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IBT vs. NEFAC

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MJ
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Nov 7 2007 00:01
Mike Harman wrote:
This community group is producing leaflets to counter electoral fraud.

No not really anymore, that was historical context.

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MJ
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Nov 7 2007 00:50

Actually I should just PM you to explain -- there are relevant details but they would be identifying.

mikus
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Nov 7 2007 01:12

MJ is overacting just a little. There were no accusations of fraud, but there now seem to be a few reasonable accusations of insanity.

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thugarchist
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Nov 7 2007 02:24

Stop mincing words. MJ is clearly corrupt.

rebelworker
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Nov 7 2007 02:24

ALL i said was that I think most anarchist have irrational positons on voting, some people actually celebrated a vicotry (the majority of the voters didnt bother to vote, a victory for abstention).

I wouldnt campaign for a left party because Im an anarchist, but argueing people shouldnt be voting is both a waste of time and without historical context.

Revolutionaries have historically argued against votng because a sense of faith in the electoral process is a break n the revolutionary process and because revolutionary movements were in direct competition with social democrats for influence at times of heightened struggle. that wasn an issue in quebec last spring...

fuck im to tired to have this discussion now, more later...

mikus
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Nov 7 2007 02:27

I have no opinion on whether or not MJ is corrupt, as I don't know him and don't even know what it would mean to say that someone who isn't a politician or a police officer or a prison guard or something like that is corrupt, but it is absolutely obvious that catch never called him corrupt.

mK ultra
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Nov 7 2007 03:28

Anti-electoralism as religion

I think "anti-electoralism" is a critique of a dead end strategy, not a fundamental principle. Some here seem to think that unless one consistently maintains an absolute anti-electoral stance in word and deed one can't be an anarchist. They would rather MJ refuse to do anything connected to an election than mobilize for an anti police brutality event and strengthen a relationship with a radical community organization of oppressed workers.

No wonder anarchists are so irrelevant.

p.s. This is my first post. I'm a NEFAC member in the Boston area. I'm an atheist who's usually tolerant of other people's religious views unless it hinders their capacity to struggle.

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thugarchist
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Nov 7 2007 04:26

Its apparent that all of Boston NEFAC is equally corrupt.

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MJ
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Nov 7 2007 04:38

j.rogue
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Nov 7 2007 04:40

I think it's more of a Boston thing than a NEFAC thing.

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Nov 7 2007 04:46

yoshomon
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Nov 7 2007 05:42
Quote:
a radical community organization of oppressed workers.

...that is mobilizing people to vote for an incumbent leftist candidate...

Randy
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Nov 7 2007 08:30
yoshomon wrote:
Quote:
a radical community organization of oppressed workers.

...that is mobilizing people to vote for an incumbent leftist candidate...

...among other (more worthwhile) things.

Certain situations call for a real close correlation of ideas, i think. Community mobilization is likely to be another matter, calling for some difficult tactical compromises.

Randy
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Nov 7 2007 12:34
thugarchist wrote:
Stop mincing words. MJ is clearly corrupt.

I prefer to imagine that he is "mad, insane".

MJ wrote:

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Randy, Yoshomon advocates entering political groups in order to try to get them to disband.

Isn't RAAN an organization, and doesn't Yosh belong to it?

edit: tacks seems to have addressed my question already here, with a quote from RAAN's Principles.

sphinx
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Nov 7 2007 13:32

MJ:

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I think people who want to vote should be allowed to vote. Do you?

As a temporary immigrant to a country where citizenship takes at minimum 10 years, I can say that I am personally absolutely disinterested in voting and that it is not a central demand of immigrant movements here, which mostly fixate around papers, wage struggles and asylum seekers. I would wager that many, many immigrants feel a distinct alienation towards electoral politics and that's why a left party like the one you're talking about has to get in the neighborhoods in order to encourage people to bother. The clincher is how seriously they will take you as a revolutionary when you're walking the same circles that the left parties have for years. There are a thousand other ways to show solidarity with people whose language you don't speak.

rebelworker wrote:
ALL i said was that I think most anarchist have irrational positons on voting, some people actually celebrated a vicotry (the majority of the voters didnt bother to vote, a victory for abstention).

I wouldnt campaign for a left party because Im an anarchist, but argueing people shouldnt be voting is both a waste of time and without historical context.

Revolutionaries have historically argued against votng because a sense of faith in the electoral process is a break n the revolutionary process and because revolutionary movements were in direct competition with social democrats for influence at times of heightened struggle. that wasn an issue in quebec last spring...

Communists have for instance argued for extra-parliamentary struggle even when the revolutionary wave was at its lowest ebb (see KAPD, the Bilan group etc.), and anarchists are rather consistent on this point, so I'd say it really comes down to a matter of principles. The idea is to invert the common sense understanding of power, to say that: instead of being citizens of a society at the whim of capitalism (its division of labor, its tendencies to attack the working class etc.), and petitioning a ruling class which meets in city hall for changes to society, that we could develop our own capacity and simultaneously a society which isn't subject to the autonomous logic of capitalism but responds to human beings in a direct and flexible way. Carrying water for left NGOs/electoral parties is almost always counter to developing this capacity.

Mk ultra:

Quote:
I think "anti-electoralism" is a critique of a dead end strategy, not a fundamental principle. Some here seem to think that unless one consistently maintains an absolute anti-electoral stance in word and deed one can't be an anarchist. They would rather MJ refuse to do anything connected to an election than mobilize for an anti police brutality event and strengthen a relationship with a radical community organization of oppressed workers.

No wonder anarchists are so irrelevant.

I like your first line, no principle should be 'fundamental', it should always be subject to debate, but you're misinterpreting everyone posting in this thread. Where did anyone say MJ should do nothing? I myself said MJ should look for other methods of engaging with people in the neighborhood he's interested in.

I also notice among anarchists that there's a real pride fight about who does and who doesn't get to call themselves an anarchist. Who cares? Engage in meaningful activity and discuss it with others.

yoshomon
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Nov 7 2007 19:17

I think this thread is one of the many of this forum (along with those on unions, nationalism, etc) that makes clear the distinction between leftists/social democrats and pro-revolutionaries (or 'the real activists involved in social struggle' and 'the ultra-left mentalists/purists/irrelevant losers', respectively, to use the language of the left). This divide has been so clearly mapped on this forum that these debates fall into similar patterns, but it's still somewhat illuminating. The strange thing is both "sides" waver between thinking it is possible to bridge the gap between them and hurling insults.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Nov 7 2007 19:46

Sorry, but the oh-so-radical rhetoric just doesn't really do it for some of us anymore. You can bark about revolution all you want but it doesn't mean you actually have (or will ever have) any bite to back it up. I'm more interested in radicals who actually try and apply their ideas to (and on occasion have some influence over) real world struggles and learn from the process than empty sloganeering. That's just me though.

yoshomon
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Nov 7 2007 19:58

You are right: I do not have any bite (and not much bark either). I am on the sidelines and have no interest in political activity.

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Nov 7 2007 20:03

Wouldn't you be more pro-revolutionary if you didn't waste time on the Internet talking to leftists/social democrats/activists? Isn't that kind of violating the prime directive?

Smash Rich Bastards
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Nov 7 2007 20:05
yoshomon wrote:
You are right: I do not have any bite (and not much bark either). I am on the sidelines and have no interest in political activity.

Fair enough. I'm not especially active these days either, and don't wanna come off like I'm speaking from some super-activist position or anything like that. Just giving opinion.

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Nov 7 2007 20:49
yoshomon wrote:
I think this thread is one of the many of this forum (along with those on unions, nationalism, etc) that makes clear the distinction between leftists/social democrats and pro-revolutionaries (or 'the real activists involved in social struggle' and 'the ultra-left mentalists/purists/irrelevant losers', respectively, to use the language of the left).

I see this irreconcilable clash too. Just curious -- toward which pole would "people who wish to fight to improve their lives, their communities and their working conditions," who "identify primarily with the trends of workers' solidarity, co-operation and struggle throughout history," probably fall?

Randy
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Nov 7 2007 23:17
yoshomon wrote:
I think this thread is one of the many ... that makes clear the distinction between leftists/social democrats and pro-revolutionaries ....

The divide is clear enough, agreed. But when you bestow upon one side the honorific "pro-revolutionaries" (implying that these are the "real" revolutionaries, since both sides claim to be), while dismissing the other side as "social democrats"--in spite of the fact that their literature brims with critiques of social democracy, and their practice is far from identical--you are merely expressing a preference, and not contributing anything meaningful to the discussion that i can see.

Having said that, I think that delineating the actual differences can be useful.* When a new person chooses her allies, it is good to understand clearly what the choices are.

Also, I have changed my views more than once in the past, as a result of following the debates of others, debates in which i did not participate. (Though i am usually swayed by the more comradely exchanges, rather than the mud slinging matches that sometimes occur in political discussion.)

*edit- point being that while "bridging the gap" certainly sounds nicer than
"hurling insults", i am certain many of us participate for reasons other than achieving a synthesis of all the available views.

yoshomon
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Nov 8 2007 04:15
MJ wrote:
Wouldn't you be more pro-revolutionary if you didn't waste time on the Internet talking to leftists/social democrats/activists? Isn't that kind of violating the prime directive?

I don't know what you mean by this. I say 'pro-revolutionary' because this is obviously not a revolutionary situation and thus there are no revolutionaries. With the exception of a few really dedicated ideologues, most people's ideas change with their conditions, and I think the same can be said of 'us'. Maintaining stupid positions does not prevent someone from asserting their interests in the workplace, and pro-revolutionary theory does not seem to have any affect on conditions.

When/if "shit heats up" I think that pro-revolutionaries and the Left will be thrust to the forefront because of their attachment to the project of 'changing the world' and their being 'specialists in struggle'. History has shown that pro-revolutionaries often become counter-revolutionary during revolutionary situations, and that the Left always attempts to manage/crush/control/thwart revolt. What conclusions can be drawn from this?

Another thing I've been thinking about is that when pro-revolutionaries do improve their conditions (make more money, work less/easier, eat better food, live in a nicer home) through their activism or vocal opposition to what exists, it's because they become a manager or professional of some sort in the world of NGOs/unions/etc and replace their 'radical ideals' with pragmatism and the pursuit of career. In my own life, I enjoy what I'm doing now a lot more and feel like I'm developing myself more today than when I was involved in activism, and (ironically?) I feel more confident to assert myself in the workplace. Coming from a background of leftism/activism, I've had to unlearn a lot of morality and roles and relearn (?) how to be selfish, how to care about my own interests instead of constantly fighting for/thinking about what I perceived to be the interests of others... others whom I only knew through the people and organizations that claimed to represent them. Taking a step back, it is astonishing to realize how much the activity of the Left is built on myth and ritual, how the arguments and slogans and statements are a closed circuit, and 'movement' is really static (I think this is also true in 'extremist' currents like insurr. anarchists, pro-situs, left-communism, etc though without the connections to institutions like unions and NGOs).

yoshomon
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Nov 8 2007 04:21
Randy wrote:
The divide is clear enough, agreed. But when you bestow upon one side the honorific "pro-revolutionaries" (implying that these are the "real" revolutionaries, since both sides claim to be), while dismissing the other side as "social democrats"--in spite of the fact that their literature brims with critiques of social democracy, and their practice is far from identical--you are merely expressing a preference, and not contributing anything meaningful to the discussion that i can see.

I'm starting to think that this forum is one of the many examples that prove a thesis along the lines of - all the theoretical disagreements and name calling cannot cover the fact that both are involved in a fundamentally similar project (the same project?)... are different poles of the same phenomena. I think my involvement in this and other forums basically comes down to my failure to find/generate face to face intellectual 'community' where I live that satisfies me and also the reality that I spend the majority of my workday in front of a computer.

Flint
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Nov 8 2007 04:36
yoshomon wrote:
Coming from a background of leftism/activism, I've had to unlearn a lot of morality and roles and relearn (?) how to be selfish, how to care about my own interests instead of constantly fighting for/thinking about what I perceived to be the interests of others... others whom I only knew through the people and organizations that claimed to represent them

Dude, who the hell asked you to bear a cross?

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Nov 8 2007 05:26

WTF Flint? Are you gonna deny that he was describing a major fact of leftist morality?

Quote:
In my own life, I enjoy what I'm doing now a lot more and feel like I'm developing myself more today than when I was involved in activism, and (ironically?) I feel more confident to assert myself in the workplace. Coming from a background of leftism/activism, I've had to unlearn a lot of morality and roles and relearn (?) how to be selfish, how to care about my own interests instead of constantly fighting for/thinking about what I perceived to be the interests of others...

This describes me pretty well.

Flint
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Nov 8 2007 06:15
OliverTwister wrote:
WTF Flint? Are you gonna deny that he was describing a major fact of leftist morality?

This describes me pretty well.

I'm not sure what you mean by either the terms "leftist" or "morality".

In Yosh's case... he seems to have gone from animal rights (vegan straight edge) into some weird "anti-civilization" Marxism and finally into not acting like such a patron saint of self-denial on behalf of animals, wildness (or some other abstract other that can't fight for itself)... into... um... I'm not sure what Yosh is doing now besides bagging on leftism/activism. Whatever those terms mean.

You're hardly one to even start talking about leftist morality when your approach to politics seems to be the most absurd kind of ideological purity completely divorced from any practical activity.

I don't know... I have a hard time grasping that I'm even in the same kind of movement as a lot of whats being described. For me, most of my activism and politics have been a combination of enlightened self-interest and encouraging others to act in their own self-interest. The idea being that we get more collectively, than we'll ever get individually. Not that I've had the most success with that involving struggles that directly affect my own life--but then I've not been one to fetishize poverty, nor have ever taken a staffer/movement job or anything like that.

I don't know... it just seems like whats being described here is people fighting their own ghosts and shadows. Who the hell cares if Yosh was being a self-sacrificing crusader for the animals or against civilization or whatever... Yosh sought the shit out for his own psychological reasons and now somehow expects that him not looking after his OTHER selfish reasons is somehow the fault of people who think it'd be a good idea to organize collectively for better wages and working conditions (or insert another issue here) or that the whole system is crap and we ought to toss it for something better?

I'm just having a hard time grasping all the fuss being made about how the movement(s) did people wrong and made them puppets of some leftist morality that was somehow outside their own choices. It's not like anyone put a gun to your head and made you march in circles chanting "what do we want/when do we want it.:"

Half the time it seems like a lot of folks never got the Postscript for Give Up Activism.

I'm just having a hard time understanding what both of you are on about. It sounds kind of sad, though.

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Nov 8 2007 06:21

WTF is leftist morality? You people are psychologically damaged wingnuts.

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Nov 8 2007 07:24

Flint thanks for that link. It was really thought provoking but convinced me more that my path of working in the IWW while eschewing the 'activist mentality' overall is the right one.

Randy
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Nov 8 2007 11:34
thugarchist wrote:
...You people are psychologically damaged wingnuts.

And who were you expecting?