Is community action a load of bullshit for most people?

Yes
39% (9 votes)
No
61% (14 votes)
Total votes: 23

Posted By

Devrim
Jul 5 2006 22:52

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Mike Harman
Jul 6 2006 20:38

I don't normally address points made by people who throw around baseless accusations of homophobia and racism. I've never said community organising is a priori bourgeios either - in fact I've taken loads of flak for going on and on about community organising in the past. I also find the accusation of 'boring politics' an interesting one - I don't give a shit if my politics is 'boring' or not, I don't think politics should be 'fun', or 'exciting'.

My own view is that we should focus on defending our conditions (and defending is all that's possible at the moment) whether inside or outside the workplace - the main thing being that we act where things affect us and where we have the possibility of winning material gains.

Depending on what your job's like, there may well be more potential of collective struggle with people who use the same train, health centre, school, hospital, as you. Housing, stuff like bin taxes, water charges - again these are common points of struggle. It might be difficult to organise on a class basis around these issues, but it's fucking difficult to organise on a class basis at work.

I'd also dispute that the false divisions that are present in communities disappear at work - there are about as many managers and supervisors where I work as there are thsoe of us at the lowest level. At various times their interests may be similar or completely opposed to ours, and the top heavy structure is designed to create what are often artificial divisions. Not to mention the divisions between workers and patients, staff and customers, teachers and students where we're constantly pitted against each other, usually in the form of "service".

RevolutionRugger - you reckon you're against "self-managed hetero-capitalism" - are you also against gay capitalism, black capitalism etc. etc. as well? Because that's what so much of identity politics is about - about communitarian representation - black business organisations, gay lifestyle magazines - nothing to do with class struggle, everything to do with opening up new markets and if anything exacerbating existing divisions for commercial ends. Suggesting that people organise on a class basis is not ignoring homophobia, sexism or racism, but it ensures that the struggle against those oppressions doesn't get co-opted by capital.

Mike Harman
Jul 6 2006 20:47
Jack wrote:

I think it is important to note for context that Catch is Mr. Community Organising, too...

Less so now - I moved two miles and got a full time job. Still fucking hate landlords and estate agents though wink

madashell
Jul 6 2006 21:01

I'd say the workplace is the most important area of struggle in the sense that it's the place where class antagonism comes to the fore the most, but obviously you can't reject community organisation out of hand.

For example, there's a number of streets in L8 slated for demolition in the near future, the residents that are opposed to this have organised against it and campaigned on that basis. I can't concieve of how a group of working class people organising to keep their homes and their community intact can be considered "total bullshit".

magnifico
Jul 6 2006 23:01
RR wrote:
Work place reductionism is heteronormative, and its rapid defense is homophobic.

I've been away from my computer for a few days, so my defence isn't that rapid. Does that mean I'm not a gaybasher or am I as bad as the rest of them?

I think the workplace is the most important area for us to be active in, and I'm not going to be intimidated into saying otherwise by being called homophobic or racist or any of that shit.

It's not because our oppression as workers is morally worse than a gay's oppression but because the working class is the only oppressed group which is in a majority and so has the potential to overthrow capitalism. An end to the oppression of gays is entirely compatible with capitalism, an end to the oppression of workers is not. That's why it's more important, not for reasons of moral judgement that RR is trying to insinuate. If we think it is possible to defeat capitalism using one method but not another then why shouldn't we speak out on and act on our opinions? And workers self activity and solidarity includes fighting for our comrades and co-workers who are discriminated against on the basis of the sexuality, gender or race anyway, so it's not entirely either/or.

As for the original question, I'd agree with the main thrust of what Dev is saying, that the workplace is most important because it is where working people are oppressed and can fight back as a class more obviously than anywhere else, but that there are some cases in the community (eg defence of council housing) where this is also the case. I'd include various other services that represent improvements for the working class in this catagory as well, such as the NHS and various disability and youth services being cut in my 'community' wink which will obviously hit the poorest hardest . But there's a difference between fighting cuts in services like these on a class basis and going around campaigning against 'disableism', which seems to be what RR would advocate in this situation.

RR wrote:
Examples of Community Campaigns I've Been Part of That are Way Cool:

1.) Landlords: When I lived in New Brunswick we built a database of who's rented home was owned by whom and then cross referenced it with complaints filed with the Rent Board, then contacted the tenants of the worst culprits with the names and address of their co-tenants so they could compare notes and organize rent strikes and filing with the rent board together. This was simultaneous with a campaign for rent -control in the city.

2.) Rent Strike Baltimore. A couple of community organizations organized a huge number of people to put their rent into Escrow, even if they didn't have a reason. This jammed up the rent courts and effectively ended evictions for a six month period. awesome.

That's brilliant. I'd fucking love to take some effective action against landlords and estate agents but I'm not sure how possible this is. Fucking bastards. I think if this is done properly it would be effective class based action.

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 07:15

nb// dunno if the 'gaybashing' conversation can be split at this point? Though tbh I'm not sure it's going anywhere.

RR you sounded hysterical the moment you started comparing comrades to homophobes. At most it could be said they are deprioritising the issue. A homophobe would actively seek to worsen it, and if we're being totally honest here, there is a world of difference between seeing homophobia as a inseperable part of the class struggle, and actively hating (phobe, yeah?) gays.

You have displayed a hugely bigoted approach to this conversation, attempting to crassly deride people for being white, straight, not dislocating gay rights from capital emancipation and thus automatically 'homophobic' rather than countenance that white straight people can be capable of having an opinion which is not homophobic (in fact actively supportive of gay rights in all cases), but simply different from yours.

You being gay (assuming you are, and this is an emotional response to a matter close to your heart) does not make you god on this subject, handing down tablets of wisdom to us poor straight folks to follow. If we took a gay person saying 'homophobia is just a part of the wider class struggle' (which I have heard said), would you also label them homophobic? Self-hating perhaps?

You have misjudged this situation, and thrown around nasty accusations like confetti. You have behaved extremely badly, and as a gay man who is not being censored/banned/attacked for your sexuality on this apparently gay-hating board, you should apologise.

Devrim
Jul 7 2006 07:20

Oh well, it makes a change to be arguing alongside the anarcho-syndicalists here.

Boulcolonialboy wrote:
I will assert (dogmatically) that the workplace is the most important area of struggle against capitalism.
madashell wrote:
I'd say the workplace is the most important area of struggle in the sense that it's the place where class antagonism comes to the fore the most
Magnifico wrote:
I think the workplace is the most important area for us to be active in, and I'm not going to be intimidated into saying otherwise by being called homophobic or racist or any of that shit.

At no point did a suggest that there was no possibility of struggle in the community. Actually I started:

Devrim wrote:
Now, I am not disputing the fact that in some places there is a common interest in communities, for example in parts of the U.K. there are still large stocks of council housing, which gives people a common interest.

...For most people, and I realise there are some exceptions, what does community organising mean?

What I have said though is that workplace struggle must be the focus of communist activity.

I agree with Magnifico when he writes:

Magnifico wrote:
It's not because our oppression as workers is morally worse than a gay's oppression but because the working class is the only oppressed group which is in a majority and so has the potential to overthrow capitalism.

But would also like to add that it is also the workers power within the productive system that gives them the potential to overthrow it not just the fact that they are a majority.

I also said that I think that community struggle is often embraced by some anarchists as it is easier. At the moment the level of workers struggle is low, and it can be difficult to do things at work. It is always possible, however, in a big city to get a few like minded individuals together, and to subsitute yourself for the 'community'. That isn't to say that there are not real struggles outside of the workplace, and that communists shouldn't be involved with them.

When I was in London I argued with Dave Morris about this, and even he, much to many people's surprise, ended up agreeing that workplace struggles must have priority.

Either anarchism is a current in the working class, and involved in workers‘ struggles, not as just one oppression among many, but at the centre of its activity, or it is just a second hand version of liberalism.

Devrim

Devrim
Jul 7 2006 07:46

To come back two a few points people have made:

Saii wrote:
Actually the NHS struggle has categorically not been led by its workers.

O.k., I don't know anything about these events. I don't live in the UK. I stand corrected on that one.

cantdocartwheels wrote:
Well i can't agree with that, most people are not faced with two seperate enviornments, you work with the people you socialise with. Your work environment does not end at 5 o clock, it shapes the rest of your life, likewise, your community and environment shapes your workplace.

The notion of public and private spheres is as far as i can see irredeemably bourgeois.

I don't really see the point of this. One of the facts of capitalism though is that they are separate activities, and therefore environments, and this is how people perceive it. Or maybe I just live within a really weird social group where people say 'I wish that I didn't have to go to work tomorrow', and 'I'm glad that it is Friday' as opposed to yours where people obviously say 'It doesn't matter that it is Friday as tomorrow I have to engage in some equally alienating interaction in my community.'

cantdocartwheels wrote:
Na, i knew who was on the board of executives for our NHS trust, i know who's behind various gentrification projects in colchester and what slaries they're on, i knew who the council officers and tory/labour gropup leaders were, i even knew where they lived in a lot of cases, fuck i think i shook the hand of the tory leader once (shudders). Not to sound too crazy or something, but these are real people, not just an abtract concept of capital. They are an extremely concrete class enemy.

Is this in anyway important? I know who the Mayor is and that is about it.

Catch wrote:
Devrim wrote:

As for 'Identifying a concrete class enemy in your lcoal areas, be they local businessmen and politicians', I can't imagine that any politicians live round here, and I actually quite like the people who run the corner shop, and the guy who owns the second hand furniture stall on a personal level. I certainly don't see them as 'a concrete class enemy'.

How about your landlord?

Quote:

I think that this is quite true. What is revolutionary about campaigning about 'dangerous roads' for example?

Devrim

What's revolutionary about campaigning about 'dangerous scaffolding'?

First on the issue of my landlord, he is actually working class. In this country it is quite normal for workers to invest their saving in property. There is no municipal housing stock, and a lot of landlords are people who own only one house. I can see the contradictions there though.

The point about campaigning about dangerous scaffolding is that it is the working class that has the ability to change society, and that its struggles at work are paramount.

Ret Marut wrote:
If Dev was to get sick and become dependent on the health service, benefits, his neighbours etc - would he think he had no options for struggle anymore? Would that change the orientation of his group at all? Or if a large number of the group became unemployed? Would they sacrifice pursuing their own immediate needs for a subsidiary role supporting the 'greater cause' of the heroic worker? I hope not. The priority for struggle is where you are at - the majority of the working class is not even in the workplace - it's too young, too old, too sick, too occupied in child (or other) caring or too unemployed. There can't be any hierarchy made of whose struggle is most important. What was the largest wildcat strike of recent times? The schoolkids strikes against the war. How many workers went on strike against the war in the UK? A few dozen teachers, to their credit. (The rest tried to stop the kids getting out...)

Ret, I would personally struggle where I was, but as a member of a communist organisation I would also do my part in that organisations work, which I think should be orientated towards workers struggles.

Devrim

Battlescarred
Jul 7 2006 09:00

This is what the ACF (now the AF) said about the SWP and the PollTax at the time

" The Socialist Workers Party

The one consistent theme that runs right through the story of the SWP’s ever-changing analysis of the poll tax fight has been their blatant opportunism.

As the Party leaders have continually re-assessed the mood of the movement, their ‘line’ has been repeatedly re­hashed and repackaged in a desperate attempt to keep in step with the struggle.

To start with, the SWP actively attacked the idea of community-based resistance to the poll tax - dismissing it (in much the same way as Kinnock did) as ‘unrealistic’. For the SWP, only action in the workplace held out any hope at all.

Their 1988 poll tax pam­phlet (since withdrawn) explained: ‘Community organi­sation stands in stark contrast to the power of wor­kers organised in the workplace. Community politics diverts people away from the means to win, from the need to mobilise working class activity on a collective basis. And by putting the emphasis on the individual’s will to resist, any difficulties and defeats will be the respon­sibility of the individual alone’.

By deliberately misinterpreting the non-payment stra­tegy as one relying on individual, isolated acts of unconnected defiance, the SWP sought to .show how much more effective collective industrial action would be. The ‘case’ as they set it up (contrasting individual refusal with collective resistance) proving itself.

For the SWP ‘class action’ only exists in the factory and office - only ‘workers’ have a part to play in the class war. Action that mobilises working class people beyond the factory, that seeks to forge united class-wide action, is - for the SWP - a diversion to be resisted and opposed.

So convinced were the SWP that mass community-based non-payment would collapse within a couple of months in Scotland, that by the early Summer of 1989 in the pages of Socialist Worker the ‘defeat of the poll tax struggle’ had joined the ritual list of set-backs that the working class had suffered in the current ‘down—turn’.

But their leaders soon sensed that their announcement of the ‘collapse of poll tax resistance’ was unlikely to win them much credibility on the housing estates in Scotland where thousands were steadfastly refusing to pay up -despite the SWP’s gloomy predictions.

So the Party did an abrupt U-turn. Suddenly ‘diversion­ary’ community-action was a struggle worth fighting. In total contradiction to their earlier statements, the pages of Socialist Worker now proclaimed: ‘There is no rigid divide between struggles in the workplace and in the com­munity. Community campaigns can often achieve real victories’.

This was only the latest in a long series of ‘revisions’ of the Party line.

Initially the SWP argued strongly for non-registration. Later they dropped this demand. Then they criticised Labour leaders for not ‘leading a non-registration campaign’. Later still, they concluded non-registration was ‘a mistaken tac­tic’. First off, they supported the building of ‘committees of 100’ of ‘notable’ non-payers, only to decide within weeks that the committees were ‘elitist’ and ‘irrelevant’.

It’s anyone’s guess what the position of the SWP on the poll tax struggle will be next month. Currently the Party hierarchy has ordered the membership to ‘withdraw’ from their poll tax ‘work’ to concentrate their recruitment ef­forts elsewhere - but its certain they’ll be ordered back in again if their leaders sense the ‘mood ‘ once again offers the potential for signing up some new members."

Red Marriott
Jul 7 2006 09:17

Fair enough Dev, but the way the question was originally phrased - "is it bullshit for most?" sounded a bit dismissive, as if, for the majority of proletarians, who are not in the workplace, their struggles will always be secondary. And as if workers might not also be involved in non-workplace struggles if, as we desire, the terrain of struggle was at some point to keep growing. Not even the majority of workers necessarily have that much option of struggle in the workplace: even in a highpoint such as the 1970s, only 20% of UK workers ever went on strike.

the button
Jul 7 2006 09:19

I'm surprised no-one has used the phrase "social factory" on this thread yet. So there you go. smile

the button
Jul 7 2006 09:24

It's two years to the day since I registered on these boards, Jack. I think I know by now not to mention anything concrete. tongue

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 09:36

I think part of the problem is the way you phrased the original question – ie. You asked (polled yes/no for in fact ‘Is community action a load of bullshit for most people?’ Your caveats somewhat belie this, but the inference is there that you do think that community action, in itself, is a load of bullshit. You can’t really blame people under these circumstances for thinking that was in fact what you meant…

Quote:
O.k., I don't know anything about these events. I don't live in the UK. I stand corrected on that one.

No probs, but in itself, you have to admit it helps make a fairly strong case when taken in conjunction with other examples made on this list for saying that (again, I’m exercising my right to add caveats here) while communities – and a definition would help here which we’ll probly have to come back to in a bit – are capable of being sites for bigotry, small mindedness, Nimbyism etc, they also have a great deal of potential in a supporting role for the class struggle, and sometimes as a lead for it. In itself, this potential is worth tapping and imo, far from ‘a load of bullshit’.

Quote:
I also said that I think that community struggle is often embraced by some anarchists as it is easier.

Hah, have you tried this? It can be far more difficult to get people along to a community action group – partly because of the perceived dislocation and lack of common interest between people of the same class living in the same conditions, taking the same bus etc – than to get people together or discussing issues which are often far more simple at work. I wonder, did you try to argue to Dave Morris that it’s easy? I’d be surprised if he agreed.

Anyways, Raw…

Quote:
"Community" campaigns are so false and are easily manipulated. I hate it when people write about comunities as if they exist without any historical context.

Real community is created through a process of struggle for a common interest which produces common identities, they constitute themselves.

Personally I hate sweeping statements, but we all have our cross to bear I guess wink.

Seriously though, I think it depends (argh, again) on the people involved and the situation at hand. There is no doubt that in many cases, community actions get taken over by councillors who want to appear in touch, or liberal campaign groups, or the right.

However, as Indymedia fans often opine, there is a way around this dominance by the cranks… get involved. You can’t stop them dominating on the ground if you are not actually there to tell them to fuck off. The BNP have made massive gains on the polls because of this very simple fact. They campaign for local services, we do not. They organise in areas not reached by unions, we do not. When they say ‘trust me, I’m on your side’, they can point to a dozen community initiatives they have supported. We can’t.

I’ve got to get back to work, but just as an opener to where this appears to be going – what (I guess Devrim most of all as it’s his poll, but for everyone else too) do you define ‘community’ as? Raw’s kind of touched on it, but what about you lot? Are we talking geography, shared cultural values, politics? Is a BNP member part of your community and someone to be dealt with? Or just that twat you see down the local sometimes (and to be dealt with, but only on the grounds he’s a bonehead)?

the button
Jul 7 2006 09:43
Saii wrote:
Quote:
I also said that I think that community struggle is often embraced by some anarchists as it is easier.

Hah, have you tried this? It can be far more difficult to get people along to a community action group – partly because of the perceived dislocation and lack of common interest between people of the same class living in the same conditions, taking the same bus etc – than to get people together or discussing issues which are often far more simple at work.

I know what you're saying, Saii. But then very few people have got fired from their jobs for community organising, whereas it strikes me that in the current climate at least, the prospect of losing your job -- or at the very least, the prospect of vicitimisation -- is a daily reality for anyone who does any organising at work.

Perhaps what I'm saying is that community organising may not be easier than workplace organising, but the stakes aren't as high for those involved. This said, there was the guy in North London (Islington? Camden?) who got prosecuted for campaigning against ALMOs, so perhaps I'm talking bollocks. wink

Edited to add: I forgot that this was a poll, but for what it's worth, I just voted "No" to Dev's question.

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 09:52

Yeah there is that, mind you, last time I did a community campaign (investigative piece handed round the area) people were asking for names of campaigners and saying they'd pressure my boss etc eek.

the button
Jul 7 2006 09:58
Saii wrote:
Yeah there is that, mind you, last time I did a community campaign (investigative piece handed round the area) people were asking for names of campaigners and saying they'd pressure my boss etc eek.

I was kind of joking when I asked how come no-one had used the phrase "social factory," but it seems pretty clear -- not least from your example -- that the community is a site of the reproduction of the social relation that is capital. This leads to the (hopefully, although also doubtfully wink ) uncontroversial conclusion, that since capital needs to be resisted at the point of delivery through direct action, this entails organising in both workplace & community. Although one of the things that needs to be contested is precisely that distinction.

I'm in fine bollocks-talking mode this morning. embarrassed wink tongue

Lazy Riser
Jul 7 2006 10:31

Hi

Most occupations don’t generate wealth or provide utility, but merely take up all the working class’s time and provide incomes to finance capitalist markets to perpetuate the middle class’s blind rat-race for social status. In the post-industrial societies, a job is just an extension of the “social welfare” system. The workplace is part of the community, there is no dichotomy. We should attack wherever there is the opportunity to enhance the material economic condition of the working class, and I’m not sure there are “community actions” that contravene that philosophy.

Anyway, I do little more than quote Castoriadis and Brinton nowadays, so this thread should be no exception…

Brinton wrote:
the basic question, who manages production after the overthrow of the bourgeoisie? should therefore now become the centre of any serious discussion about socialism

Too true.

Love

LR

the button
Jul 7 2006 10:42
Jack wrote:
the button wrote:
This said, there was the guy in North London (Islington? Camden?) who got prosecuted for campaigning against ALMOs

eek

Do you have details? A link?

Christ!

It was a couple of years ago, and was covered extensively in Private Eye. Who, of course, don't put their content online. neutral

revolutionrugger
Jul 7 2006 12:15
revol68 wrote:
half pissed after watching the deftones and seeing my chances with the cute coffee shop girl go down the pan thanks to her oh so anti semitic Jordanian mate and her other oh so middle class nationalist mate.

But revrugger is talking extreme shite, the workplace as hetero normative?

Sorry do gay people have some sort of amazing loyalty card that exempts them from wage slavery?

get a fucking clue, you fucking moron.

Don't misrepresent my opinions. I said that workplace reductionism (stating that the workplace is THE point of struggle) is heteronormative, not work.

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 12:22

Which is also bollocks. As I've pointed out, there are gay people who also believe that class is the overriding umbrella for all other oppressions. For that matter, there are plenty of women I know who regard class as more important than sexism at work, and immigrants who couldn't give a stuff about racist idiots but reckon they are very oppressed indeed by capital.

edit: And just to be clear, they organise on class at work, not at gay pride/feminist workshops/in conjunction with the commission for racial equality.

Battlescarred
Jul 7 2006 13:34
the button wrote:
Saii wrote:
Quote:
I also said that I think that community struggle is often embraced by some anarchists as it is easier.

Hah, have you tried this? It can be far more difficult to get people along to a community action group – partly because of the perceived dislocation and lack of common interest between people of the same class living in the same conditions, taking the same bus etc – than to get people together or discussing issues which are often far more simple at work.

I know what you're saying, Saii. But then very few people have got fired from their jobs for community organising, whereas it strikes me that in the current climate at least, the prospect of losing your job -- or at the very least, the prospect of vicitimisation -- is a daily reality for anyone who does any organising at work.

Perhaps what I'm saying is that community organising may not be easier than workplace organising, but the stakes aren't as high for those involved. This said, there was the guy in North London (Islington? Camden?) who got prosecuted for campaigning against ALMOs, so perhaps I'm talking bollocks. wink

Edited to add: I forgot that this was a poll, but for what it's worth, I just voted "No" to Dev's question.

Yes, but poll tax non-payers risked arrest and jail sentences. And those who publicly supported actions against the Poll Tax risked losing their jobs, if you recall.

It's crass to call "community" (try not to use that word) organising an easy option for anarchists. It is often very difficult organising in the neighbourhood. As some people have pointed out, atomisation is a big hindrance.

(Equally as others point out, atomisation is also rife in many workplaces, particularly because many jobs in this country are not related to production or distribution, and atomisation is rife.)

Finally, Jack seems to want to divorce the Poll Tax riots (actually not just the one in Trafalgar Square, but others around the country) from mass non-payment. That is plain crass, as neither of those events can be separated from the other.

And yes, the Poll Tax riot WAS ONE of the major causes for the fall of Thatcher (The pro-European wing of British capitalism and its supporters within the Conservative party came to the conclusion that Thatcher had to go and this was the other major contributory factor) Large sections of the ruling class were profoundly disturbed by major public disorder on the streets of Britain. The Poll Tax was seen as a major miscalculation and for this Thatcher had to be replaced and the Poll Tax withdrawn.

davethemagicweasel
Jul 7 2006 15:26

I voted No, on the grounds that I regard the distinction between community and workplace to be nonsense.

Of course, that isn't to say that there are some 'community' stuff thats bullshit - but you can't make sweeping statements about all of them based on that.

BB
Jul 7 2006 15:55
revolutionrugger wrote:
heteronormative

I hate this word!

the button
Jul 7 2006 16:07

Hate speech! Hate speech!

angry

BB
Jul 7 2006 16:21
Jack wrote:
BB wrote:
I hate this word!

Was it you or Ed, that had to explain to me what it meant, i've forgotten again, apart from my conclusion which was "bollocks!" last post b4 the weekend.

Hope it's cool for all! Well, most anyway...

Steven.
Jul 7 2006 16:43
Saii wrote:
Sorry to keep banging on about this in thread after thread, but I'm getting really fed up with this 'either or' bollocks that seems to be seeping everywhere, from conversations about the unions, to communities, to how fascism should ro should not be dealt with. These are NOT black and white issues.

I'm only part-way through this thread. One thing to point out, is that the only people who are trying to make it into a black-and-white issue are the people projecting a strawman onto people like Devrim (and I guess me). I don't think I've seen a single argument against what Devrim or I actually said that wasn't a strawman.

Edit - having read more, I see that is the case for the early part of the thread, but some people make some very good points later on like Ret Marut.

Mike Harman
Jul 7 2006 16:51
the button wrote:

Perhaps what I'm saying is that community organising may not be easier than workplace organising, but the stakes aren't as high for those involved. This said, there was the guy in North London (Islington? Camden?) who got prosecuted for campaigning against ALMOs, so perhaps I'm talking bollocks. wink

.

A woman in Tower Hamlets got victimised in her job in the council for involvement in DCH.

You're more likelt to get evicted, have the bailiffs round etc. though.

Steven.
Jul 7 2006 17:02
revolutionrugger wrote:
Don't misrepresent my opinions.

Hahahahaha that's a good one. And to think they say yanks don't get irony. Are you still steadfastedly calling people - including me - racist homophobes?

People like davethemagicweasel who are saying you can't separate the workplace and community, I'm not really sure what you mean. They're very separate. For one the people you work with and the people you live near are completely different, and the issues facing you will also be almost completely different. Methods of struggle you use will also generally be completely different. Not to mention that workplaces and geographical areas are completely different entities confused

"Community" is a problematic term, I agree with raw. I think "local" or "geographical" is a better term for what we're referring to, which is local stuff like local taxation rates, local services, etc.

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 17:50
Quote:
I agree with raw.

It's a miracle! Paise be!

wink

raw
Jul 7 2006 18:01

We can say that struggles are located but the problem I still have within localising those struggles is that they emmerge from being dominated by capitalist society and are anything BUT local issues. Our job shouldn't be about limiting struggles but opening them up, exposing the processes which has created these struggles and ultimately developing political projects which can articulate offensive attacks.

That was my problem with broadway market, that some political activists (lefty and anarchists) wanted to limit it and confine it to a local issue. Ultimately it contributed to its downfall.

raw

Rob Ray
Jul 7 2006 18:12

I don't think localising it contributed to its 'downfall' at all, though I could be corrected about this. Fundamentally, the occupation of the market drew in a large number of people who weren't political and gave them something to fight for.

Widening it out occurred through the interactions between those with a liberatrian outlook and those without, and was done in circumstances favourable to the libertarians as it was, fundamentally, a small-scale struggle against big money for the sake of working class people.

How is this more limiting to discourse and growth of a meaningful sense of resistance than, for example, squatting a building for a social centre and having 3/4 of people start off with the impression that you're just some tyke causing trouble (regardless of whether you are or not)?