DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

The Anarchist Workers Group (deceased)

139 posts / 0 new
Last post
OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Apr 9 2006 22:33

The experience of the AWG group, with the ex-leninists fighting the hardest against becoming leninists, is not unique.

There were some ex-trots involved in the Love and Rage federation in the US - these were the people who struggled the hardest against the pro-maoist faction, and they're in NEFAC now.

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Apr 10 2006 04:05
OliverTwister wrote:
The experience of the AWG group, with the ex-leninists fighting the hardest against becoming leninists, is not unique.

There were some ex-trots involved in the Love and Rage federation in the US - these were the people who struggled the hardest against the pro-maoist faction, and they're in NEFAC now.

NEFAC is hardly a million miles away from the Trotskyism of some of its older members youth.

Pete

Admin - Side discussion about the WSM and Platformist positions on unions split here:

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9285

Glory hunter
Offline
Joined: 13-01-05
Apr 10 2006 19:21

Some of you Libcom people would have had more in common with the AWG than you might imagine, you remind me of them a lot. red star red star

revolutionrugger
Offline
Joined: 23-03-06
Apr 10 2006 20:08
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Oddly enough the ones coming from the SWP background seemed to be most resistant to the turn to leninism

Funny ain't it? this parrallels Wayne Price and other ex-RSL members of Love and Rage here in the states. Ex-leninists defended the principles of anarchism with more ardour than those that had begun their revolutionary careers as anarchists. Now, though many love and ragers became maoists or crypto-maoist (BTR), Wayne and other ex-RSL members remain ardent anarchists and members of NEFAC.

revolutionrugger
Offline
Joined: 23-03-06
Apr 10 2006 20:14
Peter wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
The experience of the AWG group, with the ex-leninists fighting the hardest against becoming leninists, is not unique.

There were some ex-trots involved in the Love and Rage federation in the US - these were the people who struggled the hardest against the pro-maoist faction, and they're in NEFAC now.

NEFAC is hardly a million miles away from the Trotskyism of some of its older members youth.

Pete

Admin - Side discussion about the WSM and Platformist positions on unions split here:

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9285

go to hell troll. Sorry nefac doesn't conform to your purist and utopian ultra-left politics of inaction; but they are and always will be clearly and obviously working WELL within the anarchist discourse and history of practice. You're mindless trot-calling has no substance in either NEFAC's official positions nor Wayne and Bills current works. Its the recycled name calling NEFAC has experienced since its founding from a bunch of scared losers who are afraid that their three guys and book group style of anarchism might be endangered by a well organized and specific anarchist political organization.

gurrier
Offline
Joined: 30-01-04
Apr 10 2006 21:02
revolutionrugger wrote:
go to hell troll. Sorry nefac doesn't conform to your purist and utopian ultra-left politics of inaction; but they are and always will be clearly and obviously working WELL within the anarchist discourse and history of practice. You're mindless trot-calling has no substance in either NEFAC's official positions nor Wayne and Bills current works. Its the recycled name calling NEFAC has experienced since its founding from a bunch of scared losers who are afraid that their three guys and book group style of anarchism might be endangered by a well organized and specific anarchist political organization.

Well said!

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 10 2006 22:44

Now now peter and revolutionrugger, play nice.

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Apr 12 2006 01:17
revolutionrugger wrote:
Peter wrote:
go to hell troll. Sorry nefac doesn't conform to your purist and utopian ultra-left politics of inaction; but they are and always will be clearly and obviously working WELL within the anarchist discourse and history of practice. You're mindless trot-calling has no substance in either NEFAC's official positions nor Wayne and Bills current works. Its the recycled name calling NEFAC has experienced since its founding from a bunch of scared losers who are afraid that their three guys and book group style of anarchism might be endangered by a well organized and specific anarchist political organization.

NB. This is my attempt to reconstruct my post from yesterday which seems to have disappeared.

Sorry John, I'm not going to play nice with these leftist hacks. Anyway this is far nicer than what they get up to in rugby scrums. Although maybe revolutionrugger is a back.

First up don't insult me by calling me an anarchist, I haven't been that silly since I was 26.

The whole boring mantra that you clowns throw at us constantly: "you're so pure cos you don't do anything, at least we're getting our hands dirty with real workers" is a fucking crock of shit. You don't know what I do and you certainly haven't said what great things you've achieved through your submission to trade unionism. But even if do nothing, I'd choose that every time over being a stooge for the union bosses.

How about you tell us what makes NEFAC so different from the smaller Trot groups.

Is it 'critical' support for the unions? Nope

Is it ambiguity over national liberation movements? Nope

Is it activity centred around building the party (sorry federation)? Nope

There doesn't seem to be a huge difference between NEFAC and Trots on the important questions that demarcate social democratic and communist positions. Arguments about Kronstadt and Spain are not so important IMHO especially when anarchists who make a big song and dance denouncing the Bolshevik counter-revolution turn around and glorify the CNT counter-revolution.

As for Wayne Price, when you were twittering uselessly on the anti-politics forum did you notice his posts there advocating socialism and democracy? What do you think adding them together gives you? Add lip-service to revolution and you've got Trotskyism

Pete

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Apr 12 2006 07:08

then I said you shouldn't call them trots just because they had stuff in common with them (also I thought it was 25?), to which you replied something along the lines that they were losers nyer nyer nyer...

Okay I made that last bit up.

Skraeling
Offline
Joined: 7-04-06
Apr 12 2006 08:34

I haven't made up my mind about modern day platformists, but i do see Pete's point, that a lot of their positions are similar to Trotskyist groups. I dunno if you can call em out and out Trots tho.

The way i see it, i do not see some magical dividing line or rigid division between anarchist communism and Leninism. At some point, the two merge. Perhaps the AWG is a good case in point. I think of all the types of anarchist communism, platformism is probably the closest to Leninism. Sure it doesn't share some aspects with Leninism, but it does others. Perhaps platformism is a kind of Leninist/anarchist hybrid. When i talk about platformism to Leninist friends, they say it is the type of anarchism that is closest to their own politics.

(for the record, i also see anarchist communism merging at the other end of the spectrum into left communism or simply 'communism' as it is known these days)

and also, its worth repeating, when anarchist communists first came across the platform, they rejected it as being too close to Bolshevism. I think Malatesta's critique was spot on.

finally, in my experience, i've met a couple of trots who became anarchists and then went back the other way, to become even more pure trots. These ex-anarchist trots then become rabid, religious specialists in dissing anarchists, and treat anarchism as a scornful infantile deviation. So i'm really unsure about ex-leninists being the staunchest opponents of Leninism. They seem to bring a lot of baggage with them.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 12 2006 09:31
Peter wrote:
Sorry John, I'm not going to play nice with these leftist hacks. Anyway this is far nicer than what they get up to in rugby scrums. Although maybe revolutionrugger is a back.

I dunno if you saw my post yesterday abuot I see where the shit has come from with you and NEFAC, re the whole scab/trot name-calling, but it would be nice to keep things civil.

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Apr 12 2006 09:55
Saii wrote:
then I said you shouldn't call them trots just because they had stuff in common with them (also I thought it was 25?), to which you replied something along the lines that they were losers nyer nyer nyer...

Okay I made that last bit up.

Yes I did say 25 but I thought about it and realised that although I started to get interested in commie stuff when I was 25 (Harry Cleaver - boo and Aufheben - yay) I was still identifying as an anarchist until sometime when I was 26.

I think in my reply to you that I said I don't think they are Trots as such but that disagreements with self-proclaimed Trots over Spain and Kronstadt are less important than what I see as their similarities.

Skraeling, some of the more party oriented left-commie groups have written stuff praising the platform. Try googling the Brousse Collective. They seemed to be close to the ICG.

Revol, clearly I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek (or should that be arse?) when I said the stuff about social democracy. And yet I think there is some truth in it.

The CNT will have to wait cos the library's closing.

Pete

gurrier
Offline
Joined: 30-01-04
Apr 12 2006 10:01
Peter wrote:
...glorify the CNT counter-revolution.

As for Wayne Price, when you were twittering uselessly on the anti-politics forum did you notice his posts there advocating socialism and democracy? What do you think adding them together gives you? Add lip-service to revolution and you've got Trotskyism

Wow, pete, you've got even more extraordinarily cut off from reality over the last few years.

The CNT counter revolution against.... um... the CNT membership? The organisation without which there certainly wouldn't have been a revolution was responsible for the counter revolution? Unspeakably silly.

Then your denunciation of Wayne Price for advocating socialism and democracy manages to trump the earlier comment in terms of pure bonkers-ness.

So, taking the definitions of socialism and democracy that wayne is working from rather than whatever silly definition you use:

socialism - equal division of wealth

democracy - equal division of decision making power

What would you counterpose to these counter-revolutionary positions?

*n.b. you are not allowed to substitute the above definitions for your own bizzare and meaningless ones.

revolutionrugger
Offline
Joined: 23-03-06
Apr 12 2006 12:22

CNT counter revolution. blah. Hardly. When I was in NEFAC, "Towards a Fresh Revolution" by the Friends of Durruti Group was required reading in the Baltimore Local Union. Also, you argue that the difference between troskyism and NEFAC is historical posturing (kronstadt, ukraine, etc) and then you bring up the spanish civl war, who's posturing now?

National Liberation Struggle? Dude, the Quebec comrades hate that shit. What are you talking about? NEFACs ideas about that are solidly anti-nationalist. Are you talking about the Vermont Collective spending time in Chiapas working with the EZLN? seriously do you even know what you're talking about?

Why is anarchist a juvenile term? Sorry if being a "communist" or a "marxist" gets you more psuedo-intellectual cock points but I'm an anarchist baby.

The anarchist tradition has included many variants with different positions on trade unionism. Taking that SINGULAR similarity and conflating our position with that of Trotskyite groups, simply because you disagree, is intellectually dishonest, or shows a complete ignorance of trotskyism, and anarchism.

Building the party? dude, nefac don't have membership drives. They don't recruit. They don't hand out flyers about NEFAC. they are small and like it that way. they simply coordinate their participation in Mass Struggle. No membership cards, no central office. Where's the "party building" you ignoramus?

The truth is you don't know anything about nefac, just what you want to believe or lie about to support your arguments.

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Apr 12 2006 12:23

It’s lets attack the ‘internationalists’ time again, and as usual this is being done with the usual theoretical rigor, and clarity.

The ‘internationalists' obviously are:

Quote:
mindless

Quote:
a bunch of scared losers
Quote:
clearly a muppet whose blasting poorly digested ultra leftism out his arse
Quote:
Unspeakably silly

and

Quote:
pure bonkers

O.k., now that you have managed to throw a load of insults at them, you can go happily back to your critical support of national liberation, and your trade union work, satisfied that another criticism has been adequately dealt with.

The alternative is to try, and deal with the actual arguments, which is a lot more difficult.

First, lets talk about national liberation. In NEFAC’s aims and principles it says that:

Quote:
We do not support the ideology of national liberation movements, which

claims that there are common

interests held between the working class and the native ruling class in

the face of foreign domination. Although we support working class

struggles against political and economic imperialism, racism, genocide

and colonization, we are opposed to the creation of a new ruling class.

We believe that the defeat of imperialism will only come about through a

social revolution waged against both the imperialists and the local

ruling class. This social revolution will have to spread across national

borders. We further reject all forms of nationalism as this only serves

to redefine divisions in the international working class. The working

class has no country, and national boundaries will be eliminated. We

must encourage and develop international

solidarity which will one day lay the basis for a global social

revolution.

This seems quite clear, but then in the article 'The U.S. Deserves to Lose in Iraq but Should We "Support the Iraqi Resistance"?', which was reprinted in this latest issue of 'KaraKızıl Notlar' in Turkey, Wayne Price says that:

Quote:
The term national liberation implies more than this, an end to economic and political domination by imperialism--something which is not fully possible without the overthrow of world imperialism. But if national self-determination means the right to make a choice, then nationalism as such is a particular choice, the choice of a national state. It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make.

and:

Quote:
Lucien Van der Walt, of the Zabalaza Anarcho-Communist Federation of South Africa, points out that anarchists have participated in national anti-imperialist struggles in Cuba, Egypt, Ireland, Ukraine, Macedonia, Korea, Algeria, and Morocco. “The anarchist movement has paid in blood for its opposition to imperial domination.” He summarizes, “Anarchists...may fight alongside nationalists for limited reforms and victories against imperialism, but we fight against the statism and capitalism of the nationalists....This requires active participation in national liberation struggles but political independence from the nationalists. National liberation must be differentiated from nationalism, which is the class program of the bourgeoisie: we are against imperialism, but also, against nationalism.”

and:

Quote:
Sam Mbah and I.E. Igariwey, of the Nigerian Awareness League, write in African Anarchism (1997), “Anarchists demand the liberation of all existing colonies and support struggles for national independence in Africa and around the world as long as they express the will of the people in the nations concerned. However, anarchists also insist that the usefulness of ‘self-determination’ will be very limited as long [as] the state system and capitalism--including Marxist state capitalism--are retained....A viable solution to the myriad of problems posed by the national question in Africa, such as internecine civil conflicts, is realizable only outside the context of the state system.”

and

Quote:
Anarchists believe that nationalism and national independence (with a national state and a capitalist economy) will not solve the problems of oppressed nations. We are right to believe this. But the workers and peasants of Iraq, say, or Palestine, may believe otherwise. They are, we say, making an error, but they should have the RIGHT to make that error. We should--we must--support them in that right, against their oppressors. We must not say that since the Arab masses are making an error (by being nationalist), we will be neutral between the Iraqis and the U.S. or the Palestinians and the Zionist army. In fact, the only way the Iraqis, Palestinians, or others may be won to anarchist internationalism is if we support them fully, and if, if possible, anarchists struggle along with them, demonstrating in practice that libertarian socialism is the best program for ending imperialist domination.

I am sorry to quote at such great length, but I don’t want to be accused of quoting people out of context. It appears to me that they have kicked national liberation out of the front door, and then let it back in through the window. Nobody accused them of being Trotskists. What was said was:

Quote:
NEFAC is hardly a million miles away from the Trotskyism of some of its older members youth.

I personally can see very little difference between this position, and the Trotskist position of critical support.

If somebody else can, could they please explain it to me.

The 'internationalists on the other hand say that today all national liberation movements are anti-working class. Our position is very clear. If you want to attack it, please do, but try to do it on a political level, not just throw insults. Please explain to me what we should do here in Turkey. Should we support the Kurdish nationalist in the PKK? As Wayne says:

Quote:
The nationalism of the oppressed nations contains, however distorted, a positive aspect, namely opposition to imperialist oppression.

Or should we support the Turkish nationalists, who also claim that Turkey is oppressed by the imperialist powers?

Or should we support both, and wear different hats depending on whom we are talking to?

I for one will continue to take an internationalist position, and continue to say that the working class has no interest in supporting this squalid war, in which over 36,000 people mostly workers, peasants, and conscript soldiers have lost their lives on behalf of competing nationalisms.

For Internationalism

Devrim

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Apr 12 2006 12:34

uh-oh here comes Devrim to raise the tone of debate roll eyes tongue

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Apr 12 2006 12:56

Devrim - is Wayne Price in NEFAC? If not those aren't fair criticisms. If he is then while they're not fair criticism of NEFAC then Peter's point (about "some members") would have some truth

revolutionrugger
Offline
Joined: 23-03-06
Apr 12 2006 12:58

yes wanye is in the NYC collective.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Apr 12 2006 17:56

Wayne Price was one of the members of the Revolutionary Socialist League, a trot outfit which had common origins with the ISO (our version of the SWP) but which gradually moved towards libertarian socialist positions, dropping Lenin, then Trotsky, and even a good portion of Marx and picking up anarchist thought. When the Love and Rage anarchist federation was founded in the early 90s, the rump of the RSL dissolved and joined L&R. (The ex-RSLers numbered around 5). Towards the end, as a definite trend centered around Chris Day was moving towards Maoism and promoting the ideas of Noel Ignatiev heavily (that white folks should become 'race traitors'), Wayne and some of the other ex-trots became the most outspoken defenders of anarchist thought and critics of leninism. Wayne is indeed in NEFAC and does write quite a few articles, though from a personal capacity - relatively few are published in the Northeastern Anarchist.

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Apr 12 2006 19:16

Just one point Oliver. If something is published on an organisation's website with no disclamers what does in a 'personal capacity' mean. Is it anarchist slang for "we are not 'authorıtarian' enough to have a political position. Everyone can believe what they like". He is, as you said, a mamber. Does he have to agree with the aims and principles even?

In solidarity,

Dev

PaulMarsh's picture
PaulMarsh
Offline
Joined: 26-09-03
Apr 12 2006 20:06
OliverTwister wrote:
Towards the end, as a definite trend centered around Chris Day was moving towards Maoism and promoting the ideas of Noel Ignatiev heavily (that white folks should become 'race traitors'), .

Excellent - this sort of lunacy is why I have always thought the Americans just nudge it over the Turks for having the worst "left" in the world.

Perhaps that is why revolutionrugger and Devrim are arguing so intently?

revolutionrugger
Offline
Joined: 23-03-06
Apr 12 2006 20:12

i mostly argue intently because its better than doin my job.

OliverTwister's picture
OliverTwister
Offline
Joined: 10-10-05
Apr 12 2006 22:22
Devrim wrote:
Just one point Oliver. If something is published on an organisation's website with no disclamers what does in a 'personal capacity' mean. Is it anarchist slang for "we are not 'authorıtarian' enough to have a political position. Everyone can believe what they like". He is, as you said, a mamber. Does he have to agree with the aims and principles even?

In solidarity,

Dev

I do not think any Wayne Price articles have been placed on the NEFAC website anytime recently - a search for his name brings up a page with links to a few essays, none of which function. Most of his writing, as of late, has gone on the anarkismo.net website and say explicitly "Written for anarkismo.net", which declares

Quote:
The purpose of the site is to:

1. Collect and distribute the news and analysis produced by anarchist groups and individuals all over the world who are influenced by the "platformist", anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism.

2. Facilitate fraternal debate and discussion between anarchists of this tradition.

3. Provide a space where other anarchists, socialists and anybody else can learn about the activities and views of this anarchist tradition and engage in constructive dialogue with them."

Yes it could be taken as "we are not authoritarian enough..." but keep in mind the primary purpose of the page is for internal debate within the anarchist-communist movement, not external propaganda.

Secondly, I think that you are being semantist in your reading of different anarchist-communist texts.

Jean Barrot wrote:
Of course, anti-fascism is not a homogeneous phenomenon. Durruti, Orwell and Santiago Carrillo all qualify as antifascists. But the question remains: What is anti-fascism anti? And what is it 'pro' exactly?

I am against imperialism, be it French, British, US or Chinese. I am not an 'anti-imperialist', since that is a political position supporting national liberation movements opposed to imperialist powers.

I am (and so is the proletariat) against fascism, be it in the form of Hitler or Le Pen. I am not an 'anti-fascist', since this is a political position regarding fascist state or threat as a first and foremost enemy to be destroyed at all costs, i.e. siding with bourgeois democrats as a lesser evil, and postponing revolution until fascism is disposed of.

Lucien Van Der Walt wrote:

“The anarchist movement has paid in blood for its opposition to imperial domination.” He summarizes, “Anarchists...may fight alongside nationalists for limited reforms and victories against imperialism, but we fight against the statism and capitalism of the nationalists....This requires active participation in national liberation struggles but political independence from the nationalists. National liberation must be differentiated from nationalism, which is the class program of the bourgeoisie: we are against imperialism, but also, against nationalism.”

Are the two really all that different, other than semantically? I'll readily admit that I think there are some areas of thought in which criticism needs to take place to solidify the anarchist-communist movement, including the "closeness" with which we relate to nationalists... but no movement will be completely homogenous, especially one struggling to assert itself from decades of counter-revolution.

Lets take the above quote by Lucien van der Walt - what if we replaced [national liberation struggles] with [struggles against imperialism]. Is it the semantic or the meaning which is most important - and if it is not semantic then how does this differ greatly from Barrot's own thought?

Let me bring the example closer to my own experience - right now the US ruling class are attempting to impose extremely draconian immigration laws and there have been massive mobilizations against them - just two days ago in Atlanta there was one in which at least 50,000 people marched, one of the largest marches i've been in and likely the largest ever to take place in Atlanta. The next round of major demonstrations is set to take place May 1, a workday, and everything is indicating things will be even larger. What these are are limited, one-day general strikes, of a sort never seen in North America (in that they are not localized), and in particular these will be the first large-scale demonstrations for Mayday in north america in about 70 years. This is a huge opportunity, and one extremely relevant to this topic. With our limited abilities we are trying to intervene - in what way would you say the brief outline by Lucien is a wrong one: criticism of the statism and capitalism of nationalism as being the class program of the bougeoisie, but still participating in the struggle against imperial domination [with the goal of encouraging proletarian self-activity]?

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Apr 12 2006 22:32

Hi Oliver,

I am in the middle of writing something else at the moment, but I will come back to your points later tonight. The article I referred to was: http://nefac.net/node/1956 , it is on the home page of the NEFAC website under:

"Popular content

Today's:

The U.S. Deserves to Lose in Iraq but Should We "Support the Iraqi Resistance"?"

I am not sure how old it is, but that does seem to imply it is quite recent. The reason that I quoted from it was that it has just been reprinted in 'KaraKızıl Notlar' the magazine of AKİ. The people, who e-mail you from Turkey. All the quotes I used came from the original English version though, not the translation, so they are accurate.

Take care,

Dev

Smash Rich Bastards
Offline
Joined: 24-03-06
Apr 12 2006 23:18
Devrim wrote:

I am not sure how old it is, but that does seem to imply it is quite recent. The reason that I quoted from it was that it has just been reprinted in 'KaraKızıl Notlar' the magazine of AKİ. The people, who e-mail you from Turkey. All the quotes I used came from the original English version though, not the translation, so they are accurate.

Take care,

Dev

It was originally written for Anarkismo.net and was reposted to NEFAC.net.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Apr 12 2006 23:36

A member of NEFAC writing for Anarkism, then this being reposted on NEFAC's website doesn't in any way change Devrim's statement below.

Devrim wrote:
Just one point Oliver. If something is published on an organisation's website with no disclamers what does in a 'personal capacity' mean. Is it anarchist slang for "we are not 'authorıtarian' enough to have a political position. Everyone can believe what they like". He is, as you said, a mamber. Does he have to agree with the aims and principles even?

In solidarity,

Dev

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Apr 13 2006 00:03

Oliver,

I answered your points on the other thread:

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=118510#118510

Dev

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Apr 13 2006 02:53
gurrier wrote:
So, taking the definitions of socialism and democracy that wayne is working from rather than whatever silly definition you use:

socialism - equal division of wealth

democracy - equal division of decision making power

What would you counterpose to these counter-revolutionary positions?

*n.b. you are not allowed to substitute the above definitions for your own bizzare and meaningless ones.

No I won't change the definitions. I'll just point out that they appear to presuppose the existence of abstract individuals alienated from each other just like every other bourgeois position.

What I'd counterpose to those bourgeois positions is that old saw of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs'. I'm not opposed to taking votes on some things but to fetishise voting as THE decision making process is silly and yes, bourgeois and counter-revolutionary.

Alternatively Marx's son-in-law Paul Lafargue put it pretty well way back in the 19th century, "...the aim of the revolution is not the triumph of justice, morality, liberty and other bourgeois jokes, but as little work and as much intellectual and physical enjoyment as possible."

cheers

Pete

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Apr 13 2006 03:02
revol68 wrote:
Devrim, who are these "Internationalists"? I agree totally with your position on national liberation, but my problem isn't to do with internationalism but rather ridiculous comments about the CNT and the purer than though anti union position adopted by Peter.

Revol, I think I responded to something similar of yours a few days ago but both our posts disappeared.

I don't think I take a purer-than-thou anti-union position. It's certainly not purer than the ICC's which forbids its members to join unions unless it's a closed shop. I've joined a union in the past although with hindsight I think it was a mistake. If I changed jobs or circumstances at my current job changed considerably I might join a union again.

There is however a considerable difference between my pragmatically joining a union and NEFAC's assertions that unions are actually-existing working class social movements and their acceptance of paid union organisers within their party.

Pete

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Apr 13 2006 09:18

Revol,

Which parts of the left communist 'shit' don't you agree with? I think that the accusation of:

Quote:
rejection of everything not in their nice "communist programme", a programme that exists on a platonic plane, always escaping the dirty grubby hands of real concrete humans.

is a bit unfair. I know that there is a lot of bullshit talked in the name of left communism, probably not as much as is talked in the name of 'anarchism' if only because there are a lot more 'anarchists'.

I think to a certain extent you are tarring people with the same brush here. I wouldn’t accuse anarchists like yourself of being ‘pro-nationalist’ just because ‘anarchists’ like the WSM, and NEFAC are.

The communist position on democracy is actually quite simple. We just say that it shouldn’t be fetishised. Of course there are times when we make democratic decisions, and we are not arguing against this. We do say, however, that there are times when minorities either don’t go through the democratic process, or even actually go against it.

I will give two examples. The first is the start of the English miners strike in 1984. .

Wiki says this:

Quote:
Sensitive to the impact of the proposed closures in their own areas, miners in various coal fields began strike action. In the Yorkshire coal field strike action began when workers at the Manvers complex walked out over the lack of consultation. Over 6,000 miners were already on strike when a local ballot led to strike action from March 5 at Cortonwood Colliery at Brampton, South Yorkshire, and at Bullcliffe Wood colliery, near Ossett. What had prompted the March 5 action was the further announcement by the Coal Board that five pits were to be subject to "accelerated closure" within just five weeks; the other three were Herrington in County Durham, Snowdon in Kent and Polmaise in Scotland. On the next day pickets from the Yorkshire area appeared at pits in the Nottinghamshire coal field (one of those least threatened by pit closures). On March 12, 1984 Arthur Scargill, President of the NUM declared that the strikes in the various coal fields were to be a national strike and called for strike action from NUM members in all coal fields.

There are times when workers send out flying pickets to directly ask other workers to join them in their struggle. To a certain extent the miners strike was spread by flying pickets. This is not democratic. It is minorities taking action to spread the struggle.

Of slightly less importance to the international class struggle was a little spat we had at work a couple of months ago. The point however remains the same. The director threw a fit, and sacked one of the workers (there were some issue, but I feel that the main reason was that her family’s origins were in one of those ‘Eastern’ countries, and she wasn’t quite ‘white’ enough. Our management are really racist bastards). Myself, and one of the lads at work (who happens to be a left nationalist) had foreseen this, and had said in the pub one night that if it happened we would go on strike. She was sacked, we refused to go back to work, we explained to the other workers what we were doing and why, and we were joined by some, but not all of them. If we had held a meeting, and put it to a vote, we would have definitely lost. By striking ourselves, we forced the management to back down after two hours, and saved her job. This is anti-democratic.

That is basically it. There is a theoretical side to it too, but when it comes to getting your hands dirty that is what the so-called ‘critique of democracy’ is about.

İn solidarity,

Dev