Why do the world's poorest reject Anarchism?

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censored
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Apr 30 2004 13:36

What do you mean 'specific cultural conditions'....sounds like you think only Europeans is clever enough to do it right...I know you don't think that, but that's how it came across and could be misconstrued.

Augusto_Sandino
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Apr 30 2004 18:14

I was thinking of southern europe, admittedly. I mean like in Spain, or in Italy there is a history of co-operative farming etc, of rejection of authority, which makes it easier for anarchism to be accepted. I dont mean that anarchy can only work in these countries, (Swedish SAC for instance) but that it most certainly makes it easier. I would say in Northern Europe, anarchism has seemed a bit alien to some people, so socialism in particular have been the favoured form of leftism.

brizzul
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May 3 2004 22:40

Anarchism does come from Europe. Whether or not you think it is cultural imperialism is up to you.

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JoeMaguire
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May 4 2004 14:39
brizzul wrote:
Anarchism does come from Europe. Whether or not you think it is cultural imperialism is up to you.

Dont you mean that as a defined concept anarchism came from Europe?

Insomniac
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May 7 2004 15:02

What I beleive is that classes have no right to exist seperate entities. For there to be a class war there have to still be the nobility, bourgeoise and working classes. What I want is to oust the upper classes for good.

censored
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May 14 2004 06:58
Jo Bloggs wrote:
[Alternatively we could give the parasites their jobs back as generals in an army we use to crush the more radical elements of the revolutionary working class. .

Sounds like a Trot move that, kid. Dontcha know that's why we had to call Ramon?

Jo Bloggs
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May 17 2004 08:23

OK, so you have got round to responding to my Jokey Swipe at the Bolshevik party.

Any thoughts on the link?

http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/

Tom A
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May 17 2004 14:22
alexa wrote:

I think what rkn was trying to say is that bulletin boards can be scary places for newbies, especially ones not very familiar with anarchist or libertarian ideas. It can be very intimidating to be jumped on by an "experienced" poster such as yourself after your very first post!

I personally think these boards would be nicer with a bit less confrontation - I mean I know certain people can start to grate after a while, but I don't think that Insomniac is one of those people :)

Yeah, I do sometimes come across as a bit of a wooly liberal, and have had vitriolic replies to my posts regarding class war and anarchism in the past, both on U75 and when commenting in Indymedia UK. While not being an expert on anarchist theory, I would say that direct demorcracy and horizontal organisation is the way forward. It's nice to have a debate and clarify facts on certain aspects though, without being flamed for not having a "revolutionary" enough outlook on things.

Dumfries
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May 17 2004 15:51
censored wrote:
There are no third-world @ movements - save for a few small groups on the scale of Trot ones.

Why is this? Why do the colonised peoples still look to Maoist/Guevarist tactics when our rich tradition of Anarchist theory is older and wiser?

circle A circle A red n black star

I didn't read through all the posts because i'm lazy, so if I am repeating something I apologise.

I am currently in Mozambique which from independence in 1975 was a Marxist-Leninist country until it was formally abandoned in 1989. It was, as you can imagine, a dismal failure.

Africa as a continent, especially Sub-Saharan Africa is so vastly undeveloped that when many of these countries became independent Leninism seemed a logical approach to take, with economies which were largly agricultural. The problem is, that education was also never something which the imperialists felt so bothered about among the African population. Suprising, the British did spend a lot of time and resources ine ducating many Africans, but in Mozambique, the Portuguese were absolutly not interested in anythng to do with the local population, or insofar as they worked hard.

When independence came in Mozambique, and for many other countries, the infastructure was non-existent and hardly anyone, if not 99% of the population could read or write. When they introduced these policies of communal collectivisation the actual level of understanding of why this was important was also non-existent. The people who worked the land new nothing about the benifits of working collectivly and of course corruption was massive. There was no communistic unity if you will between people, no solidarity at all. What you have to understand is that for centuries Africans had been oppressed and persecuted, they had nothing. All they new was to survive, and very often than not that resulted in stealing, or other governmental irrgularities. There was no consciousness.

You can not create communistic societal structures without people understanding why, otherwise it dosnt work.

A large part of ther eason why there are no anarchist movements, or barely even communist movements is because before people can use their minds critically they have to be able to support themsleves economically. People in third world countries are too busy trying to survive to worry about what anarchism is. I would say that hardly anyone in Mozambique knows what anarchism is, or indeed what communism is.

We can not expect people who have no food, jobs or even clothes to be anarchists. People's priorities in the third world are to survive, and until they can do that nothing else really matters.

brizzul
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May 17 2004 16:09
The Anarchist Tension wrote:

We can not expect people who have no food, jobs or even clothes to be anarchists. People's priorities in the third world are to survive, and until they can do that nothing else really matters.

Oh for Makhno's sake why is it everyone on this forum thinks no one hungry has ever been an anarchist?. Ukraine (starving peasants), Mexico (starving peasants), Spain (starving peasants and repressed factory workers), etc, etc. They cannot throw off imperialist globalisation without revolution. Without libertarian ideas, revolution becomes the state.

Dumfries
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May 17 2004 16:41
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Oh for Makhno's sake why is it everyone on this forum thinks no one hungry has ever been an anarchist?.

Why is it that there is no internet forum on earth that doesn't have angry people on it. Relax Mr. T

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Ukraine (starving peasants), Mexico (starving peasants), Spain (starving peasants and repressed factory workers), etc, etc.

I don't think that any of these countries are comparable with the situation in Mozambique for instance. The Ukraine was catapulated into anarchist action because of the Bolshevik revolution, Spain and Mexico were and are industrialised nations with a large educated population. Mozambique was, and still is not industrialised, nor are the population educated. In fact, many of them still live in huts, and believe that the moon and sun live in boxes. They go to witch doctors who throw stones around on the floor and hit them with brushes to ward off evil spirits.

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They cannot throw off imperialist globalisation without revolution. Without libertarian ideas, revolution becomes the state.

I absolutly agree. They can not overthrow gloablisation without a revolution, but speak to anyone in Mozambique and the vast majority wont know what a revolution is. Those who do have the capabilities are trying very hard to be westerners. Even the "intelligensia" are doing the same. Any anarchist movement that was to spread libertarian ideals would have to start because of outside help, and not many people are going to listen to a white person.

captainmission
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May 17 2004 20:02
The Anarchist Tension wrote:
I don't think that any of these countries are comparable with the situation in Mozambique for instance. The Ukraine was catapulated into anarchist action because of the Bolshevik revolution

So the bolsheviks made people in ukraine become anarchist? And it wasn't a bolshevik revolution just one the co-opted.

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Spain and Mexico were and are industrialised nations with a large educated population. Mozambique was, and still is not industrialised, nor are the population educated.

So how do you explain this? GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 22%

industry: 23%

services: 55% (2001 est.) (source cia world factbook)

Don't have any info on spain or mexico at the time but a bet that had similar 'levels' of 'devlopment'. And if we look at the mexican or spanish anarchist they were draw largely from the 'uneducated masses'.

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In fact, many of them still live in huts, and believe that the moon and sun live in boxes. They go to witch doctors who throw stones around on the floor and hit them with brushes to ward off evil spirits.

HAve any evidence to back up that kind of racist bullshit? And so what if people do go to witch doctors, why does that make them unsuitable candidates for anarchy?

Dumfries
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May 17 2004 21:44
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So the bolsheviks made people in ukraine become anarchist? And it wasn't a bolshevik revolution just one the co-opted.

No. My point was that the situation in the Ukraine was already a revolutionary one, with an anarchist movement ready to fight the Bolsheviks.

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So how do you explain this? GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 22%

industry: 23%

services: 55% (2001 est.) (source cia world factbook)

I suggest you come to Mozambique and see for yourself. The CIA have no way of calculating specific statistics. Nobody knows how many people actually live in Moazambique. A woman who comes to the centre, doesnt know how old she is. There are possibly 4 major factories in the entire country producing goods. The agraculture here is non existent except for the small bits of land that people use to grow food for themselves. This fact book is unreliable. I can see the reality of mozambicans lives, and they are not ready to embrace anarchism. I am sorry if that pisses on your parade, but it is a fact nevertheless! But by all means, come here and try and spread your ideals...If I am wrong, then I am wrong, I am merely telling you how it is.

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HAve any evidence to back up that kind of racist bullshit? And so what if people do go to witch doctors, why does that make them unsuitable candidates for anarchy?

The question here was why is there no anarchist movements in the third world. I gave my answer my answer. I never said they were unsuitable to be anarchists. I pointed out reasons why I thought no anarchist movement existed in Mozambique.

Dumfries
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May 17 2004 21:44
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So the bolsheviks made people in ukraine become anarchist? And it wasn't a bolshevik revolution just one the co-opted.

No. My point was that the situation in the Ukraine was already a revolutionary one, with an anarchist movement ready to fight the Bolsheviks.

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Spain and Mexico were and are industrialised nations with a large educated population. Mozambique was, and still is not industrialised, nor are the population educated.

I stand corrected.

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HAve any evidence to back up that kind of racist bullshit? And so what if people do go to witch doctors, why does that make them unsuitable candidates for anarchy?

The question here was why is there no anarchist movements in the third world. That is my answer. I never said they were unsuitable to be anarchists. I said that it would be extremly difficult to create an anarchist movement because of these facts.

captainmission
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May 17 2004 23:26
The Anarchist Tension wrote:
No. My point was that the situation in the Ukraine was already a revolutionary one, with an anarchist movement ready to fight the Bolsheviks.

And how did the situation in the ukraine and russia become a revolutionary one? HArdly a case of the bolsheviks declaring it one. Don't you think people with anarchist and libertarian beleifs contribute to making this revolutionary situation?

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The question here was why is there no anarchist movements in the third world. I gave my answer my answer. I never said they were unsuitable to be anarchists. I pointed out reasons why I thought no anarchist movement existed in Mozambique.

ok fair enough, but what i'm objecting to is the idea that only 'devloped' people are suitable for anarchy. Above you say there not 'ready to embrace anarchism' due to there educated, supisticous beliefs and general 'underdevelopment'. But i don't see people in 'adavnced' instustrial or post industrial nations embracing anarchy either. As i see it anarchism been successful during periods were people have been going through the precess of proletaritization rather than the 'disciplined' proletariat of the 'devloped' nations.

captainmission
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May 17 2004 23:54
revol68 wrote:
stating that belief in witch doctors persists in mozambique isn't racist! And captain mission people who believe in such superstious clap trap are ripe candidates for anarchy! but certainly not anarchism/libertarian communism.

heavens forbid that anarchist should actually be for anarchy roll eyes

What i say is racism isn't the claim that witch craft exist in Mozambique, but the claim that its purely primative superstion that needs got rid of by educated people to make way for anarchism. It completely ignores the social role that witchcraft plays in many societies. Witchcraft accusations often sevres as a means for bring about a level of equality in some societies by divesting powerful indivudals of there status. In mozambique there's a practice by which people believe themselves to be possessed by colonial governors. The process by which they are exoriced of these demonic spirits sevres to criticise modern capitalist imperialism. In Nigerian a similar occurance happens, soul-eaters, greedy individuals that pursue endless accumilation over the good of society, stands as a attack on capitalism and a form of class analysis.

But what you seem to be wanting revol, is some sort univocal class analysis that destroys any local cultural reference. But we have to face up to the fact that class struggle and oppostion to power is going to be express differently by different cultures and in different contexts. And often in ways that might seem quite outlandish to us 'educated' westerns.

I've just been reading a book about class struggle in bolivian tin mining communities. Along with marxist ideas of class people draw strenght 'indigenous' cultrual practices such as sacrifices to tio (a devil like character) and pachamama (the earth or the mine). Inspite of the unions attempts to sideline these practices its often the people involved in these 'primative supersitions' that are most militant. It the synthesis of these 'native' critiques of power and marxist based class analysis that people are drawing strenght from. And if we look at recent major conflict with capital in latin america, they are often accompanied by major 'indigenous' cultural movements. Its the case in the Chiapas, and also in boliva with coca growers and miners.

captainmission
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May 18 2004 11:47
revol68 wrote:
yes it is important to understand witch craft and other pratices within their own social context (same with religion in the west) but ultimately what im trying to say is that poverty in itself is no guarantee of revolt or revolution, in most cases grinding poverty creates powerlessness or atomisitic ruthless power struggles for resources, as witnessed in gangsterism that exists in many poor ghettoes.

porverty might not be a guarantee of revolt, but then neither's abundence. The 'consumer' west creates powerlessness, atomisism and power struggles for resources. Poverty is social created and not part of some historical devlopment against the 'scarcity' of nature.

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revoltuion always springs from hope not despair!

Yes i agree. But is hope in greater abundace in the '1st' than in the '3rd' world? Is capitalism producing a surplus resevre of hope for the proletariat of 'avdanced' nations? What i object to is this idea that people in the '3rd' world live some brutish life of despair and uneducated supistision.

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pingtiao
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May 18 2004 12:04
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What i object to is this idea that people in the '3rd' world live some brutish life of despair and uneducated supistision.

Err....most of them do.

No access to clean water, child mortality through the roof, fuck all access to education or adequately provided medical care, no welfare systems for the sick or elderly....

Everywhere I have been in the "third world" I have seen this, and the despair on the faces of the street people is heart breaking. And the fucking "uneducated superstition" is everywhere. I have had arguments with factory workers in India about the caste system that made me want to glass the fuckers.

When you have no access to education, and religious superstition holds power in your village, how do you expect people to rise above it?

For what it's worth, I agree with The Anarchist Tension (and welcome to the boards by the way, it was me who replied to your email) on this.

CaptainMission: i've been in those mines in Potosi, and spoken to the cooperative miners. I've given offerings to Tio and cachamama. Those workers have a life expectancy of 15 years from when they enter the mines. Just after I left they began revolt, that culminated with them marching on La Paz, dynamiting the pigs as they went.

Yes, Latin America has a tradition of workers movements, but the organiational impetus for these came from Spain, did it not? Ascaso, Durruti and many other Spanish anarchists (in addition to plenty of European communists) tried to spread anarchist politics through latin america, but i'm not sure how much existed before then. Coudl you point me to stuff if I have it wrong?

captainmission
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May 18 2004 12:10

did anyone suggest anarchism was more relevant to poorest of the proletariat? I just argued against the claim that anarchism was irrelivant to the poorest of the proles cos they lived in such brutish material conidtions.

So revol (isn't revol womens shaving foam?), do you think its the wealthier, more educated sections of the proles that are more likely to engage in revolutionary acts?

captainmission
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May 21 2004 16:12
pingtiao wrote:
Yes, Latin America has a tradition of workers movements, but the organiational impetus for these came from Spain, did it not? Ascaso, Durruti and many other Spanish anarchists (in addition to plenty of European communists) tried to spread anarchist politics through latin america, but i'm not sure how much existed before then. Coudl you point me to stuff if I have it wrong?

Well anarchism and unionism are ideas and practices of western origin, so its a bit pointless asking did they prior to the west introduced them. But if you asking the larger question of did opposition to power and explotation exist prior to the introduction of these ideas, then that seem like quite a patronising question. Yes there was a history of slave a peasant revolts in Bolivian history. But the issue I was replying to was whether 'supersition' stood as a bar to radical social change. I was providing evidence that not only did it not, but actually added to the likelyhood of militant opposition to capital.

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Everywhere I have been in the "third world" I have seen this, and the despair on the faces of the street people is heart breaking. And the fucking "uneducated superstition" is everywhere. I have had arguments with factory workers in India about the caste system that made me want to glass the fuckers.

yes and i've had arguements in this contury with people how atribute poverty to 'the poor being lazy' or that its just some 'natural order'. Is that supersition? My objection is to this idea that there's this body of thought called 'supersition' that's produced by a 'primative' or 'uneducated' mind. If people believe in fucked up things like the caste system it should be argued against on the basis its a fucked beleif system, not that as a more educated western you can see through such simplistic and false ideas, which only seeks to bring a colonial cultural superiority to bear on the issue.

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When you have no access to education, and religious superstition holds power in your village, how do you expect people to rise above it?

Well i don't agree with your conception of culture (don't see why religion should be seperated off from any other aspect of culutre). As I see it culture is not some external levithan that bears down on people, nor solely a force the ruling class use to oppress those below them. But rather a generative force that allows people to make sense of their own world and can allow oppositions to power. If not how do we explain radical chrisitan groups in the late medieval period? Or Bolivan tin miners using pre-christain carnivals as a symbolic force against there bosses? Or for that matter the possiblity of western proletariat finding solidarity in their own cultures against the ruling class (cultures produced under the commodity fetishism of capitalism, there's 'supersition' if ever you'll find it).

I very much doubt you believe that anarchy will involve anarchist missionaries bringing the light of western reason to these poor supersitious fools, but that seems to be the conclusion of what your saying.