How to explain the Nazi obsession with Jews

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baboon
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Dec 8 2005 16:41

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
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Dec 8 2005 18:46
baboon wrote:
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.

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Lazy Riser
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Dec 8 2005 18:58

Hi

Quote:
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
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Dec 8 2005 19:49

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
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Dec 8 2005 20:05

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
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Dec 8 2005 20:17

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
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Dec 8 2005 20:41

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
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Dec 8 2005 21:15

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
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Dec 8 2005 21:18

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'.

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jef costello
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Dec 8 2005 21:42
jaycee wrote:
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. smile

alibadani
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Dec 9 2005 05:32

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.

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Alf
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Dec 9 2005 09:33

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
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Dec 9 2005 15:18
alibadani wrote:
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 wrote:

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 wrote:

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 wrote:
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 wrote:

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 wrote:
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
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Dec 9 2005 20:41

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.

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jef costello
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Dec 9 2005 21:52

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
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Dec 9 2005 23:26

"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

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jef costello
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Dec 10 2005 06:01

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 smile

baboon
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Dec 10 2005 13:28

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
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Dec 10 2005 17:14
baboon wrote:
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?

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Steven.
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Dec 10 2005 18:04
baboon wrote:
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
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Dec 10 2005 18:29
John. wrote:
baboon wrote:
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 sad

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.

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Lazy Riser
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Dec 10 2005 19:25

Hi

Quote:
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
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Dec 11 2005 16:04
baboon wrote:
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 )

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Alf
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Dec 12 2005 13:39

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.

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Dec 12 2005 13:46
martinh wrote:

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. smile

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Dec 12 2005 15:22

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.

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Alf
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Dec 12 2005 15:52

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
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Dec 12 2005 19:11
Alf wrote:
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
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Dec 12 2005 22:58

So that's what twat means.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Dec 13 2005 00:23

Excuse me?