Do you support Aboriginal nationalism?

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omar
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Apr 7 2007 03:11

Captian Soap- The Trade Union is LAB or Langile Abertzaleen Batzordeak.

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I think part of the problem here is that you keep making blanket assertions that you support the national liberation movement in such and such country, which implies that you support all the different interests falling under that umbrella. Maybe you should instead say what elements you support in each movement, if you do indeed support particular elements rather than the whole "movement".

Well put. However my reason for saying I support the whole nationalist movement in say West Papua or Kurdistan, is that I support the entire movements shared goal of natonal liberation. So while I support, say the whole Chechen liberation movement in their goal of national liberation, I don't support the goal to form an Islamic republic that the organisations involved want to. I think your comment that supporting a NL movement means you "implies that support all the different interests falling under that umbrella" is what this debate hinges on and why it won't be resolved. My POV is that supporting a NL movement does not imply support for all the different interests falling under that umbrella while your POV is that yes if you support a NL movement you imply support for all the different elements. I guess people will have to choose for themselves which view they think is correct.

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But one does not need to search deeply to discover that each of these movements is dominated by the elite leaderships of political parties.This should set alarm bells ringing. If any of these movements succeeded in kicking out the imperialists, do you think the leaderships will just politely step aside and let libertarian communism blossom from nowhere?

Very true. You can use the same argument to argue that we should not support domestic workers movements cause the whole trade union movement is dominated by the elite leaderships of political parties. However the view I would agree with suggests that we should struggle internally against the buearaucracy as well as externally against the capitalist forces rather than abandon the movement as a whole. This view can be broadened to my view of NL movements- that we should struggle internally within the movement against reactionary or capitalist forces and externally against the imperialist forces, rather than abandon the movement as a whole.

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The Free Papua Movement are led by coastal chieftains, some of whom have interests in the logging industry that they wish to protect.

I can't say I know the composition of the FPM, however I did hear a talk by a Papuan leader, also a Christian, who seemed more concerned about the number of new Mosques in West Papua than anything else. However just cause these movements have reactionary leaders does not mean the entire movement is corrupted and like any movement there are internal contradictions and conflicts. The TR movement in Aotearoa is starkly divided between Maori capitalists who want to integrate their tibes into the system and grassroots anti-capitalist forces that while pursuing the struggle for TR are also struggling againsttheir buerarucracy-many hapu are stuggling to remove pro-capitalist interests from their iwi trust boards for example.

Asher-Last time I checked, Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad's were not national liberation movements, but rather organisations participating in a national liberation movement.

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Devrim
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Apr 7 2007 08:50
Omar=Omar wrote:
However my reason for saying I support the whole nationalist movement in say West Papua or Kurdistan, is that I support the entire movements shared goal of natonal liberation.

Tell me, which part of the Kurdish nationalist movement you support, and I will give you an example of them (if not the exact group you name, then one organisationally linked to it) murdering workers. This is not some abstract theoretical debate about some comrades having mistaken politics. These are anti-working class gangsters.

Devrim

omar
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Apr 8 2007 00:15

I can't say I know the composition of the Kurdish ML movement at all, Devrim, and would not be surrised to find that large sections of it have been corrupted/are corrupt.

However supporting movements for NL, does not mean we support all or any of the organisations involved. In the Kurdish case, I know too little to make any judgements on which organisation if any we should support.

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 8 2007 08:17

Getting back to the aboriginal side of it all, there is a good article from an aboriginal viewpoint arguing for something like the practical proposition I made above: "Sexy Pirates of Reconciliation"
http://aboriginalrights.suite101.com/article.cfm/sexypirates
I think the author is right (because it is also my view) that a healthy conversation about Aborigines in Australia has to begin with paying respect to the resistance. That does not prejudge where the conversation will lead and does not bias it toward a nationalist direction.

It is worth looking up Pemulwuy and Yagan, to begin with, at Wikipedia.

As for what is being done in Melbourne along these lnes by Anarchists, see:
http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2007/01/137796.php

I am at this moment, though, feeling a little ill from reading the entry of Yagan in the Australian National Dictionary Online. In his liefetime Yagan was respected by many whites as "the Wallace of his people" as the Dictionary does begrudgingly note. But the general tone is as follows:

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...as Aboriginals discovered that they liked the taste of the colonists' provisions and began to thieve and to spear livestock, retaliations were made, for food supplies were scarce. Gradually the settlers became aware that the attacks along the Canning River and the farther banks of the Swan were led by a certain native of striking appearance named Yagan. In May 1832 a labourer, William Gaze, was murdered. Yagan was identified as the killer, and Midgigoroo as participating in other recent attacks. After four months Yagan was captured and sentenced, with two other native culprits, to temporary detention on Carnac Island.....

In 2007 aboriginal resistance to genocide is still being written up as part of the history of crime.

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Devrim
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Apr 8 2007 10:29
omar wrote:
However supporting movements for NL, does not mean we support all or any of the organisations involved.

So let's just get this absolutely clear; your position is that your support national liberation movements without supporting any of the organisations involved. What are these movements composed of if not the organisations involved? This seems very bizarre to me.

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In the Kurdish case, I know too little to make any judgements on which organisation if any we should support.

This is even worse than Lenin's position. At least Lenin said that there were only specific conditions in which national liberation movements can be supported. Platformism seems to be supporting them as a principle now.

Unfortunately we do have a little knowledge of the situation. I would doubt whether there was any member of our organisation who had not lost friends, or family in the barbarous war being waged between the PKK and the Turkish state in the South-East. As an example when I lived in İstanbul my next door neighbour lost two sons in one week, both fighting on the opposite side.

So which part of this nationalist movement do you want to support? Is it the part in Turkey which shoots down school teachers for the insidious crime of spreading Turkish culture, i.e. teaching children how to read and write, or maybe you would prefer the part of the government in Iraq, whose militia shoot down striking workers in the street?

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I can't say I know the composition of the Kurdish ML movement at all, Devrim, and would not be surrised to find that large sections of it have been corrupted/are corrupt.

The problem is not whether they are corrupt or not, generally they are. The problem is that they are nationalists, and anti-working class. It might not seem that dangerous in Australia, but in the Middle East the nationalists are directly involved in dragging the working class deeper in to a cycle of war, and nationalist/ethnic/sectarian violence.

Devrim

omar
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Apr 9 2007 06:52

Like I say, - I don't know enough about the Kurdish organisations to make any judgements on them.

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So let's just get this absolutely clear; your position is that your support national liberation movements without supporting any of the organisations involved. What are these movements composed of if not the organisations involved? This seems very bizarre to me.

I'll explain this by turning to a movement I know a little bit better, the Maori, Tino Ranagatiratanga (Self-determination) movement. While I support the goal of Tino Rangatiratanga and thus the "movement", I don't support any of the organisations that dominate ths movement-the Maori Party and the corrupt capitalist neo-corporate tribal trust boards. I think focusing on who the organisations are in this case would underestimate how much of the movement falls outside the "organised" category. In other words, what is often liberatory or communistic or anti-statist or anti-capitalist in a movement is often in the most overlooked places within a social struggle.

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Devrim
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Apr 9 2007 16:50
Omar wrote:
Like I say, - I don't know enough about the Kurdish organisations to make any judgements on them.

...but you know enough about Kurdish nationalism to offer your support to it:

Omar wrote:
However I do support other national liberation struggles-Chechen, Papuan, Iraqi, Basque, Kurdish etc.
...
However my reason for saying I support the whole nationalist movement in say West Papua or Kurdistan, is that I support the entire movements shared goal of natonal liberation.

But let's get back to the point.

Omar wrote:
I'll explain this by turning to a movement I know a little bit better

Ok, that is fine by me. The principles are nevertheless the same.

Omar wrote:
]While I support the goal of Tino Rangatiratanga and thus the "movement", I don't support any of the organisations that dominate ths movement-the Maori Party and the corrupt capitalist neo-corporate tribal trust boards.

I think that there are two parts of this that need to be addressed, first I will deal with the goals of this movement;

Maori Independence Site wrote:
There are many different meanings for Tino Rangatiratanga and the concept itself is part of a rich and ongoing debate in Maori society. The word 'tino' is an intensifier and the word 'rangatiratanga'broadly speaking relates to the exercise of 'chieftainship'. Its closest english translation is self-determination -although many also refer to it as 'absolute sovereignty' or Maori independence. Such a concept embraces the spiritual link Maori have with 'Papatuanuku' (Earthmother) and is a part of the international drive by indigenous people for self determination.

I don't see what there is for revolutionaries to support here. There is a call for the power of chieftans, and a little mystical nonsense. I presume that the thing that you must be supporting is self determination.

This is very typical of 'Platformism', and its ideology of intervening in 'mass' struggles. Because there is some sort of movement, the Platformists feel that they must intervene in it. The don't stop to thing about the class basis of this movement, or of how the struggle relates in any way to the working class, or the struggle for socialism. To me this is clearly a cross class campaign (unless you have taken on some sub-Maoist ideology about non-white people being the new proletariat). So I would like you to explain exactly why you think that we should be involved in cross class campaigns, and what this does for the working class. Also to go back to the Kurdish issue please explain how the working class in the Middle East would benefit from a Kurdistan.

The second point is the way that you seem to think that it is possible to support movements while not supporting their constituent parts. I would like to ask who you are supporting. You write that you support:

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I think focusing on who the organisations are in this case would underestimate how much of the movement falls outside the "organised" category. In other words, what is often liberatory or communistic or anti-statist or anti-capitalist in a movement is often in the most overlooked places within a social struggle.

You seem to see a large part of some abstract movement outside of the official organisations of these national liberation movements. In my opinion this is wish fulfilment. When I look at the nationalist groups in the Middle East I don't see some large movement outside of the major organisations. I see the major organisations, their front groups and their supporters. Alongside this there are a few smaller groups selling a more Leftist/rightist/secular/religious version of the same nationalist ideology. I would be very surprised if this is not the case in the Maori movement.

The Platformists seem quite embarrassed about all this, you yourself write:

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I don't support any of the organisations that dominate ths movement-the Maori Party and the corrupt capitalist neo-corporate tribal trust boards.

These organisations are like this because their nationalism is reactionary.

Anarchists often seem to suggest that the problem with these organisations is that they are hierarchical, or undemocratic, which makes them anti-working class. We would take a political view. These organisations tend to be hierarchical, and undemocratic because their politics are anti-working class.

Back to my original point:

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Like I say, - I don't know enough about the Kurdish organisations to make any judgements on them.

It doesn't matter which faction of the nationalists you want to support. They are all equally anti*working class.

It would be possible to theoretically imagine a completely democratic Kurdish nationalist party based on recallable delegates etc.. It would still be as anti-working class as the PKK is today.

To support national liberation movements means supporting these people when they attack the working class. They don't do this because they are 'bad people'. They do it because it is the essence of what they are.

The strangest thing about this argument from leftism is that it always claims not to give political support to these organisations when in fact that is the only thing they give. If you want to support Kurdish nationalism why not be honest about it and collect money for the PKK. Who knows if you collect enough maybe they will be able to launch a new campaign of shooting school teachers.

Devrim

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 10 2007 03:43

Devrim says

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The second point is the way that you seem to think that it is possible to support movements while not supporting their constituent parts.

Like we support the working-class "movement" without necessarily supporting any of its organisational parts? It doesn't seem such a bizarre concept to me.

The question, I think Devrim, is along the lines of "if Anarchism was a mass movement what position would we want our organizations to take towards such-and-such a national and racial identity?" Should for example we tell Aborigines just to get over their history, they are just individual members of the working-class now (if they are working-class). ? Or should we take on the land rights and cultural identity struggles in some form?

What do we make of the origins of the modern land rights movement in the Wave Hill labour struggle?

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Devrim
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Apr 10 2007 10:06
jeremytrewindixon wrote:
Like we support the working-class "movement" without necessarily supporting any of its organisational parts? It doesn't seem such a bizarre concept to me.

This seems to me to be a very strange perspective to have towards the ' working-class "movement" '. I think that anarchism is either a part of the working class movement, or it is worthless. I think it is very strange to talk about 'support[ing] the working-class "movement"'. It suggests that you see yourselves as something apart from it. That there is not a class analysis, but an analysis of class.

jeremytrewindixon wrote:
The question, I think Devrim, is along the lines of "if Anarchism was a mass movement what position would we want our organizations to take towards such-and-such a national and racial identity?" Should for example we tell Aborigines just to get over their history, they are just individual members of the working-class now (if they are working-class). ? Or should we take on the land rights and cultural identity struggles in some form?

I an not sure what you are arguing here as you are just asking questions. Are you suggesting that aboriginal workers are not members of the working class? Are you suggesting that they have separate interests apart from the rest of the working class? Are you trying to divide the working class into lots of different cultural/ethnic groups?

jeremytrewindixon wrote:
Or should we take on the land rights and cultural identity struggles in some form?

Why would we support 'land rights'? Is it in the interests of the working class for property rights to be transferred between owners? Please explain how if you think it is, as I have absolutely no idea.

As for cultural identity, it is a completely reactionary idea.

Devrim

smush
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Apr 10 2007 10:26
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Devrim wrote:

I don't see what there is for revolutionaries to support here. There is a call for the power of chieftans, and a little mystical nonsense.

i talked to an indigenous activist who has been involved in the Tino Rangatiratanga movement for some time the other day, and asked that person to translate the word anarchism into Te Reo Maori (the Maori language). The answer was Maori.

you think about that.

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Devrim
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Apr 10 2007 10:41
smush wrote:
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Devrim wrote:

I don't see what there is for revolutionaries to support here. There is a call for the power of chieftans, and a little mystical nonsense.

i talked to an indigenous activist who has been involved in the Tino Rangatiratanga movement for some time the other day, and asked that person to translate the word anarchism into Te Reo Maori (the Maori language). The answer was Maori.

you think about that.

I am. The thing that is surprising me most is that people think that it has any meaning.

First, I doubt it is true (not that someone said this to you, but that Maori is the Maori word for anarchism).
Second, I fail to believe that Maori society was some free utopia. It was a tribal, brutal, warmongering, slave holding, typical tribal society.
Finally, even if it had been some sort of utopia would that mean that the genetic descendents of this society should be held to be in some special position today?

This is the exact sort of mystical nonsense I was talking about.

Devrim

Convert
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Apr 10 2007 19:57

Donna Awatere seems to think it was pretty egalitarian!

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Pakeha society was said to reflect inherent characteristics: it was competitive, exploitative, valued material success and it eroded or dominated traditional or radically egalitarian Maori values. Maori possessed an inherent integrity that had been progressively eroded since contact. However this status could be redeemed by the immersion in Maori identity or ‘Maoritanga.’ Because the inherent traits of Pakeha were the basic causes of an oppressive and unequal society, the virtues of Maori were critical for their resolution (see Greenland, 1984: 89).

http://aotearoa.wellington.net.nz/back/tumoana/index.htm#

Good article imo, basically rejects nationalism and race based struggle and concludes in calling for class solidarity;

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Cultural nationalist strategies have done nothing to change the material reality for the vast majority of Maori. Thus, while a few corporate warriors, tribal executives, and middle class Maori professionals have benefited form the narrow pro-business agenda of the New Right, the Employment Contracts Act, the benefit cuts, user-pays education and health have all impacted most severely on working class Maori whanau. By failing to challenge the underlying power structures in Aotearoa, cultural nationalism cannot provide a solution to the problems that face most Maori.

While culture and identity remain absolutely essential to Maori social well-being, it does not automatically follow that cultural identity alone should provide the organisational basis for the fight against racism and Maori disadvantage. Because identities are blurred and multiple, any fight against Maori oppression must be based upon building the strongest possible liberation movement by uniting different oppressed groups into a common struggle. This is essential because true liberation for Maori will not occur without a fundamental transformation of capitalist society and the creation of a classless society

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Devrim
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Apr 10 2007 21:11

It is this sort of egalatarianism:

Wiki Chatham Islands wrote:
On November 19, 1835, a British ship carrying 500 Māori armed with guns, clubs and axes arrived, followed by another ship on December 5, 1835 with a further 400 Māori. They proceeded to massacre the Moriori and enslave the survivors. A Moriori survivor recalled: "[The Māori] commenced to kill us like sheep.... [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed - men, women and children indiscriminately". A Māori conqueror justified their actions as follows: "We took possession... in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped....."

Devrim

Skraeling
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Apr 11 2007 02:25

Devrim, you forgot to mention that hundreds of Moriori were eaten by the invading tribes. The Moriori were the only Maori tribe that weren't cannibals and weren't warlike. They were also the most non-hierarchial of all Maori tribes. Most Maori tribes were very hierarchical. The Chiefs (rangatira) were at the top, who were held in such high esteem that commoners and slaves were not allowed to touch anything they touched (it was declared tapu or sacred and sometimes punishable by death). Commoners and slaves did most of the work. I believe Aborigines in Australia were and are far more egalitarian than Maori, and even they were ruled by a gerontocracy.

However, i believe Maori society is and was more communal and less individualistic than European/Pakeha society. It was also more communist than European societies, in that Maori had a "gift economy" and some sort of collective ownership of land. But it's more complex than that, and its a matter of debate whether Maori fit into the so-called "primitive communist" category. Sub-tribes or hapu often held a sort of de-facto onwership on certain bits of land.

yuda
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Apr 11 2007 03:04
smush wrote:
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Devrim wrote:

I don't see what there is for revolutionaries to support here. There is a call for the power of chieftans, and a little mystical nonsense.

i talked to an indigenous activist who has been involved in the Tino Rangatiratanga movement for some time the other day, and asked that person to translate the word anarchism into Te Reo Maori (the Maori language). The answer was Maori.

you think about that.

Really?? I would be suprised if that was the case, I have spoken to a friend of mine involved in the tino rangatiratanga movement and one that would probably consider himself an anarchist, (a couple of years back albeit) and he said that there was no direct translation for anarchism or anarchist in Te Reo (there is one for communism though, not sure about liberterian). I also just checked the Te Reo dictionary (http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz) and there was no listing for either anarchism, anarchist or anarchy.

yuda
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Apr 11 2007 03:14

btw. here's a couple of articles written by those in the tino movement which were published by a now defunct anarchist publication thr@ll. I thought some of you might find them interesting.

neo-liberal globalisation and the tino rangatiratanga movement
http://anarchism.org.nz/publications/thrall/18tino.html

tino rangatiratanga and capitalism
http://anarchism.org.nz/publications/thrall/24tino.html

Skraeling
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Apr 12 2007 01:19

I think Smush's leg was being pulled. As i understand it, Maori originally meant "ordinary" person ie. not a slave or a chief.

As for Maori translations of anarchism, this is from Tracy on the old anarchynz list (a barbaric flame fest of a list)

Quote:
It's an interesting question translating "anarchy" into Maori. I'll be interested to see what a native speaker can come up with. You could have locutions like "kaore he kawanatanga", ie. no government, but that's just a
transliteration of an English word. Or "kaore etahi rangatira" - no bosses or aristocracy etc. Or you could use "kore", in the sense of having got rid of something: "rangatira kore". Kore is useful in that it can also convey the
senses of "weak, feeble, incapable" with associated words.
jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 12 2007 03:58

Thus Devrim.

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I an not sure what you are arguing here as you are just asking questions. Are you suggesting that aboriginal workers are not members of the working class? Are you suggesting that they have separate interests apart from the rest of the working class? Are you trying to divide the working class into lots of different cultural/ethnic groups?

Devrim, I am arguing about what questions need to be asked. But to answer your questions as a step towards that:
(1) No I am not suggesting that aboriginal workers are not members of the working class, I'm suprised you got that from my post
(2) Yes, obviously aboriginal members of the working class have separate interests as do gay, female, male whatever......the working-class is composed of people with many separate interests
(3) No I am not trying to divide the working class into lots of different groups, take a look and you will see it is already so divided. Newsflash.

The working class is the most diverse class. Obviously.

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 12 2007 04:20

Thus Devrim:

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I think it is very strange to talk about 'support[ing] the working-class "movement"'. It suggests that you see yourselves as something apart from it.

There are plenty of members of the working-class who do not see themselves as any part of such a movement. You see......just as you for example belong to one or another gender or racial group but don't see yourself as part of any associated movement. Presumably.

There is a difference between being a militant and a fanatic and the ability to see the world from more than one perspective is part of that difference.

I'm pressed for time at the moment but hope to get back to this. But just to orient you a bit, I too am a "class-struggle Anarchist". Perhaps a bit less sure than you that I have all the answers and perhaps a bit less one-dimensional. Which I see as an advantage as the real world is not in fact one-dimensional.

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Devrim
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Apr 12 2007 09:47
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Perhaps a bit less sure than you that I have all the answers and perhaps a bit less one-dimensional.

This is written as if there was something wrong in having convictions. If it is one dimensional to defend internationalist politics then I am guilty (seriously though don't you think that it is a bit strange to accuse someone of being one-dimensional on the basis of a few posts on an internet board).

Quote:
No I am not suggesting that aboriginal workers are not members of the working class, I'm suprised you got that from my post

I didn't. It was rhetorical.

Quote:
Yes, obviously aboriginal members of the working class have separate interests as do gay, female, male whatever......the working-class is composed of people with many separate interests

I think that you are defining interest in a different way to me. What material economic interests does a gay man have that are different from mine (I am a straight male if it is of any interest)?

Quote:
No I am not trying to divide the working class into lots of different groups, take a look and you will see it is already so divided. Newsflash.

Yes, it is. I don't think it is the task of communists to try to deepen those divisions though.

I came into this discussion after Omar started proclaiming his support for Kurdish nationalism. I believe it is a reactionary anti-working class movement. Whilst the indigenous people's movements in Australasia aren't shooting down strikers in the street, I believe that they are based on the same foundations.

The question remains; what good would a Kurdish state do for the working class in the Middle East?

Devrim

smush
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Apr 13 2007 07:42
Skraeling wrote:
I think Smush's leg was being pulled. As i understand it, Maori originally meant "ordinary" person ie. not a slave or a chief.

yo, just to clarify. i, nor the person who said that to me, wasn't trying to imply that Maori is the word used by everybody for anarchism (linguistically (although that person is a 'native speaker' of Te Reo Maori)). However, if you think doing so is 'satire' or you think 'my leg was pulled' then i think you missed the point!

You might describe Maori society as a 'typical tribal society' which is 'brutal, warmongering, slave holding' etc. Some people you are describing might feel a bit different. Class-reductionist rethoric ain't gonna get you a Libertarian Communist society...

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Devrim
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Apr 13 2007 07:56
Quote:
You might describe Maori society as a 'typical tribal society' which is 'brutal, warmongering, slave holding' etc. Some people you are describing might feel a bit different.

I was describing historical Maori society. It matters not how present day Maoris feel about it. It doesn't change the reality of how it was. Every national/ethnic group spins myths for itself. It doesn't make them true.

More to the point, even if they were true, it would make no difference.

Devrim

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Alf
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Apr 13 2007 13:37

I agree with Devrim's basic stance on the reactionary nature of 'tribal nationalism', but we should avoid terms like "typical tribal society" because "tribal society" contains many different historical stages and social formations. There are considerable differences, for example, between the Australian aborigine society (where there is no form of exploitation or slavery) and Maori society, which has developed a much more hierarchical structure. There are material reasons for these differences which can't be gone into here, but we should try to be precise.
But as I say, the point remains: the material foundations of the old 'primitive' ways of life have been irreperably destroyed by capitalism and cannot be conserved or restored. There is much we can learn from the communism of the past, but only as part of the struggle for the communism of the future.

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 17 2007 02:24

Devrim in course of dialogue with me:

Quote:
This is written as if there was something wrong in having convictions. If it is one dimensional to defend internationalist politics then I am guilty (seriously though don't you think that it is a bit strange to accuse someone of being one-dimensional on the basis of a few posts on an internet board).

Far be from me any such intent Devrim. And yep, I don't really draw conclusions as to your dimensionality on such a basis. Really, I was referring to your position as stated, "rhetorically' if you like, not to you.

Thing is, "cultural identity" is for many people a deeply felt fact. Myself for example. My cultural identity happens to be the dominant "anglo" culture so I don't have to assert it ....or at least only in special situations that I could easily avoid if I so chose. But because it is important to me I can imagine what cultural deprivation might be like. Geographical identity isn't a feeling I share so much, very possibly because I've never travelled, but I can I think understand it somewhat by analogy.

These feelings are deeply important for many people, people die for them. People turn on their personal friends and their class because of them. So we have to understand these feelings and take account of them as part of the human condition. It doesn't help a whole lot just to say they shouldn't exist.

(Devrim:

Quote:
I think that you are defining interest in a different way to me. What material economic interests does a gay man have that are different from mine (I am a straight male if it is of any interest)?

Since you ask, Devrim, a few examples spring to mind not all of them flippant. Childcare for example is not all that important to most gay men I know. Of course in a free society the liberty of one is the liberty of all etc etc so the childless (and OK gay men are not necessarily childless but are much more likely to be, children are not an expected or usual outgrowth of their identity as gay men) also benefit from childcare being available to those who need it. But they don't benefit directly or in the same way, I think so much can be agreed. End of parenthesis)

Cultural and national identities can't just be wished away by reference to the international working-class. Trying to do so is in my view just building rocks for a global workers' movement to founder on. Furthermore the identities that are expected to disappear are always the minority or subordinate ones. An international working-class "free of cultural identities" if established now would be really be a mono-cultural identity based on the "anglo" culture. Wouldn't it? (yuk)

Bakunin's antisemitism was regrettable....but so far as I know it remained an unpleasant personal vice, which surfaced intermittently, it never contaminated his political programme. His political attitude to national and related questions is I think the best starting point; and his remark that our cultural and racial etc differences are " the great treasure house of mankind" should be quoted more often!

Getting back to the specific aboriginal question......?

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 17 2007 02:24

erm......double post.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 17 2007 08:31
jeremytrewindixon wrote:
An international working-class "free of cultural identities" if established now would be really be a mono-cultural identity based on the "anglo" culture. Wouldn't it?

has anyone called for "An international working-class free of cultural identities"? confused

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 17 2007 09:59
Quote:
has anyone called for "An international working-class free of cultural identities"?

asks Joesph K

When someone says that cultural identity doesn't matter only class matters isn't that what they are doing?

Lets not get into verbal sparring here, but rather come to grips with the issue. The specific subject of the thread is Aboriginal nationalism. Should Anarchists suppport it? The popular answer in this place appears to be "Well duh, no, because Anarchists are against all kinds of nationalism". Fair enough so far as it goes which is not very.

"Aboriginal nationalism" is the broad rubric under which a significant number of militant Aborigines fight for cultural survival and against their special oppression. Some posts here would bear the interpretation that their authors see the answer to the special oppression of Aborigines to be the disappearance of aboriginality as such. This in turn is not too far from the "breed 'em white" mentality of some of the more humane colonizers. I'm not playing gotcha here, please don't react as if I am playing that tedious game. I'm trying to make progress on the issue.

If not "Aboriginal nationalism" then what? Under what terms if any can Anarchists support the struggle of militant Aborigines for cultural survival and against their special oppression? Its not a question without practical consequences, there never really was an "Aboriginal nation", I imagine Aboriginal militants could well be persuaded to adopt some other formula if it seemed likely to get results.

I think I've made some useful positive contributions in some of my posts above, which have been ignored. I'm wondering if positive contributions are only recognized if they come as a fully equipped and finished "line" complete with a faq and a licence to regard non-possessors of the line as fools or scoundrels? If so it may help explain why these discussions often don't seem to get very far.

"Who rides with Reason must ride with Doubt"

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 17 2007 10:11
jeremytrewindixon wrote:
When someone says that cultural identity doesn't matter only class matters isn't that what they are doing?

i don't think cultural identities are a useful basis for political action, so in that sense they don't matter. though of course culture is (and should not be prevented from being) heterogeneous, even within "anglo culture" of which there is no such homogenous thing. i just wanted to question the assertion that people were suggesting constructing a culturally homogenous international working class, i'll leave the aboriginal nationalism discussion to others for now.

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 17 2007 10:30
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don't think cultural identities are a useful basis for political action, so in that sense they don't matter

Yeah, Joseph, but do you belong to an oppressed cultural indentity/ ethnicity/race/nation whatever? Assuming "No" to that : Do you think you might feel differently if you did?

And if "Yes" to that, please elaborate.

People usually move when you touch them where it hurts....them. Look at all those middle class feminists who apparently genuinely fail to understand what all this hoo-ha about class is.

An added complication is that class is quite a sophisiticated and contested concept itself. But that is a whole different even if related subject.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 17 2007 11:10
jeremytrewindixon wrote:
Yeah, Joseph, but do you belong to an oppressed cultural indentity/ ethnicity/race/nation whatever? Assuming "No" to that : Do you think you might feel differently if you did?

i was bullied at primary school because i had curly hair, is that on the list of approved white man's burden oppressions? should i have got all the curly kids together and demanded educational autonomy, separate classes for curlies recognising our irreducible cultural identity? or should i have attacked the problem itself by refusing to to play identity politics or take something as arbitrary as hair straightness or skin pigmentation as a basis for identity, let alone political action? in places where 'whites' are a minority do you support white nationalism? what if there was significant anti-white racism? (this is mostly a far-right myth in the UK at least, but it's a hypothetical).

of course i can understand why nationalism appeals to various oppressed groups, but it's still reactionary as fuck. and of course if such 'minority' nationalists win, thus ceasing to be oppressed, you've only succeeding in creating everything that's wrong with 'majority nationalism' anyway.