Anarchist federation Public Meeting in London

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Apr 4 2007 21:44

…as Otto Rühle said ‘the struggle against Fascism begins with the struggle against Bolshevism.’

American Councillist journal Living Marxism (Vol. 4, No. 8, 1939)

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Apr 5 2007 08:43
Battlescarred wrote:
Our public meetings are to introduce anarchist ideas to people new to them, not as a venue for an attempt at recruiting by the ICC.

Obviously it is the AF's decision who they allow to attend their 'public' meetings. I think the allegation that they are trying to recruit at your public meetings is a bit bizarre though. The ICC don't recruit like they leftist groups do. I would be really surprised if anyone on these boards could say that the ICC had asked him/her to join. Just because the AF seems quite happy to recruit people on the basis of the word 'anarchism' who actually have no idea about their politics, it doesn't mean that everybody else acts in the same way.

Devrim

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 09:06

Don't you start talking rubbish as well Devrim.

Battlescarred
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Apr 5 2007 09:47

I'm afraid Devrim really is talking out of his arse

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Apr 5 2007 10:31
nastyned wrote:
Don't you start talking rubbish as well Devrim.

Battlescarred wrote:
I'm afraid Devrim really is talking out of his arse

Which part of it is rubbish, or me 'talking out of my arse'?

If it is about the ICC recruiting, all you have to do is get one person to say that the ICC asked him/her to join to prove me wrong.

Alternately you could be denying that the AF recruit people who have no idea about class politics on the basis of 'anarchism'. I would think that you are even more dubious ground there.

Devrim

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 10:46

You clearly don't know what you're talking about regarding the AF, so it seems reasonable to me to say you are talking rubbish.

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Apr 5 2007 11:29
nastyned wrote:
You clearly don't know what you're talking about regarding the AF, so it seems reasonable to me to say you are talking rubbish.

Actually more than one AF member has admitted to me that there are problems in this area.

Devrim

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Apr 5 2007 12:23

The AF doesn't have the level of agreement that, say, the ICC have, but that doesn't mean that we "recruit people who have no idea about class politics on the basis of 'anarchism'". The AF is an explicitly class struggle, anarchist communist organisation, and we certainly wouldn't allow somebody to join who didn't agree with our Aims and Principles, especially something as fucking elemental as the idea of class.

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Apr 5 2007 14:05

In my opinion, the issue here is not so much how the AF recruit but the accusation they have made against the ICC that their sole aim in attending AF meetings is to recruit.

madashell wrote:
The AF doesn't have the level of agreement that, say, the ICC have, but that doesn't mean that we "recruit people who have no idea about class politics on the basis of 'anarchism'".

Nonetheless, this quote from madashell would seem to imply that there is an awareness that the ICC's "recruitment" is a rather rigorous process and attending an AF meeting is not going to generate the "level of agreement" required to become an ICC militant.

There's nothing wrong with being critical of the ICC's politics or even their interventions but these criticisms should be based on what they really do and not the caricature that is often presented on these boards. The charge of trawling for recruits, in my opinion, is simply not true.

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Apr 5 2007 14:29

It's fairly obvious that the ICC's aim isn't to recruit, IMO. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, your main aim is to "intervene". You don't come to public meetings with the intention of participating in a discussion, but to "intervene". Can you not see why this might be regarded as a problem in itself?

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Apr 5 2007 14:36
madashell wrote:
It's fairly obvious that the ICC's aim isn't to recruit, IMO. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, your main aim is to "intervene". You don't come to public meetings with the intention of participating in a discussion, but to "intervene". Can you not see why this might be regarded as a problem in itself?

I'm not ICC so I can't answer that question directly, but surely the aim of any discussion is the presentation of different (sometimes opposing) points of view with the aim (ultimately) of concluding which position is correct. The ICC, just like everyone else, intervene to present a particular point of view. How does this differ from the activity of others, e.g. members of the AF?

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Apr 5 2007 14:40
Demogorgon303 wrote:
I'm not ICC so I can't answer that question directly, but surely the aim of any discussion is the presentation of different (sometimes opposing) points of view with the aim (ultimately) of concluding which position is correct. The ICC, just like everyone else, intervene to present a particular point of view. How does this differ from the activity of others, e.g. members of the AF?

You're missing a key point in your definition of a discussion there, which is that in a discussion, all parties engage with each other's points of view, otherwise they're just talking at each other, which, from what others have said here, is exactly the problem with the ICC's methods.

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 14:43

Yeah, it's not just the AF who's had problems with the ICC. I'm sure they were banned from No War But The Clas War meetings as well.

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Apr 5 2007 14:54
madashell wrote:
The AF doesn't have the level of agreement that, say, the ICC have, but that doesn't mean that we "recruit people who have no idea about class politics on the basis of 'anarchism'". The AF is an explicitly class struggle, anarchist communist organisation, and we certainly wouldn't allow somebody to join who didn't agree with our Aims and Principles, especially something as fucking elemental as the idea of class.

Hmm mad, I'm not saying this is a bad problem or anything, but I think there are definitely some people in the AF who wouldn't completely agree with the As and Ps, if pushed on it at any rate. Like old mental revolutionary, for example. But I think it's not much of a problem for the AF cos any of these people wouldn't be in a position of influence within the organisation to do any damage.

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Apr 5 2007 15:12
madashell wrote:
You're missing a key point in your definition of a discussion there, which is that in a discussion, all parties engage with each other's points of view, otherwise they're just talking at each other, which, from what others have said here, is exactly the problem with the ICC's methods.

But what do you mean by engagement? The willingness to change their mind? How do you assess this? What do you expect them to change their minds about?

Obviously individuals join and leave the ICC like every other organisation, so clearly they are more than capable of changing their minds. So perhaps you refer to the organisation itself? If you read their texts, though, you can see that they freely acknowledge that they have moved away from the councillist tendencies of their youth. They've also presented critical re-evalutions on their conception of the course of history and, most recently, presented an orientation text on ethics which had previously been used as the basis of discussion within their organisation. True, they've maintained the same platform for the last 25 or 30 years they've existed.

How does this compare with the AF or other organisations? I don't know much about the AF, but is there anything they would say they've changed their mind about or deepened their understanding of? It would be interesting to know.

I can't but help thinking your evident frustration with the ICC springs from the fact you don't feel able to convince them of the correctness of your own positions. I have to say I experience a similar frustration in many of the political discussions I have, both on libcom and elsewhere! But is refusing to discuss with others the answer? While it is occasionally healthy for individuals to take a step back when they feel frustration is getting in the way of discussion, the point of having an organisation is that it can maintain discussion without submitting to the individual tempers and frailties of the individuals that compose it.

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Apr 5 2007 15:20
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mental revolutionary

He got hoyed out, didn't he?

Nonetheless, I think John.'s point still stands. For instance, there are people in the AF who self-define as anarchosyndicalists -- as a look at the libcom networking thing shows.

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 15:36

I've heard he's in a trot group now. Where's the libcom networking thing?

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Apr 5 2007 15:38
nastyned wrote:
I've heard he's in a trot group now. Where's the libcom networking thing?

Click "My account" up the top, then edit. You can put in loads of personal and political details in, including group membership. This plugs into our networking features. So here's the list of people who say they're AF members on libcom:
http://libcom.org/profile/profile_group-membership/Anarchist+Federation

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Apr 5 2007 15:45

it would be useful. not possible now, we might have to do a manual index, for the future...

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Apr 5 2007 15:54

The AF member I was thinking of, who defined as an anarchosyndicalist on his libcom profile, has changed it. The little tinker. Perhaps there are more, though. wink

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Apr 5 2007 16:03
John. wrote:
madashell wrote:
The AF doesn't have the level of agreement that, say, the ICC have, but that doesn't mean that we "recruit people who have no idea about class politics on the basis of 'anarchism'". The AF is an explicitly class struggle, anarchist communist organisation, and we certainly wouldn't allow somebody to join who didn't agree with our Aims and Principles, especially something as fucking elemental as the idea of class.

Hmm mad, I'm not saying this is a bad problem or anything, but I think there are definitely some people in the AF who wouldn't completely agree with the As and Ps, if pushed on it at any rate. Like old mental revolutionary, for example. But I think it's not much of a problem for the AF cos any of these people wouldn't be in a position of influence within the organisation to do any damage.

Alright there might be one or two people who are a bit shakey on that score, but not on something as incredibly basic and central to our whole analysis as class.

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Apr 5 2007 16:08
Jack wrote:
Someone in AF once told me that no one had ever been formally kicked out, altho I dunno if that's true?

AFAIK, the procedures to formally kick somebody out have only been used once, and the vote came down in that person's favour.

In Gentle Revolutionary's case, there was a bit of a disagreement over his support for the SSP and he resigned in a huff, nobody was "made to feel uncomfortable".

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 16:12

I thought he was myself!

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Apr 5 2007 16:13

And not just the politics, the fact he's a cunt!

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Apr 5 2007 16:14

*ill advised post*

nastyned
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Apr 5 2007 16:19

I wouldn't call him a cunt John. as I don't think he was malicious. Though I suppose towards the end he was getting a bit aggy.

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Apr 5 2007 21:46
Demogorgon303 wrote:
but surely the aim of any discussion is the presentation of different (sometimes opposing) points of view with the aim (ultimately) of concluding which position is correct.

No, it isn't. At least, as far as I'm concerned, that's not why I enter discussions. I don't know about the AF, but discussions for me are a platform for people with different opinions to engage in a dialectical process through which, in the end, everyone has changed their perspective somewhat, maybe coming to an agreement, most likely not. The notion that there is this static set of different opinions which survives a discussion unscathed is bourgeois as fuck, and I'm disappointed that a left-communist - indeed, any kind of Marxist - would subscribe to such an ultimately reactionary notion.

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Apr 5 2007 21:56

treeofjudas, if you read what I said earlier about the ICC, you'd see that they have developed their positions on a number of issues. On the other hand, there are some positions that you cannot abandon without ceasing to be part of the workers' movement. For example, as far as internationalism goes there is no compromise, period.

Mike Harman
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Apr 5 2007 23:31
Jack wrote:
Is it possible to get a browseable list of what groups people have said they're members of (so for example, you could get a quick idea of what groups are represented by users, then click through to see which users were each group etc.).

Probably wouldn't be particularly useful, but I'm curious. :)

There's a profiles as nodes option - where everything would be a field in a cck node (like images and introductions in news), and you could then filter and/or sort by those with views. I'm not sure how well it works, and even if it works well it could mean breaking all current networking stuff which might not be popular.

sorry for off-topic techie rubbish, if it wasn't late I'd split.

Mike Harman
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Apr 5 2007 23:33
nastyned wrote:
I thought he was myself!

Did my best and all that. wink