1939 and all that...

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Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:25
Jack wrote:
If WW2 hadn't happened. the Nazis would have wiped our European Jewry, and millions more Russian workers would have been slaughtered in labour camps.

It is an argument, in fact, for going to war earlier and more resolutely against fascism -- as thousands of anarchist did throughout the 1920s and 1930s while the 'democratic' powers sat on the sidelines.

The ICC position -- that fascism is much the same as the rest of capitalism -- seems pretty close to the analysis that the german Communist Party had; that the rise of National Socialism was just an indication of capitalism's crisi, and that it was nothing in particular to worry about.

This anlaysis ended up getting them all beaten up and killed.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:32
Beltov wrote:
This is not to lessen the barbarism carried out in the concentration camps, but it is necessary to see that this was just one expression of the general tendency within capitalism towards deepening barbarism.

And the ending of the camps was an example of the tendency within the human spirit towards stopping barbarism.

You seem to be saying, like JM Le-Pen has, that the holocaust was just 'a detail of history'.

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 18:34
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Of course the British Empire was capable of similar atrocities and didn't have as its main aim the ending of them. It doesn't alter the fact, however, that the Nazi holocaust was brought to an end by the end of the Nazi regime.

You seem to be still denying that a Nazi victory would have meant certain death for millions more jews and gypsies and other non-aryans?

Do you disagree? Yes or no?

Yes. It is highly probable that a nazis victory "would have meant certain death for millions more jews and gypsies and other non-aryans". This wasn't the point I wanted to make though. Speculation probably isn't the best form of argumentation.

You seem to be arguing that things have been 'better' with the defeat of fascism. But surely you must agree that the victory of the Allies has meant death in war for millions of people in Korea, Vietnam, Iran/Iraq, Rwanda, Somalia, Congo, Bosnia, Kosovo etc. etc.

Beltov.

redyred
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Jul 27 2005 18:36
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Jack wrote:
If WW2 hadn't happened. the Nazis would have wiped our European Jewry, and millions more Russian workers would have been slaughtered in labour camps.

It is an argument, in fact, for going to war earlier and more resolutely against fascism -- as thousands of anarchist did throughout the 1920s and 1930s while the 'democratic' powers sat on the sidelines.

Don't be silly Lazlo - the CNT, POUM and the Commintern were all working together in the pay of Soviet imperialism. Had they succeeded it would have been EXACTLY the same as forty years under Franco.

(Seriously Beltov does try and argue this point on an older thread)

redyred
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Jul 27 2005 18:39
Beltov wrote:
Speculation isn't the best form of argumentation.
Beltov wrote:
If the fascists had 'won' in Europe do you really think they'd have gone round and gassed every man woman and child on the planet? Of course not. Very soon after victory in Europe 'normality' would have been restored: open hostilities would cease temporarily; industrial production and reconstruction would have set in and before long, when the period of reconstruction came to an end, the economic crisis would return, the working class - for there would still have been one! - would have continued to struggle, tensions between the territory dominated by the German bourgeoisie and rival capitalisms (because the Nazis wouldn't have invaded every country) would increase and open hostilities would have resumed. The real history of the world since WW2 hasn't been radically different!
Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:39

Speculation? Is it really 'speculation' to say that a Nazi-occupied Britain would have spelt deportation and death for the jewish community? you're really wriggling on this one, aren't you?

As for your second point, you are now the one who seems to be using some kind of natinalistic analysis. Are you really saying that is is not possible to work for both the defeat of the Nazis and the British Empire? My relatives who mutinied in the army camps in Alexandria in 1945 would say otherwise.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:43

I'm interested as to why none of the other members of the ICC have commented on this issue? Do they have a different analysis?

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 19:10
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
As for your second point, you are now the one who seems to be using some kind of natinalistic analysis. Are you really saying that is is not possible to work for both the defeat of the Nazis and the British Empire?

Of course it is possible to work for the defeat of rival imperialisms, but not through supporting a 'lesser' evil against a 'greater' evil. There is a third option! The experience of the Russian Revolution gives us two lessons.

First, it shows that the working class is not impotent in the face of imperialist conflict. It does not have to put its faith in the 'lesser evil' to defeat the 'greater evil': by fighting the class war it can cripple and disintegrate capitalist states and bring an imperialist war to an end by itself.

Second, it is this class struggle behind the lines on a mass scale, which gives courage and conviction to those at the front. The warring imperialisms were so terrified by the scene of workers and soldiers fraternising across national frontiers - and by the potential of the revolution in Russia extending into Germany in 1918 that they agreed to bring the war to an end and unite to launch a war against the proletarian bastion in Russia.

It is this that links the events that ended the Second World War. The bourgeoisie had learnt the lesson from history, and strategically massacred civilian concentrations in Germany - and allowed the Axis powers to do so in Italy - precisely to exterminate the potential for unrest breaking out on a mass scale with the end of the war. This is how cynical the Allies were.

We'd like an answer to this question: if anarchists are so critical of the Trotskyists then why do they share the same position on anti-fascism?

Beltov.

BTW, the article 'The proletariat and war' gives a much more detailed exposition of these arguments.

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 19:20
Jack wrote:
Beltov wrote:
We'd like an answer to this question: if anarchists are so critical of the Trotskyists then why do they share the same position on anti-fascism?

That's the stupidest question I've ever seen in my life.

Surely it shouldn't be so hard to answer then? Maybe you could enlighten us to the differences if it's such a stupid question?

Beltov.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 19:25
Beltov wrote:
Of course it is possible to work for the defeat of rival imperialisms, but not through supporting a 'lesser' evil against a 'greater' evil.

How does fighting fascism, through partisan activity help imperialism? I've already said that militia activity or political agitation within the regular army would be my choice. I fail to see how this involves 'supporting' the power of the UK ruling class.

There were people who fought against both the nazis and the British empire -- the future Mau Mau rebels, for example. However, it was usually not possible to do both at the same time. Are you saying that this is what should have been done, regardless of the balance of forces or the material reality?

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 21:09
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Beltov wrote:
Of course it is possible to work for the defeat of rival imperialisms, but not through supporting a 'lesser' evil against a 'greater' evil.

How does fighting fascism, through partisan activity help imperialism? I've already said that militia activity or political agitation within the regular army would be my choice. I fail to see how this involves 'supporting' the power of the UK ruling class.

There were people who fought against both the nazis and the British empire -- the future Mau Mau rebels, for example. However, it was usually not possible to do both at the same time. Are you saying that this is what should have been done, regardless of the balance of forces or the material reality?

If you mean partisans such as the French Resistance, then it is pretty clear to see that they were in the service of the Allies. Many small 'resistance partisans' have become pawns of the greater imperialisms: the Afghan Mujahadeen, the Kosovo Liberation Army, the IRA, the PLO, etc. Support or even participation in one of these 'liberation struggles' strengthens the greater power that backs them by weakening the great power's rivals.

The situation in Iraq is similar. The 'resistance' in Iraq is in no sense progressive. It is made up of factions of Iraqi capitalism, some backed by Iran. However, the growing decomposition of capitalism is leading to some of these forces slipping away from their master's control, such as Al-Qaida, to play a more independent role, which only adds to the growing chaos, unpredictability and irrationality. This is an important aspect in the Madrid and London bombings.

Anyway, to end tonight here is a link to a series published in World Revolution on 'The struggle in Britain against imperialist war'. It is written by a close sympathiser of the ICC and draws the lessons from the different methods used to combat British Imperialism on the 'home front' during the two world wars. It also takes up how the Trotskyists enlisted in the second world war.

Much of it is included in the book the British Communist Left published recently by the ICC and written by the same author. A bargain @ £5.00!

Beltov.

RedCelt
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Jul 28 2005 10:26

Hitler needed removing. The basic fact that people fought for that doesn't mean they had to be endorsing capitalism. It's not just conjecture to say a Nazi victory would have resulted in racial extermination here. To say it was just a possibility is absurd.

red n black star

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 28 2005 11:18

I agree RedCelt. When Beltov has finished trying to flog us his books maybe he can get around to answering as to whether he really think that the Nazi conquest of Europe would have meant 'no difference' to his family and friends. Imagine Mosely or Edward VIII as fascist dictator of England, and all those East End working class people who fought the BUF at Clable Street massacred...

Beltov also says airily that all partisans against teh nazis were also working for 'the allies'. Including the Italian anarchist partisans? Including the Spanish refugee anarchists in the French resistance? Including the Greek communist partisans who were later massacred by the British in defence of teh Greek royal family?

That's a big statement to be making without any evidence. Likewise, the idea that 'all' the Iraqi anti-occupation resistance are reactionary seems a tall order. Even the CIA don't know the full extent of who's taken up arms in Iraq, for a multitude of reasons.

Why is it that an ICC analysis of how to fight capitalism can apparently be made without any reference to actual facts?

l'agité
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Jul 28 2005 20:39

Beltov

Quote:
If you mean partisans such as the French Resistance, then it is pretty clear to see that they were in the service of the Allies

... it's much more complicated....

About the Resistance in Europe during WWII... In France this Resistance, dominated by workers and communists, is also a class struggle : a example : in 1944 with the Libération many factories where self-managed by workers, and syndicalists for several months. And the worker Resistance has imposed to the new french Republic important new social rights. (Social Security is the most important...).

The militias (majority communists) were desarmed by the Communist Party few months after the Libération. But the Workers stayed very mobilised (and armed ! ) the bourgeoisy were affraid of this workers for a decade ... In 1947, 3 years after the end of War, an insurectionary strike sarted in France by this workers who were fighting fascism during WWII. It'was not the revolution just a worker insurrection. Workers used technique employed during the war like sabotage.... If the workers were didn't take part in the struggle against fascism this in France were never happened.

In Italy, In Yougoslavia, in Greece.. it's the same... workers did not fight for The Pure Communist Revolution, they fought for a minimum of liberty... And that you can't understand that capitalism in democratic regimes is preferable that fascism.... because workers were suffered many more under fascism...

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Sorry for my english language comrades... and Hello Everybody ! ... I'm a french anarchist...

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thaw
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Jul 28 2005 21:22

But Beltov displays the usual woeful analysis of the average trotskyist. I remember having an packed anti-war public meeting during the Kosovo bombing when one of the leading lights of the SSP suggested that the west should sort it out by arming the KLA. Duh. Sorry, had to abuse my position as chair and forcefully put him right with a few salient facts. Don't think he got it though. (For the record, I still occasionally work with that comrade on some issues and his analysis on some stuff is ok).

Mike Harman
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Jul 28 2005 22:09
l'agité wrote:

Sorry for my english language comrades... and Hello Everybody ! ... I'm a french anarchist...

circle A

It's better than my French, and a few monoglot English posters' english for that matter. Welcome to the boards!

thaw
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Jul 28 2005 22:18

l'agité, je parle francais. Mais je crois que ton anglais (je suis en effet ecossais) est probablement meilleur que mon francais, Mais il faut essayer je crois. (J'ai etudie la langue et literature a l'universite depuis beaucoup d'annees, mais c'est une langue que j'aim bien. Je suis tres content de parler (ou ecriver) en francais si tu veux?

Joe Heel (strom)

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 29 2005 10:47
l'agité wrote:
Workers used technique employed during the war like sabotage.... If the workers were didn't take part in the struggle against fascism this in France were never happened.

Very interesting, l'agite! Welcome to the boards 8)

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thaw
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Jul 29 2005 21:22

Qui, bienvenue au bords, mon ami. Nous voullons bien parler avec nos comrades francais! Et je connais que la resitsance comprise des communistes pour la plupart.

Vive la revolution.

:Liberte, egalite et fraternite.

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Alf
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Jul 30 2005 07:25

In response to l'agite. No problem with language - the problem is political.

What happened at Renault in 1947 was a class response to the post-war austerity. The workers (why are they called 'the workers who fought fascism'?) came up against the Stalinist unions and created a strike committee outside the trade union. Members of the ICC's political ancestors, the Gauche Communiste de France, were active members of this committee.

This strike had nothing in common with the patriotic Reistance. The fact that the Stalinists disbanded the Reistance after the war does not mean that the partisans had a revolutionary character, whether in France, Greece or elsewhere. On the contrary, their specific function was to pull militant workers into the inter-imperialist fronts.

The question raised by Beltov - what distinguishes the anarchist position on WW2 from the Trotskyist one - is still posed. The Trotskyists have exactly the same position on the Resistance.

l'agité
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Jul 30 2005 10:36

I just respond to Alf :

Quote:
why are they called 'the workers who fought fascism'?)

Why ? because it'was the same who were in the Resistance and were in the 1947 strike...The influence of the PCF was enormous in the polulation, in part by the role of the communists in the resistance. And this Resistance can't bu summarised by the expression"patriotic Reistance" (it's not false but that the patriotic carachter was predominant but there was also many other reasons : anti-fascism, against jews deportation, class struggle, defense of elementary rights etc... etc... etc....)

And I disagree totally that the Gauche Communiste were active in this 1947 strike. It's a mythe. The factorie Billancourt of Renault was a bastion of the stalinist PCF (Parti Communiste Français) with anarchists minorities and few trotskists. I doubt of the influence of the Gauche Communist in social movement in France. The "Comité central de grève" , outside the CGT union (under control of the PCF stalinist, but with socialists and anarchist minotities before the scission in 1947 and the creation of the CGT-FO) was not dominated by this Gauche Communiste but by socialists and i don't think the Gauche Communiste militant was in this comitee.

This strike of 1947 is a mythe for all far-left organisation : trotskysts of Lutte Ouvriere pretend they are responsible of this strike... like ancestor the french CNT pretend the same... The realitie : they were minorities. It was not the stalinists who started the strike, not the anarchists, not trotskists and surely not the Gauche Communiste....

And we can't summarized the strike of 1947 to the Renault factorie of Billancourt. Many riots in ALL the industrial factories of France and in the transport. The workers utilized sabotage against line of trains (and killed innocents, they thinked they attacked a train of militaries...).

red n black star black star violet black star

L' agité

i'm too long... Mr. T ... It's the last time i write about history wink

Et merci à tous pour l'acceuil ! et Thaw je serais très enchanté de continuer à parler en francais.

redyred
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Jul 30 2005 10:56
l'agité wrote:
i'm too long... Mr. T ... It's the last time i write about history wink

Please - talk about history all you want. This is brilliant stuff.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 30 2005 17:34
Alf wrote:
The question raised by Beltov - what distinguishes the anarchist position on WW2 from the Trotskyist one - is still posed. The Trotskyists have exactly the same position on the Resistance.

You're barking up the wrong tree with this one. I don't work out my politics by seeing what the Trots believe and then walking in the opposite direction. I'm not in the RCP you know.

Edit: I also appreaciate l'agite's writing on history very mcuh. Please keep it up! Was the 1947 strike also part of the time when Stalin was becoming totally uninterested in a French revolution and was telling the French CP to start being nice to De Gaulle? I seem to remember that many of the 'militants' of the PCF became very upset and rudderless by this -- a kind of repeat of the party crisis caused by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pacy of 1939...

Seumus
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Jul 31 2005 14:48

When we look at the entries from the ICP and their friends one thing is obvious, at the last word they are still telling the working class ( or as Solidarity used to define them, the order takers,) just what to do and when they should have done it! Just where do the ICC differ , not just from the Trots but from any of the organisations of Capital ?

The last meeting of theirs I attended in was in Leeds. The big issue at that time was the error of the working classes in having permanent organisation. Not just unions, but any organisation! This from a Political Party. They just want to control us and to direct our lives. We have had two hundred years,(at least ) of this rubbish. They haven't even the decency to get a reasonable line

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Lazy Riser
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Jul 31 2005 19:24

Comrade,

You are failing to understand the ICC’s historic mission…

1.

Provide a holding pen to neutralise those communists who would otherwise severely compromise the revolutionary agenda.

2.

To demonstrate the various ideological positions and tactics least likely to accelerate our programme.

I think you will agree, in this light, the ICC are a necessary component in the libertarian socialist project.

In solidarity

Chris

Seumus
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Aug 1 2005 20:35

Friend,

I don't misunderstand the ' ICC's historic mission,' I understand it only too well. They make bullets for others to fire. Whilst there is,even in relatively quiet times , a class struggle going, on the ICC's mission is simply to stand to one side and mutter from the sidelines. If the idea took hold of no permanent working class organisation it would leave the class at the mercy of not only capital and the state but of political adventurers. Friend, like all the left politicians you are dangerous.

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Alf
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Aug 2 2005 04:42

In response to L'agite, who raises a serious debate.

Just to make things clear about what I said. I certainly would not claim that the GCF started the 1947 strike; it was a very small group and certainly would not claim to have launched this massive struggle. In any case, such claims would have been completely alien to its way of understanding the class movement. But yes, it was active in the limit of its possibilities, taking part in the strike committee and issuing leaflets for the extension of the strike. They published articles on this in their magazine L'Internationalisme.

The key difference between this movement and the Resistance is that it was from the start on the terrain of the class struggle - workers defending their basic interests, their demands as workers. This opens up the possibility of self-organisation and extension and an awareness of being a class opposed to capital. In the Resistance, whatever your subjective reasons for joining it, you can only operate on the terrain of capital - of imperialist war. The gulf between a class struggle and a national struggle is fundamental. This class line is something that the Trotskyists are always trying to obscure; and by using the same methods of argument, many anarchists do the same. Not all in World War Two there were also anarchists who took an internationalist position against both blocs.

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JoeMaguire
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Aug 2 2005 18:37

Seumus, you should post more often......

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thaw
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Aug 2 2005 19:29

If it is the Seamus I know, yes he should. And you will be well impressed my would-be revolutionary friends.

l'agité
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Aug 2 2005 19:53
Quote:
The key difference between this movement and the Resistance is that it was from the start on the terrain of the class struggle - workers defending their basic interests, their demands as workers

roll eyes ... and during the Occupation and the french collaboration what did workers doing ?

For recall : many syndicalists were arrested and deported, workers organisations were prohibited, right to strike prohibited with other minimal social rights, corporatism was created, jews and anti-fascist immigrants workers lost their works in the administration (before the deportation), the Obligatory Work Service were instored for all ... etc etc etc...

If you were living in 1941 in France ; What would you have made ? nothing ?

Quote:
In the Resistance, whatever your subjective reasons for joining it, you can only operate on the terrain of capital - of imperialist war

neutral ... Ahhh... the workers strikes during the occupation, liberation strikes in 1944, entreprise self-managed by workers by liberation strikes, boss fired, barricades, guerrilla tactics of the partisans.... and you forgot that Libération and the new Republic emerge with important new social rights for workers.

But you forgot the most essential : they don't enter in the resistance to protect their worker rights but to protect their HUMAN rights. When resistants succede to release jews ; had they to select the proletarians to the bourgeois ?

The class-struggle was not the unique reason of the resistance... and it is happy. Save jews it was not class struggle and it was necessary... like if a futur revolution comme in Europe i hope that others reasons that class struggle appear like anti-sexism and feminism, ecology etc... in agrement of workers liberation...

to respond to Lazlo_Woodbine

Quote:
Please keep it up! Was the 1947 strike also part of the time when Stalin was becoming totally uninterested in a French revolution and was telling the French CP to start being nice to De Gaulle? I seem to remember that many of the 'militants' of the PCF became very upset and rudderless by this -- a kind of repeat of the party crisis caused by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pacy of 1939...

The PCF was a very stalinist organisation, pcf take the orders direcly from Moscow (and it's not exagerate). The PCF is not revolutionnary party anymore since 1940-1945 (it's the PCF whose desarmed the communists militias after the Liberation to prevent revolutionary adventure. With the ColdWar the political line of the PCF was to defend the URSS state not to spread the revolution in France.

With the Libération and the new regime the PCF become a very important electoral party with deputies and ministers. But the revoltuon idea rest a strong identity of the party.

The PCF was not nice to de Gaulle, but the opposition was essentially parlementary not in the street. I don't know if the party was in crisis. I don't think because at this periode the PCF was collected political success in election with strong popular support.

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