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London AF Discussion Meetings

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Battlescarred
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Jan 18 2014 20:12
London AF Discussion Meetings

Forthcoming discussions organised by London Group of Anarchist Federation:

Thursday February 13th at AF office,Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 ( nearest tube Aldgate East)

Nelson Brandela: Mandela, Che Guevara, and the Cult of Personality

to be followed every month ( at same venue) by

1. Student unrest : ULU, Sussex and beyond

2. Crisis on the left: the ongoing crisis within the Leninist left and its repercusssions

3. Anarcha-feminism: women's liberation, now and in the future society

4. Anarchists and the workplace

5. You've never had it so bad: Attacks on the working class

6. An ever receding horizon: Utopia and the world we dream of

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rat
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Jan 18 2014 23:29

Nice...
London AF group have sorted out some excellent areas for theoretical debates.
Is there a regular time for these discussion meetings at Freedom?

Battlescarred
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Jan 19 2014 13:42

7pm onwards

jolasmo
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Jan 19 2014 18:10

Looks awesome. Will London be making recordings or transcripts of these available online, by any chance? Sounds like it could be some interesting discussion.

~J.

Battlescarred
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Jan 19 2014 20:14

will think of doing that

Battlescarred
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Mar 3 2014 16:32

ANARCHIST FEDERATION DISCUSSION MEETINGS

March 13th
Student unrest – We look at the recent waves of unrest among students in Britain – guests invited from student anarchist groups
April 24th
Crisis on the left- we look at the recent developments in the SWP and elsewhere and what it may mean for the development of the revolutionary movement
May 8th
Anarcha-feminism- Social revolution cannot be achieved without women’sliberation. This perspective has to be essential to a revolutionary anarchist movement
June 12th
Anarchists and the workplace- how do we organise in the workplaces- in or outside the unions? Or both? We discuss this problem
All meetings will take place on Thursdays from 7pm at Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street (nearest tube Aldgate East)
www.afed.org.uk London@afed.org.uk BM Anarfed London WC1N3XX

Battlescarred
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Mar 12 2014 14:04

Tomorrow
March 13th
Student unrest – We look at the recent waves of unrest among students in Britain – guests invited from student anarchist groups

gamerunknown
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Mar 14 2014 01:14

Blargh, just remembered after the pub meeting that the Nietzsche quote referred to a "whip", not a riding crop - I was conflating it in my memory with Goldman's own attack on Most with a riding crop (hope this is an appropriate place to discuss the meetings, btw? Also, thanks for hosting! Was fascinating to hear about different conditions in Nottingham, King's, SOAS and Harvard...).

Edit: Also my comment on dependence was a little insipid - mutual dependence is a necessity of a mass society. Any form of interaction requires at least "negative" dependence for both parties to emerge unscathed. It's just that domination and independence are incompatible, no matter what Nietzsche claimed in "Beyond Good and Evil".

As for the public attitude to the cuts - I agree that a prospective voter's apparent support for political parties touting policies inimical to their interests is not instructive. UKIP post leaflets about Tory millionaires to garner support (sadly replicated on Class War), declining to agitate around the issue of a flat tax and £77bn in cuts. Miliband regards the cuts as necessary too. For what its worth, some polling agencies do depict the public as supportive of the cuts. Chomsky has pointed out elsewhere that these types of polls tend to ask the wrong questions. The YouGov question is quite useful in that it asks about current government cuts, but limited to the extent that it asks whether its good for the economy. Similar results abound in the US, but when the services are itemised, there's overwhelming support for programs such as social security and medicare, with a plurality at least supporting expansion of these services. The only public services without majority support are for the arts and foreign aid (which again, would probably alter given itemisation). Just for emphasis, opposing cuts is not "left-wing". Even expanding public services is merely reforming a system of state capitalism. Which is an insidious effect of the entire discourse about the issue, shifting debate rightward.

Otherwise, attempting to discover why people promulgate positions inimical to their own interests is a fascinating topic. I'll skip over "biopathism", both Reichean and rooted in "conservative disgust", since a libertarian can't really organise against genes. There are numerous theoretical explanations - one would be the "fundamental attribution error" as being more prominent among conservatives (a belief that all benefits accrued by an individual are the result of their own merit - the right libertarian's concept of "dessert", while all disasters are precisely that - a misalignment of the stars, caused by some confluence of circumstances and external actors). Another possibility is that of a belief in the Lassalean "Iron Law of Wages", the notion that increased pay will be pernicious in that it will lead to rising commodity costs and inflation. The same style of misconceptions treat the debt as indicative of the health of an economy, or even in more sophisticated form, the debt to GDP ratio, which is essentially tosh. If you peruse the debt:GDP of these countries and compare them to QALI, there's essentially no relation. Pannekoek points out that you don't see generals surrender on the basis of unserviceable debts - war-time production is a condition where the state actually mobilises and organises, demonstrating conclusively the ideological nature of insistence on cuts (particularly their timing).

FWIW, I have to point out that early retirement doesn't leave "gaps" in the labour market. I know that everyone is aware of this, but it should be emphasised. The current state of unemployment isn't due to young people not staying in education or the old persistently refusing to move on, but conscious political decisions to choose to service debt or prevent inflation above providing employment. Should we wish to organise society rationally and freely, it wouldn't require a bunch of people retiring to combat youth unemployment, merely everyone reducing their hours of work so that individuals could contribute according to their capacity. Of course, a combination of debt and unemployment leads to a harried and cautious workforce, which provides a massive boon to employers in terms of reticence to strike or agitate even though outcomes are worse for everyone else.

Double edit: The debt discharge is real. Incidentally, I'd always assumed UK debt was relatively tame as compared to US debt, but I was apparently mistaken. Tuition fee charges of £9k a year would be almost $45k at course completion, significantly more than the mean US bachelors debt.