What initiatives do the Lib Com'ers propose?

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raw
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Jul 21 2005 15:01
What initiatives do the Lib Com'ers propose?

Even though I rarely post on these boards and that WOMBLES has been deleted from the links page (for a personal disagreement), I still take interest in the discussions on here to see where people are going, what ideas are forming and any practical reliasations which are being proposed.

I am stil however looking for what IS being proposed by the "Libertarian Communists" as an alternative to summit mobilisations, though I think this is a false dualism.

There is also some other things that need to be said regarding the capacities and capabilities of groups/collectives associated with particular politics/praxis. To me, groups/collectives that are engaged with pratical projects (social centres, direct actions, summit mobilisations) create the resources (skills, infrastructure, finances) and networks (connections between groups, personal contacts, visible presence, interactions with non-@ ppl and groups). This makes it easier and more possible to organise things on a much larger scale. Though without the poltiical critique and analysis the impact of events/action will be less.

I wanted to ask the Lib Com'ers, do you think that this is neccesary i.e. to have these skills, resources, infrastructure and do you see this being created via the actions/acitivities of Libertarian Communist Politics?

Going back to the G8 summit mobilisations and also the DISSENT! NETWORK, what has been created (.i.e. in reality) in a connection and relationship between people (some in organised groups) from different citites across the UK and beyond, some of which are based in Social Centres. There has been alot of talk about who the people were going up to Scotland, what they do, what they think, but all I have read here is ultra-leftist reaction to what was actually achieved. Here is a short text from some comardes from newcastle regarding the eco-village:

"The Stirling camp and the actions gave a big fucking shot in the arm for us on Tyneside. Loads of people ended up in our neighbourhood/barrio that we new and that we didn't know. It was a demonstration of how our Social Centre could work. After a year of difficulties trying to get a building, it all seems so much more likely now with the bigger pool of enthused folk who are up for it."

So you see here that some people who went to the eco-village, as an organised group with political projections beyond the summit, are the in process of realising something in their locality due to the increased participation of peeople VIA THE G8 MOBILISATIONS.

So this is a success surely. This experience was felt also amongst people in Brighton (that mobilised around 150-200 people from Brighton), Leeds "common place" and also on some level from London people who mobilised upwards of 600-700 people.

I by no means saying it was perfect thing (does such a thing exist?) , and I personally have big problems with what happened up there BUT I can at least recognise that a process exists, of political experimenetation and development, no doubt the same process that the AYN/Lib Com people came from and seem to not acknowledge. Especially when people who were involved during the PRAGUE-MAYDAY-GENOA period and got involved in "protests" became Libertarian Communists (I could easily say that this was a failure of those anti-summit mobilisations!).

Anyway, await the response

Rcircle Aw

raw
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Jul 21 2005 15:17

"Do Something!"

You've been listening to the G8 Gorilla!

If you and Lib Com people are spending a lot of time saying what shouldn't be done or creating a benchmark of success or failure on alot of things that are done then I am merely asking a question within that context, to make myself understand where people are coming from. Thats why I came to the Community Activist Gathering, to find out more, to debate and to contribute mainly because I think that there has to be a process of learning between peoples different experiences, so people break out of their (or someone elses) box.

Secondly, I think alot of what Lib Com people have said surrounding community organising is similar (in a very theoritical way) in what I adhere too about class struggle not being confined in the workplace but being socialised i.e. that capital has expanded vertical (as well as horizontally) to all areas of life. I do disagree on what community is, and how local (geographically it is), but anyhow thats for the next questions.

Answer these first, by the way I not trying to make anyone thing like me are agree but to understand things.

R circle A W

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 21 2005 15:23

it was definately a learning experience with regards the experience and implemenation of direct democracy and i think that events such as the G8 have been a starting place for the radicalisation of many people either simply through witnessing the events through the media or attending them and learning how ideals such as direct democracy can work in practice, however these events cannot take precednce over meaningful organisation at an everyday level and i doubt i'd attend another event like this again unless i was in the vicinity.

Mitch
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Jul 21 2005 15:28
raw wrote:
"Do Something!"

You've been listening to the G8 Gorilla!

If you and Lib Com people are spending a lot of time saying what shouldn't be done or creating a benchmark of success or failure on alot of things that are done then I am merely asking a question within that context, to make myself understand where people are coming from. Thats why I came to the Community Activist Gathering, to find out more, to debate and to contribute mainly because I think that there has to be a process of learning between peoples different experiences, so people break out of their (or someone elses) box.

Secondly, I think alot of what Lib Com people have said surrounding community organising is similar (in a very theoritical way) in what I adhere too about class struggle not being confined in the workplace but being socialised i.e. that capital has expanded vertical (as well as horizontally) to all areas of life. I do disagree on what community is, and how local (geographically it is), but anyhow thats for the next questions.

Answer these first, by the way I not trying to make anyone thing like me are agree but to understand things.

R circle A W

Huh confused

Does this mean you'd be a willing volunteer to go in the Stocks at our Accrington summer festival at the end of July? eek

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 21 2005 15:33
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A = Here, now, capitalism.

B = There, Workers' control, socialism.

How does doing X action help you move from A-B. If it doesn't, it's balls.

if its that simple jack then surely everything that has gone, particularly in britain, is balls? As in most places workers have less say over how production is controlled/how/where they work. Surely some actions have a subtle effect or an effect that cant be measured in the present, for example i'd say the dissemination of a lot of propaganda cant be said to directly help us move for A to B beause it hasnt lead to workers control but you can say that a change in peoples ideas is a necessary prerequisite for workers control and therefore distributing propaganda/ad-busting etc can have some sort of effect in the long term.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 21 2005 15:58
Quote:
Quote:

ad-busting etc

No. Fuck off you hippie twat.

wandered why you admitted that from the previous quote.....waht you trying to say, dont you think that ad-busting (i know it has a lot of negative connotaions, notably those people who see it as an end in itself and spend huge sums of money creating cmputer generated counter ads and shit) can have a role to play as a means of propaganda? What if you were to not simply attack the commodity in question but highlight a struggle at the factory where said commodity is produced in an ad-bust? Would that be worth while propaganda?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 21 2005 16:10
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However, how many people are actually going to base their political viewpoint of something on what some hippie cunt subverts on a billboard? Seriously?

your only angry because you dont have the artistic ability to pull off a corporate spanking ad-bust tongue

admitted most ad-busts are cringeworthy shit but thats because most people who do it have shit politics, this doesnt mean they all have to be whining liberal splodges of wank.

sovietpop
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Jul 21 2005 18:29
Jack wrote:
I'm sure we've aquainted you with A-B theory before. Mostly, that's our benchmark.

A = Here, now, capitalism.

B = There, Workers' control, socialism.

How does doing X action help you move from A-B. If it doesn't, it's balls.

I personally also like to back it up with the "Next door neighbour test", whereby, if I explain my action to my neighbour, and don't get sectioned/arrested/punched in the face/door slammed/called a nutter, then you're in good territory.

You are avoiding the question. Raw asked you what you proposed doing. ie what is the X action that you are engaged in that you think will help move from A-B?

Mike Harman
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Jul 21 2005 19:00

Dunno Jack, it might help in a strike/boycott combo situation, probably wouldn't hurt anyway. The perfect combination of workplace, community and activist-ist politics.

Except to do that, you'd have to have a co-ordinated strike/community boycott in the first place to support, and it'd help to be directly involved in them if you were going to support it with publicity.

Raw, I agree with Jack that specific G8 stuff should be discussed in light of the G8 threads he linked to. I'll try to answer this bit of your question anyway.

Quote:

To me, groups/collectives that are engaged with pratical projects (social centres, direct actions, summit mobilisations) create the resources (skills, infrastructure, finances) and networks (connections between groups, personal contacts, visible presence, interactions with non-@ ppl and groups).

With Hackney Independent, we distribute about 8000 newsletters, door-to-door across Haggerston and Hoxton, at least 4 times per year with other information going out in specific areas or about specific issues. Plus we regularly do surveys (door knocking, speaking directly to people about issues that affect them), and intervene with both groups and individuals about issues they have - about stuff like city academies, housing transfers, anti-social behaviour, community facilities etc. We also directly provide a community facility in the form of the Kids Cinema which happens during most school holidays.

This is sustained, regular contact with people, about a wide variety of issues that directly affect them, to a lesser extent we also put people in the community in touch with each other so they can deal with shared issues together - that's obviously being worked on all the time. It's also stuff which they/we have a chance of affecting with some collective action, providing material gains if successful which builds self-confidence generally, and raises the profile/respect that HI has.

With a real lack of communication within localised communities, even the most basic process of getting to know people around you is a step forward IMO, since it's the only basis on which struggles can be fought successfully- there has to be a degree of knowledge/trust beforehand if people are to get involved.

HI isn't a self-styled libertarian communist organisation, and not all it's members are revolutionary even. But overall in terms of practical activity I'd rather see sustained (and sustainable), self-organised activity by people directly trying to deal with the effects of capital and the state on their own lives and those around them, even if none of those people call themselves anarchists or libertarian communists, than the specialism that pervades summit protests. At this stage, realistically, most activity is going to be defensive in one way or another (even if it looks offensive), so general politicisation is as important to me as it's development towards a libertarian communist position.

I think to win people over to our particular brand of politics, they have to be already interested in radical politics in some way, and therefore receptive to propaganda or argument. Which is why I'm involved in this site. I'd like to see this site supporting the publicisation and networking of workplace and local politics much more than it does (although the Community Action gathering included a lot of posters from here) - so there's more of a direct link between history/propaganda/discussion and practical politics, and easier movement for new people from one to the other.

I personally did not get interested in anarchism through summit protests by the way. Although I did meet some libcom people on that big anti-war march for the first time (pre-arranged through the AYN site iirc).

sovietpop
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Jul 21 2005 19:02

thanks for the info catch

Mike Harman
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Jul 21 2005 19:24

Except that Jack's been doing it about 70 miles away from me, which means people in the same group running this website are putting similar politics into practice over a wide geographical area. The basis of community/workplace stuff working is that it's actually national or international politics effected at the level where people can actually make a difference as individuals.

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Jul 21 2005 19:41
Jack wrote:
I personally also like to back it up with the "Next door neighbour test", whereby, if I explain my action to my neighbour, and don't get sectioned/arrested/punched in the face/door slammed/called a nutter, then you're in good territory.

all my neighbors were really exited for us for going to edinburgh, they were really supportive. So it passed the neighbour test with flying colours.

raws post was a good one and deserves proper answers instead of dismissing it with abuse.

Perhaps the libcom elite thinks that i have shit politics anyway, but personally i support much more tolerant and diverse attitude to what we do. The latest G8 was my first and perhaps the last summit thing, but i was definitely happy that i took part (though small one, but still) and was inspired by many things what happened there (mainly just walking down the street seeing many people with heart in right place seeking, searching and learning). I wrote this to another thread already, but i think the attack of some people against the G8 mobilisations is based on false grounds and at least for me it looked like the expectations and goals were much more realistic and there was understanding from all people i spoke to that the power of that mobilisation is in what happens afterwards, the networking, ideas and inspiration which will be used in local groups and campaigns.

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Jul 21 2005 19:51

if folk want to do stuff on adverts, and it's the only thing that they do, why criticise them for that

would people rather they didn't do it? that they didn't do any single, however small, act of defiance, that they stayed good little citizens

so what if it achieves fuck all in terms of your glorious class struggle (which to be fair on that measurement 99% of stuff would achieve fuck all, regardless whose doing it)

slagging folk off who do that, appears reactionary as fuck to me and is typical of some of the sactimonious self righteous shite that i read on here from time to time

Mike Harman
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Jul 21 2005 20:03
oisleep wrote:
if folk want to do stuff on adverts, and it's the only thing that they do, why criticise them for that

Some of them produce glossy magazines sold internationally which provide examples of their work to the wider marketing community, leading to them getting high paid corporate jobs. These and many other forms of activity are often put forward as revolutionary political activity in propaganda as well, and are hence legitimate targets for discussion - or at least the people who self-publicise in this way are.

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Jul 21 2005 20:07

so you'd rather a nation of good little compliant citizens then? rather that than someone start off with something they feel comfortable with and then, maybe move on to other things, maybe not but there is a chance, you'd rather snuff it out there though, nip it in the bud before they got a chance to even see if they feel comfortable with one thing before moving onto another

so are "true" class strugglers born then? not influenced by their material conditions, and able of progression through different stages of self awareness?

show me one (out of over a thousand) post on here where i put effort into slagging respect?

your so fixiated with not allowing people to give anarchism a bad name, i don't give a fuck about a name

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Jul 21 2005 20:09
Catch wrote:
oisleep wrote:
if folk want to do stuff on adverts, and it's the only thing that they do, why criticise them for that

Some of them produce glossy magazines sold internationally which provide examples of their work to the wider marketing community, leading to them getting high paid corporate jobs. These and many other forms of activity are often put forward as revolutionary political activity in propaganda as well, and are hence legitimate targets for discussion - or at least the people who self-publicise in this way are.

well i didn't mean them folks then embarrassed

Mike Harman
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Jul 21 2005 20:24

http://www.adbusters.org/home/

And they have their own stock market floated shoe company.

http://adbusters.org/campaign_blogs/content/view/55/47/

These aren't teenagers with spraypaint, it's a whole developed form of "anti-corporate" marketing to newly radicalised niche consumers - people who are continually told by these fairly powerful organisations that buying non-corporate trainers etc. will fix the capitalist system so it becomes non-exploitative. Would you prefer that this kind of activity was allowed to go un-opposed from our perspective? So all those people who genuinely are people just starting off, end up thinking that the best way to deal with capitalism is to float your own company on the stock market and not have a logo on your products?

raw
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Jul 21 2005 20:48

Thanks for the reply, I think that was the clearest answer I got from anyone involved on these boards.

Mike Harman
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Jul 21 2005 20:52

raw. My views aren't necessarily exactly the same as other people on libcom (although we're pretty much in agreement on this sort of stuff, just don't mention syndicalism). Since you've got what you consider to be a clear answer, I'd appreciate if you could outline what you agree/disagree with.

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Jul 21 2005 21:10
Jack wrote:
oisleep wrote:
the gallows for galloway!
oisleep wrote:
i find it pretty tedious to be honest, fawning over union leaders and the like, has galloway still got a column in it, there's another reason not to indulge!
oisleep wrote:
(On Linsey German) yeah, though personally there's nothing wrong with getting good healthy food, it's the way she uses it as a badge to show how culturally tuned in she is with whatever grouping she's taking a fancy to

Bored of this now...

sorry i'm waiting for some evidence of me having a dig at respect, the first quote was close, the second was about the morning star, the third was about an odious individual not an organisation....

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Jul 21 2005 21:13
Jack wrote:
oisleep wrote:
so you'd rather a nation of good little compliant citizens then?

So what, the choice is either, they're 'good little compliant citizens', or they're activists abstracted from any means of affecting societal change?

Given that choice, I couldn't give a flying fuck anymore than I could between who is more Popular, the Libertines or the Kaiser Chiefs.

Quote:

rather that than someone start off with something they feel comfortable with and then, maybe move on to other things, maybe not but there is a chance, you'd rather snuff it out there though, nip it in the bud before they got a chance to even see if they feel comfortable with one thing before moving onto another

But we're not Trots, we're not trying to recruit to some ideology or movement. We're trying to encourage a living tendancy within the class, and that isn't going to come about from activists telling you how bad capitalism is, man.

Quote:

so are "true" class strugglers born then?

uh... I'd assume so, I don't really believe in immaculate conception?

Quote:
not influenced by their material conditions, and able of progression through different stages of self awareness?

Yea, it's a great point you have there. For example, the Miners during the great strike - their solidarity came because they'd learned to D-lock themselves to arms fairs years beforehand.

"true" Class strugglers, as you put it, generally emerge from being part of the class struggle. From their experiences of oppresion and capital. Not because some cunt subverted an advert.

Quote:

show me one (out of over a thousand) post on here where i put effort into slagging respect?

I'll go have a look.

Quote:

your so fixiated with not allowing people to give anarchism a bad name, i don't give a fuck about a name

No I'm not. Most of the time I don't even call myself an anarchist, innit. Anarchism already has a bad name. However, I do care that their ridiculous antics tar anyone trying to build a better society beyond capitalism. But mostly, it's not so much that it's a bad thing, more that it's a total fucking waste of time, and I'd rather not see young people interested in radical change sucked into that shite and more likely than not end up despirited and burned out.

yeah true

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Jul 21 2005 21:21

bingo!

i couldn't really be arsed to be fair

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Jul 21 2005 21:21

jack, just a question for you mate: how do you define sectarianism?

Also, do you also oppose groups such as SAC in sweden, COBAS in Italy, CNT in Spain because they take part to activities which you so despise?

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oisleep
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Jul 21 2005 21:27

that's why i despise you

raw
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Jul 21 2005 21:29
Quote:

With Hackney Independent, we distribute about 8000 newsletters, door-to-door across Haggerston and Hoxton, at least 4 times per year with other information going out in specific areas or about specific issues. Plus we regularly do surveys (door knocking, speaking directly to people about issues that affect them), and intervene with both groups and individuals about issues they have - about stuff like city academies, housing transfers, anti-social behaviour, community facilities etc. We also directly provide a community facility in the form of the Kids Cinema which happens during most school holidays.

IT sounds good. How do you intervene though? And do you intervene on behalf of the people in your community on that issue? Have HI ever done actions which are direct and not mediated though lobbying the council? What is your view on anti-social behaviour/CCTV/police, what do you say to people? <--sorry for the amount of questions!

Quote:

This is sustained, regular contact with people, about a wide variety of issues that directly affect them, to a lesser extent we also put people in the community in touch with each other so they can deal with shared issues together - that's obviously being worked on all the time. It's also stuff which they/we have a chance of affecting with some collective action, providing material gains if successful which builds self-confidence generally, and raises the profile/respect that HI has.

This is perhaps a problem I have with an political party like HI, which does this type of work (activism?) and at the same time tries build up the image of itself. For what purpose? To win elections?

Quote:

With a real lack of communication within localised communities, even the most basic process of getting to know people around you is a step forward IMO, since it's the only basis on which struggles can be fought successfully- there has to be a degree of knowledge/trust beforehand if people are to get involved.

I agree with this, that was the central idea behind some of the Social centres that I have been involved in. When people know who you are and what they can come to talk to you about, you can reallly see the potential of acting with people on issues affecting their lives. For example, we were approached at the "Radical Dairy" by parents of a local nursery that needed help squatting their nursery after it got closed down by hackney council, or friends of Kebba Jobe (killed by pigs) who asked us to support the march. At present I think that this connection (socio-politically based) has a greater potential via Social Centres (or rather spaces which offer a self-organised presence, outside state/council control which is antagonistical) than some political groups.

Quote:

HI isn't a self-styled libertarian communist organisation, and not all it's members are revolutionary even. But overall in terms of practical activity I'd rather see sustained (and sustainable), self-organised activity by people directly trying to deal with the effects of capital and the state on their own lives and those around them, even if none of those people call themselves anarchists or libertarian communists, than the specialism that pervades summit protests. At this stage, realistically, most activity is going to be defensive in one way or another (even if it looks offensive), so general politicisation is as important to me as it's development towards a libertarian communist position.

Ok, well I'm not a Libertaran Communist though I no doubt have sympathies. I don't buy this defensive tag, I think that anti-G8 was offensive, I think any act of resistance no matter how big or small is by its nature offensive.

Quote:

I think to win people over to our particular brand of politics, they have to be already interested in radical politics in some way, and therefore receptive to propaganda or argument. Which is why I'm involved in this site. I'd like to see this site supporting the publicisation and networking of workplace and local politics much more than it does (although the Community Action gathering included a lot of posters from here) - so there's more of a direct link between history/propaganda/discussion and practical politics, and easier movement for new people from one to the other.

To be honest, anything that isn't slagging people off or childish bullshit (jack?) is better.

Quote:

I personally did not get interested in anarchism through summit protests by the way. Although I did meet some libcom people on that big anti-war march for the first time (pre-arranged through the AYN site iirc).

How did you get interested in anarchism then?

R circle A w

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Jul 21 2005 21:30

adbusters is also the first group i actually saw directly (rather than people telling me some anecdote) compare the meat industry to the holocaust. i'd forgotten how very much i hate them.

oisleep, i don't think jack is actively going out and slapping down all the fifteen year old kids in hoodies spraying "fuck nike" on bilboards and thinking of forming the network of anarchist youth or whatever, and i doubt many of them will bother too much with these boards when they're around that stage of self-awareness. there were some places to discuss serious class struggle politics back when i thought the best thing about anarchism was because they set fire to coppers, i just didn't pay them that much attention. if it isn't just a rebelious phase before they get on with one of those things called a life, i doubt they'll hold jack's words against the rest of the libcom site when they come looking for something with half a chance of really making a difference, so it's a fairly daft arguement really.

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Jul 21 2005 21:33
Jack wrote:
raw wrote:

To be honest, anything that isn't slagging people off or childish bullshit (jack?) is better.

Perhaps you can come round with the boys to sort me out.

confused

sovietpop
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Jul 21 2005 21:56
Jack wrote:
raw wrote:

To be honest, anything that isn't slagging people off or childish bullshit (jack?) is better.

Perhaps you can come round with the boys to sort me out.

Purlease jack, there is the hint of a half way interesting political debate starting here, why are you trying to derail it? Instead of throwing around one-liners, why not answer some of the questions asked, or ask your own, or throw out a suggestion or a political comment?

raw
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Jul 21 2005 22:00

Jack, why don't you just stop posting and go somewhere else?

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pingtiao
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Jul 21 2005 22:04
sovietpop wrote:

Purlease jack, there is the hint of a half way interesting political debate starting here, why are you trying to derail it? Instead of throwing around one-liners, why not answer some of the questions asked, or ask your own, or throw out a suggestion or a political comment?

I agree. Could you stop being the controvertial-ist Jack?

redyred
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Jul 21 2005 23:03
raw wrote:
I am stil however looking for what IS being proposed by the "Libertarian Communists" as an alternative to summit mobilisations, though I think this is a false dualism.

Why should we have a specific alternative as such? We have our ways of organising and we achieve things. G8 summit protesting is not a part of this.

Quote:
I wanted to ask the Lib Com'ers, do you think that this is neccesary i.e. to have these skills, resources, infrastructure and do you see this being created via the actions/acitivities of Libertarian Communist Politics?

You're talking in broad vague terms. Essentially it seems the only skills being learnt by Dissent/anti-G8 protesters was gathering people from a vague political persuasion together in one place on a national and (to a lesser degree) international level. Is this a useful skill to have? I don't think so.

Quote:
So you see here that some people who went to the eco-village, as an organised group with political projections beyond the summit, are the in process of realising something in their locality due to the increased participation of peeople VIA THE G8 MOBILISATIONS.

So this is a success surely...

It seems like a very roundabout way of getting that result. To be honest I don't think you would be making this sort of argument if it wasn't for being challenged by libertarian communists. I mean no-one went up to Gleneagles/Edinburgh because they specifically wanted to radicalise people on local politics in Stirling. If as much time and effort had been put into direct community organising as was into G8 protests the results in communities would have been infinately vaster.

Quote:
I can at least recognise that a process exists, of political experimenetation and development, no doubt the same process that the AYN/Lib Com people came from and seem to not acknowledge. Especially when people who were involved during the PRAGUE-MAYDAY-GENOA period and got involved in "protests" became Libertarian Communists (I could easily say that this was a failure of those anti-summit mobilisations!).

A pointless argument. As I've said before on another thread, loads of people who are now libertarian communists (or anarchists, or whatever) had their first taste of radical politics in the SWP. Does that mean we should continue to support the SWP because of the right-on people it has produced?