What's going on in AFed?

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Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
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Jan 23 2018 15:50
jondwhite wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Can anyone summarise which (splinter) group believes what?

At the risk of more downvotes, I don't suppose anyone can give a precis of this?

A gross oversimplification and more than a bit partisan, but...

AF remainers: moving in the direction of identity politics, more likely to talk in terms of "class oppression" when they do talk class politics. Possibly still some remainers who might have more in common with the Leavers.

Leavers (aka Communist Anarchism project - for now): reject identity politics, privilege theory, de-colonial bollocks and yer liberal intersectional shite. More likely to talk in terms of "capitalist exploitation" when we talk class struggle politics.

But don't take my word for it, check the websites:
Remainers: http://afed.org.uk/ (but bear in mind, the most recent article on there was written by... er... Leavers).
Leavers: https://communistanarchism.blogspot.co.uk/

doug
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Jan 23 2018 18:04
Serge Forward wrote:
AF remainers: moving in the direction of identity politics, more likely to talk in terms of "class oppression" when they do talk class politics.

Well, I can only speak for myself but this is a total distortion. I'm not interested in the politics of identity but a class struggle perspective, and communism. The difference is for me, and many others, feminism, anti-racism and so on can't just be tagged on to this but should be rooted in our analysis and practice.

We need to look at how class is articulated through 'race' and gender, at class composition not just in a technical sense but also in terms of the divisions constantly imposed on us, and at the material and not just ideological basis of 'oppression'. If we want to create a political unity it will come about through concrete struggles, of course, and through the collective empowerment of different groups leading their own struggles and being given solidarity and respect.

I agree with Andrew F about the massive need for us in Britain to understand and listen to those who have struggled against colonialism, for example. And the same goes for militant anti-racist struggles here.

If we don't do more to think about the working class and struggle in its diversity, and globally, then I don't think we have much of a chance of contributing to a unified movement, and we won't have a particular good understanding of how 'exploitation' happens.

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Steven.
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Jan 23 2018 19:39
Serge Forward wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Can anyone summarise which (splinter) group believes what?

At the risk of more downvotes, I don't suppose anyone can give a precis of this?

A gross oversimplification and more than a bit partisan, but...

AF remainers: moving in the direction of identity politics, more likely to talk in terms of "class oppression" when they do talk class politics. Possibly still some remainers who might have more in common with the Leavers.

Leavers (aka Communist Anarchism project - for now): reject identity politics, privilege theory, de-colonial bollocks and yer liberal intersectional shite. More likely to talk in terms of "capitalist exploitation" when we talk class struggle politics.

But don't take my word for it, check the websites:
Remainers: http://afed.org.uk/ (but bear in mind, the most recent article on there was written by... er... Leavers).
Leavers: https://communistanarchism.blogspot.co.uk/

yeah I really don't think this is a helpful explanation. I think Mike's links are much more useful, because this split was specifically precipitated by what happened at the Bookfair. Specifically the majority of the AF disagreed with the Leavers statement.

As with any organisation, there are internal disagreements in the AF. I have recently temporarily resigned, just because I'm not in the UK for a while.

It kind of looks like Serge is trying to trying to paint the Leavers as the legitimate heir of the AF's ultraleft internationalism. But on the flipside of this at least a few of the Leavers were people who joined the IWW, which some would argue was in conflict with the AF aim and principal regarding the unions.

Anyway I'm not trying to add to any beef here, just point out that I think Serge's comment is inaccurate and unhelpful

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Jan 23 2018 19:46

Doug #183

‘If we don't do more to think about the working class and struggle in its diversity, and globally, then I don't think we have much of a chance of contributing to a unified movement, and we won't have a particular good understanding of how 'exploitation' happens.’

Doug, I don’t think you understand just how patronising that sounds to anyone who considers themselves to be working class. If you have been a wage slave you understand ‘how exploitation happens’.

No amount of ‘thinking’ will enable me to share the ‘diversity’ of other people’s oppression. Also in all honesty, I don’t give a dam about how oppressed or exploited rich people are (poor Mrs Trump a rich man’s trophy wife), they shit on my class so to hell with them. The world is split between the haves and the have nots. The rest is just eye-wash.

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Jan 23 2018 19:52
Steven. wrote:
Anyway I'm not trying to add to any beef here, just point out that I think Serge's comment is inaccurate and unhelpful

To be fair, its useful in that it shows how one side (or one person on one side, at least) views the difference.

Auld-bod wrote:
I don’t give a dam about how oppressed or exploited rich people are

Can you quote the bit of someones post where they said anarchists should give a damn about this, please? Ive seen people talk about how working class people get treated like shit in different ways because of gender or race or whatever, but i must have missed the bit where someone said we should care about rich people, so if you could quote it for me that would be great, thanks.

Burgers
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Jan 23 2018 19:56
Steven. wrote:
But on the flipside of this at least a few of the Leavers were people who joined the IWW, which some would argue was in conflict with the AF aim and principal regarding the unions.

I always thought that, but can't remember anyone else in AF agreeing with me sadly, but then I've always been willing to swim against the stream.

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Auld-bod
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Jan 23 2018 20:09

Uncreative #186

'Can you quote the bit of someones post where they said anarchists should give a damn about this, please? Ive seen people talk about how working class people get treated like shit in different ways because of gender or race or whatever, but i must have missed the bit where someone said we should care about rich people, so if you could quote it for me that would be great, thanks.’

No you didn’t miss it, I was making my own position clear. I don’t imagine I can understand what it’s like to be a colonial subject, or a working class woman, etc., no matter how much I read. All I have is my own experiences.

doug
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Jan 23 2018 22:11

I'm not suggesting that w/c folk aren't all too familiar with the misery of work. I was talking about a group trying to update our theory on the bigger picture, of capitalism and resistance to it. Any one person's perspective of exploitation isn't irrelevent but obviously it's only a piece of the puzzle.

Putting theory aside though, I'd like libertarian communism to be well organised, and for us to make an effort to include and be active alongside many more different types of w/c people (and not rich people!?).

Mike Harman
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Jan 23 2018 22:39
Auld-bod wrote:
Doug, I don’t think you understand just how patronising that sounds to anyone who considers themselves to be working class. If you have been a wage slave you understand ‘how exploitation happens’.

No amount of ‘thinking’ will enable me to share the ‘diversity’ of other people’s oppression. Also in all honesty, I don’t give a dam about how oppressed or exploited rich people are (poor Mrs Trump a rich man’s trophy wife), they shit on my class so to hell with them. The world is split between the haves and the have nots. The rest is just eye-wash.

This reads about the same as 99%-ism. Simply dividing the world into haves and have nots fails to explain how divisions work to undermine struggles, why some groups of workers are more combative at different times, and it treats class as a social category rather than a relationship (i.e. literally a definition based on wealth/income differentials rather than exploitation through the systems of wage labour and capital).

Whereas we can learn from people's actual experiences (our own, comrades, historical experience) of how those divisions manifest and undermine struggles (content note: racism and sexual harassment in the following quotes):

1973:

Geoffrey Sheridan wrote:
There was a rumor circulating on the picket line at Standard Telephones and Cables that a shop steward in the Electricians’ Union had threatened Asian workers that if they joined the West Indians who were on strike, they would be reported to the police and deported [emphasis added].

Perhaps the rumour wasn’t true, but the strikers were quite prepared to believe it. there was, after all, only one white worker at STC’s North London factory who had come out in support of the West Indian machine setter the members of the Electricians’ Union were refusing to train.

..

It just so happens that half the 3,000 manual laborers at STC in North London are black, and although many of them have worked there for over 10 years, not one has been made a supervisor. Promotion of any kind - from the lower grade jobs to which the vast majority of West Indians and Asians are confined, to the skilled work which is virtually a white preserve - has involved organization and struggle on the part of the black workers themselves.
...

Roderick Adams, a young Jamaican, was the second to be selected, after five months’ vigorous negotiation, and last winter he started his 12-months training on the night-shift, where all the setters had joined the EPT. In July, after the AUEW setters on the day-shift had agreed to train a third black worker, the EPTU stewards immediately informed Adams that his training was at an end, and the management sent him home.

It was an open alliance between a racist management and racist white workers. ‘You are the niggers in the woodpile,’ the personnel manager subtly put it to the West Indian stewards, and the AUEW had little option but to make the strike for Adams’s reinstatement official. Two hundred West Indians came out, together with the white AUEW convener of shop stewards, Ted Corbett. It was the first strike at the plant for over 30 years.

https://libcom.org/library/standard-telephones-cables-strike-1973

Or in 1992:

Subversion wrote:
The Manchester Burnsall Strikers' Support Group has produced several leaflets which have been portraying this strike as a black issue (most of the strikers being Asian women) rather than a workers' issue. For instance their leaflets have slogans such as "Black Workers Fighting Back" and "Black Workers Demand JUSTICE" (sic); one of the leaflets relates that on one occasion "the strikers were attacked by three white scab workers from the factory". An approach such as this "support group" is taking is practically calculated to strengthen "racial" divisions and hatred between workers.

(I have no idea how the subversion author managed to read this as strengthening racial divisions and hatred, since they only mention 'black' and 'white' workers in those quotes, literally no other evidence is given, it'd be like not even mentioning the tensions around Polish workers at the Lindsey oil refinery dispute - either the attempted involvement of the BNP, or when Polish workers joined the strike, or when they were put on equal footing contractually at the end).

And from participants in one of the community support groups, not necessarily the one Subversion was talking about, I think there were several:

South Asia Solidarity Group wrote:
What these women face is not only the acute exploitation as sweat shop workers fight intense racism and blatant sexism not only from their own communities but from the well heeled white men who are their trade union officials. (In the whole of the West Midlands there is not a single black woman trade union official)

But the role of these men cannot simply be categorised as racist and sexist. Shackled by the law, prevented from calling mass pickets or sympathy strikes the trade union leadership appear to be quite happy doing the job demanded by them by the government and employers - keeping the workers under control. This at Burnsalls was done in a variety of ways - threats that the strikers would he arrested if they showed any militancy, keeping the strikers isolated by making sure that they did not attend any branch meetings and in fact did not know what their branch was, colluding with the police in their harassment of the strikers; consistently attacking anyone from the community who supported the strike, and finally of course calling off the strike soon after it began to show signs of becoming a major national issue. Britain's Trade Union leadership has for many decades played the role of managing the conflict between Labour and Capital Now they are doing this in the name of keeping within the law. The fact is that the laws governing and preventing industrial action are now draconian. Without mass pickets for example it is virtually impossible to win a strike and this means that no strike can he won within the law. In this situation the role of the trade union local officials at Burnsalls was simply to police the strikers and their supporters to try and prevent them from breaking the law.

‘We have to realise that the unions - the paid officials of the union - will not break the law to win strikes. But strikes cannot be won without breaking the law. This does not mean we cannot win strikes. We have to organise to force the employers ourselves. Independent action by the support group was the most effective thing in both pushing the union and frightening the employer.’ Burnsall strike supporter

https://libcom.org/history/burnsall-strike-glimpse-future-sarbjit-johal

Or 2014:

Rebecca Winter wrote:
All too often, survivors of sexual violence are greeted with disbelief, anger, and defensiveness when they should be believed and supported. This happens in left-wing groups, our social movements, our friendship circles, our workplaces, and countless other places in society. While most left-wing groups and movements share a stated opposition to sexism, this does not make them immune to the misogynist assumptions which underlie victim blaming and which often come up when people are confronted by sexual violence committed by their friends or political comrades.

https://libcom.org/library/silent-no-longer-confronting-sexual-violence-left-anarchist-affinity

Or 2017:

NRV Strike Testimonies wrote:
The next few days at work he asked me who I was going to take with me out to dinner with my gift
card. I told him my sister. He told me that if my sister canceled her plans with me, he would happily
take me to the restaurant, just the two of us. He brought this idea up at least two more times. He was upset when he found out I went with my family to the restaurant, instead of him. Also, since that day he would walk by my register and touch my lower back and whisper things like “you’re my favorite
cashier” in my ear. This was something he would do from time to time the two years I worked at the
store

[...]

I had come in on my day off to pick up my paycheck and was waiting for a manager to retrieve it when Butler came up to me, lifted up my shirt to my bra, and asked if he could see my new tattoo. I saw the people around me looking at me, with his hand on my shirt and my shirt pulled almost all the way up, and could do nothing but tell him about my new tattoo for fear of losing my job

https://nrvstrike.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/targettestimoniespdf1.pdf

The issue is not that Barack Obama can experience racism or Hillary Clinton sexism, but that racism and sexism manifest right through into the politics of workplaces and revolutionary organisations. And it doesn't just manifest via open racism and sexism, but also through indifference - i.e. writing off what happens to people because it doesn't match our own experiences and failing to challenge it sufficiently, which contributes to its persistence even if we're not personally doing it ourselves.

Spikymike
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Jan 24 2018 11:00

MH, Can't remember everything about the Manchester Burnsall Strikers Support group activity back then but the politics of that group were clearly from Subversion's point of view aimed at emphasising (for their own purposes) a 'racial' division rather than a collective class struggle one that had potential to gain wider support and possible extension of the struggle. Too late now to go into all the 'ins and outs' of that and maybe a more detailed article examining how the strikers and the unions themselves worked through that might have been better but your quoting this now doesn't really reinforce your argument.

Mike Harman
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Jan 24 2018 12:33

SpikeyMike:

It remains that the only online content by Subversion about that strike is attacking one of the support groups as "practically calculated to strengthen "racial" divisions and hatred between workers". And without the SASG article, it would be the only analysis of the strike that's online at all (there's a couple of mentions in mainstream articles, and a book on google books, that's it from what I can see - I know this because I was looking for things a few weeks ago and was really disappointed that this was all there was).

The SASG are critical of their own role in the dispute, and they emphasise that many of the problems were due to structural limitations on trade union politics (while acknowledging that Joe Quigley's dismissiveness of the mostly women asian workforce also reflected misogyny and racism, using someone's husband as an excuse to end the strike ffs) and the relative isolation of different workplaces. They propose 'new support networks from the community, unemployed workers, women's groups ... mass pickets' - precisely broadening the strike, if looking for support from different sections of the working class than industrial workers - something that's been a common feature of mass strikes since the 1870s - not dissimilar from your own assessment. Quite possible the Manchester Group did not do that, but Subversion doesn't mention any other support groups so we'd never know if SASG not written about it themselves.

The google books excerpt talks about 'separatist' politics in the London Support Group a bit and the tensions that arose over that - meaning creation of autonomous black and asian workers organisations along the lines of the Indian Workers Associations of the '40s-'70s. The IWAs weren't created due to an inherent separatist or communalist politics, but mainly in response to outright exclusion, then indifference from the mainstream trade unions. Doesn't mean that they were a successful model, but acknowledging the racism of mainstream trade unions in addition to their structural role against workers as a whole is not the thing that creates divisions.

Which comes back to Doug's point:

Doug wrote:
If we want to create a political unity it will come about through concrete struggles, of course, and through the collective empowerment of different groups leading their own struggles and being given solidarity and respect.
Spikymike
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Jan 25 2018 11:33

This discussion has moved away rather from it's inception but just wanted a brief comment on doug's post 183 and it's follow up as I think they are right to analyse 'race' and 'gender' within the framework of 'class composition' and it's material underpinning rather than an amalgam of borrowed 'identity' politics (something attempted rather better by for instance the Angry Workers group rather than Plan C), but basing a strategy and tactics through supporting ''..different groups leading their own struggles'' still leaves much to consider as to what that means in terms of a distinctive communist class struggle politics. Though not alone in this amongst anarchists, in the AF that seems sometimes to have been little more than an uncritical blanket 'we are with you' message on the assumption that all such struggles have an automatic common 'anti-capitalist' theme.
See also my brief comment here: https://libcom.org/library/moving-towards-solidarity-laurie-penny

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Jan 25 2018 16:56

So the identitarians who've taken over Afed would reject the label 'identitarian'?

Fleur
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Jan 25 2018 17:23

I have no dog in this race but I imagine that any member of AFed, past or present, would reject the label of identarian given that it's another way of saying white supremacist and has been eagerly adopted as a label by fash on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Jan 25 2018 17:52
jondwhite wrote:
So the identitarians who've taken over Afed

on what basis are you claiming this has happened?

Burgers
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Jan 25 2018 19:54

Someone uses a wrong term, (something I didn't know was linked to the far right either) and gets 6 down votes, rather than 6 helpful explanations, explaining the difference between identity politics that's been talked about above and the term identarian. Then you wonder why you are all in such a mess.

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jondwhite
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Jan 25 2018 20:03
Fleur wrote:
I have no dog in this race but I imagine that any member of AFed, past or present, would reject the label of identarian given that it's another way of saying white supremacist and has been eagerly adopted as a label by fash on both sides of the Atlantic.

I did not know the term was used in that way, and reading back my last post, mine was a stupid comment (probably the stupidest I've made here) anyway, sorry.

Mike Harman
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Jan 25 2018 21:47

Adolph Reed Jr. (and some other left-critics of identity politics, not sure who was first) has used 'identitarian' as well, here for example: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/08/bernie-sanders-black-voters-adolph-reed-trump-hillary

I think that might have been before Richard Spencer picked up the term - in which case the far right's use of it comes from the 'left critics of identity politics' genre.

The word was originally coined by Adorno, but the post '90s use of it is nothing to do with his usage (there's a very brief summary here: https://s0metim3s.com/2017/01/09/identitarianism/).

Reed and others who have been very influential in the 'identity politics is killing the left' debates are proposing specifically a social democratic politics in its place - class representation vs. identity representation. I tried to address that here: https://libcom.org/blog/identity-crisis-leftist-anti-wokeness-bullshit-22082017

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Jan 25 2018 22:44

Quote from Reed from 1996:

"In Chicago, for instance, we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program — the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance. I suspect that his ilk is the wave of the future in U.S. black politics."

Mike Harman
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Jan 26 2018 10:09

Quote from Reed in 2016:

Adolph Reed wrote:
The point is clear: We’ve done it before, and we can do it again. It is a matter of political will. We believe that Bernie Sanders’s candidacy can be a clarion call to galvanize millions of working- and middle-class Americans to fight for a policy vision that can invigorate the public, and make paramount our interests and concerns.

(he was a volunteer on the Labor for Bernie campaign).

Quote from Bookchin in 1986:

Bookchin wrote:
To dwell heavily on his well-known paranoia and suspicious reclusiveness beclouds the more important fact that he is a centralist, who is more committed to accumulating power in the mayor’s office than giving it to the people. To spoof him for his unadorned speech and macho manner is to ignore the fact that his notions of a “class analysis” are narrowly productivist and would embarrass a Lenin, not to mention a Marx. To mock his stolid behavior and the surprising conventionality of his values is to conceal his commitment to thirties’ belief in technological progress, businesslike efficiency, and a naive adherence to the benefits of “growth.”

...
Herein lies the greatest irony of all: all rhetoric aside, Bernard Sanders’ version of socialism is proving to be a subtle instrument for rationalizing the marketplace — not for controlling it, much less threatening it. His thirties-type radicalism, like Frankenstein’s “monster,” is rising up to challenge its own creator. In this respect, Sanders does not make history; more often than not, he is one of its victims. Hence to understand the direction he is following and the problems it raises for radicals generally, it is important to focus not on his rhetoric, which makes his administration so alluring to socialists inside and outside of Vermont, but to take a hard look at the realities of his practice.

Quote from Bernie in 2015:

Bernie Sanders wrote:
When you go to your public library, when you call your fire department or the police department, what do you think you’re calling? These are socialist institutions.

Quote from craftwork in 2017:

Craftwork wrote:
This new ideology is possessed of a certain underlying political logic, which tends to obscure the general, long-term, class perspective (i.e. struggle against the state/capital in general) in favour of the particular struggle (against a particular form of the state/capital - fascism); to overlook the long-term communist perspective and prioritise the immediate. In other words, it involves a mystification or distortion of the terms of class struggle (labour vs. capital/state), and their substitution for new terms (antifascist vs. fascist), and a redrawing of boundaries.

Quote from Adolph Reed in 2017:

Adolph Reed wrote:
From that perspective, it’s a little disappointing to notice how common the “never Hillary” line seems to be and the appeal that Jill Stein’s quixotic campaign seems to have for more than enough people on the left, including more than enough who are politically experienced and otherwise sophisticated themselves. I know the argument against lesser evilism as well as anyone and am not unsympathetic to it in principle. This will be the thirteenth presidential election in which I’ve been eligible to vote. In the previous twelve, I voted for the Democrat five times, beginning with McGovern, twice for third-party candidates and five times not at all. I have always been registered as a Democrat for the mundane reason that I’ve known that’s where most of my voting would be. I laid out my voting history up to that point in a column for The Progressive in 2000 on Ralph Nader’s candidacy, which I supported, not least because Gore’s selection of Joe Lieberman, who had led me in 1988 to cast my only vote ever for a Republican, as his running mate indicated where his commitments lay. Since then, I boycotted the presidential elections in 2004 and 2008 and in 2012 voted for Obama out of concern with the damage a Republican administration would inflict.

If we look at the past 7+ years, we've seen time and time again 'radical leftists' (including in the UK, not a few anarchists, Plan C etc.) get diverted into pedestrian social democratic politics - whether it's Corbyn, Bernie Sanders, Syriza. One of the primary ways these professional left spokespeople attempt to create an electoral constituency is to rail against 'neoliberalism' as a substitute for any critique of capital. Then beyond even this social democratic shite, there is the spectacle of Momentum activists out on the streets canvassing for the most right wing Labour MPs at the last general election, Novara Media on stage with Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry, or of Adolph Reed writing an entire column telling people to vote for the 'neoliberal warmonger' Hillary Clinton.

Really I'd expect people whose politics (whether anarchist or left communist) have been defined by a break with/opposition to social democracy, to be a bit more critical of social democrats and their regular attacks on feminist, queer and black communists (which very quickly flips to apologism for attacks on working class immigrants, increased funding for the police and prison system etc.), just because they can throw the word 'neoliberal' around and mount a superficial critique of the worst aspects of representational identity politics.

The most recent Angry Workers of the World blog gets into this a bit more from a different angle:

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Jan 26 2018 20:16

I remember going to an antifascist demonstration years ago, and one local youth who tagged along with us asked "are we the fascists or the antifascists?" grin

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Jan 31 2018 10:55

My experience of revolutionary communists, and to a lesser extent anarchists/anarchist communists who have thrown themselves into momentum/corbyn, is they have a miriad of explanations. (big tangent, I only no one former AF member this applies to, and they left a long while before this).

Generally 'should know better', but I can at least understand where they are coming from, even if I vehomently disagree.

1. They are tired of loosing, all the time.
Bar a few very minor victories, that haven't generally proved strategically important, the last 8 years have been a constant stream of austerity measures, growing state control measures, increasing racism, decreasing workers power, privatisation and on a global level 'peoples revolutions' turning into barbaric coups and civil wars.
They're just desperate for any victory. Even if that victory is just getting a social democrat into office.

2. Short Term Pragmatism
The belief that the maximum number of changes they can make to improve or save the lives of working class people in the UK will be by backing Corbyn. As in, upon his ordained rise to power, the changes he makes to the NHS, social welfare etc will massively outstrip the number, extent, and likely hood of sucess, of the changes they/we could have made through direct extra-parliamentary campaigning.

3. It's where all the working class people are
Going from your meeting of between 5 and 30 communists, to sitting in a hall full of 300 momentum enthusiasts (and thats only one of five groups in your city) is probably more of a buzz. The fact that only half a dozen of these 300 people will ever show up at a demo, picket line, or do organising work is glossed over.

4. SOCIAL DEMOCRACY IS COOL NOW
For the first time in a long while, certainly in my life time, there is a genuinely correct perception that social democracy and corbyn are now 'cool' with the 'youth'. For a long while it was revolution that was cool, but i guess we just aren't in vogue this year.

5. They have this great idea about infilitratig the party and bending it to their will...
of course more socialist and communist factions and groupings than I even knew existed have had the same idea. So whilst at its best its some kind of alliance to push labour left, at its worst its petty infighting, ego and power grabbing.

6. It's ok it won't go bad, this time.
I guess this sums up all the ideas... the belief that this time the revolutionaries will change the social-democrat party more than it changes them. That those at the top won't sell out. That their glorious leader won't be bogged down in beurocracy. That the pendulum won't just swing back to the right in five or ten years letting them undo any 'progress' made. That the rise of the glorious leader will support the rise of grass routes struggle, rather than subsume it into an endless game of door knocking, phone calling, leafleting, and uncritically singing the praises of the saviour

It's all rather depressing from the outside, but they just think I'm bitter.

Spikymike
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Jan 31 2018 12:54

If the 'Communist Anarchism' comrades that have split from the mainstream AF are intending to carry out a critical review of their past experience in the AF (and formerly ACF) then in addition to re-considering the AF's organisational structure they might also find these two older related discussions of the AF's politics worth another look:
https://libcom.org/blog/some-more-thoughts-national-question-17012012 and
https://libcom.org/library/frontline-redux-problem-unions
especially if they are to continue using or re-using some of the material that they have themselves previously contributed as part of the AF.

Battlescarred
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Jan 31 2018 17:59

Why was the previous post voted down twice?, The mysteries of libcom.

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Khawaga
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Jan 31 2018 18:34

Some people just doesn't like (a) Spikeymike (which I find hard to believe since s/he's one of the more polite posters here) and/or (b) the AF splitters (are they called the AC?).

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Feb 1 2018 16:04

With the down votes I don't really know why people would do that on that post. However from an admin perspective, this is a warning: down votes are to be used on the comments which are abusive or in breach of site guidelines.

Admins can see who give down votes, and users who abuse the down vote system to try to bully other users will be warned and/or banned, so please desist.

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 1 2018 17:34

Steven and all,
I refused to use either the up or down 'votes' system for ages but gave in after a while, especially if someone posted a really good or daft item, and probably have misused it since like many others so your reminder is welcome.

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rat
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Joined: 16-10-03
Feb 2 2018 22:11

Anyway...

"What's going on in AFed?"...

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Alf
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Joined: 6-07-05
Feb 5 2018 14:33

We wrote an article, 'Reflections on the split in the Anarchist Federation'. Thought it better to step back and present it as a more reflective piece, rather than jump into the discussion here. But quite willing to engage here with any comments on or criticisms of the article.

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201802/14822/reflections-split-anarchist-federation

el psy congroo
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Joined: 17-11-16
Feb 5 2018 17:17
Alf wrote:
We wrote an article, 'Reflections on the split in the Anarchist Federation'.

Oh. Oh, boy. Haha. That's good!

The irony is -- if anyone had written something like this about the splits happening in the ICC, specifically the Mexican and Latin American sections, they'd be immediately castigated and chastised as reckless and parasitic enemies of the "international proletariat" (whoever the fuck that even refers to anymore).