IWW and IWA current in Australia

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Jul 25 2012 00:57
IWW and IWA current in Australia

At the suggestion of Akai, I've copied a part of the thread on the Domino's campaign to a new topic.

ites wrote:
I disagree; if anything I think the secretariat model risks concentrating hands in the power of particular individuals, particularly if the local involved is riddled with informal heirarchies. The idea that the ASF is a federation of member affiliates while the IWW has a general membership of individuals is rediculous. The IWW puts as much value on the branch or workplace assembly and the sovereignty of the directly democratic decision-making process contained therein as any other syndicalist organisation. What you describe is I believe a propaganda line trotted out by certain individuals who repeat the same garbage over and over in order to forestall a more open debate.

I understand this is your view unsupported by not much in the way of evidence but big on innuendo. But perhaps I didn't explain what I meant clearly enough. The ASF is a federation of member affiliates. Similarly, the IWA is a federation of member sections based on countries around the world. A single individual does not join the IWA in the same manner a single individual can join the IWW. In Australia, an individual worker joins a group affiliated to the ASF be that a local general membership branch type of group like ASF Melbourne or an industrial association like GTWA. One affiliate is chosen to be responsible for the administrative function of the ASF Secretariat. If there is a problem, then another affiliate is found to perform that function. This means that the ASF Secretariat has no power to expel an individual. If an individual is a problem it is the responsibility of the affiliate that individual is a member of to sort the problem out. Only affiliates can be expelled from the ASF (as happened once in 1992) and this can only be done by an ASF Congress. So your assertion that the Secretariat model "risks concentrating hands in the power (sic) of particular individuals" is without foundation and you would not be able to cite a single example precisely because none exists.

By contrast, any individual, sight unseen, may join the IWW from anywhere in the (usually anglospheric) world by simply writing to an IWW delegate or directly to the General Executive Board in Chicago - the name itself implies executive power. All IWW delegates and Regional Organising Committees derives their mandate ultimately from the General Executive Board. It is the GEB that issues charters. A ROC is subordinate to the GEB [see Section 8(a)]. Therefore, I would suggest the implication that there is no substantive difference between the two methods of organisation is 'ridiculous'. Furthermore, individuals are elected to the GEB by general election by most number of votes. I suggest that this is a greater risk of power concentration in individual hands than the ASF model which seeks by practical means to dissipate power as evenly as possible. The AS in ASF describes a method, not an ideology in and of itself. It is a method informed by the theory and praxis of anarchism.

ites wrote:
I'm personally sorry that there hasn't been more supposed [support of the Domino's campaign by the IWW in Australia] but by the same token there is a fair amount of bad blood between certain ASF and IWW members which has yet to be rectified. I for one would rather provide solidarity with people who spend less time playing personality politics than they do organising.

This is somewhat disturbing as it implies that solidarity shown is dependant on the good relations between individuals. Solidarity should based on the merits of the struggle, not on whether not some individuals are nice or nasty. I'm surprised that this would even need explaining! I would have thought that this is not the case with regard to the IWW as it is the IWW itself that places an emphasis on what unites us and not on what divides us.

Well you could always pick up a copy of Direct Action; if you couldn't get through to the ROC you could always call a delegate and ask their advice. My phone number is in the directory as well as on the website. You can't tell me that you haven't seen a copy of Direct Action or that it was too damn difficult for you to pick up the phone and call someone to find out what was going on.

Here you identify youself as editor of 'Direct Action', paper of the Australian IWW. There is a very good reason why the then Secretary of ASF Brisbane emailed the ROC besides the advice given previously by the Melbourne IWW; an email is time and date stamped and as such provides evidence that an instruction from the assembly of the ASF Brisbane has indeed been carried out. It's called accountability. Your suggested method of communication is problematic for two reasons; First, unless the phone conversation has been recorded, what evidence would there be that it actually took place? Secondly, you run the risk of creating the very informal hierarchy that you accuse (without any foundation whatsoever) the ASF of being guilty of. That is precisely what you would have if self-appointed, self-important individuals get on the blower to other self-appointed, self-important individuals to decide who is and who is not worthy of solidarity. Furthermore, the fact that you did not trouble yourself to pick up the phone and call the ASF Brisbane before you published an article in 'Direct Action' calling for a boycott against the wishes of the drivers, including a gmail address (presumably by somebody in the IWW) to that end, you leave yourself open to the charge that you hold a double-standard and are, therefore, a hypocrite. Not to mention that you and/or others in the IWW presume to know best how to conduct the campaign. Should not the onus be on you as editor to find out what's going on?

I wrote previously on the other thread:
In my view, the IWW is a historical response to a primarily American situation and I think it presumptuous to imagine that the IWW template will export easily to other countries/cultures as evidenced by its near non-existence outside the Anglosphere. The IWA sections were created and developed in their countries/cultures of origin which makes far more sense to me.

ites wrote:
Well, to argue that seems to me to argue that there's something particular about the Australian wage system which differentiates it from the rest of the world, which seems to me at least to be patently absurd.

Well, you are wrong. Not only is the wage system (awards, etc.) different but, more importantly, the entire industrial relations system is differentiated from not only from America but Europe as well, including the UK, the model that would be the closest historically and politically. Have a closer look, mate.

Mate, to employ the vernacular, you're a flaming drongo talking through your hat! If you want to have debate, bring it on! But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!

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Jul 25 2012 09:16

Interesting comments in this article:
http://www.kieransreview.com/2012/07/13/thoughts-on-anarcho-syndicalism-in-australia/

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Aug 19 2012 15:15

I really don't think this issue is worth anyone pursuing any further..

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Aug 20 2012 13:43

I reckon it is. It seems the discussion is happening elsewhere, though.

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Aug 27 2012 06:21
Lugius wrote:
At the suggestion of Akai, I've copied a part of the thread on the Domino's campaign to a new topic.

ites wrote:
I disagree; if anything I think the secretariat model risks concentrating hands in the power of particular individuals, particularly if the local involved is riddled with informal heirarchies. The idea that the ASF is a federation of member affiliates while the IWW has a general membership of individuals is rediculous. The IWW puts as much value on the branch or workplace assembly and the sovereignty of the directly democratic decision-making process contained therein as any other syndicalist organisation. What you describe is I believe a propaganda line trotted out by certain individuals who repeat the same garbage over and over in order to forestall a more open debate.

I understand this is your view unsupported by not much in the way of evidence but big on innuendo.

Innuendo? How's that, I have the nerve to contradict you therefore I'm prejudiced against you? That sort of 'with me or against me' logic is interesting for someone who claims to be an anarchist.

Lugius wrote:
But perhaps I didn't explain what I meant clearly enough. The ASF is a federation of member affiliates. Similarly, the IWA is a federation of member sections based on countries around the world. A single individual does not join the IWA in the same manner a single individual can join the IWW. In Australia, an individual worker joins a group affiliated to the ASF be that a local general membership branch type of group like ASF Melbourne or an industrial association like GTWA. One affiliate is chosen to be responsible for the administrative function of the ASF Secretariat. If there is a problem, then another affiliate is found to perform that function.

If 5 members is the minumum number for quorum then the ASF is one group, a few scattered individuals and a bunch of websites. If a single individual doesn't join the IWA then by your own logic your individual contacts can't be members.

Lugius wrote:
This means that the ASF Secretariat has no power to expel an individual. If an individual is a problem it is the responsibility of the affiliate that individual is a member of to sort the problem out. Only affiliates can be expelled from the ASF (as happened once in 1992) and this can only be done by an ASF Congress. So your assertion that the Secretariat model "risks concentrating hands in the power (sic) of particular individuals" is without foundation and you would not be able to cite a single example precisely because none exists.

Except that that wasn't my assertion. My experience of the ASF as a former member is that it's beset by an informal heiarchy grouped around a dominant personality who uses bullying tactics to shut down criticism, ie you.

Lugius wrote:
By contrast, any individual, sight unseen, may join the IWW from anywhere in the (usually anglospheric) world by simply writing to an IWW delegate or directly to the General Executive Board in Chicago - the name itself implies executive power. All IWW delegates and Regional Organising Committees derives their mandate ultimately from the General Executive Board. It is the GEB that issues charters. A ROC is subordinate to the GEB [see Section 8(a)]. Therefore, I would suggest the implication that there is no substantive difference between the two methods of organisation is 'ridiculous'. Furthermore, individuals are elected to the GEB by general election by most number of votes. I suggest that this is a greater risk of power concentration in individual hands than the ASF model which seeks by practical means to dissipate power as evenly as possible. The AS in ASF describes a method, not an ideology in and of itself. It is a method informed by the theory and praxis of anarchism.

Again the issue of individuals joining syndicalist organisations is bunk as per the above comments. The IWW is historically anglocentric through these days we have members in places as varied as Germany, Austria, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The use of the word 'executive' in the GEB is unfortunate I agree, but as anyone who is actually involved in the IWW knows that GEB is an administrative committee rather than an actual executive, and to claim otherwise is really pretty silly. I looked for your (incomplete) reference and can find nothing to that effect, which can only lead me to conclude that you pulled it out of your arse. Anarcho-syndicalism is a method rather than an ideology, I agree, though in practise we both know that only dyed in the wool anarchists join the ASF in the first place and that ideological identification rather than economic or class status tends to be the basis that the ASF operates on in the second, which gives rise in turn to a tendency to focus on differences rather than commonalities in the name of defending ideological purity.

Lugius wrote:
ites wrote:
I'm personally sorry that there hasn't been more supposed [support of the Domino's campaign by the IWW in Australia] but by the same token there is a fair amount of bad blood between certain ASF and IWW members which has yet to be rectified. I for one would rather provide solidarity with people who spend less time playing personality politics than they do organising.

This is somewhat disturbing as it implies that solidarity shown is dependant on the good relations between individuals. Solidarity should based on the merits of the struggle, not on whether not some individuals are nice or nasty. I'm surprised that this would even need explaining! I would have thought that this is not the case with regard to the IWW as it is the IWW itself that places an emphasis on what unites us and not on what divides us.

Ironic comment considering your own marked tendency to turn personal disputes into political ones. Your pretences to innocence in this instance are I think rather redundant.

Lugius wrote:
Well you could always pick up a copy of Direct Action; if you couldn't get through to the ROC you could always call a delegate and ask their advice. My phone number is in the directory as well as on the website. You can't tell me that you haven't seen a copy of Direct Action or that it was too damn difficult for you to pick up the phone and call someone to find out what was going on.

Here you identify youself as editor of 'Direct Action', paper of the Australian IWW. There is a very good reason why the then Secretary of ASF Brisbane emailed the ROC besides the advice given previously by the Melbourne IWW; an email is time and date stamped and as such provides evidence that an instruction from the assembly of the ASF Brisbane has indeed been carried out. It's called accountability.

The joy of mobile phones I guess is that they register outbound calls.

Lugius wrote:
Your suggested method of communication is problematic for two reasons; First, unless the phone conversation has been recorded, what evidence would there be that it actually took place?

Call register.

Lugius wrote:
Secondly, you run the risk of creating the very informal hierarchy that you accuse (without any foundation whatsoever) the ASF of being guilty of. That is precisely what you would have if self-appointed, self-important individuals get on the blower to other self-appointed, self-important individuals to decide who is and who is not worthy of solidarity.

Uh, what? You can't call someone to ask for solidarity because it would create an informal hierarchy?

Lugius wrote:
Furthermore, the fact that you did not trouble yourself to pick up the phone and call the ASF Brisbane before you published an article in 'Direct Action' calling for a boycott against the wishes of the drivers, including a gmail address (presumably by somebody in the IWW) to that end, you leave yourself open to the charge that you hold a double-standard and are, therefore, a hypocrite. Not to mention that you and/or others in the IWW presume to know best how to conduct the campaign. Should not the onus be on you as editor to find out what's going on?

Tu quoque. You can charge me with hypocrisy if you like, but a 'thanks' for printing 3000 copies of the accompanying article at our own expense would have been nice, not that we were looking for it.

Lugius wrote:
I wrote previously on the other thread:
In my view, the IWW is a historical response to a primarily American situation and I think it presumptuous to imagine that the IWW template will export easily to other countries/cultures as evidenced by its near non-existence outside the Anglosphere. The IWA sections were created and developed in their countries/cultures of origin which makes far more sense to me.

Funny comment considering the near non-existence of the ASF in this country. Never let getting out and organising get in the way of spending your time putting shit on other people's efforts in internet forums though I always say.

Lugius wrote:
ites wrote:
Well, to argue that seems to me to argue that there's something particular about the Australian wage system which differentiates it from the rest of the world, which seems to me at least to be patently absurd.

Well, you are wrong. Not only is the wage system (awards, etc.) different but, more importantly, the entire industrial relations system is differentiated from not only from America but Europe as well, including the UK, the model that would be the closest historically and politically. Have a closer look, mate.

Fine, but did I mention anything about the IR system? Clearly not. The wage system, the system that establishes class divisions through economic monopoly and forces most of us to submit to the autocratic hierarchies characteristic of capitalist relations of production via the wage system, go on the dole or starve, is fundamentally the same everywhere, though the particular manner in which it manifests obviously tends to vary. This no more makes the IWW irrelevant to local situations than it makes anarcho-syndicalism, itself a european invention, irrelevant to local situations.

Lugius wrote:
Mate, to employ the vernacular, you're a flaming drongo talking through your hat! If you want to have debate, bring it on! But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!

Flaming drongo talking through my hat? You're one to talk. 'But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!' Typical comment of the self-appointed guru; you have one set of rules for yourself and another for those you disagree with. You calling anyone else a stupid wanker is about as ironic as Andrew Bolt calling anyone else a hypocrite when you think about it though.

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Aug 27 2012 07:21

Sorry to butt in but may I suggest, given neither ASF or the IWW have a movement worth a damn across the entire continent, that you wind your collective necks in and try to get along?

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Aug 27 2012 09:28
Rob Ray wrote:
Sorry to butt in but may I suggest, given neither ASF or the IWW have a movement worth a damn across the entire continent, that you wind your collective necks in and try to get along?

That would seem to be the sensible option.

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Aug 27 2012 09:36

@Ites: Not a lot of your reply addresses why someone should join a group like the ASF over a group like the IWW, or could explain to the layperson why two groups exist separately. This, I think, is something worth talking about.

The discussion on Kieran's Review was pretty good, I thought, and I hoped that it would extend to here given the comments were closed… but it hasn't.

Ites wrote:
'But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!' Typical comment of the self-appointed guru

Jokes; not everyone gets them, and some people don't want to. I suspect it was an attempt to add levity.

Without being too obscure, the current context of relations between the IWW and the ASF and your own conspicuous role in it make your contribution to this thread (and elsewhere) spectacularly unhelpful. This is a polite way of suggesting you should reexamine your current strategy, as it has not been especially successful for you in the past.

It's doubtful that rational and productive discussion will occur until matters are resolved one way or the other, so I would recommend that you and Lugius (and myself) withdraw from discussion on this subject until then.

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Aug 27 2012 13:14

Perhaps folks can continue their discussions AFTER the Dominos campaign is completed and struggle resolved. Here in the north america we are trying to constructively engage with IWW folks on this campaign. So, please, at a minimum, and for the sake of building unity of purpose around the campagn, keep the disagreements off line and private. That'd be much appreciated from this side of the globe.

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Aug 28 2012 13:51
Ites wrote:
'But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!' Typical comment of the self-appointed guru
Jokes; not everyone gets them, and some people don't want to. I suspect it was an attempt to add levity.

We had a problem earlier in the year with a member who posted a sexist article on a blog comparing the IWW Women's Caucus to the virulent fascism of Serbian Nationalism and claimed that anyone who thought otherwise was beholden to bourgeois identity politics. His last line of defense was that the blog post was satirical and that everyone who was upset by that kind of comparison and thought his behaviour was haughty and arrogant in the extreme was just too ungroovy to appreciate the humour involved. It seems to be a thing that crops up from time to time.

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Aug 28 2012 13:40
Lumpen wrote:
@Ites: Not a lot of your reply addresses why someone should join a group like the ASF over a group like the IWW, or could explain to the layperson why two groups exist separately. This, I think, is something worth talking about.

The discussion on Kieran's Review was pretty good, I thought, and I hoped that it would extend to here given the comments were closed… but it hasn't.

I thought that thread was crap, which was why I avoided getting involved, and which is why I've delayed so long getting involved in this one. People who want to be involved in grassroots, revolutionary unionism shouldn't have to make a choice between the IWA and IWW; it's the tendency to polarise debate in the interests of demonising those who contradict you that tends to create the impression that they should as far as I can tell.

Ites wrote:
'But don't resort to petty personal insults, you stupid wanker!' Typical comment of the self-appointed guru
Jokes; not everyone gets them, and some people don't want to. I suspect it was an attempt to add levity.

Or you could just be trying to blame-shift by suggesting that anyone who bears the brunt of verbal abuse from the longest-serving member of your organisation doesn't have a sense of humour. But of course you wouldn't dream of tolerating bullying o.O

Ites wrote:
Without being too obscure, the current context of relations between the IWW and the ASF and your own conspicuous role in it make your contribution to this thread (and elsewhere) spectacularly unhelpful. This is a polite way of suggesting you should reexamine your current strategy, as it has not been especially successful for you in the past.

It's doubtful that rational and productive discussion will occur until matters are resolved one way or the other, so I would recommend that you and Lugius (and myself) withdraw from discussion on this subject until then.

I agree that there are plenty of better things to talk about and plenty of better ways to do it. Your comments could just as easily apply to yourself, and if I ever want your advice which I doubt I will I'll ask for it.

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Aug 29 2012 13:51

What a load of crock. Despite all the nonsense leveled against him, I believe that the commitment to the cause, consistently fine work and strength of character that the IWW representative in Brisbane has demonstrated has convinced me that the IWW is an organisation to which I'd like to commit. I'm joining on Saturday.

Tom M

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Aug 29 2012 14:38
Champion Ruby wrote:
What a load of crock. Despite all the nonsense leveled against him, I believe that the commitment to the cause, consistently fine work and strength of character that the IWW representative in Brisbane has demonstrated has convinced me that the IWW is an organisation to which I'd like to commit. I'm joining on Saturday.

Tom M

There are good people in IWW in Brisbane that are staunch, however the IWW rep/contact there is not one of them. I wouldn't base your joining the IWW on this fellow, you should really join the IWW because you believe it is the best vehicle for yourself and your ideas, not because you are an avid supporter of an individual.

akai
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Aug 29 2012 21:47

Sorry for a bit of off-top, but, I did not see the blog piece you referred to in the same way. First of all, it was a comparison between national identity and gender identity as an organizing point. Second, I don't know why Serbian nationalism is worse than any other nationalism.

This aside, I think the idea of the piece was about a concrete organizing question. You know, some of our comrades currently discuss this point, because they have groups of foreigners who maybe want to organize separately as foreigners, and there are arguments for and against this.

Personally, as a woman, the question of whether a women's caucus is needed is not a sexist one. Nor is criticism of it based on arguments that the working class needed be divided by identity issues. Some people may agree or disagree with this, but I would not think the question is motivated by sexism, especially as the women in our group would be critical of this, and obviously not because they are sexists, but they simply see no need.

I'm pretty sick of some male aspects of anarchosyndicalism, but frankly not with outright sexism as much as the fucking penile complexes of the guys which turn the who fucking thing into power struggles and shows of the biggest members(hip).

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Sep 1 2012 02:16

Ok, the remark about personal petty insults was meant to be funny, perhaps irony is a bit much for this list. I'll try not to be funny and remain earnestly serious as that seems to be the prevailing mood.

I can't accept that 'getting along' and organising together precludes critiques of ideas and methods. I think pretending the differences don't exist is as superficial as it is disingenuous.

Quote:
People who want to be involved in grassroots, revolutionary unionism shouldn't have to make a choice between the IWA and IWW

Perhaps not, but if you advocate 'one big union', are you not implicitly asking these same people to make a choice? You are either in the 'one big union' or you are not. The alternative would be 'multiple smaller unions'.

I am totally in favour of 'one big union'. For me that's the IWA. Challenging the IWW on its ideas and methods and co-operating with the IWW are not mutually exclusive.

This issue will persist for as long as there are two 'one big unions'. (I'm presuming that why there should be only one big union does not require explanation)

In my view, the ideal outcome for all on our side would be for the IWW to merge into the IWA. Clearly, continuing to refer to 'of the world' would have to go. For the most part it has been of the US if anywhere and as such could form the US section of the IWA together with the WSA. It makes so much sense.

The IWW groups elsewhere could merge into the IWA sections where the operate. Finally, we could have one revolutionary international union to struggle against global capital effectively as a real alternative to reformist unionism and create the organisational infrastructure capable of taking control of the means of production efficiently.

It is difficult to think of a vital or overarchingly important reason for a separate IWW to exist from an anarcho-syndicalist point of view.

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Sep 1 2012 02:36

Probably the most sensible comment to come out of like 2.5 months of e-debate.

akai
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Sep 1 2012 07:59

Don't think the comment is too sensible because it gives no idea of how to do this on the practical level and does not reflect the ideas and ambitions of the organization in question.

That said, of course there are different options. Some IWW members could join an IWA union, if it were feasible and desirable to have dual carders. Or join the IWA if an IWA union did not exist in their country. Still, there would be questions even on that about how an IWW union would function simulatenously in two union internationals and frankly I see many practical problems with this.

Of course if on the local level some IWW merged with IWA, this would be a starting point, but I don't see this probability of this as very high. And it would cause the practical problems as stated above, ie. IWW may do some thing that controvenes our international agreements, so how would you get around that?

I think the comment is just theoretical, with little thought for practical application.

akai
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Sep 1 2012 08:00

delete, dupe

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Sep 1 2012 14:08

I agree it's purely theoretical and I don't have any fixed ideas about it would be achieved in a practical sense. I'm more or less thinking out loud about the problem of 'two internationals'.

I'm not suggesting IWA/IWW dual carding, although it certainly happens at some level in those countries where both organisations are active which would be Australia and Britain (and USA if you include WSA).

A merger (of some sort) implies a single card.

Perhaps one problem with merging is the perceived loss of identity on the part of the IWW. There is a perceptible difference in method of organisation and a difference in how aims are defined. Are the similiarities strong enough to overcome these differences?

akai
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Sep 1 2012 20:28

I think it's up to IWW to say even if they are interested. Historically they haven't been and have been intent on creating more international presence. Everything I know about IWW currently is that they are pursuing this goal more than ever. In Europe there are too few anarchosyndicalists. It's sort of a useless question for people outside the IWW to discuss, it's up to them to decide what to do and it looks like they decided something different.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2012 03:41

I always thought that IWA and IWW cards were previously transferable some decades ago....okay like many decades ago.

Sorry, not clear what is meant here:

Quote:
For the most part it has been of the US if anywhere and as such could form the US section of the IWA together with the WSA. It makes so much sense.

Are you saing that the WSA and the IWW should be one?

akai
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Sep 2 2012 10:33

Well, that makes no sense. And if an individual member of some anarchosyndicalist organization is also a member of IWW, or if the different organizations cooperate on any practical level, this is way different than merging.

I mean, frankly, it is strange to say that mergers imply single cards. This is strange because of course you are talking about pieces of paper or cardboard, not about practical matters. Nobody should give a shit about a card, but rather what organizational mergers look like in real life.

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Sep 2 2012 10:45

I think that syndicalist means that there was an agreement in the IWW that someone from the IWA who came to a region where the IWW was didn't have to pay initiation to join the IWW.

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Sep 2 2012 12:04

akai
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Sep 2 2012 14:42

Juan, thanks for the clarification.
I am not 100% sure of this, but I do not know of any IWA sections that require initiation fees to join. So, agreement or not, if an IWW member wanted to join an IWA section, they wouldn't have to pay any fee (unless I am mistaken and some union has a fee - have never heard about it).

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2012 16:22

OK, Juan is basically right. I recall reading that after the IWW declined to join thwe IWA in the 1930s (and maybe even before), there was some form of understanding. I may very well be confusing this with transgfering membership from one IWA section to another. But somehow I think there was some IWW and IWA understanding.

The reality should be that our respective organizations should be open to transfering comrades from other sister organizations. Period. But that's my personal opinion.

akai
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Sep 2 2012 16:31

I think it is just a matter of applying to the respective organizations. In our organization we have an approval process for new members but when people came from other IWA sections, we just breezed them through. With other organizations I would assume we would spent more time talking first, since I suppose they would have to get to know (and would have to agree with) our statutes and agreements.

I will check up on the IWW and IWA understanding just out of curiosity, but stuff from that era is hard to come by from here because the nazis destroyed the IWA archives.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2012 16:44
Quote:
I will check up on the IWW and IWA understanding just out of curiosity, but stuff from that era is hard to come by from here because the nazis destroyed the IWA archives.

I think, think Iread this in Fred Thompson's "IWW First 50 Years". But I can absolutely be off on this recollection.

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Sep 2 2012 17:43

Also I just gotta say the WSA and IWW should merge thing, really sounds like some international comrades wet dream scenario because they want all to be right with the world. Main issue with this is the IWA's politics don't neatly at least as of now fit the WSA. It isn't just a revolutionary syndicalist political organization. There is a plurality within the class struggle spectrum of views on various strategic and vision matters within the organization.

Also if I may, even though the WSA isn't explicitly anarcho-syndicalist anymore, a good reason for it existing is there do not exist any anarcho-syndicalist unions in U.S. Maybe people will think this is splitting hairs, but there is ideological and strategic stuff the IWW still hasn't really thought out. I know some folks favor it becoming some sort of fighting direct action based political-economic organization, but it isn't quite consciously there yet. Even if it was it is based on a broad anti-capitalist alliance or synthesis of anarchist, Marxist, and other socialist thought that to be honest IMO is sorta really out dated and really reflects the history nerd side of the organization.

I mean 'cooperative commonwealth' or 'workers cooperative-republic' really? Even the whole "one big union" we are the only union that should exist stuff. I am just saying there is a lot of historical baggage that if we were to try to reform some of it to get more contemporary I could imagine it being a fierce battle within the IWW, because all those historical hang ups is what gives the IWW it's character for some wobs.

Sorry if this is harsh but basically IWW is still no SolFed or "Communist Workers Union" (KAUD), i.e. specifically revolutionary (anarchist, socialist, communist) workers union. It's a broader organization with many attached to it staying so.

I guess my point is that if there were to be a new IWA section in the US, it would probably make sense for it to be under the following guidelines:

"Minorities of Revolutionary syndicalists organized inside other national organizations affiliated to other trade union Internationals."

Because as it exists folks that fit the description (i.e. anarcho- or rev-syndicalists are pretty much either in the IWW or other industrial or trade unions.)

But overall I am agnostic if this is important or not, though certainly worth investigating. Also I am not really sold on the idea earlier in this thread that the IWW or IWA should just merge. If it made sense through struggle to do so, yeah maybe sure. But I am also fine with revolutionary pluralism.

syndicalist
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Sep 2 2012 17:48

sabatoge----

Quote:
I guess my point is that if there were to be a new IWA section in the US, it would probably make sense for it to be under the following guidelines:

"Minorities of Revolutionary syndicalists organized inside other national organizations affiliated to other trade union Internationals."

And this was one of the basis in which WSA was organized (aside from being a propaganda group)....maybe time to reorganize the WSA as originally consitituted? Mr. T laugh out loud cool

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
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Sep 2 2012 18:05

you know i would love that if people were actually for it. who knows, aren't we on that committee to find out. haha.