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The Learning Curve

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Ghost Whistler
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Dec 15 2015 15:54
Chilli Sauce wrote:
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don't confuse the odd reference there to a so-called 'Informal Anarchist Federation' with the actual well established UK Anarchist Federation

Just quoting this again to make sure it doesn't get lost in the fray. In other words, fuck those dickheads who pointlessly burned some shit in Bristol. They have nothing to do with any organized class struggle anarchist group in the UK and they have no traction here on libcom. (Although, again, anarchism and violence is discussed in the Anarchist FAQ, which you should read...)

Personally, GW, I don't really care if you join the SP or vote or whatever. I think voting is a waste of time and I think the SP is, ultimately, a self-interested authoritarian organization. But if you're gonna do those things, fine.

What might be a better tact is to discuss the practical problems you face at work or at the job center or whatever and see if anyone on libcom has advice for you or if they know anyone/any group in your area who might be able to help out.

Ok, well i'm not beholden to the SP. I want to be clear about my reasons for joining them. I'm not 100% wdded to their ideology and don't for one moment think they will ever win an election anyway. It's more about solidarity.

Anyway.

The practical problems i experience right now are that i'm someone out of work that's been struggling to get a mental health diagnosis. I believe I have a learning disability or a neuro diverse issue of some kind. Coupled with trying to make sense of a bizarre world, a broken system and a dying society life is a real struggle. I don't want to get too personal because I'm not sure that's productive. One of the wisest things I ever heard was from a friend i had years ago whos said everyone should do a spell on the dole to see what life's really like. I find the thought of 99% of jobs available utterly soul crushing. That's my sad story grin

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 15 2015 16:33
Ghost Whistler wrote:
Webby wrote:
Aw come on - how many people have been starved, beaten, imprisoned or killed as a result of liberal democracy. As I said before, you are displaying strong attachment to parliamentarianism which is narrowing your view of Anarchism. I don't mean this as an attack but as an observation.

I am not dispiuting any attachment, but i cannot see any justification for the vandalism of cars and arson puts people's lives at risk. How can that be positive?

Again, here, I just wanted to confirm you got my point in that last post about the so-called "informal anarchist organisation"?

Anyway, man, we're at a serious low point of class struggle. We're not going to abolish call centers any time soon, but we can get involved in strike support or wage theft disputes or even some (probably low-level) organizing in our our lives.

But we definitely shouldn't expect people to be immediately receptive to our politics - and that's fine. Action most often precedes consciousness and it's active solidarity and support - not arguments - that win people around, at least in my opinion.

As for how certain jobs could exist post-revolution, Black Flag does a good series on that that might be worth you checking out.

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 15 2015 17:54
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Again, here, I just wanted to confirm you got my point in that last post about the so-called "informal anarchist organisation"?

Anyway, man, we're at a serious low point of class struggle. We're not going to abolish call centers any time soon, but we can get involved in strike support or wage theft disputes or even some (probably low-level) organizing in our our lives.

But we definitely shouldn't expect people to be immediately receptive to our politics - and that's fine. Action most often precedes consciousness and it's active solidarity and support - not arguments - that win people around, at least in my opinion.

As for how certain jobs could exist post-revolution, Black Flag does a good series on that that might be worth you checking out.

You meant that the SP are an informal authoritarian organisation, or did you mean anarchist; or have i misunderstood?

Either way that may be the case. I'm not sure they are informal. I'm not even sure what their goals are other than to push TUSC, but that's a parliamentary proposition - or they want to get back into the Labour party, having been kicked out under Militant.

I guess we are at a low point; sadly at a time when the opposite should be true. I've watched groups like the Peopl's Assembly blossom into irrelevance and a talking shop for a kind of authority - a faux left wing comfortable authority under some pleasant faces like Owen Jones and his mates in the union. But they seem to be used by the unions as an excuse for them to do fuck all.

I can't really expect people to be receptiv when I don't have all the answers myself. That's the problem I have. I have tried engaging a few people on G+ but i don't have all the arguments and it really shows how people are so invested in capitalism, so complicit in their own exploitation sadly.

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Noah Fence
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Dec 15 2015 18:06

GW. Sorry to hear of your problems. I don't set out to be critical and the last thing I want to do is make you feel any worse. The truth is that I find myself getting very frustrated with these type of conversations where the big picture is sidetracked and it becomes a series of minor 'what ifs?'. Although I had major reservations about libertarian communism when I discovered it I find it hard to empathise with you on the matter of liberal democracy because pretty much the first political thought I had at the age of 16 was the total rejection of parliamentary rule and the concept of elections. For this reason I should probably drop out of this thread.
I would definitely urge you to stick around and see if your views change a little when you have been exposed to more info. This link is a great start for a brief overview of capitalism and anarchism as viewed by libertarian communists;

http://libcom.org/library/libcom-introductory-guide

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 15 2015 22:41
Webby wrote:
GW. Sorry to hear of your problems. I don't set out to be critical and the last thing I want to do is make you feel any worse. The truth is that I find myself getting very frustrated with these type of conversations where the big picture is sidetracked and it becomes a series of minor 'what ifs?'. Although I had major reservations about libertarian communism when I discovered it I find it hard to empathise with you on the matter of liberal democracy because pretty much the first political thought I had at the age of 16 was the total rejection of parliamentary rule and the concept of elections. For this reason I should probably drop out of this thread.
I would definitely urge you to stick around and see if your views change a little when you have been exposed to more info. This link is a great start for a brief overview of capitalism and anarchism as viewed by libertarian communists;

http://libcom.org/library/libcom-introductory-guide

I woudln't want you to feel you can't contribute to this thread, but that's up to you.

The problem is that these what if's are important I think. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't profess any expertise otherwise this thread woulddn't need to exist. But I find that when discussing these ideas wiht others, those what if's are the things they need answering, rightly or wrongly.

I'm not entirely wedded to the current system. As I've said, I abhor capitalism, but the world is complex, technology is complex and fills our lives and society is a big place these days. We don't live in small discreet communities anymore. Now it's a global village and I am trying to understand how a different system can work in this context.

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 16 2015 03:58
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You meant that the SP are an informal authoritarian organisation, or did you mean anarchist; or have i misunderstood?

Yeah, definitely confusion there. The "Informal Anarchist Organisation" are a bunch of dickheads with no involvement in or respect from in the UK class struggle anarchist milieu. The SP - or at least their leadership - are a bunch of self-serving authoritarian dickheads. All dickheads, just different sorts.

Quote:
I can't really expect people to be receptiv when I don't have all the answers myself. That's the problem I have. I have tried engaging a few people on G+ but i don't have all the arguments and it really shows how people are so invested in capitalism, so complicit in their own exploitation sadly.

Not to be blunt man, but wrong approach. With possibly the sole exception of Webby, no one has ever been converted to anarchism by online political arguments. Talk to the people around you who have real material problems and think about way you can help them solve those problems collectively. They'll be plenty of time for talking politics later.

And, man, try not to judge people. We're all complicit in our own exploitation - and we all reject it in various ways. The only difference is that some of us have found the voice to verbalize it.

Quote:
The problem is that these what if's are important I think.

Maybe they are, maybe they're not. If it's the theoretical aspect you want to deal with, read the Anarchist FAQ (!!!!!!!!). If it's the practical side of things, contact SF or AF and learn what functioning anarchist organisations look like in practice.

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Noah Fence
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Dec 16 2015 08:14

Lol! Whilst I'm very happy to be unique, it's not quite accurate to say that I was converted to anarchism by Libcom. I'd identified as an anarchist for 30 years when I hooked up here. It would be far more accurate to say that I had my massive misunderstandings straightened out here.

One problem here is that many questions can't be answered. Establishing a communist society would be a creative process. As I indicated in my first post on this thread, a blueprint for a new society is neither possible or desirable. For this reason the big picture is the thing to focus on when coming to an understanding of anarchism.

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 16 2015 10:00
Chilli Sauce wrote:
And, man, try not to judge people. We're all complicit in our own exploitation - and we all reject it in various ways. The only difference is that some of us have found the voice to verbalize it.

Quote:
The problem is that these what if's are important I think.

Maybe they are, maybe they're not. If it's the theoretical aspect you want to deal with, read the Anarchist FAQ (!!!!!!!!). If it's the practical side of things, contact SF or AF and learn what functioning anarchist organisations look like in practice.

I think they are important. People are used to living under a certain system and know how things are done. Naturally they will seek assurance when someone proposes the replacement of that system, regarldess of how justified they are in wanting to do so.

For example, how would an anarchist society ensure that people receive immunisations and vaccination shots? What about those who refuse? There are people right now who, thanks to David Icke Freeman on the Land woo woo bullshit, who believe that 'the man' is forcing them to get shots. What's the alternative?

And at the risk of being an asshole, aren't you being judgemental when you say the SP are dickheads? grin

Maybe they are, I've no basis on which to make a judgement. But they seem to broadly share the same goals so it seems counter productive to call them dickheads. Wouldn't you agree?

factvalue
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Dec 16 2015 13:00
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For example, how would an anarchist society ensure that people receive immunisations and vaccination shots? What about those who refuse? There are people right now who, thanks to David Icke Freeman on the Land woo woo bullshit, who believe that 'the man' is forcing them to get shots. What's the alternative?

This seems similar in nature to the gun issue, people's uninformed and irrational attitudes and their effect on the rest of the community. Would it be too much of a stretch to tell them to fuck off and form their own guns 'n' viruses communities and just let them kill the bejeesus out of each other with their method of choice to their hearts' content and leave the rest of us alone to get on with this life without the entire fabric of society falling to pieces?

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 16 2015 13:33
factvalue wrote:
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For example, how would an anarchist society ensure that people receive immunisations and vaccination shots? What about those who refuse? There are people right now who, thanks to David Icke Freeman on the Land woo woo bullshit, who believe that 'the man' is forcing them to get shots. What's the alternative?

This seems similar in nature to the gun issue, people's uninformed and irrational attitudes and their effect on the rest of the community. Would it be too much of a stretch to tell them to fuck off and form their own guns 'n' viruses communities and just let them kill the bejeesus out of each other with their method of choice to their hearts' content and leave the rest of us alone to get on with this life without the entire fabric of society falling to pieces?

The point is that irrational and uninformed attitudes exist, in any society. I don't see anarchism preventing this totally. Idiots will exist and have always existed. I can certainly agree that the removal of capitalism would contribute a great deal to eradicating the kind of paranoia that exists today informing this kind of ignorance. You can see it everywhere: truthers, deniers, people who think vaccinations are NWO plots to take your guns/kids/liberty/$$$.

You could certainly eject them from society, but does that solve the problem.

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Cooked
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Dec 16 2015 13:37
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Not to be blunt man, but wrong approach. With possibly the sole exception of Webby, no one has ever been converted to anarchism by online political arguments. Talk to the people around you who have real material problems and think about way you can help them solve those problems collectively. They'll be plenty of time for talking politics later.

Not to be blunt Chilli wink but percentage wise how many in say your (previous?) Solfed local was "converted" through practically solving real material problems? My guess is significantly below 50%... Take the people who were already leftisch before the event and it will shrink further.

Your argument above sounds good and migh well be a recipe for developing 'the movement' but not now. Very very few people will ever meet an anarchist in person at this point in time. Even fewer will have a material problem for the anarchist to help out with.

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Noah Fence
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Dec 16 2015 13:45

Well, this thread is certainly a marvellous precursor for a good old bah humbug Christmas!

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Soapy
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Dec 16 2015 13:46

Obviously in any society there have to be methods to deal with people who for whatever reason are a danger to themselves and others. Exactly how to deal with them is an open question that will have to be determined as the society progresses. This kind of behavior often manifests itself now as crime which can in one way or another be traced back to the violence of capitalism and the state which are the real culprits.

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Auld-bod
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Dec 17 2015 07:38

I think there is a genuine problem identified by Ghost Whistler as the ‘what if’ questions. Unfortunately there is no way of answering most of them in a totally satisfactory way. Recently in an article on an unrelated matter I read this:

‘There is another factor to consider. It has been well documented in studies that humans have a bias to act to prevent a loss than to achieve a gain.’

If this is true, it illustrates why someone, who finds the prospect of communism appealing, is reluctant to give up their ‘welfare state’ and seeks assurance by asking, “What if…?"

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 16 2015 14:42
Webby wrote:
Well, this thread is certainly a marvellous precursor for a good old bah humbug Christmas!

I'm just being realistic. I'm not trying to be negative smile

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 16 2015 14:44
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they seem to broadly share the same goals so it seems counter productive to call them dickheads.

On the smaller stuff, have you ever worked in a group with Trots? They constantly try to take over the group and hijack events to sell papers or to recruit new members. On the mid-range stuff, they seek to channel any impetus toward self-organization into a social democratic framework or into the f*cking trade unions - where their goal is to get their members elected as officials. On the big picture stuff, they certainly don't share our goals - I mean, they want to achieve state power.

I've actually met some very decent SP shop stewards, for example, but when we're talking about the M.O. of the group or the role of the leadership in the class struggle, dickhead is a totally apt term.

factvalue
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Dec 16 2015 14:54
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The point is that irrational and uninformed attitudes exist, in any society. I don't see anarchism preventing this totally. Idiots will exist and have always existed.

But surely many more idiots exist in violently irrational societies which need to perpetuate themselves by conditioning people from early life to be violent and irrational? Or are you claiming that violence and irrationality are just part of 'human nature' as in my caricatured liberal model from earlier?

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Chilli Sauce
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Dec 16 2015 14:55
Cooked wrote:
Not to be blunt Chilli wink but percentage wise how many in say your (previous?) Solfed local was "converted" through practically solving real material problems? My guess is significantly below 50%... Take the people who were already leftisch before the event and it will shrink further.

Fair enough, it's probably significantly less than that number. However, in my personal experience, I've never had any become sympathetic to anarchism through my conversations with them who hadn't had some sort of direct experience with anarchists in relation to a material issue.

For most people anarchists support, it's just about chipping away at perceptions of what anarchism means and what anarchists do. Even if people don't get "converted" to anarchism, establishing the idea that anarchists are the people who help you out when you're boss is fucking with you is infinitely better than winning a political debate.

This, I'm afraid I will have to disagree with:

Quote:
Even fewer will have a material problem for the anarchist to help out with.

No one who works for a living or has a landlord doesn't have a material problem of some sort. They may not be up for the fight, but the problems are undoubtedly there.

That's why, for me, I do my best to be the dude who the people around me know has got their back if they have a problem with their boss or landlord. If my politics come up - and, despite my best intentions, they usually do at some point - that's a significantly better starting point than arguing with other politicos on the internet.

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 16 2015 17:40
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Quote:
they seem to broadly share the same goals so it seems counter productive to call them dickheads.

On the smaller stuff, have you ever worked in a group with Trots? They constantly try to take over the group and hijack events to sell papers or to recruit new members. On the mid-range stuff, they seek to channel any impetus toward self-organization into a social democratic framework or into the f*cking trade unions - where their goal is to get their members elected as officials. On the big picture stuff, they certainly don't share our goals - I mean, they want to achieve state power.

I've actually met some very decent SP shop stewards, for example, but when we're talking about the M.O. of the group or the role of the leadership in the class struggle, dickhead is a totally apt term.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what a Trotskyite is. I've only ever come across the word as an ad hominem.

So no, i haven't.

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Auld-bod
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Dec 17 2015 10:27

It is necessary to know something about Trotsky and Trotskyism to make sense of the Russian revolution and the subsequent divisions in the working class movement.
Anarchists and Trotskyists despise each other. To be fair there are a number of individual trots who are honest and likeable and several good things have been written by them - C.L.R. James’ The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, to name only one.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Trotsky

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 17 2015 19:04

Why do they despise each other?

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 17 2015 19:48
Ghost Whistler wrote:
Why do they despise each other?

mostly because trots consistently sabotage and take over campaigns. But it all began with the Russian revolution when Trotsky was head of the red army and played to critical roll in suppressing the revolution, the most famous incident being he suppression of kronstadt. you should probably read The Bolsheviks and workers' control

Ghost Whistler
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Dec 17 2015 22:15

I've sent a message to the bristol anarchist peeps on FB so I might check their bookshop out.