Submitted by alibadani on October 14, 2005

I used to be a Trotskyist. :oops: Their (the WSWS's) explanation of the Nazi obsession with Jews goes something like this: The real hatred of the Nazis was towards the working class who had dared to make a revolution in 1918 that ended Germany’s great patriotic war. However the lowly workers themselves couldn’t possibly have done this without all those damn Marxists. There were quite a few Jews among the union leaders and in the social democracy. So it was not the Rothschild-style bourgeois Jews that bothered Hitler but the Luxemburg-style Marxist Jews. Eventually an entire ideology emerged about race and nation. Add to this, the low cultural level of lumpen, peasant, and shopkeeper elements; the panic and desperation of the petty-bourgeoisie on the verge of ruin and looking for scapegoats, and the decadence of capitalism as a whole; and you get a nasty brew.

That’s the closest thing to a decent explanation I’ve ever heard on the subject. I still don’t really get Nazism's and its obsession with the Jews. Does anyone?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's linked to the whole deep European current of antisemetism, rather than being through up in the 1920-30s. Jews have often been scapegoats for modernity/trade/landlordship, because there's a base of grassroots distrust to build on, due to the blood libel, and jews being forced to take to trade and live in specific areas by the feudal ruling class.

The holocaust could have been committed in most european countries (illustrated with the eagerness with which many occupied countries' authorities handed over jews to the nazis), and pogroms were common in Russia until the end of the Civil War.

the button

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fuck me, that's a biggie. Apologies in advance for incoherence, but here goes: -

1. The national in National Socialism.

The Jews who arrived in Germany (or what became Germany) in the 19th century came in (at least) 2 distinct waves. The first were largely educated, and assimilated very well to German society, and consciously decided to assimilate. They viewed themselves as being cosmopolitan citizens first & Jews second. They adopted the dress and language of the "host nation."

Later came the rural Jews fleeing the pogroms in Russia & Poland -- they belonged to a different tradition within Judaism, & were highly visible, retaining their own language & culture. They were the main target of 19th century German antisemitism, not least from the "cosmopolitan" Jews.

So, by the turn of the century, there was a group within Germany who were both an invisible enemy within (the cosmopolitan Jews), and a highly visible population of outsiders (the more recent Jewish immigrants). A double threat to the German Volk. Volk, by the way, being a term which entered the German political lexicon through Herder's work on language and belonging.

This isn't a "cause & effect" type answer to your question, because I don't think there is one. But clearly, the Jews occupied a certain subject(ed) position within the cultural logic of Nazism, and maybe this is partly why.

It's an interesting question, btw, as to what model of "nation" is operative in "National Socialism". The modern (i.e. emerging in the 18th century) idea of nation tends to identify a clearly demarcated geographical territory. But the Nazis' idea of nation is clearly inflected with something else.

2. There is no 2. This must be my longest ever post as it is.

Lazy Riser

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Is it not something to do with Hitler's occultism?

Love

LR

oisleep

16 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nazi's thought they were the chosen people so had to wipe out the "original" chosen people?

Ted Heath's Ghost

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, considering that throughout European history right to the end of the Roman empire pretty much everything was blamed on the jews, it makes sense why the Nazi's picked up on it. The version Trots believe is somewhat correct, but I don't think the Nazi's genuinely believed the jews caused the downfall in 1918 - I think they knew full well it was the workers. But they needed an internal enemy so that they could seize complete power whilst militarising society, but, at the same time, they were trying to get both the working/middle classes and the capitalist elite to join them - there was simply no way they could play one group off against another, because they needed all the classes to be behind them. This was, I think, because each class possessed such huge power in the essential power vaccuum of post-1929 Weimar Germany. The workers could have gone over to the Communists, and the wealthy could have simply done what they'd always done, and try and turn Germany into an anglo-american colony so that they'd stay rich. The Nazis wanted to negate both groups' power without coming into open and destructive conflict with them.

So they presented themselves as both the saviour of capitalism to industrialists, and the protecters of both classes of workers to everyone else, and then manipulated the pre-existing anti-semitism to create the enemy within that was necessary for unification of the various groups that should have been in opposition with each other. By forgetting the usual class animosities, the workers and the elite allowed nazi germany to be formed.

Of course, this doesn't explain why the Nazi's carried on, and then expanded the holocaust. I think they just started to believe what they'd been saying in the hope of manipulating the nation - also, by the beginining of the war they had a huge number of populations of millions across Europe who were in opposition to them by necessity. They had made themselves the enemies of tens of millions of people, so they had to get rid of them in case they de-stabilised the Nazi empire.

Bodach gun bhrigh

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I thought it was to do with the Nazis playing on traditional Catholic anti-semitism, they killed Jesus. But that may be an analysis based on too much South Park. There is a lot of anti-semitism in Poland just now, whipped up by the Catholic clergy. And the Jehovah's witnesses here are into the same thing. Damn christians!

Steve

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with Lazlo. You have to see in the context of historical anti-semitism dating back through the middle ages in Europe. Hitler used this and refined it.

Ted Heath's Ghost

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steve

I agree with Lazlo. You have to see in the context of historical anti-semitism dating back through the middle ages in Europe. Hitler used this and refined it.

But why was Hitler more succesful at this than Franco, Mussolini, Dolfuss, etc? Why did Hitler manage to get the entire nation behind his anti-semetic policies?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ted Heath's Ghost

But why was Hitler more succesful at this than Franco, Mussolini, Dolfuss, etc? Why did Hitler manage to get the entire nation behind his anti-semetic policies?

Well Franco and Dolfuss weren't really fascists, and rested largely on the old ruling class. So, to a major extant, did Mussolini, who's movement was mainly directed against the left. And only Germany out of those countries was recovering from a major defeat/inferiority complex and needed scapegoats so much. However, the Croation Ustache, for example, were far more anti-semitic than the Nazis, and elements within Poland started anti-jewish pogroms long before these were orchestrated by the nazis.

The drive towards greater and greater antisemitism was also largely a product of the increasingly harsh war situation, in which more and more pretexes had to be found for unity.

And Hitler and the Nazis were also obsessed and nutjobs :wink:

Ted Heath's Ghost

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And only Germany out of those countries was recovering from a major defeat/inferiority complex and needed scapegoats so much.

This is the thing that puzzles me though, the German working class went from probably the most anti-war in Europe in 1918 to supporting National Socialism in the 30's - even when you take into account the number of communist voters and supporters, there's still a huge pro-Nazi working class following. I don't get why the defeat/inferiority complex caused more problems in Germany than it did in Spain or Italy - both "inferior" world powers that had historically been very anti-semetic (as much or more so than Eastern Europe), or why it pervaded the working class mindset to such a huge extent, considering what the same working class had been doing for the previous 15 or so years. That said, I'm not denying that revolutionary working or middle classes often had very racist, reactionary feelings.

I guess I don't really have an opinion on this specifically, I just find it interesting. I might even go research it, or something.

I agree with the other stuff you said, though. Especially the bit about them being nutjobs - they do seem a bit weird.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ted Heath's Ghost

I don't get why the defeat/inferiority complex caused more problems in Germany than it did in Spain or Italy - both "inferior" world powers that had historically been very anti-semetic (as much or more so than Eastern Europe), or why it pervaded the working class mindset to such a huge extent, considering what the same working class had been doing for the previous 15 or so years.

Well, it only took a few hundred SA to create kristalnacht, and the whole horror of the shoa was that it went on without very much active participation.

The NSDAP only ever got a free vote of about 30%, of which probably about 1/3 was working class. Most of the w/c in the areas of jewish settlement (e.g. berlin) didn't support the nazis. There's the thing about lack of active opposition, but that's largely about the KPD and lack of desire by Germans to walk on the grass ;)

I don't know that the German w/c was ever the most anti-war, they were jsut within a war-fighting state that was collapsing. Much as the majority w/c/ leaders (SDP) wanted to continue the war, they simply couldn't, and contented themselves with putting down the revolutionaries.

Ted Heath's Ghost

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hmm, I smell a subject for next semester's essay.

Lazy Riser

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

I think he was after the spear of destiny, and knew whoever had it was Jewish. Or, maybe not.

Love

LR

meanoldman

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I shall attack this topic later. ;)

alibadani

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Nazis curse materialism because the victories of technology over nature have signified the triumph of large capital over small. The leaders of the movement are liquidating "intellectualism" because they themselves possess second- and third-rate intellects, and above all because their historic role does not permit them to pursue a single thought to its conclusion. The petty bourgeois needs a higher authority, which stands above matter and above history, and which is safeguarded from competition, inflation, crisis, and the auction block. To evolution, materialist thought, and rationalism -- of the twentieth, nineteenth, and eighteenth centuries -- is counterposed in his mind national idealism as the source of heroic inspiration…

In order to raise it above history, the nation is given the support of the race. History is viewed as the emanation of the race. The qualities of the race are construed without relation to changing social conditions. Rejecting "economic thought" as base, National Socialism descends a stage lower: from economic materialism it appeals to zoologic materialism…

Nationalism in economy comes down in practice to impotent though savage outbursts of anti-Semitism. The Nazis abstract the usurious or banking capital from the modern economic system because it is of the spirit of evil; and, as is well known, it is precisely in this sphere that the Jewish bourgeoisie occupies an important position. Bowing down before capitalism as a whole, the petty bourgeois declares war against the evil spirit of gain in the guise of the Polish Jew in a long-skirted caftan and usually without a cent in his pocket. The pogrom becomes the supreme evidence of racial superiority.” ---Leon Trotsky from What is National Socialism

The ultra-nationalism and the racial theories of the Nazis, as described in the pamphlet, have material impulses. They come from the precarious position of the middle class.

So we have the petty bourgeoisie being ruined by the functioning of capitalism: big fish eat small fish. We have the worker who represents the petty bourgeois’s worst fear, that he might be reduced to that level. We have the bankers to whom the petty bourgeois owes his debts. The Jew is doubly hated: Firstly as the banker who squeezes him financially; secondly as the leader of workers who wishes to abolish the precious little private property the petty bourgeois can cling on to. Eliminating the Jew would surely solve many problems.

Who can give me a better analysis than good ole Leon?

baboon

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with Trotsky's definition in relation to the petty bourgeoisie and socialists and anti-semitism in nazi Germany. But the petty bourgeoisie wasn't strengthened in this state, it was destroyed. It was state capitalism that was strengthened by this ideology. Internationalism was seen as a "Jewish conspiracy" whereas the German state offered "National Socialism". As did Stalin, still supported in the main by trotskyists and anarchists everywhere.

There is a history to the "Jewish question" but the most important starting point for the working class today is that the Jewish genocide was not a "unique" event. Rather it was another episode in the decadence of capitalism, another example of its decay. The genocide of the Jews is no difference in substance than any other act of genocide perpetrated by capitalism - Dresden, Hiroshima, Berlin, Rwanda, and so on ad nauseum. All essentially part of the same phenomena and all essentially emanating from the most powerful states.

The dynamic of imperialism (constant war across the globe) engenders the worst brutalism and barbarism just as decadent capitalism engenders imperialism.

There were specificities to nazism (as there are to any capitalist state taken individually) and one these was that it was originally an irrational occultist clique. Many of its actions can be explained by this. Another quote from Trotsky

"Fascism has opened up the depth of society for politics. Today, not only in peasant homes but also in city skyscrapers, there lives alongside of the twentieth century the tenth or the thirteenth. A hundred million people use electricity and still believe in the magic power of signs and exorcisms. The Pope of Rome broadcasts over the radio about the miraculous transformation of water into wine. Move stars go to mediums. Aviators who pilot miraculous mechanisms created by man's genius wear amulets on their sweaters. What inexhaustable reserves they possess of darkness, ignorance and savagery! Despair has raised them to their feet, fascism has given them a banner. Everything that should have been eliminated from the national organism in the form of cultural excrement in the course of the normal development of society has now come gushing up form the throat; capitalist society is puking up the undigested barbarism. Such is the psychology of National Socialism" (What is National Socialism, 1933, quoted in the ICC's International Review no.114, Marx and the Jewish Question).

Trotsky is clear on the specifics of National Socialism and on the general analysis of "capitalist society puking up undigested barbarism". Just as it is today and will in the future.

It is not just the lies of the victorious Allies, the Stalinist, the democrats and their, however critical and conditional, anti-fascist supporters today. Anti-Semitism is not a thing of the past. It is just as poisonous as ever and alive and well in Islamic fundamentalism (some aspects of which are also supported by leftism). This rise in irrationality, poison, and anti-thought is not restricted to Islamic fundamentalism. In the most powerful nation on earth Christian fundamentalism has a strong foothold in the highest levels of the state.

Spartacus

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

Internationalism was seen as a "Jewish conspiracy" whereas the German state offered "National Socialism". As did Stalin, still supported in the main by trotskyists and anarchists everywhere.

that it a blatant lie and you know it. why do you insist on posting your nonsense on this board? it's really beyond a joke now.

martinh

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ted Heath's Ghost

Steve

I agree with Lazlo. You have to see in the context of historical anti-semitism dating back through the middle ages in Europe. Hitler used this and refined it.

But why was Hitler more succesful at this than Franco, Mussolini, Dolfuss, etc? Why did Hitler manage to get the entire nation behind his anti-semetic policies?

Well, Franco didn't actively need anti-semitism - the Catholic Kings did it for him 450 years previously. There weren't a lot of Jews in Italy, either, so it was less of an issue for Mussolini. It's worth remembering that the Mediterranean version of fascism was always much more about crushing the workers.

Anti-semitism was always strongest in those areas in Europe that had Jewish populations. I don't believe it was ever a significant issue in North Africa or the Middle East, at least until it was hitched to the issue of Palestine and became an item of faith for Islamic fundamentalists. While I would question Baboon's allegation of anarchists cheerleading Stalin, I think he's right to draw attention to anti-semitism going unchallenged because of alliances some on the left have made with islamists.

Martin

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The 'Jewish question' is complex. Trotsky indeed offers some good insights, but the best place to start is Marx's 1843 essay ‘[color=blue]On the Jewish Question[/color]’, which was elaborated on by the Trotskyist Avram Leon in the early 1940s ([color=blue]The Jewish Question, a Marxist Interpretation[/color]). Bordiga's ‘[color=blue]Auschwitz or the Great Alibi[/color]’ is also important.

The latter two works focus on the specific economic role of the Jews in feudal and capitalist society, explaining why they were the principal target for pogroms, in particular those in Germany which mobilised the ruined petty bourgeoisie, who saw the Jewish small businessmen as their principal rivals. This has to be understood in the context of the time – a period of dark counter-revolution when the system was marching towards a new war. Nazism came into power to complete the defeat of the working class begun by social democracy; it used anti-semitism as a “socialism of fools” (Bebel’s phrase) to create an all-class national unity with a veneer of popular radicalism. Within this context we can also examine some of the cultural and psychological aspects of the pogrom spirit, with its return to old mythologies and conspiracy theories, expressing the profound irrationality which is a mark of capitalism in its decadent epoch.

We have written about this subject in two articles in the International Review recently: a review of the film ‘The Pianist’ about the Warsaw ghetto (issue 113 - 2nd quarter 2003); and an article on Marx and the Jewish question (issue 114 – 3rd quarter 2003). But there is more work to be done and a discussion to be had - not least because anti-semitism, especially the myth of the world Jewish conspiracy - has re-emerged with some force in the present period, notably in the ideology of militant Islamism. There are some thoughtful contributions on this thread and we will try to come back to it.

World Revolution.

baboon

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the irrationality of Nazism

One third of the worker employed by Krupp, Heinkel, Messchersmidt and IG Farben were deportees and by 1942 concentration camps became the reserves of cheap labour power.

Profit was made from the destruction of human beings in the camps banks accounts, finances, teeth, hair, skin and even finger nails. But the genocide of the Jews (and others) was still an irrational act that, while initially "cohering" the petty bourgeoisie, still acted as a brake on the Nazi war effort. Eichmann offered one million Jews (through intermediateries) and they - the British cabinet and Roosevelt - refused because it "would disrupt the war effort". Thus the great "anti-fascist alliance wouldn't, didn't lift a finger to save Jews.

To the irrational savagery of the Nazi concentration camps can be added the Gulags of Stalin and the massacres, lies and hypocrosy of democracy. I haven't seen any denounciation, only support for the latter two camps, from anarchist type elements on this site.

The "organised" barbarism of WWII has given way to the chaotic and irrational development of capitalism's decomposition today. Bush talks directly to God. Reagan and Blair have/had their new age nutters around them. Even Mitterand dabbled in the occult. On the other side of the irrationality of Islamic fundamentalism, Zionism (which was complicit in the Jewish genocide) hold the Israeli population hostage. Their is corruption and no future to the whole of the bourgeoisie's political apparatus which religion playing its murderous role (Serbia, Ireland,etc).

Irrationality and chaos is the hallmark of capitalism today and worse is to come. This is why it is essential to have a clear position and denounce the main defenders of this system.

Lazy Riser

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

The 'Jewish question' is complex.

First let me congratulate the ICC for it’s sterling paper sale on Saturday. I made a significant donation of £2 to your cause and wish you all success in the future.

In return for my cash, would you be able to proffer an extrapolation of your analysis upon the recent sectarian racial violence in Birmingham?

Chin up

LR

rednoize

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Moishe Postone offers some interesting points in the following essay.

Anti‑Semitism and National Socialism

Moishe Postone

What is the relation of anti‑Semitism to National Socialism? The public discussion of this problem in the Federal Republic has been characterized by a dichotomy between liberals and conservatives, on the one side, and the Left, on the other. Liberals and conservatives have tended to emphasize the discontinuity between the Nazi past and the present. In referring to that past they have focused attention on the persecution and extermination of the Jews and have tended to deemphasize other central aspects of Nazism. By underlining the supposed total character of the break between the Third Reich and the Federal Republic, this sort of emphasis on anti‑Semitism has paradoxically helped avoid a fundamental confrontation with the social and structural reality of National Socialism. That reality certainly did not completely vanish in 1945. The condemnation of Nazi anti‑Semitism, in other words, has also served as an ideology of legitimation for the present system. This instrumentalization was only possible because anti‑Semitism has been treated primarily as a form of prejudice, as a scapegoat ideology, thereby obscuring the intrinsic relationship between anti‑Semitism and other aspects of National Socialism.

On the other hand, the Left has tended to concentrate on the function of National Socialism for capitalism, emphasizing the destruction of working‑class organizations, Nazi social and economic policies, rearmament, expansionism, and the bureaucratic mechanisms of party and state domination. Elements of continuity between the Third Reich and the Federal Republic have been stressed. The extermination of the Jews has not, of course, been ignored. Yet, it has quickly been subsumed under the general categories of prejudice, discrimination, and persecution. [1] In comprehending anti‑Semitism as a peripheral, rather than as a central, moment of National Socialism, the Left has also obscured the intrinsic relationship between the two.

Both of these positions understand modern anti‑Semitism as anti‑Jewish prejudice, as a particular example of racism in general. Their stress on the mass psychological nature of anti‑Semitism isolates considerations of the Holocaust from socioeconomic and sociohistorical investigations of National Socialism. The Holocaust, however, cannot be understood so long as anti‑Semitism is viewed as an example of racism in general and so long as Nazism is conceived of only in terms of big capital and a terroristic bureaucratic police state. Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Maidanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka should not be treated outside the framework of an analysis of National Socialism. They represent one of its logical end points, not simply its most terrible epiphenomenon. No analysis of National Socialism that cannot account for the extermination of European Jewry is fully adequate.

In this essay I will attempt to approach an understanding of the extermination of European Jewry by outlining an interpretation of modern anti‑Semitism. My intention is not to explain why Nazism and modern anti‑Semitism achieved a breakthrough and became hegemonic in Germany. Such an attempt would entail an analysis of the specificity of German historical development, a subject about which a great deal has been written. This essay attempts, rather, to determine more closely what it was that achieved a breakthrough, by suggesting an analysis of modern anti‑Semitism that indicates its intrinsic connection to National Socialism. Such an examination is a necessary precondition to any substantive analysis of why National Socialism succeeded in Germany.

The first step must be a specification of the Holocaust and of modern anti‑Semitism. The problem should not be posed quantitatively, whether in terms of numbers of people murdered or of degree of suffering. There are too many historical examples of mass murder and of genocide. (Many more Russians than Jews, for example, were killed by the Nazis.) The question is, rather, one of qualitative specificity. Particular aspects of the extermination of European Jewry by the Nazis remain inexplicable so long as anti‑Semitism is treated as a specific example of a scapegoat strategy whose victims could very well have been members of any other group.

The Holocaust was characterized by a sense of ideological mission, by a relative lack of emotion and immediate hate (as opposed to pogroms, for example), and, most importantly, by its apparent lack of functionality. The extermination of the Jews seems not to have been a means to another end. They were not exterminated for military reasons or in the course of a violent process of land acquisition (as was the case with the American Indians and the Tasmanians). Nor did Nazi policy toward the Jews resemble their policy toward the Poles and the Russians which aimed to eradicate those segments of the population around whom resistance might crystallize in order to exploit the rest more easily as helots. Indeed, the Jews were not exterminated for any manifest "extrinsic" goal. The extermination of the Jews was not only to have been total, but was its own goal—extermination for the sake of extermination—a goal that acquired absolute priority. [2]

No functionalist explanation of the Holocaust and no scapegoat theory of anti‑Semitism can even begin to explain why, in the last years of the war, when the German forces were being crushed by the Red Army, a significant proportion of vehicles was deflected from logistical support and used to transport Jews to the gas chambers. Once the qualitative specificity of the extermination of European Jewry is recognized, it becomes clear that attempts at an explanation dealing with capitalism, racism, bureaucracy, sexual repression, or the authoritarian personality, remain far too general. The specificity of the Holocaust requires a much more determinate mediation in order even to approach its understanding.

The extermination of European Jewry is, of course, related to anti‑Semitism. The specificity of the former must be related to that of the latter. Moreover, modern anti‑Semitism must be understood with reference to Nazism as a movement—a movement which, in terms of its own self-understanding, represented a revolt.

Modern anti‑Semitism, which should not be confused with everyday anti‑Jewish prejudice, is an ideology, a form of thought, that emerged in Europe in the late nineteenth century. Its emergence presupposed earlier forms of anti‑Semitism, which had for centuries been an integral part of Christian Western civilization. What is common to all forms of anti‑Semitism is the degree of power attributed to the Jews: the power to kill God, to unleash the Bubonic Plague, and, more recently, to introduce capitalism and socialism. Anti‑Semitic thought is strongly Manichaean, with the Jews playing the role of the children of darkness.

It is not only the degree, but also the quality of power attributed to the Jews that distinguishes anti‑Semitism from other forms of racism. Probably all forms of racism attribute potential power to the Other. This power, however, is usually concrete, material, or sexual. It is the potential power of the oppressed (as repressed), of the "Untermenschen." The power attributed to the Jews is much greater and is perceived as actual rather than as potential. Moreover, It is a different sort of power, one not necessarily concrete. What characterizes the power imputed to, the Jews in modern anti‑Semitism is that it is mysteriously intangible, abstract, and universal. It is considered to be a form of power that does not manifest itself directly, but must find another mode of expression. It seeks a concrete carrier, whether political, social, or cultural, through which it can work. Because the power of the Jews, as conceived by the modern anti-Semitic imagination, is not bound concretely, is not "rooted," it is presumed to be of staggering immensity and extremely difficult to check. It is considered to stand behind phenomena, but not to be identical with them. Its source is therefore deemed hidden—conspiratorial. The Jews represent an immensely powerful, intangible, international conspiracy.

A graphic example of this vision is provided by a Nazi poster depicting Germany—represented as a strong, honest worker—threatened in the West by a fat, plutocratic John Bull and in the East by a brutal, barbaric Bolshevic Commissar. Yet, these two hostile forces are mere puppets. Peering over the edge of the globe, with the puppet strings firmly in his hands, is the Jew. Such a vision was by no means a monopoly of the Nazis. It is characteristic of modern anti‑Semitism that the Jews are considered to be the force behind those "apparent" opposites: plutocratic capitalism and socialism. "International Jewry" is, moreover, perceived to be centered in the "asphalt jungles" of the newly emergent urban megalopoli, to be behind "vulgar, materialist, modern culture" and, in general, all forces contributing to the decline of traditional social groupings, values, and institutions. The Jews represent a foreign, dangerous, destructive force undermining the social "health" of the nation. Modern anti‑Semitism, then, is characterized not only by its secular content, but also by its systematic character. Its claim is to explain the world—a world that had rapidly become too complex and threatening for many people.

This descriptive determination of modern anti‑Semitism, while necessary in order to differentiate that form from prejudice or racism in general, is in itself not sufficient to indicate the intrinsic connection to National Socialism. That is, the aim of overcoming the customary separation between a sociohistorical analysis of Nazism and an examination of anti‑Semitism is, on this level, not yet fulfilled. What is required is an explanation that can mediate the two. Such an explanation must be capable of grounding historically the form of anti‑Semitism described above by means of the same categories that could be used to explain National Socialism. My intention is not to negate sociopsychological or psychoanalytical explanations, [3] but rather to elucidate a historical‑epistemological frame of reference within which further psychological specifications can take place. Such a frame of reference must be able to elucidate the specific content of modern anti‑Semitism and must be historical, that is, it must contribute to an understanding of why that ideology became so prevalent when it did, beginning in the late nineteenth century. In the absence of such a frame, all other explanatory attempts that focus on the subjective dimension remain historically indeterminate. What is required, then, is an explanation in terms of a social-historical epistemology.

A full development of the problematic of anti‑Semitism would go beyond the bounds of this essay. The point to be made here, however, is that a careful examination of the modern anti‑Semitic worldview reveals that it is a form of thought in which the rapid development of industrial capitalism, with all its social ramifications, is personified and identified as the Jew. It is not merely that the Jews were considered to be the owners of money, as in traditional anti‑Semitism, but that they were held responsible for economic crises and identified with the range of social restructuring and dislocation resulting from rapid industrialization: explosive urbanization, the decline of traditional social classes and strata, the emergence of a large, increasingly organized industrial proletariat, and so on. In other words, the abstract domination of capital, which—particularly with rapid industrialization—caught people up in a web of dynamic forces they could not understand, became perceived as the domination of International Jewry.

This, however, is no more than a first approach. The personification has been described, not yet explained. There have been many attempts at an explanation yet none, in my opinion, have been complete. The problem with those theories, such as that of Max Horkheimer, [4] which concentrate on the identification of the Jews with money and the sphere of circulation, is that they cannot account for the notion that the Jews also constitute the power behind social democracy and communism. At first glance, those theories, such as that of George L. Mosse, [5] which interpret modern anti‑Semitism as a revolt against modernity, appear more satisfying. Both plutocracy and working‑class movements were concomitants of moder­nity, of the massive social restructuring resulting from capitalist indus­trialization. The problem with such approaches, however, is that "the modern" would certainly include industrial capital. Yet, as is well known, industrial capital was precisely not an object of anti‑Semitic attacks, even in a period of rapid industrialization. Moreover, the attitude of National Socialism to many other dimensions of modernity, especially toward modern technology, was affirmative rather than critical. The aspects of modern life that were rejected and those that were affirmed by the National Socialists form a pattern. That pattern should be intrinsic to an adequate conceptualization of the problem. Since that pattern was not unique to National Socialism, the problematic has far‑reaching significance.

The affirmation by modern anti‑Semitism of industrial capital indicates that an approach is required that can distinguish between what modern capitalism is and the way it manifests itself, between its essence and its appearance. The term "modern" does not itself possess an intrinsic differentiation allowing for such a distinction. I would like to suggest that the social categories developed by Marx in his mature critique, such as "commodity" and "capital," are more adequate, inasmuch as a series of distinctions between what is and what appears to be are intrinsic to the categories themselves. These categories can serve as the point of departure for an analysis capable of differentiating various perceptions of "the modern." Such an approach would attempt to relate the pattern of social critique and affirmation we are considering to characteristics of capitalist social relations themselves.

These considerations lead us to Marx's concept of the fetish, the strategic intent of which was to provide a social and historical theory of knowledge grounded in the difference between the essence of capitalist social relations and their manifest forms. What underlies the concept of the fetish is Marx's analysis of the commodity, money and capital not merely as economic categories, but rather as the forms of the peculiar social relations that essentially characterize capitalism. In his analysis, capitalist forms of social relations do not appear as such, but are only expressed in objectified form. Labor in capitalism is not only social productive activity ("concrete labor"), but also serves in the place of overt social relations as a social mediation ("abstract labor"). Hence its product, the commodity, is not merely a product in which concrete labor is objectified; it is also a form of objectified social relations. In capitalism the product is not an object socially mediated by overt forms of social relations and domination. The commodity, as the objectification of both dimensions of labor in capitalism, is its own social mediation. It thus possesses a "double character": use‑value and value. As object, the commodity both expresses arid veils social relations which have no other, "independent" mode of expression. This mode of objectification of social relations is their alienation. The fundamental social relations of capitalism acquire a quasi‑objective life of their own. They constitute a "second nature," a system of abstract domination and compulsion which, although social, is impersonal and "objective." Such relations appear not to be social at all, but natural. At the same time, the categorial forms express a particular, socially constituted conception of nature in terms of the objective, lawful, quantifiable behavior of a qualitatively homogeneous essence. The Marxian categories simultaneously express particular social relations and forms of thought. The notion of the fetish refers to forms of thought based upon perceptions that remain bound to the forms of appearance of capitalist social relations. [6]

When one examines the specific characteristics of the power attributed to the Jews by modern anti‑Semitism—abstractness, intangibility, universality, mobility—it is striking that they are all characteristics of the value dimension of the social forms analyzed by Marx. Moreover, this dimension, like the supposed power of the Jews, does not appear as such, but always in the form of a material carrier, the commodity.

At this point I will commence with a brief analysis of the way in which capitalist social relations present themselves. I will thereby attempt to explain the personification described above and clarify the problem of why modern anti‑Semitism, which railed against so many aspects of the "modern," was so conspicuously silent, or was positive, with regard to industrial capital and modern technology.

I will begin with the example of the commodity form. The dialectical tension between value and use‑value in the commodity form requires that this "double character" be materially externalized. It appears "doubled" as money (the manifest form of value) and as the commodity (the manifest form of use‑value). Although the commodity is a social form expressing both value and use‑value, the effect of this externalization is that the commodity appears only as its use‑value dimension, as purely material and "thingly." Money, on the other hand, then appears as the sole repository of value, as the manifestation of the purely abstract, rather than as the externalized manifest form of the value dimension of the commodity itself The form of materialized social relations specific to capitalism appears on this level of the analysis as the opposition between money, as abstract, and "thingly" nature.

One aspect of the fetish, then, is that capitalist social relations do not appear as such and, moreover, present themselves antinomically, as the opposition of the abstract and concrete. Because, additionally, both sides of the antinomy are objectified, each appears to be quasi‑natural. The abstract dimension appears in the form of abstract, universal, "objective," natural laws; the concrete dimension appears as pure "thingly" nature. The structure of alienated social relations that characterize capitalism has the form of a quasi‑natural antinomy in which the social and historical do not appear. This antinomy is recapitulated as the opposition between positivist and romantic forms of thought. Most critical analyses of fetishized thought have concentrated on that strand of the antinomy that hypostatizes the abstract as transhistorical—so‑called positive bourgeois thought—and thereby disguises the social and historical character of existing relations. In this essay, the other strand will be emphasized—that of forms of romanticism and revolt which, in terms of their own self‑understandings, are antibourgeois, but which in fact hypostatize the concrete and thereby remain bound within the antinomy of capitalist social relations.

Forms of anticapitalist thought that remain bound within the immediacy of this antinomy tend to perceive capitalism, and that which is specific to that social formation, only in terms of the manifestations of the abstract dimension of the antinomy; so, for instance, money is considered the "root of all evil." The existent concrete dimension is then positively opposed to it as the "natural" or ontologically human, which presumably stands outside the specificity of capitalist society. Thus, as with Proudhon, for example, concrete labor is understood as the noncapitalist moment opposed to the abstractness of money. [7] That concrete labor itself incorporates and is materially formed by capitalist social relations is not understood.

With the further development of capitalism, of the capital form and its associated fetish, the naturalization immanent to the commodity fetish acquires new dimensions. The capital form, like the commodity form, is characterized by the antinomic relation of concrete and abstract, both of which appear to be natural. The quality of the "natural," however, is different. Associated with the commodity fetish is the notion of the ultimately lawlike character of relations among individual self‑contained units as is expressed, for example, in classical political economy or natural law theory. Capital, according to Marx, is self­valorizing value. It is characterized by a continuous, ceaseless process of the self­expansion of value. This process underlies rapid, large‑scale cycles of production and consumption, creation and destruction. Capital has no fixed, final form, but appears at different stages of its spiraling path in the form of money and in the form of commodities. As self‑valorizing value, capital appears as pure process. Its concrete dimension changes accordingly. Individual labors no longer constitute self‑contained units. They increasingly become cellular components of a large, complex, dynamic system that encompasses people and machines and which is directed by one goal, namely, production for the sake of production. The alienated social whole becomes greater than the sum of its constituting individuals and has a goal external to itself. That goal is a nonfinite process. The capital form of social relations has a blind, processual, quasi‑organic character.

With the growing consolidation of the capital form, the mechanical worldview of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries begins to give way; organic process begins to supplant mechanical stasis as the form of the fetish. Organic theory of the state and the proliferation of racial theories and the rise of Social Darwinism in the late nineteenth century are cases in point. Society and historical process become increasingly understood in biological terms. I shall not develop this aspect of the capital fetish any further here. For our purposes what must be noted is the implications for how capital can be perceived. As indicated above, on the logical level of the analysis of the commodity, the "double character" allows the commodity to appear as a purely material entity rather than as the objectification of mediated social relations. Relatedly, it allows concrete labor to appear as a purely material, creative process, separable from capitalist social relations. On the logical level of capital, the "double character" (labor process and valorization process) allows industrial production to appear as a purely material, creative process, separable from capital. The manifest form of the concrete is now more organic. Industrial capital then can appear as the linear descendent of "natural" artisanal labor, as "organically rooted," in opposition to "rootless," "parasitic" finance capital. The organization of the former appears related to that of the guild; its social context is grasped as a superordinate organic unity: Community (Gemeinschaft), Volk, Race. Capital itself—or what is understood as the negative aspect of capitalism—is understood only in terms of the manifest form of its abstract dimension: finance and interest capital. In this sense, the biological interpretation, which opposes the concrete dimension (of capitalism) as "natural" and "healthy" to the negativity of what is taken to be "capitalism," does not stand in contradiction to a glorification of industrial capital and technology. Both are the "thingly" side of the antinomy.

This relationship is commonly misunderstood. For example, Norman Mailer, defending neo‑romanticism (and sexism) in The Prisoner of Sex, wrote that Hitler spoke of blood, to be sure, but built the machine. The point is that, in this form of fetishized "anticapitalism," both blood and the machine are seen as concrete counterprinciples to the abstract. The positive emphasis on "nature," on blood, the soil, concrete labor, and Gemeinschaft, can easily go hand in hand with a glorification of technology and industrial capital. [8] This form of thought, then, is not to be understood as anachronistic, as the expression of historical nonsynchronism (Ungleichzeitigkeit), any more than the rise of racial theories in the late nineteenth century should be thought of as atavistic. They are historically new forms of thought and in no way represent the reemergence of an older form. It is because of the emphasis on biological nature that they appear to be atavistic or anachronistic. However, this emphasis itself is rooted in the capital fetish. The turn to biology and the desire for a return to "natural origins," combined with an affirmation of technology, which appear in many forms in the early twentieth century, should be understood as expressions of the antinomic fetish that gives rise to the notion that the concrete is "natural," and which increasingly presents the socially "natural" in such a way that it is perceived in biological terms.

The hypostatization of the concrete and the identification of capital with the manifest abstract underlie a form of "anticapitalism" that seeks to overcome the existing social order from a standpoint which actually remains immanent to that order. Inasmuch as that standpoint is the concrete dimension, this ideology tends to point toward a more concrete and organized form of overt capitalist social synthesis. This form of "anticapitalism," then, only appears to be looking backward with yearning. As an expression of the capital fetish its real thrust is forward. It emerges in the transition from liberal to bureaucratic capitalism and becomes virulent in a situation of structural crisis.

This form of "anticapitalism," then, is based on a one‑sided attack on the abstract. The abstract and concrete are not seen as constituting an antinomy where the real overcoming of the abstract—of the value dimension—involves the historical overcoming of the antinomy itself as well as each of its terms. Instead there is the one‑sided attack on abstract reason, abstract law, or, at another level, money and finance capital. In this sense it is antinomically complementary to liberal thought, where the domination of the abstract remains unquestioned and the distinction between positive and critical reason is not made.

The "anticapitalist" attack, however, did not remain limited to the attack against abstraction. On the level of the capital fetish, it is not only the concrete side of the antinomy which can be naturalized and biologized. The manifest abstract dimension was also biologized—as the Jews. The fetishized opposition of the concrete material and the abstract, of the "natural" and the "artificial," became translated as the world‑historically significant racial opposition of the Aryans and the Jews. Modern anti‑Semitism involves a biologization of capitalism—which itself is only understood in terms of its manifest abstract dimension—as International Jewry.

According to this interpretation, the Jews were identified not merely with money, with the sphere of circulation, but with capitalism itself. However, because of its fetishized form, capitalism did not appear to include industry and technology. Capitalism appeared to be only its manifest abstract dimension which, in turn, was responsible for the whole range of concrete social and cultural changes associated with the rapid development of modern industrial capitalism. The Jews were not seen merely as representatives of capital (in which case anti‑Semitic attacks would have been much more class‑specific). They became the personifications of the intangible, destructive, immensely powerful, and international domination of capital as an alienated social form. Certain forms of anticapitalist discontent became directed against the manifest abstract dimension of capital personified in the form of the Jews, not because the Jews were consciously identified with the value dimension, but because, given the antinomy of the abstract and concrete dimensions, capitalism appeared that way. The "anticapitalist" revolt was, consequently, also the revolt against the Jews. The overcoming of capitalism and its negative social effects became associated with the overcoming of the Jews. [9]

Although the immanent connection between the sort of "anticapitalism" that informed National Socialism and modern anti‑Semitism has been indicated, the question remains why the biological interpretation of the abstract dimension of capitalism found its focus in the Jews. This "choice" was, within the European context, by no means fortuitous. The Jews could not have been replaced by any other group. The reasons for this are manifold. The long history of anti‑Semitism in Europe and the related association of Jews with money are well known. The period of the rapid expansion of industrial capital in the last third of the nineteenth century coincided with the political and civil emancipation of the Jews in central Europe. There was a veritable explosion of Jews in the universities, the liberal professions, journalism, the arts, retail. The Jews rapidly became visible in civil society, particularly in spheres and professions that were expanding and which were associated with the newer form society was taking.

One could mention many other factors, but there is one that I wish to emphasize. just as the commodity, understood as a social form, expresses its "double character" in the externalized opposition between the abstract (money) and the concrete (the commodity), so is bourgeois society characterized by the split between the state and civil society. For the individual, the split is expressed as that between the individual as citizen and as person. As a citizen, the individual is abstract as is expressed, for example, in the notion of equality before the (abstract) law, or in the principle of one person, one vote. As a person, the individual is concrete, embedded in real class relations that are considered to be "private," that is, pertaining to civil society, and which do not find political expression. In Europe, however, the notion of the nation as a purely political entity, abstracted from the substantiality of civil society, was never fully realized. The nation was not only a political entity, it was also concrete, determined by a common language, history, traditions, and religion. In this sense, the only group in Europe that fulfilled the determination of citizenship as a pure political abstraction was the Jews following their political emancipation. They were German or French citizens, but not really Germans or Frenchmen. They were of the nation abstractly, but rarely concretely. They were, in addition, citizens of most European countries. The quality of abstractness, characteristic not only of the value dimension in its immediacy, but also, mediately, of the bourgeois state and law, became closely identified with the Jews. In a period when the concrete became glorified against the abstract, against "capitalism" and the bourgeois state, this became a fatal association. The Jews were rootless, international, and abstract.

Modern anti‑Semitism, then, is a particularly pernicious fetish form. Its power and danger result from its comprehensive worldview which explains and gives form to certain modes of anticapitalist discontent in a manner that leaves capitalism intact, by attacking the personifications of that social form. Anti‑Semitism so understood allows one to grasp an essential moment of Nazism as a foreshortened anticapitalist movement, one characterized by a hatred of the abstract, a hypostatization of the existing concrete and by a single‑minded, ruthless—but not necessarily hate‑filled—mission: to rid the world of the source of all evil.

The extermination of European Jewry is the indication that it is far too simple to deal with Nazism as a mass movement with anticapitalist overtones which shed that husk in 1934 ("Roehm Putsch") at the latest, once it had served its purpose and state power had been seized. In the first place, ideological forms of thought are not simply conscious manipulations. In the second place, this view misunderstands the nature of Nazi "anticapitalism"—the extent to which it was intrinsically bound to the anti‑Semitic worldview. Auschwitz indicates that connection. It is true that the somewhat too concrete and plebeian "anticapitalism" of the SA was dispensed with by 1934; not, however, the anti‑Semitism thrust—the "knowledge" that the source of evil is the abstract, the Jew.

A capitalist factory is a place where value is produced, which "unfortunately" has to take the form of the production of goods, of use‑values. The concrete is produced as the necessary carrier of the abstract. The extermination camps were not a terrible version of such a factory but, rather, should be seen as its grotesque, Aryan, "anticapitalist" negation. Auschwitz was a factory to "destroy value," that is, to destroy the personifications of the abstract. Its organization was that of a fiendish industrial process, the aim of which was to "liberate" the concrete from the abstract. The first step was to dehumanize, that is, to rip away the "mask" of humanity, of qualitative specificity, and reveal the Jews for what "they really are"—shadows, ciphers, numbered abstractions. The second step was to then eradicate that abstractness, to transform it into smoke, trying in the process to wrest away the last remnants of the concrete material "use­value": clothes, gold, hair, soap.

Auschwitz, not the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, was the real "German Revolution," the attempted "overthrow," not merely of a political order, but of the existing social formation. By this one deed the world was to be made safe from the tyranny of the abstract. In the process, the Nazis "liberated" themselves from humanity.

The Nazis lost the war against the Soviet Union, America, and Britain. They won their war, their "revolution," against the European Jews. They not only succeeded in murdering six million Jewish children, women, and men. They succeeded in destroying a culture—a very old culture—that of European Jewry. It was a culture characterized by a tradition incorporating a complicated tension of particularity and universality. This internal tension was duplicated as an external one, characterizing the relation of the Jews with their Christian surroundings. The Jews were never fully a part of the larger societies in which they lived nor were they ever fully apart from those societies. The results were frequently disastrous for the Jews. Sometimes they were very fruitful. That field of tension became sedimented in most individual Jews following the emancipation. The ultimate resolution of this tension between the particular and the universal is, in the Jewish tradition, a function of time, of history—the coming of the Messiah. Perhaps, however, in the face of secularization and assimilation, European Jewry would have given up that tension. Perhaps that culture would have gradually disappeared as a living tradition, before the resolution of the particular and the universal had been realized. This question will never be answered.

SOURCE: Postone, Moishe. "Anti‑Semitism and National Socialism," in A. Rabinbach and J. Zipes (eds.), Germans and Jews Since the Holocaust (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1986), pp. 302-314.

Falseflag

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

a biologization of capitalism

Ha!

wheresmyshoes

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a rad thread I have learnt a lot.

baboon

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A bit of an aside, though still relevant to this thread, is the support of anarchism to stalinism.

I maintain the latter is, in general, supported by the former, whether they know it or not, like it or not.

Nationalism, imperialism, the counter-revolutionary defeat of the working class by capital, opened the way for WWII. Nazi Germany was capitalist to the core with the nazi slogan of "Export of die!". This war also showed the greater depths of irrationality that capitalism was (and is ever more) sinking into.

During and after the war "anti-fascism" was moulded by democracy and stalinism for their own imperialist ends (not least around the "the Great Alibi" of democracy to cover up its own wholesale massacres and its complicity in the Jewish genocide).

Stalinism during and after the war was an important pillar in the construction of "anti-fascism" and support anywhere for this latter must bring about an amount of support for stalinism. It can do no other. Indeed on various postings on this site from anarchist and libertarian type elements, there has been, under the name of "anti- fascism", explicit support for stalinism (as well for democracy, nationalism and patriotism).

Nick Durie

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A bit of an aside, though still relevant to this thread, is the support of anarchism to stalinism.

I maintain the latter is, in general, supported by the former, whether they know it or not, like it or not.

Nationalism, imperialism, the counter-revolutionary defeat of the working class by capital, opened the way for WWII. Nazi Germany was capitalist to the core with the nazi slogan of "Export of die!". This war also showed the greater depths of irrationality that capitalism was (and is ever more) sinking into.

During and after the war "anti-fascism" was moulded by democracy and stalinism for their own imperialist ends (not least around the "the Great Alibi" of democracy to cover up its own wholesale massacres and its complicity in the Jewish genocide).

Stalinism during and after the war was an important pillar in the construction of "anti-fascism" and support anywhere for this latter must bring about an amount of support for stalinism. It can do no other. Indeed on various postings on this site from anarchist and libertarian type elements, there has been, under the name of "anti- fascism", explicit support for stalinism (as well for democracy, nationalism and patriotism).

Oh don't be mental. There absolutely has not been explicit support for Stalinism made by anarchists on this site. Perhaps by those who might characterise themselves as anarchists but let's away with this kind of sectarian tosh; I mean youse are basically anarchists anyway.

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's true that some anarchists took an internationalist position against the second world war, and the ICC and others have acknowledged this on the '1939 and all that' thread and in articles published in our press. But it was quite clear from the majority of posts on that thread that a whole current of anarchism still adheres to the essence of anti-fascism, which means putting the fight against fascism before (in fact, against) the fight against capitalism, and therefore partcipating in an imperialist war. And this was the majority position of anarchism in 1939-45. Some of the posts, in particular those by L'agite, were quite explicit in 'preferring Stalinists who fought in the resistance' to 'left communists who did nothing' (ie, opposed the imperialist war on both sides!). Few if any anarchists on this thread reacted against L'agite's blatant support for Stalinist chauvinism, but some certainly wrote in to say how great he was for arguing against the ICC.

meanoldman

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Few if any anarchists on this thread reacted against L'agite's blatant support for Stalinist chauvinism, but some certainly wrote in to say how great he was for arguing against the ICC.

Well supporting Stalinism is a lesser crime than supporting the ICC...

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

the support of anarchism to stalinism... whether they know it or not, like it or not.

lol :mrt: Good job we've got a conscious vanguard to let us know what we're actually supporting.

What about the predisposition of the ICC to come out with bullshit -- whether they know it or not, like it or not?

IIRC l'agite was expressing support for those CP people who acted to resist Nazi atrocities; supporting them as partisans, rather than as Leninists.

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Doesn't meanoldman's last post rather prove our point?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wld_rvn

Doesn't meanoldman's last post rather prove our point?

All that proves is that you've got no sense of humour :roll:

l'agité

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ohhh shit .... your are incredibles the ICC...

First : the ICC seem to not understand and don't want understand what i said 2 months ago...

and Yeah ... i prefer to sleep in the same bed with a dog than with a rat ; and i hate dogs just less than rats.... and conclusion i'm a fan of dogs ?

If you see in the street an accident, and if a doctor help the guy Do you ask the doctor if he is a revolutionary or a bourgeois ? The important is what the doctor is doing not in what he believe, no ?

In 1941 it's the same , i have respect for stalinians, for gaullists , for all the others who helped people and particulary jews to fight against the persecution.

Try to understand that your ICC bullshits and lies about history is shocking and scorning for the memory of thousands and thousands families who suffered during this period .

And yes i have more respect for a stalinist , a christian, a bourgeois who helped persecuted than a revolutionarie who keeped this doors closed and leave the racial persecution continue... (but your are right : do a leaflet against the resistance a month before the final insurrection is what you call "opposed the imperialist war on both sides" )

Second : the ICC i will be happy if in your next publications you could quote me once again. :mrt: I love it ! i want to be your official Anarcho-stalinist ...

Third : for moderators . I don't understand why you don't ban Baboon or at least erase the revisionnist posts when he say : "not least around the "the Great Alibi" of democracy to cover up its own wholesale massacres and its complicity in the Jewish genocide). " And all the others bullshit of him and others pseudo revolutionaries.

Fuck you Baboon, You are just one of the assassins of Memory (ooooh me too i can quote a title of a book... )....

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

L’agite snarls “Fuck you, Baboon”. Isn’t that flaming? Didn’t the Libcom collective take a position against this kind of thing?

But more important than this crude abuse are the bourgeois political positions L’agite defends. He calls for Baboon to be banned from Libcom for “revisionism”. Let’s go back a bit. On June 8, 1996, the French bourgeoisie, on the august pages of Le Monde, launched a campaign against “revisionism”. Directly citing Bordiga’s pamphlet Auschwitz or the Grand Alibi, it tried to make an amalgam between the communist left - which denounced the barbarism of both camps in World War 2 with equal vigour - and people who deny or minimise the existence of the Nazi death camps (the “revisionists” or “negationists”, mainly ideologues of the extreme right). This line – echoed in Liberation on 21 August 1996 - was a rehash of the classic Stalinist slander against the internationalists during the war: those who refuse to support the Allies and the patriotic Resistance are agents of Hitler. This is the company that L’agite keeps.

Yes indeed: democracy covered up “its own wholesale massacres and its complicity in the Jewish genocide” as Baboon put it. The massacres were called, among others, Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. The complicity was called, among others, the 1943 Bermuda Conference where the USA and Britain took the conscious decision to close their doors in the face of European Jewry. According to L’agite, that makes not only Baboon, but the ICC as well, revisionists who should be banned from this site. We’d like to hear some opinions about this.

baboon

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

L'Agite's last post is the essence of supporting a possible "lesser evil" of capitalism and thus positioning oneself against the working class.

L'Agite prefers to sleep with a dog rather than a rat because, while he doesn't like dogs, he likes rats a bit less.

Why does he have to sleep with either of them? If someone had a gun at his head you might understand him sleeping with a dog he doesn't like (though not quite as much as a rat).

He can make a conscious decision not to sleep with either. But rather than this L'Agite has made a (not so) conscious decision to support one murderous expression of capitalism - Stalinism - against another - Fascism. And like any good Stalinist, L'Agite wants to stifle any discussion and dissention from his point of view.

You don't have to lay down with either. You don't have to choose one of the opposing camps of the ruling class.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The assertion that I, or any other anarchist, supports stalinism, is a pretty serious one -- I'd like the ICC posters to back this one up, or withdraw it, please.

And l'agite -- please don't swear at them, even if massively provoked :wink:

I'd like to hear more about this kerfuffle over the 'Grand Alibi'. Was it basically a book that equated the holocaust with colonialism?

l'agité

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

why you are revisionnist ? because all what you are saying about nazisme is in the line of the "Great Alibi" , here explicity quoted by Baboon, wich is considered as a revisionnist book by anti-revisionnists and anti-negationnists historians.

Pierre Vidal-Naquet, specialized on revisionnism and negationnism, writed many books. About the "great Alibi", we can read on A Paper Eichmann - Anatomy of a Lie :

Thus it was that in 1970 La Vieille Taupe published a brochure entitled Auschwitz ou le Grand Alibi, the reprint of an anonymous article which had appeared in 1960 in Programme Communiste, the organ of another Marxist sect (founded by Amadeo Bordiga). The "grand alibi" of the antifascists was the extermination of the Jews by Hitler. That crime alone establishes the distance separating the democrat from the fascist. And yet, according to the Bordigists, this is by no means the case. For the anti-Semitism of the imperialist era must be given the requisite economic and social explanation. "As a consequence of their prior history, the Jews today find themselves for the most part in the middle and petty bourgeoisie. But that class stands condemned in advance by the irresistible advance of the concentration of capital."[7] The reaction of the petty bourgeoisie to that condemnationlay "in sacrificing one of its segments in order to thus save ensure the existence of the others." The German petty bourgeoisie "thus threw the Jews to the wolves in order to lighten its load and save itself." Large capital, for its part, was "delighted by the boon; it could liquidate a section of the petty bourgeoisie with the agreement of the petty bourgeoisie."[8] As for demonstrating how the "petty bourgeoisie" was more threatened in 1943 than in 1932, the brochure does not choose to take up the question. But at least it attempts to account for the methodical nature of the endeavor: "In normal times, and when only a small number are at stake, capitalism can allow those it ejects from the process of production to die on their own. But this was impossible to do in the middle of a war and for millions of men: that much disorder would have issued in a general paralysis. Capitalism had to organize their death." But with what profit? "Capitalism cannot execute a man it has sentenced if it does not extract some profit from that very punishment." Profit will thus be sought through the exhaustion of workers, and those incapable of working will be massacred directly. But is it profitable? "German capitalism could resign itself to murder pure and simple only with difficulty . . . because it brought no revenue."[9] The authors of the brochure this expatiate on the famous mission of Joël Brand, who left Hungary with the blessings of Himmler, to exchange the Hungarian Jews slated for the "mill" of Auschwitz for ten thousand trucks.[10] The authors do not for an instant appear to notice that we are then in 1944, not 1942, that Himmler had good reasons to realize that the war has been lost, and that the time has come to attempt to make use of the legendary "Jewish influence" on the Western allies. The Jews, despite such attempts, were destroyed "not as Jews but as rejects from the process of production, useless for production."[11]

Notes:

7- Auschwitz ou le grand alibi, p. 5. The italicized passages are underlined by the authors. This document was republished by its authors at the beginning of 1979, after the scandal provoked by Darquier de Pellepoix's statement to the effect that the only victims gassed at Auschwitz were lice (Express, October 28, 1978). A new preface clarified the position held at the time by the "Bordiguistes." I quote from the Vieille Taupe edition, and it is insofar as it expresses the Vieille Taupe position that the brochure interests me in this context.

8-Ibid., pp. 6-7.

9-Ibid., p. 9.

10-For the history of Joël Brand's mission, see the (quite personal) testimony of André Biss, Un million de Juifs à sauver (Paris: Grasset, 1966) and the analysis by Y. Bauer, The Holocaust in Historical Perspective (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978), pp. 94-155.

11-Auschwitz ou le grand alibi, p. 11

You will probably say it's a stalinist slander against the internationalists....

You are revisionnist because there are no historians who defend your pseudo-interpretations of nazism and capitalism. Why you are incapable of understand that nazism can't be reduced to a economical phenomenal ? Pretend that Nazism is just a form of capitalism is totally absurd , it's revisionnist because you reject all the others aspects of nazism.

Can you understand that : the idea of a "Third Reich" ; of creating a "New Man" ; of militarising the entire society on all the aspect ; that nazism is also a reaction against incapacity of the burgeoisy to resolve the social and political crisis ; a reaction to regenarate the germany ; the mystic of a millenium germany ; a politicy of hate against "minorities" and "interiors enemies" ; the mystic of a providential man , a reactionary revolution to protect and purge Germany etc etc etc .... you want more ? read a historitical book !

You are also revisonnist because you put on the same plan Nazism and the Allies on the destruction of european jews. It's absurd and contemptible. You can quote the Bermuda Conference, all historians know the responsibilities of allies in not saving a lot of jews, but the incapacity and atrocities of allies in the war don't make this allies responsible of the policy of extermination of the jews. And the Bermuda Conference can't do forget that allies bombarded the railroads, that Resistance helped many jews... But for you the jews in the FTP-MOI (a communists urban guerrilla goup in France of immigrants and jews) are responsible as much than Nazies in the genocide...

I'm curious to know your bibliography on the WWII ...

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazlo: is the onus really on us to prove that there are anarchists who support Stalinism, when you’ve got l’agite’s posts in front of you? And not just Stalinism, but the whole democratic imperialist camp during the second world war?

L’agite’s quote from the good democrat Vidal-Naquet does not in the least prove that Bordiga was a revisionist or holocaust denier (to quote Vidal-Naquet from the beginning of his Theses on Revisionism: “I shall call ‘revisionism’ the doctrine according to which the genocide practiced by Nazi Germany against Jews and Gypsies did not exist but is to be regarded as a myth, a fable, or a hoax”). Bordiga’s pamphlet Auschwitz or the Grand Alibi seeks to develop a materialist explanation for why the extermination of the Jews took place, which is totally different. But what enrages the defenders of bourgeois democracy is the fact that the pamphlet also denounces the cynical way the democratic powers exploited the genocide to cover up their own war-crimes. We support Bordiga’s attempt to put forward a materialist analysis of the holocaust, against the bourgeoisie’s tendency to portray Nazism as an essentially spiritual phenomenon, as an outburst of ‘pure evil’. Above all, we support the internationalist position on which the pamphlet is based: a refusal to line up with the democratic imperialist camp.

We don’t agree with every aspect of Bordiga’s analysis. There is a certain tendency to economic reductionism in his approach, and he seems to underestimate the profound irrationality of capitalism in its decadent period, in particular, the irrationality of war, which no longer serves the global expansion of capital but is an active factor in its ruin. The extermination of the Jews certainly has to be understood in this context, as do the more bizarre features of Nazi ideology.

We have already seen on other libcom threads a real resistance to accepting how irrational the bourgeoisie has become in its epoch of senility. On the ‘1939 and all that’ thread, for example, meanoldman argued that Nazism could no longer be called bourgeois because it was irrational, apocalyptic, founded on all kinds of occultist mythologies and conspiracy theories. By the same argument, you’d have to say that Pol Pot, Bush and Bin Laden have also transcended capitalism. Given that the system has lost all historical validity, all sense of a perspective for the human race, this retreat into unreason is characteristic of all factions of the capitalist class in this epoch.

L’agite informs us that “historians” don’t support our view of the second world war. The majority of historians are not revolutionaries. So it’s not really surprising that most of them are unable to question the democratic justification of the second world war, which is a kind of founding myth of the entire post-war world order (1). Nor is it surprising that the few who do start to question this mind-numbing consensus can easily be misled into the revisionist aberration.

The proletarian, internationalist position rejects both poles of this false alternative. This is the same false alternative as the one between democracy and fascism, for which tens of millions were sacrificed in the vast organised butchery of world war two.

(1) However, now that more and more material is being released about the crimes of the Allies, there are honest academic historians who have got closer to the whole truth. See for example the article by Richard Drayton, a Cambridge history lecturer, published in the Guardian of 5 May 2005, ‘An ethical blank cheque’(The ‘good war’ against Hitler has underwritten 60 years of war-making. It has become an ethical blank cheque for British and US power”). http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1480178,00.html

Lazy Riser

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

We have already seen on other libcom threads a real resistance to accepting how irrational the bourgeoisie has become in its epoch of senility.

This is why I love the ICC. How anyone can not find them endearing, I don’t know. Keep up the good work.

One of the best things about the ICC is their highly entertaining ability to propose wholly incorrect policy and programme even though their analysis is second-to-none.

Love

LR

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OK, so if our second-to-none analysis is that the second world war was capitalist, imperialist, and opposed to the interests of the international working class, we should be working out a 'correct' policy and programme of supporting it anyway?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

revol68

a localised response to occupation by possibly the most ruthless state in history?

And it is this localised opposition that I, and l'agite, are clearly 'supporting'. Which therefore has nothing to do with anarchists' ideological support for the programme of Stalinism or Leninism.

Which is why I'd like the ICC to withdraw their very general and broad-brush accusation that I support stalinism.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry, I was talking to the ICCers -- will edit post above :oops:

Lazy Riser

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Stalin held the Spear of Destiny for a while after the fall of Berlin, before it fell into American hands. Something to do with the Marshall plan. Like Hitler, he too believed that it was held by a Jewish conspiracy, and accounts for his anti-Semitic outlook.

I don’t know why you lot bother with political analysis, the answer always lies in magick.

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazy Riser

Stalin held the Spear of Destiny for a while after the fall of Berlin, before it fell into American hands. Something to do with the Marshall plan.

I doubt that very much. The USSR didn't get any cash from the marshall Plan.

I'd say a more believeable account would be that the Spear was taken by Hitler's aide Bormann, who fled the bunker before the Russian advance, and has never been accounted for.

Lazy Riser

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

the Spear was taken by Hitler's aide Bormann, who fled the bunker before the Russian advance, and has never been accounted for.

Class War held it between 1986 and 1991, it was then stolen by a member of the Labour party and held by Peter Mandelson. It is currently in Finland, where Nokia are negotiating with the Norwegian ruling class to connect it to their impending Scandinavian power grid.

Which brings us to Norway’s plans for world domination, something which the ICC have spent much time analysing on our behalf.

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazy Riser

Class War held it between 1986 and 1991

Presumably a trophy from an AFA action in the 1980s, where they kicked in some nazi curator of Hitler's relics?

I'd say the acrimony of the CW split can be explained as largely a quarrel over the fate of the Spear. Is it true that it eventually turns it's holder mad?

Guess who was the CW official appointed to that post :wink:

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The magick trick used here - apart from the terror of ever being caught taking politics seriously, and diverting this thread into a private chatline - is the term "localised". For anarchism, more often than not, describing something as "local" removes the tiresome responsibility of analysing the class nature of a social phenomenon. This was certainly the logic that dominated at the Community Action Gathering a while back: some of the self-professed anarchists and libertarians there could happily operate within the structure of the state as long as it was "local".

To understand the class function of the Resistance groups during the second world war, you have to look at the global picture. Globally speaking, they were militarily and politically subordinated to the war plans of the Allies. To a large extent that meant that they were directly manipulated by the military services of the Allied states. But even when "local groups" weren't subject to such direct control, they acted within the general framework of the imperialist conflict, not against it. There is a direct parallel with some of the armed Resistance goups in Iraq, who are not necessarily acting on the orders of any foreign power or even any international terrorist network. But everything they do serves one side of an imperialist war against the other.

Neither is this a discussion about the subjective intentions of those who joined the Resistance. Many of the rank and file were indeed courageous people motivated by outrage against the horrors of the occupation. Many of them thought they were fighting for socialism at the same time. But this argument about subjective intentions, like the use of "localist" ideology, is a means of avoiding the fundamental question: whose class interests are you really serving?

the button

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

revol68

I suppouse when workers go on strike for higher wages you refuse to back them on the basis that they are still within a capitalist framework?

As far as I can tell, that's exactly what they do say.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the button

revol68

I suppouse when workers go on strike for higher wages you refuse to back them on the basis that they are still within a capitalist framework?

As far as I can tell, that's exactly what they do say.

That sums it all up, really :(

wld_rvn

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a totally false argument. Read our press. We clearly support struggles for higher wages, defensive struggles on a class terrain, one which can allow the workers to move from defensive to offensive struggles against capitalism. The Resistance was on a different, opposite, national, nationalist terrain. We can go much further into what we mean by the workers' class terrain; we can explain further why the partisan struggle was not on the workers' class terrain; but at least relate to what we really do say.

the button

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wld_rvn

at least relate to what we really do say.

.... in much the same way as you lot did in your famous (not to say hilarious) assertion of anarchists' support for Stalinism. :roll:

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wld_rvn

We can go much further into what we mean by the workers' class terrain; we can explain further why the partisan struggle was not on the workers' class terrain

You already have, and it has been said, many times, that you're talking nonsense.

Was it right for Dutch communists to organise strikes against deportations of Jews? If so, then why was it not right for partisans to blow up train tracks that were used to deport jews?

baboon

16 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think we've heard from 'meanoldman' for a while. He explicitly said that he would support the Stalinists, one of the most murderous regimes engendered by capitalism, against a voice of the working class, the ICC. Someone intervened afterwards to say this was "a joke". This is not a joke by any stretch of the imagination of someone with a totally over the top sense of humour. It is not a joke at all. This "Jokey-wokey, we're all boys together, just having a laugh amongst ourselves" attitude permeates all these posts from what can loosely be called "anarchists". It's more accurate to describe them as supporters of democracy and stalinism (with no sense of humour). Was it a "joke" meanoldman?

You can't take what you see as the good bits of stalinism and ignore the overall reality. That's just wishful thinking and fantasy. The "bleeding hearts" arguments about the nazi massacres would have a little more credibility if you condemned the slaughter of the innocents undertaken by stalinism and democracy. It's not a numbers game (if it was the latter two would come out way in front either one on their own) but, from a working class perspective, all these expressions of a decaying capitalism have to be condemned by serious revolutionaries. That's not something that a jokey boys club can rise to if it stays in that form.

baboon

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Nothing from Meanoldman for days. Is he too shy to answer a simple question? In the absence of an answer we can only assume that when he say that he supports Stalinism, that he supports Stalinism.

On a wider level, I can understand the emotion expressed in some previous posts about - let's say - "saving lives". Expressions of humanity, wanting to save lives in warfare, for example, helping people to escape, capture, torture and death is noble whatever the political affiliations of the individual. But it's a long, tenuous jump to say that because some Stalinists helped some people during the war then we will not hear Stalinism denounced (as it should be). Some Nazis, at great risk to themselves and their families, helped people to escape their deadly fate. We know of some eamples and this is not the sort of thing the democrats want to publicise. But saving these individual lives, these individual acts of bravery from wherever, pales into absolute insignificance in the face of the innocents slaughtered. It really is little better than nothing and takes away from pointing the finger at the real culprits and scale of the butchery undertaken. The Second World War has to be one of the most obvious and striking confirmations of the decline and irrationality of the capitalist system. In the face of such an event it is pointless to look for "silver linings" (as important as these were to the individuals involved). Any support for any of the protagonist factions in the morass of barbarism can only support the war aims of one imperialism or another. And support for anti-fascism certainly constitutes support for the democratic and Stalinist camps.

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

rednoize,

The Moishe Postone essay was fascinating. He sort of left out the the link in the Nazi mind between marxism and jewry. I'm guessing the workers' movement against industrial capital was seen as an attack on the "concrete".

Postone links the concept of fetishisation, as Marx describes it in Capital Vol. 1, to modern anti-semitism.

Anyway rednoize, is there a link to the article or did you type that whole thing out from a book? Please post a link if you can.

Thanks

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

it's a long, tenuous jump to say that because some Stalinists helped some people during the war then we will not hear Stalinism denounced (as it should be).

It is a long jump -- but you're the only one arguing, tenuously, that anyone is making it. Your argument seems to hinge on the fact that if one makes fun of the ICC -- a laughable UK-based sect of political anoraks -- then one is suppressing anti-stalinist speech.

You have alledged, several times, that anarchists are in some way supporting stalinism. This is simply not true. Please retract it, as it is highly insulting. For one thing, it flies in tha face of the history of anarchist (armed and unarmed) opposition to stalinist governments. Another piece of revisionism on your part, maybe?

Regarding 'silence' and refusal to answer questions -- why has no one from the ICC answered my question? If it is fine for Dutch communists to orgfanise strikes against deportation, why is it not fine for them to organise blowing up railways used for deporations?

nastyned

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The ICC are mainly based in France. You're right about them otherwise though!

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OK, so the lot we've got on libcom right now are 'World Revolution', the UK branch of ICC?

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ok so you don't support stalinism. L'agite might, meanoldman might, but you don't. I would say that support isn't necessarily about conscious support per se. If your actions advance the interests of stalinism, while retarding the interests of workers, that is support for stalinism.

About blowing up tracks. A strike that shuts down the railway system will stop a whole bunch of trains. Were workers organised to blow up tracks? NO!

Imagine if striking workers had shut down the war economies in the occupied areas. Imagine if they had formed workers militias. Imagine if they had worked with proletarians in German uniforms. Imagine if all the energy, imagination, and courage wasted on the resistancem were spent in these ways. Imagine how many Jews could have been spared. Imagine soviets in the middle of the war. It would have shut down the war effort and might have struck down the system. That would have been a truly anti-stalinist course.

The resistance was just another front in the war.

I'll let the ICC answer you if they want to, although I don't know why they are intervening on these forums. I think I understand why the IBRP and the Bordiguists stay clear.

Anyway I wanted to know why the Nazis were so obsessed with the jews, instead I got another anti-ICC fest. It's getting old.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

Ok so you don't support stalinism. L'agite might, meanoldman might, but you don't. I would say that support isn't necessarily about conscious support per se. If your actions advance the interests of stalinism, while retarding the interests of workers, that is support for stalinism.

Neither MoM or 'lagite supports stalinism. You've admitted, yourself, that they are not 'conscious' supporters. If you want to avoid these 'old' debates, than I suggest you stop making unfounded smears about other posters' politics.

wld_rvn

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On Lazlo's question:

The Dutch left communists didn't carry out armed actions because that is not the task of a revolutionary political organisation. If armed actions are not the expression of an organised, general movement in the class, they quickly degenerate into substitutionist terrorism. The KAPD made some serious errors on this score in the early 20s. To fall into the trap of armed actions by isolated groups is to invite massive repression on a class that is not organised enough to defend itself.

This leaves aside the question of the 'Resistance' groups. The war aims of the Allies did not include 'diverting' valuable military resources towards saving the Jews. Since the Resistance groups put themselves in the service of the Allied imperialisms, they took on their war aims as well.

As Baboon says in his recent post, that doesn't mean that individual acts of heroism aimed at saving victims of the massacres didn't take place throughout the war, and on both sides. If you read our review of Polanski's film The Pianist in the International Review no. 113 you can see what we have written about this.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wld_rvn

To fall into the trap of armed actions by isolated groups is to invite massive repression on a class that is not organised enough to defend itself.

And to openly engage in civil disobediance during war time is also to invite repression, as many groups have found to their cost. I don't think it's as cut and dried a choice as you suggest.

And just to clarify, you do support the Dutch communists, including members of the Comintern affiliated party, in taking this strike action?

Beltov

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Speaking for the ICC, we are certainly in favour of clarifying, but we don't quite see the purpose of Lazlo's question. You know perfectly well that we support the 1941 dockers' strike because we have written about it at length in our book on the Dutch communist left, where we show that this was not simply a strike ‘organised’ by the Dutch CP but began to take on a mass, spontaneous character. But it's one thing to support a class action, and another thing to support the bourgeois forces acting within it. The Dutch left communists in the MLL Front politically opposed the Stalinists and their efforts to divert the class struggle towards nationalist ends, while at the same time the MLL Front intervened to call for the extension of the strike throughout the country. We support the stance they took.

This was by no means an easy position to take in those conditions, on the contrary. Do we have to remind the anarchists - some of whose best elements were murdered by the Stalinists in Spain - that in this period the Stalinists didn't just slander revolutionaries, but also beat them up, handed some of them over to the fascist secret police, and assassinated others? There wasn't much room for ambiguity about whether you supported the Stalinists or opposed them: it was literally a life or death question.

Beltov.

Caiman del Barrio

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

About blowing up tracks. A strike that shuts down the railway system will stop a whole bunch of trains. Were workers organised to blow up tracks? NO!

Imagine if striking workers had shut down the war economies in the occupied areas. Imagine if they had formed workers militias. Imagine if they had worked with proletarians in German uniforms. Imagine if all the energy, imagination, and courage wasted on the resistancem were spent in these ways. Imagine how many Jews could have been spared. Imagine soviets in the middle of the war. It would have shut down the war effort and might have struck down the system. That would have been a truly anti-stalinist course.

This is absolutely the worst kinda line to take. You are pretty much advocating support for a historical act that never happened. It's smartass, wise after the event bullshit. Most people, especially proleterian workers, weren't exactly sure what was gonna happen in the 1930s. How you can criticise them for not doing enough when they were terrified, confused and facing severe repression is quite simply beyond me.

Beltov

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

revol68

...the question was how do the ICC feel about workers taking action outside the workplace to sabotage deportations and the like?

This question gets to the heart of the matter: the need for the working class to develop its autonomy from all other classes, to develop struggles on its own terrain. If you accept that the working class is the only revolutionary class, the only class with 'radical chains' whose interests correspond to those of the whole of humanity, then it follows that only the working class can best defend these interests. "The emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class alone". OK?

However, just because workers take part in actions doesn't make them proletarian in nature. The ethnic and national conflicts that draw in workers are on a bourgeois terrain. 'Popular revolts' such as those in Latin America (Argentina 2003 for example) and even more recently the riots in the Paris suburbs - while clearly a result of unemployment, poverty and discrimination - are NOT on a proletarian terrain. Even if proletarians participate in them. In fact, such struggles pose a great danger to the working class because they pose its total dissolution of the into the mass of the 'people', the 'oppressed'.

It is vital to be intransigent on this question. As we say in our Platform:

The autonomy of the proletariat in the face of all the other classes of society is the first precondition for the extension of its struggle towards the revolution. All alliances with other classes or strata and especially those with fractions of the bourgeoisie can only lead to the disarming of the class in the face of its enemy, because these alliances make the working class abandon the only terrain on which it can temper its strength: its own class terrain” (Point 9, Platform of the ICC).

So what struggles ARE on a proletarian terrain? What makes an action proletarian? The immediate demands and the historic objectives. The orientation and the perspecitves contained in the struggles. The Gate Gourmet dispute at Heathrow is a good example. The immediate demands of the workers were the reinstatement of those that had been sacked. These common demands were supported by the workers at Heathrow. The solidarity shown in struggle overcame the divisions encouraged by capitalist society (race, gender). Such struggles begin to develop tendencies towards escalation, extension and great rapidity. This is why the bourgeoisie is so terrified of them!

Let us be clear, it is not that the working class must fight against other oppressed classes, but develop its capacity to guide them, to draw them onto its own terrain, to work to make them adopt its class viewpoint and historical perspective.

revol68

Surely if you understand that even if the dockers strike was initially orgainsed by the stalinist CP it's very nature pushed it way beyond this, you can also understand that the resistance also pushed beyond stalinism/nationalism and infact acts like the bombing of railway lines used to deport jews were infact very concrete expressions of proletarian internationalism.

To come back to Revol's comment above on the bombings of train lines used to deport Jews. These actions were on a bourgeois terrain: they were under the control of the Allied forces. Yes, proletarians took part in such actions. Yes, they were most probably acting out of the deepest compassion for the Jews. But these actions were not on a proletarian terrain, they were not contributions to proletarian internationalism. The effect of such attacks was to weaken the German imperialist war machine to the advantage of the Allies. They did not have a mass character. They did not serve to strengthen the autonomy, unity and identity of the working class.

If you want a positive example then you need only look to the Russian revolution of 1917: a mass strike that brought down the Tsarist regime, saw the seizure of political power by the working class and caused the end of the First world war!

Beltov,

For the ICC.

Lazy Riser

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Would you folks mind if I put "For the ICC" on my tag line? Thought so.

Love

LR

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

THe Iowa State University (my alma mater) football (american) team is about to play for the Big 12 north championship. GO CYCLONES!!!!!!!

:) 8) :mrt: :) 8) :mrt: :mrt: :mrt: :) :) 8) : :) :) :mrt: :mrt:

Oh ya, this discussion is dead.

G O

C Y C L O N E S!!!!!!!!

baboon

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's no wonder that anti-fascism draws in such a number of supporters and maintains them in a state of readiness. The anti-fascist campaign has been running intensely for over two generations now. The demonisation of the Nazis, based on a truth of course, has been relentless day in, day out, all over Europe books, newspapers, magazines, cinema, radio and television (especially television), the campaign is well funded and maintained by the bourgeoisie. This is a major mystification of the ruling class and much of their propaganda machinery, particularly the democratic state's, have been powered into keeping this myth alive. What better way to cover up your own complicity into the actions of murderous regimes; what better way to cover up your own crimes against humanity. Create and maintain the myth of an absolute evil and you can always present yourselves as the "good guys", the "popular front", or, at least, not so bad in the eyes of the population. This anti-fascism "coheres" a section of the population around a false alternative and spreads the infection into the working class. It further obcures the practical and historical links between the nazi holocaust and the complicity of the stalinist and democratic regimes.

The bourgeoisie have always worked on the Phineas T. Barnum principle "Never give a sucker an even break". As the capitalist system sunk into decay this was refined and aptly described by Goeballs as "The Big Lie". The Big Lie (or rathers the big lies) is now common currency amongst all the democracies. That's tell the greatest lie imaginable (based on an element of truth) and keep repeating it day in day out Slavery is Freedom; Stalinism was communism; they make war for peace; talk peace to prepare for war; use humanatarianism to slaugher innocents; talk ecology whilst carrying out destruction. And they talk anti-fascism and anti-racism to bolster divisions withing the working class and cover up their own culpability and helplessness faced with the decomposition of their system.

Anti-racism is a joke against a system that has racism built into it, that cannot do without it. Anti-racism is a phoney opposition which is turned into a partial and doomed response, not least from its inter-classism. The bourgeoisie take a very real expression of decomposing capitalism and use it for their own ends The Big Lie. Anti-racism is a myth, you cannot wipe out racism or even gradually attenuate its effects, without wiping out capitalism, without overthrowing the whole edifice.

You can clearly see the embryo of the break down in racism as it's been expressed in workers' struggles over the centuries. Some magnificent, selfless examples abound in history, not least from the working class in Britain.

Similarly with acts of courage and self-sacrifice. Heroic bravery expresses itself not as individual acts, but collective acts of daring and sacrifice that are expressed in struggles that tend to generalise outwards all the way to revolution.

This discussion is not closed but an open and important one for the working class. In general today's so-called anarchists can't denounce stalinism because it would mean taking some sort of critical line against anti-fascism. And you can't see that that's been drummed into your heads since birth.

Nor is this discussion closed if you ban groups or individuals from the site for their political views.

Don't bother with the stupid responses, I'll write it for you "ICC, twats, ICC stooges, twats. Fuck me. What's it all about? fuck me. Twats. Derrrr... fuck me. Why does my head hurt?"

Caiman del Barrio

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i don't get it. Are the ICC like ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-left or something??

Lazy Riser

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Are the ICC like ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-left or something??

Jack

No.

Quite right. Is Left-Post-Ultra-Left-Post-Ultra-Leftism to the Left of Left Communism? I think so.

Love

LR

l'agité

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I want this discussion die ... but it 's very uncredible that guy of the Icc continue to say anti-historitical bullshit :

To come back to Revol's comment above on the bombings of train lines used to deport Jews. These actions were on a bourgeois terrain: they were under the control of the Allied forces.

... It 's not true. You can't forgott that in France the FTP-MOI was largely autonomous ; many maquis were autonomous ; many underground networks to help jews were autonomous ; they were thousands and thousands of acts of solidarity, of sabotage by individuals and little grups ; that during the Libération Strike many factories were self-managed, that many groups of syndicalists were autonomous .... etc.

Yes, proletarians took part in such actions. Yes, they were most probably acting out of the deepest compassion for the Jews. But these actions were not on a proletarian terrain, they were not contributions to proletarian internationalism.

and ? yes your a true help a jew do not be deported is not a proletarian struggle is just a struggle for humanity ! If you see a guy victim of an accident in the street we will not say to this guy " no i don't help you it's not a proletarian struggle ! ".

But to finish your position on Nazism is not coherent. You write all the time "Nazism is capitalism" and you try to reduce that all nazi politicies were motivated by capitalism. But in this case then fight persecutions and mass murderes was a part of the proletarian struggle.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alan_is_Fucking_Dead

i don't get it. Are the ICC like ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-ultra-left or something??

They're just like any preachy sect of lefty wannabe-leaders who make a virtue out of the fact that no one listens to them.

baboon

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No one listens to the ICC. You lot seem to, even if your replies tend to the "well, heavens above!" variety.

I don't want to deviate too much, but a punctual point on a previous post which asked "I suppose (the ICC) wouldn't support workers fighting against privatisation". Absolutely right. Now you're beginning to understand the ICC's positions. Fighting against privatisation is a complete set up designed to strengthen the unions and keep the workers corraled onto a terrain where the forces of the bourgeoisie can fence them in. I work in one of the major industries which has been "privatised" in the last fifteen years and I can assure you that this industry is now under more state control than ever before in history. Pay and job losses, working conditions and long term attacks, are under the direct control of the centralised state (and that includes the complicity of the unions).

Lazlo objects to the fact that I have said that anarchists support stalinism and demands a retraction. I repeat what seems obvious to me from this and other sites. What is anarchism? You never define your positions. Are you the anarchists of the 19th century, the 20th, which type or faction?

What you seem to me, both explicitly (Moman "I support stalinism") and implicitly - in the majority of posts I've read - are democrats, nationalists, patriots, stalinist fellow travellers (anti-fascism) who get some perverted pleasure out of poor people burning their own neighbourhoods. Look at the majority of the previous posts - is that anarchism?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

What you seem to me, both explicitly (Moman: "I support stalinism") and implicitly - in the majority of posts I've read - are democrats, nationalists, patriots, stalinist fellow travellers (anti-fascism) who get some perverted pleasure out of poor people burning their own neighbourhoods. Look at the majority of the previous posts - is that anarchism?

Calling us perverted and nationalists is well within the definition of flaming. Are you so annoyed about world-rvn being banned that you want to follow its example?

martinh

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

I don't want to deviate too much, but a punctual point on a previous post which asked "I suppose (the ICC) wouldn't support workers fighting against privatisation". Absolutely right. Now you're beginning to understand the ICC's positions. Fighting against privatisation is a complete set up designed to strengthen the unions and keep the workers corraled onto a terrain where the forces of the bourgeoisie can fence them in. I work in one of the major industries which has been "privatised" in the last fifteen years and I can assure you that this industry is now under more state control than ever before in history. Pay and job losses, working conditions and long term attacks, are under the direct control of the centralised state (and that includes the complicity of the unions).

So, the industry you work in is under more state control. I take it you see this as somehow neutral and not worthy of fighting against? Had there been any mood amongst your workmates to take action against the privatisation, you'd have told them all not to bother as it was a distraction from the real struggle?

FWIW I am against privatisation, not because I think the state in all its forms is a great employer or somehow better than private companies, or that they don't extract surplus value in some bizarre way, but because privatisation is designed to make it harder for workers to fight back (it has other benefits for capital as well, none of which I think we should endorse).

Martin

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

martinh

Had there been any mood amongst your workmates to take action against the privatisation, you'd have told them all not to bother as it was a distraction from the real struggle?

I think that's exactly what the ICC would have done. They seem to think this kind of stance makes them better than other political groups :confused:

jef costello

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Beltov

If you want a positive example then you need only look to the Russian revolution of 1917: a mass strike that brought down the Tsarist regime, saw the seizure of political power by the working class and caused the end of the First world war!

Beltov,

For the ICC.

Just like to point out that this isn't true, although that may be stating the obvious.

Also from a capitalist point of view why wste resources preventing NAzis using up their resources on something non-productive.

Nazism failed because it wasn't capitalistic enough, nationalism/racism becomes a liability if it becomes an ideology rather than a technique.

Also Hitler was a shit general and Russia was too fucking big.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jef Costello

Just like to point out that this isn't true, although that may be stating the obvious.

The ICC supporters seem to like making up stuff about historical events. It's quite hard to keep track of all of these examples of revisionism, but, yes, I'd agree with you that their interpretation of 1917 is waaaay out.

jef costello

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No one's ever quoted me before, I feel deeply special.

Thanks dude

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So it's revisionist to argue that the working class took power in October 1917? You may disagree that this is what happened but you can hardly accuse us of 'just making it up'. Or is it the argument that the October insurrection and in particular its echo in Germany in 1918 convinced the bourgeoisie to put an end to the war?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

Or is it the argument that the October insurrection and in particular its echo in Germany in 1918 convinced the bourgeoisie to put an end to the war?

So you believe in what the Nazis called the 'stab in the back' theory?

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the capitalist point of view - democratic or fascist - all class struggle during wartime, when all classes are supposed to be united behind the fatherland, is a 'stab in the back'. When that struggle reaches the point of mutiny and revolution, it has reached the zenith of treason. But from the internationalist point of view, patriotism, defence of the fatherland, is treason to the International.

The ruling classes in 1918 not only put an end to the war because of the threat of world revolution. Just as the French and Prussian bourgeoisies came together in 1871 to massacre the Commune, so the different national bourgeoisies put aside their differences to help the German ruling class crush the revolution there.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So you deny that the German armies were defeated militarily in WW1?

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No doubt that Germany was in a terrible state by the last months of 1918 starvation, military stalemate, growing social discontent. The entry of the USA into the war would certainly have led to German defeat in the end. But the revolution was sparked off because the German military ordered a final big push. The Kiel sailors mutinied and workers and soldiers councils spread rapidly throughout Germany. At this point it became crystal clear to the German ruling class that they had to get rid of the Kaiser, put the social democrats in power, and end the war.

Bourgeois historians have hidden the German revolution from history, reducing it to a few 'hunger riots'. This makes it easier for them to present the Russian revolution as a purely Russian affair and to deny that there ever was a threat of international revolution.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So the German army was not defeated, but merely 'stalemated'?

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What is the point of these questions exactly?

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You know, not all left communists are hated by the majority on this forum. If I recall there was quite a bit of praise for Otto Ruhl and his anti-Leninism. So I sugest you read the works of the major anti-Leninist left communist theroiststs like Herman Gorter, Paul Mattick, and Anton Pannekoek. Some of their texts are right here in the Libcom library. Look at their positions on such issues as unions, anti-fascism, anti-privatisation etc., and compare them to those of the ICC.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

You know, not all left communists are hated by the majority on this forum.

And this doesn't make you wonder, at all?

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yea, well, the 1920's called, and it wants its politics back.

Each generation of revolutionaries must learn from the actions, mistakes and successes, of previous generations. The mistakes the working class made back then boiled down to our trust in liberal democracy, unions and parliament. Unfortunately many on this forum still harbor those same illusions, the same old 1920's politics.

And this doesn't make you wonder, at all?

It does make me wonder. Left communists with some of the exact same positions as the ICC have their texts in the libcom library. Even the uber-leninist Bordiga's texts are in there. Like I said, read their words and explain why you spaz out at the ICC. :roll:

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

Like I said, read their words and explain why you spaz out at the ICC.

'Spaz out'? What does that mean? :confused:

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

trust in liberal democracy, unions and parliament. Unfortunately many on this forum still harbor those same illusions, the same old 1920's politics.

Where has anyone on these forums stated any trust in 'liberal democracy' or parliament?

Is this more of the same smears against anarchists and re-writing of history again?

baboon

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Where has anyone on these forums denounced anti-fascism, that is a united front of democracy and stalinism? Where on these forums has anyone denounced the the unions as enemies of the working class? On the contrary, where there isn't explicit support for democracy, stalinism and the trade unions, there's the implicit, more insidious support that's qualified, hedged and hidden in moralistic terms such as "it's not so bad as fascism" (when history and present day reality shows that democracy and stalinism are at least as bad). I've seen posts on here, from anarchist types (what types of anarchist is a mystery) extolling the virtues of "free speech" - "at least we've got it", democracy - "better than living under the nazis" as well as all sorts of moralistic humbug about "saving people".

Do you denounce the unions or not? Do you denounce democracy or not? Do you denounce stalinism or not? Of course you anarchist types will qualify your answere because you are basically no different from the trotskyists.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

Where has anyone on these forums denounced anti-fascism, that is a united front of democracy and stalinism?

Anarchists have denouced anti-fasism where it worked to suppress workers' struggles, likewise, anarchists have denouced unions, in their role as suppressing working class struggles.

You won't get the kind of blanket condemnations that you seek, because anarchists, in general don't have the kind of mechanistic politics-by-numbers that the ICC and their supporters seem to be comfortable with.

Quite frankly, your pathetic attempt at a 'your either with us or against us' is rather sad to read, and betrays the lack of theoretical insight that your politics holds for today's struggles.

I've got no problem with saying that living in England under Churchill was probably better for the majority than living under the nzais would have been. The fact that such a common-sense postition can send you into froths of outrage, shows how far from reality your politics are. And you seem to be proud, not embarrassed, about this distance.

Lazy Riser

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

I've got no problem with saying that living in England under Churchill was probably better for the majority than living under the nzais would have been.

Are you sure you want to use a utilitarian argument? Comrade, this is the logic of Adam Smith, talk about defending the Left of Capital.

Lots of love etc

LR

jaycee

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

no one is saying that living under nazism is exctly the same as living under a 'democratic' country like britain, but the point is simply that the difference between the two is not worth an ounce of any workers (or anybodys) blood. The democratic countrys are capable of being just as 'evil', repressive and inhumane as any dictatorship, as history has clearly shown. The question is whether either side has a historically different role, i.e is one more progressive than the other. Simply being a bit 'nicer' to live under isn't enough, both the nazis and the democratic countrys were imperialist and were fighting the second world war for that reason and both sides could only offer war to humanity as they both respond to the needs of capitalism in its decadent phase. The result of WW2 was the setting up of new blocks which threatened to destroy the world with another world war. This is what support for either side amounts to, it amounts to support for capitalism and which can only mean support for capitalist war as the two are inseprable.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You seem to be writing off the chance of any possibility of autonomous worker action in this context. From you post, it all seemed to have involved either siding with one or the other, and that's not a very historical position to take.

jaycee

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the point is that working class action is the only answer and therefore siding with either capitalist side is useless and anti-working class.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You don't seem to have grasped what I'm saying. Many people took action against a greater evil (nazi occupation, deportation of jews, etc) while not neccessarily siding with the lesser evil.

indian nationalists, fo example, cynically sided with the japanese and then with the biritish, depending won whick side was stronger at the time, as did Veitnamese nationalists. They kept their autonomy, and I think many working class partisan and similar groups, especially at the rank and file, did likewise.

jaycee

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

acts of human kindness, saving jews etc is obviously to be supported and no one here would deny that but fighting against either side on a nationalist basis is completely different and can only aid one imperialism against another. Even when this nationalism seems to be the only answer it will be futile. I think the Warsaw ghetto uprising is a good example, the jewish people in the ghetto decided to fight back against oppression and as communists we can only be sympathetic to this, but becuase it was thought on a nationalist basis it was doomed to failure as i was isolated and even those taking part saw it only as a heroic last stand rather than harbouring much hope for victory. I realist that there was little choice for them and the prospect o joining their struggle to a larger internationalist and class based struggle was highly unlikely but it was the only way that the result could have been different.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is what I mean, about your points being profoundly a-historical, and part of a wider concern among certain left communists for a rigid idea of 'correctness'.

jef costello

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[quote="jaycee"]I think the Warsaw ghetto uprising is a good example, the jewish people in the ghetto decided to fight back against oppression and as communists we can only be sympathetic to this, but becuase it was thought on a nationalist basis it was doomed to failure as i was isolated and even those taking part saw it only as a heroic last stand rather than harbouring much hope for victory.quote]

They had little choice really, if they believed the russians would help them then they were not desparate and if they knew that the Red Army would sit on the other side of the river until they were wiped out then you can understand why they went for a last stand.

It is possible to act without supporting either side, but it is often futile, but then you could make that argument about any anarchist action and that would lead to everyone being depressed and venting their anger on th internet. :)

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

3 Q U E S T I O N S

1) Is democracy better?

You know that fascim came to power with the support an blessing of the majority of the bourgeoisie. Democracies became fascist regimes. To be anti-fascist seems to miss this point. Even is we were to concede ---despite Northern Ireland, My Lai, Abu Ghraib etc.--- that life under fascism is worse, it is still the same formerly democratic bourgeoisie who tranformed itself into fascism's financiers. So there's no reason to believe that had things been different, the British and American bourgeoisies wouldn't have supported fascism.

In the 20's and 30's much praise was heaped on Mussolini by the American Press, including the NY times. Some officials in the Roosevelt administration tried to mimick the the Italian fascist programs when implementing the New Deal. Ford was honored by Hitler. The democratic bourgeoisie were all potential fascists. So, no democracy is no better.

2) Can one be anti-fascist w/o being pro-Democracy/pro-Stalinist?

The above arguments says no. By being anti-fascist you forget fascism came to power with the blessing of the rulers. Fascism can only remain an impotent fringe phenomenon without, first of al,l a defeated proletariat, and without the blessing of ex-democratic rulers. Denouncing fascism itself misses this point. I want to hear anarchists speak of militant anti-stalinism half as much as they speak of militant anti-fascism. I simply don't hear it. You might say you do, but there is no link on libcom about militant anti-stalinism. There is however a lot of emphasis placed on militant anti-fascism. The only reason I can think of for this, is that anarchists know that the most militant anti-fascists were Stalinists. Stalinism is a horrific form of capitalist exploitation, but anarchists aren't nearly as obsessed with fighting it, even though Stalinists actually rule many states while there are no fascists states left, and even though there is no real fascist threat today. Yet it seems that militant anti-fascism is an integral part of libertarian communist thought. THat is just wierd.

3) Was the resistance a form of class struggle?

First of all the resistance was an inter-classist movement. Secondly the workers didn't autonomously and independently organise the resistance themselves. Thirdly, the resistance involved attacks against workers in German uniforms as well as workers collaborating or supected of collaborating. THe resistance never once offered a challenge to the system and had no potential to do so because it was integrated into the war effort of the allies. The resistance stopped as soon as the occupation ended, it didn't continue against the "liberated" states. So by any criterion the resistance was anti-fascist, not anti- bourgeois and not a form of class struggle.

About "correctness." I think what is indeed ahistorical is not to understand when a position is historically futile. THus the entire phenomenon of unions is historically futlie, because the historical era when they were effective is over.

Supporting the Union against the Confederacy during the American Civil War made sense. During Capitalism's ascendant phase there actually were factions of the bourgeoisie that were more progressive than others. Today, as in 1939, there are no progressive bourgeois factions. Thus we can't play one group against another, because as soon as we organise as a class and threaten the system itself, the former bourgeois enemies will come together, and try to destroy our movement. If the resistance had threatened bourgeois rule, the Allies would have been glad to help the Nazis in fighting it.

Long boring post..... over.

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I strongly support jaycee and alibadani. The questions in the latter's post in particular should be answered seriously and after some reflection.

I just want to take up the point made by Lazlo

"indian nationalists, fo example, cynically sided with the japanese and then with the biritish, depending won whick side was stronger at the time, as did Veitnamese nationalists. They kept their autonomy, and I think many working class partisan and similar groups, especially at the rank and file, did likewise".

In what sense were the Indian or Vietnamese nationalists 'autonomous'? There are many examples of nationalist gangs switching from one imperialist backer to another (there was a real merry-go-round in Somalia back in the days of the US and Russian blocs, for example). But this only proves that nationalism can only choose between one imperialist camp and another. And nationalism can never be 'autonomous' from capital, because it is the very embodiment of capital.

What about the 'autonomy' of 'working class partisan and similar groups'?

Does he mean that there were resistance groups that were real expressions of the class autonomy of the proletariat, its independence from the bourgeoisie? In that case, I think it is necessary to be concrete and argue the case about specific groups.

The left communists never denied that the partisan groups were recruiting many class conscious workers who wanted to fight not only fascism but capitalism. But they insisted that the objective function of such groups was to drag these workers into the military fronts of the bourgeoisie and the imperialist war. 'Anti-fascism' was the ideology that accomplished this trick; and alibadani is quite right to argue that there is a deep attachment on these boards to this ideology, and thus to democratic ideology in general.

martinh

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

3 Q U E S T I O N S

1) Is democracy better?

You know that fascim came to power with the support an blessing of the majority of the bourgeoisie. Democracies became fascist regimes. To be anti-fascist seems to miss this point.

Depends what you mean by "better". Better in itself, no. Better to live under than fascism or stalinism? yes.

alibadani

Even is we were to concede ---despite Northern Ireland, My Lai, Abu Ghraib etc.--- that life under fascism is worse, it is still the same formerly democratic bourgeoisie who tranformed itself into fascism's financiers. So there's no reason to believe that had things been different, the British and American bourgeoisies wouldn't have supported fascism.

They did support fascism. And would again if it suited them. They certainly support stalinist-style dictatorial regimes where it suits them.

alibadani

2) Can one be anti-fascist w/o being pro-Democracy/pro-Stalinist?

The above arguments says no. By being anti-fascist you forget fascism came to power with the blessing of the rulers. Fascism can only remain an impotent fringe phenomenon without, first of al,l a defeated proletariat, and without the blessing of ex-democratic rulers. Denouncing fascism itself misses this point.

No it doesn't say that. Most militant anti-fascists I know see fascism as primarily a means to attack the working class. What do you propose for fighting fascism? And please don't insult me by saying only world revolution can fight fascism. What about the here and now? If the BNP start to organise where you live, do you do anything or just wait for the working class to realise its historic role?

alibadani

I want to hear anarchists speak of militant anti-stalinism half as much as they speak of militant anti-fascism. I simply don't hear it.

I think you're looking in the wrong places. There are plenty of things on the web about Cuba, and plenty of historical stuff on the former Soviet bloc. There have also been anarchist denunciations of most of the proto-Stalinist regimes in the former USSR, as well as anarchists repressed by them. And there are regular denunciations of National Bolsheviks and arty fascists in thrall to Kim Jong Il from anarchists in Russia.

alibadani

You might say you do, but there is no link on libcom about militant anti-stalinism. There is however a lot of emphasis placed on militant anti-fascism. The only reason I can think of for this, is that anarchists know that the most militant anti-fascists were Stalinists. Stalinism is a horrific form of capitalist exploitation, but anarchists aren't nearly as obsessed with fighting it, even though Stalinists actually rule many states while there are no fascists states left, and even though there is no real fascist threat today. Yet it seems that militant anti-fascism is an integral part of libertarian communist thought. THat is just wierd.

Fascism was invented in post WW1 Italy to smash a libertarian communist-inspired revolutionary workers movement. Being against it sort of comes with the territory

And there are actually some fascist states, though these days it's hard to tell the difference. Syria is one. But what is the difference between the 2 in reality? North Korea is arguably the worst place to live in the world, but would you really want to swap Uzbekistan for Saddam's Iraq?

As all these places are equal in yours/the ICCs eyes, perhaps some reports on the ICC's activities in, say, North Korea, would help convince us of your arguments. I don't expect lots of details, obviously we don't want to compromise the security of any workers resisting there, but a broad brush picture would be nice.

alibadani

3) Was the resistance a form of class struggle?

First of all the resistance was an inter-classist movement. Secondly the workers didn't autonomously and independently organise the resistance themselves. Thirdly, the resistance involved attacks against workers in German uniforms as well as workers collaborating or supected of collaborating. THe resistance never once offered a challenge to the system and had no potential to do so because it was integrated into the war effort of the allies. The resistance stopped as soon as the occupation ended, it didn't continue against the "liberated" states. So by any criterion the resistance was anti-fascist, not anti- bourgeois and not a form of class struggle.

Clearly it wasn't just class struggle, but what do you think happened to any workers in occupied Europe who had a record of militancy and opposing the bourgeoisie? They would have gone to the death camps at least knowing they hadn't tainted their revolutionary purity by fighting back with non-working class forces. And those foolish Spanish anarchists, fancy joining the resistance and fighting fascists. They should have just waited to be rounded up into camps or shot by the Gestapo. And what were they thinking, carrying on resisting after the liberation. Don't tell anyone,. they might demolish part of your argument. Must be an ahistorical tendency refusing to bow to progress.

Not to mention those foolish British anarchists, who buried the arms they'd spirited away on demobilisation, only for them to be buried again in the foundations of new blocks of housing.

As to whether this is enough, or merely the best that individuals could do in trying circumstances, is a different matter. From your name, you may well have lived under a military dictatorship. Nigerian friends of mine have told me of seeing soldiers shoot into crowds and deliberately targetting those they identified as leaders. What do you do in those circumstances? Organise? Go into exile? Or wait for history to catch up?

martin

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Northern Ireland was liberal democracy at work. Just as Guantanamo and the CIA torture camps in Europe are. Democracy is the idologoy of "we destroyed the village on order to save it." Democracy bombs people for their own good. The rulers use the ideals of freedom to justify every horror imaginable. A revolutionary movement by workers in the "freest" democracy will be met with state violence.

But when one starts to compare the different bourgeois styles when does it end? Is this not the argument for voting for Labor instead of the Tories? Where does it end? Should we (in America) choose the paleo-cons over the neo-cons? Or maybe German workers should've supported the SA against the SS. The former had all that socialistic rhetoric right? The lesser evil right?

The question of fighting fascism is two questions: fighting the phenomenon in the 20's and 30's, and fighting the phenomenon today.

Fascism in the 20's and 30's was not about crushing the workers movement. That feat was already accomplished by the social democrats. Fascism came to power only because the workers were already defeated, unable to offer any resistance. The workers of today are not defeated. There is no fascist threat today. The biggest threat to workers today is not the BNP or Le Pen but the leftists. The more radical they sound, the worse they are.

Fighting fascism in the 20's and 30's would have required a resurgence of the workers movement (independent, autonomous). Revolutionaries were to agitate towards that goal. The left communists at the time were extrememely active. They didn't wait around doing nothing; because of thier political activitty many of them were shot by both the fascists and the resistance.

A workers movement at the time would have united the entire bourgeoisie against it, and the workes would have seen that bourgeois enemies quickly cease their hostilities when their order is in jeopardy.

The working class is not impotent. We stopped WW1. Anti-fascism played a big role in keeping us from stopping WW2.

What should have been done? That is also a two-fold question: what should workers have done and what should revolutionaries have done? Workers had the example of a few decades earlier when they stopped WW1. Revolutionaries should have done what the left communists did. Maybe if all the anarchists had joined us back then, things would have turned out differently.

jef costello

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There was a strong communist movement in many countries, including Germany. The Nazis won in part because the right can always offer a simpler solution and in part because they do better at attracting sponsorship. One of the biggest draws of the SA was the fact that they provided uniforms.

How did anti-fascism prevent you from stopping WWII? who is this "us" and what were you planning all those years ago?

You are responding poorly to a good response to your post. Try harder, at least offer real arguments.

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"We," the workers, stopped WW1; and anarchist should have joined "us," the left communists, in our internationalist stance during WW2.

Just clarifying some of my poor grammar, Jef Costello

Anti-fascism played a role in the failure of workers to respond to WW2 the way they did to WW1 because it (pronoun used instead of the word anti-fascism) was and remains quite the ideological trap. It is one thing for workers to reject a war between the Kaiser and the Tsar. It's a lot more difficult for workers to see that a war between fascism and democracy is also to be rejected.

If the "good response" is the one by martinh, I don't even know what he's talking about half the time.

There was a decent sized Stalinist party in Germany but there certainly was no strong communist movement. The Nazis never won either. Hitler was selected chancellor by the German head of state, according to the democratic rules of the Weimar constitution. That's what supporting democracy gets you.

I'm not sure what you mean by "what were you planning all those years

ago." I'm guessing you mean what did the left communitsts do in that era. If this is so here's a link:

http://en.internationalism.org/books/dgcl/0/0_00.html

jef costello

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hitler never won a majority of the vote, as is well known. He was nominated to the position by the then president, but he did control a majority with the support of a minor party whse name I forget. I'm not defending the Weimar Republic, but there was massive popular support for the party.

That was a very reasonable response to my rude post so I do apologise for that.

I have lost track of the threads but a few points. Revolution in Russia prolonged the war, although it could be argued that this was to the detriment of the imperialit powers. That the workers stopped the war is not a fact, it is an opinion. If you'd like to make your case on that one feel free.

"What you were planning all those years ago" was a reference to your post.

Anti-fascism is important, theoretically there is no reason why any country would not become fascist and if all countries became fascist we'd all be fucked.

There was a fairly strong communist movement in Germany, as there always is.

It is early I'm tired, hence lack of references and sources, maybe we'll all agree in the morning :)

baboon

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why do you anarchists types get so annoyed about the obvious.

Revol68 (you're having a laugh) says "no one here has ever defended the trade unions" then goes on to defend the trade unions as workers organisations. It's there. Read it.

"Things are not a bourgeois conspiracy" he says. What world does he think we live in? A fairytale world? Is there a ruling class or not - is there a dictatorship of capital or not. "It's more complex", he says. No it's not - it is simple, it is class issue. There are two main classes and one of them is the lord of an ever increasing unstable and short term world and your tendency is to support this latter class.

Lazlo puts forward a clear defence of democracy, the Allies (one capitalist side in an imperialist war) and wartime Britain under military rule. He then seems to support Indian and Vietnamese nationalism and somehow equates this with the working class.

MartinH offers explicit support for democracy.

Why, when you are all such firm believers in the superiority of capitalist democracy and its structures, do you get annoyed when someone points this obvious fact out?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

you are all such firm believers in the superiority of capitalist democracy and its structures

Great, with your usual flair, you've just insulted everyone on this site. And you wonder why people get annoyed by you?

Steven.

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

Why do you anarchists types get so annoyed about the obvious.

Revol68 (you're having a laugh) says "no one here has ever defended the trade unions" then goes on to defend the trade unions as workers organisations. It's there. Read it.

You're a moron.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

baboon

Why do you anarchists types get so annoyed about the obvious.

Revol68 (you're having a laugh) says "no one here has ever defended the trade unions" then goes on to defend the trade unions as workers organisations. It's there. Read it.

You're a moron.

Hey! No flaming :(

On a serious note, I think that some of the ICC posters' claims about anarchists are also pretty insulting. My repeated requests for apologies have just been met with evasions, and repeats of the same slurs.

Lazy Riser

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Great, with your usual flair, you've just insulted everyone on this site

I think it’s best to put it down to “cheeky humour”. Another arrow in the Internationalist quiver.

Under no circumstances must we expel the Internationalists, that will put us in extremely poor company. They have a necessary historical role and they must be preserved. The cost of allowing them to post here is small compared to the joy brought to me be their stubborn defence of their flawed principles.

Lots of love to everyone

LR

martinh

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

Why do you anarchists types get so annoyed about the obvious.

MartinH offers explicit support for democracy.

Why, when you are all such firm believers in the superiority of capitalist democracy and its structures, do you get annoyed when someone points this obvious fact out?

no, I didn't. I merely pointed out it was preferable to living under Stalinism or fascism. While i've not done that myself, I've met enough comrades who have to feel your equation of them as being identical is a little insulting. Perhaps you'd care to open my eyes?

And BTW, I'm still waiting for news of what the ICC is doing in the remaining stalinist and fascist states. If there's no difference between them you'll be doing at least as much organising there as here.

Martin

(beginning to see where LazyRiser is coming from on this one :wink: )

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

martinh the question - as we have said once or twice before - is not whether is no difference between democratic and Stalinist or fascist states, but whether we support the demcoratic states against the 'undemocratic' ones.

Lazy Riser assuming your post is not just 'cheeky humour', then it looks like a breakthrough. For a start, it credits ICC members and supporters with being capable of 'cheeky humour', which is a step beyond "having no sense of humour", or being "harmless cranks", "political anoraks", or similar.

More to the point, you defend the need for us to be present on these forums and oppose us being banned.

Lazlo time to get off your high horse. If we bothered to demand apologies for every insult thrown at us on these threads, we wouldn't have time for anything else. And you are no less capable of dishing it out than anyone else.

But what you call insults - such the charge that many anarchists end up defending democracy - are founded on a political analysis and we have tried to explain this in numerous ways. Obviously we need to keep explaining it, but the intention is that not to insult or slander, but to patiently (and, as Lazy Riser notes, "stubbornly") explain.

the button

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

martinh

And BTW, I'm still waiting for news of what the ICC is doing in the remaining stalinist and fascist states. If there's no difference between them you'll be doing at least as much organising there as here.

Since you're online, you might want to deal with this aspect of martin's post too. :)

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I thought I had answered this it's a false question. The discussion isn't about whether or not it's easier to carry out political activities in some regimes than others. Many of the Italian left communists in the 20s and 30s had to leave Mussolini's Italy to carry on political activity elsewhere. But this didn't weaken their conviction that both fascism and democracy were both forms of bourgeois rule. Even if their forms and methods were not always the same, the working class had to fight against both.

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

quick response from the "twat" (apparently the female sexual organ is still considered a bad thing in some circles)

revol68 evades the issue by giving an example of a workers' struggle against a dictatorial boss. That's obviously a form of class struggle and doesn't "objectively strengthen capital".

The debate about the Resistance groups is whether the "partisan" organisations represented a form of class struggle, or a way of derailing the struggle into the military fronts of an imperialist war. Some posts back I asked Lazlo to be specific and give examples of actual Resistance groups who were autonomous (in the class sense of the term) from the military fronts. No reply as yet. I put the same question to revol68.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

The debate about the Resistance groups is whether the "partisan" organisations represented a form of class struggle, or a way of derailing the struggle into the military fronts of an imperialist war

Why does the anser have to be one or the other? They were clearly both.

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So that's what twat means.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Excuse me?

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If history has taught us anything, it is that the the bourgeoisie doesn't support class struggles in enemy countries. It will however support anything that derails the class struggle into a dead-end. For example, the western ruling classes supported the Solidarnosc trade union but not the Polish strike committees.

The Polish class stuggles of 1980 were massive, and far more advanced that anything that was taking place in the democracies at the time. That experience shows us that the class struggle is the best response to the most repressive regimes, that democracy is not a precondition for class struggle. Democracy is certainly not worth dying for.

How did the Western bourgeoisie react to the situation in Poland at its height (before Solidarnosc disarmed the workers)? The IMF granted Poland cheap loans. Campaigns of ‘assistance for Poland’ were started. West German social-democratic Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and the arch-stalinist GDR leader Erich Honecker met to discuss a common strategy to defeat the movement. Basically, the rivals of the cold war put aside thier differences in response to the mass strike in Poland.

The rivals of the Franco-Prussian war did the same in response to the Commune, as did the rivals of WW1 as a response to the German revolution. Heck even the U.S stopped it's war against Saddam in response to the soviets and mutiny in Kurdistan. As widespread as it was, the resistance had no such effect on the rival camps of WW2. That alone is telling enough.

alibadani

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why does revol get away with flaming so much?

Alf

16 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Response to Revol68 again

Thousands of “communists” went to the hills to join the partisans? Again, be specific. The second world war was only possible because of a gigantic defeat of the working class in the 20s and 30s. The Communist Parties were integrated into capitalism well before the war and the Trotskyist groups during the war. The numbers of actual communists - ie, internationalists - were reduced to tiny minorities, and they rejected the politics of the Resistance, so who are you referring to exactly?.

Yes, of course the class struggle has a military dimension. It exists in embryonic form in the immediate struggle, when workers have to organise their self-defence against capitalist cops and goons. It exists on a higher level when the struggle goes from the defensive to the offensive and the question of the armed assault on the capitalist state is posed.

But not every armed struggle that workers take part in – even with sincere convictions – is part of the class struggle. The Resistance groups took thousands of workers onto the terrain of patriotism, ie away from the class struggle. They were fiercely hostile to any talk of fraternisation and international solidarity. Lazlo’s idea that the Resistance could be both for the class struggle and for the war makes no sense at all imperialist war and class war are utterly antagonistic.

Maybe you can find examples of groups who tried to square the circle and combine joining the Resistance with maintaining an internationalist position. That would be interesting, but it wouldn’t change the basic point, precisely because it was an impossibility to defend both positions at the same time.

As for epithets, neither “twat” nor “cock” bother me that much, although it does look a bit like Revol68 has a special licence to flame, as alibadani also notes. On the other hand, calling me a “life-stylist” really cut me to the quick.

Still it makes a change. Forget the 80s back in the 70s already World Revolution was banned by one “politically correct” libertarian print shop because we published an article which attacked feminism as demanding “equal mystifications for women”. I don’t think we have gone soft on feminism et al. since then, although we have written a few more in-depth articles on the attitude of Marxism to the real problem of the oppression of women, which is not be confused with the bourgeois ideology of feminism.

baboon

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Although it's not directly transposable we can use the example of the Australian race attacks to illustrate the question of the "lesser evil" and anti-fascism.

In Australia in the last week or so racist mobs have attacked any olive-skinned people they have come across or hunted down, beating some up and threatening the lives of others. Some of these victims have been saved from the mob by the police, the latter, in a couple of televised encounters, showing some degree of concern and courage in helping the victims. Certainly the police, doing more than you, I and everyone else on this post, to practically help those being attacked and assaulted because of the colour of their skin. Were I a victim in this situation, I would welcome and be grateful for the police saving me.

Should we be supporting the police because "they are doing something", because "they are saving people", "they at least are a lesser evil". These arguments haven't been used in relation to Australia but they have been used by many on this thread in relation to WWII. If one were to support the police (or elements of them) as "a lesser evil" in relation to a racist mob, one would have to be supporting the Australian state whose agents they are; a state, which like all capitalist states, has racism woven into its very fabric. Like all others, the Australian state promotes racism, anti-immigration and xenophobic propaganda on a daily basis. Anti-racist fronts with any number of lesser evils will do absolutely nothing to eliminate racism; in fact it can only strengthen it by sowing illusions in the state from where it "naturally" emanates. Only the autonomous action of the working class can even begin to address the question of racism, its real roots and the way to confront it.

In order to be against the murders of innocents in Germany during WWII, a number of posts on this thread have supported - by default, through the lack of a coherent position, by putting forward half-baked partial "positions" - and this is where is hasn't been exlicitly stated, have supported murderous, capitalist gangsters that have slaughtered an even greater number of innocents - a so-called lesser evil. It's not suprising that this is done as the weight of the anti-fascist campaign is one of the bourgeoisies' most massive campaigns ever. It is not suprising, but that doesn't make this position any the less anti-working class, ie, the support for capitalist factions in an imperialist war. In this case, democracy and stalinism.

The idea that something, some regime or other, is vaguely "better in the circumstances" under a capitalist system that is decaying fast, is a very weak basis for trying to put forward a working class position. In fact on this basis (supported by any number of posts on this thread) you have already been diverted away from a proletarian postion and must end up supported the bourgeoisie. This whole approach trivialises and individualises the question of imperialism and revolution to the point of abstractin and fantasy and, as this thread has amply demonstrated, leads to explicit or implicit support to one imperialist camp or the other.

A lot more innocents are going to be slaughtered (are being) by capitalism, that's the nature of all its regimes which are expressing the terminal decay of the system. It is essential that the working class holds on to and defends its positions even (especially) those that have come out of the terrible depths of counter-revolution. Anti-fascism can only end up supporting one faction of the bourgeoisie or the other.

jef costello

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Didn't you just complain about a comparison to a particular instance on this topic. keep your rhetoric together.

Capitalist states are NOT based upon racism, they CAN be but it is not necessary. Capitalist states are based upon the oppression of the working class and while racism is a useful method of carrying out this oppression it is not the only one.

Many of the resistance organisations in France at least were communist, by shortening the duration of the war they saved proletarian lives (which are lost at a higher rate during war) thus helping to maintain the mass strength of the proletariat in anticipation of a fine useful and not at all irrelevant organisation like the ICC unleashing it.

In support of our female comrades I think revol should stop using the words cunt and twat.

In support of our male comrades he should stop using the word cock.

In support of our comrades who have made a choice to renounce the capitalist construct of the family he should stop using the word wanker.

I suggest a new post to think up new insults, I'm sure you're up to the challenge revol.

JC for the JCC

Alf

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jeff I welcome your regular concern to hold a proper discussion and avoid gratuitous abuse.

Baboon however did not say that capitalist states are based on racism. As you say they are based on the exploitation of the working class. He said that racism is 'woven into their fabric', which is not the same thing. Nationalism is the ideological cement of the nation state, and nationalism, especially in this epoch, is inseparable from racism.

Again, you claim that the resistance groups were 'communist', but what does that mean? They were dominated by Stalinism, but Stalinism is the negation of communism. That's why I have asked those defending the Resistance to be concrete about which of the resistance groups they are putting forward as 'communist' or proletarian.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

I have asked those defending the Resistance to be concrete about which of the resistance groups they are putting forward as 'communist' or proletarian.

You want a 'group' to be proletarian and communist? That basically means, due to your narrow understanding of the terms, that you want me to point to a group that was, from top to bottom, in line with your own variety of left communism.

As I've said, the resistance groups were contradictory, containing tendencies towards useful working class self activity and harmful tendencies towards centralisation and authoritarianism.

This is similar to my analysis of UK unions, which are likewise often made up of good grassroots activity and harmful bureaucratic consensus politics.

alibadani

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You want a 'group' to be proletarian and communist? That basically means, due to your narrow understanding of the terms, that you want me to point to a group that was, from top to bottom, in line with your own variety of left communism.

If you took the time to read what the ICC has said on this forum, you'll know that proletarian doesn't mean a certain variety of left communism. It does mean internationalist however. As such there were anarchists during WW2 who did take the proletarian line and rejected the resistance. There were anarchists who refused to take sides in the Spanish conflict as well.

Today the same can be said. There are groups like the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation based in South Africa, the Moscow based Revolutionary Anarcho-syndicalist Group, and the Hungarian Anarcho-communsit group Barikád Kollektíva. These are not marxist or left communist groups but they are definitely in the proletarian camp.

OliverTwister

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Well it's true innit? The Friends of Durruti wanted to place all the bourgeoisie, from Garcia Oliver to Franco, up against the wall.

Love

Oliver

jef costello

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

Jeff: I welcome your regular concern to hold a proper discussion and avoid gratuitous abuse.

...Nationalism is the ideological cement of the nation state, and nationalism, especially in this epoch, is inseparable from racism.

Again, you claim that the resistance groups were 'communist', but what does that mean? They were dominated by Stalinism, but Stalinism is the negation of communism. That's why I have asked those defending the Resistance to be concrete about which of the resistance groups they are putting forward as 'communist' or proletarian.

The Front National, was set up by the PCF in 1941, its military wing Francs tireurs et partisans was the largest and most efffective resistance group. It is true that this organisation began after the german invasion of the USSR, it was solidarity that inspired this, whether misguided or not. I don't think that makes them Stalinist in the sense that you use this word. There was less information about what Stalin was up to available then, there was still a hope that the 1917 revolution would be brought to fruition, while it is easy to look back and sneer at their mistakes I prefer to respect their courage and intentions. I don't think any form of working class struggle against authority is meaningless. Don't believe the Gaullist hype.

And ffs why spell my name Jeff? why does everyone on the internet assume I cannot spell my own name?

Alf

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jef apologies for the spelling. But I don't see how an organisation set up by the PCF during the war - a period when it was openly Stalinist, as opposed to the shame-faced Stalinism of later years; an organisation which had its explicitly nationalist aims enshrined in its very name, could be anything but Stalinist. Certainly the strength of the Stalinist organisations in that period was the widespread belief and hope among many workers that the USSR still stood for the ideals of October 1917. But this was a total falsehood, and it's not just hindsight on our part. Genuine revolutionaries were saying precisely that at the time - and they worked hard to convince sincere workers that they should leave the Communist Parties and join the ranks of the internationalists.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

an organisation which had its explicitly nationalist aims enshrined in its very name

lol, weren't the bolsheviks officially called the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks)?

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By way of a conclusion...

- The rise of Nazism, the whole of WWII was an expression of the decadence of capitalism, events which took place on the back of the defeat of the revolutionary wave of the working class.

- The crimes of democracy were at least those of Nazism - that's when the former wasn't directly complicit with the latter. The victors wrote the history of WWII.

- Anti-fascism doesn't exist in fantasies, but in the real, material world and could only be support for one imperialism against another. Anti-fascism was the democratic\stalinist alliance against another imperialist contender.

- The Resistance were nowhere an expression of the working class but a tool in the hands of competing imperialist factions.

- There were expressions of humanity from many individuals during the war (including some Nazis) and the working class, as a class for humanity, must applaud such expressions. However, these individual actions count for nothing against the numbers of innocents slaughtered.

- Anti-fascism has been supported as doing "something" as against doing "nothing" by people who are calling themselves communist or revolutionaries. But who supports "doing nothing"? Not the ICC and its sympathisers. To call oneself communist or revolutionary one must agree that there is a revolutionary perspective. It's been drowned on this thread by support for anti-fascism.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Why do you think that that is a 'conclusion'?

Lazy Riser

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

But who supports "doing nothing"?

I wonder. Why can't it be like a fascist killing festival of fun, why do Internationalists always have to make politics so boring?

Love

LR

Alf

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazy Riser interesting that you consistently call us "the Internationalists". Of course we agree with that - but what does that make those we are arguing against?

Lazy Riser

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

but what does that make those we are arguing against?

I think I will call them "unInternationalists". Why can't we just kill fascists for fun? Apart from being a bit clumsy, what's wrong with accidentally defending the left of capital as a consequence of something performed for our own fickle amusement? Nothing.

Love

LR

alibadani

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Revol,

Here's an article you may have seen, that was recently added to the libcom library that delves somewhat into the activities of internationaists during WW2.

It's called Third Camp internationalists in France during World War II

It is from Echanges et Movement and defends the internationalist position. It might clarify things somewhat.

stilllooney

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

I used to be a Trotskyist. :oops: Their (the WSWS's) explanation of the Nazi obsession with Jews goes something like this: The real hatred of the Nazis was towards the working class who had dared to make a revolution in 1918 that ended Germany’s great patriotic war. However the lowly workers themselves couldn’t possibly have done this without all those damn Marxists. There were quite a few Jews among the union leaders and in the social democracy. So it was not the Rothschild-style bourgeois Jews that bothered Hitler but the Luxemburg-style Marxist Jews. Eventually an entire ideology emerged about race and nation. Add to this, the low cultural level of lumpen, peasant, and shopkeeper elements; the panic and desperation of the petty-bourgeoisie on the verge of ruin and looking for scapegoats, and the decadence of capitalism as a whole; and you get a nasty brew.

That’s the closest thing to a decent explanation I’ve ever heard on the subject. I still don’t really get Nazism's and its obsession with the Jews. Does anyone?

Man what a load of crock.

The Jews made the perfect scapegoat. They where an easy target for him to use so people would ignore how bad their own lives were.

jef costello

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

stilllooney

alibadani

I used to be a Trotskyist. :oops: Their (the WSWS's) explanation of the Nazi obsession with Jews goes something like this: The real hatred of the Nazis was towards the working class who had dared to make a revolution in 1918 that ended Germany’s great patriotic war. However the lowly workers themselves couldn’t possibly have done this without all those damn Marxists. There were quite a few Jews among the union leaders and in the social democracy. So it was not the Rothschild-style bourgeois Jews that bothered Hitler but the Luxemburg-style Marxist Jews. Eventually an entire ideology emerged about race and nation. Add to this, the low cultural level of lumpen, peasant, and shopkeeper elements; the panic and desperation of the petty-bourgeoisie on the verge of ruin and looking for scapegoats, and the decadence of capitalism as a whole; and you get a nasty brew.

That’s the closest thing to a decent explanation I’ve ever heard on the subject. I still don’t really get Nazism's and its obsession with the Jews. Does anyone?

Man what a load of crock.

The Jews made the perfect scapegoat. They where an easy target for him to use so people would ignore how bad their own lives were.

exactly.

It doesn't matter which group is chosen as long as they can be victimised, and if you can appropriate their assets and labour wholesale then more's the better from a capitalist point of view.

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So it's OK to support the left of capital ("By mistake"). This is the tenor of all the anarchist type postings, ie, support the nation, support the capitalist state.

When these so-called radicals are confronted with real, radical concepts - I'm thinking about people like Imafuckingrevolutionaryiam68 - they immediately go back to defend the status quo. There's no discussion of the radical concepts ("going to the root of things", as Marx said) but a complete rejection and abuse of those proposing them. Why is this?

Lazy Riser

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

they immediately go back to defend the status quo

Rockin' All Over the World, Marguherita Time. Genius.

Love

LR

alibadani

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

revol68

infact one thing that really gets my back up is national liberation bullshit.

Well that's a start. But you see you have to be practical. I mean the foreign rulers could be a bunch of genocidal maniacs like, say, Nazis. Then we must join national liberation movements. You know, for practicality's sake.

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm glad that revol68 agrees that to be radical means going to the root of things. In at least one previous posting from him there's explicit support for British democracy based on the argument of the "lesser evil".

Anti-fascism itself, which he seems to wholeheartedly support, implicitly supports democracy or stalinism (its two components). Going to the root of fascism, exposes it as another expression of capitalism. It is evident that all expressions of capitalism, particularly in its decadent phase, will not be uniform, will not have absolutely the same characteristics. Such a vision (which puts nazism outside of capitalism) is a vulgar, schematic view and a dangerous trap for the working class.

On the other hand, terror itself doesn't just exist with jackboots - whether nazi or stalinist - but exists in a much more insidious form in the democratic state.

In further response to Revol68, no partisan groups (he said there were "plenty") were independent from the allies. Most, if not all of them, were under the aegis of Britain, America, Russia, Poland, etc. etc. It's back to the empty argument about "doing something" to fight the nazis, which itself leads to direct support for the democratic or stalinist state. I notice that these posts that go on about the resistance fighting the nazis, never, like the democratic states that were instrumental in setting up nazism in the 30s, mention the tens of thousands of German workers and communists who fought and were killed by the regime in the 1930s.

Again, further to revol, if internationalists intervened to attack one side in an imperialist war they would cease to be internationalists but supporters of one side of capital against the other. This is not "fucking absurd", as revol puts it, but a fundamental principle of the workers' movement.

Con Carroll

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thatcher

Donald rumsfeld

Bush-omen

Griffin

progressive democrats right wing party minister for justice in Dublin with links to ku klux klan

does this explain nazism enough for you

Steven.

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Con Carroll

thatcher

Donald rumsfeld

Bush-omen

Griffin

progressive democrats right wing party minister for justice in Dublin with links to ku klux klan

does this explain nazism enough for you

:confused: :confused:

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

if internationalists intervened to attack one side in an imperialist war they would cease to be internationalists but supporters of one side of capital against the other. This is not "fucking absurd", as revol puts it, but a fundamental principle of the workers' movement.

So in order to be truly 'internationalist' a group would have to carry out armed attacks on all powers simultaneously? Sounds a bit hard, logistically-speaking. Maybe the groups in Poland could have attacked the nazis, and the USSR, whole those in France could have attacked the nazis, and the Allied forces... no, that's not really good enough, they're not attacking everyone, everywhere... Maybe some kind of trading of proletarian armed tokens could have gone on, possibly via Swizerland, to help things even out, properly?

i really hadn't thought this all through, sorry.

jef costello

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazlo_Woodbine

i really hadn't thought this all through, sorry.

That's why you're not in the ICC. They have all the answers, they told me so themselves.

alibadani

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the interntionalist position in WW2 was absolutiely crucial for the future. Do we think Naziism is as bad as the bourgeoisie can get? In Rwanda they Hutu elite had thier followers massacre a million people. The typical weapon: the machete. Gas chambers almost seem merciful by comparison. At least the killing was somewhat "sanitized." When the Tutsi gained the upper hand in Rwanda there was not the same insanity.

There will always be a bourgeois camp that is particularly monstruous. And there will always be a bourgeois camp that opposes the particularly montrous camp by claiming to be less fucked up. If workers are forever chosing the lesser evil, even as the evils both greater and lesser get worse and worse, when will the workers ever overthrow the system?

That's why the internationalist posotion on WW2 is so crucial. It was the ultimate test of the main principle of the proletariat.

But like I always say the anti-fascism of Anarchism is obsessive. There is simply not the same obsession with anti-stalinism even though the stalinists killed far more people, while claiming to be communists. That is far more insidious yet anti-fascism is still so central to the anarchist movement. Its weird.

Jeff, Baboon isn't in the ICC. And when did the ICC tell you they had all the answers?

Rob Ray

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Surely the idea is to fuck up the worst form of capital first and then turn to the weaker form after you've won? I don't see anyone here saying that you have to continue to support the allies simply because you fight alongside them against the fascists except you. This surely was the reasoning behind the bolshevik crackdown after they won against the whites - they couldn't be sure of the continued loyalty of the anarchists.

Tactically speaking it makes a hell of a lot more sense to let others do some of the fighting for you than to take on everyone at once, even Hitler recognised that the two front war is an invitation to failure.

Incidentally a little off topic perhaps, but as the ICC seem to be around on this thread, I can't help but post that genius response to the Zanon petition of last year again:

We are writing to explain briefly why, despite our solidarity with the workers of Zanon in the face of provocations and attacks by the Argentine ruling class, we do not think that your petition is the way to express this solidarity...

Incidentally dunno if you guys at the ICdeadpeople noticed, but they won the court case. Such a waste of good revolutionary potential. Really what they should have done is fight to y'know, force the government through mass revolutionary warfare...

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

But like I always say the anti-fascism of Anarchism is obsessive. There is simply not the same obsession with anti-stalinism even though the stalinists killed far more people, while claiming to be communists. That is far more insidious yet anti-fascism is still so central to the anarchist movement. Its weird.

Obsessive antifascism? Not that weird, really, since UK fascists have been far more of a clear and present danger than UK leninists, of any kind.

But there's not really much anti-fascism around thise days, even though the far right are stronger than they've been for over 15 years.

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

In response to a previous post by Lazlo, there was no question of the working class taking on all imperialist sides - the working class was defeated. That's precisely what the rise of Nazism signified. And you have to always portray nazism as the worse kind of capitalism or even outside capitalism altogether. This way you can avoid any revolutionary perspective and always support one side of capitalism against another (irrespective of the side you are supporting, democracy or stalinism for example, being far greater butchers of the working class and populations in general).

The organic continuity between democracy and nazism, between Weimar and Hitler, was laid out by the Left Fraction of the Italian Communist party in 1935. Fascism was based on the defeats of the proletariat and the demands of an economy driven down by the economic crisis. Stalinism and emergency powered democracy fulfilled the same role.

Germany was in revolutionary ferment from 1919 to 1923 and this ferment was smothered by social democracy masses of social legislation, democracy and the left bourgeoisie even created workers' councils. The USA invested heavily and Britain provided material, diplomatic and intelligence support to the emergence of the Nazis. The British bourgeoisie particularly knew that fascism represented the best interests of the bourgeoisie as a whole against the working class. Fascism also, by its intense centralisation (which was a growing tendency of all national capitals) represented a structure that best defended the interests of German capital.

Hitler came to power seamlessly from Weimar, with its workerist language and the active and essential support of western democracies.

Fascism is not a distinct class of the bourgeoisie, nor is it simply an expression of the dispossessed petty bourgoisie (which it destroyed), but a superstructure most appropriated for the particular conditions of Germany at the time - its economic necessities (its slogan was "Export or Die!") and not least in relation to the working class, a question that the democratic bourgeoisie's had a great interest in. Fascism used extreme violence once it had come to power, wiping out the vestiges of the social democracy which had brought it to power by leading the working class up a blind alley. But this was the role of fascism, a role conferred on it particularly by the democratic bourgeoisie and the needs of capital.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

In response to a previous post by Lazlo, there was no question of the working class taking on all imperialist sides - the working class was defeated. That's precisely what the rise of Nazism signified.

Oh dear. :( So, by 1933 there was no useful working class activity going on any more?

alibadani

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The idea of a defeated working class is one that I have struggled to grasp myself. The working class was quite combative in the 30's. The working class also had a strong sense of class identity. Today we aren't so combative and we lack the same class identity.

So in what sense was the proletariat in the 30's a defeated class, while the proletariat today isn't? Well ask a military recruiter in America how difficult it is to recruit young people for the past year or so. Today's workers aren't willing to sacrifice endlessly for any bourgeois causes today, especially in the "first world". It is very difficult for the rulers to get us to die enthusiastically for democracy, or for "la patrie" or for the "socialist motherland."

One key period was 1917-1923, when the revolutionary wave failed. This is when we were defeated, and because of this defeat fascism could come to power. The other key period was 1968, when workers re-emerged on the scene. A new generation of workers who never experienced revolution or fascism came of age. It was the year of great struggles, but with regards to refusing to die for bourgeois causes, it was the year that mass resistance to the draft and the war in Vietnam began in the U.S. Since then despite all the weakness of our class workers have been unwilling to sacrifice their lives for bourgeois causes.

So despite the solidarity and combativity of the workers in the 30's they were a defeated class, willilng to sacrifice endlessly for bourgeois causes. Today we have two generations of undefeated workers: the generation of '68 and their kids. That is why left communists say that there is no fascist threat today. Fascism in power can only come as a result of a defeated proletariat. All the more reason to be puzzled by anarchism's obsessive anti-fascism.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

That is why left communists say that there is no fascist threat today. Fascism in power can only come as a result of a defeated proletariat. All the more reason to be puzzled by anarchism's obsessive anti-fascism.

You're wrong if you think that fascism is only a threat when it has state power. There's swathes of Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Essex where the far-right have a lot of power, and much more of the country where they are a significant threat to working class unity.

Plus you're also misguided if you think the reaons for lack of military recruitment are doe to working class strength. The lack of desire to serve in the military is related to the lack of a desire for public service in general, and is realted to alienation, neo-liberal's attacks on community and a downfall in the legitimacy of the nation. Some of these are good things, some are bad, but they are a consequence of the victories of neo-liberalism in shaping a market-oriented, super-individualist society, and, in general, are part of a weakening of working class power in the US and UK.

Lazy Riser

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

<antagonistic post withdrawn>

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazy Riser

Neo-liberalism is neither market-oriented nor super-individualist. It's not new or liberal for that matter either.

Couldn't you just have saved time by writing that as "neo-liberalism isn't" ?

Just trying to maximise your leisure time, is all...

I'd say the UK working class was stronger when workging class groups and institutions were stronger, and when they were under more pressure from their grassroots. Plus when the class had more ability to 'spontaneously' organise to meet the class war by the rich.

The strikes of the 1970s, the Poll Tax rebellions, the squatting wave of the 1940s, the neasr-insurections of the 1800-10s and 1830-40s were all manifestations of working class strength, and ones that I;m not sure could be repeated today. i hope I'm wrong.

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Damn you, I'd rather you were antagonistick, than you wasted my time by rendering my posts meaningless!

Lazy Riser

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

Ha ha. Apologies comrade. First post on a new page as well, nasty. Sorry, I beg your forgiveness and mercy.

The strikes of the 1970s, the Poll Tax rebellions, the squatting wave of the 1940s, the neasr-insurections of the 1800-10s and 1830-40s were all manifestations of working class strength, and ones that I;m not sure could be repeated today. i hope I'm wrong.

The strikes of 1970s were due to the bourgeoisie playing merry havoc with the money supply in the face of an series of oil crises and IMF intervention. The first chance it got, the working class rewarded it’s own “strength” by voting Tory, ushering in the neo-liberalism conventionally blamed for undermining traditional Old Labour ideas of what a strong working class looks like. Beer and sandwiches at number 10’s legacy is the prevailing situation, I’m not sure if it makes sense to refer to it as a position of strength.

I’m not sure what we can really mean by “a stronger working class” in the 1800’s. But up until WWI, then after WWII, I think one can argue that there was some reform of bourgeois institutions in favour of the proletariat. I’d venture that this was just the material affect of the construction of modern classes. I’m suspicious that taking it as a signal of special strength will lead us to false conclusions regarding our position today. I would be highly sceptical of any assertion that the working class is “weaker” to day than in the 1930’s. Senior citizens take some pleasure in letting me know about the chronic hunger they endured.

The working class only seems weaker because we have exhausted capitalism’s potential to progress our material security. The fact that this coincides somewhat with the ICC’s analysis is an unfortunate coincidence.

I like markets and super-individualism, by the way. Class War should adopt them as explicit positions.

Love

LR

jef costello

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

Hitler came to power seamlessly from Weimar, with its workerist language and the active and essential support of western democracies.

Was the use of this language not a sign that workers still ahd to be appealed to? You're sounding a little like F A Hayek.

Well ask a military recruiter in America how difficult it is to recruit young people for the past year or so.

Isn't that more to do with the fairly high chance of dying? I'd like to see an ideological reason for it but honestly it seems to be about simple choice. Normally the working class weight up the salary and the benefits, such as killing brown people, free college tuition (in America) and the (low) risk of being killed. Such patriotic people hate getting killed by foreigners. Seriusly though, the w/c and even sections of the m/c make a choice to join the military based on the benefits they can see weighed against the risk, the risks have gone up, this does not mean they are rejecting the capitalist system, simply that they don't fancy selling themselves even shorter than before.

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Baboon says there was "no question of the working class (in the 1930s) taking on all imperialist sides". Lazlo replies "Oh dear, so by 1933 there was no useful working class activity".

How, unless you are blinded by prejudice, do you get the second sarcastic statement from the first? What perversion of the imagaination leads you to conclude the latter from the former? If this is to be a discussion, you can't just blatently misrepresent what's be said. I suppose you can and you do.

The forerunners of the ICC in the 1930s certainly didn't abandon the working class, neither politically nor practically, continuing to intervene during the most terrible conditions (far removed from the "I would have done this or that" fantasies of today).

To understand the analsysis of a counter-revolution, you have to have some appreciation of the heights the revolution wave of 1917-25 reached. It brought to an end the first world war. No country was unaffected by the uprising in workers' militancy and consciousness. Slowly, but surely, the bourgeoisie isolated revolutionary actions and gradually strangled the workers' perspective. Where does this say "there was no useful working class activity"? There were many examples of workers' fightback. Barcelona 1936 is just one example of many - the class struggle doesn't die from one day to the next. But, overall, the revolutionary perspective of the working class was defeated - not least by anti-fascism, the illusion (also peddled by the west) that Stalin's Russia = communism (a lie peddled by the bourgeoisie up to 1989 - and still used today to great effect) and, certainly not least - by democracy. You have only to look at these threads about anti-fascism to see what a potent weapon democracy still is for the bourgeoisie.

Since the 1960s, when the economic crisis of capitalism reemerged after the short-lived post-war reconstruction died away (oil price is one small superstructural expression of the crisis in the last 3 decades) then the proletariat too reemerged with its revolutionary potential capable of taking on the bourgeoisie. We are not near a revolutionary situation today, but the working class remains undefeated in the sense that it was hammered from right, left and centre in the 1930s up to the final preparation for WWII in Spain.

baboon

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm happy to be identified with the positions of the ICC and will defend them to the best of my ability.

I want to come back on the question of a defeated working class and the period of counter-revolution because it is essential that revolutionaries are able to define an overall period - first of all with prediction (not always right) and certainly, with hindsight, ie, if you can't understand what's happened after it's happened it weakens your analysis without a doubt.

Contrary to what Trotsky said in 1929, a deepening economic crisis is not enough to define a revolutionary situation. In fact this very year was a big indication of the counter-revolution based on the declaration of "socialism in one country" by Stalin in 1928. Nor is workers' combativity alone enough to define a period of period of revolution. The mobilisation and arming of the workers in Spain, even with the enormous courage and combativity shown, not least including anarchist militants, actually disarmed them (and the whole class) as far as any revolutionary perspective was concerned.

To know your enemy, to know whether (and where) to attack, or retreat in good order is essential for any war, but particularly for the class war. The German left paid for its weaknesses and confusions in the 1920s and strengthened the disorientation of the whole class.

The forging of working class unity essential for a real assault on imperialism, lies, initially, in the defensive struggles of the class and its tendency (with setbacks and so on) to break with national unity, democracy and phoney socialism. We see these latter tendencies strengthened during the mid to late 1920s and early 1930s, culminating in Hitler's rise to power as the democratically backed European gendarme.

Around the same time saw the definitive collapse of the Communist International, another definitive weakness for the working class.

Workers were corralled behind the defence of the nation, "democratic freedoms", the "gains of socialist Russia" or the "workers' state". All the Communist Parties went over to the bourgeoisie and "national defence" and were embraced by them (Britain, France, etc). At the same time, the crushing defeat was imposed on the class in Spain, Italy and Germany. From both imperialist camps the working class had been reduced to cannon fodder ready to slaughter one another. This is counter-revolution writ large. Even though there continued to be strikes, demonsrtations, upheavals from the working class (and revolutionaries should stick to the principal of "while there's life, there's hope") the bourgeoisie were in firm control.

Even during and towards the end of the war, in the most terrible conditions, the workers still fought, but the balance of forces, the counter-revolution, was too strong against them. It's important we understand this today, because, for one, it tells us so much more about the history and present dangers of our democratic and leftist enemies.

Big Brother

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Think of Nazisism as Catholicism and replace Christianly with Darwinism. And there you have Nazisism.

It came to me one day was I was walking in the street. A few weeks later I watched a programme on BBC4 about the Jews plight in what was probably the first ever in the history/documenty shown on T.V. that document of the Jews plight in Nazis Germany by Dr Sobel (I think) His name is often quoted by the BNP as a lie. There was a T.V. interview with a Polish survivor, he descript why Jews were persecuted, said simply it was the preaching of the Christian church for many centuries that the Jews have turned their back on God of God and Jews will get retribution for what they have done.

It was this that Himler pick up on; Himler took the idea of the Storm Troopers (SS) on the idea of the Spanish Inquisition. Instead of using the Christian teaching of helping the weak, the term “the weak” was replaced by “survival of the fittest”. Darwinism which Hitler was attracted to, as Hitler didn’t like the idea of the helping the weak as Hitler saw himself as weak. (He farted a lot, etc, etc,).

If you ever get the chance to see the orginal t.v. series (it's Subtitle as it foreign documenty) it is well worth the time and effort to watch. When I watched it, it was shown on at 11 o'clock at night and I had to stop watching it 3:30am in the morning! I had to go to work the next day I never got the chance to watch the end. It is particularly shocking specially then the camera film rolls at the concentration camps, Dr Sobel walks through the snow and into the gas chambers.

I think also contributing factor was that Germany was primly a Catholic country so that why I think Nazism was felt at ease with the German People.

TangoMash

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

alibadani

That’s the closest thing to a decent explanation I’ve ever heard on the subject. I still don’t really get Nazism's and its obsession with the Jews. Does anyone?

Alot of germans were brought up against jews back then, so it may just have been the way the leaders of nazism during the early 1900's were brought up. :rb:

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

is it just me, or has baboon's last post simply re-stated his position, without addressing any of the points anyone's made? :confused:

Beltov

16 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Lazlo_Woodbine

is it just me, or has baboon's last post simply re-stated his position, without addressing any of the points anyone's made? :confused:

I think you'll find he's addressed some of the points made on this thread in an article in the latest issue of World Revolution. See 'Anarchist arguments for participation in imperialist war' here:

http://en.internationalism.org/node/1663

:)

Beltov.

baboon

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What point specifically, Lazlo? The one made by baboon that says that by the time of the rise of Nazism the working class wasn't in a position to take on all imperialist sides (ie, revolution)? Or the one where Lazlo replies "Oh dear, so that means that there was no useful action by the working class after 1933?" What is the point of what you are saying exactly?

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That apparently the 'only' useful working class action is to take on all sides. Yeat a lot of the time this isn't possible. So what are we to do?

Hint to careful readers: I reckon the answer will involve leaflets

Lazy Riser

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

The leaflets are means to an end. The really important thing to do is achieve internal clarity.

(Was that a bit too dry?)

Love

LR

Lazlo_Woodbine

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Are you saying that the working class resistance on All Fronts would hae succeeded if it had adopted natural Law-style fighting methods?

Lazy Riser

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hi

What a fantastic idea! I doubt it will work, but it's worth a try.

Love

LR

Alf

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thre's a basic misconception in the sarcasms of LR and Lazlo about the working class fighting against all sides during the war. What the internationalists called for -as they had done during the first world war - was the continuation of the class struggle for defensive demands despite the war. This was inevitably opposed by all factions of the bourgeoisie, who always insist on a class peace in wartime because it disrupts the war effort. The issue of the working class waging an offensive struggle against all sides corresponds to a much higher level of struggle, to the appearance of workers councils and the arming of the workers. This was a reality during the first world war with the outbreak of the revolutions in Russia, Germany etc. During the second world war, as Baboon has explained, the depth of the counter-revolution made this prospect extremely difficult. It was raised for a brief period in Italy in 1943, but the bourgeoisie had learned the lessons from 1917. The allies bombed the cities in revolt (as recorded by the anarchists of War Commentary) and Churchill came up with the policy of 'letting the Italians stew in their own juice', which basically meant allowing the Nazis to restore order in the north while the allied advance from the south was delayed.

Alf

16 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sorry, Jack, I don't follow. What imaginary positions am I arguing against, and what are LR and LW really saying?

Blackhawk

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

L'Agite's post certainly read as if it were a defense of Stalinism.

It could be pointed out that the time to oppose the fascists was in 1919 when German soldiers marched into Berlin with swastikas painted on their helmets to slaughter the Berlin Soviet. Anti-semitism was to an extent reborn in the capitalist era with the Dreyfus Affair back in 19th Century France. In Mein Kampf, Hitler is pretty blatant about blaming the Jews for "communism" and for the fact that his glorious teutonic army pretty much gave up fighting in the First World War. The main culprits for German fascists were, communists, Jews and the Aristocracy. For the bourgeoisie they had felt let down by their friends in the aristocracy. They did blame Jews for "inventing" communism to destroy Germany. For them they bolstered these idiotic notions with pseudo-science, "new-age" religion, flag-waving white terror and modern anti-semitism.

The concentration camps, lager, themselves had the legend Arbeit Macht Frei over their front gates not for the jews interred there, but because the first camps were created for murdering communists and not jews at all. The legend reads through work you'll be made free, because the fascists had to teach those commies the value of hard work. The first act of the fascists in power in Germany was to kill the communists first...not the jews. The fact that jews occupied top positions of leadership in the very organizations that threatened their consciousness the most was all the confirmation the fascists needed as to who to blame for the revolution and Germany's third place position in the order of global imperialism at that time.

Anti-semitism differs in the capitalist epoch in precisely that in previous epochs it was a religious question, they were persecuted because they weren't Christians. In the nineteenth century with the Dreyfus Affair, modern anti-semitism started to grow with the idea held by flag-wavers that those without a flag or a country [communists...jews...gypsies] were a threat. Being someone without nation is an inherent threat to the bourgeois mind.

For an ardent flag-waving patriotic piece of shit, the fact that an army would just stop fighting was unthinkable and unexpected. Something that their bourgeois minds could not comprehend in the least. This clearly bred a sense of panic that the little drones underneath them might start thinking for themselves.

I got into a discussion with a fellow who runs the Marxist Internet Archive in the US who firmly believes that holocausts have no rational place in capitalist society and that to try to explain events from a materialist standpoint is the same as justifying those events. For him to even bother understand what happened and why is the same as excusing mass murder. Some lefties like to believe in the a-historicity of fascism as an eternal evil with no material context whatsoever. For me mass murder is the ultimate end logic of capitalism. Capitalists will always return to mass murder in order to kill off anyone that might remotely get in their way. It is pretty much the only thing human beings are really good at under capitalism.

This is a convenient bundle of lies and ignorance that only serves as a justification for supporting Stalinism and Capitalist Dyermocracy. For the Stalinists anti-fascism was an after the fact rationalization for their own actions.

Consider how Stalin's "anti-fascism" couldn't bother to see fit to producing more than one rifle for every three soldiers, even after two five year plans for industrialization (i.e. bourgeois capitalist "development"). In fact for three days after the Germans invaded Russia, Stalin hid and refused to believe the Germans had actually invaded. Stalin didn't even come up with a plan for eleven whole days while the German army advanced into their own territory. After the war of course, Stalin had himself named "Generalissimo" because Franco had that title and

During fascism's rise as a movement the Stalinists, like Gramsci himself were remarkably ignorant about fascism or what to do about it. In 1924 Gramsci, the hero of foggy minded intellectuals everywhere, was predicting that Mussolini would fall any day and that fascism as a movement had come to an end. Today, of course, Gramsci is known as a great genius for his oh so deep understanding of fascism.

It wasn't until Stalin's "left-turn" when the Stalinist movement actually started calling everyone under the sun a fascist.

For revolutionaries, participating in an imperialist war, regardless of how "sacred" the cause is, results in revolutionaries getting killed and lovers of capitalism and ex-fascists walking away smelling like roses.

The partisans weren't all valiant fighters against fascism either. Often they behaved like gangsters and thugs. In Yugoslavia they spent as much time fighting the Chetniks as they did fighting the fascists themselves. In Italy, the partisans under the control of the National Liberation Committee and the Italian Communist Party succeeded in using "fascism" to murder their political opponents, like Fausto Atti and Mario Aquaviva. Those same brave anti-fascist fighters in the ministry of justice used to beat our comrades on the streets with clubs they called "stalins". In Greece they could've taken power but they obediently obeyed Stalin and stopped short of taking Athens. So as a reward all those rank-and-file Stalinists in Greece were repaid by getting slaughtered. Something which the capitalist democrats and the stalinists of the world supported. Ironically in Italy it was a wave of strikes that did as much to bring down the regime of Mussolini than the partisans ever were able to do. Again, the Stalinists not only did not support the strikes of '43, but they opposed them all over the world.

Look a little bit deeper at what the CPs actually did and you'll find the anti-fascism of the Stalinists to be yet another Stalinist lie.

So much for the "anti-fascism" of the Stalinists.

Contrary to what was asserted that Left-Communists "did nothing" to oppose fascism, they in fact did a whole lot given their small (and decimated) numbers. In Italy the early (future) PCInt militants agitated among the partisans who weren't controlled by the Stalinists to turn the imperialist war into a revolution. They appealed to workers not to allow the very people who created fascism [capitalists, social-democrats et al] to return to power again. The brave anti-fascist stalinists murdered their organizers Fausto Atti and Mario Acquaviva in retaliation for this agitation.

In Buchenwald, a group that broke with Trotskyism started a strike in a concentration camp and issued the Declaration of Internationalist Communists of Buchenwald. Again, the wonderful "anti-fascist" Stalinists were so bloody-minded in their own national chauvinism that they failed utterly to actually fight back from within the concentration camps themselves. Because nationalists don't get along with people from other nations--because patriots are scum.

Onorato Damen, one of the foremost leaders in the group around the left-communist journal Prometeo, had a life history that reads like a list of all the times he was arrested by fascists agitating. Left-Communists tended to be predominantly of the rank-and-file of the communist parties and thus were probably doing a lot more actual "work" than a host of Stalinist comintern hacks ever did.

This isn't even touching on what other left-communists went through elsewhere in the world. I put these things forward as anecdotes to demonstrate that far from being passive in the face of fascism and bourgeois imperialist slaughter they were quite active.

Just because a Stalinist or liberal didn't put it down in one of their histories didn't mean that it didn't happen. Everytime you read a history of that period pay attention to who is doing the writing. If it is a liberal or a stalinist, the history will read like an apology for support for Stalinism.

You might try reading the book The People as Enemy, it is written by an Anarchist (libertarian municipalist???). There is, in fact, quite a lot of solid history out there that exposes the true role of the Stalinists in regards to their supposed anti-fascism.

Feighnt

13 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

some interesting points i'd not thought about before (particularly the first couple paragraphs - i'm already sold on anti-stalinism, heh).

i would, at least partly, disagree with what you said at the end - that "if it is a liberal or a stalinisth, the history will read like an apology for support for Stalinism" - Stalinist historians, sure. Liberals, not as much, particularly these days... anti-Stalinism has been punched pretty strongly into Liberals over the decades, perhaps i'm just reading the wrong things, but i rarely see Liberals making many excuses for Stalinists. sometimes, sure, but not *that* often.

pennyworth

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Doesn't anybody read Mein Kampf? Hitler explained that in order to unify Germany, you would have to pick some hated yet weak enemy, and unite the people in hatred against them--but that, to prevent people from feeling pity for the enemy afterwards and weakening in their unity, you would have to utterly annihilate that enemy. The Jews were convenient.

cactus9

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New book out called Blitzed about the role that pharmaceutical drugs played in Hitler's life and the second world war. It looks fascinating if that's your thing. In a nutshell he was heavily addicted to prescribed drugs including cocaine and they took a toll on his mental and physical health.

petey

5 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

pennyworth

Doesn't anybody read Mein Kampf?

i actually did, some of it, in high school. there was a copy in my local public library. and i read far enough to see that he laid the whole business out right there. this has colored my thinking about the holocaust: why did so few take him at his word?