The communist left and internationalist anarchism

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Beltov
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Jul 26 2010 23:19

I would be very interested in seeing what evidence you have that Devoration is a 'new recruit'. He's not a militant of the ICC. He's a young person with a background in syndicalism, but as soon as he independently shows support for left communism it's OK for someone who has openly claimed he's not a communist on this forum (and I'd be surprised if mciver has become an anarchist) to bully them. That's what it's come down to.

Android
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Jul 27 2010 00:10

I disagree with Alf that there's a duty on "moderators [to] say something about" the way mciver behaves and expresses himself towards other posters on here. While I find mciver posts quite tiresome and obsessed with the ICC. I do not like how nearly every topic that mciver posts on is somehow related to the ICC and his commitment to a theory of political organisations being essentially rackets. Just to be clear I am not suggesting mciver should censored or anything like that, just I feel some of his contributions add nothing to the subject being discussed. While I do find his posts on the ICC interesting albeit rather fixated at times. But I think it is important to discuss issues arising from experiences that more senior posters have had with the ICC and disagree with some that have suggested the ICC should remove some material from their site. All material relating to these questions and the accounts of militants effected should be available, so that those of us not around during these traumatic incidents, splits etc can try and get a grasp on what occurred and the politics surrounding it.

Finally, I agree with Alf as regards mciver's treatment of Soyonstout. The point is though if people have a problem with such posts to response as Devrim has done.

.

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devoration1
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Jul 27 2010 00:35

The ICC appears to be the only organization regarded as such here. Defense of any other organization or ideology is considered normal practice- unless it is the ICC specifically, in which case you are one of them and thus no longer just a regular member, you're part of some 'outside influence' with malicious designs. It's petty.

So is ignoring Alf's larger point, which he was fairly clear about, and zeroing in on mciver's last reply to me in this thread- which wasn't what he was talking about specifically in reference to the moderator comment.

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Devrim
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Jul 27 2010 04:25
Quote:
Alf, that was not flaming in any way and I do not appreciate you asking us to take action against mciver for his post. I would be very interested in seeing whatever advice or guidance you are giving to new recruits which leads them to join this forum only after joining the ICC to vigorously defend the positions of the organisation.

I think Alf is talking about 'new recruits' to Libcom, not the ICC.

Devrim

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Alf
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Jul 27 2010 05:03

I honed in on the treatment of new posters because it has a profound impact on the way they perceive libcom and the atmosphere of discussion on it. I have put everything else to one side, including numerous personal slurs against existing (or recently deceased) ICC members, precisely because I am not in favour of any kind of censorship here. I am not calling for mciver to be banned, but I do think the moderators have a duty to affirm certain standards of behaviour.

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mikail firtinaci
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Jul 27 2010 05:46

A sidenote;

I am not the writer of the pamphlet by ICC (and previously EKS) "The Left Wing of Turkish CP"

I generally tend to support some of the ideas in it but I do not think that the Bolshevik party let the members of the CP to be killed in the hands of Kemalists. The issue is more complicated than that which is off topic obviously.

jacobian
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Jul 27 2010 08:36
mikail firtinaci wrote:
Well even the concept "state capitalism" might have been developed first by Bukharin in early 1910's - at least I don't know an earlier usage or at least a well defined framework-.

Jan Waclaw Machajski had a relatively developed theory of state capitalism within a Marxist framework by 1905. Bakunin also mentioned the State Capitalism in his arguments with Marx in the First International, though you might argue that it wasn't a "well defined" theory. However, it definitely wasn't first expressed by Bukharin.

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mikail firtinaci
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Jul 27 2010 14:26
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Jan Waclaw Machajski

That is very interesting. Can you post the link please? I would love to read his articles.

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Red Marriott
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Jul 27 2010 14:47

Two articles about him - 1st one has a few quotes near the end;
http://libcom.org/history/white-collars-horny-hands-revolutionary-thought-waclaw-machajski-max-nomad
http://libcom.org/history/what-makhaevism-paul-avrich

mciver
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Jul 27 2010 16:37

Try it again Alf. I was half expecting a broadside from Dreadnought La Fabienne, moored on the Seine. Whatsamatta, she's run out of 12- inches? Yours is just dinghy stuff.

And your Jury of Honour to indict arthropods? OK, the little greys took no notice, so now you scamper whingeing to Libcom, shame shame.

What's so special about 'new posters', their skin so delicate they need some balsam before they enter the fray? With a name like the devorator? This one didn't sound like a babe to me, more like a catch-as-catch-can wrestler, he was hungry man, knew the polemic tricks, the mocking know-it-all tone about 'our' typewriter (not the one stolen by the apparat from McIver, nor the one half-owned by Chénier/Blaise in Lille, thus half-stolen by Dreadnought & Cie):

Quote:
So the ICC is a gang of future murderers, Gulag architects and totalitarians- because they took back their typewriter in 1981?

(post 57) Well learned and parroted!

I was puzzled by Beltov's post to Tommy Ascaso:

Quote:
... I would be very interested in seeing what evidence you have that Devoration is a 'new recruit'. He's not a militant of the ICC. He's a young person with a background in syndicalism, but as soon as he independently shows support for left communism it's OK for someone who has openly claimed he's not a communist on this forum (and I'd be surprised if mciver has become an anarchist) to bully them. That's what it's come down to.

But Tommy Ascaso's assumption is understandable, after all, Devoration1 sneers like a seasoned ICC militant. Furthermore, ICC fans pop up on Libcom, usually guns blazing, so who can tell who's what -- new/old recruits, old timers, candidates, contacts, independent young persons, awols, ex-apparatchiks on chronic leave, prodigal sons, mysterious Solidarity confidants, etc. But why is this obscure point about Devoration1's status important to Beltov? Does he suggest that 'independent young persons' on Libcom are more liable to be bullied by McIver?

Anyway, what does Beltov mean by McIver bullying 'them'? Are there more Devorations,2, 3, etc? Like the invading pods?

'Bullying'? Come off it, try Devrim's pedagogy, for example, when the 1981 ICC violence is mentioned, Devrim refutes the whole idea with a terrifying list of tortures and repressive techniques he's witnessed (and even suffered) abroad, of real violence instead of the chicken-shit waltzing around experienced by ex ICC members in 1981. Adroitly, he forgets the 'agent provocateur' campaigns, and the other exposés of 'probable state agents' and parasitic and masonic conspiracies. Still, following Devrim's method, my 'bullying' is like lullabies compared to the amalgams cited above, aimed at Chénier, Ingram, JJ, RV, etc. So be less patronising Beltov, Devoration needs little protection from bullies on Libcom.

No, Alf, you're wrong, I don't say Devoration1 has been duped by 'the Apparat' what makes you think that? How would I know about your inner rituals? Pod or not, I believe he wants to be a true warrior of the working class out of his own free will, and is out to defend his future sect from denigrators and flamers (the lurking 'arthropods'). Give little mange-tout his due, as shown above, he can bite from his own corner. If he wants to do PR for his group, that's his right, the ICC has been doing it on Libcom for years now. Now, do you see me crying out to the moderators asking them to moderate your recruitment drives?

By the way, thanks for not demanding my ban, I was so relieved at

Quote:
I honed in on the treatment of new posters because it has a profound impact on the way they perceive libcom and the atmosphere of discussion on it. I have put everything else to one side,

[how generous of you]

Quote:
including numerous personal slurs against existing (or recently deceased) ICC members, precisely because I am not in favour of any kind of censorship here. I am not calling for mciver to be banned,

[merci!]

Quote:
but I do think the moderators have a duty to affirm certain standards of behaviour.

How fatherly, this emotional concern for babyish new posters. Like Beltov's distress over the bully McIver. But if you really worry for their mental health, expel them asap, or don't let them join the apparat, just ignore their tantrums. Otherwise these Tartuffian claims about moderation don't persuade. Who ever moderated your 'standards of behaviour' for more than 20 years, your raids, slanders, slurs and fabrications, all in the name of communism? Your racket has called ex-members spies, provocateurs, agents of world capital, parasites and many other niceties, and anarchist groups 'bourgeois'. Whatever humble pie you seem to be eating now is meagre fare, your appetite for devouring opponents was always insatiable. Are you bringing in new people to that? Has the ICC changed? Who knows, who will decide? Retractions and apologies would be a first step in the right direction, even after 28 years of Leninist sectioning.

Nope, the ICC isn't an alien power, the little greys MAY exist, but don't pretend you know, you have never visited Zeta Reticuli, not even by remote viewing.

Not shit over Jerry G or M Chirik either, but my own evaluations. You dislike my unflattering interpretation of events, and opinions of individuals, but that's life. Do you think that 'long standing' and 'historical figures' mean anything to non-converts? That these figures merit special dispensation, reverence and obsequiousness? Why? Of course, in a cult, this slavish ritualised behaviour is vital. You need icons, traditions, authoritative keepers of the faith and let's not forget, Bolshevik hit squads. But the above still applies, if you enter the fray, expect your actions to be judged according to certain standards. If you want respect, earn it, have some merit, and learn to take as good as you give. On this virtual environment, as you say, it's so difficult to know where the line between flaming and historical polemic is drawn. But in real life, at your public meetings where slanders were freely dished out, in your raids and your public press, the line of intimidation was clearly drawn. For years you ignored what other critics like Ingram said, and poured venom and lies over his well-backed up criticisms. And this went on and on, and now you whinge because McIver recounts his side over just a few months.

I admit that recollections can be subjective, as they are interpretative. Yet nothing has been invented, or let's put it this way: the opinions were based on factual recollections, not on fabrications like 'Chénier the police agent' or 'JJ the freemason'. The 'standards of behaviour' you demand from your critics apply to you as well.

Miasnikov wasn't slandered. How? Because I said he was a Chekist, or worked very closely with the Perm Cheka? Or because he was a murderer? But he admitted to murdering Michael Romanov, why avoid this? In this act he was, in my opinion, a cowardly assassin, in his latter opposition to Bolshevism he was uniquely brave and heroic. Too late to make any difference, as it turned out. But most humans are like that, not black or white, nor patron saints for pantheons.

I have never read any ICC reference to Trotsky and Lenin as mass murderers, or willing or unwilling engineers of genocidal famines in the Ukraine. But why do you deny that they were ruthless warlords during the Civil War? Is this a 'slander'? This isn't a thread to deal with that history, the example just shows that these divergences aren't about facts but their interpretation. And that's defined by one's vision. Mine has nothing in common with yours.

guadia
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Jul 27 2010 17:58

mikail, concerning machajsky you may be interested in article about him in collective action notes web page here

plus there is a text by his follower max nomad here

mons
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Jul 27 2010 19:35
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Those who identify with the struggle for the revolution have traditionally been classed in two categories: the marxists and the anarchists. And there are indeed important divergences between them:
- Centralism/federalism

- Materialism/idealism

- Period of transition or ‘immediate abolition of the state'

- Recognition or denunciation of the October 1917 revolution and of the Bolshevik party

I actually think the original topic is interesting, and could be discussed more. I'm not very interested in the whole ICC thing, but for me at least I'm not clear on how different groups define these terms, and whether apparent conflicts are genuine, or just terminological problems.

The materialism / idealism thing is obviously bullshit.

I've had the 'period of transition' thing described to me by one person (trotskyist not left communist, but still) as just meaning initially there would be much more planning and coordination and more meetings, but little else. Is this how left communists see the period of transition? And if so, what is the problem with this?
I imagine anarchists would say that the problem is that the period of transition would have centralised power structures, and so lead to state capitalism, which leads us on to the federalism / centralism divide. It was hinted at earlier in the thread that federalism in the anarchist tradition, and centralism for some left communists, have come to mean the same thing, and differ only in semantics. As for anarchists a federal body would have the ability to enforce decisions, and for left communists a central body would be no more than, say, the delegates of workers' councils coming together. I don't really see the difference.

The final one - on the interpretation of the bolsheviks, seems to me to only be important if it amounts to serious theoretical differences, rather than different historical understandings of the facts of the bolsheviks. If either anarchists or left communists are just shit at history and have just got the facts about the bolsheviks wrong, then that's fine and doesn't mean there are any actual differences in ideology. If on the other hand anarchists and left communists see the same facts but draw different conclusions from them, then that does show a real difference.

I should say that obviously I don't think I've shown most differences between left communists and anarchists aren't real, I just don't know enough. I'd be interested in a clearer - terminology free - clarification of the theoretical differences.

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Alf
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Jul 27 2010 19:58

Part of the problem here is that in neither case are we talking about monolithic tendencies. This is obviously true of anarchism but among left communists there are some important differences on questions such as the party and the period of transition. For example, the view of the ICC (or its majority position) on the state is different from that of the CWO/ICT. Both however would tend to start from the same basic premise: that the state is the product of a class divided society and that some form of state will exist in the transitional period, precisely because classes will continue to exist until we reach a fully communist society. This is also related to the question of historical materialism because marxists analyse the state as a product of specific historical and material conditions, and have often criticise anarchists for abstracting the state from history.

But then again, a lot of anarchists have taken on the basics of historical materialism. I was reading Maximoff's My Credo yesterday, written in 1933. It's approach to capitalism and its dynamics is what I would term marxist...including a clear view that capitalism has become a decadent system: "The modern phenomenon of imperialism, then, is the stage of fully mature capitalism wherein finance occupies all the commanding positions and we therefore live in a time when capitalism, having attained the goal of its development, has started on the road of degradation and disitegration. This process of decline dates from the time just after the First World War...At the time of writing (1933-34) the crisis has attacked nearly every country in a veritable world crisis of the capitalist system. Its prolonged nature and its universal scope can in no way be accounted for by the theory of periodical capitalist crises. Much rather do these features signify the beginning of degenerative process within the system itself..."

As the article argues, a serious study of both historical currents will discover numerous points of agreement as well as divergences....

mons
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Jul 28 2010 14:34
Quote:
some form of state will exist in the transitional period, precisely because classes will continue to exist until we reach a fully communist society

So it will still be a class society? Presumably this transitional state will represent its own interests. Which side should communists be on?

What do you think is the difference between anarchist federalism and left communist centralism?

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mikail firtinaci
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Jul 28 2010 15:04

Guadia and Ret Marut thanks for the very interesting links. I think I had read the Arshinov's article years ago os it need a rereading.

About the quote by Maksimov. Alf don't you think that this is something unique in anarchism? For instance do you think that similar examples can be found from pre-20th century anarchists? And finally if you tend to think that Anarchist's methodology has changed over time, don't you think that there should have been more people thinking like Maximoff in the anarchist current?

Leo
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Jul 28 2010 20:12

i think the time to come clean and admit that mciver is and has been ever since he started posting on libcom a paid agent of the icc, given the task of demonstrating parasitic behavior in order to win people over to the theory.

seriously though, he seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

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Alf
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Jul 28 2010 20:42

About the quote by Maksimov. Alf don't you think that this is something unique in anarchism? For instance do you think that similar examples can be found from pre-20th century anarchists? And finally if you tend to think that Anarchist's methodology has changed over time, don't you think that there should have been more people thinking like Maximoff in the anarchist current?

I am sure there are others. I think this was what Devrim was on about when he said he disagreed with our view that the anarchists are not really materialists. I know what he means, but I think he missed the point. Anarchists can indeed be materialists, sometimes, like Maximoff, in a very clear way - although the influence of marxism seems undeniable in the above pamphlet. But the materialism of many anarchists strikes me as extremely vulgar materialism, something particularly clear in the attitude towards religion. And vulgar materialism can coexist very well with idealism - Lenin also made both mistakes at times. Anarchist idealism, the tendency to remove the ideal of liberty, and its antithesis, authority, from real material history, is surely not an invention of the marxists?

nastyned
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Jul 28 2010 22:00

You really don't know a lot about anarchism do you Alf? Of course we're materialists. And of course Marx had an influence on anarchism. If your knowledge of Bakunin wasn't confined to Marxist attacks on him you would be aware of this. Anarchist anti-clericalism also has very real material roots, as anyone who knows anything about anarchist history will be aware.

nastyned
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Jul 28 2010 22:02

And it's good to see mciver called a parasite at last, you've been a bit slow off the mark here ICC people. Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

Leo
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Jul 28 2010 23:09

surely, we will not denounce our paid agents in the press nastyned

Wellclose Square
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Jul 28 2010 23:23
Leo wrote:
i think the time to come clean and admit that mciver is and has been ever since he started posting on libcom a paid agent of the icc, given the task of demonstrating parasitic behavior in order to win people over to the theory.

seriously though, he seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

Quote:
i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

OK, let's cut the crap, how can cheerleading for the butchers of the working class like the Bolsheviks - as the ICC proudly does - be remotely described as 'communist'?

The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR. It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

Leo
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Jul 28 2010 23:53
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Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

come on, the guy is seriously sick - this has got nothing to do with politics. pandering his vast ego is surely not going to help him, i mean medically.

this being said, if the traumas of the past involving the icc even contributed slightest to such a sad case, something definately must have went wrong. that is not to say, of course, all the people who left the icc are like him - thankfully.

Quote:
OK, let's cut the crap, how can cheerleading for the butchers of the working class like the Bolsheviks - as the ICC proudly does - be remotely described as 'communist'?

how can regarding the entire communist left, along with of course the rest of the communist movement of the time (ie the communist international) as evil "rackets" whatever be remotely described as anything but anti-communist? i mean "lenin and trosky engineering genocidal famines in the Ukraine"? it reads exactly like out of the black book of communism, am i supposed to take this seriously?

the anarchist criticism of the bolsheviks, that is the criticism of the repression against anarchist militants, the suppression of the makhnovists, or kronstadt etc. (which i myself am critical of) and the political conclusions drawn from these criticisms (which i don't agree with) are something (well, something which should be taken seriously anyway), and screaming that myasnikov was an evil chekist murderer, saying that lenin and trosky engineered genocidal famines in the ukraine is something else. identifying the anarchist position with one such as his is more of a problem. whats gonne be next, will we be discussing whether lenin was a german agent? the threats of jewish-bolshevism?

Quote:
The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR.

we don't need pr, we need comradely relations and joint work with serious anarchist revolutionaries, and we need to correct the mistakes of the past. we think basic ties between revolutionary organizations, that is genuinely revolutionary organizations, to be very significant, especially in the coming period.

in a country like turkey, for example, we have to have comradely relations with anarchists who we actually consider revolutionary, at times we have to do joint work or at least stand together, simply because of the conditions we both operate under. this sort of thing tends to happen when a left commie and anarchist revolutionary find themselves in a room full of stalinists and nationalists, or under circumstances of state repression from investigations to court-cases and imprisonment.

Quote:
It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

to be fair (i know its kinda hard when you are so biased against the icc), i don't think anyone accused mciver of anything. i simply expressed how i find his situation really sad. i do, i really do.

soyonstout
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Jul 29 2010 01:12
Wellclose Square wrote:
The ICC's overtures to so-called 'internationalist anarchists' I thought was a cynical attempt to get new blood - a bit of PR. It seems, though, that the monolith just can't contain itself when faced with those it denounces as parasites and seems to be showing its true colours.

First off, if I post on this forum, is it going to be interpreted as some kind of coordinated conspiratorial and instinctive defense of the ICC? I really hope not. I would hope that it would not be considered an impossibility for an ICC sympathizer to take a critical look at the ICC's attitude in certain cases.

Wellcose Square, if you look at this thread and a number of other recent threads that have been about left communism (most, by my count, by I may have missed some), you will see a discussion of ideas turn into a shit-fight with the occasional idea discussed from time to time. Amongst this shit-fight you will frequently find 3 to 4 page denunciations comparing long-time posters to state secret police, dictators of one-party states who are usually held personally responsible for around 20-???? million people's deaths, etc. Thus I really don't think the 'character assassination' is quite the monolithic crushing of all dissent you paint it as, but rather people who are getting impatient at not being able to speak without being compared to those responsible for some of the most barbarous acts in history (but maybe I'm too biased, who knows?).

* * *

The issue of the ICC or any left communist group's attitude towards anarchism, I think is a different issue--at least not directly connected (some of the more vocal critics of the ICC will probably disagree with this). From my own point of view, I think the ICC have had a huge blind spot when it comes to anarchism over the years, inherited a lot of prejudices from past marxists which are often themselves inherited from the last time many marxists really critically engaged anarchism, back when Bakunin was one of its principle animators. That's a huge mistake and I think the ICC as a whole is trying to (sometimes quite clumsily) reassess those attitudes.

I agree that the materialist/idealist formulation is problematic at best--very few anarchists would not call themselves materialists, so I think if you're going to say something like this, it is better to explain it as I think (I didn't re-read it, but I remember liking it) this article http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/barikad does better in some instances. I think it could be better to get specific about where anarchism is seen as idealist, and just say something like "we think there is often a language of authority vs. liberty which can quickly get ahistorical and rather idealist in anarchism--we have not seen convincingly materialist explanations of the anarchist view on the state after the revolution, for example, they seem to veer too much toward this authority vs. liberty dichotomy which we feel is idealist" (don't mean to put words in the ICC's mouth, just an example of what one could say). I don't know how many of the more class-struggle internationalist anarchists hold the view that communism/anarchism was or could have been possible before capitalism or at any point in history (I would bet fewer than most marxists think wink ), but this would be the other main point that I (and I think many other marxists) would consider idealistic. By the same token, I think that anarchists would generally not call the ideas of marxists with whom they disagreed "materialist," but maybe "determinist" or something about having a rigid economic teleology of history.

Like the centralism/federalism question, this may be something that will appear as much less of a difference the better both sides understand each other. Having come from anarchism myself I think there is quite a lot that unites left communism and proletarian(or "internationalist") anarchism, and I'm glad to see the ICC beginning to reassess some of its mistakes with regard to the rest of the groups genuinely fighting for proletarian revolution.

Does that last sentence make me an apologist automaton smile ?

-soyons tout

Samotnaf
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Jul 29 2010 06:03

Totally agree with Wellclose Square.

Leo:

Quote:
mciver ... seems like a really, really sad individual with deep mental issues (probably obsessive-compulsive personality disorder), and i am genuinely sorry for him although i'm sure people will understand i am not really that sympathetic given his rabid anti-communism.

Psychologism, as always, substitutes for a real understanding of social relations and of history. It was true for Freud - and Leo has none of his innovative insights (insights negated by his need for bourgeois respectability). Leo is using pop psychology as an ideological weapon to defend his loyal submissive partisan hackery in his tedious political racket. He's without the slightest ability or desire to develop any original contribution to the subversive understanding of capitalism. Like all those who remain in political organisations for longer than a year or so, his belief that the constant repetition of an utterly petrified fragment of truth (in his case, a stodgy critique of wage labour and commodity production which hasn't left the 19th century; a totally unnuanced critique of union rackets... ) is somehow "revolutionary" hides aims other than the explicit aims of contributing to the attack on this society. Hence, when mciver launches an attack, he resorts to a completely bourgeois use of psychology taken from the introduction to The Idiots' Guide To Freud.

The need for representation, for a role, in an organisation with international links and pseudo-historical aims, compensates for a tortuous feeling of being on the margin of existence; organising the organisation compensates for and distracts from the individual need to organise direct activities, with or without others - whichever is relevant, against this utterly insecure world.

mciver certainly has "obsessive" problems, however: like the organisation he was a part of way beyond its sell-by date, his past weighs like a nightmare on his brain. If he seriously wants to develop his opposition to this society he should be applying and developing his insights to the contradictions of the present: it's easy to be right about the past - what him, and others like him, need to do to develop their margin of freedom (assuming this is what they seriously want to do) - is to make new mistakes, rather than endlessly go over the old ones.

In State and Revolution, apparently Lenin's most 'libertarian' work, the old state capitalist scumbag said, "we do not dream of disposing at once ...with all subordination...No, we want the socialist revolution with subordination, control and foremen and accountants". This was said in the middle of a work whose aim was to make "friendly" overtures to all the different currents of revolutionaries in Russia 1917 - a text which, in many other ways for its time, was semi-anarchist. 4 years later, at Kronstadt, we could see what he meant by "subordination" etc. Though only in their wildest wet dreams do the ICC dream of themselves seizing state power, their current rather blundering overtures to anarchists (whose lack of clarity about such things as trade unions might make some of the more frustrated of them attracted to the rigid dogmas of the ICC) are aimed at building their "party" much in the same way as Lenin did during a far greater revolutionary epoch. The ICC might have the delerious aim of being a part of the state which will suppress its "bourgeois" opponents in much the same way as Lenin (with far greater realism and genuine possibility) did before he had the actual means to do so. A critique of the Situationists by the ICC in th mid-70s is an example of this delerium: "The cults of newness...of the individual, of de-alienation, and of the spectacle...have often succeeded in transforming many groups that the class since its resurgence has given rise to, into exotic sects...If they persist...in standing in the way of the task of regroupment of revolutionary forces, the proletarian movement will ruthlessly destroy them."( my emphasis).

For the ICC, Kronstadt was a "tragic mistake", but not the logical outcome of a belief in state power and in being the concentrated centre of class consciousness, of the organisational possession of the revolutionary truth. In the mid-80s I chatted to a friendly American woman on a train in France. After 5 minutes we got onto Reagan (whom she supported) and Vietnam. She claimed Vietnam was a "mistake". Having made my critique in the most gentlemanly fashion, I politely told her I would be ending the discussion and moved to another seat. This after 5 minutes or so. After years and years on these threads and forums I think it would help if we politely told the ICC, whose pretensions to radicality are far more dangerous than the friendly American's conservative crap, to shut the fuck up - and for them to move. But that would require people to recognise that theory has to have practical consequences. And not just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk with those who can find a way of somehow reducing mass murder on the part of a capitalist state to a terrible "mistake".

Anyone can use "marxist" language (Ebert, Scheidemann, Noske, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, etc) - but decisions about these Great Pretenders have to be made...Do we sit and chat to our future would-be executioners or what?

Devrim's picture
Devrim
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Joined: 15-07-06
Jul 29 2010 08:27
nastyned wrote:
You really don't know a lot about anarchism do you Alf? Of course we're materialists. And of course Marx had an influence on anarchism. If your knowledge of Bakunin wasn't confined to Marxist attacks on him you would be aware of this.

I think that this is a valid point. A lot of people in the ICC don't know that much about anarchism. I also think that they probably don't have the best way to approach understanding it.

Alf commented on the other thread:

Devrim wrote:
Alf wrote:
The second question, as Noa also clearly recognises, is the Marx/Bakunin split. If our reassessment of anarchism means anything, it will necessarily involve going back to this key moment in the history of the workers' movement.

Why? Modern anarchism is in no way 'Bakuninism'. I don't think that the split in the international is particularly relevant at all.

I really think that going back and reading what Marx said about the split in the international, possibly at least for the second time for many, offers nothing towards understanding contemporary anarchism. It would be much better to actually look at what today's anarchists are saying themselves.

At least then we wouldn't be coming out with absurd things like calling them idealists.

Quote:
I am sure there are others. I think this was what Devrim was on about when he said he disagreed with our view that the anarchists are not really materialists. I know what he means, but I think he missed the point. Anarchists can indeed be materialists, sometimes, like Maximoff, in a very clear way - although the influence of marxism seems undeniable in the above pamphlet. But the materialism of many anarchists strikes me as extremely vulgar materialism, something particularly clear in the attitude towards religion. And vulgar materialism can coexist very well with idealism - Lenin also made both mistakes at times. Anarchist idealism, the tendency to remove the ideal of liberty, and its antithesis, authority, from real material history, is surely not an invention of the marxists?

Maybe it had some justification historically. I am not knowledgeable enough on it to really comment. However, if it is not an invention of Marxists, it is at least a myth perpetuated by them.

Devrim

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Devrim
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Jul 29 2010 08:36
nastyned wrote:
And it's good to see mciver called a parasite at last, you've been a bit slow off the mark here ICC people.

I don't think that anybody has called McIver a 'parasite'. Leo made a jokey comment about it.

Wellclose Square wrote:
Dunno how many pseudonyms the ICC are using to cry foul on mciver, but is this the best they can muster, short of some half-baked 'Jury of Honour' (apart from squealing to libcom moderators about one person 'bullying' ICC sympathisers)? So no 'Jury of Honour', just give the nod to a bit of co-ordinated character assassination - welcome to the pack, Leo - that's the party spirit.

I hardly think that there is any 'coordinated character assassination' going on either. In fact, compared to the abuse that has been thrown at members of the ICC, I think it has been very restrained. If you cast your mind back to the behaviour of some groups on this board when criticised, I think that you would have to admit that there is a difference. If one member of the ICC makes an off the cuff comment, it is very little to what has been thrown at members of the ICC on here.

nastyned wrote:
Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

I doubt that you read World Revolution, Ned, but if you did, you would know that it is more than a few years since the ICC ran articles like that.

Devrim

Mike Harman
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Jul 29 2010 09:09
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Alf wrote:
Devoration poses the essential issue regarding the attitude of the revolutionary anarchists to the ICC: either it is, for all its flaws, an organisation of the working class, and thus needs defending; or it is a ruthless, cynical racket, expressing the interests of an alien power. The same dilemma is posed with regard to left communism in general, historically and today.

On a separate but related point: is it acceptable that a new poster on libcom, one who is clearly serious about the need for revolution, is immediately accused by mciver of making "PR posts", with the insinuation that this "new recruit" has been duped by the Apparat?

We haven't said anything about the similar treatment mciver meted out on an earlier thread to soyonstout, another "new recruit".
[...]
However, I think that attacking new posters like this is indeed flaming, and the moderators should say something about it.

Alf, that was not flaming in any way and I do not appreciate you asking us to take action against mciver for his post. I would be very interested in seeing whatever advice or guidance you are giving to new recruits which leads them to join this forum only after joining the ICC to vigorously defend the positions of the organisation.

I wonder if it's been updated since 2005:

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/286_forums.html

Quote:
At present, the ICC in Britain has been directing most of its efforts towards two forums, urban75.com and libcom.org. The latter in particular is a major focus for those who identify with a ‘libertarian’ political standpoint. We have taken part in or joined up with a number of threads – on the trade unions, on council communism and anarcho-syndicalism, on whether communism is inevitable, on whether the ICC is a sect…. Debate can be difficult and there is a certain amount of hostility and suspicion towards us, especially from those who are steeped in ‘official’ anarchism. Despite this, we are perfectly able to put forward our positions and in some of the threads there is a real attempt to answer what we have to say, allowing for a genuine discussion.

We certainly intend to continue taking part in these and probably other forums. Readers who want to follow our interventions and the discussions around them should search for the contributions from wld_rvn (urban75) and wld_rvn, beltov, and gustave (libcom). We also strongly encourage our readers and sympathisers to get involved in the process as well. Just click on the relevant forums and they will explain their procedures and ground rules. It would be useful if sympathisers could send us their usernames so that we can follow their threads.

In a forthcoming issue of WR we will give a fuller account of the most interesting web forum discussions we have taken part in so far. WR 2/7/5

Leo
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Joined: 16-07-06
Jul 29 2010 09:10
Quote:
Psychologism, as always, substitutes for a real understanding of social relations and of history.

and you expect people to take you seriously?

Quote:
mciver certainly has "obsessive" problems

funny you recognize that. you yourself are not that different to be honest, i remember you writing a long, long post in response to... a poem, posted by someone in the icc.

your thing however is probably more of a peer-pressure related behavior rather than obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Quote:
however: like the organisation he was a part of way beyond its sell-by date, his past weighs like a nightmare on his brain.

we would have of course bought this if... everyone who left the mentioned organization ended up like him. funny how, except a few examples, none of which are as sad as mciver, most of those who left the icc moved on with their lives, some even moved on with their politics.

Quote:
In the mid-80s I chatted to a friendly American woman on a train in France. After 5 minutes we got onto Reagan (whom she supported) and Vietnam. She claimed Vietnam was a "mistake". Having made my critique in the most gentlemanly fashion, I politely told her I would be ending the discussion and moved to another seat. This after 5 minutes or so. After years and years on these threads and forums I think it would help if we politely told the ICC, whose pretensions to radicality are far more dangerous than the friendly American's conservative crap, to shut the fuck up - and for them to move.
Quote:
Do we sit and chat to our future would-be executioners or what?

just so that people can see how sane you are, you are comparing the icc, an organization with a handful of militants, and organization which has a minimal influence, and organization which is not armed... with the reaganites... and you are saying that the icc is more dangerous than the reaganites.

wow whats gonna be next, you gonna root us to the police in order to evade the dangers coming from your "would-be executioners"?

Battlescarred
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Joined: 27-02-06
Jul 29 2010 09:13

And boy when they did, they did it in style. On one demo the then ACF attended and distributed literature ( we had taken the decision not to join the demo) we were denounced as the left wing of capitalism in WR for supporting the demonstration whilst the ICC were doing exactly the same thing in distributing their propaganda. Explain the logic of that. I still have the cutting somewhere.
And we took them up on this in a letter in WR . In their reply the ICC refused to recognise the wrongness of their original statement. Mental.

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Jul 29 2010 09:20
Devrim wrote:
nastyned wrote:
Perhaps a long denunciation in your press is called for now?

I doubt that you read World Revolution, Ned, but if you did, you would know that it is more than a few years since the ICC ran articles like that.

Devrim

I wouldn't call five years "more than a few".

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/291_anarchists_WW2.html

Quote:
However, there are numerous disparate elements that call themselves anarchists who, from their very incoherence, have a role in tail ending and supporting the campaigns of the ruling class. Two particular threads on the libcom.org discussion forums entitled “1939 and all that” [1] and “How do you explain the Nazi obsession with the Jews?” demonstrate how, mainly through the ideological mystification of anti-fascism, these anarchist elements are led to defend democracy, Stalinism and imperialism and thus take up a position against the working class.
Quote:
The refusal to confront the crimes of Stalinism – and particularly democracy – and instead denounce the ICC when the latter points these out, can only result in support for the bourgeoisie and its rotting system.