The Trots in Melbourne are having a meeting about Anarchism...

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Riot_Queer's picture
Riot_Queer
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Sep 15 2009 15:01
The Trots in Melbourne are having a meeting about Anarchism...

Saw some Socialist Alternative posters up at TAFE advertising a meeting titled "Anarchism: A Marxist Critique"

It is going to be on at Victoria Trades Hall (cnr Lygon and Victoria Street) at about 6/6:30pm on wednesday 16th september...

I'm going to be there with a mate to hang shit on them and make sure everybody in the room gets a copy of the flyers I made with some A4 paper...the 15 demands of the Kronstadt sailors and a little fact about the number of people killed with references to actual texts...unlike the lack of referencing the S.A. put on their "Essays".

It will be fun....

Come on everybody and sing....!!!

(To the tune of: "Ten Green Bottles")

"ONE Trot party, meeting in the hall,
One Trot party, meeting in the hall
And if one Trot party, should have an ugly brawl,
There'll be TWO Trot parties, meeting in the hall,

TWO Trot parties, meeting in the hall,
Two Trot parties, meeting in the hall,
And if two Trot parties, should have an ugly brawl,
There'll be THREE Trot parties, meeting in the hall,

....etc"

admin - abusive language removed, please do not use abusive language in thread titles. Also please take care to only click "save" ones, so you don't post multiple duplicates threads which we then have to delete

LeftResistance's picture
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Sep 15 2009 21:34

Sounds fun.. the Makhnovist Insurrectional Army's manifesto is also good.

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Riot_Queer
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Sep 15 2009 22:13

This is also true however they loooooove disputing Kronstadt so I thought a document with the actual facts and no opinions/spin with references from actual books and historians would stir it up a bit.

The one thing you learn in high school history, uni and TAFE is to reference your work. Also historiography hurts Trots because of the difference of view from different historians....and we can't let facts get in the way of a good yarn can we?

Spassmaschine
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Sep 16 2009 05:43

Have fun, but I would imagine that the trots will more likely be focussing on the present, and wanking on about how well-organised and coherent their group is, how visible and relevant their fronts/campaigns are etc. This will especially be the case with Soc Alt where their audience is almost entirely impressionable students who want to get 'active' and have joined Soc Alt because it is the most prominent, well-organised looking group around. They will be arguing that anarchists are naive, ideologically incoherent, lifestyle-focussed etc, that trot ideology is best placed to solve the world's ills, and that anarchism is quite irrelevant.

If all you do is just wander in and start flooding the place with pamphlets on Kronstadt you will look like a bit of a weirdo, as the meeting is purely an exercise in cock-waving and not about attempting to understand the past. You will most likely seem like the irrelevant anarchist stereotype they love.

If you're just going for lulz then fair enough, but you'll be lucky to have anything productive come from it.

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Sep 16 2009 08:22

Yeah, it'd be good to have a few more contemporary examples of anarchist organisation to give. Still, the fact that they see us as enough of a threat to be worth attacking is a good sign.

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Sep 16 2009 12:24
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Simple fact is the trots are ten times better organised and more ideologically coherent than anarchists

Mm but to what end, is the question.

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Sep 16 2009 12:47

i think riot_queer and his friend added a bit of spice to the mix. [the structured vs unstructured debating techniques were ironic too]

To me, the debate was a little too history focused (well it seems that way for a lot of the far left), rather than logical arguments about how social structures and individuals will operate under certain frameworks.

Seemed to have a lot of discussion on union power too.

Anyway, shall you be attending next weeks discussions on imperialism and war?

riot_dude
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Sep 16 2009 14:00
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They will be arguing that anarchists are naive, ideologically incoherent, lifestyle-focussed etc, that trot ideology is best placed to solve the world's ills, and that anarchism is quite irrelevant.

yes, apparently we're anti-working class too.
Further, I had no idea of how consensus was so viciously anti-democratic, I feel deeply enlightened by such information. Thanks SAlt!

Apparently, the best way to revolutionise the unions is to make sure we have the 'right' (assumingly SAlt orientated) comrades in leadership and prominent bureaucratic positions. Any attempt to question the hierarchical nature or reformist agenda of these institutions is 'dropping out' of class struggle, regardless of any organising efforts undertaken by anarchists to create directly democractic and explicitly anti-capitalist organisations and unions.

Also, the best way to destroy the bourgeois State is to acknowledge its legitimacy by taking it over with a SAlt-like party, then 'dismantling' it.

Quote:
To me, the debate was a little too history focused

more on Spain as usual, my riotous_queer comrade kinda went in assuming it'd all be about the Russian Revolution, especially considering that funny article in the most recent SAlt paper, 'Bolshevism: myth and reality".
http://www.sa.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2083&Itemid=66
hence the Kronstadt pamplets

Quote:
i think riot_queer and his friend added a bit of spice to the mix. [the structured vs unstructured debating techniques were ironic too]

Mmm, spicy food.
Thanks, I hope it made things a little more problematic, especially seeing as a lot of people seemed pretty unfamiliar with anarchist thought

re: structured debating, it seemed as most of the comments were directed at us, it kinda made sense to respond immediately regardless of the speaking order, rather than wait for 5 people to speak then try and deal with each comment in one big block.

Quote:
This will especially be the case with Soc Alt where their audience is almost entirely impressionable students who want to get 'active' and have joined Soc Alt because it is the most prominent, well-organised looking group around.

There were quite a few 'impressionable students' there, though the vast majority of the talking was done by the more-experienced crowd (and us talking shit), would've been good to have some thoughts from the young crowd.
One young lady asked how she could sell SAlt papers (as recommended by SAlt) whilst campaigning for a Melbourne Uni student union position (from memory), which u can't do apparently, brought lolz, poor lady.

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Sep 16 2009 14:24
ChickenNugget wrote:
i think riot_queer and his friend added a bit of spice to the mix. [the structured vs unstructured debating techniques were ironic too]

Holy shit were you there??? Lol...oh dear, pitty I wasn't in my element...too many of these bastards make it difficult to get any proper dicussion rolling.

I was the one with the chain hanging off my jeans...if you saw me there.

I highly doubt I will be going to their other meetings, however the next one on Anarchism, we may organise for some more Anarchists to come down and just bombard them with questions and comments...

Didn't end up waving the 15 demands of the Kronstadt sailors....I left some on their litter-ature table and some more in some bookshelves that belong to the bookshop there.

I was too busy trying not to piss myself laughing to be paying much attention to their arguments.

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Sep 16 2009 14:33

Oh it was just hilarious.

Apparently Anarchists are anti-semites and allowed Franco to win in Spain and are too obsessed with blowing shit up, fighting the police and just being disruptive and messing up industrial actions. Lol....morons.....

I haven't cringed so hard in ages...whilst others sat and clapped politely at the end of the half-witted speaker's polemic/speech I stood up and began applauding explosively and whislting and just being a fucking smart-arse. I wanted to shout "encore" but people were already beginning to give me evils from across the room.

Oh those people are ever so clever and knowledgable about everything. They have all the right solutions and need not listen to anybody else...

Yorkie Bar
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Sep 16 2009 16:28
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Apparently Anarchists are anti-semites

Well, Proudhon and Bakunin were.

Quote:
and allowed Franco to win in Spain

Well, he did.

Quote:
and are too obsessed with blowing shit up, fighting the police and just being disruptive and messing up industrial actions.

All pretty valid criticisms of the anarchist tradition imo.

To be quite honest, I'm really not that bothered about trying to defend the honour of the anarchist name, as it were - whether it's from trots trying to drag it through the mud, or from lifestylists making it look like a load of shit. Those arguments end up getting bogged down in debates about what is and isn't 'proper' 'real' anarchism; arguments based on ideological purity which lead nowhere.

It seems pointless to deny that the anarchist tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries has been a failure, for the simple reason that, well, it failed.

Trot parties pick on anarchists because they like to beat up kids who are smaller than them, metaphorically speaking. But really, all that's happening is a bunch of politicos are trying to make themselves look good by slagging off another bunch of politicos. Who wins the 'yo momma so fat' contest makes no odds to me.

~J.

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888
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Sep 16 2009 19:51
weeler wrote:
Going by that last post alone, I would rather be a trot.

The grass always looks greener...

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 17 2009 00:26
Riot_Queer wrote:
I haven't cringed so hard in ages...whilst others sat and clapped politely at the end of the half-witted speaker's polemic/speech I stood up and began applauding explosively and whislting and just being a fucking smart-arse. I wanted to shout "encore" but people were already beginning to give me evils from across the room.

Have you considered the possibility that people were giving you "evils from across the room" not because they were stumped by your exhibition of raw wit, but because you were acting like a wanker?

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Sep 17 2009 00:27
Riot_Queer wrote:
Holy shit were you there??? Lol...oh dear, pitty I wasn't in my element...too many of these bastards make it difficult to get any proper dicussion rolling.

'chain hanging off you jeans' is a bit vague. I was in front of the older woman sitting next to you. It was my first time to a SA meeting. And I guess it would be hard for you when there are 30 vs 2 and it is all emotionally charged.

But i find the rivalry between the anarchists and socialists odd. In the Australian community they are both fairly radical, and in general terms are fighting a common fight. Yet there is all this unproductive bickering. It is like a 'religious' close mindedness. And there was evidence of a bit of hypocrisy, like these socialists wearing big brand chinese made shoes, eating fast food etc. and the anarchists wearing their anarchist 'uniforms'.

But anyway, do you know if there are any anarchist groups who hold similar talks?

IrrationallyAngry
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Sep 17 2009 00:27
weeler wrote:
Simple fact is the trots are ten times better organised and more ideologically coherent than anarchists, which isn't saying much. Mock all you want but in the face of a capitalist crisis which political grouping are the actual pathetic wankers?

Where I am from the trots have a member of the European Parliament and a rake of Councilors across my area, along with activists actually doing stuff at the coalface. Their politics might be dodgey, but chances are so are yours.

A) Your tenner is in the post.

B) Your noting of the obvious isn't going to go down well.

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Sep 17 2009 02:12

Next time hold a counter discussion.
"Why you shouldn't join Sociallist Alternative"
or "why are Sociallist Alternative so scared of anarchism?"
or "why are SAlt's prominent street activists so annoying?"

Ive heard people complain about hippies stuffing leaflets into your face in the city. I just appreciated when it happened here, because it hardly ever did.

Go to melbourne and i become one of those people
"Get out of my face student! i have places to be!"

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Sep 17 2009 02:38
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
Have you considered the possibility that people were giving you "evils from across the room" not because they were stumped by your exhibition of raw wit, but because you were acting like a wanker?

Hmmm no I was taking the piss. Can't really say I was being a wanker.

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Sep 17 2009 02:40
ChickenNugget wrote:
But i find the rivalry between the anarchists and socialists odd. In the Australian community they are both fairly radical, and in general terms are fighting a common fight. Yet there is all this unproductive bickering. It is like a 'religious' close mindedness. And there was evidence of a bit of hypocrisy, like these socialists wearing big brand chinese made shoes, eating fast food etc. and the anarchists wearing their anarchist 'uniforms'.

But anyway, do you know if there are any anarchist groups who hold similar talks?

Uniforms??? Ummmm, cant say I really have a uniform really...ye some badges on a denim vest/jacket but that's cos I like those badges...

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Sep 17 2009 02:41
Gabs wrote:
Next time hold a counter discussion.
"Why you shouldn't join Sociallist Alternative"
or "why are Sociallist Alternative so scared of anarchism?"
or "why are SAlt's prominent street activists so annoying?"

Ive heard people complain about hippies stuffing leaflets into your face in the city. I just appreciated when it happened here, because it hardly ever did.

Go to melbourne and i become one of those people
"Get out of my face student! i have places to be!"

HAHAHA!!!

I would love to hold a discussion like that for a bit of a laugh.

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oisleep
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Sep 17 2009 06:23

christ, i can't help thinking for every small step forwards that 'anarchism' makes it's accompanied by an almighty leap backwards - the question is why does the small but relatively sane core tolerate, and seem to continually strive to find common cause with, the fuckwits that make up the majority of the 'movement' - you just need to visit any anarchist bookfair to see this happening

radicalgraffiti
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Sep 17 2009 09:22
ChickenNugget wrote:

But i find the rivalry between the anarchists and socialists odd. In the Australian community they are both fairly radical, and in general terms are fighting a common fight.

Anarchists and leninist have completely different ideas of how that fight should be carried out, there methods are completely incompatible with each other, and the leninists methods are either ineffective or actually harmful to what they calm are there objectives.

Quote:
Yet there is all this unproductive bickering. It is like a 'religious' close mindedness. And there was evidence of a bit of hypocrisy, like these socialists wearing big brand chinese made shoes, eating fast food etc. and the anarchists wearing their anarchist 'uniforms'.

anarchists and leninists are not on the same side, you cant expect them to get along. Boycotting stuff is a waste of time, its not hypocritical to ware nice shoes or eat fast food. I haven't noticed anarchist all dressing the same, maybe its more common in some places than others?

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Sep 17 2009 09:41
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Anarchists and leninist have completely different ideas of how that fight should be carried out, there methods are completely incompatible with each other, and the leninists methods are either ineffective or actually harmful to what they calm are there objectives.

see while in principle this is true, it gives too much credit to anarchists and conflates rank-and-file trots with their parties too much. when workers are in struggle, the Trots at least show up, unlike the 'anti-capitalist anarchists' who are busy dressing up as ninjas and attacking banks, or planning the next opportunity to do so. Now the Trots do pursue counterproductive strategies* ('united fronts' with bourgeois politicians, support for trade unions rather than workers in struggle...), but in the Vestas support group in Brighton for example, anarcho-syndicalist arguments have tended to win out (so we're trying to get actual workers from struggles to speak at a public meeting, not Trot/fellow traveller union full-timers etc). With most anarchists these arguments never even take place, because they're nowhere to be seen.

* from a working class revolutionary pov - pretty productive from the pov of party objectives; gaining elected political and union positions

Hungry56
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Sep 17 2009 12:21

We all get along pretty well in Adelaide, but it's a small city and absolutely nothing can happen without working together on some things.

Right now there is a climate camp being organised - half the main organisers are anarcho-crust, half are trots. (The camp actually has a point, there's gonna be a big activism nearby.)

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Sep 17 2009 14:23

radicalgraffiti:

Hungry56 seems to have shown an example of what i am talking about. I know there is a lot of conflicting ideas between the 'trots' and anarchists. But why not at least try to show some kinda of mutual respect. Like why spend energy fighting fellow lefties, focus that against the right. It is just really making the groups more isolated, where you have to follow some kind of rule book..

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Sep 17 2009 14:53

Well yes. What my comrade probably meant was "there'll be a big action." See there's this coal power station in this town, and the worlds longest coal train/coal train-line feeds its non-stop terror. The station doesn't power cities/towns specifically(adelaide has two power stations for this), from what i understand it powers 3 enormous uranium mines out in the middle of no-where, aswell as other monstrous mines, and some local industry such as the worlds largest lead smelter in pt. pirie. South Australian coal is notoriously filthy, as it comes out of the same ground as South Australian uranium. When its burnt the fallout is worse than normal, and contains way more Uranium-235 than the planet should have floating around in the atmosphere. I've tried to find the awesome pictures that show where the radioactive plume goes from a satellite shot, but i can't.

If that isn't a good enough reason to blockade something.. well i dunno, how much worse would you want it to be?

cooperation with trots/leninists here is so different to melbourne. for starters, SAlt doesn't exist here. Zing!
Green-left crew are more than happy to have people come and leaflet while they try and sell papers, because they have a permit for the spot in the busy mall.

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Sep 17 2009 20:05

Weeler shouldn't be allowed outside libcommunity. Oisleep, take some anti-depressants. no platform for IrrationallyAngry.

Yorkie Bar
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Sep 17 2009 20:32
oisleep wrote:
why does the small but relatively sane core tolerate, and seem to continually strive to find common cause with, the fuckwits that make up the majority of the 'movement' - you just need to visit any anarchist bookfair to see this happening

Fucking hell but this is elitist shite.

~J.

banpen
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Sep 26 2009 09:02

Good post weeler, there's always some gold in your sarcasm. I think unless you're ready and prepared for a serious debate on theory and history its probably not worth going. These things aren't designed for a balanced discussion.

Also: Do you have a copy of the pamphlet you distributed??

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Sep 26 2009 11:58

riot-queer, don't go along to their meetings to show off and be a dick. It might make you feel cool infront of a couple of friends and it will annoy some trots but by opposing trots by behaving like a dick you're never going to achieve anything.
If you haven't got the patience to get into an actual debate with them (who has?) then only go to their meetings to observe. These kind of meetings rarely have any actual political activity as their goal and the only reason to go is in case someone new to politics or the area has come by mistake and needs rescuing smile

riot_dude
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Sep 26 2009 17:34

Hey Jef,
We kinda went along (well, i should only really speak for myself now, i'm sure riot_queer'll respond) to see what the trots were saying about anarchism. Unfortunately, it seemed like it quickly descended into (many) trots. v (2) anarchists, as they were talking soo much shit about anarchist politics without any understanding of it, and unfortunately i got sorta sucked up into bullshit arguments.
I'm sure i didnt go to look cool, and neither did riot_queer, not sure if we even managed to show those new to the 'left' how fucked up socialst alternative is.
Their single minded focus towards recruitment over any other political aim kinda scared the shit out of me though.
peace

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Sep 28 2009 05:25

Kinda difficult to make a case for Anarchist politics when you have a room full of Trotskyite fuckwits throwing ridiculous examples based a lot on non-information or twisted fact.

Apparently we endorse anti-semitism because Bakunin and Kropotkin were of that pursuasion? WTF?!?

There was never going to be any room for a normal political discussion with that fucking group, so if you were there you could understand why and how it could turn into some massive slag-off fest.