What keeps you from being more active in organising, direct action, etc.?

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autogestión
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Dec 15 2021 17:25
What keeps you from being more active in organising, direct action, etc.?

Something I have been thinking about recently, because I think there are many more people who "identify" as anarchists / libcom etc. than actually "do anarchism" (I count myself as part of this problem).

So what is it that stops you from doing more, organising, direct action etc.? Or, if you don't want to talk about yourself, what stops people in general? What can we do to remove the obstacles to action for more people who are theoretically on board with anarchism but aren't in any way "active"?

I'll go first.

1) Time outside of work
2) A partner who is actively hostile to any active anarchist politics, but who I love and am deeply committed to and have no intention of leaving
3) I don't want to get fired from my job
4) I don't want to get arrested or have any sort of physical confrontation with police, because the idea frightens the hell out of me and will lead to me leaving my job. Basically I'm a coward.
5) I don't want to get COVID
6) I live in a small town full of Tories

adri
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Dec 15 2021 22:32

While not an anarchist, I think you speak for most re having no time outside work (and I think I'd echo the advice thrown around here before about going into occupations, if you can, that allow you to contribute in some way to revolutionary politics, rather than just put money into other people's pockets). I suspect a lack of libcom/communist organizations to easily join up with is also part of the problem for many, though it seems a lot of organizing has shifted to the internet nowadays, as discussed some by Steven in the other thread. I've always been drawn to co-operative living as a way to ease the burdens of living under capitalism and to possibly contribute to organizing efforts (as Engels also shows in his Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, the atomization and familial structures that characterize capitalism haven't characterized all of human history). All I have to contribute really, sorry about the Tories.

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Dec 16 2021 08:34

Thanks Adri.

Sorry if my post came across as self-pitying. It isn't really about me. Its more a case of wondering if there's anything we can do to remove or reduce the obstacles to action for people who are already "on board". A lot of effort goes into making the case for our politics, but I feel there's a big gap between "theoretical commitment" and effective action, that I have never really crossed very well in my own life.

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Dec 16 2021 18:32

I am speaking from the United States. I am deep in the suburbs. There are a couple major cities not far from me, but still too far away to be convenient. I have a few options none of which I am very happy with.

1. I like the practical work that the DSA does in my area. However, their politics are different than mine. I find it uncomfortable to be openly an anarchist in an organization with everyone ranging from Maoists to Bernie Sander-crats. Maybe I can hold my nose at the ideology and do some mutual aid but I am not necessarily OK with raising the profile of the DSA itself.
2. There is a specifically anarchist organization I like in a major city near me. The people there seem nice and have politics that agree with mine. However their activism is very focused on the politics of that city itself, and it's not convenient for me to be physically involved.
3. There is the IWW. I have not tried it out, yet, but am open to it. I am not sure what I can accomplish in my current workplace as an IT worker. Salting seems financially risky and I have some personal obligations.
4. I can reach out to anarchists in my area and form a small affinity group of 2 or 3 people. I am not sure what we would accomplish but perhaps it's worth trying. The people I know are not very close to me physically, but still closer than the major city.
5. I can individually write and distribute anarchist propaganda, and try to spread it in my area to activate some non-anarchists. The benefit is that I might activate some people in my immediate vicinity, but realistically I don't know how far my propaganda can reach.

I am trying a little bit of everything, but limiting my expectations so I don't get disappointed if it fails.

asn
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Dec 17 2021 02:33

In the context of the launching or existence of a syndicalist oriented transport paper - you maybe able to fit work for it into your normal daily routine re helping with distributing and interview workers in the sector for content etc

adri
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Dec 17 2021 07:42
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Its more a case of wondering if there's anything we can do to remove or reduce the obstacles to action for people who are already "on board". A lot of effort goes into making the case for our politics, but I feel there's a big gap between "theoretical commitment" and effective action, that I have never really crossed very well in my own life.

I guess we'd first have to narrow down what we mean by "libertarian communist" (and also "anarchist," unless we're talking about anarchist-communists; and even then there are differences over issues like what role organizations should play, and so on). There are a number of people who might consider themselves "non-authoritarian" communists, but whose tactics/"effective actions" and vision of the future differ quite a bit. It seems we'd need to know what concrete actions we're talking about, and whether they're even worthwhile to begin with, before dealing with how to remove the obstacles to them. While not a Leninist, I also don't think attaching ourselves to whatever leftist movement, or "bowing to spontaneity," leads anywhere (the 2020 riots which had socialists parroting the popular, not to mention unrealistic, demands for police abolition come to mind).

Regarding revolutionary periods in general, I think there's some truth in the argument of revolution and misery going hand in hand. The revolutions of the early 20th century were assisted by the abysmal conditions of a growing working class (and a declining peasantry), along with burdensome imperialistic wars, and a number of other factors. Class consciousness was much more accessible for workers as compared to today (since class antagonisms were much more visible), and was also aided by the greater socialist agitation of the time. Not to say that workers' conditions have improved that much (or that "widespread misery is a precondition for revolution"), but socialists/communists definitely have to contend more with arguments about the so-called "middle class" and social mobility these days. While class struggle is always relevant, I think the internal contradictions of capitalism (of which there are a few), maybe most relevantly its need for endless growth on a finite planet and the ecological consequences of that, are going to be decisive next time around (maybe also accompanied by a war or something).

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Dec 17 2021 17:52

There was a recent urban75 thread that people might find interesting, on a related subject:
https://www.urban75.net/forums/threads/are-you-an-anarchist-but-not-a-me...

As TechLeft kind of points to above, I suppose there's kind of a spectrum between being involved in "class struggle stuff" that may not be very much in line with anarchist principles and being involved in anarchist stuff that's basically just propaganda and may not have much relevance to anyone outside our immediate circles. The aim should be to find a sweet spot somewhere in the middle, but that's easier said than done.

Personally, I'm pretty active in my reformist TUC trade union, which is I suppose a mixed experience. And even that's something that's only possible because I eventually got a job at one of the minority of workplaces that has a functioning union, I've spent the majority of my working life at unorganised places and never really had the critical mass needed to get anything serious going. I don't know if being involved in a reformist union is even what I would recommend "revolutionaries should do" or anything, but it's what seems to make most sense for me at the moment.
And again, my viewpoint is affected by the fact that I'm in, what seems to my limited perspective to be, a pretty good local branch of a fairly crap national union, if I was somewhere where the atmosphere in my local branch was more toxic I might well not be as involved.

In terms of what I would suggest people can do if they're not currently involved in much and would like to be, it seems like the base/syndicalish unions like IWGB and UVW have a fair amount of unglamourous behind-the-scenes work that people might be able to contribute to, without necessarily being based in the same place, or having to put in a huge amount of time. Also, writing to the Kill the Bill prisoners is something you can do on your own, without really needing to be part of a larger group.
And there's housing stuff, again groups like ACORN and similar orgs like London Renters' Union/Living Rent aren't perfect and there are criticisms that can and should be made of them, but they exist in quite a lot of areas where there might not be much anarcho stuff going on and seem like they might be a worthwhile use of time?

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Dec 18 2021 17:57

I am afraid of derailing the thread with my personal nonsense, but because the topic itself is somewhat personal maybe I'll say it here. The thread R Totale linked to also got me thinking about the definition of "middle class" and the role of unions. This is related to my hesitation to join the IWW.

Suppose someone is a software developer for a large company which has an exploitative aspect (such as Big Tech, investment bank, US military), and makes over a 6-figure salary. Working for this company was not a conscious choice, but that person was simply good at software development and this is where the jobs were. In that position they do not have the power to hire or fire so they are not "managers" per se. What is the best choice for that person?

1. Try to unionize where they currently work. Demand higher wages, etc.
2. Find a job at a less exploitative workplace, and take a pay cut. Try to unionize there instead.
3. Vocally support the unionization efforts of others more exploited while keeping their current job.
4. Quietly donate to unionization efforts of others, while allowing those people to lead the way.

Should activists avoid being "middle class" and aim to become real workers? So far I have not seen any literature on the class analysis of software developers.

adri
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Dec 18 2021 21:50
TechLeft wrote:
I am afraid of derailing the thread with my personal nonsense, but because the topic itself is somewhat personal maybe I'll say it here. The thread R Totale linked to also got me thinking about the definition of "middle class" and the role of unions. This is related to my hesitation to join the IWW.

Suppose someone is a software developer for a large company which has an exploitative aspect (such as Big Tech, investment bank, US military), and makes over a 6-figure salary. Working for this company was not a conscious choice, but that person was simply good at software development and this is where the jobs were. In that position they do not have the power to hire or fire so they are not "managers" per se. What is the best choice for that person?

1. Try to unionize where they currently work. Demand higher wages, etc.
2. Find a job at a less exploitative workplace, and take a pay cut. Try to unionize there instead.
3. Vocally support the unionization efforts of others more exploited while keeping their current job.
4. Quietly donate to unionization efforts of others, while allowing those people to lead the way.

Should activists avoid being "middle class" and aim to become real workers? So far I have not seen any literature on the class analysis of software developers.

Regarding whether white-collar/"professional" workers are working class (they are, just like anyone who has to sell their ability to work in order to survive) I'd recommend this text by the ICT, https://libcom.org/blog/mythology-about-middle-class-class-struggle-0103....

I personally don't think "middle class" workers taking "working class" jobs is the sort of activity/actions we should concern ourselves with (and the same goes for joining up with bureaucratic unions). I guess it's more of a personal choice whether or not to work for Big Tech or other companies on the grounds of them being "exceptionally exploitative/harmful" (capitalism is also exploitation in that workers produce more value than what they receive in wages, which is the origins of profits), especially if we're talking about working for, say, an arms contractor, and particularly if someone has a "professional" role within such a company. However it's impossible to "not contribute" to capitalism, since everyone must live under it; even if you don't buy from Amazon, you're still buying products from China where workers' conditions are arguably much worse, etc.

I'm only vaguely familiar with the tech industry, but I'm curious whether many of the occupations within tech will become "simplified" over time. You'd know more about it than me, but for instance I'm curious whether programming languages will become more "higher level" or abstract. I'm sure there's plenty of historical examples of professional occupations ceasing to exist or becoming simplified due to "technical progress." It kind of reminds me of how handicraft production was steamrolled by capitalist production or the capitalist division of labor, where many "unskilled workers" performing separate parts in a production process (watch-making for example) replaced "skilled artisans," who were formerly involved in every aspect of production themselves (which is also to the benefit of capitalists because replacing an unskilled worker is easier than replacing an artisan/professional worker). The trend toward the removal of living labor from the production process due to "technical progress" is also a connected idea and contradiction within capitalism.

asn
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Dec 19 2021 12:56

1. Try to unionize where they currently work. Demand higher wages, etc.
2. Find a job at a less exploitative workplace, and take a pay cut. Try to unionize there instead.
3. Vocally support the unionization efforts of others more exploited while keeping their current job.
4. Quietly donate to unionization efforts of others, while allowing those people to lead the way.

Should activists avoid being "middle class" and aim to become real workers? So far I have not seen any literature on the class analysis of software developers.

If you mean "unionisation" by a "corporate" union - most likely you will just get a new industrial police force and any contract would be probably an exercise in smoke and mirrors with a fake pay rise for real conditions losses. It won't be like say with the emergence of the CIO in the 1930's when workers did go on to win conditions improvements. Something like today's IWW would also have problems surrounded by the corporate unions and being intimidated from seriously defying the big stick of the state and bosses. You would need to get major industrial action going in a sector which has the industrial muscle to achieve it and win a major victory. Inspire similar movements in other sectors and major breakaways from the corporate unions. In that context you could get genuine new syndicalist union organising drives. Also see recent edition of ASR (Anarcho-Syndicalist Review) article about some militant group/paper in the US railways - should expand into other transport sectors and be supported by those outside the job regardless of employment location or status.

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Dec 19 2021 14:17

I'd personally say a combination of 1 and 4, depending what the terrain's like and if you have anyone willing to work on organizing with you, or maybe 3 and 4 if it's too tough. I would add that working at a "problematic" job does open up the possibility of workers' resistance to the shitty aspects of that job, a la the green bans, google workers against cooperating with the Pentagon, UPS workers refusing to handle police training targets, Scottish factory workers boycotting Pinochet's planes, etc. Obviously, none of that's easy, but worthwhile things are often very difficult, and I think that building power in your workplace over the more basic "economic" issues would put you in a better position to try working on the "political" ones.

autogestión
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Dec 19 2021 17:33
Quote:
Suppose someone is a software developer for a large company which has an exploitative aspect (such as Big Tech, investment bank, US military), and makes over a 6-figure salary. Working for this company was not a conscious choice, but that person was simply good at software development and this is where the jobs were. In that position they do not have the power to hire or fire so they are not "managers" per se. What is the best choice for that person?

Firstly, I just want to say from grim experience that a lot of software devs are very far from earning 6-figure salaries.

Secondly, I think there's scope for unions trying to oppose some of the most harmful, exploitative aspects of those workplaces, oppose them providing services to very oppressive states, the military, etc.

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Dec 19 2021 23:39
TechLeft wrote:
Suppose someone is a software developer for a large company which has an exploitative aspect (such as Big Tech, investment bank, US military), and makes over a 6-figure salary. Working for this company was not a conscious choice, but that person was simply good at software development and this is where the jobs were. In that position they do not have the power to hire or fire so they are not "managers" per se. What is the best choice for that person?

1. Try to unionize where they currently work. Demand higher wages, etc.
2. Find a job at a less exploitative workplace, and take a pay cut. Try to unionize there instead.
3. Vocally support the unionization efforts of others more exploited while keeping their current job.
4. Quietly donate to unionization efforts of others, while allowing those people to lead the way.

I would say 1, 3 and 4. Also, depending on the jobs you are given, you can organise to try to take more control over your work. There are some great recent examples of software developers fighting sexism in games they are supposed to build (e.g. Love Island), opposing the development of dangerous technologies, AI for the military etc (Google).

Quote:
Should activists avoid being "middle class" and aim to become real workers?

There is an apocryphal story about a bunch of Marxist-Leninists in the 1970s dressing up like how they imagined proles dressed and trying to get jobs in mines to organise the workers. And they found the miners were mostly long-haired, dope smoking hippies.
There is nothing less "real" than pretending to be something you are not. Depending on how you define "middle-class", if you take it as meaning you have a certain level of education, connections and cultural capital that give you a better chance in life, then you can't really give that up, as that is with you regardless of what you do. Most "real workers" do the job they do because it lets them earn the most money while fitting in with their lifestyle. So if you can earn a decent living in tech, I would do it. If you feel guilty about learning to much, support libcom on patreon, and other radical organising efforts!

Quote:
So far I have not seen any literature on the class analysis of software developers.

There was an entire radical magazine published out of Silicon Valley for IT and tech workers from the 80s-2000s. Obviously technology has moved on, but the basic principles haven't really changed since then. Might be of interest: https://libcom.org/library/processed-world

adri
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Dec 20 2021 07:01
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There is an apocryphal story about a bunch of Marxist-Leninists in the 1970s dressing up like how they imagined proles dressed and trying to get jobs in mines to organise the workers. And they found the miners were mostly long-haired, dope smoking hippies.

Kind of reminds me of Russian narodniks dressing up like peasants in the "going to the people" movement of the 1870s. They had similar success (peasants turned them over to the authorities etc.)...

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Dec 20 2021 14:32
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There is nothing less "real" than pretending to be something you are not. Depending on how you define "middle-class", if you take it as meaning you have a certain level of education, connections and cultural capital that give you a better chance in life, then you can't really give that up, as that is with you regardless of what you do. Most "real workers" do the job they do because it lets them earn the most money while fitting in with their lifestyle.

Also, a bit further to this, but organising at work can be extremely high-risk. Essentially you can be risking your job, your career, and for many people this will be the thing which enables them to feed their children and put a roof over their heads. If you are essentially cosplaying as a poor person, then you don't have the same stakes as everyone else. If you don't need to fear losing your job, say working in an Amazon warehouse, because you can just go out and get a much better job immediately, then you just won't be on the same page as your coworkers. To be an effective organiser there has to be trust, and in this scenario you just can't really be trusted, because your coworkers will know that the stakes for them are not the same as they are for you, and that you are trying to get them to take risks which you might not prepared to take for yourself in the same situation.

autogestión
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Dec 21 2021 09:31
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Also, a bit further to this, but organising at work can be extremely high-risk. Essentially you can be risking your job, your career, and for many people this will be the thing which enables them to feed their children and put a roof over their heads. If you are essentially cosplaying as a poor person, then you don't have the same stakes as everyone else. If you don't need to fear losing your job, say working in an Amazon warehouse, because you can just go out and get a much better job immediately, then you just won't be on the same page as your coworkers. To be an effective organiser there has to be trust, and in this scenario you just can't really be trusted, because your coworkers will know that the stakes for them are not the same as they are for you, and that you are trying to get them to take risks which you might not prepared to take for yourself in the same situation.

Very good point.

Although I wonder if there's anyone this actually applies to. Like, I have objectively a much less shitty job than working in an Amazon warehouse, but I'm still screwed if I lose it and can't find another one pretty quickly. And if I get fired from a job (any job) that can make it much more difficult to get another one.

I don't know why I'm arguing though really, since I totally agree that "cosplaying poor person" is not helpful.

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Dec 21 2021 15:39
autogestión wrote:
Very good point.

Although I wonder if there's anyone this actually applies to. Like, I have objectively a much less shitty job than working in an Amazon warehouse, but I'm still screwed if I lose it and can't find another one pretty quickly. And if I get fired from a job (any job) that can make it much more difficult to get another one.

I don't know why I'm arguing though really, since I totally agree that "cosplaying poor person" is not helpful.

My comment was in reply to the hypothetical example by TechLeft, of a tech worker with a good, six-figure salary, giving up their job to live and organise like a "real worker" (whatever that is). This would be a very bad, not to mention patronising, idea.

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Dec 21 2021 17:51

So I thought I'd post as someone who hasn't been around here for a while.

For me, the short answer is burnout, though the long answer is a bit more complex.

For context, I was a SolFed member and was one of the handful of people that started the Thames Valley local which covered members in Banbury, Oxford and Reading.

On the positive side I really enjoyed my time in Solfed and I still genuinely think it's one of the most worthwhile things I've ever been a part of. Even though the organisation may have been fairly small, I found in it a group of committed, passionate comrades who were dedicated to trying to make life better for others and fighting the fight even against the longest odds. I learnt a huge amount during my time in SF, my understanding of the world grew and through training and support I received from others in the union I was even able to help successfully defend a friend and colleague from a HR/PIP offensive in my workplace, something I remain proud of to this day. I'm still happy to call myself an Anarchist, and my time in SolFed is a huge reason for that.

Now on the downside, SolFed required a lot of effort, continuously. Probably the majority of the time and effort put into Thames Valley SF was devoted purely to the maintenance and continuation of the local (a point I think others have touched on in the other thread). This is obviously very hard to balance with non-organising life, especially when you're also dealing with the general drag of life under modern capitalism. The issue of workload became compounded when I went into a serious struggle in my workplace after a round of layoffs. SF comrades did everything possible to support me, but the reality is that with me being a sole organiser in a workplace I simply will be an isolated point of pressure, and there's no real way around it. Quite frankly, it eventually became too much and I had to either step back or snap completely.

However, I think there's a subtle issue here that isn't often made explicit. This intense level of required time and effort wasn't really SolFed doing anything particularly wrong, or a 'mistake' to be corrected, but to my mind rather an inherent aspect of the entire Anarchist project. The intimate, day-to-day involvement of all members in the running of the organisation is, to not put too fine a point on it, the entire purpose of the organisation; and while you could 'solve' this problem by having a division of labour between organisers and members, I'm sure most people here would agree that that's not a solution we would want; it would be moving us away from our ultimate goal. So if there is an issue here, then it is obviously a very fundamental one that will require a lot of thought and experimentation to solve.

Musing on it myself, I don't really know how you square this particular circle. We want to make sure everyone is fully involved in the running of our organisations, but we also don't want to burn out members, which really translates to the Anarchist movement losing some of its most experienced and committed radicals. When I moved to Germany I tried to get involved with the FAU, as I still believe in Anarchism and want to be involved, but I soon realised that I was simply not in the right place mentally to be active in organising again.

As others have mentioned, in some ways the world seems to be turning in our direction (at least ideologically). Being anti-capitalist has moved from being a weird, out-there lifestyle choice to being the simple, common sense position for many. In my own anecdotal experience, I've had many conversations with friends and family that show them to be dead sick of this capitalist existence, whereas once they would have been neutral-at-best. This is why I think it's a real problem that so many of us are burnt out right at this potentially crucial point in history. To use an over-dramatic analogy, I feel that we're like an army that has force-marched itself across a continent only to find itself exhausted when the battle draws near.

So while I don't know where we go from here, one thought I have is that we should perhaps look to diversify our individual roles. 'Organising' and 'Activism' are the rather narrow apertures through which we tend to squeeze all anarchist activity. This is fine and useful if you have the individual capacity (mental, physical, economic) to be an organiser or an activist, but if you don't the only alternative seems to be to remove yourself from the struggle. I know there has to be a better solution than that, but I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it'll come down to looking at the individual talents and interests of an individual and trying to see how best they can contribute to the movement as a whole.

Like, I am now asking myself what could I do for the struggle? I'm not sure what it would be, but I'm sure that I could give something useful. Each one of us can probably give something useful that no other human being can give. Perhaps that's a key point; 'From each according to their ability', after all.

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Dec 21 2021 19:21

Again, I imagine the ex-WSMers will have some interesting things to say on this point. In the meantime, just got around to adding this old piece today, which might be relevant? https://libcom.org/library/making-anarchist-organisations-work-dunbar-s-...

autogestión
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Dec 21 2021 22:25
Quote:
The intimate, day-to-day involvement of all members in the running of the organisation is, to not put too fine a point on it, the entire purpose of the organisation; and while you could 'solve' this problem by having a division of labour between organisers and members, I'm sure most people here would agree that that's not a solution we would want; it would be moving us away from our ultimate goal. So if there is an issue here, then it is obviously a very fundamental one that will require a lot of thought and experimentation to solve.

This is very interesting. "The trouble with socialism is that it would take too many evenings."

I have recently found ideas of "sortition" or "demarchy" (juries, basically) to be an interesting idea for squaring that circle. But obviously that makes more sense in large organisations, where you want to avoid the pitfalls of election-based representation, but also not require everyone to participate all the time. (Obviously the larger participatory group having the ability to veto decisions of demarchic committees and recall them is important too).

All that said, I have no actual experience of how any of this works out in practice.

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Dec 22 2021 07:43

These are good questions but I feel like they point toward a deeper question that is difficult to articulate (certainly for me, anyway) but which can be alluded to by responding to the question in the thread title with a pair of additional questions: 'organizing *what/whom*?' and 'active *how*?'

['fake talmudic scholar' was not the vibe I was intending with this reply, but rereading what I just wrote, it comes across like that and I am sorry. I could blame the edibles but it's not their fault. but there is an actual point in there, i'm pretty sure]

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Dec 22 2021 15:02

Thanks for all the replies, it has really helped me organize my thoughts on the matter. I have a lot of new material to digest. In some left-wing circles I have felt some push back against tech workers as a group because of how it relates to issues like gentrification, which is a huge source of conflict in the major cities here.

adri wrote:
I'm only vaguely familiar with the tech industry, but I'm curious whether many of the occupations within tech will become "simplified" over time. You'd know more about it than me, but for instance I'm curious whether programming languages will become more "higher level" or abstract. I'm sure there's plenty of historical examples of professional occupations ceasing to exist or becoming simplified due to "technical progress." It kind of reminds me of how handicraft production was steamrolled by capitalist production or the capitalist division of labor, where many "unskilled workers" performing separate parts in a production process (watch-making for example) replaced "skilled artisans," who were formerly involved in every aspect of production themselves (which is also to the benefit of capitalists because replacing an unskilled worker is easier than replacing an artisan/professional worker). The trend toward the removal of living labor from the production process due to "technical progress" is also a connected idea and contradiction within capitalism.

I also think about this specific topic. I think it will happen eventually but it's a very slow process at the moment. A lot of the work being done is somewhat repetitive but is not that simple to automate either.

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Dec 26 2021 17:54

I’m sure this won’t be very helpful, but compared with living cheek by jowl with the Labour supporting liberal left, living in a town full of Tories sounds positively heavenly!

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Dec 30 2021 21:15

Pretty much the same as autogestion
1) Time outside of work and family
2) A partner who is actively hostile to any active anarchist politics, but who I love and am deeply committed to and have no intention of leaving
3) I don't want to get fired from my job
- I don't think my work can be organised and I think just going to demos is a waste of time (plus covid) I don't want to get photographed, kettled and maybe beaten up (or blinded with a grenade) for a march that will amount to a few photos on a leftie website.
- I don't know what to do.
- I don't know who to do it with.
- I genuinely believe that anarchism and communism are what we need and I genuinely believe that if we can get there, they will work. But I don't really feel that we will get there, I feel completely demoralised politically and have done for a while.I voted in the last local elections ffs, I don't even know why.

I used to do online stuff (and the urban thread recommends that) but I feel like we need fewer people writing and more people doing. Last protest I was at there was a big rush, not because something was happening, but because some guy was offering a flower to a cop and tucking it in his riot shield or something and people were pushing to try to get a photo of it. Then we walked a bit more with lines of cops behind us swinging club at our calves if we were too slow at the back and I slipped out before they kettled us.

Quite a few familiar names on that urban75 thread from here and matb back in the day.

In terms of what autogestion, when I was in a group we had monthly meetings which were quite productive, but about half was admin. But if there was an issue we would decide if we wanted to be involved in it, we would float some ideas and set up a working group (I think that was the name we used) who would report back. They would generally ask for approval for what they did and if we didn't agree with a plan we would discuss it. It actually worked pretty well, but we had at least 3 people who were not far off being full time activists, they did a lot of heavy lifting. I feel like it is the model to follow, at least for a smaller group.