A question - NEFAC and national liberation

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thugarchist
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Apr 24 2007 19:34
Flint wrote:
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
The closest we have come is, crime of crimes, we raised some money for RAWA in Afghanistan once (which went towards building self-managed schools for young women) and we have critically supported indigenous struggles in our region. That's it. Everyone got it now?

I make NEFAC do horrible things.

I'm pretty sure your aggressive agitation for anarchist support for RAWA is directly responsable for the Bartram affair.

Mike Harman
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Apr 24 2007 19:48
thugarchist wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
Then like it is with trot groups I'd either be more likely to be on the side of those getting expelled, or not give much of a shit. Only current exception I can think of is if the IWW expels those SSP members. This is off topic though, and you and chuck are already on my shit list.

But people calling for Waynes expulsion from across the pond is on topic?

It's about NEFAC and nationalism, Wayne seems to be the main person prompting the discussion, so duh,

Smash Rich Bastards
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Apr 24 2007 19:51
Mike Harman wrote:
No that would be terrible.

A few people answered already but I will if you want.

1. Political groups have aims and principles which people sign up to and form a basis of membership and co-operation, we think Wayne Price has breached them, NEFAC posters here think he hasn't. Dissension within organisations is fine and healthy. However, if it's on fundamental questions then usually it should result in either a) the position of the organisation changing 2. dissenters splitting from the organisation 3. expulsion - could involve internal fractions along the way as well. Otherwise there's very little point in the organisation having any political principles at all.

2. Unions don't have these, like Devrim says membership is based on employment. I'm a member of a union but I have massive disagreements with both the individual union and unions in general. I don't think that qualifies me for expulsion though, however scabbing or becoming a manager ought to (it doesn't though in my union, they're completely fine with managers and scabs at an organisational level because they're cunts).

So where does this leave IWA affiliated groups? I'm so confused...

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Apr 24 2007 19:56
Mike Harman wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
Then like it is with trot groups I'd either be more likely to be on the side of those getting expelled, or not give much of a shit. Only current exception I can think of is if the IWW expels those SSP members. This is off topic though, and you and chuck are already on my shit list.

But people calling for Waynes expulsion from across the pond is on topic?

It's about NEFAC and nationalism, Wayne seems to be the main person prompting the discussion, so duh,

So the topic isn't nefac and nationalism but rather nefac's responsability to police itself under the auspices of the global internet anarchist purity board?

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Apr 24 2007 19:57
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
No that would be terrible.

A few people answered already but I will if you want.

1. Political groups have aims and principles which people sign up to and form a basis of membership and co-operation, we think Wayne Price has breached them, NEFAC posters here think he hasn't. Dissension within organisations is fine and healthy. However, if it's on fundamental questions then usually it should result in either a) the position of the organisation changing 2. dissenters splitting from the organisation 3. expulsion - could involve internal fractions along the way as well. Otherwise there's very little point in the organisation having any political principles at all.

2. Unions don't have these, like Devrim says membership is based on employment. I'm a member of a union but I have massive disagreements with both the individual union and unions in general. I don't think that qualifies me for expulsion though, however scabbing or becoming a manager ought to (it doesn't though in my union, they're completely fine with managers and scabs at an organisational level because they're cunts).

So where does this leave IWA affiliated groups? I'm so confused...

You should be purged for lack of clarity on Anarchist issue 137.8 subsection D

Flint
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Apr 24 2007 20:04
Flint wrote:
daniel wrote:
If I was a member of NEFAC and I wrote articles on a prominent website saying how I think white people should have the right of "self-determination" in white-majority countries and should chuck out all non-whites, would I be expelled? I'd hope so!

Actually, we'd beat the crap out of you.

Not that I think there is really anyway to salvage anything useful out of this thread, but I think there is an interesting point in Daniel's example of him being a white nationalist. He didn't choose "black nationalist" or even "mohawk nationalist". The function of "white nationalism" in the U.S. is very different than say how "black nationalism" has, and there are different ideas in both regardless of how tiny "third positionist" white nationalists try to pin it. It's also complicated because the "nationalism" is based around racism, and resistance to racism--and the very real lived experience of racism, white supremacy and privilege in the U.S.--historically and it's ongoing legacy.

That's why NEFAC's position while putting for it's rejection of nationalism to have a nuanced statement:

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."

We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Mike Harman
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Apr 24 2007 20:11

Well I think anarcho-syndicalist groups and the IWW are going to run into exactly that contradiction - not necessarily when they're small, but definitely if they expand. Some of that was discussed here: http://libcom.org/node/6466

Mike Harman
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Apr 24 2007 20:15
thugarchist wrote:
So the topic isn't nefac and nationalism but rather nefac's responsability to police itself under the auspices of the global internet anarchist purity board?

A lot of people on here think that NEFAC's As&Ps are anti-nationalist, many of those same people think Wayne Price's articles are pro-nationalist (and hence contradict the As&Ps) - some members of NEFAC + Joe Black appear to think they don't. Normally when people hold views contradictory to the stated principles of an organisation, they either leave, or those principles change. That's got fuck all to do with policing and anarchist purity.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Apr 24 2007 20:42
Mike Harman wrote:
Well I think anarcho-syndicalist groups and the IWW are going to run into exactly that contradiction - not necessarily when they're small, but definitely if they expand. Some of that was discussed here: http://libcom.org/node/6466

Oh, I agree with you. I was just being a smart-ass.

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Apr 24 2007 21:07
Quote:
We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Whereas the nationalism of the oppressed...

Blimey this seems familiar wink

And whats with all this "global internet anarchist purity board" bollocks? Jesus. NEFAC is not only above criticism, it doesn't take questions neither? If these were the days before internet, i'd have sent you a letter or rung your sectariat or something. As is, I'm quite happy posting a question on NEFAC's web forum. I've not been bolshy, nobody has, so why the over the top hostile, defensive reaction?

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Apr 24 2007 21:08
Mike Harman wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
So the topic isn't nefac and nationalism but rather nefac's responsability to police itself under the auspices of the global internet anarchist purity board?

A lot of people on here think that NEFAC's As&Ps are anti-nationalist, many of those same people think Wayne Price's articles are pro-nationalist (and hence contradict the As&Ps) - some members of NEFAC + Joe Black appear to think they don't. Normally when people hold views contradictory to the stated principles of an organisation, they either leave, or those principles change. That's got fuck all to do with policing and anarchist purity.

I understand the arguments thanks. Ultimately it comes down to a virtual hen party. When people are more concerned about heresy than action it generally points towards a decay in both their theory and praxis.

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Apr 24 2007 21:09
daniel wrote:
Quote:
We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Whereas the nationalism of the oppressed...

Blimey this seems familiar wink

And whats with all this "global internet anarchist purity board" bollocks? Jesus. NEFAC is not only above criticism, it doesn't take questions neither? If these were the days before internet, i'd have sent you a letter or rung your sectariat or something. As is, I'm quite happy posting a question on NEFAC's web forum. I've not been bolshy, nobody has, so why the over the top hostile, defensive reaction?

I said that and I'm not a member of nefac.

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Apr 24 2007 21:25
daniel wrote:

And whats with all this "global internet anarchist purity board" bollocks? Jesus. NEFAC is not only above criticism, it doesn't take questions neither? If these were the days before internet, i'd have sent you a letter or rung your sectariat or something. As is, I'm quite happy posting a question on NEFAC's web forum. I've not been bolshy, nobody has, so why the over the top hostile, defensive reaction?

1) We actually do have a rotating secretariat, which you can approach formally if you really have these concerns in good faith. Instead you're engaged in a public performance which involves you pretending to be dense and asking the same question over and over, of individual members who have answered your question and have expressed disinterest in engaging you in debate on the topic.

2) It's an "over the top hostile, defensive reaction" because you're parroting the same thing we've heard, time and time again, for being critically supportive of being critically supportive of business unions in certain contexts, and for being critically supportive of being critically supportive of national-liberation ideology in certain contexts. We've made clear our official, nuanced, group position on each. The continued objections come across as a hostility toward nuance itself, with the continued implication that secretly we are nationalists, Leninists, and union executives.

3) As for the "but if you were REALLY platformists, wouldn't you expel Wayne Price for speaking in a personal capacity?" line: If we thought he was somehow making theoretical deviations that could result in tactical deviation, maybe more of us would be concerned. You know, tactics? As in doing stuff? I think that's in the Platform too...

4) ... and out of curiosity, why Ned Ludd?

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Apr 24 2007 21:28
daniel wrote:
I've not been bolshy, nobody has, so why the over the top hostile, defensive reaction?

I don't think anyone has been overly hostile. But basically this has been gone over on this forum a thousand times before and nothing ever got resolved. Of course you are right to ask questions. Unfortunately almost every english speaking left communist is on this forum and they jump at the chance to intevene in the discussion and expose people as nationalist. Libcom is not a good forum to discuss national liberation as it relates to anarchism.

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Apr 24 2007 21:44

wallAnd for the record, though the spectrum of opinion on the topic in question within NEFAC is mercifully narrow, I'm towards the other end of it than Wayne is, and I've let him know that. I think that in the long run the "oppressed nation" as such exists only as a vehicle back into capitalism, and its success as an organizational form in struggle simply means a new round of primitive accumulation on new terms. But I also don't think that my opinion on this topic matters, any more than his does, to most of what I hope to see NEFAC accomplishing in our region. So why would I let it get in the way of working with him?

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Apr 24 2007 21:53
MJ wrote:
wallAnd for the record, though the spectrum of opinion on the topic in question within NEFAC is mercifully narrow, I'm towards the other end of it than Wayne is, and I've let him know that. I think that in the long run the "oppressed nation" as such exists only as a vehicle back into capitalism, and its success as an organizational form in struggle simply means a new round of primitive accumulation on new terms. But I also don't think that my opinion on this topic matters, any more than his does, to most of what I hope to see NEFAC accomplishing in our region. So why would I let it get in the way of working with him?

You can try to rationalize this all you want but its clear that you're all rampant nationalist leninist obscuranists.

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Apr 24 2007 21:53
MJ wrote:
daniel wrote:

And whats with all this "global internet anarchist purity board" bollocks? Jesus. NEFAC is not only above criticism, it doesn't take questions neither? If these were the days before internet, i'd have sent you a letter or rung your sectariat or something. As is, I'm quite happy posting a question on NEFAC's web forum. I've not been bolshy, nobody has, so why the over the top hostile, defensive reaction?

1) We actually do have a rotating secretariat, which you can approach formally if you really have these concerns in good faith. Instead you're engaged in a public performance which involves you pretending to be dense and asking the same question over and over, of individual members who have answered your question and have expressed disinterest in engaging you in debate on the topic.

"pretending to be dense"? Nice. I was just born that way. They tried electro-shock therapy but it didn't help.

Quote:
2) It's an "over the top hostile, defensive reaction" because you're parroting the same thing we've heard, time and time again, for being critically supportive of being critically supportive of business unions in certain contexts, and for being critically supportive of being critically supportive of national-liberation ideology in certain contexts. We've made clear our official, nuanced, group position on each. The continued objections come across as a hostility toward nuance itself, with the continued implication that secretly we are nationalists, Leninists, and union executives.

Oh, well, see i read that one thread about national liberation, but I'm not coming out of that context. That thread was shown me after I'd started this thread. I think the posters "catch" and "thugarchist" are leading this discussion in the right direction, e.g. what is the relationship between members and an organisation. Ironic really, because the Deilo Trouda Group wrote The Platform precisely because of those kind of questions. so what is "platformism" nowadays?

Quote:
3) As for the "but if you were REALLY platformists, wouldn't you expel Wayne Price for speaking in a personal capacity?" line: If we thought he was somehow making theoretical deviations that could result in tactical deviation, maybe more of us would be concerned. You know, tactics? As in doing stuff? I think that's in the Platform too...

That why I didn't start this thread with a big bolshy attitude, demand expulsions, call for penance from NEFAC, tell you you'll have to set up tent (not a big one, Chuck0's taken it) outside the proletarian camp. Instead, I said:

me right at the beginning wrote:
I'm not trying to wind anybody up! I'm sure you've probably already discussed this issue internally, but would just like to hear what you have to say.
MJ wrote:
4) ... and out of curiosity, why Ned Ludd?

Cos I am Ned Ludd cool

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Apr 24 2007 22:01

haha duke nice tagline...

Mike Harman
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Apr 24 2007 23:44
daniel wrote:

That why I didn't ... tell you you'll have to set up tent (not a big one, Chuck0's taken it) outside the proletarian camp. Instead, I said:

There's a libcom cartoon strip in there somewhere.

Mike Harman
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Apr 24 2007 23:52
MJ wrote:
3) As for the "but if you were REALLY platformists, wouldn't you expel Wayne Price for speaking in a personal capacity?" line: If we thought he was somehow making theoretical deviations that could result in tactical deviation, maybe more of us would be concerned. You know, tactics? As in doing stuff? I think that's in the Platform too...

Action's pretty useless if done for it's own sake, it needs to be focused and backed up with the lessons of historical experience (which are generally distilled into theory).

There are people at my work with far worse views than Wayne Price but I am (or more than often would be due to the lack of organising going on) happy to organise with them on the basis I work with them, because we share material circumstances and some are my mates. However in terms of organising on a political basis, I need to actually share the politics of the people I'm working with on at least some minimum points, and nationalism (or even a "critical support for national liberation ideology") is one of those minimum points. It appears not to be for NEFAC.

Flint
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Apr 25 2007 00:12
daniel wrote:
Quote:
We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Whereas the nationalism of the oppressed...

Blimey this seems familiar wink

I will wait anxiously for the results of your pamphlet distribution in black neighborhoods equating the nationalism of the black panther party, with that of the klu klux klan.

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Apr 25 2007 00:40
Flint wrote:
daniel wrote:
Quote:
We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Whereas the nationalism of the oppressed...

Blimey this seems familiar wink

I will wait anxiously for the results of your pamphlet distribution in black neighborhoods equating the nationalism of the black panther party, with that of the klu klux klan.

Right because straw men and insults such as "acting dense" are a great way to show the fruits of organizing based around "theoretical and tactical unity."

Kind of like how when Chris Wright wrote a thoughtful, detailed, (and "nuanced", since it seems that the primary defense of various positions is that the critics are against "nuance") critique of the workplace position paper, and the only response NEFAC members had (that i've seen at least, maybe you can direct me to any different ones) was the same: insults and strawmen.

As Devrim pointed out it seems like an onset of collective paranoia is developing. I'll stop here, lest I get accused of slander.

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Apr 25 2007 01:14
OliverTwister wrote:
Flint wrote:
daniel wrote:
Quote:
We make a special effort to combat the nationalism of imperialists.

Whereas the nationalism of the oppressed...

Blimey this seems familiar wink

I will wait anxiously for the results of your pamphlet distribution in black neighborhoods equating the nationalism of the black panther party, with that of the klu klux klan.

Right because straw men and insults such as "acting dense" are a great way to show the fruits of organizing based around "theoretical and tactical unity."

Kind of like how when Chris Wright wrote a thoughtful, detailed, (and "nuanced", since it seems that the primary defense of various positions is that the critics are against "nuance") critique of the workplace position paper, and the only response NEFAC members had (that i've seen at least, maybe you can direct me to any different ones) was the same: insults and strawmen.

As Devrim pointed out it seems like an onset of collective paranoia is developing. I'll stop here, lest I get accused of slander.

I read Chris Wrights critique and thought it was as wacky as NEFACs workplace position paper is watery and inconsequential (disclaimer that I played a part in tableing the first version back when I was a member for the same reasons). The notion that because the NEFACers don't agree with his critique means they're somehow overly defensive leaning towards paranoia is an insulting strawman argument itself.

As for Flints comment... he's right. There is a difference between the nationalism of imperialists and the nationalism of the oppressed. That certainly doesn't lead me to the same conclusions it leads Wayne to, but it does lead me to a position similar to Flint's that it may be more relevant to spend time and energy actively opposing nationalists with power than nationalist sentiment among the powerless.

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Apr 25 2007 01:36
Mike Harman wrote:
MJ wrote:
3) As for the "but if you were REALLY platformists, wouldn't you expel Wayne Price for speaking in a personal capacity?" line: If we thought he was somehow making theoretical deviations that could result in tactical deviation, maybe more of us would be concerned. You know, tactics? As in doing stuff? I think that's in the Platform too...

Action's pretty useless if done for it's own sake, it needs to be focused and backed up with the lessons of historical experience (which are generally distilled into theory).t

Well nowhere in there did I say that we seek to act for action's sake -- but rather that it's more important to develop theoretical unanimity (and shared vocabulary) around the struggles that we ourselves actually intend to engage in. Whatever minor semantic or theoretical differences might exist, on paper, around the question of national-liberation movements that we might have within the federation, have never slowed down our actual participation in the real world. NEFAC does not support Quebecois separatism. NEFAC has lent material support and solidarity to indigenous groups' struggles in our region. NEFAC has participated in opposition to military actions of the US state inside and outside its borders. There was support for RAWA on an organizational level; some individuals are active in prison support including for prisoners who hemselves have national-liberation political lines; and some other folks are developing a group that follows a line on Iran similar to that held by HOPOI in the UK. Is any of that objectionable? I should hope not. And the bulk of our collective energies are spent in other directions.

So what I'm saying when I say tactical unity is more important isn't that theoretical development is unimportant, but that we will naturally put emphasis on developing theoretically around issues and histories that have some bearing on what we actually intend to do. I suppose I shouldn't feel too surprised if you think differently.

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Apr 25 2007 01:47
MJ wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
MJ wrote:
3) As for the "but if you were REALLY platformists, wouldn't you expel Wayne Price for speaking in a personal capacity?" line: If we thought he was somehow making theoretical deviations that could result in tactical deviation, maybe more of us would be concerned. You know, tactics? As in doing stuff? I think that's in the Platform too...

Action's pretty useless if done for it's own sake, it needs to be focused and backed up with the lessons of historical experience (which are generally distilled into theory).t

Well nowhere in there did I say that we seek to act for action's sake -- but rather that it's more important to develop theoretical unanimity (and shared vocabulary) around the struggles that we ourselves actually intend to engage in. Whatever minor semantic or theoretical differences might exist, on paper, around the question of national-liberation movements that we might have within the federation, have never slowed down our actual participation in the real world. NEFAC does not support Quebecois separatism. NEFAC has lent material support and solidarity to indigenous groups' struggles in our region. NEFAC has participated in opposition to military actions of the US state inside and outside its borders. There was support for RAWA on an organizational level; some individuals are active in prison support including for prisoners who hemselves have national-liberation political lines; and some other folks are developing a group that follows a line on Iran similar to that held by HOPOI in the UK. Is any of that objectionable? I should hope not. And the bulk of our collective energies are spent in other directions.

So what I'm saying when I say tactical unity is more important isn't that theoretical development is unimportant, but that we will naturally put emphasis on developing theoretically around issues and histories that have some bearing on what we actually intend to do. I suppose I shouldn't feel too surprised if you think differently.

But whats NEFAC's line on peruvian vegetarian stalinists?

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Apr 25 2007 02:07
thugarchist wrote:
But whats NEFAC's line on peruvian vegetarian stalinists?

WHY WHcircle AT HAVE YOU HEcircle ARD?

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Apr 25 2007 02:38
MJ wrote:
thugarchist wrote:
But whats NEFAC's line on peruvian vegetarian stalinists?

WHY WHcircle AT HAVE YOU HEcircle ARD?

If NEFAC was really anarchist you would have immediately denounced them and been able to quote a text from the from the pamplet "Don't eat faces" by the Stalinist Putsch of Peru.

throwhen
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Apr 25 2007 03:07
thugarchist wrote:
Mike Harman wrote:
No that would be terrible.

A few people answered already but I will if you want.

1. Political groups have aims and principles which people sign up to and form a basis of membership and co-operation, we think Wayne Price has breached them, NEFAC posters here think he hasn't. Dissension within organisations is fine and healthy. However, if it's on fundamental questions then usually it should result in either a) the position of the organisation changing 2. dissenters splitting from the organisation 3. expulsion - could involve internal fractions along the way as well. Otherwise there's very little point in the organisation having any political principles at all.

2. Unions don't have these, like Devrim says membership is based on employment. I'm a member of a union but I have massive disagreements with both the individual union and unions in general. I don't think that qualifies me for expulsion though, however scabbing or becoming a manager ought to (it doesn't though in my union, they're completely fine with managers and scabs at an organisational level because they're cunts).

3.Other breaches of union rules might also qualify for expulsion - embezzlement, discrimination stuff like that that's the same with any company or non-profit organisation.

4. "dissidents" suggests people opposed to the union leadership and stuff like that. In most cases I'd say no it's not alright for the union leadership to expel people who disagree with them - in the same way that I think leadership expulsions of left factions within Trot organisations isn't very nice either, especially combined with minimal information, let alone decisions making by the membership. That doesn't mean it won't happen or that the 'dissidents' aren't better off out of those organisations though.

Chuck's perspective on his union is that it is closer to your description of a political organization than it is to your description of a union.

my union is a political organization and thats why i love it.

throwhen
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Apr 25 2007 03:08
Flint wrote:
throwhen wrote:
flints position is whichever way is girlfriend can fit the strap on up his ass.

If you want to keep your girlfriend, you'd best learn to compromise with her freakiness.

sometimes i have sex with the lights on

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Apr 25 2007 03:09
throwhen wrote:
Flint wrote:
throwhen wrote:
flints position is whichever way is girlfriend can fit the strap on up his ass.

If you want to keep your girlfriend, you'd best learn to compromise with her freakiness.

sometimes i have sex with the lights on

That explains your divorce...

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