the smaller stuggles which prepare the way.

knightrose
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Feb 3 2007 19:04

Sorry dev, I honestly can't answer your question about CNT and SAC. All I can say is that I am a member of the NUT.

The AF can't publish anything about the IWW until we've finished discussing it properly. That will be after our conference in April. So there's no real point fishing smile

Wayne Price
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Joined: 22-10-06
Feb 3 2007 21:00

I notice that Knightrose has raised my views on National Liberation and Race in the Love & Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation. What he does not know (perhaps because he did not ask nor has he read about it) is that my friends and I were notorious in Love & Rage for rejecting "Third World" nationalism, "white skin privilege," and pro- Black nationalist views. We were denounced for these views, called "dognatic anarchists." These were key issues in the final split in Love & Rage. The majority was pro-nationalist, soft on Maoism, and for the "Race Traitor" position on racial issues. Our faction was mostly former members of the Revolutionary Socialist League (about 5 of us), which had evolved from an unorthodox Trotskyism to anarchism before dissolving. The majority's views are reprinted in Roy San Filippo's A New World in Our Hearts. It includes denunciations of our position on nationalism and Black Liberation.

Of course my views on these issues, then as now, are not the same as those of the AF. I believe that there is a difference between national liberation/anti-imperialism (which I am for) and nationalism (which I am against). There is no point in going over these debates here. But I wanted to clear up the question of whether I was pro-nationalist in Love & Rage.

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little_brother
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Feb 4 2007 07:52

Hello Wayne - does that mean you were with the "Towards a fresh revolutionary anarchist" group (Detroit contact)?
We tried to cover the split in our Organise article (which predates NEFAC) -
http://afed.libcom.org.uk/org/issue50/quiet.html
so we were aware of the Maoist tendency in one part of the spplit, but didn't managed to talk to all 'sides'.
You'll also see we were intrigued by the white skin privelege position but I have to admit I was not able to understand the full extent of the arguments (at the time).

Wayne Price
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Joined: 22-10-06
Feb 4 2007 23:55

Yes, L.B., I was with that group.

When we joined (helped to form) Love & Rage we were moving from Marxism (unorthodox Trotskyism) to class-struggle anarchism. The other grouping was (it turned out) moving from anarchism (non-class struggle) to Marxism (Maoism). We seemed to be in agreement for a time, but really we were crossing each other while moving in opposite direction.

The "white skin privilege" theory meant that class struggle had to be postponed until the white workers had given up their "privileges." It was workerism turned upside down. We did not deny that white workers had advantages over Black workers but we insisted that racism hurt white workers as well as Blacks, even if not as badly. The "w.s.p." theorists denied this.