Appeal to sympathisers of the communist left (Australia)

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Apr 18 2010 04:01
Appeal to sympathisers of the communist left (Australia)

Comrades!

Today humanity faces the same ultimatum posed to it since the eve of the First World War, in the words of Rosa Luxemburg and Friedrich Engels before her - Socialism or Barbarism.

The world capitalist system has seen its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, with the working class taking the brunt of the blow, everywhere facing wage-freezes, job-cuts and worsening working conditions. The threat of global environmental catastrophe looks more possible than ever before. Bloody and brutal conflicts rage on around the globe - from Iraq to Afghanistan, Somalia to Sudan, Colombia to Mexico.

In contrast to these emanations of a moribund society we also see the germs of a new world – without exploitation or oppression, without poverty or scarcity, without wars or national borders – in the class struggle of the international working class.

The Communist Left has its origins in the Left currents of the Communist International which came into being as a proletarian response to its opportunist slidings when faced with the retreat of the international revolutionary wave in the 1920s. Whilst the Communist Left had expressions in many countries its most prominent representatives were to be found in Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Russia. In the period of counter-revolution which opened at the end of the 1920s, it was the Communist Left which proved to be the most intransigent defenders of proletarian internationalism and the most rigorous in drawing up the balance sheet of the revolutionary wave.

Whilst sympathisers of the Communist Left do exist in Australia, at this point they do so only as individuals suffering largely from political isolation. In order to effectively intervene in the class struggle, it is necessary that revolutionaries organise themselves into a political organisation, founded on the basis of shared positions and principles.

However, at the present hour the immediate formation of such a group is not on the agenda in Australia. What is needed at present is the coming together of internationalists for discussion conducted with the goal of initiating and maintaining contact between comrades (particularly those who are geographically isolated) and collective political clarification of the positions which define the communist programme today.

Thus, we appeal for the initiation of organised discussions between all sympathisers of the Communist Left in Australia. It is proposed that the discussions are conducted under the name: ‘Internationalist Communist Affiliate Network’.

We propose the criteria for participation is agreement with the most elementary positions of left communism today:

- Imperialist war and national movements of all stripes have nothing to offer the working class but death and destruction. The working class must oppose all bourgeois camps. By calling on them to take the side of one or another faction, the bourgeoisie divide workers and lead them to massacre their class brothers and sisters.

- Parliament and bourgeois elections are a masquerade. Capitalist ‘democracy’ does not differ at root from any form of capitalist dictatorship. Any call to participate in the parliamentary circus can only reinforce the lie that elections offer any real choice for the exploited.

- All unions are organs of the capitalist system and act in its service. The fundamental role of the unions is to police the working class and sabotage its struggles. In order to defend its immediate interests, and ultimately to make the revolution, the working class must struggle outside and against the unions.

All who may be interested in taking part are encouraged to write to InternationalistWorker[at]gmail.com. We also welcome any comments, questions and criticisms.

With fraternal communist greetings,

Fabius, Jack, Max, Niccolo, Thomas

LeftResistance's picture
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Apr 18 2010 08:35

That names even worse than 'Project X!'

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Apr 18 2010 09:43

No way. The acronym: "ICAN".
That's pretty much unbeatable.

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Apr 18 2010 10:29

Hmmmmm I didn't look at it that way!

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Apr 18 2010 10:44

Well, now you're beginning to see the light!

Spassmaschine
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Apr 18 2010 11:02
Bilan wrote:
No way. The acronym: "ICAN".
That's pretty much unbeatable.

Yes, it's the kind of acronym that wins elections:

YES ICAN

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Apr 19 2010 05:32

It's nothing compared to AWSM

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Apr 19 2010 06:49
Gabs wrote:
It's nothing compared to AWSM

grin

Surprisingly, I'm still not totally sick of AWSM/awesome puns, despite how frequently they come up.

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Apr 19 2010 12:12

Fair call. That's pretty hard to top, though.

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Apr 19 2010 12:27

Unless it's just too damn early for me, there seems to be another thread like this...

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Apr 19 2010 16:15

Bilan writes;

"The Communist Left has its origins in the Left currents of the Communist International which came into being as a proletarian response to its opportunist slidings when faced with the retreat of the international revolutionary wave in the 1920s."

And the (re)founding of the International Workers Association in Berlin in 1922 would be what exactly? Would this not be a proletarian response?

"Whilst sympathisers of the Communist Left do exist in Australia, at this point they do so only as individuals suffering largely from political isolation. In order to effectively intervene in the class struggle, it is necessary that revolutionaries organise themselves into a political organisation, founded on the basis of shared positions and principles."

Why don't you just say political party founded on the basis of a shared desire for power?

Sympathisers of the 'Communist Left' have existed in Australia for some time and have always been 'individuals suffering largely from political isolation'. They were found in cafes in Glebe and Carlton and would talk about reading Gramsci, Althusser and Pannekoek. See lyrics to Skyhooks 'Lygon St. Limbo'. In those days, they would often refer to themselves as Council Communists and would always pronounce the word 'nice' as 'naice'. Not a few of them were former members of rowing clubs.

They would come across all libertarian not dissimilar to Karl Marx in 'The Revolution in France' but inevitably reveal their managerial attitudes that a chap might recognise at their local polo club bar.

Anarchists constitute a major problem; how to attack them without giving away their own authoritarianism? Solution; pretend their entire history of the practise of anarchism doesn't exist or claim it as your own!

Satis satis!

Lugius

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Apr 19 2010 19:26
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Anarchists constitute a major problem; how to attack them without giving away their own authoritarianism? Solution; pretend their entire history of the practise of anarchism doesn't exist or claim it as your own!

Claim it as their own? What in the world are you talking about?

It's usually the other way around quite ironically; anarchists pretending that the KAPD had something to do with anarchism is just one example.

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Apr 19 2010 19:41

Like this:

http://libcom.org/forums/announcements/appeal-sympathisers-communist-left-australia-18042010

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Apr 19 2010 23:10

Left-Communists did something as intense as rowing?

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Apr 20 2010 03:02
Lugius wrote:
Bilan writes;

Why don't you just say political party founded on the basis of a shared desire for power?

Because it's not a political party, and we don't indeed to take power as a group. Are you sure you know what you're talking about?

Quote:
Sympathisers of the 'Communist Left' have existed in Australia for some time and have always been 'individuals suffering largely from political isolation'. They were found in cafes in Glebe and Carlton and would talk about reading Gramsci, Althusser and Pannekoek. See lyrics to Skyhooks 'Lygon St. Limbo'. In those days, they would often refer to themselves as Council Communists and would always pronounce the word 'nice' as 'naice'. Not a few of them were former members of rowing clubs.

You're a bastion of wit, but that's hardly relevant. Besides the detestable fact that they rowed. Bourgeois decadence, obviously.

Quote:
They would come across all libertarian not dissimilar to Karl Marx in 'The Revolution in France' but inevitably reveal their managerial attitudes that a chap might recognise at their local polo club bar.

That...what?

Quote:
Anarchists constitute a major problem; how to attack them without giving away their own authoritarianism? Solution; pretend their entire history of the practise of anarchism doesn't exist or claim it as your own!

I hardly think left communists would claim anarchist actions as their own...I mean, really.

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Apr 20 2010 11:06

Blian writes;

" Are you sure you know what you're talking about? "

Look, I may be but a mere plebian, and it may come as a shock, but yes, I do know what I'm talking about. Indeed, your knowing-betterness, I would hazard to guess that I know more what I speak of than dost thou.

For I am the worst kind of plebian, an uppity plebian who dares to imagine a world without the patrician class that will realised without their help or guidance.

For what is a political organisation if it does not seek power? Does all unions mean revolutionary unions? Anarchy is the administration of things as opposed to the government of people.

Are 'Left-Communists' not Marxists? You know not of Marx's 'Civil War in France'? (sorry, I got the title wrong in my post but, hey, you know us plebians! - in constant need of correction).

It was in this text, of which 'Communists' are fond of quoting, that Marx said "The task of the emancipation of the working class is up to the workers themselves" Here, in the wake of the Paris Commune, Marx tried to come across all libertarian-like. Marx had thrust his moistened finger into the wind and worked out which way it was blowing. Does the plebian not understand the need to feel the gentle guiding hand of their betters? Rather than see the International fall under the influence of the Bakuninists he manoeuvered to have it moved to New York. (1872?) Ha! Let's see the Bakuninist rustle up the cash for a transatlantic ticket!

Marx went to great lengths to establish himself as an original thinker and acquire the mystique of holiness. In fact, he was a plagiarist, particularly of Proudhon but also of David Ricardo and Adam Smith, Hegel, Fourier, Saint-Simon and others. To cover his tracks he later attacked Proudhon in 'The Poverty of Philosophy'.

Marx, like Lenin, was in essence a bourgeois managerialist. Yes, Proudhon was an artisan and Bakunin was a fucking prince, your erudite cleverness. But when industrialisation hit the watchmakers of Jura with full force you ended up with two choices; become a boss or be proletarianised. This is the history of anarchism right up to its destruction as a movement as a direct consequence of the WW2.

Bakunin had warned; commmunism will be free or not at all.

Today, the only people who talk of Left-Communism (as opposed to Right-Communism) or Marxism are either private school twats or wish they were, I would contend, your welcomingness of questions, comments and criticism.

By the way, whilst on the topic of welcoming questions, would you answer the first one in my previous post? Or will you just ignore it?

Satis satis!

Lugius

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Apr 20 2010 11:59
Quote:
Sympathisers of the 'Communist Left' have existed in Australia for some time and have always been 'individuals suffering largely from political isolation'. They were found in cafes in Glebe and Carlton and would talk about reading Gramsci, Althusser and Pannekoek. See lyrics to Skyhooks 'Lygon St. Limbo'. In those days, they would often refer to themselves as Council Communists and would always pronounce the word 'nice' as 'naice'. Not a few of them were former members of rowing clubs.

They would come across all libertarian not dissimilar to Karl Marx in 'The Revolution in France' but inevitably reveal their managerial attitudes that a chap might recognise at their local polo club bar.

This is an absolutely absurd post. As I, and even other anarchists, have posted on her before, the most middle, maybe even upper, class people I have ever met were English anarchists, certainly the only English people I have ever met who went to public school. This, however, says nothing about the politics of anarcism, or about its general class composition, which incidently when I lived in England, was overwhelmigly working class. See the second part of then first post on those thread:
http://www.revleft.com/vb/class-composition-anarchism-t131241/index.html?p=1695440
There may well have been some middle/upper class people calling themselves council communists in Australia in the past. It doesn't have anything to do with these people and what they are doing though.

Devrim

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Apr 20 2010 12:34
Lugius wrote:
Blian writes;

" Are you sure you know what you're talking about? "

Look, I may be but a mere plebian, and it may come as a shock, but yes, I do know what I'm talking about. Indeed, your knowing-betterness, I would hazard to guess that I know more what I speak of than dost thou.

For I am the worst kind of plebian, an uppity plebian who dares to imagine a world without the patrician class that will realised without their help or guidance.

For what is a political organisation if it does not seek power? Does all unions mean revolutionary unions? Anarchy is the administration of things as opposed to the government of people.

Are 'Left-Communists' not Marxists? You know not of Marx's 'Civil War in France'? (sorry, I got the title wrong in my post but, hey, you know us plebians! - in constant need of correction).

It was in this text, of which 'Communists' are fond of quoting, that Marx said "The task of the emancipation of the working class is up to the workers themselves" Here, in the wake of the Paris Commune, Marx tried to come across all libertarian-like. Marx had thrust his moistened finger into the wind and worked out which way it was blowing. Does the plebian not understand the need to feel the gentle guiding hand of their betters? Rather than see the International fall under the influence of the Bakuninists he manoeuvered to have it moved to New York. (1872?) Ha! Let's see the Bakuninist rustle up the cash for a transatlantic ticket!

Marx went to great lengths to establish himself as an original thinker and acquire the mystique of holiness. In fact, he was a plagiarist, particularly of Proudhon but also of David Ricardo and Adam Smith, Hegel, Fourier, Saint-Simon and others. To cover his tracks he later attacked Proudhon in 'The Poverty of Philosophy'.

Marx, like Lenin, was in essence a bourgeois managerialist. Yes, Proudhon was an artisan and Bakunin was a fucking prince, your erudite cleverness. But when industrialisation hit the watchmakers of Jura with full force you ended up with two choices; become a boss or be proletarianised. This is the history of anarchism right up to its destruction as a movement as a direct consequence of the WW2.

Bakunin had warned; commmunism will be free or not at all.

Today, the only people who talk of Left-Communism (as opposed to Right-Communism) or Marxism are either private school twats or wish they were, I would contend, your welcomingness of questions, comments and criticism.

By the way, whilst on the topic of welcoming questions, would you answer the first one in my previous post? Or will you just ignore it?

Satis satis!

Lugius

What the hell are you talking about? Why do you bother with calling yourself a 'plebian'? Is it to poke fun at Bilan? A user you don't even know therefore cannot confidently comment on any of their personality traits? And what is this about Marx 'stealing' Communist theories? The intellectual movement of Communism had developed and been built by successive thinkers, who each improved upon the idea's of the last. Yes Marx was inspired by thinkers such as proudhon and saint-simon, who were quite revolutionary in their day. However, this did not stop him from attacking their (frankly) pissweak followers. Marx of course used the relavent ideas provided by the utopians and credited the ideas to the likes of Robert Owen. Marx however, is credited with placing socialist ideas on a scientific basis, thus explaining that Communism is not some abstract, bouregois idea, but the culmination of class struggle. He was the one that argued not only that socialism ought to put into practice, but that it must be. This is the only society that is consistent with the interests of the current revolutionary class.This explains why ''the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class themselves".
You're wrong in painting Marx as an opportunist and confusing his improved ideas for theft. You're wrong in thinking that Left-Communism is a bourgeois ideology (and attacking individual revolutionary's is the last ditch effort of some one who cannot argue their point), you're wrong in speaking like such a fucking weirdo and you're wrong in supporting proudhon's pacifistic and pissweak view of revolution.

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Apr 20 2010 12:47
Core_1 wrote:
[ you're wrong in speaking like such a fucking weirdo

To be fair, Lugius is actually doing that quite well.

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Apr 20 2010 12:55

So Lugius your critique of this specific proposal is:
1) Marx did some things that were rubbish
2) People with politics you don't like all have private school backgrounds.

That is a stunning critique.

rebel love
Dave

By the way I don't think Marx behaviour in the International invalidates his work on capitalism and value ( and a host of other subjects) and no I didn't go to a private school and have I never rowed a boat let alone joined a club.

On an unrelated note. I think this is an interesting proposal.

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Apr 21 2010 01:31

Lugius, I appreciate your riveting critique, but I'm not entirely sure of how you are critiquing my position on something that...I didn't...mention.
I mean, seriously. Cool it.
No one mentioned Bakunin or Proudhon, and just in case you jump to such a conclusion, I don't presume that Bakunin (or Proudhon) really define the modern anarchist movement. Name dropping Bakunin (which is done by some anarchists) is really quite meaningless.
Anarchists like Malatesta, Goldman, Berkman and Durutti (his action and speeches, anyway) are more influential on anarchists than Bakunin.

And in case you presume, we don't presume anarchists maintain the anti-semitic positions that Bakunin held; we don't presume that anarchists hold the same position on WWI that Kropotkin did: most of us would recognise that Kropotkin's influence is derived from his books like "the Conquest of Bread" and so on.
We don't presume all anarchists are psychotic like Makhno (though some are).

The critique of anarchism by Left Communists (that I can think of off the top of my sleep-deprived-head) would be a/ their common position on anti-fascism [not all anarchists have the same position, but the position we are critical of is quite well known] b/ their position on the DOP c/ the position of some anarchists on national liberation d/ and the position of some anarchists on trade unions.
We don't, however, believe that anarchists all suffer from some sort of "infantile disorder" or something whatever.

Incidentally, the position of the communist left is that the emancipation of the working class is an act of the working class itself.

For example, as the ICC writes in their pamphlet, "Communist Organisation and Class consciousness"

Quote:
[The] collective activity of the proletariat cannot be replaced, for it constitutes the indispensable apprenticeship during which the working class progressively prepares itself for the seizure of power and the transformation of society. No minority activity can be a substitute for this action.

...

In contrast to past revolutionary classes, the proletariat does not delegate its power and the exercise of its dictatorship to a minority or fraction of any kind. The workers’ emancip ation must be the work of the workers themselves.

source.

And that's pretty much all I can be bothered writing on this.

If you want to discuss the positions with us, feel free to do so. If we're so wrong, you should probably illustrate that by using our words and not stuffing a bunch in our mouths.
Incidentally, I didn't go to a private school. I went to school in the country and then moved to the city, and went to a public school there too (as there aren't private schools in the country).
On top of this, your making stupid personal attacks to, and acting as if this is a real substitute for a genuine critique.

And on top of that, I used to be an active anarchist.

So if you're done acting like a twat, perhaps you can say something of substance instead of talking a load of shit.

Bilan.

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Apr 21 2010 01:26

Also I don't know how to row.
but I did go in a dinghy once.
But someone called the police...

kuro
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Apr 21 2010 10:26

Interesting proposal keep us updated smile

princess mob
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Apr 21 2010 23:27
Quote:
The critique of anarchism by Left Communists (that I can think of off the top of my sleep-deprived-head) would be a/ their common position on anti-fascism [not all anarchists have the same position, but the position we are critical of is quite well known] b/ their position on the DOP c/ the position of some anarchists on national liberation d/ and the position of some anarchists on trade unions.

What's the DOP? And what's the anarchist position on it?

(This is an actual question, maybe I'm just tired but I really can't guess the acronym)

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Apr 22 2010 02:13
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We don't presume all anarchists are psychotic like Makhno (though some are).

????????

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Apr 22 2010 04:20
princess mob wrote:
Quote:
The critique of anarchism by Left Communists (that I can think of off the top of my sleep-deprived-head) would be a/ their common position on anti-fascism [not all anarchists have the same position, but the position we are critical of is quite well known] b/ their position on the DOP c/ the position of some anarchists on national liberation d/ and the position of some anarchists on trade unions.

What's the DOP? And what's the anarchist position on it?

(This is an actual question, maybe I'm just tired but I really can't guess the acronym)

They're referring to the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' - though if we are going to discuss something like a 'left-communist vs anarchist' position on the topic.. DoP should be clearly defined, so too the perceived 'anarchist position' in contrast to left-communism.

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Apr 22 2010 08:02
Tarwater wrote:
Quote:
We don't presume all anarchists are psychotic like Makhno (though some are).

????????

Makhno was a wee bit a of a crazy cat.
I should point out that the criticisms of those famous anarchists was not an attempt to start some sort of tendency war or anything, but merely to point out that we know what modern anarchists are, and do understand their politics (I'm an ex-anarchist myself, not that really changes anything) and that our criticisms of anarchism are for what it is now not of what anarchists were way back when.
Just for clarities sake.

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Apr 22 2010 08:04
circle A-K wrote:
princess mob wrote:
Quote:
The critique of anarchism by Left Communists (that I can think of off the top of my sleep-deprived-head) would be a/ their common position on anti-fascism [not all anarchists have the same position, but the position we are critical of is quite well known] b/ their position on the DOP c/ the position of some anarchists on national liberation d/ and the position of some anarchists on trade unions.

What's the DOP? And what's the anarchist position on it?

(This is an actual question, maybe I'm just tired but I really can't guess the acronym)

They're referring to the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat' - though if we are going to discuss something like a 'left-communist vs anarchist' position on the topic.. DoP should be clearly defined, so too the perceived 'anarchist position' in contrast to left-communism.

Indeed, that is what I was referring to, and indeed, if we are going to discuss it (not in this thread, obviously) what you have mentioned (clear definition etc) is necessary for discussion.

However, let's not do that here.

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Apr 22 2010 10:00

I've read of Makhno drinking a bit, and i get the impression he went downhill after the civil war ended, but was he really that mental? I've read of him being anti-semetic too, but read enough proof to say that he really wasn't also.

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Apr 22 2010 13:02

I am sure there are enough discussion out there about the histories of the dead. Let them bury themselves. This project should be discussed on its own merits.
Which tomorrow...when I am more sober... I will attempt to do
rebel love
Dave

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Apr 22 2010 13:28

I'm about to drop a bomb: someone who comes to anarchist communist group meetings here does rowing as a sport.

also

Quote:
Also I don't know how to row.
but I did go in a dinghy once.
But someone called the police...

Badass.

Next time I come up/across, we're getting arrested crossing the harbour in an inflatable raft. Deal? If not you, then with someone from Sydney.