Fascism and anti-Fascism

Submitted by meerov21 on October 18, 2018

If a society is experiencing serious social problems, millions of people can vote for far-right, fascists or ultra-nationalists. It happens for the reason that ultra-nationalist forces offer simple social solutions: to take away property (money, benefits) from the "wrong" part of the population and transfer to another "good part". Chicago sociologist George Derlugian notes that many people easily agree to such conditions, because this decision seems to them very simple and convenient.

Anti-fascism is trying to argue from the standpoint of the protection of tolerance and so it can not solve this problem. The truth is that so many people do not need tolerance, they just want to improve their social situation. These people may be enough to bring the Nazis to power.

It's not like "anti-fascism is just a tactic." This tactic does not work: historically it failed in Germany and Spain in the 1930s. Anti-Fascism is focused on the fight against its political opponent, has nothing to offer millions of disadvantaged people who are not interested in the idea of tolerance. Anti-fascism does not provide alternative motivation for them to fight.

When the state in Spanish Republic put the economy under its control and forced people to work in poverty and hunger, their motivation to fight fascists fell sharply in 1938 - 1939. Italian anarchist Camillo Bernery warned that the population suffering from poverty would not identify themselves with the anti-fascist Republic. After the fall of Catalonia in February 1939, members of the CNT National Committee (anarchists) admitted that the population "no longer feels the enthusiasm of the first days" [of the revolution] (Vadim Damier. The Forgotten International. p. 404).

Anti-fascism can be successful only if its opponent is another street youth subculture. Maybe one mob can beat another in a street fight if it's better organized. However, if fascism turns into a mass public mood, then anti-fascism will inevitably be defeated.

Historically, millions of workers of different nationalities can only come together if you offer them an alternative collective way to change lives: Autonomous multinational workers сouncils that fight together to improve the situation of all workers (and then one day take control of production and infrastructure). https://libcom.org/forums/theory/it-somewhat-gives-me-vision-what-ongoing-anarchist-communist-society-would-look-16

The Addition A: The campaign "against ideas of hate" is not a practice of self-defense that the masses can use. This is idea of the rich tolerant liberals. Calling the people to say "No to sexism, homophobia, racism!" is a waste of time, it's a meaningless bourgeois ideology. Who are you talking to, the poor Afro-Brazilians who will fight against the Nazis? Are you serious? Masses of poor people will be able to defend themselfs only attacking fascists and bosses. Of course, we can say: "This is not driven by hatred, but by the purest love of all mankind. And precisely because of this love, we have hatred of those who slaughter us and preach hatred among us, so we are for war against the rulers". But anyway the main weapons of the masses is a hate-speech, not tolerance.

ajjohnstone

3 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A 1974 SPGB article on fascism

http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-way-to-deal-with-fascism-1974.html

meerov21

3 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you!

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good stuff, Meeov, till the last two paragraphs. "Anti-fascism" today is an anachronism since fascism was a historical product of the inter-world-war period that it is not going to be repeated (because conditions are not the same today) and so is not a threat. Today "anti-fascism" as such can only be, as you hint, warfare between two rival street gangs, a re-enactment at street level of the last wold war. Nor are far-right parties with any significant support "fascist"; they are racist and xenophobic.

A more accurate term to describe combatting what is a very real problem today is anti-racism, so it is against pure and simple anti-racism that your arguments are valid. But it's not true that:

Calling the people to say "No to sexism, homophobia, racism!" is a waste of time, it's a meaningless bourgeois ideology

This has to be part of any effective anti-racism campaign and is not mere bourgeois ideology either. In fact it's part of what being a socialist/communist involves.

What makes it ineffective is that it not combined with anti-capitalism and anti-nationalism as this leaves unchallenged and unchanged the economic and political conditions which the far-right exploit. Combatting the ideas of the far-right has to be primarily a battle of ideas waged via leaflets, pamphlets, books and these days websites, podcasts and social media and armed with anti-capitalism and anti-nationalism as well as anti-racism, not by streets fights or by bans and prescriptions whether imposed by the state or by "direct action".

ajjohnstone

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Coincidentally, one of the SPGB blogs has just put online a 1936 response to a letter about the party's attitude towards a fascist takeover.

http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.com/2018/10/letter-spgb-and-fascism-1936.html

Spikymike

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The label of 'fascism' may be misused and abused by many on the left and right of capitalist politics and some of what alb and the spgb argue is fine , but still what label would the spgb prefer to describe those organised minorities that combine ideas based on ultra-nationalism, racism, misogyny, homophobia and religious fundamentalism for instance, and how would the spgb respond to such, who from time to time represent an actual physical (rather than just ideological) threat to almost anyone expressing opposition to their ideas and practice including even the spgb? Or is that something left for individuals in your organisation to decide for themselves when they are threatened without any confidence they would get your organisations support? What is the spgb's attitude to physical self-defence against such threats against them or other fellow workers, beyond rightly arguing 'the case' for working class unity and socialism in pamphlets, leaflets, podcast etc? Some differences there maybe between alb and meerov21.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Of course no one is going to object to people organising themselves to deal with threats of physical violence agains them or their property. That's elementary and you could almost say sub-political and in any event doesn't require the intervention of professional "anti-fascists". But this is rare compared with the size of the far-right parties which have grown in recent years (due to the failure -- the impossibility -- of the conventional parties to solve the problems thrown up for the majority class of wage and salary workers by the operation of capitalism which requires that priority be given to profit-making over meeting people's needs). They have to be opposed politically not physically.

I remember when I lived in Belgium some years ago visiting the town of Mechelen just after a general election there. Voting is compulsory in Belgium and some one-third of the electors in Mechelen had voted for a far-right Flemish nationalist party whose predecessors had been pro-German during the last world war. As I walked through the streets I thought that every one person in three I passed was a far-rightist and reflected how stupid were those who wanted to suppress physically what they had voted for by fighting them.

I thought Meerov put it rather well when he wrote:

Anti-fascism can be successful only if its opponent is another street youth subculture. Maybe one mob can beat another in a street fight if it's better organized. However, if fascism turns into a mass public mood, then anti-fascism will inevitably be defeated.

Spikymike

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I suspect a reference in alb's response above in use of the words ''elementary'', ''and their property'' and ''sub-political'' to be an attempt to reduce what is, in practice, an organised political and physical attack by minorities (with or without the sanction of the state) against any attempts by workers at collective defence of their interests short of a conscious socialist effort, to one of a personal, moral, individual matter apparently of no concern to the spgb as a primarily educational organisation above the everyday class struggle. Self-defence in these circumstances is maybe closer to meerov21's approach and is not to be identified with 'professional political anti-fascist street gangs'.

jef costello

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

It's not like "anti-fascism is just a tactic." This tactic does not work: historically it failed in Germany and Spain in the 1930s. Anti-Fascism is focused on the fight against its political opponent, has nothing to offer millions of disadvantaged people who are not interested in the idea of tolerance. Anti-fascism does not provide alternative motivation for them to fight.

Anti-facism as a tactic is not "fight fascists because they are fascists", unless you are talking about Red Action and even then they aspired to a bit more. You can argue that no-platforming is ineffective as anti-fascism and you may be correct. Perhaps communists and anarchists should spend more time sharing their ideas than fighting fascists. The people I have met who have engaged in anti-fascism did so as a direct strategic need and alongside other activism. Now I haven't spent time with antifa, for example, but I was thinking of signing up and one of the things that comes up is that they expected you to be involved with other things, they weren't looking for people who wanted to fight nazis, they were looking for political allies willing to fight nazis when necessary.

Anti-fascism can be successful only if its opponent is another street youth subculture. Maybe one mob can beat another in a street fight if it's better organized. However, if fascism turns into a mass public mood, then anti-fascism will inevitably be defeated

If anti-fascism is a youth sub-culture then it will lose against the mass public mood. If commmunism remains a viewpoint advocated by a miniscule section of the population then it will be defeated by a mass movement. Anything that isn't a mass movement will usually be defeated by a mass movement.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spikymike

'professional political anti-fascist street gangs'.

Not my exact words but this is quite a good description of Red Action and Anti-Fascist Action. I didn't think you were one of them or of those who favour the Trotskyoid tactic of taking over other people's struggles as a source of recruits. I can't imagine you as a street-fighting man, but I maybe wrong. How many "fascists" have you hit over the head with a baseball bat or fought in individual combat?

For the record, the only group to have tried to physically attack SPGB members in recent years was Red Action following a debate with them in Islington in 1986. After the debate they waited outside the pub for our members who, judging that discretion was the better part of valour, stayed in till after closing time. Apparently they objected to being called "bar room rebels" for supporting the IRA.

Uncreative

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alb

As I walked through the streets I thought that every one person in three I passed was a far-rightist and reflected how stupid were those who wanted to suppress physically what they had voted for by fighting them.

Has anyone got an example of one of these stupid anti-fascist groups that apparently exist whose main strategy has been "find an area in which 1/3 of people voted for a far right party, then run through the streets battering everyone you see"? Because im no expert, but im coming up with nothing. Would be good to know if this is just some absurd characture of anti-fascist politics, or if there is even the slightest bit of substance to this criticism whatsoever.

Noah Fence

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Perhaps communists and anarchists should spend more time sharing their ideas than fighting fascists.

If commmunism remains a viewpoint advocated by a miniscule section of the population then it will be defeated by a mass movement.

Indeed. Maybe it would be a bit of a derail here but sharing our ideas is something I’m increasingly convinced needs attention and creative actioning.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Uncreative, try:

https://www.facebook.com/antifaBelga/

http://www.oocities.org/capitolhill/1131/belgium.html

There's a certain irony in a Maoist group (the PVDA/PTB) posing as "antifascist" but that's another issue.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.oocities.org/capitolhill/1131/belgium.html - this describes people collecting 500k petition signatures against fascism.

It is not an answer to:

"Has anyone got an example of one of these stupid anti-fascist groups that apparently exist whose main strategy has been "find an area in which 1/3 of people voted for a far right party, then run through the streets battering everyone you see"? "

The facebook page also does not have any information of that kind.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I never said that any anti-fascist group wanted to take on a third of the population of Mechelen, only that there were groups in Belgium that did advocate physically confronting "fascists". Of course they didn't go to Mechelen but satisfied themselves with a petition and an annual demonstration, in other words, conventional politics. When it came to confronting a mass support for a far-right movement they backed down, thus confirming the futility and emptiness of their posturing.

Uncreative

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alb

I never said that any anti-fascist group wanted to take on a third of the population of Mechelen, only that there were groups in Belgium that did advocate physically confronting "fascists".

If thats not what you meant then fair enough, but if you read back the bit i quoted from you, you can see how someone as daft as me might mistakenly think you were talking about fighting the general population and the people you walked past, no? People make lots of weird claims about actually existing antifascists and what they do and think. Also, you say one of those groups are maoists? I wouldnt be surprised if a bunch of maoists actually did this (or rather, talked about doing this), tbf.

That said, i can see the argument that in an area with a large amount of passive support for fascist politics (as evidenced by the vote), the last thing you should do is leave the local fascist organisation free to further embed themselves, recruit, draw passive supporters closer, start moving into neighbouring areas, etc. Doesnt seem like an obviously stupid thing to do, to take steps to prevent that? It would certainly make it easier to hand out leaflets saying "actually, socialism" if there wasnt a well organised local fascist organisation ready to respond when a sympathetic local tipped them off to your presence, and the worse you got was random isolated shouty idiots.

alb

Of course they didn't go to Mechelen but satisfied themselves with a petition and an annual demonstration, in other words, conventional politics. When it came to confronting a mass support for a far-right movement they backed down, thus confirming the futility and emptiness of their posturing.

"Left group sacrifices practical action in favour of march and petition" is not news.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anti-fascism as a social movement always loses. They say Fascism will not pass!, No pasaran! and fascism always passes. Anti-fascism can prevail in a street fight with the fascist freaks and subculturing. But he is always defeated, when fascist sentiments become widespread. This was the case in Spain in the 1930s, as is the case today in Brazil. Many people do not need a Republic (as an alternative) because it gives them neither freedom nor good jobs. We are either working to organize a social revolution against fascism, and against parliamentary democracy, or we don't.

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov's resorted to just copy and paste, now?

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This diversion into Belgium brings out another flaw in "anti-fascism". The far-right parties that have considerable electoral support that they target are not in fact "fascist". They don't advocate a one-party dictatorship and don't have a Leader who has to be worshipped and they accept the parliamentary system. What they are are xenophobic, covertly racist and ultra-nationalist parties. Their views are obnoxious, mistaken and dangerous and have to be opposed, but not on the basis of "anti-fascism".

To return to Mechelen for a moment, I don't think the Vlaams Blok militants would object to socialist or anarchist leaflets being handed out there as long as they were in Flemish. You'd only get trouble from them if they were in French. In fact anybody doing this would be.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello
Perhaps communists and anarchists should spend more time sharing their ideas than fighting fascists. The people I have met who have engaged in anti-fascism did so as a direct strategic need and alongside other activism

The Communists? Sorry but What are you talking about? Ultra-leftist Communists, critics of Leninism, usually reject anti-fascism, using arguments partly similar to those I have cited. As for the supporters of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao, they are the "red fascists", as the supporter of the autonomy of the Soviets Otto Rule and anarchist Vsevolod Volin (Mahno's ally) rightly wrote about it.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello
If anti-fascism is a youth sub-culture then it will lose against the mass public mood. If commmunism remains a viewpoint advocated by a miniscule section of the population then it will be defeated by a mass movement. Anything that isn't a mass movement will usually be defeated by a mass movement.

Yes, of course, if you talk about communism based on the principles of Autonomous struggle for a stateless society, it is not a mass movement either. But I, for example, believe that it is a way of qualitative radical change of the human universe. Once millions of people thought so, and perhaps so will be in the future, at least I see a chance for this. As for anti-fascism, I am not interested in it, as well as many people who are at the bottom of the social pyramid. I have been a poor worker in a democratic Republic. I'm not interested to fight for the preservation of such a life. Anti-fascism is an absolutely idiotic idea, because it offers to shed blood for the Republic and capitalism, it gives nothing to people like me.

Yes, anarchists and anti-authoritarian anti-Leninist Communists may have an agenda to fight against fascists, but this is only one of the areas of struggle and not the main one, and this struggle is not conducted for the values of tolerance.

But usually, when people talk about anti-fascism, they mean the unification of the left liberals, totalitarian groups (Stalinists, Maoists, etc.), the social-democrats, movements of some nationalist groups of ethnic minorities and some part of the anarchists. The main goal of this movement is the protection of bourgeois rights and freedoms, the Republic and tolerance. I have nothing against free speech, and I don't like racists, but such a movement is a common political bourgeois trash with elements of totalitarian influence.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

P.S.

Most people in Brazil will not fight for tolerance and parliamentary democracy, people do not need it. Same here. I think we need not a struggle for tolerance, but an alternative economic and social agenda (direct actions of workers and residents in defense of their social rights). Real resistance against Bolsonaro and Putin starts not when they are struggling with democracy and tolerance, but when they start unpopular economic reforms and reduced social support. The vulnerability of these politicians is not tolerance and democracy, to which most people do not care, but their economic plans.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alb

I never said that any anti-fascist group wanted to take on a third of the population of Mechelen, only that there were groups in Belgium that did advocate physically confronting "fascists". Of course they didn't go to Mechelen but satisfied themselves with a petition and an annual demonstration, in other words, conventional politics. When it came to confronting a mass support for a far-right movement they backed down, thus confirming the futility and emptiness of their posturing.

Antifa can resist other youth subculture. Of course, they cannot stand up to the General population when and if the General public supports the far right. Anti-fascists can be good street fighters if they're well organized. But this is not a solution to the problem of far-right big movements.

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov

Most people in Brazil will not fight for tolerance and parliamentary democracy, people do not need it. Same here. I think we need not a struggle for tolerance, but an alternative economic and social agenda (direct actions of workers and residents in defense of their social rights). Real resistance against Bolsonaro and Putin starts not when they are struggling with democracy and tolerance, but when they start unpopular economic reforms and reduced social support. The vulnerability of these politicians is not tolerance and democracy, to which most people do not care, but their economic plans.

Again you are wilfully ascribing such a position to people who don't have it. Yes, there are Leninist/Trotskyist anti-fascist united fronts that are effectively defences of capitalist democracy, yes there are anti-fascist groups that preach "civility", but it is totally bs to argue that those of us who think anti-fascist work is important do not base that in actually building that on a working class basis. What you, and others who have gotten so riled up about feminism and those pesky peope of colour, ignore or have forgotten is that there is no working class movement unless we actually fight what is separating us: racism, misogyny etc. I can already see your (and others) predictable response: that is bowing down to liberal-academia identity politics (and later will wonder why on earth there are so few women and people of colour in our organizations).

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I do not care what color the skin and what form the genitals of the working man. I am not interested in the politics of identity and left-liberal hysteria, which does not unite but divides the working class and only reinforces the hatred of the black and white working class and failed to create anything as powerful and promising as the historical FORA or IWW, which numbered in the early 20th century hundreds of thousands of activists belonging to different peoples. As for anti-fascism, as a rule, this word refers to activities aimed at protecting the parliamentary Republic, bourgeois human rights and tolerance.

I am a supporter of freedom of speech, and I do not like racist insults. But I must say that I do not see most people in the world being seriously concerned about such problems. There is a Fact: anti-fascism is what I said, and it always fails when faced with a massive fascist or far-right movement.

Yes, anarchists and anti-authoritarian anti-Leninist Communists may have an agenda to fight against fascists, but this is only one of the areas of struggle and not the main one, and this struggle is not conducted for the values of tolerance.

Personally, I see the weakness of authoritarian nationalist dictatorships and regimes in their economic policies. In our country, Putin's ratings was very high until he began the pension reform. I think antifa can shout about tolerance as much as they want, but it will not give a result and even the majority of the black population of Brazil will not protest. The result will be when and if Bolsonaro will begin its neo-liberal reforms

Fleur

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For someone who doesn't care about skin color or genitals, you spend an awful amount of time on these forums bitching about these things, meerov.

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I

I can already see your (and others) predictable response: that is bowing down to liberal-academia identity politics (and later will wonder why on earth there are so few women and people of colour in our organizations).

Yup, I was spot on:

Meerov

I do not care what color the skin and what form the genitals of the working man. I am not interested in the politics of identity and left-liberal hysteria, which does not unite but divides the working class and only reinforces the hatred of the black and white working class

Black Badger

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

give an idiot enough rope...

Spikymike

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Clearly my effort to tease out the spgb's approach to collective self-defense of working class struggle from physical attacks by politically motivated minorities and distinguish this from the ideology and narrow political activity of 'anti-fascism' did not fair well with alb. Much of the rest of this discussion also seems to have been at cross-purposes - sorry I bothered now!

Noah Fence

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

politics of identity and left-liberal hysteria,

Oh gawd, not this again. How the fuck does the idea persist amongst certain lefties that such things as racism, misogyny etc, which are amongst the favoured tools of the ruling class, either don’t exist or are an irrelevance? I wonder if these people consider Paul Joseph Watson a comrade?

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Don't you get it. Noah. Meerov is colour and gender blind, hence, that seem to mean that everyone else is, so if women and people of colour pipe up, they're the ones dividing us. In any case, Meerov's arguments are frighteningly close to alt-right talking points.

jef costello

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

jef costello
Perhaps communists and anarchists should spend more time sharing their ideas than fighting fascists. The people I have met who have engaged in anti-fascism did so as a direct strategic need and alongside other activism

The Communists? Sorry but What are you talking about? Ultra-leftist Communists, critics of Leninism, usually reject anti-fascism, using arguments partly similar to those I have cited. As for the supporters of Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao, they are the "red fascists", as the supporter of the autonomy of the Soviets Otto Rule and anarchist Vsevolod Volin (Mahno's ally) rightly wrote about it.

I am talking about people that I have met that identify as communists or anarchists, as I thought I had made abundantly clear, but I did fail to take into account your wilful misreading of anything you think that you disagree with so that you can trot out the same old arguments. No-one is arguing that we should form an "anti-fascist subculture" and ignore all other political action and when we have specifically stated that we do not believe in doing so, you have criticised us for doing so.

You are not a communist nor an anarchist, you are a bitter person who comes online to rant at people in the hope of feeling superior to them.

You are wasting everyone's time, much like when you went to a student meeting, and in spite of not being a student proceeded to tell them that they shouldn't have a meeting about what they had planned at that racism and gender were a waste of time and then called them racists for not listening to you.

If you haven't got anything useful to say then for everyone's sake stop posting until you do.

jef costello

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Yes, of course, if you talk about communism based on the principles of Autonomous struggle for a stateless society, it is not a mass movement either. But I, for example, believe that it is a way of qualitative radical change of the human universe. Once millions of people thought so, and perhaps so will be in the future, at least I see a chance for this. As for anti-fascism, I am not interested in it, as well as many people who are at the bottom of the social pyramid. I have been a poor worker in a democratic Republic. I'm not interested to fight for the preservation of such a life. Anti-fascism is an absolutely idiotic idea, because it offers to shed blood for the Republic and capitalism, it gives nothing to people like me.

Yes, anarchists and anti-authoritarian anti-Leninist Communists may have an agenda to fight against fascists, but this is only one of the areas of struggle and not the main one, and this struggle is not conducted for the values of tolerance.

But usually, when people talk about anti-fascism, they mean the unification of the left liberals, totalitarian groups (Stalinists, Maoists, etc.), the social-democrats, movements of some nationalist groups of ethnic minorities and some part of the anarchists. The main goal of this movement is the protection of bourgeois rights and freedoms, the Republic and tolerance. I have nothing against free speech, and I don't like racists, but such a movement is a common political bourgeois trash with elements of totalitarian influence.

tl;dr "I want to disagree with something, regardless of whether anyone has actually advocated it."

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"But usually, when people talk about anti-fascism, they mean the unification of the left liberals, totalitarian groups (Stalinists, Maoists, etc.), the social-democrats, movements of some nationalist groups of ethnic minorities and some part of the anarchists. The main goal of this movement is the protection of bourgeois rights and freedoms, the Republic and tolerance. I have nothing against free speech, and I don't like racists, but such a movement is a common political bourgeois trash with elements of totalitarian influence."

Jef Costello quotes this paragraph Meerov submitted but what sort of reply does he/she give? Well nothing with any political content anyway, just thoughtless personal abuse.

So Jef, admittedly the last clause doesn't makes much sense, but the rest of it is very clear and carefully thought out. Are you able to provide a reasoned political response to a serious issue?

jef costello

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link

So Jef, admittedly the last clause doesn't makes much sense, but the rest of it is very clear and carefully thought out. Are you able to provide a reasoned political response to a serious issue?

I have, and others have, made a reasonable response, but meerov has simply ignored our posts and continued arguing against a position that no-one has. I am not sure how to respond to what is either trolling or a very pointless obsession.

moorov21

The sky is blue and some people says it's green.

No-one has said it's green, we actually think it's blue, light blue in fact.

moorov21

Many people claim the sky is green, blah blah blah it's blue

We know the sky is blue, light blue in fact. Whom are you arguing with?

moorov21

Liars claimed the skies were green, you are siding with liarsif you say they are green.

Nope, still think the sky is light blue.

moorov21

You say the sky is blue but then you qualify it, blah blah blah I am going to rant about green skies. And how can anyone say the sky is not blue.

Actually it's gone dark now, I can't believe I wasted daylight on you.

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In reality, your answer is no then Jef. How unexpected!

Reddebrek

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Good stuff, Meeov, till the last two paragraphs. "Anti-fascism" today is an anachronism since fascism was a historical product of the inter-world-war period that it is not going to be repeated (because conditions are not the same today) and so is not a threat. Today "anti-fascism" as such can only be, as you hint, warfare between two rival street gangs, a re-enactment at street level of the last wold war. Nor are far-right parties with any significant support "fascist"; they are racist and xenophobic.

????? The Colonels Coup in Greece was in 1967 and both Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal lasted into the 70s. And there's also the entrenchment of thousands of active Neo-fascists in the Italian security services and paramilitaries in the strategy of tension period. That's just the ones off the top of my head.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spikey, you asked a question and I gave a straight answer: that nobody would say that people in an area under threat of attack by hooligans coming in to throw stones though their windows or slash their car tyres should not organise in self-defence to stop this; and that this would happen anyway as an elementary spontaneous reaction and nothing to do with conventional (or vanguardist) politics. You chose to reply with a cheap debating point and fantasising about the police joining in such attacks (a completely hypothetical situation in Britain where, if they intervened , it would be to help the residents).

Spikymike

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Really alb read my posts more carefully. I didn't mention 'the police' or the immediate situation in the UK, but do take a look at some very different situations in the recent past and even today across the globe, and try to distinguish collective defense of class struggle (as for instance in the last big Uk miners strike) from individual acts of 'hooliganism'.
As to ''cheap debating points'' go back to your 'cheap' digs about street fighting man etc. We know each other well enough comrade not to write in such off hand comments in a public forum of this kind.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

that nobody would say that people in an area under threat of attack by hooligans coming in to throw stones though their windows or slash their car tyres should not organise in self-defence to stop this
...
You chose to reply with a cheap debating point and fantasising about the police joining in such attacks (a completely hypothetical situation in Britain where, if they intervened , it would be to help the residents).

This is not a hypothetical situation, far right groups have attacked local communities plenty of times.

For a very recent example, the EDL broke windows and invaded Big John's fast food in Leicester, customers ended up locking themselves in the kitchen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxdTEVzzr_s (in this case the police did not join in).

Cable street was between the local working class and both police and fascists.

There are plenty of cases of people being arrested for self-defense against the far right, the Bradford 12 is a prominent one: https://libcom.org/library/self-defence-no-offence-bradford-12 This was the NF coming into Bradford specifically to terrorise residents, not set pieces.

Blair Peach was killed by police during a counter-demonstration against the National Front in Southall. A bit more of a set piece demo but also very much in a local community.

Several recent car attacks on Mosques, some of these people were radicalised via people like Tommy Robinson online:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/cricklewood-mosque-crash-latest-updates-met-police-anti-islamic-slogans-injured-muslim-brent-a8544246.html
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/finsbury-park-mosque-terror-attack-darren-osborne-prison-sentence-muslim-man-kill-jailed-life-a8190611.html
Drive by shooting: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43682135

Then for just the police attacking local communities, the tasering of a police race relations adviser in Bristol, then this subsequent harassment this year: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-45911693

Or this beating in Birmingham: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-arrest-video-aston-birmingham-force-reasonable-baton-iopc-a8343566.html

And recent police killings like Edson da Costa, Rashan Charles, Darren Cumberbatch.

Is it mass street fighting by the far right in local communities backed up by the police? No not quite at the moment, but it's also not something to be written off so glibly.

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No need to go back to Bradford, the Rotherham 12 case only finally concluded this year: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/rotherham-12-pakistani-community-south-yorkshire-police-islamophobia-a8209991.html

Link: it's impossible to respond politically to meerov's posts because there's no real specific political content in them. A critique of antifascism that doesn't make it clear whether it's talking about SUTR or the General Defense Committee is about as much use as a critique of the unions where you can't tell if they're on about USDAW or the CNT.

alb

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OK, the police in Britain don't always help residents under attack but they don't join in the attacks (as Spiky hypothesised).

Incidentally, any thoughts on why the British Secret Service has become "anti-fascist"?

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/28/mi5-lead-battle-against-uk-rightwing-extremists-police-action

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link
Oct 31 2018 05:25
In reality, your answer is no then Jef. How unexpected!

This is an example of how somebody see freedom of speech. He made no substantive reply to my remarks and moved on to personal insults. This is expected. Seriously, I see the antifa movement is nothing but a specific street subculture. It is possible that it can protect certain areas from right-wing violence. This is a good thing.
But Anti-fascism is fixed on one problem, which he considers the most important - the fight against the right wing. A certain youth subculture is emerging, involving street violence, clashes with right-wing hooligans, and anti-racism and human right left-liberal propaganda.

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is an example of how somebody see freedom of speech. He made no substantive reply to my remarks and moved on to personal insults. This is expected.

What on earth has this got to do with the freedom of speech (which in any case is at best a bourgeois illusion)?

Seriously, I see the antifa movement is nothing but a specific street subculture... But Anti-fascism is fixed on one problem, which he considers the most important - the fight against the right wing. A certain youth subculture is emerging, involving street violence, clashes with right-wing hooligans, and anti-racism and human right left-liberal propaganda.

Yet again, ascribing views to Jef that he doesn't have. I mean, you were a broken record before, but at least the album would play out, now the needle is just stuck in the same few grooves. It is, as the new favourite epithet of the alt right says, as if you're just an NPC.

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I know there is bad history between Meerov and some of the posters on libcom, but I don’t know how it started or what it is. Most importantly in this thread and others recently, I can only see highly personalised insults and abuse against somebody who is writing in a foreign language and making a effort to make serious political points.

The lack of attempt to discuss seriously is appalling and as usual the admins do nothing about it.

I would therefore ask the question to Khawaga, Fleur, jef Costello, black badger, noah fence then; would you get involved in anti-fascist activities in cooperation with the likes of the Labour Party, trotskyist organisations, Maoists, Stalinist communist parties and trades unions and would you join or support the anti-fascist campaigns that they organise??

It appears from a post above that Reddebrek would certainly unite with the above left wing capitalist organistions

RC Totale suggest there is nothing to respond to because Meerov doesn’t mention SUTR or GDC. I thank him/her for the explaining a response but I don’t agree that these have to be mentioned for I simply see a valid, general criticism was being made of anti-fascism esp in the paragraph I quoted in post 34. Are you or Is anybody willing to agree with this statement, if not how do you disagree? As the SUTR was brought up, who will be supporting this campaign (and why?) and join the march it is calling for on November 17th ?

Reddebrek implies it would have been right to achieve more liberal bourgeois regimes in Spain Portugal etc so presumably he will join up to support left wing capitalism.

Does that also mean he says it is right to support the British Empire against German Absolutism and German Fascism?

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can only see highly personalised insults and abuse against somebody who is writing in a foreign language and making a effort to make serious political points.The lack of attempt to discuss seriously is appalling and as usual the admins do nothing about it.

His English is not an issue at all, he has a good grasp of it and writes better than many native speakers. Meerov also engages in personal insults, indeed in a comment above, which has been unpublished by an admin (together with my response), he tried to insult me by referring to my mother (which is just too funny).

But the point is that Meerov has repeatedly proven to not actually discuss, but almost always choose to build straw men, engage with positions that he ascribes to people. It's now a pretty predictable what he will argue on this particular point. People are fed up with this.

Fleur

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the weird history between Meerov and a number of posters, including myself, stems from him spouting unsubstantiated claims about him being the victim of reverse racism, whining about uppity minorities who raise issues of race, gender and other issues which generally don't bother cis white straight dudes. Then there was the homophobia. Also his all pervasive victimhood when he gets pulled up on his nonsense, like the third hand account of something which almost certainly didn't happen to someone else on a different continent.

As for the question, personally I wouldn't organise with the above mentioned groups. However, unlike Meerov I'm not refuting the existence of fascism. Desperate times make strange bedfellows. Things are beginning to look pretty damned desperate to me.

Anyway, all I did in this thread was to point out Meerov's weird obsession with race and gender, which is very odd given he doesn't care one little thing about thes things. Protests too much perhaps.

bastarx

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's hardly surprising that someone whose views are about a bee's dick away from fascism is against anti-fascism.

Fleur

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyway questions of ideological purity, turning to Spain, as it inevitably does, you think that a more liberal bourgeois regime wasn't preferable to the thousands in unmarked graves, their children wrenched from them and raised by sadistic nuns, the complete stranglehold of the church on every aspect of society, the utter subordination of women, the political prisoners? Spain was the one that got away but the all or nothing ideological dogmatism which denies people the way of improving their material conditions in the here and now is just romanticising a fantasy, the great thing that was. Was. As in not anymore.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur However, unlike Meerov I'm not refuting the existence of fascism.

It's very common form of lying of a community of several persons that constantly insults different people on this forum. Of course, I do not reject the existence of fascism.

***

As for anti-fascism, I discuss its most widespread forms. And he is exactly what he is - a coalition of left liberals, Stalinists and Leninists (different forms and types of red fascists), social-democrats and some of the anarchists.This is bourgeois-liberal compote with elements of totalitarian ideas. Part of the antifa are representatives of youth subcultures, which like street fights with the Nazis. Perhaps somewhere there are some marginal groups. who understand anti-fascism as something completely different and have nothing to do with these forms of activity. But it is some kind of marginals and I'm not very interested to discuss it. Why shood i? OK, maybe they have 10 people who are not involved in the typical activity of anti-fascists, but do something else. Good for you. Good Luck.

Khawaga
What on earth has this got to do with the freedom of speech (which in any case is at best a bourgeois illusion)?

What do people like these do? Not only him and not only in this forum, but everywhere they try to silence their opponents by switching to insults, as well as by accusing opponents of sexism-homophobia-racism as Fleur did. It's typical. They want to paralyze in this way any discussion when they have nothing to answer or theu want expel opponents. If I answer in the style of "you are a fool", it will be the termination of the discussion and the transition to the flow of insults. This is what they want.

Freedom of speech was the most important requirement of libertarian uprisings against the Bolsheviks in Russia. There can be no real discussion without freedom of speech, which means that direct labor democracy cannot work.

Fleur
I think the weird history between Meerov and a number of posters, including myself, stems from him spouting unsubstantiated claims about him being the victim of reverse racism, whining about uppity minorities who raise issues of race, gender and other issues which generally don't bother cis white straight dudes

P.S. I am not realy white, I am Jewish by origin. (I am no more and no less white than the 6 million European Ashkenazi Jews killed by the Nazis). They are referring to a case of my friend, a well-known Jewish journalist Mikhail Dorfman, who told that he was subjected to dirty anti-semitic insults at a meeting at an American University. Then some people in this forum expressed outrage at anti-Semitism, but others did not listen.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link

RC Totale suggest there is nothing to respond to because Meerov doesn’t mention SUTR or GDC. I thank him/her for the explaining a response but I don’t agree that these have to be mentioned for I simply see a valid, general criticism was being made of anti-fascism esp in the paragraph I quoted in post 34. Are you or Is anybody willing to agree with this statement, if not how do you disagree? As the SUTR was brought up, who will be supporting this campaign (and why?) and join the march it is calling for on November 17th ?

A couple of weekends ago, there was a 'Democratic Football Lads Alliance' march in central London. The DFLA is not a properly fascist organisation but there are a lot of far-right individuals involved and it could very easily grow into one.

SUTR (a front for the SWP) and Momentum organised a rally with speeches from people like Owen Jones, which remained firmly behind police lines, with no intention of blocking the march.

On the other hand about 30 different groups from around the UK organised a separate demo (including groups like the AFN and Plan C) with a separate starting point and were able to block the march.

The grassroots attempts to actually disrupt fascist organising and marches in the UK are very specifically organising separately from the SWP/UAF/SUTR and Momentum. This is partly a result of the no-platforming of the SWP over its coverup of rape by a central committee member, and partly due to their willingness to co-operate with the police, using anti-fascism and front groups as a way to recruit etc.

While there are tendencies for anti-fascist organising to end up supporting the left-wing of capital, there are also tendencies for workplace organising to support the left wing of capital. Both you and meerov substitute a critique of anti-fascism for a blanket dismissal and often strawmanning of any activity taken to disrupt fascist organising or defend against it.

link

Reddebrek implies it would have been right to achieve more liberal bourgeois regimes in Spain Portugal etc so presumably he will join up to support left wing capitalism.

I see that pointing out the continuity of pre and post-war fascist regimes against ahistorical definitions is... supporting the British Empire now.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Not only him and not only in this forum, but everywhere they try to silence their opponents by switching to insults, as well as by accusing opponents of sexism-homophobia-racism as Fleur did. It's typical. They want to paralyze in this way any discussion when they have nothing to answer or theu want expel opponents. ...
Freedom of speech was the most important requirement of libertarian uprisings against the Bolsheviks in Russia. There can be no real discussion without freedom of speech, which means that direct labor democracy cannot work.

Meerov, is freedom of speech when people aren't allowed to have opinions about your views and method of argumentation?

Fleur

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov, you regularly dismiss, devalue and belittle other people's struggles as being divisive and unimportant (to you) so how would you have other people frame your position? The very best I could say would be that you completely lack empathy. You don't care about race, gender, sexuality (of other people - you seem to be pretty concerned with your own.) if you don't care, why are you so fixated on these things? If you don't care about the struggle of other people, why the hell are you a communist anyway?
You have freedom of speech here. You don't have the freedom to insist that everyone agrees with you or are not allowed express that disagreement. I'm currently exercising my freedom of speech to pull you up on your bullshit. And don't be such a goddamn baby, crying victim because people think you're talking nonsense.

Noah Fence

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Link and Meerov

My post was not meant as an insult at all but merely as an observation. I have and never have had any involvement with Antifa and know practically nothing about it. But no, the idea of organising with your list of ne’er do wells would definitely play second fiddle to sticking pins in my eyes and cutting my nipples off with a pair of rusty scissors.
Having gone toe to toe with the majority on Libcom many times, I’m the last person to berate anyone that comes on here with a different view to the general concensus, in fact I actively encourage it and wish there was a lot more of it! However, when the views expressed are weird conspiracy theories about identity politics that conflate working class solidarity expressed by anarchists with bourgeois liberal Tumbleresque idpol wank then I’m gonna call it out. It comes across as a leftist twist on the Jordan Peterson/Paul Joseph Watson anti SJW hysteria that pervades the rest of the internet. We don’t need it here even if it comes in its mutant commie form.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

Meerov, you regularly dismiss, devalue and belittle other people's struggles as being divisive and unimportant (to you) so how would you have other people frame your position? The very best I could say would be that you completely lack empathy. You don't care about race, gender, sexuality (of other people - you seem to be pretty concerned with your own.) if you don't care, why are you so fixated on these things? If you don't care about the struggle of other people, why the hell are you a communist anyway?
You have freedom of speech here. You don't have the freedom to insist that everyone agrees with you or are not allowed express that disagreement. I'm currently exercising my freedom of speech to pull you up on your bullshit. And don't be such a goddamn baby, crying victim because people think you're talking nonsense.

It's typical for people like you. You use your ability to insult other forum members. This is part of the custom in this forum where people like you can continuously insult others, but the moderator doesn't stop you. In doing so, you seek to turn the discussion into a stream of insults, and thereby destroy it. Then, you hope that the moderator will delete me (because he is sympathetic to you and encourages you) or close the topic I opened, since it is a lot of swearing.

And Yes I don't care about race, gender, sexuality of my comrades in the movement, supporters of the social-revolutionary class ideas. Because I believe that the focus of the struggle should be on the class and the local community, organized on the principles of direct labor democracy of people of any race and gender.

I admit that there may be special sections that, for example, will deal with specific women's issues or national issues, for example by publishing a newspaper in the language of an ethnic minority. However, these problems must be addressed in such a way that they are subordinated to the main goal and the main principle.

But you're not my comrades in the movement. You are an enemy, although, of course, a minor and a third-rate enemy, in comparison with "world imperialism" ;) . However, I am not against adequate discussions with the enemy, because they help me understand some important things.

So I suggest you stop insulting me, stop lying, calm yourself down, very carefully calm yourself down, and try to speak more or less adequately if you want to. I think after Karl Popper, that hostile communication may come up with interesting ideas. And Yes, I think the most important thing is the class struggle and the struggle of the local community, but I don't like racism and anti-Semitism.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman No, you can have any opinion about my views. But this is not the same as moving on to direct insults and discussion of my personality.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov

I admit that there may be special sections that, for example, will deal with specific women's issues or national issues, for example by publishing a newspaper in the language of an ethnic minority.

meerov

And Yes I don't care about race, gender, sexuality of my comrades in the movement

To support publishing a newspaper in multiple languages or dealing with issues facing women etc., then you do need to 'care about' the racialisation and gendering of your comrades. To enable people to focus on real issues facing them, you also need to have some kind of understanding and empathy with those issues. And if in fact you do have those things, do you think loudly announcing that you don't all the time is a good way to communicate this?

Fleur

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov, I am very calm, don't be so patronising. It is very obvious that you don't care about different oppressions experienced by people other than yourself. I have to agree with you on something though - spot on, you are not my Comrade. You are expounding the very sentiments which prevent our movement from expanding beyond a small clique.

jef costello

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Part of the antifa are representatives of youth subcultures, which like street fights with the Nazis. Perhaps somewhere there are some marginal groups. who understand anti-fascism as something completely different and have nothing to do with these forms of activity. But it is some kind of marginals and I'm not very interested to discuss it. Why shood i? OK, maybe they have 10 people who are not involved in the typical activity of anti-fascists, but do something else. Good for you. Good Luck..

I mentioned having met antifa members earlier and described, them, you completely ignored this, as you have everything else, so let me ask you this:

Why do you think antifa is a youth street gang? Have you met any members? Have you had any discussions with them? Have you any idea what they believe?

I ask because you have characterised anti-fascism and antifa and said that you will not discuss any other interpretation of them because it is incorrect, so, in the simplest terms possible:

why do you believe antifa is this way?

Please don't talk about Stalin or Spain, these are interesting topics, but they are not what we are talking about.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman

meerov wrote:
I admit that there may be special sections that, for example, will deal with specific women's issues or national issues, for example by publishing a newspaper in the language of an ethnic minority.

meerov wrote:
And Yes I don't care about race, gender, sexuality of my comrades in the movement

Mike Harman
To support publishing a newspaper in multiple languages or dealing with issues facing women etc., then you do need to 'care about' the racialisation and gendering of your comrades

No. I am not interested in the race and gender of like-minded people associated with social revolutionary ideas and comrades in the movement. I will give an example. Once (it seems, in 1980) there were negotiations between delegations of the USSR and the USA about some minor question, like cultural exchange (or something else I don't remember). The representative of the USSR delegation said: "You Americans accuse the Communist party leadership of anti-semitism. Here you can see this is not true: in our delegation of 15 people there are 2 Jews. How many Jews are in your delegation?". The American shrugged his shoulders and said: "Mr. Smirnov, we did not ask the participants about their origin when we offered them to work in our delegation."

The head of the delegation of the USSR like all the leadership of the Communist party was an anti-Semitic bastard. He, like all of them, carefully watched that the Jews did not get a good position in the state. However, he used the Jews where he needed them. The head of the American delegation was not anti-semitic. He was interested in the professional qualities and political (socio-cultural) ideas of his colleagues, not their origin, and he was not interested in whether they were Jews or not.

In fact, the Communists formally proclaimed the same thing (we were taught this at school) : "No matter what race or nationality you have, the main thing is that you are a good person or not, or, if we are talking about a factory, a good worker or not. Only a racist and nationalist tries to find out the nationality of a colleague specifically, and for a normal person it is indecent". And You know what? I absolutely agree with this opinion.

Of course, the Communists were hypocrites, of course their leadership and many local leaders thought in another way. But many people in the USSR really thought that it was indecent to be interested in the nationality of a colleague if he did not speak and I fully agree with that. To think otherwise is racist savagery, barbarism in my opinion .

That's what I mean.

On the other hand, what if a colleague had been subjected to a racist attack? Or was the woman beaten by her husband? Of course, in this case we will have to support these people. Moreover, What if some of the workers do not speak Russian? Once upon a time I participated in attempts of social - revolutionary agitation of migrant workers on construction sites. We are faced with the fact that some of them do not understand Russian. We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not. And it really was a very serious problem. But the solution of these issues should serve the main purpose - the social revolutionary unity and libertarian class struggle.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov

We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not.

To know that you need to do that, you'd need to know their first language, and therefore be interested in that information at the moment. If you just say "I don't care what your first language is" then you're ignoring an actual accessibility issue. Similarly booking a second floor meeting space with no lift when someone planning to attend is in a wheelchair would be a sure sign that you "don't care" that they're in a wheelchair.

Meerov

You Americans accuse the Communist party leadership of anti-semitism. Here you can see this is not true: in our delegation of 15 people there are 2 Jews.

Yes this is the 'I have a black friend' defence for racism, but the opposite of this is not, "I don't care if you're black or not".

There is a very common defence that racists use after someone notices that they've said something racist, and it goes "I don't care if you're black, white, yellow, green, purple" - that phrase specifically erases how racism actually functions in society (i.e. racism against black people functions differently to that against asians, anti-Semitism is different again, blue and purple people don't exist). https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/06/why-you-should-care-if-you-don-t-care-whether-someone-is-black-white-green-or-purple.html has a few examples.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jef costello
I mentioned having met antifa members earlier and described, them, you completely ignored this, as you have everything else, so let me ask you this:
Why do you think antifa is a youth street gang? Have you met any members? Have you had any discussions with them? Have you any idea what they believe?
I ask because you have characterised anti-fascism and antifa and said that you will not discuss any other interpretation of them because it is incorrect, so, in the simplest terms possible:
why do you believe antifa is this way?
Please don't talk about Stalin or Spain, these are interesting topics, but they are not what we are talking about.

Well, first of all, I will talk about what I think it is necessary to talk about. In particular, I will talk about Stalin and Spain, following Gilles Dove, for example if i like ;)

Yes, I met a lot with representatives of the antipha movement in Russia, at a time when It was strong and included, perhaps, several thousand people (at least it held marches with the participation of 1-2 thousand people only in Moscow), I also met with alot of representatives of this movement in Germany, as well as with representatives of various antipha initiatives from different countries. Also, I am familiar with some American anarchists (my friend was one of the organizers and participants of the Class Struggle Camp during Occupy Wall Street and I even participated in the discussion of the program of this group) and I know a lot about some people. In addition, I follow the publications and news from the United States and participated in the discussion of this topic in various forums.

Now I have the following opinion: "Usually, when people talk about anti-fascism, they mean the unification of the left liberals, totalitarian groups (Stalinists, Maoists, etc.), the social-democrats... and some part of the anarchists. The main goal of this movement is the protection of bourgeois Republic and tolerance.... Such a movement is a common political bourgeois trash with elements of totalitarian influence."

So what do you want to say now? Are you saying that the majority of antifa are supporters of class struggle and revolutionary non - party Councils? I have hardly met such people among antifa for many years, maybe I know a few anarchists who participated in antifa in the past and thought this way, but such people are very few. But okay, let's say I'm wrong. Please introduce me to the great organization of antifa, which stands on class positions, protects non-party self-management of workers and deny bourgeois democracy entirely, and they not a Leninist. I once thought it was a Redneck-revolt, but now people write that it is not.

meerov21

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov wrote:
We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not.

Mike Harman
To know that you need to do that, you'd need to know their first language, and therefore be interested in that information at the moment. If you just say "I don't care what your first language is" then you're ignoring an actual accessibility issue. Similarly booking a second floor meeting space with no lift when someone planning to attend is in a wheelchair would be a sure sign that you "don't care" that they're in a wheelchair.

I have already explained in detail that for me there is no fundamental importance of race or nationality of a worker or a like-minded person, and it is even indecent to be interested in this, since I am interested in him as a person, as well as I am interested in the degree of his involvement in social-revolutionary work. His language is important when and if it becomes a problem for class agitation. His skin color or hair color is important only when and if he was attacked. These issues are secondary, auxiliary, and their solution should be subordinated to the main goal - unity in the struggle of classes and the libertarian movement unity.

Mike Harman
Yes this is the 'I have a black friend' defence for racism, but the opposite of this is not, "I don't care if you're black or not".

The opposite of this is exactly "I don't care if you're black or not".

Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Furthermore, I'm not going to be nervous about "privileges", because I'm not exploiting anyone. Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false. I also think that this idea is a form of bourgeois chauvinism that is actually used (I don't know, consciously or not) to separate workers of different races.

The world of capitalism creates thousands of pay (and other) hierarchies. You prefer to talk about some privileges and forget about others.

Maybe in your country the average white worker has some privileges over the average black worker. But similarly, a black worker who lives in the capital or has a good job has privileges over a black man who lives in a poor neighborhood.

Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

So What? Do you want to make an American black worker think all the time about his privileges in front of Africans or just another black who gets paid less because he lives in the suburbs in USA?

The world of capitalism creates thousands of pay (and other) hierarchies. This is not the fault of white workers, nor the fault of black US workers: Both do not control the business and state. I do not believe that white workers must apologize, I do not believe that a poor black American needs to apologize to African or russian.

Racism is when you talk about race all the time, instead of talking about class. We are all equal to each other if we are oppressed by bosses.

Otherwise, following your logic, you should be talking about thousands of forms of privilege inside black workers class in the US and the world. What for? We can't fix it as long as capitalism exists.

For the purposes of scientific analysis of society?... OK, this may be important. In order to clarify the question of who is to blame or responsible for whom? It is a racial schism. Neither white workers nor black workers in control of business and government, and cannot be responsible for the policies of corporations.

You referred to an article that talks about privilege. This article is hypocritical. Why doesn't the author talk about the privilege and difference in salary and position between a black doctor and a black unemployed man, a black worker from a rich military factory, and a black worker on a poor farm?

It ends with the words: "Perhaps the worst part, though, is when these words are placed in the mouths of people of color. In Remember the Titans, Denzel Washington’s character begins the difficult process of integrating his football team: “Listen up, I don’t care if you’re black, green, blue, white, or orange, I want all of my defensive players on this side, all players going out for offense over here.” There’s something lovely and seductive about the belief that, in 1971 Virginia, black equals green equals blue equals white. But naïve rhetoric aside, a good coach in a Nixon-era American high school would care about the racial background of his players; he’d have to. Especially if he were black."

But what's the connection between what we're discussing here and some bourgeois Manager coach making a lot of money? Fuck him. His players have nothing to do with it, and they are not to blame for the fact that they are white or black.

Khawaga

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe in your country the average white worker has some privileges over the average black worker. But similarly, a black worker who lives in the capital or has a good job has privileges over a black man who lives in a poor neighborhood.

Shit, Meerov is actually using (*gasp*) that liberal-academic theory of intersectionality right here. And he even uses the way in which such theory understands "privilege" (however poorly I think that choice of word is, it is rather easy to understand what is actually meant by it).

I guess Meerov has started to subscribe to liberal-academic identity politics, given that such an intersectional analysis is one of its cornerstones.

Mike Harman

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Except that Obama exploited blackness to appeal to both white liberals and black people electorally, while presiding over militarised responses to Ferguson, a ramp up in deportations of immigrants, drone warfare etc.

For example when police were shooting black protesters in Ferguson, Obama was giving speeches about how Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown could have been his own son - this was an effective (not with everyone of course, least of all the actual protesters) way to distance himself from the police violence and attempt to 'calm tensions' and similar.

Obama's role as America's 'first black president' meant a lot of people overlooked his actual policies and actions. It is not even relevant whether presidents are 'bastards' - it's a structural position (which is why I get pissed off at 'anti-identity-politics' people like Adolph Reed who want to put someone 'nice' (Bernie Sanders) in the presidency).

Similarly Trump's overt racism and misogyny is very closely linked to appeals to whiteness. Just because people are bastards, does not mean they are not bastards in very different ways.

Meerov

Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false.

[Meerov then goes on to list a couple of dozen privileges in an attempt to undermine the concept of privilege]

Meerov

Racism is when you talk about race all the time, instead of talking about class.

This is an incredibly bad definition of racism. You should read this endnotes article:

Chris Chen

As a result, “race” gets theorised in divergent cultural or economic terms as evidence of the need to either affirm denigrated group identities or integrate individuals more thoroughly into capitalist markets momentarily distorted by individual prejudice. On the one hand, “race” is a form of cultural stigmatisation and misrepresentation requiring personal, institutional, and/or state recognition. On the other, “race” is a system of wage differentials, wealth stratification, and occupational and spatial segregation. Whether defended or derided by critics across the political spectrum, the concept of racial or cultural identity has become a kind of proxy for discussing “race” matters in general. Conversely, dismissals of “identity politics” grounded in functionalist or epiphenomenalist accounts of “race” propose an alternative socialist and social democratic “politics of class” based upon essentially the same political logic of affirming subjects — i.e. workers — within and sometimes against capitalism. This division between economic and cultural forms of “race” naturalises racial economic inequality and transforms the problem of racial oppression and exploitation into either an epiphenomenon of class or the misrecognition of identity.2

https://libcom.org/library/limit-point-capitalist-equality-notes-toward-abolitionist-antiracism-chris-chen

Meerov

But what's the connection between what we're discussing here and some bourgeois Manager coach making a lot of money?

I see, 'privilege' is artificial and false, but high school PE teachers are bourgeois?

Meerov

Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

Median wealth per-adult in Japan is approximately $125,000. Median wealth of a Black american is about $1,600
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_wealth_per_adult
/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianthompson1/2018/02/18/the-racial-wealth-gap-addressing-americas-most-pressing-epidemic/#219737407a48

The US is actually 25th in world rankings (including white Americans), below Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. If you take the median wealth of black Americans only, then it'd be about 125th, which is where Benin and Bangladesh are.

You might reject 'privilege theory' but don't adopt third worldism instead.

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link

I would therefore ask the question to Khawaga, Fleur, jef Costello, black badger, noah fence then; would you get involved in anti-fascist activities in cooperation with the likes of the Labour Party, trotskyist organisations, Maoists, Stalinist communist parties and trades unions and would you join or support the anti-fascist campaigns that they organise?

My boring answer would be a) depends on the circumstances, and b) to distinguish between working with those organisations as organisations and working with individual members. To turn your question on its head: if fascists staged a blatant provocation in your area - if you lived in Pittsburgh, for example - would you think that having an open public meeting about how to respond would be a good or a bad idea? And if you'd be in favour of such a response, how would you ensure that no leftists turned up? Or, if you call an open meeting and leftists turn up, are you then working/uniting with them?

RC Totale suggest there is nothing to respond to because Meerov doesn’t mention SUTR or GDC. I thank him/her for the explaining a response but I don’t agree that these have to be mentioned for I simply see a valid, general criticism was being made of anti-fascism esp in the paragraph I quoted in post 34. Are you or Is anybody willing to agree with this statement, if not how do you disagree?

Yes, I think that "antifascism" is a broad umbrella term that covers a wide range of activities and organisations, some of which fit that description, others that don't, and so being clear about who you mean is more productive than claiming you have a critique of all antifascism, which is inevitably going to wind people up. Or, if you think that description really does apply to all antifascism, then you need to give very strong proof as to why, not just act like it's already resolved.

As the SUTR was brought up, who will be supporting this campaign (and why?) and join the march it is calling for on November 17th ?

I don't support SUTR, and will always prefer to support independent militant antifascism where possible. That said, it seems likely that the march on the 17th will be a target for far-right groups so it does seem like it'd be a good idea for people to be in the general vicinity of the march ready to respond if necessary. Also, I should admit that there have been times when racist groups have been marching near me, with no independent militant antifascist response organised, and so I've reluctantly turned out to the SUTR mobilisation rather than stay home and do nothing - was I wrong there? Would the correct response have been to stay home?

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

So what do you want to say now? Are you saying that the majority of antifa are supporters of class struggle and revolutionary non - party Councils? I have hardly met such people among antifa for many years, maybe I know a few anarchists who participated in antifa in the past and thought this way, but such people are very few. But okay, let's say I'm wrong. Please introduce me to the great organization of antifa, which stands on class positions, protects non-party self-management of workers and deny bourgeois democracy entirely, and they not a Leninist.

From https://torchantifa.org/points-of-unity/ :

We don’t rely on the cops or courts to do our work for us. This doesn’t mean we never go to court, but the cops uphold white supremacy and the status quo. They attack us and everyone who resists oppression. We must rely on ourselves to protect ourselves and stop the fascists.
3. We oppose all forms of oppression and exploitation. We intend to do the hard work necessary to build a broad, strong movement of oppressed people centered on the working class... We support abortion rights and reproductive freedom. We want a classless, free society. We intend to win!

From here:
https://www.iww.org/projects/gdc

The capitalist class of bosses, financiers, landlords, and their cops wage relentless and violent class war upon the working class. The General Defense Committee (GDC) is a committee of and supports the revolutionary unionism of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The GDC's goal is to defend and support the entire working class, divided and under attack by those who wage class war against us. We therefore promote, through organization, action, and outreach, a mass, non-sectarian defense of the class, in order to build a self-organized working class that treats differences as strengths and opportunities to live in solidarity. Community Self Defense means we intend to build our revolutionary community precisely by defending it and the earth on which we live.

Our power as a class will never come from our possession of wealth, but from our ability to organize the class to defend ourselves. We must secure defense against legal attacks, but do not imagine that legal and financial defense alone are sufficient. Any revolutionary union that does not expect oppression from the master class, and organize to meet it, has failed to learn from past waves of repression.

We say defense means organized action taken explicitly to defend members of the class against the different forms of oppression that structure our society. Our membership expects the GDC to be an arena of mutual education through mutual struggle. Exploiters rely upon the fractured unity of the working class. By standing in solidarity across and directly attacking the diverse oppressions of the class, we intend to embody the notion that an injury to one really is an injury to all, and to openly use our defense to build the resilience, strength, and fighting spirit of the working class. Because the class war is not limited to the workplace, our defense of the class cannot be limited to the workplace. Oppressions like racism and sexism structure class oppression and division. Both degrade the solidarity members of the working class should have for each other, and are predicated on acts of violence within the class, and structures of violence organized by the state. We are against all oppressions. By organizing against the diverse oppressions of the working class, and centering our revolutionary and anti-capitalist foundations, we intend to directly overcome those divisions. Through this struggle we advance the goal of an anti-capitalist revolution by building the size, solidarity, and strength of working class.

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Meerov wrote:
We wanted to make leaflets in Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz, for them, but we could not.

Mike Harman
To know that you need to do that, you'd need to know their first language, and therefore be interested in that information at the moment. If you just say "I don't care what your first language is" then you're ignoring an actual accessibility issue. Similarly booking a second floor meeting space with no lift when someone planning to attend is in a wheelchair would be a sure sign that you "don't care" that they're in a wheelchair.

I have already explained in detail that for me there is no fundamental importance of race or nationality of a worker or a like-minded person, and it is even indecent to be interested in this, since I am interested in him as a person, as well as I am interested in the degree of his involvement in social-revolutionary work. His language is important when and if it becomes a problem for class agitation. His skin color or hair color is important only when and if he was attacked. These issues are secondary, auxiliary, and their solution should be subordinated to the main goal - unity in the struggle of classes and the libertarian movement unity.

OK, but since you're describing a situation specifically where language did become an issue for class agitation and you were unable to resolve it, does that not suggest to you that maybe your approach could use a little improvement in some ways? Also, think I've said this before, but I genuinely am interested in hearing about your actual class struggle experiences, and if you posted more about workplace struggles in Russia I'd be much more keen to read it.

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

RC thanks again for a serious response but obviously we are coming at this from a different perspective. I would argue that political clarification is at this time the most important goal and that political activity flows from that. My starting point is that the left parties are the left wing of capitalism so I am not going to support them. In fact I would say they are more dangerous than the right wing at certain times because they use workerist language, they talk socialism and use that to con workers into support for bourgeois goals. Regarding fascism, which as Harman is suggesting cant be defined simply so has to be critised in general anyway, the threat they pose is primarily fought by the left to get the left more support.. To get workers an wavering radicals drawn up in leftist politics. The left pretends that fascism is the big threat so that we all end up supporting the left wing of capitalism

Instead of going to the sutr march on the 17th how about going to the CWO meeting and there discuss how it was that the SPD used its socialist rhetoric to fight against a socialist revolution, to murder workers who were struggling against the state, and to join up with the liberal and right wing bourgeoisie to preserve the capitalist system in German post WW1.

The Labour Party is totally integrated into capitalism now and will always support other factions of the bourgeousie against radical workers in struggle. The Stalinist parties are products of Stalinist rule in Russia, a brutal dictatorship on a par with any fascist regime, and seek the same state capitalist dictatorship of their forerunners. The Trotskyists when it comes down to it always support their big brothers in the LP and the Stalinists and in particular push the idea of the lesser evil to support one sort of capitalist regime against another.

In more than one way you indicate you willingness to support these con artists presumably because of the lesser evil argument. That is how they get to you and draw you in.

So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally

Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

I think that support for the left as a lesser evil today will make it harder to fight against the left in future.

R Totale

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link

RC thanks again for a serious response but obviously we are coming at this from a different perspective. I would argue that political clarification is at this time the most important goal and that political activity flows from that.

I think we disagree there in that I'm skeptical of how far political clarification can take place without coming out of political activity, but a discussion of the chicken-and-egchicken-and-egg nature of praxis is possibly outside the scope of this thread.

So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally

Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

This paragraph, and particularly the first bit, is what I'm interested in - it's easy enough to say just sack the left off and don't have anything to do with them in the context of places like London or Brighton, but what about, to choose some examples, Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford or Huddersfield? I think we can all agree that, in the long run, we would like to see the revolutionary movement develop to a point where there are well-organised anarcho, or leftcom or whatever, groups in those areas capable of operating independently, but in the meantime, how should revolutionaries in those places, who're often likely to be more or less isolated, respond to the specific challenge of increased racist activity in their local areas?

Noah Fence

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Quote:
So yes, don’t get involved. Show that you are anti left wing as well as anti right wing. Stay independent. Organise independently in local areas against the Neo fascists and in class struggle against the left and right wings equally
Ok I know there is not a lot of class struggle going on in the UK at present but what I want to see is independent working class action where they manage their own struggles against and independent of the left and the TUs. That will be a step forward and it will have to involve self defence against the right wing goons and even left wing goons. In past struggles, workers have armed themselves to protect minorities threatened by violence from the right wing and the state.

This paragraph, and particularly the first bit, is what I'm interested in - it's easy enough to say just sack the left off and don't have anything to do with them in the context of places like London or Brighton, but what about, to choose some examples, Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford or Huddersfield? I think we can all agree that, in the long run, we would like to see the revolutionary movement develop to a point where there are well-organised anarcho, or leftcom or whatever, groups in those areas capable of operating independently, but in the meantime, how should revolutionaries in those places, who're often likely to be more or less isolated, respond to the specific challenge of increased racist activity in their local areas?

I’m with Link here - I myself live in an isolated area but I don’t see that as a reason to get involved with or support in any way organisations that perpetuate and underpin capitalism. Even if the individuals involved are anti racist(or whatever) and even if the one of the supposed purposes of a group is to oppose racism, their support of capitalism is ultimately a support of racism!
Further to that, as Link seems to suggest, the left wing of capitalism is a far bigger hindrance to our endeavours than really anything else. This shit has always been a sponge to soak up and decommission working class discontent. It’s probably the biggest obstacle in the revolutionary road.
Lesser of two evils? Meh, from where I’m standing there’s only one evil and I would never want to perpetuate any of it beyond that which I’m forced to on a daily basis.

Black Badger

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

link wrote:

I would therefore ask the question to Khawaga, Fleur, jef Costello, black badger, noah fence then; would you get involved in anti-fascist activities in cooperation with the likes of the Labour Party, trotskyist organisations, Maoists, Stalinist communist parties and trades unions and would you join or support the anti-fascist campaigns that they organise??

this is actually a fair question, so i'll try to come up with something approximating a coherent response. like presumably many others here, it all depends on the context. i am not interested in organizing any action or project in which social democrats, Leninists (including but not limited to Trotskyists, Maoists, and Stalinists), or trade unionists are using anti-fascism to further their own particular sectarian goals (just as they use racial injustice or police abuse or any other cause). they would all be welcome in a group or project where their participation would be strictly individual rather than organizational; further, such a group or project would need to be created using explicitly anti-hierarchical organizational methods. if they as individuals could adapt to horizontalism and near-consensus decision making, then i'd welcome them as individuals. at the first sign of them working to create a clique of like-minded folks to steer the decisions in a particular (non-consensual) direction, then they'd need to be expelled. cooperation on anarchist terms may seem clunky for non-anarchists -- and even for many anarchists! -- but that's the baseline starting point for me.

but i'm not an organizer. i am what i've termed an "instinctual anti-fascist" in that i know fascism in all its different variations is a looming and real danger to people i care about as well as my own self. i take an agnostic position about how various local antifas organize; it's just not up to me, but i remain skeptical as hell about the long-term viability of generic antifa organizing and organizations. here in the states, the largest semi-antifa outfit was ARA (anti-racist action; mostly active in the 1980s and 90s), and they were very much like a popular front, but with more anarchists. i never wanted to be involved with them because they welcomed all kinds of social democrats and Leninists (since their respective organizations and parties didn't engage in physical confrontations the way ARA did). my other long-term observations/contacts have been with some German autonomous antifas who were most active from about 1993 up to about 2008. their politics were perhaps as diverse as ARA, but their focus was keener, and at least the folks i associated with were clear that there were larger, more systemic issues at play than the street-level antics of skinheads and neo-nazis. despite most of them being marxists of one sort or another, their organizational methods were anti-hierarchical and always aimed at near-consensus, so i never had any problems with their projects.

but as much as i'm not an organizer, i'm also not an activist (i wasn't really before, but now that i'm on probation, i cannot be involved in anything where adversarial contact with law enforcement is even a slim possibility -- i don't really need to return to jail, thank you very much). the times over the past 15 years when i've been at demos i've been there as a street medic. prior to my jail time and probation, i attended a few antifa actions in my area, and was pleased with the strength of the anarchist black blocs i witnessed and was also pleased to see Leninists -- and shockingly, even a few liberals -- engage in physical defense of public space from the fash. fortunately in those early skirmishes, the local police intervened only briefly and half-heartedly, so nobody from our side was arrested. more recently and in other places, this is not the case. sadly, none of the antifa formations i know of have been able to adapt to stronger police interventions, and have not altered their tactics accordingly. my sense is that this is more a failure of strategic thinking in general among north american radicals rather than a particular failing of antifa. that said, there are plenty of problems with anti-fascism as an organizational mandate (the trouble being mostly due to the imprecision of the "fascism" -- which makes it possible for pro-imperialists, for example, to be "anti-fascists").

tl;dr:
anti-fascism, like trade unionism, is a defensive strategy with a particular set of mandatory tactics that, by themselves, will never be revolutionary enough to destroy what radicals want to destroy. but that doesn't mean i will ignore fascists or shitty bosses.

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think Noah has provided a very good response, R Totale. You are still arguing from the point of view that it if there is no alternative, that it is right to support labour and left wing campaigns despite yr. reservations. Noah's statement is based on principles it seems to me.

Think of it this way, I presume you don't suggest that you yourself can or will go round defend working class areas in Dover, Rotherham, Rochdale, Telford, Hudderfield and anywhere else that fascist activity can appear ( a pretty big scope since only one or two isolated individuals on the right wing is necessary). So all you can do is make propagandise and make appeals for others to support the left wing of capitalism. Ooops propagandising to support capitalism almost by accident - is that really your priority?! If you are going to propagandise, shouldn't you be progagandising to support a revolutionary movement, whether thats anarchist or left comm, but certainly led by the working class themselves??? It is more constructive short term and long term and stops you falling into the trap of tailing-ending the left of capital.

Moreover, aren't there more constructive campaigns that you could to get involved in. Given the recent press reports about increased violence against hospital workers and the fire service, wouldn't it be a more direct defence of workers to get involved in defending them. Why is anti-fascism more important than this or say domestic violence (you could actually volunteer at a battered wives centre and help workers directly), or anti FGM or anti-forced marriage and help endangered worker class girls.

Sorry, if im stretching the argument here but isn't this how the trots operate by creating campaigns about whatever is flavour of the month, even if there goal is just want to gain new members.

Be honest, say what the left wing and the right wing of capitalism area and how to fight them both.

So working class districts should defend themselves but against both wings and not let the leftists run campaigns that take over control. Without this independence from both wings of capitals, They will get betrayed and sacrificed for others' political gain. And just to be clear, I would add here that if anarchists and left comms take control that too is negative, its called substitionism and leads to political minorities/the party taking power. I want to see an independent working class managing its own struggles.

link

3 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Black Badger thanks for your detailed response to the question I posed. Im sure you realise I posed the question to a list of posters because of the poor response to serious points from Meerov but I am pleased to see a lot of genuine discussion of issues have appeared since. I can see that you are drawn to both anti-fascism as well as recognising the limitations of its approach. I hope you can see I have made points relevance to your argument in the past above in reply to RCTotale.

My starting point is that I don't see the leftists (the social democrats, Leninists Trotskyists, Maoists, and Stalinists and trade unions that you mentioned) as sectarian nor do I see the leftist anti-fascism campaigns nor trade unionis is defensive strategies. The problems you have encountered with these groups are problems that I think will always emerge in working with them. I see them as either part of the state apparatus of capitalism or as campaigns that can only confuse and distract workers from the struggle against capitalism itself - as you suggest that is the real problem but for me iy is true at all times.

I am personally more drawn to the German militants that you mentioned to find out more about their politics, so its a shame they are not around now.

I like what you said about organisation in the first paragraph. It strikes me that this is I would view workers' councils and the way they should function. Ive been reading more about councils in Russia and in Germany over a period now and im fascinated by how they can include all workers and their delegates and provided a forum for political discussion as well as a structure than can make decisions on behalf of workers and put them into action. I do agree that any worker can be involved whatever political affiliation but I reckon such organisations will only come into being when there is a high level of struggle and the political awareness of the working class would be so much stronger that there is the possibility of limiting the bourgeois influences they bring.

meerov21

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Me: Barack Obama is a bastard, but not because he is black, Trump a bastard, not because he is white. Hitler was a bastard, not because he was German.

Mike Harman
Except that Obama exploited blackness to appeal to both white liberals and black people electorally,

Barack Obama could exploit anything and anyone. He could use his skin color for any purpose. However, his skin color plays no role in the case of the moral evaluation of this exploiter and bureaucrat. Skin color has nothing to do with the moral qualities of a person. And this is my main thesis. That is why I said that I do not care about the race of exploiter and I do not care about the race of my comrade in the social movement. This moment of race may be relevant to the analysis. But it does not affect the moral evaluation of these people.

me: Also I consider this topic of privileges to be completely artificial and false.

Mike Harman
[Meerov then goes on to list a couple of dozen privileges in an attempt to undermine the concept of privilege]

Wait a minute. Are you American ?
Do you want to talk to me (a Russian citizen who lives under American sanctions) about my privileges?

Me: Similarly, almoust all 40 million American blacks have enormous privileges compared to almost the entire population of Africa and most of the population of Asia, because even an American poor black worker lives better than an Indian or African or russian (white) worker.

Mike Harman
The US is actually 25th in world rankings (including white Americans), below Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. If you take the median wealth of black Americans only, then it'd be about 125th, which is where Benin and Bangladesh are.

I doubt this data and can later provide data on GDP, but suppose you are right. So what does that change? Did I say that black workers in your country live better than anyone else? I said that in my country, as well as in Africa and Asia, tens or hundreds of millions of workers live worse than black Americans.

I also said that white workers in the United States do not control the wages of anyone, since they do not own factories and do not control the state. Therefore, they cannot be responsible for the fact that, on average, their salaries are better than those of black workers.

I do not argue with the fact that capitalism divides workers into thousands of social groups that receive different wages and working conditions. It depends on many factors: specialty, education, race, region and country of residence. But it is made by business, the state and the market, not by white workers, not by Asian workers and not by black workers!

Exactly for the same reason, a black American worker cannot blame a black American doctor for his higher salary.

For the very same reason, a poor worker in Africa or in India cannot blame a richer black worker in the USA.

I said that the theory of privileges is hypocritical and racist, because it refuses to take all these circumstances into account. Instead of talking about the general class struggle, It prefers to focus attention on questions of race, while taking into account certain privileges, and closing eyes to other privileges (division between black workers, division in working conditions and wages between workers from different regions and countries etc). And most importantly, this theory makes difficult to see the system of capitalist alienation which covers the entire working class of the planet.

Khawaga

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I said that the theory of privileges is hypocritical and racist, because it refuses to take all these circumstances into account.

You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters? Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

Khawaga

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

WTF are you on about? First, I am pointing out that (for the second time), Meerov is using privilege/intersectional theory while thinking he's critiquing it. Second, what else is a THEORY supposed to do, but for, you know explaining things? Or do you really believe that class analysis can overthrow capitalism? Or in other words, you're an idiot that yet again is tilting at straw men.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thank you AFP, your posts have given me the ability to perform the seemingly impossible act of staggering whilst sitting down.

R Totale

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AnythingForProximity

Khawaga

You're wrong, this is precisely what privilege and intersectional theory is trying to take into account and explain.

Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters?

Aye, you're right, Clinton mentioned intersectionality once so that means it's very bad and we shouldn't think about it. Also, Bernie Sanders says he's a socialist, so that means socialism is bad too. And Novara types say they're literally communists while bigging up Labour MPs, and that one green party fella posted on the Scott Walker/Jacques Brel appreciation thread said he was an anarchist, so... aww fuck, someone better ask the admins to shut the site down.

Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

If that's the milestone we're using, it seems only fair to point out that the theories of Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin haven't led us to a successful overthrow of capitalism yet, and they've had a considerable head start.

meerov21

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AnythingForProximity's picture
Cool story. So, after all these decades of trying to explain things and trying to take things into account (wow, what ambitious, well-defined goals), what are some of the major successes that it achieved? Besides obscuring class lines and justifying bourgeois domination, I mean; those go without saying. Was it that time Hillary name-dropped "intersectionality" on Twitter to make herself more appealing to millennial voters? Are we any closer to destroying capitalism now than in those dark times before Kimberlé Crenshaw and Peggy McIntosh (those famous revolutionaries) enlightened us all? Do tell.

There were about 300,000 people In the Spanish section of the anti-authoritarian (Bakuninist) wing of the Internationale in the 19th century who led strikes and class revolts. In France at the beginning of the 20th century, 600,000 revolutionary CGT syndicalists were preparing a general strike and occupation of factories. And there are dozens of examples. Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

If intersectionalists could create anything other than small sects, or if it do something more then fight several times on the street with followers of the right-wing subculture, there would be something to discuss. Their theories are powerless.

radicalgraffiti

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

its been explains already that this isn't true, but you persist with this lie, do you think "interaectionalists" invented race, gender etc no your mad that people won't pretend this issues don't exist

meerov21

If intersectionalists could create anything other than small sects, or if it do something more then fight several times on the street with followers of the right-wing subculture, there would be something to discuss. Their theories are powerless.

Tbh anarchism and the left are full of small sects so they should fit right in. But what actual sects have they created, cause what I've seen is people who are already eg anarchists adopting a more advanced analysis

And we know that you think everything should be more militant except fighting the fash who should be left to do what ever they like

It seems you value the opinions of the right and their propaganda more that anyone on what you claim is your side

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This anti- intersectionist fetish is really pretty weird. These guys seem to be obsessed with it to the point of idiocy. It doesn’t matter how many times you conflate the understanding of, and appropriate reaction to, different elements of oppression within a class struggle framework, with right on liberalism, it will always be bullshit, and it will always look like plain simple old prejudice.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tbh anarchism and the left are full of small sects so they should fit right in.

That actually made me lol.

meerov21

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

its been explains already that this isn't true, but you persist with this lie, do you think "interaectionalists" invented race, gender etc no your mad that people won't pretend this issues don't exist

This is a very empty and boorish remark. Of course, I do not think that intersectionalists invented race or gender, and I have never made such statements anywhere. Intersectionalists are engaged in shifting attention from primary issues (government violence, bureaucratic control, labor alienation, exploitation, criticism of wage labor) to secondary and turned anarchism into left-wing liberalism. They help the capitalist system to destroy class identity and replace it with questions of race and gender debates which are safe for capitalism. Capitalism can protect racism as well as racial and gender diversity and political correctness .

In addition, intersectionalists make any debatures a mockery. These people, who are all the time afraid, as if someone would say something non-correc. They behave like neurotics during debates, and it is very destructive to the culture of debate.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They help the capitalist system to destroy class identity and replace it with questions of race and gender debates which are safe for capitalism. Capitalism can protect racism as well as racial and gender diversity and political correctness .

In addition, intersectionalists make any debatures a mockery. These people, who are all the time afraid, as if someone would say something non-correct, are in fact neurotics, destructive to the culture of debate.

Yep, that can certainly be the result of the approach of liberals. What the fuck has that got to do with the recognition by anarchists of different instruments of oppression that are used against our class???
Really meerov, I don’t want to slide into personal abuse but when it comes to this particular topic you come across as a fucking idiot. I know that you’re not but the reason for your pathological refusal to differentiate between race, gender etc in a class struggle framework, and daft liberal reformist pc nonsense can’t help but lead me towards that conclusion.

meerov21

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Really meerov, I don’t want to slide into personal abuse but when it comes to this particular topic you come across as a fucking idiot.

And this is why no debate with intersectionalists is possible. Beautiful illustration of my words. Neurotic and abusive style of behavior makes it impossible to exchange views. You're waiting for me to say something insulting in response, right? This is typical.
And of course we are not talking about using different tools. It is about shifting the debate to questions that are safe for capitalism + to defense of some minority racism, etc.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, I do not want you to insult me, though labelling me an intersectionalist is pretty insulting considering your views. What I want you to do is address the point that I have put repeatedly. Yet you refuse to engage with it and no doubt will do the same again.
Ffs Meerov, I’ve read other posts of yours with great interest and I nearly always admire people who come on here and fearlessly express a view that’s different from the general concensus, but if you do that you can’t just repeatedly ignore the questions and challenges on central points to the discussion and not expect to get called out on it.

Black Badger

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Poor Meerov, victimized again by principled anti-authoritarians...

R Totale

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Meerov, can we go back to talking about that factory strike you mentioned above? I don't know as much about class composition in Russia as you do, but would you say that the Russian government tries to "include" certain groups and get them to identify with the nation/state, while excluding and scapegoating others - from your post, I'd guess that Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz workers might be excluded in certain ways that ethnic Russian workers aren't? Is that a fair summary?

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

meerov21

Intersectionalists want to remove class theory from the agenda and attack some segments of the working class, accusing them of privileges, splitting the working class.

That's an excellent point – which no doubt means that people are going to call you an idiot a few more times for making it, because that's how things are on Libcom these days when it comes to identity politics.

In the way you just described, "privilege theory" is very reminiscent of Lenin's concept of "labor aristocracy", which also sees one part of the working class as being complicit in the exploitation of the other. Of course, in the course of the further degeneration of Leninism (which from the very beginning was nothing more than Kautskyism dressed up in radical language, and which already substantially deviated from Marx), it was the Maoists who really took up the concept with enthusiasm, as it provided them with a theoretical justification for shifting the role of the revolutionary agent from the proletariat to the third-world peasantry. It is therefore probably not insignificant that the originators of the concept of white privilege, Noel Ignatiev and Theodore Allen, came from a Maoist background: both were members of the "anti-revisionist" Provisional Organizing Committee (POC), with Ignatiev joining the openly Maoist Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) after the former organization fractured. Sakai's Settlers is another link between the two ideologies, mainly notable for explicitly articulating the viewpoint that other idpol-ers are usually only willing to hint at: namely, that race overrides class, at least in the US. We can even see it on Libcom: LeninistGirl, one of the most militant advocates of intersectionality around here, recently came up with the fascinating discovery that women make up a class, and immediately went on to use the good ol' labor aristocracy theory as a preemptory explanation for why other libcommers were not likely to appreciate this theoretical breakthrough.

Just as an example, I recently re-read the text through which I'd first discovered Libcom some years ago: We are all "amigos", a powerful account of an IWW member's experience of not just organizing across race lines, but also realizing that race is used by the bosses as a tool to divide the working class. I was disappointed but not surprised that some identitarian vomited their "privilege theory" all over it in the comment section, shaking their finger at the author and reminding him that standing up to his boss alongside his Latino co-workers in no way made him lose his white privilege, so he'd better not dare forget that. It's interesting to imagine the kind of holier-than-thou idiot who believes they are defending the oppressed while doing the bosses' work for them. Splitting the working class by accusing them of privileges indeed...

Noah Fence

What I want you to do is address the point that I have put repeatedly.

Stop embarrassing yourself; you have no point to put forward – you just keep asserting "no, what we're doing is different!" without a single shred of evidence and insulting people when they note that no, there is in fact no noticeable difference between what you are promoting and what the liberals are promoting. But sure, do tell how this allegedly existing anarchist intersectionalist politics differs from liberal intersectionalist politics, in theory and in practice, and what the relationship between the two is. Did anarchists develop their version independently (if so, calling it by the same name as the liberal-bourgeois ideology invites confusion, don't you think?), did they need to modify the original bourgeois version in some ways (if so, in what ways?), or was it just a lucky coincidence that a "theory" developed in the US academia could be lifted wholesale from its origins in legal scholarship and redeployed for revolutionary purposes? If it is this last option, do you know of any historical precedent for anything like this?

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So supporting comrades when attacked specifically because of their gender, race or whatever(we’ll leave transphobic attacks out of this because as we know, that’s just a result of their “bullshit lifestyle choices”), is no different to lobbying government, voting for supposedly more progressive politicians or campaigning for women’s faces on bank notes? Ok, you got me there.
And ftr, I’ve insulted nobody, in fact I made a point of telling Meerov that I know he is not an idiot. That’s the very reason why I find his(and your) daft reasoning so surprising.

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So you need intersectional thinking to tell you that you are supposed to defend your coworkers (oh wait, you are a landlord, not a worker – let's leave it at "comrades" then) when they are attacked? Weird, but okay. What does it have to offer to the rest of us who, you know, already know that?

Noah Fence

“bullshit lifestyle choices”

I'm wondering why you put that phrase in quotation marks; who exactly do you think you are quoting?

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You, as well you know. And try getting your research straight.

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Never said anything about "lifestyle choices" of any kind, ever. Neither in the connection with transphobia nor with anything else. For some reason, you want me to be a transphobe so badly that you convinced yourself I had actually said something you had unsuccessfully tried to bait me with. Would be funny if it wasn't a bit pathological.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So when I repeatedly asked you about this why didn’t you just set me straight?

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Because I didn't give a fuck about your questions. Anyway, just wanted to establish that you were trying to smear me with an offensive quote of your own making, then lied about which one of us actually wrote that.

Noah Fence

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I just spent ten minutes looking for that quote. I asked you about it shortly after the post of yours that I thought contained it. No sign of it and it makes my post at the time nonsensical. Now either you edited it out or I went off my fucking head. If it’s the former then fuck you, if it’s the latter you have my apologies. What is absolutely certain is that I have not tried to smear you, I’ll leave those sort of tactics to you(post #93).

AnythingForProximity

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I accept your apologies and in turn apologize for the apparently incorrect remark I made in post #93.

R Totale

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AnythingForProximity

Just as an example, I recently re-read the text through which I'd first discovered Libcom some years ago: We are all "amigos", a powerful account of an IWW member's experience of not just organizing across race lines, but also realizing that race is used by the bosses as a tool to divide the working class.

Yeah, it's a good article. But also, what kind of a divisive intersectionalist prick would write something like this?

As a white guy, I have better access to jobs and I enjoy better treatment, relatively speaking.

What labor aristocracy nonsense, amirite?

meerov21

3 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AnythingForProximity
"In the way you just described, "privilege theory" is very reminiscent of Lenin's concept of "labor aristocracy", which also sees one part of the working class as being complicit in the exploitation of the other. Of course, in the course of the further degeneration of Leninism (which from the very beginning was nothing more than Kautskyism dressed up in radical language, and which already substantially deviated from Marx), it was the Maoists who really took up the concept with enthusiasm, as it provided them with a theoretical justification for shifting the role of the revolutionary agent from the proletariat to the third-world peasantry. It is therefore probably not insignificant that the originators of the concept of white privilege......"

That's a very accurate observation. I agree with so many things you said. In fairness, I will say that in my opinion Leninism was something more dangerous than just a product of Kautskianism, but Yes, the influence of Kautsky was too, and I partly agree with this definition of Jean Barot (Gilles Dove).

But the main thing here is not it. Yes, quite right, Maoism started a hysterical campaign against the working class of the largest industrial centers, denying its importance, use a notion "labor aristocracy" and instead put forward a theory of uprisings of third world nationalist movements. Undoubtedly, the monster of Maoism wanted to split the working class and weaken it. We now know well how the victories of nationalist authoritarian movements in the Third world turned out.

This is also true of China itself. The Maoists in the early 1950s met growing opposition from the working class, which began mass protests against the new state bureaucracy in Shanghai and other industrial centers. Mao hated the working class and feared it, he destroyed factory committees in the early 1950s and then crushed radical workers ' protests during the Culturel revolution. He sought to use the poorest illiterate part of the population (the peasantry of the ethnic group "haqqa" and fanatical youth), splitting workers and peasants and inciting one part of the workers to another part.

meerov21

3 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In general, for the study of the history of Maoism, I recommend the work of Alexander Pantsov. In 2007, the "Young Guard" published the third book by Alexandre Pantsov, "Mao Zedong". As the author himself admitted in one interview, two factors prompted him to start writing this work: first, he wanted to continue the work begun by his grandfather, George Ehrenburg, author of the first biography of Mao Zedong, on the other hand - in the early 90s in the course of his work in the archives of the Comintern, he discovered 15 volumes of materials collected by the KGB at Mao Zedong. This materials shed light on the role of Mao Zedong in the history of the Chinese Communist Party, on its relationship with the Comintern and the leaders of the Soviet Union, and on the causes of the Soviet-Chinese split. The English edition was released in 2012, in 2014 the book was published in Germany, and in 2015 a Chinese translation was released in Taiwan.

meerov21

3 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a really good article. I do not agree with modern unions and do not consider modern unions a revolutionary form of organization. But on the other hand, this text says a lot of right words about the need for cooperation of workers of different races. This text has nothing to do with white racism or black racism.

https://libcom.org/library/we-are-all-amigos

meerov21

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AnythingForProximity
"In the way you just described, "privilege theory" is very reminiscent of Lenin's concept of "labor aristocracy", which also sees one part of the working class as being complicit in the exploitation of the other. Of course, in the course of the further degeneration of Leninism (which from the very beginning was nothing more than Kautskyism dressed up in radical language, and which already substantially deviated from Marx), it was the Maoists who really took up the concept with enthusiasm, as it provided them with a theoretical justification for shifting the role of the revolutionary agent from the proletariat to the third-world peasantry. It is therefore probably not insignificant that the originators of the concept of white privilege......"

I strongly suspect that the people who created the concept of "white male privilege" (which splits workers and pits one part of them against another) were infected with Maoism. The Western left environment was infatuated with Maoism after the Cultural revolution in China. They convulsed in the ' 70s, supporting Castro, Vietnamese Stalinists and Palestinian nationalists and talking about the working-class aristocracy of the West. The theory of white male privilege was very organically formed in an environment that lived in this nightmare.

P. S. AnythingForProximity look personal message, please !

comradeEmma

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The theory of labor aristocracy was not invented by maoists, or even by Lenin. Engels was from my knowledge the first to talk about it in relation to trade unionism in Conditions of the Working-class in England. He also wrote this in a letter to Kautsky,

You ask me what the English workers think about colonial policy. Well, exactly the same as they think about politics in general: the same as what the bourgeois think. There is no workers' party here, there are only Conservatives and Liberal-Radicals, and the workers gaily share the feast of England's monopoly of the world market and the colonies.

I also don't know how you could explain the role of the established labor movement at the eve of the first world war without having some sort of theory of labor aristocracy. It was the top of the labor movement, the bureaucrats or labor aristocrats, who started to co-operate with the capitalist state for the war effort and against the interests of the working-class. It is not really that they theory of labor aristocracy divides workers, it is the structure of the labor movement itself, which is in turn shaped by the way the labor markets is divided.

Spikymike

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some critiques of the most common theory of a labour aristocracy can be found here:
https://libcom.org/forums/theory/labour-aristocracy-critics-02072016 and
https://libcom.org/forums/theory/theory-imperialism-10122010
I'm sure there are some others maybe better but I can't lay my hands on them just now.

darren p

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spikymike

Some critiques of the most common theory of a labour aristocracy can be found here:

And here:
https://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1353-may-2017/imperialism-where-lenin-went-wrong/

comradeEmma

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't really understand these critiques, the one from Solidarity is interesting but as I said, "It is not really that they theory of labor aristocracy divides workers, it is the structure of the labor movement itself, which is in turn shaped by the way the labor markets is divided." As the article says some people, specifically white men, are more often given jobs in profitable industries while women are given jobs in labor-intensive industries with low wages. An effect of this is that power over the labor movement becomes more and more concentrated in one section of the economy. The section with power and more weight develop in interest in keeping this industry profitable and stable. I can not fathom the idea that I as shop-floor organizer would have the same interest as the trade union representatives on the LKAB(profit driven state owned firm that controls the mines) company-board, they have for decades upon decades had it as their main task to secure profits and Sweden's position on the global market. When the large wildcat strike broke out in 1969 they, and other high ranking trade union members, were the first to attack the striking workers, and their main argument was that it was all a conspiracy led by Russian trained communists to remove Sweden from its leading place in selling metals. Am I dividing the working-class by saying I on a fundamental level don't have the same interests as the Swedish Prime-minister even though he was a metal worker who stepped through the ranks of Metall IF?

Do people who oppose this theory of labor aristocracy opposed wildcat strikes in places where trade unions have high level of organizing because it "divides" the working-class? A wildcat strike is on a very basic level breaking with labor aristocrats and labor bureaucrats, you will always find those who are tied up into the bureaucratic apparatus of the trade unions and social-democracy who favor labor peace over class struggle because they stand to lose much more than their chains.

This quote seems more conspiratorial,

The Labour Aristocracy theory had the political purpose of enabling the Bolsheviks to argue for the workers in the colonies to form united fronts with their local ruling classes against Imperialism. This in turn had the aim of dividing the working class internationally, and turning it into cannon fodder for capitalist war.

Trotsky opposed those forms of "united fronts" while comintern supported them, for example in China, so that would not explain why Trotsky still applied this theory in the transitional program to promote the line that trade unions are in the end not enough,

As organizations expressive of the top layers of the proletariat, trade unions, as witnessed by all past historical experience, including the fresh experience of the anarcho-syndicalist unions in Spain, developed powerful tendencies toward compromise with the bourgeois-democratic regime. In periods of acute class struggle, the leading bodies of the trade unions aim to become masters of the mass movement in order to render it harmless. This is already occurring during the period of simple strikes, especially in the case of the mass sit-down strikes which shake the principle of bourgeois property. In time of war or revolution, when the bourgeoisie is plunged into exceptional difficulties, trade union leaders usually become bourgeois ministers.

ajjohnstone

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Red Clydeside is often hailed as an example of union militancy but many of the disputes were actually sectional by the alleged labour aristocracy - the skilled engineers (who all went to work in bowler hats to emphasise their status, so I am led to believe) - resisting the wartime dilution of their trade by the introduction of unskilled/semi-skilled workers and the arrival of women workers.

And they did resist the complicity of the union leaders who were making deals with the government over their heads, hence the Clyde Workers Committee slogan

“We will support the officials just so long as they represent the workers, but we will act independently immediately they misrepresent them".

Spikymike

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

LeninistGirl is ignoring the other aspect of much labour aristocracy theory which treats all the working class (not just the trade union elite) in the developed nations as directly benefiting materially from the supposed super exploitation of 'third world' underdeveloped countries that misunderstands the way that the global capitalist economy functions. And it is not just a matter of workers in the developed nations absorbing the home grown imperialist and nationalist ideology of their local rulers.

ajjohnstone

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I recall one critic of Lenin's theory asked what part of his wage is from super-profits from colonies to bribe him, so he could hand it back.

comradeEmma

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is this critique put forward by spikeymike of a very fringe view of labor aristocracy theory, or just a caricature of the theory?

ajjohnstone

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mea Culpa, Leninist Girl, my last post was a frivolous attempt at humour but a genuine remark I either heard or read.

But my earlier message reveals the paradox of claiming that the "labour aristocrats" are somehow reactionary within the class struggle yet neither can they be depicted as revolutionary.

Trade unions are obliged to defend the particular interests of their members, not necessarily to protect the concerns of the class as a whole. There can be a conflict of interest.

This is the source for the case for the need of a workers' political party.

The skilled workers were the first to organise within their craft unions then came the birth of "new unionism" and the amalgamated general unions in the UK and the CIO against the AFL in the US.

Engels was subjecting the craft unions to scrutiny as did Debs and the IWW did. Eleanor Marx was involved in the building of new unions for the unskilled (particularly the dock-workers and women)

comradeEmma

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Undoubtedly, but I think the question is complicated by the development of the Swedish labor movement. The trade unions(organized along industry lines for unskilled and skilled instead of by profession) developed along side the social-democratic party, and if you were a member of the union you were also a party member. The theory before universal suffrage was won was that once it had been achieved, and the working-class had grown to larger and larger seizes, all the workers would vote for their own party and political power would be seized, ushering in an era of socialization. And the party did win, but the party becoming a government party in an era of monopoly development and fierce international competition made it impossible for the party to actually be a workers' political party.

ajjohnstone

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

“For the full representation of labour in Parliament, as well as for the preparation of the abolition of the wages system, organizations will become necessary, not of separate Trades, but of the working class as body. And the sooner this is done the better…” (Frederick Engels, Trades Unions 1881)

There are unique and different situations and circumstances. No one size fits all.

Take India, as another example. There, each separate political party has its own affiliated trade union. There are twelve trade-union federations such as the Left-affiliated All India Trade Union Congress [AITUC], Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] linked to the Congress party and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, allied to the prominent right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

A political and economic nightmare when it comes to organising the class struggle.

It means for workers and socialists a different strategy when it comes to organisation and that is exactly what is happening.

France has the same issue with various politically aligned trade-unionism.

darren p

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

LeninistGirl

Is this critique put forward by spikeymike of a very fringe view of labor aristocracy theory, or just a caricature of the theory?

They're talking about one of the central parts of it.

meerov21

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Several things.

Trade Union management is not a labor aristocracy. These people are not the working class, they act as a bureaucratic layer that controls trade Union finances and management decisions, that is belong to the class of exploiters. They manage collective funds, set themselves an excellent salary, invest in various activities and enjoy life. As a matter of fact, it is the reason that any trade Union (like a centralised party) is not a means to revolution if it has a serious centralised apparatus.

Even in so-called horizontal or alternative unions or so called modern "CNT", this layer of professional negotiators and lawyers forms and make many important decisions. This stratum is interested in the observance of bourgeois laws and is not interested in the social revolution, since they get profit from the intermediary bargaining between workers and business, acting within the framework of bourgeois laws, in bourgeois courts, state commissions, etc. I don't think we can call these salesmen "working class".

If we are talking about workers who are deprived of managerial functions, then talking about the aristocracy is meaningless. You can say the workers in rich countries earn an average salary more than workers in poor countries. You may also find that the average wage of white workers is higher than that of chinese workers living in the US, and that Chinese, in turn, are paid more than blacks. But if you're honest, you'll find a huge pay differentiation within each of these groups .You learn that a skilled black worker in the capital of USA is paid several times more or many times more than a temporary unskilled black worker in the periphery. You will learn that the worker in Moscow receives a salary more than the worker in the peripheral city of Russia, and that the latter one receives a salary much more than the rural worker.

Workers do not control their wages. Management and owners are in control of payday. World capitalism creates countless hierarchies in the workplace in every area of the earth. Everyone has some sort of privilege compared to a lesbian black (infected with AIDS) living in the poorest village in the Central African Republic. Then all the workers except her are the "working aristocracy".

Spikymike

2 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I noticed there was this older related discussion about the concepts of 'super exploitation' , 'labour aristocracy' and Lenin's 'imperialism' here;
https://worldsocialism.org/spgb/forum/topic/superexploitation/
It meanders around a bit with a few detours including a side-swipe at Bakunin and the Narodniks but some might find it helpful with a bit of patient reading.