1939 and all that...

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Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
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Aug 24 2005 23:05

Hi

Quote:
it’s a river of blood all the ‘critical’ supporters of democracy and Stalinism prefer to delicately ignore or step around, because it’s easier to hurl abuse at people who are simply defending the principle of proletarian internationalism than explain why - under the cover of all sorts of ultra-left phrases - you are defending the left of capitalism

Thank you for those uplifting words. Would it have been in our best interests to surrender?

Love

Chris

nastyned
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Aug 25 2005 09:08

I wouldn't fight in the British army in 1939 or at any other time.

This is well worth a read: Class War on the home front

Vaneigemappreci...
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Aug 25 2005 09:35
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By contrast, anti-fascism was (and still is today) a tool of the bourgeiosie.

this is the most ridiculous statement ive ever read.

surely fascism is a tool of the bourgeiosie?

l'agité
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Aug 26 2005 16:38

Sorry all but i love this thread...

wld_rvn

Quote:
both the Allies and the Axis were imperialist, both were responsible for the barbarism of the war, including the Holocaust:

You have another stupidities like that ? it's very sad you can't understand that nor USA, nor England nor Ussr are resposible of the beggining of the jews extermination... I advise to read some books or websites on the subjects before you express another historical lies. You can read another writing which not come from the Icc..

When i read this in your paper :"It needed a mad courage to stand up against everyone, to call on the workers to desert the partisans, and in doing so to run the gauntlet between the Gestapo, the Vichy police, the Gaullists and the Stalinist killers."

.... neutral ... can you understand it's horrible what you are writing ? Nazis and french police killed hundreds of civilians ... not gaullists nor Stalinists in the Resistance! ! you can't understand that "to call on the workers to desert the partisans" was particulary stupid and totally deconnected when the only solution to jews, anti-fascist immigrants, deserters of the obligatory work, syndicalists, communists, anarchists, socialists , etc.. to rest in live was to join the Resistance ? ?

When in the leaflet of 1944 it's write "Don’t respond to the insurrection which will be made with your blood for the greater good of international capitalism." ... neutral ... a call to not take part of the insurrection.... whaaaa very good position neutral ... when we knows that during the Libération factories where selfmanaged by workers, that this insurrection allowed to stop the permanent repression against the population...

Quote:
L’agite, the anarchist, “prefers” the Stalinist resistance officers who at the time of the so-called Liberation. issued the call “chacun a son Boche” – “everyone kill a German” – and led the chauvinist hysteria against German proletarians in uniform,

... ohhh the poor german proletarians in uniform who killed more than 100 000 resistants in France, who rape hundreds of women, who make terror in the streets....

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the shameful witch-hunts against French “collaborators”.

.... ohhhh the poors collaborators who denunced jews to the german proletarian in uniform ....

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In this discussion we and others have tried to give a general outline of the revolutionary intervention that was carried out, but there are none so blind as those who do not want to see

I want see what as this revolutionnary intervention but execpt a surrealist leaflet in 1944 when the war is finishing in France i don't see what you were doing.... when general insurrection in France is started do a leaflet it's not very glorious...

Quote:
We do not have the space here to give a full description of the activity of the communist left during the war

... in 10 pages of thread.... not space to describe a single revolutionnary activity... neutral . and In your website their is no articles on what your movement did execpt ideological papers on ww2...

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Volin
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Aug 26 2005 22:49

L'agité; you are admirablement fantastique et étonnant!

grin circle A

wld_rvn
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Aug 27 2005 15:32

"The poor German workers in uniform" says L'agite sarcastically. With this logic, we should also be sarcastic about the hundreds of thousands of German workers not in uniform who perished under Allied firestorms. After all 'they started it....' as the tabloids never cease telling us.

The allies were not also responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews? When they knew exactly what was going on and at the Bermuda conference of 1943 took the clear decision to keep the door shut on the Jews of Europe who were desperate to leave?

We have given you the links to what the left communists did. We once again recommend that you read about the work of the Dutch comrades during the 1941 dock strike. This was one of the rare cases when it was even possible to respond to a real movement of workers during the war. For most of the war the possibilities of acting inside a mass movement were extremely limited, but even the act of throwing revolutionary leaflets onto a train, or maintaining an underground paper, required enormous effort and courage. But the real issue is what those leaflets said, what those papers stood for.

We were interested to read nastyned's post: he made it clear that he would not support the British army. He also made a link with articles published by the left communists in Britain during the war. We certainly recommend that comrades read these and send in their opinions.

l'agité
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Aug 28 2005 09:17
Quote:
The allies were not also responsible for the deaths of millions of Jews? When they knew exactly what was going on and at the Bermuda conference of 1943 took the clear decision to keep the door shut on the Jews of Europe who were desperate to leave?

ahhh shit ... i didn't know the Usa particiapted to the Holocaust and controled many camps of extermination.... And why you forgot that railroads were bombarded by allies, the fact that resistance do sabotage against railroads, that allies gave informations to Resistance etc... You can't do history while drawing what arrange you. And concerning the Bermuda Conference it was on the iniative to the allies to try to help jews but a big failure because they didn't want of jews refugees . You can't say this failure put allies on the same side that nazi extermination, it was a dramatic error but they were not responsible of the mass extermination.

The resistance knew existance of mass deportation of jews. there was immigrnants grups of resistants, the most famous was the FTP-MOI. They did actions againsts deportation (without speaking about all the people who helped jews). Your movement did actions against the antisemitics persecutions ?

But if Usa did nothing for the jews you can say Usa=Nazi , but your argument turns over against you : you did nothing to save jews like allies : thus Icc=Usa=Nazi thus leftcommunism=capitalism=fascism.... grin ... and yes it's stupid but it'son the same level that your argumentation.


Quote:
We
have given ...

We were interested

We certainly recommend...

I was thinking that Libcom is a forum to individuals not a space were an anti-anarchist organisation try to win a battle.

I read all your articles about the WW2, and i never read what you were doing during the war.

I read many of your others articles. I love particulary yours articles about the IFICC and the Tusnami.... and now i doubt : are you a strange collectives of clown artists , a joke of teenagers, or a guild of a role-playing game ?

Volin

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L'agité; you are admirablement fantastique et étonnant!

wink Thanks ! je ne mérite pas tant

baboon
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Aug 31 2005 12:07

Sorry about the double clicking - I'm just getting used to this. Can you save what you are typing? How?

All this argument about what you'd have done and who you would have supported is absolute bollocks.

You sit in front of your screens talking the most idealistic, abstract guff. And you have the nerve to say that the ICC - which exists and intervenes internationally - does nothing.

How do you know what you'd have done? You don't. You have no idea - except your view today that the Nazis were nasty. And that simplicity blinds you to the greater horrors of stalinism and democracy.

If you are so easily suckered by anti-fascism, if you existed in Germany at the time you could have been taken in by fascism - L'agite's hysterical tone has a certain goose-stepping quality to it. The nazis didn't call themselves fascists (Mussolini did) but National Socialists. Essentially the same as stalinism. Workers were militarised and soldiers brutalised on all sides. It was a period of deep counter-revolution. You haven't got a clue what position you would have been in, even less what you'd have done and who you supported.

The only way to approach this is with a long term perspective - the communist perspective. If you have eyes to see and a brain to think you can see that capitalist barbarism is spreading wider and deeper (and it won't stop at revol68's beloved White Cliffs of Dover). The perspective is socialism or barbarism. Only working class insurrection will give us any chance in the first place. and fighting for national armies, national causes - whether dressed up as this or that - will be fighting for a decaying capitalism. That chance, that perspective for the working class and humanity, is then made less likely if not wiped out altogether (and hastens the spread of barbarism itself).

The question is not "I would have done this or supported that", that's individualised fantasy wishful thinking, but "Either/Or -Socialism or Barbarism".

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 1 2005 15:57
baboon wrote:
All this argument about what you'd have done and who you would have supported is absolute bollocks.

And then you go on, several times in this post, to claim you know what people should have done. What bollocks.

baboon wrote:
L'agite's hysterical tone has a certain goose-stepping quality to it.

There's a hysterical statement for you.

baboon wrote:
It was a period of deep counter-revolution.

But also one of possible workers' insurrection? Do sort yourself out.

baboon wrote:
capitalist barbarism is spreading wider and deeper (and it won't stop at revol68's beloved White Cliffs of Dover).

ROFPMSLMr. T

baboon wrote:
The question is not "I would have done this or supported that", that's individualised fantasy wishful thinking, but "Either/Or -Socialism or Barbarism".

And who represents 'socialism' and the only true way? The ICC. What a load of self-deluding garbage. I'm quite happy to say that the ICC have done nothing, and do nothing, because it's palpably true.

If you're so right, then why are you getting nowhere? Damn those stupid workers who refuse to follow you into made-up insurrections roll eyes

l'agité
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Sep 2 2005 17:53
Quote:
All this argument about what you'd have done and who you would have supported is absolute bollocks.

Yes i agree... but nobody said what it would have done in 40's.

Quote:
if you existed in Germany at the time you could have been taken in by fascism

.... grin ... ahhh i love when in 2 phrases a guy contradict himself....

Quote:
You sit in front of your screens talking the most idealistic, abstract guff

I only try to restore a minimum of historical thruth. The ICC manipulate history in order to correspond to this ideology. It's not scientific and it's anti-historic.

It's funny you speak about "idealistic and abstract guff" because the ICC articles about ww2 are only full of ideology, there are nothing concrete of what left communists did in the 40's or what would have been an alternative in 40's. The articles are full of magic words like "internationalism" or "proletarian revolution" but nothing concrete.

Quote:
And you have the nerve to say that the ICC - which exists and intervenes internationally - does nothing.

yes there guy and girls who are the nerve to respond to absurdities of the icc... If you don't want a minimum of contradictors don't go in a forum.

Quote:
The question is not "I would have done this or supported that", that's individualised fantasy wishful thinking, but "Either/Or -Socialism or Barbarism".

... grin .... another abstract guff ...

-During the Occupation, is it to help jews to escape persecution socialism ?

-During the Occupation, is it to help jews to escape persecution capitalism ?

Thank you if you can respond to this question in agreement with your black or white "either socialism or barbarism". . . .

and i wait for a response...

Mark H
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Sep 4 2005 13:16
Lazy Riser wrote:
Quote:
Thank you for those uplifting words. Would it have been in our best interests to surrender?

It depends on whose interests you are referring to doesn't it? If you mean the best interests of British imperialism then certainly Churchill and the rest of the British bourgeoisie (after debating the possibility of a negotiated peace with Hitler) were definitely against surrendering Britain's remaining status as a world power to its German rival and called on the British people, both the exploited and their exploiters, to "fight on the beaches, etc."

If you mean the interests of the British working class, then the point is that it's the ruling class which 'surrenders', not the workers; the working class has no national sovereignty or governmental power to give up. The working class in France, Holland, Italy, etc., didn't 'surrender'; the class struggle didn't end, it continued in the factories, and in some cases, as other postings have showed, even in the midst of the slaughter there were strikes and other forms of working class resistance to the war.

The collection of articles in "Class War on the Home Front" is well worth a read for what revolutionaries in Britain were actually saying at this time. No doubt the small group of workers on Clydeside who published "Solidarity" and defended a clear internationalist position against the war, also got criticised by the Trotksyists and others for 'doing nothing'. But the APCF did try to give a practical perspective to workers’ struggles:

“The only answer to fascism is the workers’ social revolution, by workers’ control, by immediately fighting conscription in all its phases, by building up workers’ committees in opposition to the boss and the trade unions; by building workers’ open forums, where the workers themselves can discuss and decide. By that method we can stem fascism and open up the road to workers’ power.”

You can still criticise this for being a bit abstract, but this and other articles give an idea of the elements of a real British working class response to the imperialist war.

meanoldman
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Sep 4 2005 18:39
Quote:
If you mean the interests of the British working class, then the point is that it's the ruling class which 'surrenders', not the workers; the working class has no national sovereignty or governmental power to give up

In which case the further question must be asked, was it in the interest of the British working class for the British ruling class to surrender.

meanoldman
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Sep 4 2005 18:40

Should probably add, I'll write a proper reply to reponses to my last long post sometime.

baboon
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Sep 5 2005 11:46

I read a review of a book at the week-end. It was about stuff I'd seen before - Britain in Keyna in 1952. One place, one time,amongst hundreds of other "examples" of British imperialism in action. Thousands of Keynans killed. One and a half million men, women and children caged in concentration camps, abused and tortured. Women sytematically raped and men castrated by pliers. So much better than the nasty nazis? Such a "lesser evil" than the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany?

Not at all. What's different about democracy is that it is intelligent enough to commit the worse and most cynical crimes in history and fool the gullible that it is not as bad as all that. It may not be perfect but it's better than it could be, we are told. This argument comes from a formidable enemy.

The only perspective is to see that from the material reality of the working class being a producer class (it produces everything) there is a real possibility of living in a society that "is not as bad as it could be" (ie, implying that it can only get worse), but in one where society is geared not for war and competition but for production for need - the possibilities are limitless. Any move towards this is stifled in the bud if you support one imperialism against the other because whatever their individual tally, they are all equally reactionary from a working class perspective.

meanoldman
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Sep 5 2005 12:33

Baboon by looking at Kenya you entirely ignore the perspective of the British working class. No-one has contented that for those in the British empire the identity of the government in London was important, what you do need to show though is that Nazi rule would have made no difference to the working class here in Britain.

We may be the producer class but we're also a collection of human beings, an anarchist society will come into existence when thousands of working class people all over the world take actions to make such a society happen. The perspective where we think of the working class as a load of human beings can not be ignored. If you consider the working class as a collection of human beings then you have to take into account that people are affected by fear and are infinetly less likely to do things likely to bring into existence an anarchist society if anyone known to be, suspected of being or accused of being a socialist is quickly shot. During the 1930's around 5000 suspect socialists were shot each month in Germany, which is one of the main reasons that even in early 1945 when Nazi rule had crumbled, people's living conditions were shocking and the Nazi party was seen by the working class as something that had brought about Germany's complete destruction there was absolutely no mass resistance. Unlike in Italy were starting with the strikes in Turin in 1943 there was concerted resistance to fascist rule in Germany there was none at all and the reason for this (or at least a very major reason) was the level of fear created by 10 years of incredible repression of anything that showed even the first hint of working class self-organisation about it. If the Gate Gourmet workers had known that going on a wildcat strike would have meant that they and their families would have been shot the chances of the strike happening would have been severly reduced.

If we steal our definition of meaningful action from Solidarity: "# Meaningful action, for revolutionaries, is whatever increases the confidence, the autonomy, the initiative, the participation, the solidarity, the equalitarian tendencies and the self-activity of the masses and whatever assists in their demystification." then Nazi rule would have been a catastrophy for the working class here.

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Demogorgon303
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Sep 7 2005 08:56

Hi Meanoldman

This is my first time posting here, so forgive me if my mastery of this interface is a little off. I'm also a sympathiser of the ICC, which means I support them but don't, obviously, speak for them. You can stop reading now if you want. wink

Quote:
Baboon by looking at Kenya you entirely ignore the perspective of the British working class.

What Baboon is attempting to do is to examine the question in its historic and global totality. This is the heart and soul of the Marxist method. By reducing questions like this to this or that national situation, we are following a fundamentally bourgeois method.

Quote:
what you do need to show though is that Nazi rule would have made no difference to the working class here in Britain.

No, what he needs to do - what this entire thread needs to do - is to examine the entire war and actions by both sides in terms of what it means to the world working class. In that sense, I think we can agree it was unparalled disaster in human history - 50 million dead in Europe, 100 million dead globally, those that survived living in bombed out hovels, practically starving to death, I don't think I need to go on.

It is also quite clear that capitalism was responsible for the War. Both in a historic sense, in the terms that its own social crisis pushed the great powers into a war competing for resources, markets, etc. and also in the sense that it was capitalists (state capitalists in Russia's case) that drove the war effort in all nations. I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone that it was the main capitalist firms in Germany that turned Hitler from a small time rabble rouser into a major politician. Or that Hitler began his political career as a state agent. Or that the police and state apparatus supported the Nazi party. Again, I don't think I need to go on.

The real point is that the war would have happened in some form or another even if Hitler had kept to his career as an artist because the capitalist system demanded it. The ruling class in each country simply chose the ideology that would allow it to best mobilise its population, given current circumstances. It certainly seems the "democracies" made a good choice - 60 years later people are still rallying to its flag!

You also make numerous comments about the humanity of the working class. This is all very well and true up to a point, but seems to me to reduce the working class to a mere collection of individuals. Individuals that will kneel under the kosh of a dictatorship - this is true of masses of individuals. But the working class , acting as a class , does not need to.

Were the threats that faced German revolutionaries in the 1st World War from the Kaiser state any less real than those in the Nazi era? No. Were the threats from Tzarist state with its highly developed secret police and numerous freelancers (e.g. Black Hundreds) any less dangerous? No. And yet workers launched themselves against such states because at that moment they were able to clearly see their strength lay in their class organisation and class consciousness.

The logic of your argument also calls on the German workers to rally behind Nazism. The defeat of Germany and subsequent occupation cost the workers far more than Nazi rule itselt had. More Germans died during the Allied occupation than during the War itself, primarily because of the systematic starvation imposed on the population by the occupying powers. A victorious power always punishes the defeated power - it's the capitalist way, no different from the way a stronger bougeois bankrupts the weaker in business. By reducing workers to national (or corporate) fractions defending their sectional interests, their only choice is for them to rally behind the flag (or company) they "belong" to. Defeat for "their" nation (or bankruptcy for their company) means being crushed under the boot of an occupier (or mass redundancy). Following this logic - bourgeois logic - workers can never form any kind of international solidarity.

The Revolutionary Wave showed us the possibility of another way: internationalism, workers of all countries rising up together and joining forces, irrespective of its immediate cost to themselves. And it is that internationalism and solidarity that points the way to a new society based on human need rather than competition between invididuals, communities and nations.

Demogorgon

baboon
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Sep 7 2005 13:14

I totally agree with the previous posting.

Meanoldman (Mom) ask would Nazi rule have made a difference to the working class. This is "what if" and is summed up in the popular saying "if my aunt had bollocks she'd be my uncle!"

But Mom's "what if" has a valid point to it. It can't be answered by fantasy and hysteria - it still has to be based on certain material realities, ie, that of the world of the 1940s (where as Mom says, even in the depths of counter-revolution there were elements of class struggle. That's why the Allies bombed German civilians (workers) so extensively and they paused in Italy to let the SS clear up workers' resistance).

But back to what if the Nazis had won. Would things have been worse for the working class - with the implication that therefore the workers' main enemy wasn't "at home" but that it could align itself - however tenuously - with its own bourgeoisie to fight a bigger threat?

The answer has to be nuanced, but there is an overall, overiding certainty both before and during the war - that is the USA was going to be, far and away, the victorious imperialism. Whatever other imperialisms were for or against it, however they lined up, the USA was going to turn out to be the dominant imperialism. That has to be the situation in any fantasy.

There were a number of possibilities before the war (only possibilities) Britain encouraged the Nazi regime before the war and there was a strong section of the British bourgeoisie that favoured an alliance with them. To some extent the same was true of the USA and France. We saw what happened with Russia.

Mom's question implies that things under a Nazi regime would have been worse for the working class as a whole, therefore justifying anit-Nazism (an anti-nazi front).

As a diversion here let's do away with the sentimental and hysterical arguments, red herrings, about "saving people" - usually meant to be Jews from the nazis. Obviously as workers we hope we would have the courage to save individuals or families if we could - it goes without saying. This argument is just a way of avoiding the issues.

So, could you support an anti-nazi front to make the world a little bit better for the working class?

Here material reality crushes fantasy. The nazis couldn't, wouldn't have "won" anything without US support.

Let's say the US fell out big time with GB and backed the nazis as their main subservient power in Europe. This is the only possible way for the nazis to come out even a little bit "victorious". But the US had deliberately bled its major rival GB dry and was, even during the war, literally preparing the bill for pay back. It simply wasn't in the US's interests (material and ideological) to support the nazis in any way.

But, for the sake of argument, let's say that they did (again, even in this fantasy, we have to frame the material reality of the time).

So, the US has aligned with the nazis and would use the subservient latter in a "special relationship" to police certain US interests in return for protection from the main Godfather (again let's leave aside the inherent instability of this situation, not less in respect of Russia, France, Poland, etc., etc.).

Even in relation to decadent capitalism, the nazi regime had become completely irrational (a general tendency of a decaying social system). Therefore the US would have demanded (and got) regime change from the nazis. Every capitalist country after the war needed its workers. Even Stalin's Russia was no exception (and I would argue, on a simple body count alone, that Stalinism was a greater abomination than nazism). A US imposed nazi regime (it would have had to change its name and ideology) - and US imposed is they only way that Germany could have won anything at all - wouldn't have made very much difference to the working class in Britain. You only have to look at Jersey during the war to see how elements of the British bourgeoisie worked with the nazis. You can see how they would have colluded with a US imposed watered down version afterwards.

That's the fantasy - it wouldn't have happened so it justify nothing but abstraction. What about the material reality of what is and what is going to be?

We can see today that war is becoming a permanent and growing feature over a greater part of the planet (emanating and stirred up by the major powers in the main); disease, hunger, poverty are spreading ever wider; pensions, social benefits, wages and working conditions are being cut everywhere; man made (or man exacerbated) disasters threaten to turn the planet into a place where we don't go backwars, but ever forwards into an unimaginable hell.

This is reality, not fantasy, and no front with any bourgeois faction will prevent it. Only the struggle of the working class fighting on it own ground.

wld_rvn
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Sep 9 2005 16:30

Just a short post to first of all salute the questions raised by meanoldman, which were answered clearly by demogorgon. It is very important to see that there aren't many working classes who have differing interests: there is one international working class that shares the same historic interests wherever it exists. This is why the ICC's programme - its Basic Positions and Platform - is identical in all countries, advanced capitalist countries as well as underdeveloped ones. Although national 'specificities' still exist today these can in no way lead to a rejection of the unity of our programme, which is worldwide or nothing.

Secondly, we have produced an article in the latest issue of World Revolution on the questions raised in this thread. It is available on our site here:

http://en.internationalism.org/wr/287_anarcho_trenchists.html

It takes up the question of the Resistance in WWII and links this to the situation in Iraq. We hope it contributes to the discussion of internationalism...

Finally, for those who are still interested in the history of the internationalists during WWII, we have published Chapter 10 of our book on the history of the Dutch and German Communist Left, which deals with the involvement of the 'Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg Front' in the struggles in occupied Holland during 1941. The chapter is available here:

http://en.internationalism.org/books/dgcl/4/10_00.html

Here is a brief quote from the MLL's appeal in 1941...

Quote:
If men and women of the workers’ districts rouse themselves in the Jewish district of Amsterdam... if they undertake a struggle against the bandits hired by the Dutch National Socialist movement, then we will see a magnificent demonstration of spontaneous solidarity which will appear in the factories under a superior and more effective form. Respond to all acts of National Socialist violence through agitation and strikes of protest in the factories. Come out en masse from the factories, leave work and massively join up with class comrades in struggle in the threatened districts. [...]

How to struggle? Germany? No. England? No.

The Third Front, the socialist proletariat.

Against National Socialism and National Bolshevism - The international class struggle!

World Revolution.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Sep 9 2005 18:59
wld_rvn wrote:
Although national 'specificities' still exist today these can in no way lead to a rejection of the unity of our programme, which is worldwide or nothing.

Is this a trick question?

wld_rvn
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Sep 10 2005 18:04
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
wld_rvn wrote:
Although national 'specificities' still exist today these can in no way lead to a rejection of the unity of our programme, which is worldwide or nothing.

Is this a trick question?

No. Why would it be?

World Revolution.

alibadani
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Sep 12 2005 00:35

Forgive me if this point has already been raised, I haven't read every single post. My post is for those who believe the Allies were the lesser of two evils because of the holocaust. There was a major genocide of Armenians taking place during WWI. The Ottoman empire was carrying it out at an alarming pace. It was brought to an end by the allied victory. What would have happened to the Armenian people if Turkey and its allies had won the war? They probably would have been wiped off the face of the planet. At least those on Turkish territory.

Should we then rethink our internationalist postion on WWI? The fact remains that the workers faced two choices: fight for "your" country, or unite and stop the damn war yourselves. Both the Russian and the German revolutions show that workers aren't powerless. If in the 1930's all the Stalinists, and Trotskyists (and anarchists I guess) had followed thier own leader Lenin's position, maybe WWII would have ended earlier.

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Lazy Riser
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Sep 12 2005 18:34

Hi

Quote:
maybe WWII would have ended earlier

Indeed. But who would have "won"? What would have been the consequences of German victory?

The allies were as evil as you like. Who cares? “Good” and “evil” are always seen through the eyes of the victor anyway. I’m sure the net joy of the proletariat is greater due to Hitler’s defeat, we have Jazz and Blues for a start. I don’t care if he was loverly geezer and Churchill was a vampire, the liberal cultural values that have been advanced as consequence of fascism’s military defeat bring us closer to revolution today than we would be had Nazi expansionism not been curtailed.

Why do the ICC want a revolution? So they can bathe in the blessed light of sacred internationalism sweetened by their sense of patient sacrifice? Or to enjoy the full range of material pleasures afforded by the awesome power of the working class commonwealth?

They’d be better ditching this fetishist, paralysing, internationalism. The world will never be precisely configured for the revolution. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t allow different territories to advance at their own rate, the alternative is gridlock. Our first responsibility is to achieve a safe level of local economic security, implement a programme of direct democracy and poverty elimination and then use our resources to support our comrades abroad as they emulate our example.

Love

LR

wld_rvn
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Joined: 22-04-04
Sep 13 2005 11:38

A very good post by Alibadani, drawing out the logic used by all those who have been trying to scare away the internationalist position with reference to the Holocaust. Surely the cynical abandonment of the Jews and others by the Allies provides further proof that the working class simply cannot defend itself or any oppressed minority by relying on the benevolence of the ruling class, democratic or otherwise? It is quite astounding how few ‘libertarians’ and ‘anarchists’ on this thread have protested against all those posts supporting the idea that the capitalist state is or can be our only defence. These ‘anti-statists’ might argue that World War Two was an ‘exceptional case’, but Alibadani shows that precisely the same logic can be applied to the First World War as well – a war that really was ended by mass working class action. And of course there’s the classic case of the ‘anti-statist’ CNT using the ‘lesser evil’ argument to justify lining up with the Republican state in Spain.

In response to Lazy Riser – first of all, not everyone who supports the internationalist position is in or even known to the ICC. But at least he makes his opposition to internationalism clear. He seems to argue in favour of some kind of ‘uneven development’ which was so central to Stalin’s theory of ‘socialism in one country’. This becomes plain when you look at his thread on ‘Industrial Regeneration and the Working Class Project’, which not only argues that we should support the industrial regeneration of Britain under the present social system, but even starts putting forward a plan for it, to the apparent surprise of some other participants on the thread. With or without ‘direct democracy’, this is capitalist politics plain and simple.

Yes, internationalism is connected to the perspective of worldwide revolution, as Lenin, Luxemburg, Pannekoek and others insisted in 1914. So if people think this is just an impossible utopia, they should say so. Certainly, we are in favour of internationalism for the same reason Marx argued in favour of supporting all the defensive struggles of the working class: a class that cannot defend its most basic interests will never be able to become a force capable of reorganising society. And by the same token, a class that cannot fight for its own material interests against nationalism and war will never be able to unify itself for the overthrow of the present global system of exploitation.

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Lazy Riser
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Sep 13 2005 12:18

Hi

Quote:
Stalin’s theory of ‘socialism in one country'

Guilt by association, bit below the belt don't you think? Not up to the normal standard of analysis I would expect from the ICC. By the same logic you should ban moustaches. I agree with that position though, so you’d have my support should you wish to pursue it.

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this is capitalist politics plain and simple

I’m to the Left of the ICC, even on internationalism. By attaining economic self sufficiency we will be in an excellent position to support our comrades abroad when they face capitalism’s blockades and sanctions. If they follow the same strategy then they can support us if the situation pans out in their favour first.

How do you know capitalist politics when you see them? What essential specific political positions must I adopt in order to be a communist? Gridlocking the revolution? Shaving?

Love

Chris

wld_rvn
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Sep 13 2005 15:01

Could Lazy Riser clarify what position he means when he says "I agree with that position?"

Sorry, but the idea of economic self-sufficiency is not fundamentally different from the idea of socialism in one country. Capitalism is a global system which inevitably imposes its laws, its social relations, on every part of the world. Revolution can only succeed if it spreads internationally; the Russian experience proves that isolation means defeat. That doesn't mean that if workers took control in one area they wouldn't take whatever steps they could to hold on, or to help workers in other countries. But unless they shut their minds to history, they would know that any economic measures they took would only be temporary and that their only hope lies in the extension of the revolution. And if the revolution is successful, the construction of a new society will require the dismantling of the present global capitalist divison of labour, which has become more and more irrational over the last century.

The above applies to the problem of how a workers' revolution could survive. But Lazy Riser is also advocating a programme of economic change to be implemented without a revolution, under the open reign of capital and the existing state. How this qualifies as being "to the left of the ICC", or even to the left of the Labour Party, remains a mystery.

l'agité
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Sep 13 2005 18:23

i read the ICC article about this fucking discussion. It's hilarous your are quoting me , the "french anarcho-syndicalist".... but why you have not quoted me when i responded to all your historical lies ? Why don't you speak about all your fucking idioties.

I read all your articles of WW2 in French and in England . It's sad but your interpretation of this period it is revisionnism, not motivated by antisemitism but only by strange blindness where alle historical elements which contradict your "interpretation" is quite simply isolated.

The Holocaust is not motivated by capitalism but only by racism, and the allies are not rersponsible of this Genocid. Gaullists and Communists in French Resistance don't make terror contrary to nazis... etc etc .... Nazism it's not Capitalism (how to explain there are not capitalists nor bosses in the cadres of the Nazi Party, how to explain the war is started in a period where the capitalist economy is raised after the big crisis and the WWi ...) etc . etc ...

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all those posts supporting the idea that the capitalist state is or can be our only defence

Your are fucking stupid... it's pathologic... Nobody say that we say ONLY that the strike against fascism is very multiple very large by organisations, networks and individuals involved, motivated by very differents reason , sometimes contradictory. Nazism is not Capitalism strike against Capitalism don't equate strike against Nazism (how to help men and women persecuted by racial laws when this racism is not motivated by capitalism ? )

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a class that cannot defend its most basic interests will never be able to become a force capable of reorganising society

.... AND WHAT MADE ALL MEN ESCAPED FROM THE OBLIGATORIES WORKS, WHAT MADE SYNDICALISTS IN RESISTANCE ... IT WAS HOLLIDAYS ... IT WAS FIGHT FOR CAPITALISM ? It's strange but this fucking pro-capitalists workers in the resistance imposed the greatest social laws that Europe never knew with the Libération ....

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Lazy Riser
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Sep 13 2005 19:00

Hi wld_rvn

Quote:
Could Lazy Riser clarify what position he means when he says "I agree with that position?"

I mean that moustaches should be banned.

Quote:
Sorry, but the idea of economic self-sufficiency is not fundamentally different from the idea of socialism in one country

No need to apologise. The clue is in the different meanings of each of the words in the sentence. Economic self-sufficiency and your particular brand of internationalism are not incompatible as far as I can see. That is not particularly helpful to me, but I hope it goes someway towards soothing your troubled mind.

Quote:
Capitalism is a global system which inevitably imposes its laws, its social relations, on every part of the world

It is not magic or sentient or even an ideology in the sense we understand it. All you are describing is the aggregate will of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie obviously holds power everywhere, by definition. There is not much useful information in either of our statements.

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Revolution can only succeed if it spreads internationally

I don’t think it’s necessarily true for revolution generally, but I have to concede that it is true for the ICC’s model of socialist revolution.

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the Russian experience proves that isolation means defeat

Was this defeat under Lenin, Stalin or Gorbachev? Convention sees the ending of their isolation as the cause of their defeat. Perestroika, comrade. Extrapolating general rules by observing one occurance is bad science.

Economic self sufficiency is not the same as isolation. As exporters, I would see the opposite as being true. I would also expect plenty of imports under this model of self sufficiency because we will be very rich and have lots of technology and culture to trade with foreigners, in exchange for things like bannanas and Dutch porn.

Quote:
That doesn't mean that if workers took control in one area they wouldn't take whatever steps they could to hold on, or to help workers in other countries. But unless they shut their minds to history, they would know that any economic measures they took would only be temporary and that their only hope lies in the extension of the revolution.

Why would any reasonable person contend with these fine words?

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And if the revolution is successful, the construction of a new society will require the dismantling of the present global capitalist divison of labour, which has become more and more irrational over the last century

Work will change but simply calling for an end to the division of labour is counter productive. I think people should be free to specialise if it floats their boats, or try out lots of different jobs if nothing in particular takes their fancy. Or do a mixture of both, depending on where they want to go at the time. Or is the division of labour OK unless it’s the “global capitalist division of labour”?. Wiki time…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Division_of_labour#The_global_division_of_labour

Quote:
The above applies to the problem of how a workers' revolution could survive. But Lazy Riser is also advocating a programme of economic change to be implemented without a revolution, under the open reign of capital and the existing state. How this qualifies as being "to the left of the ICC", or even to the left of the Labour Party, remains a mystery.

I’m not advocating a programme of economic change without a revolution, I’m advocating a revolutionary programme.

Quote:
How this qualifies as being "to the left of the ICC", or even to the left of the Labour Party, remains a mystery

Fair enough. How does one measure leftwingedness? By measuring the distance between a position and its counterpart in the ICC’s manifesto? I can place myself to your left simply by saying that I am. However, let me suggest that the ICC’s endless deferral and irrational orthodoxy is reactionary. Communism is not a god to be served or a duty to fulfil. The ICC’s elevation of their almost religiously held ideological positions above my everyday problems and desires is my idea of right wing.

Although the working class project is behind schedule and over budget, the ICC remain valuable contributors and I thank them for their kind support. Despite our political differences, I accept that the ICC are an advanced group and I always look forward to hearing from them.

LR

alibadani
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Sep 13 2005 21:14

Of course, neither l'agite nor Lazy Riser can explain what makes WWII so unique. Why is the Jewish Holocaust so different than the genocide of Turkish Armenians in WWI? Anyway shouldn't there be as much passion for anti Stalinism? Didn't they kill more people than the fascists? What was Pol Pot? And do we have to remind anyone of all the deaths done by the hands of the democracies? Come on.

I don't know what Lazy Riser's proposes. What is this economic self-sufficiency stuff? It sounds a lot like the old pre-Marxist, Utopian socialism. Perhaps what he/she proposes is a socialism that survives in one state, surrounded by global capitalism. It will somehow remain non-imperialist despite international competition. It will also somehow resist the pressures of the world market, the pressure of competitiveness etc. It will only offer "support" for others (workers?) who could emulate the example (or not). All this without (?) a revolution.

Communistst don't want revolution for the sake of wanting it. We see it as the ONLY way forward for mankind. There's nothing romantic or cool about revolution. It requires incredible effort and self-sacrifice.

As for the failure of the Russian Revolution, it failed precisely because it ended up being a Russian revolution, not the first phase in a world revolution. The Bolsheviks themselves were convinced that the revolution would fail unless it became the first phase of the world revolution. History itself showed that the Bolsheviks were correct.

Russia was never socialist. It was however a workers' state for a while. The defeat was the transfer of power from the soviets to the party. This happened while Lenin was in power, perhaps against his will. That's probabaly what killed him.

Now let me defend the ICC. I don't agree with every one of their positions. I suspect that even individual members of the organisation disagree with each other. In the tradition of Luxemburg, they offer an economic analysis that differs in many ways from the words of Marx. Marx himself goes against Marx. Throughout his life he goes back and corrects his past mistakes and refines his older ideas. Marxism is not a religion and the ICC's positions are not the law of god. THey have changed over time, and will continue to change in the future.

I'm thrilled to see the ICC on these forums. I tihink it's possible for some anarchists to be reached. I do think that those who have taken the time to study both traditions and still chose anarchism, for the most part are hopeless. Keep up the good work.

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Lazy Riser
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Sep 14 2005 00:14

Hi alibadani

Quote:
Of course, neither l'agite nor Lazy Riser can explain what makes WWII so unique

I neither know nor care about WWII’s uniqueness, it has no bearing on my position. As I have already said, the allies were as evil as you like.

Quote:
What is this economic self-sufficiency stuff?

For ICC style internationalists it touches a political raw nerve. I prefer to think of it as “economic security” rather than self-sufficiency in either the utopian or Stalinist sense. The reason why I introduced it is because the internationalist perspective develops the recurring theme of passive sacrifice for a greater cause, and so is phobic towards practical tactics that make people richer and more likely to effect progressive change before the properly appointed global capitalist crisis.

Quote:
It will somehow remain non-imperialist despite international competition. It will also somehow resist the pressures of the world market, the pressure of competitiveness etc. It will only offer "support" for others (workers?) who could emulate the example (or not). All this without (?) a revolution

Here is the internationalist victim mentality, like an organisation with self-esteem issues. International competition? Pressure of the world market? You’ll forgive me for suggesting that you’re phobic about objective tests of performance, preferring to expect effort itself to earn your reward. Your attempt to discredit my proposal that one territory should use its economic security to provide material support to the international working class suggests that you are contending with me for its own sake.

Quote:
Communistst don't want revolution for the sake of wanting it. We see it as the ONLY way forward for mankind. There's nothing romantic or cool about revolution. It requires incredible effort and self-sacrifice.

You’re making my point for me. Your position relies on a hypothetically inevitable apocalyptic crisis of capitalism, a biblical Armageddon scenario that offers the working class a final choice between internationalist communism or agonising death. It looks like we have very different perspectives on historical development and the role of human desire.

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it failed precisely because it ended up being a Russian revolution, not the first phase in a world revolution

Not sure about that, but I can entertain the notion for various reasons. However the Russian revolution’s failure was its defeat, so I have trouble squaring this statement with…

Quote:
The defeat was the transfer of power from the soviets to the party

Which I find much easier to agree with.

Anyway, lots of love.

Chris

meanoldman
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Sep 15 2005 18:20

I haven't read any posts since Demogorgon's in an attempt to minimise the number of points I need to reply to. I might try and reply to everything else later but it takes fucking ages so I might be lazy. Who knows.

Demogorgon:

As you'd expect, I disagree. The perspective of the British working class was chosen not because I place any great significance on national grouping, but because as long as different sections of the working class are treated different by capital, and indeed by other sections of the working class, we can't ignore those differences. The level of self-sacrifice that you are demanding from a working class Jew in London is far greater than I would ever agree to and indeed far greater than anyone should ever be asked to agree to give. It is absurd as Ghandi's argument that "Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany.". If my analysis demands that I do something that in practice I wouldn't be prepared to do then there are serious problems with my analysis. It is this self-sacrifice that you demand, and indeed acknowledge you demand, that I have the most difficulty with.

I do agree that it was an unparalleled disaster. What we presumably disagree on is that I also think that Nazi state is not parallel (sic) to that of the bourgeois state. The rhetorical questions about the level of oppression found in Germany under the Kaiser and Russia under the Csar that you answer with no I would answer with yes. I have spent a long time reading and thinking about why, even in 1944 and 1945, the German working class offered no mass resistance to Nazi rule. In Germany in WW1, in Russia in WW1, in Italy in WW2 (1943 onwards) there was mass resistance to the war, if not at the beginning then certainly at the close of the respective wars. This lack of resistance seems to me to be an event unparalleled in the history of capitalism. Historically, and without fail as far as I'm aware, when a war has appeared completely lost and the working class has decided that the continuation of the war will cause only greater misery and deprivation there has been mass resistance against the state waging that war. It is well documented that the German working class did believe the war to be lost in 1944, and did believe the Nazi state to be the cause of their extreme deprivation. The question must be asked then as to why there didn't emerge a German parallel of the Turin strikes.

The cause for this is certainly not the lack of a tradition of working class action and identity in Germany. The only satisfactory, if very much partial, answer I have found is that the oppression in Germany during the later part of the war (I'd make the point that, as was an inevitable result of the progressive radicalisation in every sphere of government created by the structure of Nazi rule, the oppression did increase hugely during the war - indeed I'm currently trying to finish an article on the affect that an economic crisis created by working class actions in Germany in 1939-1939 had on German foreign policy in that period) was quantitively so much greater than any parallel in the industrialised world that it had a huge qualitive affect on the ability of the population to resist. ("Quantity has a quality of its own")

It is true that by bringing perspectives other than that of the global working class into my analysis of the second world war I do risk treating the working class as merely a set of individuals, or else of putting people's identity as working class on a level with their other identities (racial say). But this a risk that has to be taken, any analysis that isn't based on people's material experiences of life is frankly pretty useless. There are as far as I'm concerned three different ways that people experience there material conditions: as members of the working class, as members of various communities that they identify with (nationalities, races, genders, streets etc) and as individuals. To completely eschew any of these levels at which people experience the world is to end up with an analysis that does not start with people's lives. And since the goal of any (useful) analysis is to provide tools with which to improve our lives (I'm not an anarchist because of altruism, I'm an anarchist because I think my life would be better in an anarchist society and that anarchist methods of organising are the best for improving my life within this society) that is exactly where our analysis' should start.

I also have some disagreements with you on the coming to power of the Nazi party and on the inevitability of the Second World War. What turned Hitler into a major politician wasn't the support of big business. It was the economic crisis of 1929 and subsequent mass popularity he achieved among the frightened bourgeois. Without the depression no amount of funding or support from capitalists would have made Hitler into a major politician (and indeed without it they would have continued supporting dependable conservatives rather than someone they regarded as dangerous and unpredictable). It is of course true that without the support they did offer him he would never have been allowed in to government, and without their complete acquiescence to Nazi rule during the 1930's the National Socialist state would have collapsed. But it must be emphasised, because it is the (or at least a) major difference between fascist and conservative dictatorships, that mass support among the bourgeois was the most important factor in the transformation of the NSPAD into a significance political force.

Whilst the war between Japan and the U.S.A. was inevitable I don’t agree with those who see the Second World War as an unavoidable continuation of World War One. The war in Europe did not become inevitable until the collapse of the bourgeois state in Germany after 1929 and its replacement by the National Socialist state. During the 1920’s there was a real chance that Germany could have become integrated into the section of global capital dominated by the U.S.A. France and Britain.

In Solidarity

Luke