CNT proposes reorganization of IWA

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nokta
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Apr 27 2016 10:56

It's interesting to watch this thread because it makes the hypocrisy of the akai-lugius-faction pretty visible. They are (maybe rightfully) outraged about the open discussion by CNT of using the name IWA-AIT for the new to be formed international but are already supporting a (tiny) excluded faction of the CNT that calls itself CNT-AIT(!).

In general though everything seems to have been said here. The positions are more or less clear. Also don't forget that the very heated discussion here and in general takes mostly place between a few figures, most members on both sides are not that interesting in century-long fight, so we should handle this like adults handle a bad relationship: Part ways, maybe try to stay friends and who knows maybe someday we can get back together.

akai
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Apr 27 2016 13:54

Nokta, l have not supported anything here, so why are you saying l did? But to clarify my personal opinion, l support every union in the CNT which voted against this plan to split the lWA. Of course, my personal opinion is just that - a personal opinion. lt's the Congress which decides who is or is not in the lWA.

Other comments to Lugius, if you want to verify how many people are where, just ask people directly. Don't elicit information from other parties like this. But yes, this is a small federation.

Robot, l guess you are lucky to be in FAU, not CNT. One wonders how long a 3 person union without syndical activity would be tolerated elsewhere. Well, in CNT (or even in ZSP), you wouldn't even be allowed to join. But we will see the realities soon enough, No doubt some 3 people unions are more equal than others.

How perfectly luxurious it must be to be able to tag along painlessly and cheer on those who constantly belittle the smaller organizations. Give the nod and pretend you are not one of them.

Nokta, l think it is fine to part ways but none of this is very friendly, And it is especially interesting to know that l am in some sort of "corpse". As far as l see, my organization, although far from perfect, is working, getting new members and is involved in deeper national coordination now. l really feel anything but dead. ln addition, l personally am fine being away from people like some of the ones l find on this forum. On the other hand, we have no intention to "divorce" from those anywhere who didn't want to divorce from us.

Finally, there was an important reason why Bakunin was against inheritance. Now we can see how the situations break down. The CNTE inherited millions - money, buildings... This was passed down and made the CNT probably the richest of all organizations in our realm. The property is the property of "all" ... but there is a problem if you want to leave or are expelled. The same with divorce. How many people do l know who do not divorce because they cannot afford to live alone, or they have a common municipal flat? There is a moral question... but the answer is made simple by some here. "Courtesy visits" are like the euphemism for the raid of one expelled CNT union, which was violent and took over their property in exchange for the space that they didn't give up. Or another form of eviction. At present, everybody has seen this and knows that critism can lead to expulsion and attempts to take over offices. Nobody actually knows how many people stay federated because they actually agree with all this and how many people stay because they have been in CNT 20, 30 or even 40 years and don't want to give up their name, identity or property. ln any case, we know what a key role the property plays for you, so we just hope that we don't keep hearing about more and more defederations accompanied by risk of eviction.

Personally, l am not in favor of cheating or not paying dues -which is a complaint l have against CNTE's majority faction actually. And questions of whether X, Y or Z union will be an appropriate member of the lWA in the future is a question for the lWA to decide, nobody else. Of course we know that all the arguments for and against the different defederations were documented in the CNT and we can take everything into account ourselves.

Of course l see that the CNT is not likely to let its unions who do not support leaving the lWA stay federated, which is also one solution that would at least preserve the idea of free association.

Ragnar
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Apr 27 2016 15:05

"Robot, l guess you are lucky to be in FAU, not CNT. One wonders how long a 3 person union without syndical activity would be tolerated elsewhere. Well, in CNT (or even in ZSP), you wouldn't even be allowed to join. But we will see the realities soon enough, No doubt some 3 people unions are more equal than others."

This is wrong, you can join to CNT, those 3 people will go to the more near Union and in your city or town will a "nucleo confederal" until they can be a Union of at least 15 members minimun.

Someday she will stop telling lies about CNT

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Lugius
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Apr 28 2016 00:40

According to the report of the CNT on the Extraordinary Congress of the USI held in Parma over the weekend of 9/10 April, the USI has something in common with the FAU; an organisation with one large affiliate dwarfing all others. In the case of FAU, this is the Berlin affiliate which, due to proportional representation, calls the shots and the rest will follow.

So the USI is basically the Milan affiliate with a collection of tiny affiliates attached. I don't know if USI also makes decisions based on proportional representation but it wouldn't surprise.

Quote:
With all, I want to transmit a note, not exactly euphoric about the situation. Usi is an organization with very unequal development, it is generally sparse. The union in Milan represents an enormous percent of the total organization and the rest of the more than 30 unions are only small groups without syndical development in the majority.

This raises questions about the actual size of the USI. If the CNT describes the USI as "generally sparse" and "more than 30 unions are only small groups without syndical development" does this not undermine one of the central justifications for 're-founding' the IWA? It makes a mockery of their 'might is right' argument.

In their 5 April statement the CNT asserted "...a small group of sections, despite their scant presence in their own territories and total lack of orientation towards union activity, could impose their criteria upon the rest of the international".

In addition to the Extraordinary Congress of the USI, there was a meeting of the CNT, USI and FAU which mapped out the proposed schedule for the 're-founding' of the IWA. It was agreed that there would be a conference in June, participation in which will be limited to "the sections of the IWA that decide to join the process" and then a further conference in September in which "organizations outside the IWA that was agreed to invite" will participate.

For me, this demonstrates the centralised decsion-making process that has been going on in the CNT, USI and FAU. It cast serious doubt on the claim that the majority of individual members of IWA affiliates want the IWA to be re-founded. It appears that the decision-making process is confined to a select few.

I wonder which organisations outside the IWA will be involved? Any wobblies on libcom know anything about this? If the IWW is invited to participate, who decides to accept the invitation? Will the question be put to the members in union-wide referendum or is it up to the General Executive Board to decide?

It is also interesting to note the speed at which this decision-making process is moving; barely a week after the CNT makes it announcement to 're-found' the IWA, an Extraordinary Congress of the USI is held and agrees with CNT proposal. How is it that such important decisions are made so rapidly?

zaczek
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Apr 28 2016 03:34
Lugius wrote:
This raises questions about the actual size of the USI. If the CNT describes the USI as "generally sparse" and "more than 30 unions are only small groups without syndical development" does this not undermine one of the central justifications for 're-founding' the IWA? It makes a mockery of their 'might is right' argument.

This is actually surprising, isn't it? The people who are trying to prove they're bigger than everyone else are actually the same people who are trying to prove that they are bigger than they really are. Common pattern.

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robot
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Apr 28 2016 08:33
Lugius wrote:
According to the report of the CNT on the Extraordinary Congress of the USI held in Parma over the weekend of 9/10 April, the USI has something in common with the FAU; an organisation with one large affiliate dwarfing all others. In the case of FAU, this is the Berlin affiliate which, due to proportional representation, calls the shots and the rest will follow.

Lugius, maybe you should just stop talking of things you do know little to nothing about. What you call “dwarfing all others“ by proportional representation in fact is that one of the unions within the federation (that roughly helds 1/3 of the total membership) on the last congress held 18 out of 85 votes. Sometimes the motions of that union are accepted, but quite often they aren't.

Even if a union within the FAU would have 75% of the membership they would have far less than half of the votes. Because our system of proportional voting is not linear but benefits the smaller unions. Just like the one CNT proposed for the IWA in the past. And I guess that on the 2016 congress the proportional representation of the Berlin union will be smaller than last year, because over the year many other unions had a substantial increase in membership as well.

I am not a number cruncher, but as you wanted want to talk about numbers - even if you would subtract the FAUs Berlin local from the membership, the rest would still be about 75% of the total membership of every IWA section accept for CNT-E, USI and FAU. That does not make us any better than others, but noone understands why two people sitting around a kirchen table in Oslo or three sitting around a kitchen table in Moscow should have as much decision making power in the IWA as people from a couple of dozen of villages, towns and cities. That's just unfair and against common sense. At least as long as we are not talking about a loose network or coordination that does not take decisions and does not try to impose them on their members. But the IWA claims to be something different from that.

EDIT -> Corrected a couple of misspellings

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Lugius
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Apr 28 2016 06:34
Quote:
I am not a number cruncher, but as you wanted want to talk about numbers - even if you would subtract the FAUs Berlin local from the membership, the rest would still be about 75% of the total membership of every IWA section

The numbers talked about are the numbers of individuals. It is not I who talks about the numbers it is the CNT, USI, FAU who are positing the rights of individuals over the rights of sections.

The IWA is a federation of sections which are treated equally - all sections are equal and have one vote at IWA Congress. It was that way when the FAU joined was it not?

The CNT twice put a proposal for minimum numbers and proportional representation at the IWA Congress and twice it lost - that is the decision of IWA Congress.

CNT, USI and FAU are free to leave the IWA, no problem, they can have their proportional representation and the members can vote for their leaders and their leaders can claim a mandate.

But the idea that the CNT or any other section, alone or in company, can make decisions with regard to the IWA on the basis of decisions taken at the CNT (or any other) Congress demonstrates their contempt for the principle of equal decision making.

I put the question to you, robot; by what right or from what mandate does the CNT (or any other) presume to make decisions for the IWA?

Quote:
noone understands why two people sitting around a kirchen table in Oslo or three sitting around a kitchen table in Moscow should have as much decision making power in the IWA as people from a couple of dozen of villages, towns and cities. That's just unfair and against common sense. At least as long as w

But that is precisely the arrangement that the FAU agreed to when joining IWA is it not?

Whether or not it is unfair or makes common sense is beside the point. The FAU and the CNT were more than happy to have the Norwegian section have a vote for quite some period of time. It seems that the CNT and the FAU were happy with one section, one vote as long as they were in agreement. The moment it doesn't suit, they want to changes the rules. This demonstrates their contempt for the IWA.

Robot, you haven't addressed the issue of the FAU in attendance at a meeting in Parma 9/10 April to organise the parallel international. Was the decision made by the FAU to attend this meeting given a mandate by the members of the FAU in accordance with the principle of proportional representation? Or was the decision made by the officers of the FAU alone?

Proportional representation is a thoroughly and wholly bourgeois notion that politicians use to represent the voters and claim a mandate. One section, one vote is a mechanism to restrain, disipate, attenuate and disperse excessive power and is what every section in the IWA signed on for when they joined.

Quote:
noone understands why two people sitting around a kirchen table in Oslo or three sitting around a kitchen table in Moscow should have as much decision making power in the IWA as people from a couple of dozen of villages, towns and cities. That's just unfair and against common sense. At least as long as w

If it is such a problem, why not propose the disaffiliation of the offending section? Why posit the rights of individuals over those of unions? Why attempt to found a parallel international?

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Lugius
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Apr 28 2016 06:47
Quote:
noone understands why two people sitting around a kirchen table in Oslo or three sitting around a kitchen table in Moscow should have as much decision making power in the IWA as people from a couple of dozen of villages, towns and cities. That's just unfair and against common sense. At least as long as w

A system of proportional voting based on an absolute number e.g. 100 that does not take into account the populations of the respective countries is grossly unfair to workers who live in countries with small populations.

The system of voting proposed by the CNT has nothing to do with common sense or justice and everything to do with power - a power the CNT has become habituated to, and are prepared to found a parallel international to maintain it.

You want to jump on and ride the tiger? Go ahead.

akai
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Apr 28 2016 07:46

Listen, first to this Ragnar guy, l did not lie. What l meant is that 3 people cannot join as a union with voting rights. ln some lWA organizations. ln some organizations they can. To Lugius, l would be careful about arguing that Berlin has all the votes or things like that because obviously while it might have the majority of FAU membership, and the most votes, it does not in fact have the majority of votes - ie, it cannot decide alone. l know this is confusing. Whether or not it is the most influential or what not is an entirely different question.

But of course the worst inaccuracy here is Robot, who, in the tradition of the CNT trolls who have been writing notes to various organizations, makes interesting exaggerations. Everytime the arguments of these people include telling people that small organizations consist of 2 or 3 people. l have actually answered this question to people who received such nonsense. One of the members of the CNT actually claimed the whole lWA outside the Troika is 50 people - which of course the Australian comrades or Polish comrades or SF comrades (just to name ones that l know read here), know is the sort of exaggerated bullshit of a small group of people who have been trying to fuck others and sway people against certain sections. The Australians have got even some new affiliates since l visited, the SF and ZSP can well pass the Troika qualifications - although we see that USl thinks that all the 50 people Sections can also stay... how nice. lt seems they would only like to take voting rights away from Sections like PA, who always act in solidarity with everybody, pay their dues on time (unlike them) and participate in the work of things, making some valuable contributions.

l won't even comment the fact that plenty of times we have seen that larger organizations make decisions with only a couple of people around the table. ln fact, FAU likes to have relations with these types of organizations that officially have some provisions in their statutes where literally 2 people can take important decisions on behalf of many others. But again, l suppose that this is OK and even "natural" since that's what happens when you are big - you need executives or even to pay people.

We have our Congress in a few days, so maybe something official will be published after that. But based on our previous positions on all this nonsense, and the intense opposition this has raised. l am certain we will be staying with the Sections who have shown that they can work together with us and have been in regular solidarity. We are of course disgusted by this all but we hope that still we can manage to discuss some more positive proposals to actually help us all go forward and we will be submitting them as soon as they are ratified.

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militant-proletarian
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Apr 28 2016 19:26
akai wrote:
Nokta, l have not supported anything here, so why are you saying l did? But to clarify my personal opinion, l support every union in the CNT which voted against this plan to split the lWA. Of course, my personal opinion is just that - a personal opinion. lt's the Congress which decides who is or is not in the lWA.

You're lying once more. Whoever reads this thread can check how you've clearly questioned legitimacy of last CNT Congress, taking stand for a minority that is fortunately out of the CNT. You don't respect what an IWA Section has already decided. You're the IWA Sec., so you're not supposed to question anything about sections' agreements. You talk a lot about statutes, but you're the first one who has exceeded your "authority" under a nickname on a public forum. No to mention one more time your linguistic juggling by making up a new term: "suspension". Or your meddling in FAU issues about motions for its last congress, amog other things said here.

akai wrote:
Robot, l guess you are lucky to be in FAU, not CNT. One wonders how long a 3 person union without syndical activity would be tolerated elsewhere. Well, in CNT (or even in ZSP), you wouldn't even be allowed to join. But we will see the realities soon enough, No doubt some 3 people unions are more equal than others.

As the comrade said, 3 people can indeed join the CNT as a "núcleo confederal" and have the right to vote in the local union assembly in which they are member. Until they don't get a minimum to form an union, they work together with their comrades. It's like a branch union. If you don't have, let's say, 25 teachers, you cannot have an education union, but teachers aren't deprived of their rights as CNT members. Practically all CNT "núcleos confederales" last years have become actual CNT local unions, and nobody was crying about this "injustice".

akai wrote:
Finally, there was an important reason why Bakunin was against inheritance. Now we can see how the situations break down. The CNTE inherited millions - money, buildings... This was passed down and made the CNT probably the richest of all organizations in our realm. The property is the property of "all" ... but there is a problem if you want to leave or are expelled. The same with divorce. How many people do l know who do not divorce because they cannot afford to live alone, or they have a common municipal flat? There is a moral question... but the answer is made simple by some here. "Courtesy visits" are like the euphemism for the raid of one expelled CNT union, which was violent and took over their property in exchange for the space that they didn't give up. Or another form of eviction. At present, everybody has seen this and knows that critism can lead to expulsion and attempts to take over offices. Nobody actually knows how many people stay federated because they actually agree with all this and how many people stay because they have been in CNT 20, 30 or even 40 years and don't want to give up their name, identity or property. ln any case, we know what a key role the property plays for you, so we just hope that we don't keep hearing about more and more defederations accompanied by risk of eviction.

Please, could you tell us openly which "eviction" you're talking about? Are you actually saying that a family or people were living in a CNT building and were evicted? False accusations are a nasty business...

akai
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Apr 29 2016 04:26

What manipulations. l never questioned the legitimacy of the last CNT Congress, only pointed out that 1. some unions that are still in the CNT were not there (boycott) and 2) there was not overwhelming support for the proposal past. (Although of course you will just say "lies, lies" - so why bother.) This actually has nothing to do with any people defederated from CNT, but the ones still in it who do not share the opinions expressed in the official statement. Of course speaking here with you especially, one of the people working in the shadows to spread hate and orchestrate a split, is pointless.

Yepa
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Apr 29 2016 14:29
Quote:
What manipulations. l never questioned the legitimacy of the last CNT Congress, only pointed out.....

<-Manipulations start there

The boycott almost didn´t exist (I think just 3 or 4 unions followed it), even most of the unions that did not come to the congress said it wasn´t for the boycott, it was because they did not had enough free time in their working and private lifes. (not everybody can afford to travel 1000 Km and pay a hotel for 3 or 4 days)

And again, yes, the decisión was overwhelming (80% or something like that, I do not have the numbers here). It is true that there was a second decision to be taken, starting the process before or after IWA congress, slightly more than half said before the congress, that was not overwhelming.

Stop manipulating, as an IWA General Secretary your behavior is shameful, and it is one of the reasons why most of us are very upset.
You can keep calling us trolls because we say things that you dont want to hear, sorry, that is life, you are IWA General Secretary and your behavior is fully open to criticism.

meerov21
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Apr 29 2016 21:19

With all regard to the negotiating proposals To tell you the truth I would even supporte CNT, if they are revolutionary syndicalists. But in practice I see no difference between the modern CNT, FAU or even SAC. They are all the usual peaceful trade unions, using for some Brent's reasons black and red flags but in practice they do the same. What's the point of these discussions? CNT doesn't want small sections interfered with a policy of large trade unions. They probably want to make steps in the direction of the Association with those groups of "anarcho-syndicalists" (but in practice trade unionists) who are close to them, perhaps with FAU or may be somebody else. This is logical.

akai, I don't understand what do you want them to do. They are ordinary trade unionists. 10 years ago i was saying who they are. If the ZSP wants to return to the Real revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism (ZZZ-ZSP), based on the practice of "Polish strike" (the occupation of the factory) and not going to court for complaints against the boss, why are you even in this discussion with CNT?

P.S. Opinion about syndicalism
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/prospects-anarchism-revolutionary-synd...

drakeberkman
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Apr 29 2016 21:54
Lugius wrote:
If the IWW is invited to participate, who decides to accept the invitation? Will the question be put to the members in union-wide referendum or is it up to the General Executive Board to decide?

It depends on which body is contacted. If it's the European Regional Administration in the UK & Ireland, the Regional Organizing Committees in Germany/Austria, Iceland, Greece, Canada, or Australia, the branch in Norway, or the groups in Belgium, Lithuania, and Turkey or countless other countries, then any one of those would respond however they've devised their policies internally.

If they contact the General (i.e. International) Administration in Chicago, then the elected International Solidarity Commission of the IWW would respond and be responsible for sending a representative if they decide to.

If the (whole) IWW was to affiliate with the "new" IWA or any other body, it'd be put to the general referendum for the whole membership to vote on just like it was the last two time the IWW considered affiliation.

However, the IWW is not a national organization like the CNT, FAU, USI, or any other IWA affiliate, it's an international all its own, so I don't see why it'd be accepted as an affiliate organization, especially in Germany where the new IWA will already have a section.

I feel like a lot of these questions regarding the IWW and (any) IWA have been pretty thoroughly talked through on here so I don't see why the IWW's modus operandi is being pulled up as a red herring to discuss the IWA's apparent inability to sort out its internal conflicts.

nokta
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Apr 30 2016 10:59
drakeberkman wrote:
However, the IWW is not a national organization like the CNT, FAU, USI, or any other IWA affiliate, it's an international all its own, so I don't see why it'd be accepted as an affiliate organization, especially in Germany where the new IWA will already have a section.

You are right of course. With the current model of the IWA and if there will be a new international that is oriented on the structure of the IWA, the IWW probably won't be able to become a section (wether it wants or not).

But we shouldn't think that restricted, i.g. there could be a more formal cooperation with the IWW, better structured and fluid exchange of information and discussions etc. I even think we shouldn't stop with the work on an functioning anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist international. At least for Europe we need a more broad international network of left base unions and above that a international network of community- and workplace-based, grassroot radical left and anarchist organizations (see: M31, Beyond Europe, Transnational Social Strike). The hostility against everything outside the IWA has made it difficult to work on new international projects and on strengthening our international links and deepening an open exchange of ideas, strategies and experiences.

nokta
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Apr 30 2016 11:13
nokta wrote:
The hostility against everything outside the IWA has made it difficult to work on new international projects and on strengthening our international links and deepening an open exchange of ideas, strategies and experiences.

Example: In 2002 the FAU was almost thrown out of the IWA for organizing the i02 conference in Germany. The conference was a meeting of rank and file members (not a delegate conference of organizations) of different anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary syndicalist organizations inside and outside the IWA. I think WSA collected similar hate for helping organizing i99.

akai
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Apr 30 2016 12:23

Several things. First, neither l or my organization are against any organization because they are not in the lWA. l was a speaker at the 02 conference (although it was there l understood why some people in the lWA don't like those things). My union and l cooperated with many unions outside the lWA, have made solidarity actions, joint strikes with other unions in Poland. So this is really an exaggeration. lf FAU has ever been criticized by us, it's been for bad practices that go against the collective process in the lWA or undermine solidarity with the lWA Sections. Of course we have explained this many times, but there is not a lot of comprehension about it.

About the lWW, of course organizations like mine have done concrete solidarity work, organized pickets, participated in phone zaps and have written solidarity letters. Also we have received solidarity on several occasions.

But just since somebody was talking about the lWW joining the lWA or something like that, the ironic part of the discussion is that lWW allows national branches to form with 15 people. So, let's say that the lWW was part... it would mean that an existing lWA organization with say 40 people is not welcome, or is welcome as a Friend but without a voice, but an lWW affiliate with 15 people is more than welcome? There is something fishy about this all and actually, the fact that you affiliate new organizations with 15 people is one argument we have against changing the numbers to 100.

But actually, l don't think these people mind your 15 people organizations.

drakeberkman
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Apr 30 2016 20:37
akai wrote:
But just since somebody was talking about the lWW joining the lWA or something like that, the ironic part of the discussion is that lWW allows national branches to form with 15 people. So, let's say that the lWW was part... it would mean that an existing lWA organization with say 40 people is not welcome, or is welcome as a Friend but without a voice, but an lWW affiliate with 15 people is more than welcome? There is something fishy about this all and actually, the fact that you affiliate new organizations with 15 people is one argument we have against changing the numbers to 100.

But actually, l don't think these people mind your 15 people organizations.

I just brought up how y'all're using the IWW as a red herring in your arguments about internal IWA matters and yet you continue to do it immediately afterward.

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Khawaga
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Apr 30 2016 22:41

So what's the TL;dr on this thread?

drakeberkman
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Apr 30 2016 23:13
Khawaga wrote:
So what's the TL;dr on this thread?

"The CNT is right - and so is the FAU and USI"

"No, the CNT is wrong and also corrupt and scheming"

"I'll attack your character personally!"

"Not if I attack yours first!"

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Juan Conatz
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Apr 30 2016 23:29
Khawaga wrote:
So what's the TL;dr on this thread?

The CNT doesn't like the 1 section, 1 vote rule of the IWA and intends to organize a meeting, outside of the official IWA structures, to reorganize the IWA.

The IWA secretariat responded, disagreeing with numerous points the CNT statement made.

The USI agrees with the CNT statement.

The IWA secretariat puts out a statement directed at the USI for what it sees as hypocritical views on use of the IWA name.

Everything else on this thread has been arguing between individual members of IWA sections of whether 1 section/1 vote is fair, whether the IWA secretariat has been doing a good job/is the worst ever/is one of the worst ever, whether the CNT's use of lawyers is good or bad, whether FAU's suspension was warranted, whether the statement the CNT put out reflected a supermajority/small majority or minority of the membership, etc.

akai
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May 1 2016 07:08

Drake said: I just brought up how y'all're using the IWW as a red herring in your arguments about internal IWA matters and yet you continue to do it immediately afterward.

Sorry, l was not reading everything here exactly. But actually, this was not put up as a red herring issue at all.

l am sorry if you don't like that l mentioned the lWW, but that comment about 15 member organizations was something included in my organization's official viewpoint presented at the 2013 Congress of the lWA as one of about a dozen arguments we presented.

We are completely sick about repeating this point all the time and CNT's way of using coercion in this discussion.

Among our opinions on this topic was actually the point that the lWW is currently easier to enter than the lWA. That is because the lWW allows people to feel like they are part, even when they are just a handful of people trying to set up the wobs, they encourage training and people become wobblies when they have 15 members. l think this is a rather good thing that lWW encourages people to join and is seen as supportive.

We argued that, for new people, they might be more inclined to join lWW than lWA, because it might take a really long time to get 100 people and in the meanwhile, it is positive for them to join something.

So this was the context of that paragraph and we felt it was legitimate to talk about what other people do, to compare their policies. Also we mentioned that the Red and Black Coordination took in an organization with just 30 people, whereas its biggest member had 60,000. (That org is more than 30 now.) Somehow it does not seem to have caused them any problem.

Nota bene, l personally would not be inclined to have new 15 member organizations as lWA Sections, but my organization is against the numbers as criteria. We are interested in having stable organizations which are working to organize in the workplace or around work related conflicts. But now we have the situation where the last three organizations that became Friends or want to become Friends have 50 people or more and for them, they think they are not strong enough to be Sections. For me that's OK, but it just shows that people's self-perception is that they would like to be stronger to join the lWA as a Section, so l consider the question to be a lot of noise over nothing when it comes to the future member Sections. lt is not exactly like organizations are beating down the door to join, although l think we should be doing everything to change this situation. This scandal does nothing to help that and l am pretty much certain that some of those involved in the manufactoring of the split have done this because they don't want to be with smaller organizations. (People have said it openly to me more than once.)

Tomorrow we will discuss the question in more detail at our Congress, there is a motion to publish our positions openly. But that was the reason we mentioned lWW as a small part of our overall argumentation. And l would note that in some places in the lWA there are people who would not criticize your policies about joining but spend a lot of energy pushing the minimum membership issue in our federation, which has been divisive.

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Sindelar
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May 2 2016 10:16

Notwithstanding all, CNT.

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OliverTwister
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May 2 2016 12:35

No matter what the international brand is, a group of 15 people is going to have a very hard time integrating themselves into the class struggle of their country. This is especially compounded when they are expected to put a lot of time, energy, and thought into the internal bureaucratic functioning of an international. It will tend to promote individuals who would rather focus on the internal bureaucracy than on integrating their organization into the class struggle of their country.

We have certainly seen this happen in the IWW, with the Uganda group being a prime example.

But, at least in theory, new national IWW groups are "organizing committees", ie they are supposed to be preparatory to something larger.

More importantly, there is no voting by national sections in the IWW. The General Convention has proportional representation by branches, and then there is a referendum which allows each individual member a vote. Thus there is no mechanism for a small group in Uganda to have an equal vote to all of the members in the US, Canada, UK, or Germany.

The IWW's international structure is haphazard in many ways and we are in the middle of a multi-year effort to streamline and rationalize it. I'm looking forward to seeing the final proposal of the committee which is working on that.

syndicalist
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May 2 2016 13:58
OliverTwister wrote:
a group of 15 people is going to have a very hard time integrating themselves into the class struggle of their country. .

Sometimes you have to start somewhere, right?

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May 2 2016 14:22
syndicalist wrote:
OliverTwister wrote:
a group of 15 people is going to have a very hard time integrating themselves into the class struggle of their country. .

Sometimes you have to start somewhere, right?

No doubt, and I don't think I've ever claimed otherwise.

I'm just wary of small organizations pretending to be big ones (when even our "big" organizations are incredibly tiny), and I'm wary of trending towards warring micro-sects.

I'm wary of ending up having three micro-sects in a country which distinguish themselves only by the "shibboleth" of which international brand they prefer (IWA, IWW, or Red/Black Coordination). This could then heighten tension between the larger international brands, or be seen as a proxy war. This has certainly happened enough among the 57 varieties of Trotskyist "international", and we should heed the warning.

I was nervous that this might end up happening in Greece, but it seems like at least two of the three small revolutionary unionist groups there have been collaborating closely, which is good to hear. The Greek situation in particular calls for unity among our miniscule forces.

Of course I'm kind of a syndicalist a la Kautsky.

syndicalist
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May 2 2016 16:39
Quote:
I'm just wary of small organizations pretending to be big ones (when even our "big" organizations are incredibly tiny), and I'm wary of trending towards warring micro-sects.

Well, if one has their head on their shoulders, think modestly, build slowly and aim ahead as constructively as possible, this won't happen. If one thinks they either have a brand name or will knock down all doors with large pronouncements, well, that's a problem

Quote:
I was nervous that this might end up happening in Greece, but it seems like at least two of the three small revolutionary unionist groups there have been collaborating closely, which is good to hear. The Greek situation in particular calls for unity among our miniscule forces.

Not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time. Perhaps not everyone wants to be in the same organization for a variety of reasons. For me, it's a question of how folks deal with their differences, how they try and coordinate when needed and how they do not have to have aggressive and negative attitudes those not in their organization.

Quote:
Of course I'm kind of a syndicalist a la Kautsky

Lost me on that one, sorry. What might you mean?

EDIT--- I see that ref to Kausky was a link to an article
Which I still need to read beyond the first and
last paragraphs Cringe

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May 2 2016 17:50

We obviously need to start small where we have nothing.

And obviously sometimes disagreements are real, are substantial, and should not be ignored. But there can also be meaningful disagreements inside an organization, as long as the relationship to the class struggle is stronger than the sectarian tendency to prioritize one shibboleth or another.

I guess I'm just skeptical of some political tendencies whose priority is having representation in the highest number of countries possible, even if that just means 2 or 3 people who have a high level of formal agreement with some particular position. Modern Trotskyism is a great example of where this leads.

Of course I want to see revolutionary unions all around the world. But, as someone in the Southeastern US, I'm much more excited to confront the difficulties of building a presence in Alabama than Albania. Whereas I think there is a notable trend for some comrades in the US to be much more focused on and willing to invest more resources in Albania than Alabama.

syndicalist
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May 2 2016 18:45

I guess we just have a difference of opinion of what constitutes sectarian
I don't share the unitary view here in the US, never have
But have consistently expressed and showed solidarity with your organization
and have not engaged in sectarian attacks. So for me being sectarian is the exact opposite,
never showing solidarity and always attacking

augustynww
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May 3 2016 16:27

When i heard akai is secretary of the IWA i knew there is a split on the horizon. Its 3rd organization i know of. good job