New org formed in Sydney

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sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
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Apr 17 2021 12:31
New org formed in Sydney

A new anarchist organisation has been formed in Sydney, named Black Flag. The monthly publication is called Mutiny. Please like/share/subscribe etc:

https://www.facebook.com/Mutiny-107647964697066/

https://blackflagsydney.com/

(no relation to the previous Mutiny that stopped publishing in 2014)

asn
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Jun 23 2021 15:18

Anarcho-Stalinists?

My impression is that you go along with aspects of Stalinist political practice as outlined in the below Jura Books meeting report (now a cult temple associated with Sid Parissi) (1) based on minutes of this meeting particularly as regarding aspects of identity politics which for your group are beyond debate and discussion and so sacred to you. In part explaining why in your bulletin - it opens with a indigenous style welcome rubbish and other parts of your social media/web presence are also informed with infatuation with other shades of identity politics. The upcoming Anarcho-Stalinist jamboree in Sydney which your group is involved together with the above cult temple and the IWW also known as the Social Workers of the World seems also heavily impacted by it. So effectively your are peddling dangerous and divisive bourgeois ideology. So it seems to me you are seeing Anarchism through the prism of the Stalinist Legacy (stemming from the predominance of the CPA (Communist Party) to the left of the ALP for 4 or so decades in the 20th Century and surrounding Trot groups of today), middle class Leftist oppression mongering (2)(reflecting the social base of your group amongst these layers and students) and the dangerous divisive identity politics promoted by the Bourgeois cultural, educational and media apparatus together with the Deep State such the the CIA's 'Operation Chaos' particularly its role in the promoting and manufacturing of the so called 'Womens Movement' in the USA and elsewhere in the 1970's to disrupt New Left Groups assisting workers militancy in this period. (3)
Certainly the exotic/middle class leftist Jamboree content would certainly alienate militant workers outside the Leftist Milieu. You seem oblivious to this likelihood. There is of course mention of "Revolutionary Unionism" as an item at the Jamboree. Presumably being run by the IWW. However their practice over the years indicates they are definitely in the orbit of Corporate Unionism" and the ALP Octopus. Such as their involvement in Solidarity Networks - effectively helping out a few workers in peripheral sectors. Occasionally the Corporate Unions do that, so this activity in no way threatens the base of the Corporate Unions and their role in facilitating the employer offensive particularly via enterprise bargaining. (3) Also they have been involved in the 'smoke and mirrors' of fake 'community' picket lines associated with the Corporate Unions/ALP sabotage of workers struggle and facilitating the employer offensive such as the Hutchison Ports Dispute of 2015. Whilst they have had on their social media advertising of the ALP/Union Hierarchy's Bogus 'Change the Rules' Campaign. In reality if implemented with an ALP Shorten Federal Government it would have involved 'enterprise bargaining' replaced by industry bargaining which would have even more devastating effects on workers jobs and conditions.wages. It would not involve the holding of mass stop work meetings of workers or direct action of course but backroom treacherous meetings of the union bosses and the bosses to sell workers out. So the IWW today in Sydney and perhaps elsewhere is totally divorced from the strategic industrial organising which would realise revolutionary industrial unionism in the real world of today. It seems their talk of promoting revolutionary unionism is just rhetoric perhaps explained by the Stalinist Legacy as well involving the duplicity you get with it historically or a dangerous anti-intellectual orientation discouraging historical research regarding the international syndicalism/workers movement and a sect/pseudo church climate encouraging fantasies i,e. the IWW in Australia is a union when no one actually joins it for economic reasons but many it seems for its romantic past.
The above and your group seeming getting involved in every issue under the sun and "oppression" (according to your social media) seems to me contradicts your interest in reaching workers with the anarchist way. In your manifesto about workplace activity there is no mention of such key issues as the employer offensive, the strike wave phenomena and you omit the extreme difficulties of facilitating workers direct action and self organisation these days due to low morale, the employer offensive progress and the predominance of corporate unionism entangled in the ALP octopus tentacles (4). To get anywhere here would involve all your group's focus on industrial organising with the help of experienced others to get anywhere re countering the employer offensive and establishing grass roots controlled economic workers combative organisations and wiping out the base of the corporate unions. You certainly present no industrial strategy.
In summary the way you are heading does look to be going the way of the Trot sects with a similar social base and influenced perhaps unconsciously by the Stalinist Legacy. Being involved in everything under the sun involving " oppression mongering" getting no where re the remedying of these oppressions and the fantasy of perfecting dimensions of bourgeois society. On the industrial front, like them churning out propaganda when something big happens but easily outmanoeuvred by the union bosses and drawn into their 'smoke and mirrors' fake picket lines and perhaps the subject of Stalinist style intimidation tactics for the audience of workers in the dispute isolated by the union bosses and hung out to dry and intimidated by the union bosses to cave in such as at the recent Smeaton Grange dispute. Instead of facilitating the cause of Anarchist Communist you look to be helping facilitate neo-liberalism particularly with your promotion of dangerous and divisive 'identity' politics and your likely involvement in the 'smoke and mirrors' of the union bosses to sabotage workers struggles and facilitate the employer offensive. However in the context of moving away from Stalinist legacy informed ways, identity politics and serious strategic industrial organising with the production of work place papers and doing the terrible hard yards it must imply impressing certain militants, certain doors of assistance could open.

Notes:
1. Ainfos-en) Australia, Feminism & Class Struggle - A Document is Distributed.

From Rebel Worker
Date Sat, 24 Jul 2004 10:00:06 +0200 (CEST)

________________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html
________________________________________________

An Attempt to begin a Critical Discussion on Feminism and its Relationship to Class Struggle.
A document was distributed within the Jura milieu some time
ago, dated April 17 [2004], and entitled, The meeting was a
‘joint’ meeting of Anarchist Resources Incorporated
members and those of the Jura Books Collective, with visitors. It
comprised the minutes of a meeting and contained, amongst
other things, the following agenda item:
7. General discussion of Jura’s position re Feminism.
Mark left the meeting at this point.
1. Motion: "That Jura acknowledges that over the past several
years, Jura has not taken up feminist issues. Further, that Jura
reaffirms that we believe

o that women’s oppression exists, and,

o that it forms a major obstacle to working class revolution
and therefore, Jura is dedicated to engage in debate and struggle
against women’s oppression."

Moved: Annette, Seconded: Nick – Carried.

1. Motion: "That if any member is opposed to Jura’s
position on

women’s oppression, that he/she raise this at a Jura
meeting where we can revisit the issue. This way, Jura forums
can proceed without obstruction by having to revisit this
question."

Moved: Annette, Seconded: Sid – Carried.

2. Motion: "That Jura membership be contingent on
willingness to

engage in comradely debate. That issues be raised in a timely and

appropriate manner, and discussed calmly and respectfully."

Moved: Annette, Seconded: Sid – Carried.

The contents of this agenda item have given me some cause for
concern:

o Assertions are presented as facts;

o Feminism is assumed to be the ‘remedy’ for
"women’s oppression" not socialism;

o So-called women’s oppression is assumed to be an
obstacle to "working class revolution";

o The prescriptions in sub-item (ii) are authoritarian in
content, their intention seemingly being to stifle critical
argument;

o The ‘advice’ given in sub-item (iii) is pure
hypocrisy in the light of my previous experience at an attempt to
engage in serious critical public debate on an important political
matter with the Love-and-Rage sub-group that’s now a part
of Jura. On that occasion Love-and-Rage demonstrated not only
a reluctance to avoid "comradely debate", but to avoid any debate
at all, instead, deputing one particularly garrulous individual from
the outer limits of the Love-and-Rage milieu to try to do a
hatchet job on my arguments – with no success, it must be
said, because the individual concerned had little command of his
subject. And while this person was making a fool of himself
demonstrating his ignorance, the rest of the Love-and-Rage
sub-group stood by, mute. Did they not wish to test the validity of
their ideas in argument?

Anarcho-Stalinism??

Perhaps of greatest concern in item 7 above, particularly evident
in sub-item (i) (and reminiscent of Stalinist political practice at its
worst), is the effort to transform politically expedient notions into
a ‘hard facts’ by simple administrative means, that is, by
declaring these notions to be facts merely through group
agreement, rather than by doing the necessary intellectual work
in order to prove that they are indeed facts. (Might I point out at
this stage that in working class theory [historical materialism]
once a notion is established as a ‘fact’ it does not
necessarily remain a fact forever. It must be reproved and
reproved indefinitely, as its social context develops and changes,
and as more facts come to light with the march of time. Such is
the nature of scientific development.) But the Love-and-Rage
milieu, in attempting to stifle criticism of their crypto-sacred
notions, is precluding the possibility for their ideas to develop
in a positive direction vis-a-vis the class struggle as a result of
any valid criticism they might attract. This is an inward-looking
and authoritarian attitude to be adopting that can only result in
the development of a Love-and-Rage orthodoxy that will be of
little use for anything other than maintaining a group identity for
Love-and-Rage initiates.

Stalin and Lysenko deceived themselves and the entire Marxist-Leninist
world with their particular shibboleth, a bizarre sort of ‘social
Lamarkism’, and did so in comfortable defiance of all known evidence of
the day. Their shibboleth remained impervious to criticism because it
didn’t get any. Lysenkoism was declared by the Party to be
scientifically valid despite the fact that experimentally it was
demonstrated to be pure nonsense. The Love-and-Rage sub-group, by
seeking to enshrine Feminism as a crypto-sacred practice in a Jura
‘constitution’, and by wanting to avoid all criticism and scrutiny of
it, is doing a very similar thing.

Truth Must Prevail.

In the interests of truth, out of which comes workable and valid
political practice, feminist ideology (indeed, all ideology) must be
subjected to close and critical scrutiny. Who knows? One may find that
feminism is not a necessary precondition to working class revolution, as
Love-and-Rage believes. One may even find that it is not capable of
‘liberating’ women in any socialist sense whatsoever. It may be
discovered that feminism is nothing more than one of the ideological
forms that capitalist society adopts at a particular stage in its
development. Indeed, the demands of full employment in the 1960s
required an expansion of the market in labour power that was met by
women. Unprecedentedly large numbers of women were going through the
universities. The times were propitious for ideologies of ‘women’s
liberation’ to begin cropping up. Feminism thus walked hand-in-hand with
capitalism’s need to draw women more deeply into capitalist relations of
production. If there’s something positive in all this it’s that working
class women became proletarianised. Middle class women just became their
bosses.

Feminism and Socialism are Two Different Things.

Feminism began its development by sections of the liberal bourgeoisie in
response to some of capitalism’s more obvious economic and social
contradictions at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of
the twentieth, and received a particularly big boost in its development
in the 1960s and ‘70s. But there never was anything in feminism that
challenged capitalist economic exploitation in any substantive way; it
was only ever concerned with the position of women within capitalist
society. Most feminist theories have left criticism of capitalism
untouched or have blamed men and male behaviour for capitalism’s
oppressive features. Feminism’s logical underpinnings – understanding
men and supposedly innate male behaviour as being central to the
creation of social problems – create a competing paradigm for class
struggle theory and therefore have the potential to confuse people and
divert their activity into reformist or reactionary ‘gender struggles’,
when the sensible thing is to help fight the bosses and capitalism.
Workers may become confused and disillusioned and drop out of struggle
altogether.

Only Socialism Will Liberate Women … and Men.

If one chooses to fight the class struggle, that is, to fight for
socialism, it doesn’t mean that one gives up on any sex inequality that
might exist. The struggle for socialism, being a struggle by the working
class for control over the means of production from the existing rulers
necessarily involves the struggle against all forms of exploitation and
oppression that arise out of capitalist production relations. It cannot
be otherwise. Advanced elements of the socialist movement historically
have always supported the economic independence of working class women
through their incorporation in capitalist labour markets as a step
towards increasing the ranks of the organised workers. When working
class women engage in work for a boss and for wages they become socially
empowered and proletarianised, and develop the potential to take part in
the struggle against capitalism as active, conscious members of the
organised working class.

An eventual consequence of the struggle for socialism is the complete
disappearance of social classes and all social distinctions. But this
can be achieved only if the struggle becomes a unitary struggle, that
is, provided that the working class learns to unite itself
organisationally and develops methods in the process of fighting the
bourgeoisie that successfully bring about workers’ control and
self-emancipation of the whole class. The various ideologies of Identity
Politics, however, of which feminism is but one, exhibit a definite
tendency to disunite the working class, to denigrate class struggle, and
to send people up all sorts of ideological blind alleys.

"Women’s oppression is an obstacle to Working Class Revolution", say
Love-and-Rage in unison. "Nonsense", is the retort of the Syndicalists.

A most curious claim is made in sub-item (i) above that asserts that
"women’s oppression" [undefined] "forms a major obstacle to working
class revolution [undefined] and therefore, Jura [should be] dedicated
to engage in debate and struggle against women’s oppression." In other
words, Love-and-Rage believes that before socialist revolution is
possible, women’s oppression must be ‘eliminated’. To extrapolate, the
primary struggle should be against "women’s oppression" not the bosses.
If Love-and-Rage members seriously believe this – the motion was carried
so at least a majority must have voted for it – then Love-and-Rage
doesn’t understand much about socialist revolution or capitalism.
Capitalism is a system of uneven development – uneven economic
development, uneven social development, uneven ideological development –
and it is inherently so because its economic dynamics drive it in this
way. All manner of social inequality is a permanent feature of
capitalism. To assume that somehow "women’s oppression" can be
eliminated within capitalism and then we can all go on to fight the
class struggle is naïve nonsense. It’s not possible to get rid of social
inequality within capitalism because the system is based on social
inequality, thrives on social inequality.

I Boldly Venture a Definition of What Constitutes Revolutionary Activity
in the Current Australian Context.

If one wishes to eliminate social inequality and the system that
produces it, one must take part in socialist struggles, revolutionary
socialist struggles. To clarify this, I’ll venture a definition of
‘revolutionary’, a definition that arguably is consistent with the
libertarian syndicalist outlook of the ASN / Rebel Worker milieu: A
revolutionary action is one in which organised workers, win some degree
of social power away from the bourgeoisie, and do so consciously knowing
they have done this. This may occur to greater or lesser degrees, that
is, it may occur piecemeal, workplace-by-workplace, region-by-region
over a protracted period of time (years, decades), or it may occur
quickly (in a few months or a few years). One vital element, however,
must be present in order to give an act the quality of being a
revolutionary socialist act – its participants must be conscious of the
fact that they are actively taking social power away from the
bourgeoisie and appropriating it for the working class as a whole, and
that the historical outcome of the aggregate of all these acts at all
places where the bourgeoisie holds power is socialism, classless society.

But in order that workers get to this advanced state of revolutionary
class consciousness, they must go through a learning process. They must
pass from being atomised unorganised workers who are completely
subordinated to the needs of the boss and who generally have a
consciousness that’s subservient to the needs of capitalism, to becoming
organised trade unionists who possess a sectional, corporatist
consciousness, to becoming organised syndicalists with an ever-present
consciousness of their revolutionary potential and utilising that
potential to win more and more power away from the bosses whenever they
can and defending all their previous victories.

Participation in active class struggle and the drawing of theoretical
lessons from this participation is the learning process workers must go
through in order to develop a successful revolutionary practice. I agree
entirely with Karl Marx when he said in 1869 to a group of metal workers
that "trade unions are the schools of socialism" because "in trade
unions … workers educate themselves and become socialists, because under
their very eyes and every day the struggle with capital is taking place."

The ASN / Rebel Worker / Sparks / Fast Lane milieu is engaging in work
that is objectively revolutionary. We are patiently and consistently
doing the ‘unglamorous’ and ‘unspectacular’ work of assisting workers to
develop self-activity in their trade union activism and an advanced
trade union consciousness. The contradictions inherent in traditional
trade union practice and consciousness will be recognised by these
workers as they engage in more and more struggle and develop a higher
class consciousness. The possibility of developing a syndicalist
consciousness, and then moving through to a revolutionary syndicalist
and socialist consciousness and practice will then be possible.

Feminism is Bourgeois Ideology.

Feminism does not fit into a revolutionary socialist schema at all.
Participation in feminist ‘struggles’ confines one to the bourgeois
arena of struggle. Feminism represents merely one aspect of the mad
scramble for the distribution and redistribution of power, privilege and
resources within the capitalist system by all manner of sectional
bourgeois interests. At best it is a reformist activity that broadens
economic and civic participation for bourgeois females.

For those Love-and-Ragers who entertain the theory that feminism is a
prerequisite to socialism I’d like to ask a few questions. How does one
know when one’s feminist struggles are completed and one is ready to
proceed onto socialist struggles? Does it mean that for every Mr Kerry
Packer there must also be a Ms Kerrie Packer? Does it mean that for all
male homeless persons there must be an equivalent number of female
homeless persons? An equal number of heroin-addicted female and male
prostitutes? An equal number of male and female riggers on the Harbour
Bridge? How does the feminist know when his or her work is done so that
he or she may get on with the class struggle?

Socialism is Working Class Science.

I cannot finish without pointing out that, since socialism is a science,
socialists should be concerned to use correct terminology when analysing
social phenomena so that they achieve a precision of expression and
thereby avoid confusing people. Over the decades bourgeois mass culture
has appropriated terms such as ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘feminism’,
‘genocide’, and others, deprived them of their original scientific
meanings, and created much confusion as to what these terms actually
mean. In the vernacular of today’s mass bourgeois society ‘feminism’ has
come to mean anything from ‘equal rights’ and ‘equal access’ for women,
to a philosophy of female essentialism posed against male essentialism,
to the actual struggles for women’s ‘equality’ within bourgeois society.
Socialists who declare themselves to be opposed to feminism are often
thought to be somehow anti-woman by those whose minds have been confused
by bourgeois mass culture.

Socialism, however, has nothing to do with being anti-woman. While it is
opposed to doctrines of female and male essentialism, it is supportive
of struggles for female political, social and economic independence. The
latter struggles, however, when they occur outside of the context of
struggle for workers’ control, for socialism, are just another form of
reformist activity within bourgeois society, no matter how radical they
may appear, and play no direct part in the transition to socialism.
Socialism, by definition, necessarily incorporates the struggle for
working class women’s political, economic and social liberation as an
integral part of the overall struggle for workers’ control and
socialism. The ‘woman question’ in the socialist context is bound up
with the struggle for workers’ control and socialism in which male and
female workers are equally involved; it is not separate from the
struggle for socialism.

But enough of my analysing and theorising for the latter are, according
to feminist theory, thoroughly male discourses and deserving only of
contempt.
See also on Ainfos Rebel Worker "Obituary of Jack Grancharoff" about the hijacking and attempted hijacking of various anarchist centres in Sydney by Bourgeois subcultures and Cults.
2. See Report on the Workers Control Conference archive section of www.rebelworker.org regarding middle class leftist views of Capitalist society.
3. See "Gloria Steinhem, the CIA and the Womens Movement" on the internet.
4. See Latest RW Book Review of 'Stuff the Accord Pay Up: Workers Resistance' to the ALP ACTU Accord in RW May- June 2021 on www.rebelworker.org

sherbu-kteer's picture
sherbu-kteer
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Jun 24 2021 03:12

That reminded me, I haven't put up a post on here announcing the conference yet. Thank you for the alert

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R Totale
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Jun 24 2021 09:31

Australia sounds like a bloody scary place, if the drop bears don't get you the Anarcho-Stalinist octopi will.

ajjohnstone
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Jun 24 2021 12:26

Reminded me that my first ever post on my personal blog was 'I am a Stalinist'

An extract of Stalin's Anarchism or Socialism from 1907

https://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2006/08/i-am-stalinist.html

syndicalist
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Jun 26 2021 17:46

I gather this is all part of the fallout around Jura Books, the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation and others. Apparently a platformist organization that supports the IWW.

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sherbu-kteer
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Jun 27 2021 02:53

That's not accurate – BFS & the Sydney Anarcho Communist reading group sprung up independently of Jura, ASF, the IWW and all the others. I don't think any members of BFS are members of the IWW either, only a few participants in SAC are.

As for why the IWW and Jura are co-hosting the conference, it just seems obvious that if you are hosting an anarcho-communist conference in Sydney you invite the two main other libertarian socialist groups in Sydney to help work on it together. The ASF would have presumably been invited if they had a Sydney branch.

As a member of BFS I can say with confidence that we don't have a horse in the race between the IWW and IWA.

asn
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Jun 27 2021 09:53

Apart from the different labels and colour schemes all these groups are in the sect spectrum with similar social bases with many from student, middle class layers and some sprinkling of demoralised previously militant workers eg in the IWW, With the extreme sect with cult guru of todays Jura Books cult temple. As argued above, they are all heavily informed by this Stalinist legacy seeing aspects of identity politics as 'sacred' and so go along with all manner of bizarre 'political correctness displays' such as indigenous welcomes fashionable in the middle class left subculture particularly amongst those in the university milieu. As discussed in my previous post in regard to the IWW. Their practice over many years has nothing to do with with the practical work and long range strategic industrial organising to facilitate the emergence of mass revolutionary industrial unionism and the transitional steps toward it. So facilitating the achievement of libertarian socialism in these antipodes.
To the contrary they are very much satellites of the corporate unions and the ALP octopus directly and indirectly assisting them and therefore the Neo-Liberal push here. An example of this orientation with the IWW is its recent adoption of 'Warrang' to its title, They can't do the serious industrial work to advance the cause of revolutionary unionism in the harsh real world industrial conditions here in Oz but they can get up to this identity politics political correctness display rubbish. Its obviously all about recruiting to their sect those from the student/middle class leftist milieu to play silly childish numbers games. For some years there was an overlapping of membership of the Jura Temple Cult and the Sydney IWW. That's another problem of the IWW (and other Leftist groups) - scale of organisation, When you are a small relatively 'open' membership group with a significant proportion of members who are cult brethren under the mind control of the cult guru. He operates them under remote control screwing up the others - such a group would obviously become dis-functional re serious work re revolutionary industrial unionism. See if you get your brain washed you can't do a thing with it!
Also with any relatively open 'organisation' you are a sitting duck for deep state eg ASIO/Cops infiltration. This certainly has been occurring with some of the Trot groups here as part of the rigging of union elections and having Deep State agents running the unions for the ALP Octopus and facilitate the Neo LIberal push. These Trot groups are always talking about 'Socialism', the Russian Revolution and the Bolsheviks etc, but their practice is like the IWW caught in the orbit of the corporate unions, the ALP Octopus and Neo Liberalism. If the Lenin or Trotsky of the Bolshevik Party of Russia 1917 where around today, they would probably kick them in the butt!! However they do like Red Flags rather than the red and black colour schemes of the Sydney fake anarcho-communist/IWW groups .
The Anarcho-Stalinist Jamboree would certainly be in line with this 'sect' recruitment rubbish and of course conning you gullible overseas people, that these sects/cult have something to do with furthering the cause of libertarian socialism and the over throw of the capitalist mode of production. They of course would put the jamboree stuff on their web sites/social media to look they are doing something. They will probably write reports on the Jamboree for overseas papers as part of the con such as to ASR (Anarcho-Sydndicalist Review)..