What initiatives do the Lib Com'ers propose?

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cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
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Jul 22 2005 10:54
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

Its a fairly conservative area (although its a labour seat) and apart from fighting the fash there seems to be little of relevance to associate ourselves with.

Are you sure? Where are you from? Surely theres always roadworks, service closures, council funds shenanigans, hospital/education issues going on?. Its not always on some rapid or large scale, and your not always going to win or even make much headway on some issues, but theres always something happenning.

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 10:56
sovietpop wrote:

It seems to me that the HI and the social centre approach is quite similar, but one thing I'd be concerned about is for both anarchism (or libertarian communism if you prefer) seems to something that is kept under the counter (please correct me if this is a impression is incorrect). I would be worried that this means that you win support either on the basis of being good activists (with no identifiable politics informing your activity) or providing a good service. Nothing wrong with being a good activists or helping people out, but you can't have a revolution unless you create more revolutionaries. (there is a much longer debate here, which I guess we can get into).

As Fozzie pointed out, HI isn't an anarchist or libertarian communist organisation, and it's members do not have homogenous politics (although all are agreed that the area of activity we're involved in is a very useful one, and overall it's consistent with my own libertarian communist politics).

I'd be very wary of a group that in response to a local adventure playground closing down, banged on about the great libertarian communist society that will come after the revolution. It's quite easy for anarchist propaganda to be like that, and frankly it even puts me off. There's a need for long-view propaganda (the reason I'm involved in this site), but in terms of short term stuff, working with people who aren't anarchists, I'm not going to say "this should be an anarchist campaign". Why? Unless you're obsessed with branding and recruiting to ideologies.

I'm honest about my politics with people I meet, at work etc. etc. I don't run around shouting "ANARCHEE, ANARCHEE" in those situations, but I won't lie to people, and I'll challenge views in political discussions with my own honest assessment of how things could be changed. Since there's so much confusion about what anarchism is, saying "well, I'm an anarchist so I don't agree with the state" does fuck all to provoke meaningful discussion and usually ends up in stupid arguments about people murdering each other in the street.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 22 2005 11:00

No, you write up articles along the lines of the famous WRP 'Why We Are Not Marching' leaflet they handed out at the veitnam protests leaflets black bloc

And you steal my 'walking petition' phrase, which I'm sure I invented -- and use it in the wrong context. roll eyes Mr. T

redyred
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Jul 22 2005 11:04
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

Its a fairly conservative area (although its a labour seat) and apart from fighting the fash there seems to be little of relevance to associate ourselves with.

Are you sure? Where are you from? Surely theres always roadworks, service closures, council funds shenanigans, hospital/education issues going on?. Its not always on some rapid or large scale, and your not always going to win or even make much headway on some issues, but theres always something happenning.

Yeah the thing to do is keep your ear to the ground. Talk to people, keep an eye on the local papers, particularly the letters page. If you can get together with a few likeminded people it's even worth doing surveys.

Above all, don't be put off by thinking people who are opposed to this or that are all going to be reactionary NIMBYists. I mean, after all the whole point of community organising is that you are addressing the issues that affect you personally.

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Jul 22 2005 11:08
Fozzie wrote:
Clearly there are wider issues there about the role of anarchism in NI,

Its the south (and Dublin in particular) that is being talked about. What's happening up north is not normally that relevant locally even in terms of what SF do.

Fozzie wrote:
But I'd be interested to know what you think about Working Class Action in Dublin? http://www.geocities.com/wcaireland/

I'd say they provide a pretty good example of the dangers of 'keeping the politics quiet'. In my area they have had impressive electoral (near) success that is based on real community support but they have also become populist to the extent that unless you knew who was behind it (they run as 'independent' rather than WCA) you'd not suspect they were on the left. In manifesto terms they appear to the right of Sinn Fein.

Over here the sort of non ideological populism that is being put forward as 'new' is actually very old. Probably because of our PR system there have always been parties and individuals whose electoral base has rested on an ability to sort out and at times mobilise the local community. Some (e.g. Tony Gregor) have spent decades in the Dail but he for instance even refused to come out for a Yes vote in the divorce referendum. Many of these groups have been on the left (mind you some with really crap stalinist politics - but these have been kept well in the background).

SF are also very good at this - interestingly they are actually much less 'keep the politics out' populist. For instance they have taken quite a strong public anti-racist position at a time when this is far from popular (the WCA on the other hand had nothing to say even about the referendum that took away citizenship rights from children of migrants born here).

Overall I'd say it sounds to me like people are being far too uncritical of the IWCA approach and so only seeing the good side. Every strategy has positive and negative implications - there is an amazingly strong lack of will to accept this on this board. I think this is what SP sees as the 'my way is the only way' approach - its not quite the same thing but it is closely related.

Importantly this also means that few organisation (never mind individuals) can even claim to make a 100% evaluation of what is 'correct'. Knowledge, numbers and experience enables you to make better and better guesses but its always going to be a best guess.

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 11:19

In terms of my personal activity it's not a case of "keep the politics out" - me and pingtiao are sorting the library on here at the moment (with a lot of help from oisleep's pin up), it's pretty easy to work out who I am in real life if anyone wants to ask - I've told people over pm's for example if they've asked. HI is linked to from this website, the community action gathering was publicised by this website etc. etc. it's linked up, but in my community or workplace I'm a person first, anarchist second.

I'll happily talk to people about anarchism and revolutionary politics in general at work or in my neighbourhood. It's not a case of hiding it, it's a case of not brow-beating people or using the same political tactics as evangelical christians/scientologists. Not saying you do, but knocking on doors with Capital and The Conquest of Bread in your hands (or publications peppered with quotes from the same) would look like it to most people. Doesn't mean the conversation won't move over to those things later on, but it's a barrier to meaningful political discussion to begin by using labels that are generall misunderstood and misrepresented anyway.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 22 2005 11:23

redyred-there was actually something rather big a few years back, the construction of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road was met by quite a lot of resistance, had eco-warriors down the road but the baliffs removed them, my mum (arch tory) did quite a bit a helping and i can remember going on a local demo when i was about 11, alas the road was built and they charge people to use it!

Yeah i'm sure there is the odd issue around council housing and affordable housing, its just too easy to become angry with ones community instead of trying to embrace it and influence its opinions and help it out.

There is an issue of this landowner who wants to build a couple of houses on this dissused land on a common, the houses will probably sell for £200,000+ so i suppose i could do something around that, the guy has also fenced off large amounts of his land that people used to walk along, the fence has been pulled down on a couple of occassions but due to the council signing the most ridiculous contract ever (basically it states that if there is damage to this guys fence the council will pay for the repairs, frankly i dont think that they were duped at al and that he has a few mates on a board) pulling down the fence leads to extra costs for the inept council. Its just that stuff like this is really hard to get people involved in and even harder to attach anarchist ideas to.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jul 22 2005 11:28

fuck this shit, wheres the next summit tongue

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 11:50
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I mean seriously, what do you lot expect us to do? Lie and pretend we think G8 protest is a great and highly productive idea?

This is the main point. As yet, apart from sovietpop, who's reservations I've attempted to deal with, no-one's yet had any real criticism to make of the activity that we're involved with (not saying it's perfect, but we're doing our best and it seems generally agreed that it's useful).

Since we spend our time doing this stuff,both work/comm-based and propaganda via this site, what benefits would accrue from organising around political activity which we personally and publically disagree. Apart from "recruitment", and "morale" - the first IMO dishonest, the second unlikely.

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Jul 22 2005 12:12
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Its the south (and Dublin in particular) that is being talked about. What's happening up north is not normally that relevant locally even in terms of what SF do.

Yes, apologies for that and thanks for your thoughts on WCA...

gurrier
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Jul 22 2005 15:18
Catch wrote:
Since we spend our time doing this stuff,both work/comm-based and propaganda via this site, what benefits would accrue from organising around political activity which we personally and publically disagree. Apart from "recruitment", and "morale" - the first IMO dishonest, the second unlikely.

How about making the links between the politics of the global elites and local problems (because no matter where you are nowadays, capitalism's local management team rarely have the authority to solve the problem properly). In the end of the day, those 8 blokes up in gleneagles and every last micro-meme that the thing represented are the source of the problems, from the swimming pool in Hackney, to the war in Iraq. At such summits we get to learn an awful lot about who's side we are really on and how the world really works. One of the best things, imho, for a local campaign would be to try to get some non-politicos to go to the summit to make a specific protest over some local problem (not hard to find). Probably 50% will come back as fervent revolutionaries.

Catch wrote:
This is the main point. As yet, apart from sovietpop, who's reservations I've attempted to deal with, no-one's yet had any real criticism to make of the activity that we're involved with (not saying it's perfect, but we're doing our best and it seems generally agreed that it's useful).

Hmm. I'm normally too polite to say such things, but I'm in a funny mood today, so I might as well stir the pot. From your descriptions it sounds like a mixture of unpaid social work and a masochistic cult. I'm also guessing that you spend a lot of time moaning about various lefties in pubs. It all sounds so desperately and needlessly miserable. If I'm going to spend my evenings freezing on picket lines outside the local fire station (which is the sort of thing that I've done my fair share of), I want to be able to have a wee jaunt up to Scotland in the Summer to have a crack at Blair and Bush and have a go at pissing them off.

I do, of course, realise that I am being grossly unfair here, but that was my emotional reaction to your description of your political work. Must be something I ate.

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 15:52
Quote:

How about making the links between the politics of the global elites and local problems (because no matter where you are nowadays, capitalism's local management team rarely have the authority to solve the problem properly). In the end of the day, those 8 blokes up in gleneagles and every last micro-meme that the thing represented are the source of the problems, from the swimming pool in Hackney, to the war in Iraq.

I don't think summit protesting makes those links - it focuses attentions on "elites" (a bit close to illuminati for my liking) rather than on the wage relationship/capital as a social system etc. etc. and emphasises the power they have, rather than the potential power that we have - propaganda does make those links though.

Those 8 blokes aren't the problem, any 8 blokes would be almost as bad, it's the economic system we live under and the institutions that allow them the power they have that need to be changed, to reduce it to individuals is to end up with radical liberalism (like US anti-Bush campaigners, who'll happily support Democrats pursuing the same policies). To be able to challenge the economic and political power of the global elites, the working class needs to be conscious of its own power, and that's done by building up that power and awareness - counter-power - not by trying to take on 10000 policemen in the Scottish countryside from a standing start.

Quote:
At such summits we get to learn an awful lot about who's side we are really on and how the world really works. One of the best things, imho, for a local campaign would be to try to get some non-politicos to go to the summit to make a specific protest over some local problem (not hard to find). Probably 50% will come back as fervent revolutionaries.

What for? Media attention? To speak directly to Blair/Bush/Putin and ask them to sort it out? That's about the most indirect form of direct action I can think of.

Quote:

From your descriptions it sounds like a mixture of unpaid social work and a masochistic cult.

Nope. Doing surveys is fun (honestly) - you get to meet people you otherwise wouldn't and when people start talking they're usually pretty interesting.

Hand delivering leaflets is a bit less fun, but the company makes it interesting enough that I'm happy to go out and do it. Keeps you fit too.

Quote:

I'm also guessing that you spend a lot of time moaning about various lefties in pubs.

No again, although I do a little bit, as I'm sure have you - other libcomers are more into that than me though. If I'm having political discussions in the pub, it's usually either about positive stuff that could/should be done, or talking about class composition. I'm not a bitcher, and since I'm not involved in the London Activist Scene, I don't know many people to bitch about.

Quote:

It all sounds so desperately and needlessly miserable. If I'm going to spend my evenings freezing on picket lines outside the local fire station (which is the sort of thing that I've done my fair share of), I want to be able to have a wee jaunt up to Scotland in the Summer to have a crack at Blair and Bush and have a go at pissing them off.

What you do for fun is entirely up to you.

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Jul 22 2005 21:21
Jack wrote:
Okay, just quickly as some examples -

Local campaigning on issues that effect your local community, and you can make a direct and real impact that benefits people locally. Examples of this Organise! and the Water tax, CSG and the Bus station campaign, IWCA and action against drug dealers (and probably WSM and bin tax stuff too, altho I don't know that as well).

Militant anti-fascism (combined with the above, to create a political alternative to the far right, as well as physicaly opposition where needed).

Workplace work (either building TU's or outside TU structures dependant on the situation, fighting for wage demands etc. all the usual crap).

Producing relevant propaganda (not about the struggle in Bolivia or something exotic like that, or what actions you've done / are going to do, but about practical steps people can take to improve their lives, and how capital is essentially the enemy. Good example would be Sol Fed's "Stuff your boss doesn't want you to know").

Polemicising within the socialist movement (Both anarchist and socialist, basically arguing to the effect of the above)

That do for a start?

been involved in all the above and will always as well. Just dont understand how this is in conflict with more global issues, or anything "activisty" really?

I didn't come to the board for 12 hours and there was 4 pages of posts, so probably not worth it to start addressing all points again.

Just as a point of discussion though that I didn't mean my comment about jack being a university kid (i guess ex uni kid these days?) as a dig, nothing wrong with being a uni kid! I just see this arrogant attitude as being something quite dangerous, much like the attitude of treating working class as people who can only be interested in issues which have direct relation to their lives and interests, or as too stupid to understand whats going on globally. Thats clearly patronising bullshit and pisses me off no end.

Mike Harman
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Jul 22 2005 21:35

JDMF. It's a cliché, but think global, act local makes plenty of sense to me.

Do you think it's possible to act globally?

Barry Kade
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Jul 22 2005 23:07

Is this where I do "what the G8 meant for me?"

Sorry I was away....

Lovely time in eco-village. Compost toilets work surprisingly well. I might install one in my living room.

Us at the Lancaster/ Dandelion Barrio (Barrio - cor -h ow cool is that! I felt rather like an urban poor latino teenage ladyboy) had like a permanent rave! With our own sound system and cafe. Kool - just what I love - sunshine, mountains, cool people, music, drugs, mass political discussion, protests and a little frisson of direct action. And a huge Morrisons supermarket just over the fence as well, making sustainable living just so much more comfortable. Luvely, and well worth it. A revitalising holiday for thousands. And as for the neighbour test - it was like my local pub had been moved to Stirling - a lot of my neighbours were there. Hey. All thanks to the G8 and t' dialectic.

All this really did in fact help a sizeable bunch of us from this small city really bond together into somthing bigger.

And the after party? - in terms of sustainable mobilisation / politicisation - here are the results locally.

The local group of 'dissent/eco-village' people (shall we call them horizontalists?) who got together over the G8 / eco-village continue to meet weekly, so far with fairly large meetings of 15-20 fully participating activists.

Local Make poverty History also had similarly attended follow up meeting. They were actually critical of G8, Govt, and Geldoff, and vowed to carry on with their mobilisation. Agreed to proposals from 'horizontalists' work alongside other groups (including local 'horizontalists' )to a series of joint events to keep issues of global justice on the local and national agenda.

Local anti-G8/ horizontalists agree on several initiatives:

* To begin a campaign of community mobilisation (with other community groups) against local reprocessing plant which pollutes a working class neighbourhood (which many of us live in) with a smell especially disgusting at summer! (like we cant use our gardens).

*Organise a public film night about the G8 protests, along with eyewitness accounts and political discission - including the local community.

* Do arrest support.

* Work with other groups towards a big Town Hall meeting in Sept.

* Mobilise for a forthcomming protest against corporations inviolved with the arms trade, repression and GM corporations hijaking resarch agenda at local uni.

* Join local actions against racism and Islamophobia - like help out with a Solidarity March with the Mosque this sunday.

*Organising a series of gigs to raise money and have a laugh.

So in this area the G8 protests have genrally been fun and productive. Well worth it.

redyred
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Jul 22 2005 23:41
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Is this where I do "what the G8 meant for me?"

Not really. This is where the WOMBLES rather pathetically try to shame the libcom clique for not DOing SOMETHING.

But never mind wink

Barry Kade wrote:
To begin a campaign of community mobilisation (with other community groups) against local reprocessing plant which pollutes a working class neighbourhood (which many of us live in) with a smell especially disgusting at summer! (like we cant use our gardens).

Sounds excellent. But going up to gleneagles facilitated this initiative how? I mean even given that:

Quote:
The local group of 'dissent/eco-village' people (shall we call them horizontalists?) who got together over the G8 / eco-village continue to meet weekly, so far with fairly large meetings of 15-20 fully participating activists.

why did you need what you openly admit was basically a holiday in a little hippy village to put together a group doing stuff about local issues?

Barry Kade
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Jul 23 2005 00:24

Response to Redyred:

Yes! I'm saying the hippy/activist village holiday really helped! (you'd have loved Oi Polloi!) (If this shit is good enough for social binding amongst executives, its good enough for us!)

But of course we would have done the reprosessing plant campaign, and more, despite the G8. But participating in the generalising, globalising consciousness and events made possible around a highly visible instance like the G8 has actually politically strenghthened these local campaigns.

(And I can really say this now, in retrospect - many of these these local community campaigners actually attended the lancaster camp in the stirling 'eco-village' - and appeared to really enjoy themeslves).

It is not enough to conduct activities at the levelof 'the local'. These must be connected with 'the global' to be effective.

This is because when our class was last strong it was as a nationally organised opponent of a nationally organised 'welfare state capitalism', within a classical imperialist world system. Then after the sixties the ruling class outmanouvered us by (amongst other things) moving onto an ever more global scale. I know these are simple things we all know.

Thus it would be wrong for us to become trapped in a false dichotomy, a tired polemic, a broken dialectic, between 'local community engagement' on the one hand, and 'global issues' on the other.

Participation in local struggle does not automatically or magically generate the required political conciousness. The more people connect with other, similar struggles, nationally and globally the better.

For me it was great to see a sizeable segment of Lancaster's locally based eclectic mixture of community activists, TUC, local music/free party scene, anarchists, stop the war, green party and loads more attend an anti-G8 mobilisation, with thousands of others from all over the place.

Whats so wrong with that? Why are you in such an ideological tizzy because we had a good time and strengthened local activists networks socially, culturally, organisationally and politically?

This is not to say we are perfect, THE mode to follow, etc. (no one is - yet).

And this is not to invalidate other approaches, especially those that are more rooted in the communities of the oppressed and exploited.

But ffs! Listen to yourselves!

Ever loving. red star

redyred
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Jul 23 2005 11:48
Barry Kade wrote:
It is not enough to conduct activities at the levelof 'the local'. These must be connected with 'the global' to be effective.

This is because when our class was last strong it was as a nationally organised opponent of a nationally organised 'welfare state capitalism', within a classical imperialist world system. Then after the sixties the ruling class outmanouvered us by (amongst other things) moving onto an ever more global scale. I know these are simple things we all know.

Thus it would be wrong for us to become trapped in a false dichotomy, a tired polemic, a broken dialectic, between 'local community engagement' on the one hand, and 'global issues' on the other.

Participation in local struggle does not automatically or magically generate the required political conciousness. The more people connect with other, similar struggles, nationally and globally the better.

Of course with the waxing and waning of the class and with the changing nature of capitalism our tactics must change and the results we get will change also, but one fact will never change. We always have to be taking on capitalism at the point of exploitation, at the point of the social relationship between classes. This is not at the G8 summit.

With the G8 you are protesting against an abstract. You know as well as I do protests in that arena, whatever the gains in networking etc, can never make any real changes as regards global policy. You're not going to shut down the G8, and even if you could it would change nothing, except perhaps police powers.

It's true the class is weak, but just because we aren't seeing militant strikes up and down the country doesn't mean we should just jump on board an ultimately ineffective protest movement just because it appears strong.

And of course capitalism is ever changing, but sorry I think I missed the point where it changed from a social relationship between workers and bosses into a social relationship between workers and figurehead world leaders. You said in an earlier post the G8 is currently where "it" is "at". Try telling that to a single mum on scraping by on benefits, or someone doing a shitty job on the minimum wage.

Quote:
Whats so wrong with that? Why are you in such an ideological tizzy because we had a good time and strengthened local activists networks socially, culturally, organisationally and politically?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you shouldn't have a bit of fun and mix the social and the political, but if all it was was a social outing for a local campaign group then say so. But don't pretend there were any unique gains in building links and strengthening organisation that come specifically from G8 protest - by forging solidarity with greens, liberals and crusties from up and down the country all you're doing is strengthening an activist ghetto and getting ever further from the rest of the class.

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Refused
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Jul 23 2005 13:10

I propose a toast. Bread for everyone.

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Jul 23 2005 13:58
redyred wrote:
Try telling that to a single mum on scraping by on benefits, or someone doing a shitty job on the minimum wage.

...here we go again... Could you guys stop monopolising the "oppressed voice" and cut out the patronising bullshit please?

This is as annoying as G8 protesters quoting some Sudanese kid dying of hunger being happy to see westeners angrily protesting against the global powers... on the other hand i actually believe that many people who bear the brunt of the current global economic structures are happy to hear about resistance smile

So in the spirit of Refuseds exellent suggestion: lets make an agreement, the anti-G8 protest and local bus stop guys get the single mom on benefits, and the dissent! folks get the sudanese dying of hunger (and perhaps couple south africans dying of aids because one westener is always worth more than one african). Everyone happy now? wink

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Jul 23 2005 14:04
Jack wrote:
Surely the difference is we can make a difference to at least one of them, whereas the G8 protest lot can't.

tongue

"jack - making a difference"

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Jul 23 2005 14:19

colchester solidarity group - for libertarian socialism (jack upton - making a difference)

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Jul 23 2005 23:12

Dear Folks, I'm just going to go on a ramble with no relevance to the G8, perhaps because I feel the summit demos didn't do much, although they did make me feel good watching them on the telly. But we need to be talking about revolution to people, not just organising within the working class to make their lives better, but offering alternatives as well. Maybe holding meetings on communism/anarchism as well as meetings focussed on day to day issues. If people don't believe there's a better world out there and see us only as good samaritans then they're never going to do things for themselves, which is the sole purpose of anarchism anyway. Definetely the working class are the only class who can change things for the better,as they're the ones who do the work, but work would be so radically altered in a free society that the working class themselves would disappear, which is why I disagree with the Platform, if people organise solely on the base of one ideology and try to make that ideology binding, then they end up creating a situation where there are anti-everyone else pogroms and the creation of a worker-only communism which would distort the aims of anarchism. But hey I'm middle-class, or at least as middle class as you can be living off the sick. Maybe organise in the working class but be aware that the aim will benefit everyone else as well. If we give up on everybody merely because of accidents of education and status, then we might as well all become Maoists

Mike Harman
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Jul 24 2005 09:10

Bodach, worth pointing out that when we (i.e. the libcom group) talk about the working class, we're using a definition that includes nearly all middle class people as well, not the sociological/cultural one.

redyred
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Jul 24 2005 09:27
JDMF wrote:
redyred wrote:
Try telling that to a single mum on scraping by on benefits, or someone doing a shitty job on the minimum wage.

...here we go again... Could you guys stop monopolising the "oppressed voice" and cut out the patronising bullshit please?

This is as annoying as G8 protesters quoting some Sudanese kid dying of hunger being happy to see westeners angrily protesting against the global powers... on the other hand i actually believe that many people who bear the brunt of the current global economic structures are happy to hear about resistance :)

The difference is that single mums and people doing shit work jobs on low pay are people I know, work with, live in the same neighbourhood as etc. Starving Sudanese children aren't.

But anyway it was a serious point - what does the G8 summit protest have to offer the class?

redyred
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Jul 24 2005 09:28
Catch wrote:
Bodach, worth pointing out that when we (i.e. the libcom group) talk about the working class, we're using a definition that includes nearly all middle class people as well, not the sociological/cultural one.

Wasn't that a really long post about the Paris commune a minute ago?

Mike Harman
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Jul 24 2005 10:32

embarrassed yes it was, I'm working on the library at the moment and cut&pasted into the wrong box.

The problem with trying to effect change internationally, is that at the moment this is only possible via lobbying the government - if you think the G8 protests had the potential/intention/result of changing the decisions taken by the G8, then they were effectively doing the same thing as an NGO via different methods. It's still indirect action, and it still relies on those in charge giving a shit.

To be able to effect change ourselves - on the way our country extracts material resources from these countries whilst giving little but "intellectual property" and aid in return, installs repressive governments, funds coups etc., then we need to have control over our own country, and that's a long way off.

Blacklisted
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Jul 24 2005 12:58

See now the above is what Im not understanding.

Id obviously agree that we are seeking to control the areas we live in/country/whatever you wanna call it, BUT I dont understand how you think you can do this by concentrating solely on our own country.

What I mean is this: Power and capital in the world today is more closely interconnected than it has ever been. Disruptions to that power/capital anywhere, seriously upset it everywhere. So, price/supply of oil is affected cos of rebellion in Niger or supply/price of copper is affected by rebellion in West Papua. In a more general term the folks at the top consider what they call the virus effect too yeh? I.e, the threat of an insurrection in one place inspriring insurrection all over the place. So they work together to stamp it out. Global capital, states, IFI's and national armies collaberate to crush resistance wherever it is offering a serious threat. For instance the Kabylian uprising as I understand it was crushed by European forces (maybe Im wrong?) cos Greece and Italy were nervous that it was inspiring revolt in their countries. And when USA goes bombing Grenada, it aint cos Grenada actually matters, but cos the revolt in Grenada might spread accross South America.

So I guess what Im getting at, is how do you propose to have revolution in UK? Even if we overthrow the British Government/army/state, armies from other countries (probably Europe first, maybe USA, maybe others) would be sent in to crush us. I dont understand how to hold one country in the face of global capitalism trying to take it back?

To me our only hope to actually succeed in gaining control of our own area/country, is if that is happening all around the world at the same time. And if we wanna talk to, cooperate with etc etc the working class accross Britain, why is it stupid to do the same with working class globally? Id agree with you if it is liberal sympathy stuff, or if its substitution for real organisation, BUT if it actually is revolutionary and/or working class groups cooperating on global scale why is that something to be against? To me it seems like our only hope?

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 24 2005 13:15
blacklisted wrote:

So I guess what Im getting at, is how do you propose to have revolution in UK? Even if we overthrow the British Government/army/state, armies from other countries (probably Europe first, maybe USA, maybe others) would be sent in to crush us. I dont understand how to hold one country in the face of global capitalism trying to take it back?

Yes, that would be impossible.

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To me our only hope to actually succeed in gaining control of our own area/country, is if that is happening all around the world at the same time. And if we wanna talk to, cooperate with etc etc the working class accross Britain, why is it stupid to do the same with working class globally? Id agree with you if it is liberal sympathy stuff, or if its substitution for real organisation, BUT if it actually is revolutionary and/or working class groups cooperating on global scale why is that something to be against? To me it seems like our only hope?

I 100% agree with this. That's the idea behind the AF (which I'm a member of), and other international networks and organisations, although none of the current federations or organisations are up to very much at the moment since there's not that much to federate. It's also the role of websites like this/znet etc to a greater or lesser extent.

To affect the UK government's ability to control the working class overseas, the most effective thing we can do is affect it's ability to control the working class here, including the army. Obviously we should try to co-ordinate this kind of activity across national boundaries so that in times of heightened struggle the reverse doesn't happen to us - that's basic internationalism and solidarity, and communism has to be an international movement. What I object to is the liberal (and/or Trot) method of "supporting" resistance movements, or essentially charitable/lobbying work which reinforces capital - which amounts only to a couple of articles or something, or "calling for" things to happen, or stuff like Live-8, usually done with good intentions, but ineffective and often counter-productive. I'm afraid my opposition to this sort of fake or substitutionist internationalism may end up looking like a crude "localism", which isn't my actual position.

Blacklisted
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Joined: 24-03-06
Jul 24 2005 14:28

Fair enough Catch, it can come accross a bit like that.

I think Id probably have a slightly different view on this 'supporting resistance movements' stuff though. Id certainly agree that much of it is useless and as you said can often reinforce capital (stuff that aint anywhere near as bad as Live8 in fact!). However, I do think that direct action, sometimes even demos, public meetings and articles etc aimed at 'supporting' people in struggle can be a great thing. And I make no distinction here whether its being done for working class struggle here in UK, South America, Africa or anywhere else. To me it can be the same as some of the 'intervention' that you talked about HI doing with a struggle here in UK. Even raising funds etc is still good practical solidarity - or can be. Id admit though that often at the moment its bollocks!

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including the army

I agree with this and I reckon (A)'s aint paying nearly enough attention to talking to soldiers etc and helping support revolt within the armies (though, yeah we aint paying enough attention to talking to most working class people!)

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That's the idea behind the AF (which I'm a member of), and other international networks and organisations, although none of the current federations or organisations are up to very much at the moment since there's not that much to federate

On this subject, what do you mean by the last bit? Not enough groups, or not enough decent (A) groups or what? And what do the AF actually do? Im not being a dick, I genuinely dont know but have just never got around to asking anyone.