Aims and Principles

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odessa steps
Joined: 5-01-05
Aug 17 2005 19:08

Just to return to the thread about violence and armed struggle, the ACF changed its A&Ps in 1989 and said this about Clause 6: "The statement on violence and the revolution has been changed to make it clearer that while we don't glority violence, we are in no doubt that it will be necessary to achieve and defend human liberation". I think that is clear as to what the current position is. I don't blame people for 'irrationalist' violence (people driven to the end of their tether by capitalism), or deny the right to use force in self-defence whether individually or collectively or as a necessary and inevitable aspect of the expropriation of the owning class so long as the intent is to change the social relations governing how society operates rather than the form (armed struggle for instance).

Joined: 15-01-04
Aug 19 2005 17:40

I like the Aims and Principles but I really dislike the bit on Resistance with:

"We see today's society as being divided into two main opposing classes: the ruling class which controls all the power and wealth, and the working class which the rulers exploit to maintain this. By racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, as well as war and environmental destruction the rulers weaken and divide us."

It implies to me that either the middle class is a subset of the working class in the same way that (working class) black people are a subset of the working class or that the middle class doesn't exist at all. The impression I have got though is that most AF members see the middle class as something seperate from the working class to the extent that members of the AF would severly question the utility of the AF if it became an organisation with very few or even no working class members. Since most members don't appear to have any problem with the AF being an organisation with very few non-white members this suggests to me that 'we' think that society is divided into three classes.

I am deliberatly confusing people's views on social class and on economic class but I find that division very difficult to maintain, if our analysis of society tells us that there are 2 classes whilst in practice we act as if there are 3 then either there's something wrong with our analysis or our actions.

[This is more a criticism of the role given to the middle class in people's thought than of the quoted text I guess.]

Mike Harman
Joined: 7-02-06
Aug 21 2005 21:03

With a small number of members, it's impossible for the AF to adequately mirror the class in terms of composition. If it was a lot bigger, then I reckon it'd be pretty bad if there were (still) very few women or non-white people, in the same way as it'd be pretty bad if all the members were doctors and civil servants (or for that matter, only construction or call centre workers which'd also have problems). Thing is, as a mid-'20s white male, there's very little I can do about either my gender or ethnic background, so collectively there's a limit to what the AF can do. Class is a bit different.

Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 22 2005 18:06
meanoldman wrote:
I like the Aims and Principles but I really dislike the bit on Resistance with:

"We see today's society as being divided into two main opposing classes: the ruling class which controls all the power and wealth, and the working class which the rulers exploit to maintain this.

I'm a bit surprised at this as the blurb in resistance is just a summary of the As and Ps. If you think it could be worded better i'm all ears.

And here's something we wrote on class a long time agao and very far away:

Capitalist society is divided into two basic classes. The class which owns and controls the means of production, distribution, communication, etc. is usually referred to as the ruling class, bourgeoisie or boss class. The class which, without access to the means stated above, is forced to sell its labour power to the boss class in return for a wage, is the working class or proletariat.

The so called 'middle class' has the role of functionaries and mediators of capitalism (eg low level bureaucrats, social workers, teachers, academics, etc.) and it becomes split in times of crisis and moves either towards the bourgeoisie or proletariat. Most of the so-called middle class is simply a more 'privileged' section of the latter. On a world scale there are also peasants and subsistence farmers. They are potential allies of the proletarian revolution as they suffer the ravages of capitalism similarly.

We consider the working class to be not just those engaged in wage labour but also the unemployed, housewives/husbands, prisoners, OAPs, etc. We believe that the working class is the only class in this society whose real interests lie in the destruction of capitalism and the creation of a free, communist society. Ours is the only class capable of carrying out such a fundamental social transformation. Our class has nothing to lose exept its illusions that it has something to lose!

Joined: 8-11-03
Aug 22 2005 21:40

sounds about right to me!

McCormick's picture
Joined: 11-08-04
Aug 23 2005 07:50

What an excellent piece of coherent writing, where can you have found this gem? wink red n black star

Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 23 2005 08:01

smile wink ... and there's plenty more where that came from!

pingtiao's picture
Joined: 9-10-03
Aug 24 2005 08:23

Yeah, that is very good nastyned- where is it from?

Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 24 2005 09:58

It's from '6 points' that were written on a range of issues as part of our merger talks with Class War back in 1911 eek

As you may have guessed the comrade who wrote them has recently started posting here.

I think i've got all six points on my computer so i'll start posting them up.