A couple of questions

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HeidiV
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Jul 24 2007 17:12
A couple of questions

Hi,

I found this site using google, so i don't know what it's all about and have a couple of questions:

1. what type of people are here, agewise etc. and with what specific interests?

2. Probs, a really stupid, ignorant question, but..., anarchist communism? Doen't the 2 clash, i thought communism involved a hight level of government controle?

3. I read through the aims and principles and it all seems okay, but: ' We oppose organised religion and religious belief(s)' - Bit harsh? I mean, you could argue for ages as to wether religion is bad or not but religions a really general time and it seems alot's down to individual interpretation. Good people will use it for good uses, arseholes will use it as an excuse to do all sorts of rubbish. Also, doesn't this denay people a basic right.
(i think the idea of opposing organised religion is good as it allows people to get taken advantage of, i think their would be a lot of support for this amoungst religious communities). Sorry for asking such an inflamatory question straight away, but i think it's important.

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 24 2007 17:38

i'm not in the Anarchist Federation, but ...

1. some of the polls here will give you an idea of the user demographics

2. for us (i.e. libertarian communists/anarchist communists) government control is antithetical to communism because we see communism as a self-organised society organised to meet human needs. personally i see both liberal democracies and USSR/Cuba style systems as different forms of capitalism (the state taking on the role of the boss in the latter) [interestingly, Marxist-Leninists always claimed they wanted a stateless (i.e. anarchist) communism, but they needed a powerful state to create it - we all know how that turned out!]

3. the religion thing i'll leave up to AF people to answer

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pingtiao
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Jul 24 2007 17:51

Hello HeidiV

To answer your questions:
1. If you mean in the AF, there are people of all ages, from early teens to middle age... If you mean the website, here is a breakdown by age of a sample of the users

2. Not a stupid question- quite a few people think the same. The mistake comes from thinking that "Communism" means "the USSR" or "China", in the same way that it is a mistake to think that "The People's democratic Republic of Korea" is "democratic". To us, and millions of communists the world over, 'communism' means a society run to meet human needs directly by the people in it, without leaders or states, without bureaucracies or "representatives"- a good place to learn more about what we mean when we say this is this short introduction .

Longer introductions (highly recommended) are:
Anarchism: As we See It, by the AF
A Manifesto of Libertarian Communism

3. We are against authority, and so are against all institutions and cultural forms that reinforce authority and make people believe there is anything outside of themselves that they should look to to change their lives for the better. We believe that this is fundamentally disempowering.

I hope this has answered some of your questions Heidi!

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pingtiao
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Jul 24 2007 17:52

Ha- great minds Joseph!

HeidiV
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Jul 24 2007 18:46

Thanks guys thats made things a bit clearer

pingtiao wrote:
The mistake comes from thinking that "Communism" means "the USSR" or "China", in the same way that it is a mistake to think that "The People's democratic Republic of Korea" is "democratic".

Yeah, if you look communism up in an encyclopedia thats the definition that you will get. What you mean is a bit like the kolkhoz's should have been run. So the anarchist communes operate on this idea?

Joseph K. wrote:
[interestingly, Marxist-Leninists always claimed they wanted a stateless (i.e. anarchist) communism, but they needed a powerful state to create it - we all know how that turned out!]

Also interesting is that they never claimed to be communist, that was just the eventual aim, my question is what would that 'true communism' have meant had the USSR not collapsed : /

pingtiao wrote:
We are against authority, and so are against all institutions and cultural forms that reinforce authority and make people believe there is anything outside of themselves that they should look to to change their lives for the better. We believe that this is fundamentally disempowering.

Well, i can see the logic, perhaps theres something in that, but i don't think that goes for everyone, i still think religion is very much down to personal interperatation. Actually, i'm agnostic and don't like people trying to tell me to either believe or not to believe whatever.

So what is the structure of the AF?

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 24 2007 20:07
HeidiV wrote:
Also interesting is that they never claimed to be communist, that was just the eventual aim, my question is what would that 'true communism' have meant had the USSR not collapsed : /

i don't think the USSR would have ever made it after the failure of the initial revolution, save for another revolution against the regime (there were various uprisings, but they were crushed). the closest thing to anarchist communism that has actually existed was probably in the areas under anarchist control in the spanish revolution/civil war in 1936, where factories and lands were collectivised under direct workers' control (rather than nationalised by the state), and run on directly democratic lines. in terms of what society would look like 'after the revolution,' there are various different visions but what they have in common is they are based on self-organisation, direct-democracy/federalism and the principle of 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.' we certainly don't have all the answers, but we think the best way find them is to let the decisions be made by the people affected by them, hence direct democracy etc.

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madashell
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Jul 25 2007 20:49
HeidiV wrote:
So what is the structure of the AF?

Basically, the AF is made up of local groups and individuals who aren't close enough to a local group to join, we have an NDM every three months where we make decisions about the running of the federation (who's going to do the next few issues of resistance, what literature/stickers do we need to print/reprint, etc.), except for once a year when we have a conference, where we also make bigger decisions (changes to our Aims and Principles, what sort of strategies do we need to adopt, etc.). Certain roles and tasks (keeping in touch with members, responding to e-mail enquiries, editing our magazine) are delegated to elected officers with a clear mandate.

On the religion thing, it's not that we're telling anybody what to think, we just have a position as a federation that organised religion and organised religious beliefs (we really still need to work on the wording of that one, IMO) are opressive and irrational. People have a right to think whatever the hell they like, we also have a right to disagree wink

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Khawaga
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Jul 26 2007 10:23

Regarding religion. I am a Muslim (sufi) and an anarchist, and I don't really see much of a contradiction when it's just a personal affair.

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 26 2007 10:50

Anarchism is mystical in itself. One could believe in hobgoblins and there still wouldn’t be much of a contradiction, whether a personal affair or not.

nastyned
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Jul 26 2007 11:02

I've definitely seen anarchists, but I've never seen a hobgoblin (or god for that matter).

Battlescarred
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Jul 26 2007 13:03

I thought it was Marx that believed in hobgoblins. Correct translation of his "There is a spectre haunting Europe" was "There is a hobgoblin haunting Europe".

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Joseph Kay
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Jul 26 2007 13:13


the hobgoblin of communism

(sorry for the irreverence HeidiV wink)

HeidiV
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Jul 28 2007 10:34
Battlescarred wrote:
I thought it was Marx that believed in hobgoblins. Correct translation of his "There is a spectre haunting Europe" was "There is a hobgoblin haunting Europe".

anyone with a beard like that must have believed in hobgoblins