Joining forces on a UK-wide publication (was AF/Platformist split)

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Rob Ray
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Feb 9 2011 12:17

There is a draft document going round but it's not at a point where it can be published. There's a lot going through the mill in the run up to National Conference atm of which that is part.

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Feb 9 2011 13:40
Battlescarred wrote:
Yes, but once again you've not done the reading. This is a crude understanding of the tactics that Malatesta laid down as any reading of the events of the Italian factory councils will show. Anarchists did not stand outside the struggles of workers and their organisations and were deeply involved in them and neither did Malatesta.

right, well how about instead of condescendingly expecting me to have read every text of every revolutionary tradition, why not make some recommendations since i've repeatedly expressed a desire to learn?

in any case you've completely missed my point. the separation of political and economic organisations has NOTHING to do with "standing outside the struggle" - it's an organisational separation. Platformists and Bolsheviks (i'm not conflating them!) are both clearly and self-described proponents of political organisation, and both clearly involve themselves heavily in struggles and organisations from unions to social movements. The point is they posit a separation of a poltical organisation from economic ones (if we limit the discussion to unions for now). Same for Malatesta:

Malatesta wrote:
Pure anarchism cannot be a practical solution while people are forced to deal with bosses and with authority. The mass of the people cannot be left to their own devices when they refuse to do so and ask for, demand, leaders. But why confuse anarchism with what anarchism is not and take upon ourselves, as anarchists, responsibility for the various transactions and agreements that need to be made on the very grounds that the masses are not anarchist, even where they belong to an organisation that has written an anarchist programme into its constitution? In my opinion the anarchists should not want the unions to be anarchist. The anarchists must work among themselves for anarchist ends, as individuals, groups and federations of groups.

regardless of the merits of such an approach, he's clearly advocating economic-based unions and separate anarchist-based political organisation, an organisational separation of the political and the economic. of course, members of the latter would be active within the former, that's not in dispute.

(fwiw i think it's a valid critique of syndicalist unions of the old CGT model - although Malatesta was aware of e.g. the FORA where i think this critique is less applicable).

by contrast, anarcho-syndicalists (and some others like Ruhle) advocate political-economic organisation, that is an organisation of revolutionary workers which takes it upon itself to agitate and organise class struggle along anarchist lines - saying methods are important and so leaving things to reformist organisations (or spontaneity alone in the case of Pannekoek) is not a good strategy. if these revolutionary unions sought to be representative organs, they would need to seek growth at the expense of anarchist principles (like the CGT-E/works councils/state funds), and Malatesta's critique would become operative. however, if they seek to function as associations of revolutionary workers organising direct action, such a criticism does not apply.

for fucks sake, it's not an attack on the AF to describe it as a political organisation, it's a self-described one! nor am i accusing you of standing aside from struggles, i've been involved in all sorts alongside AF members. the point is a strategic and organisational one, and i really don't understand what's so complicated about it.

now while Malatesta's view and anarcho-syndicalism are mutually exclusive (for he opposes the hyphen), i don't think that's necessarily true of political organisation and political-economic organisation per se. in other words i can conceive of a number of ways in which AF and SF could have a symbiotic relationship. indeed, it may well be the AF looks at what SF's advocating and agrees (although no doubt not wanting to call it a revolutionary union, cue 10 page semantic spat!), which would point towards a merger. but a pre-requisite of that is mutual understanding. i'm happy to read anything you point me at, and i'm trying to be as clear and as plain english as possible. i reiterate i don't think it's really a very complicated position though and i'm not sure how else i can explain SF's approach.

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Feb 9 2011 15:04

I recall finding favour with the original Brighton SolFed Industrial Strategy document, as in many respects it did follow a broadly 'council communist' approach, as a SolFed member here in Manchester was quick to recognise. I'm not so sure about the subsequent evolution of the Brighton thinking on this, though admitedly a good deal of our difference does come down to what I, and others here, consider an unfortunately unhelpful re-definition of most peoples understanding of what a 'Union' actually is in everyday practice.

Just on Ruhle and the AAUD-E though, my understanding is that despite the equally unfortunate 'Union' title the proposal for a 'political-economic' organisation under this umbrella title did not include typical union functions of negotiations with management etc and, subsequently at least, following the downturn in struggle, they were recognised as essentially minority agitational and educational vehicles with an agenda of moving to assembly organisation and the mass (rather than 'general union' ) strike. There were of course some differences amongst the theorists of the movement at different stages of it's history. (More on this now in the Library).

I can see some similarity here with the original Brighton SolFed approach but I'm unclear whether that similarity persists?

As it stands I'm not an oponent of separate political organisation(s) as such, since for all the faults of those existing today, it/they are anyway unavoidable in practice. I would add that a traditional primarily workplace based 'council communist' approach would also be inadequate today as a strategy.

I look forward to Joseph's promised new work on all this which could perhaps usefully provide the basis for some joint educational work with the AF and others ?

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Feb 9 2011 15:16
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typical union functions of negotiations with management etc

I'm a little confused as to what you think the term union implies - because there are plenty which have existed while being entirely proscribed by the state and there's an entire international (the IWA) which has repeatedly made it very clear that "negotiation" with management extends only to the take-it-or-leave-it application of mass demands.

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Feb 9 2011 15:20
Spikymike wrote:
Just on Ruhle and the AAUD-E though, my understanding is that despite the equally unfortunate 'Union' title the proposal for a 'political-economic' organisation under this umbrella title did not include typical union functions of negotiations with management etc

i am NOT going to waste any more words on ANOTHER pointless semantic argument on which unions are not unions because they do things we approve of. by the same token we shouldn't call ourselves anarchists because of Crimethinc, communists because of Stalin, revolutionaries because of the SWP and so on. There are no pure words, get the fuck over it. Signifiers are not the same as meaning, let us not be politically autistic.

Spikymike wrote:
I can see some similarity here with the original Brighton SolFed approach but I'm unclear whether that similarity persists?

i can see the narrative being formed already 'Brighton SolFed said some good things back in 2009, but unfortunately have retreated into the swamp of leftist confusions over the unions and lack the CLARITYTM of left-communist approved semantics'... yawn. i could write the review before the new pamphlet.

i think we're saying essentially the same thing, but having spent two years researching it have dropped the obscurantist mass/minority terminology which really doesn't grasp the crux of the matter. the AAUD-E had tens of thousands of members but was a 'minority' organisation, the current UK IWW has a few hundred members but is a 'mass' organisation. Using terms with connotations of size misses the crucial point that the difference is the (contemporary UK) IWW seeks to unite workers on a purely economic basis while the AAUD-E sought to unite workers on a political-economic one. Size is a secondary question.

the point is we need to organise as revolutionary workers for direct action at the points of class conflict (at work, vis landlords etc). no doubt adherence to revolutionary principles limits organisational size - the post-war history of the IWA is a history of such a trade-off (cf. SAC, CGT-E, CNT-Vignoles). so be it.

no1
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Feb 9 2011 15:33
Spikymike wrote:
I recall finding favour with the original Brighton SolFed Industrial Strategy document, as in many respects it did follow a broadly 'council communist' approach, as a SolFed member here in Manchester was quick to recognise. I'm not so sure about the subsequent evolution of the Brighton thinking on this, though admitedly a good deal of our difference does come down to what I, and others here, consider an unfortunately unhelpful re-definition of most peoples understanding of what a 'Union' actually is in everyday practice.

Our pamphlet wasn't a new Industrial Strategy but our interpretation of SolFed's industrial strategy as it has existed for many years, an interpretation based on our own experiences with organising. In that sense calling it 'council communist' was always missing the point, and it seemed to me a lazy habit of sticking labels on things rather than engaging with the content of what we were saying. Our thinking has evolved rather than fundamentally changed, we emphasise certain things more, in particular the understanding of the revolutionary union as a political-economic organisation is central.

Like JK I'm really tired of going in circles, we've been saying the same things over and over again.

Android
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Feb 9 2011 16:14
Joseph Kay wrote:
i am NOT going to waste any more words on ANOTHER pointless semantic argument on which unions are not unions because they do things we approve of. by the same token we shouldn't call ourselves anarchists because of Crimethinc, communists because of Stalin, revolutionaries because of the SWP and so on. There are no pure words, get the fuck over it. Signifiers are not the same as meaning, let us not be politically autistic.
Joseph Kay wrote:
i can see the narrative being formed already 'Brighton SolFed said some good things back in 2009, but unfortunately have retreated into the swamp of leftist confusions over the unions and lack the CLARITYTM of left-communist approved semantics'... yawn. i could write the review before the new pamphlet.

Point taken - re: defining terms. And I do remember the discussions on here from a while back being productive in getting past terminological differences to the substance of what's been argued.

I don't understand why you felt the need to respond in the way you did to Spikymike. Maybe you're annoyed with the repetiveness of having to clarify time and time again what you are arguing for, fair enough. Just didn't think Spikymike was being disingenuous in his post, just trying to better understand - in fact I know this because we've discussed this offline.

Anyway, look forward to new expanded pamphlet -

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Feb 9 2011 16:44
ronan.mcnab wrote:
Point taken - re: defining terms. And I do remember the discussions on here from a while back being productive in getting past terminological differences to the substance of what's been argued.

if that were the case people could at least agree to disagree over signifiers and debate the signified. instead, time and time again there's this obsessive-compulsive need to taxonomise ('this belongs under council communism, this belongs under leftism...), and then tell people they're not using the right words to fit into your boxes, so they should use other words to allow you to neatly pigeonhole them. the upshot of this is anything we say is simply taxonomised as 'council communist' (a compliment for some, a perjorative for others), or some deviation from this. some people are firmly committed to the view there are political organisations and economic organisations and they're mutually exclusive, which seems to lead to an utter incomprehension of the hyphen.

i'm not saying people have to agree with us, but before you can even speak of agreement there needs to be comprehension. meaningful dialogue is impossible at this level of semantic quibbling because it doesn't deal with meaning at all. we've spent two years people telling us our words don't fit their pigeon-holes so we should change our analysis in order to do so - the desire is to categorise not comprehend. how would AF members feel if everytime they said 'anarchist communism' people who know full well what they mean went on a multi-page argument about how that 'really means' lifestylist Stalinism? if i'm speaking an incomprehensible language please let me know, but i make every effort to convey these ideas in plain English (no doubt with occasional lapses).

ronan.mcnab wrote:
I don't understand why you felt the need to respond in the way you did to Spikymike. Maybe you're annoyed with the repetiveness of having to clarify time and time again what you are arguing for, fair enough. Just didn't think Spikymike was being disingenuous in his post, just trying to better understand - in fact I know this because we've discussed this offline.

i apologise for being rude, and for the exasperated tone. it's hardly conducive to meaningful dialogue either.

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Feb 9 2011 16:50
ronan.mcnab wrote:
Anyway, look forward to new expanded pamphlet

fwiw there's no timescale on this at present. there's various strategy discussions ongoing, and it's likely to be circulated in bits internally to serve as discussion documents before congealing into anything.

i'd like to reiterate if people think i'm misrepresenting Malatesta, council communism or whatever in my posts here please recommend texts as i'm more than happy to do more homework.

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Feb 10 2011 04:54
october_lost wrote:
I am not entirely sure about Communes politics, given there was a debate within it, not too long ago about re-founding the communist party.

Just to reply to this. The debate wasn't about this. It was more broadly about the communist organisation. And by communist the debaters (vom it sounds like I'm describing 10 O'Clock Live) meant something more or less similar to the platform of the commune. That platform says that we “reject statist and authoritarian visions of socialism and look instead to the tradition of ‘socialism from below’, which believes that emancipation can only be achieved through the activity, self-organisation and mobilisation of the working class” and who aim for a “communist society, which will abolish the system of wage-labour: a classless society with no state, managers or organisations superior to those of workers’ self-management.”

However, one member believed that organising on the basis of our platform would involved a uniting of various communists in the manner of Rifondazione Comunista in Italy. He then at our summer school in june argued explicitly for a new communist party. Since June, he hasn't to my knowledge attended a single Commune event or meeting.

So, although I know what you are saying has real basis. I think it's not really representative of what most people in the group think. And I know that the debate wasn't about refounding the communist party but more broadly about communist organisation. See for example these contributions to the debate by A communist refuse worker, Leo and Mark of Bristol Commune, Nic Beuret and Oisin Mac Giollamoir

In so far as there was any resolution to those debates it was this motion we passed in september.

knightrose
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Feb 10 2011 12:13

I think I've got a pretty good understanding of what JK and others on here are arguing for and like others in the AF aren't particularly worried about the use of the term "revolutionary unions". Neither am I particularly bothered about what Malatesta or others wrote years ago. Like others, I have tried hard to tease out of Solfed members the detail of what they mean and when they have done so have found myself largely in agreement with them.

The problems between the two organisations seem to still resolve around the reality that Solfed is basically occupying the same terrain as the AF at the moment and is functioning as an almost exclusively political group. So when comrades from Solfed ( not on here) tell us that the answer is for AF members to join Solfed, we inevitably end up asking, "Why bother?" After all, it just means doing the same things in two different organisations.

Resolving the issues requires Solfed taking some national initiatives to improve the joint work between the two organisations. That would match the efforts we've made in that same direction - which inevitably get knocked back when we are told we should work together on local initiatives first. As we have few local groups in the same cities, this approach in effect leads to little getting done beyond a few, very positive, examples.

nastyned
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Feb 10 2011 12:50
october_lost wrote:
nastyned wrote:
I'm not sure about this 'strictly political' thing. I don't think you can really separate politics and economics. And as I've said the AF has its own industrial strategy.

Its not about whether the AF does economics or has an industrial strategy, AF is not political-economic entity, nor clearly does it want to be. SF does. If SF functions to carry out the capacity it wishes, then I can't fathom why AF members would not be involved in that process. Most of us are members of reformist unions with less grumble.

The basis of joining the AF is political agreement. But we would have no problem having industrial networks or workplace groups of our members .

no1
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Feb 10 2011 13:05
knightrose wrote:
The problems between the two organisations seem to still resolve around the reality that Solfed is basically occupying the same terrain as the AF at the moment and is functioning as an almost exclusively political group. So when comrades from Solfed ( not on here) tell us that the answer is for AF members to join Solfed, we inevitably end up asking, "Why bother?" After all, it just means doing the same things in two different organisations.

I agree with this, though it's somewhat overstated. However I think we are sorting things out. and we are moving slowly away from being a purely political organisation.

Quote:
Resolving the issues requires Solfed taking some national initiatives to improve the joint work between the two organisations.

I guess we're bit slow with that at the moment because we're pre-occupied with getting ourselves sorted out first.

knightrose
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Feb 10 2011 13:19
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For example we are trying to start an organising campaign across a chain in London which will hopefully take off and go public at some point, however it can't be rushed to meet our organisational needs.

I don't want to sound provocative, but how will this differ from what the IWW does? Are you trying to be a union which revolutionary workers use to organise in the workplace or a union which organises militant workers? The two are quite different and are central to the discussions we've had. Clearly we'd support the former but not the latter.

I think we've made it clear that we are not hostile to our members working in syndicalist unions where the aim is not to represent other workers - we said as much in On The Frontline, which is a policy statement of the AF. We've also expressed our willingness to work with Solfed members within industrial networks. Even after we were told Solfed didn't want us to do this, we still went ahead and set up an Education Workers Discussion group with Solfed members. (It is now defunct).

I do get a little tired of being told how the AF needs to do this and the AF needs to do that when almost every initiative for joint work between the two organisations has come from us.

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Feb 10 2011 13:44

K without getting into this too much, knightrose please bear in mind that AF is nigh on double the size, so it'd be a bit weird if SolFed was the more active in organising joint stuff. Beyond that, we've been pretty moribund for a long time and have only relatively recently turned the corner in my view, which shouldn't be underestimated in terms of how co-operative we appear to be - you should see the internal to-do list!

Finally, there was a significant section of SolFed which was open to joint industrial networks, we talked it through and it had to be voted on so it certainly wasn't the case that we collectively had a grump and took the ball home. We're no more a homogenous organisation than you are.

T La Palli
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Feb 10 2011 13:55

Re: the suggestions earlier in the thread relating to Black Flag magazine as a joint venture. Did this ever get discussed informally by Black Flag?

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Feb 10 2011 13:59
georgestapleton wrote:
october_lost wrote:
I am not entirely sure about Communes politics, given there was a debate within it, not too long ago about re-founding the communist party.

That platform says that we “reject statist and authoritarian visions of socialism and look instead to the tradition of ‘socialism from below’, which believes that emancipation can only be achieved through the activity, self-organisation and mobilisation of the working class” and who aim for a “communist society, which will abolish the system of wage-labour: a classless society with no state, managers or organisations superior to those of workers’ self-management.”

Sorry but this above platform could have been written by Hal Draper.

I have been out of contact with the Commune for quite some time, and while there are healthy people in it, there were when I looked people still trying to reconcile with their bolshevist past.

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Feb 10 2011 14:02

What within the collective? Not specifically, though of the three current regulars one's in AF, I'm in SolFed and I'm not sure about anarcho I think anarcho and playinghob would agree with me in stressing that for Black Flag to really reach a wider audience it would need to maintain a degree of independence (ie. an editorial presence of non-fed people).

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Feb 10 2011 14:19
knightrose wrote:
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For example we are trying to start an organising campaign across a chain in London which will hopefully take off and go public at some point, however it can't be rushed to meet our organisational needs.

I don't want to sound provocative, but how will this differ from what the IWW does? .

If leftist and trots do demos, does that ergo make demos a bad thing?
Within a short period its clear the trajectory of the IWW involves becoming some radical appendage within the orbit of what the TUC inhabits. I think its far stretched to compare us in qualitatively political terms. There's a lot of nuisances that have cropped up within the IWW that have been discussed at length. You cannot just simply refer to their activity and ours and put an equals sign there.

We unfortunately have a very fragmentary political scene, and surely the issue with this thread is how do we overcome this. I clearly can't speak for all within SF, as a cursory glance at the individuals in this discussion will tell you who the more receptive locals are and possibly there's the experiences some AF members have had with their SF locals, but where possible certainly the better parts of what I see of SF want to work with AF in a principled capacity and avoid unnecessary duplication of activity.

knightrose
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Feb 10 2011 16:09
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And people wonder why some solfed members are reticent towards joint work. neutral

Well, I can't understand it at all. What is being described about the work in London sounds exactly like the kind of thing we should be working on together. I would have thought that the first thought anyone would have would be, "How can we work together on this?"

My irritation comes not from being sectarian but from being frustrated. I've said it before, but don't mind repeating it. In Spain, FAI members are also in the CNT. We clearly (to me, at least) need a specifically anarchist organisation and a political-economic one. At the moment we have two of the former. We'll only get the latter as a result of some serious joint work and discussions. Telling us to "Join Solfed", as I've been told on loads of occasions (not on this board and not by the participants on this board), is ridiculous. We're over twice the size of Solfed - the result would be Solfed becoming an arm of the AF - and I'm sure many of the original Solfed members would either refuse to accept us or would promptly leave and set up another organisation.

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Feb 10 2011 16:58
knightrose wrote:
In Spain, FAI members are also in the CNT. We clearly (to me, at least) need a specifically anarchist organisation and a political-economic one. At the moment we have two of the former. We'll only get the latter as a result of some serious joint work and discussions.

I'm not sure... It seems to me the onus is on SolFed to move towards being what it wants to be. This is happening, but we're a member-controlled organisation so it's not instant. Last national conference mandated a strategy commission, which has produced a discussion paper, which is being discussed in person at our weekend school in a couple of weeks (which was postponed from november), and may if we're quick feed into national conference proposals...

Now none of that precludes joint work and discussions, but I don't think they necessarily move things forwards. There's talk of producing new pamphlet(s) on strategy too. But we can't just skip the whole process of internal discussions/democracy by rushing through proposals on joint work before the mandated commission's proposals have been properly debated, amended, discussed etc. Personally I'd favour turning DA into a web magazine and resurrecting the Black Flag proposal from earlier in this thread, if there's any traction to that it will turn into a formal proposal, but it's impossible to say at the moment because we haven't discussed it as an organisation, and our last opportunity to do so was postponed.

no1
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Feb 10 2011 22:30
knightrose wrote:
In Spain, FAI members are also in the CNT. We clearly (to me, at least) need a specifically anarchist organisation and a political-economic one.

I think the relationship between the FAI and the CNT is pretty unhealthy, and it can't serve as a model for what we're discussing.

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Feb 10 2011 23:00
no1 wrote:
I think the relationship between the FAI and the CNT is pretty unhealthy, and it can't serve as a model for what we're discussing.

care to elaborate?

i'm of the view specific political and political-economic organisations can be complimentary, but on the basis of a functional division of labour rather than a strict practical-ideological divide which is likely to become a leadership situation. Alexander Schapiro's quite good here:

Schapiro (1937) wrote:
Now that anarcho-syndicalism exists as a force organizing the social revolution on libertarian communist lines, anarcho-communists owe it to themselves to become anarcho-syndicalists for the sake of organizing the revolution and every anarchist eligible to become a trade unionist should be a member of the anarcho-syndicalist General Labour Confederation.

Organized, outside of their unions, into their ideological (or, to borrow the terminology employed by our Spanish comrades, “specific”) federations, anarchists remain the continually active leaven, allowing anarcho-syndicalism to build but preventing dangerous compromises.

But the ideological guidance implied by the “builders” being imbued with the ideal of the “propagandists” turns into effective leadership. Prior to this, and especially in the aftermath of the war, nationally and internationally, the trade union movements had always found themselves tied to the apron strings of some “workers’” party or “labour” International. Anarcho-syndicalism, which today stands for the revolutionary syndicalist direct action movement and libertarian reconstruction, must not, by aping the rest of the workers’ movement, come to find that it too is tied to the apron strings of some “specific” organization — be it at the national or international level. That would be a mistake every bit as irreversibly fatal as it has proved for the reformist or dictatorship-minded brands of trade unionism.

The Anarchist Federation supports the Anarcho-Syndicalist Confederation in its class struggle and striving for revolutionary reconstruction. But it should not assume the initiative or leadership of it.

NOTE: Emphasis in original. 'Trade unionist'/'trade union' is a translation of the French 'syndicaliste'/'syndicat', which doesn't carry the same connotations as in English. A better rendering would be simply 'union member'/'union' imho.

So that highlights the danger (Schapiro was a harsh critic of the CNT's collaboration, and noted amongst the collaborators were some of the most ideological anarchists of the FAI). In terms of the division of labour, i think a specific organisation could take on tasks beyond a union remit (which i see as organising collective direct action at the point of conflict - work and landlords mainly), which are nonetheless essential to the class struggle. stuff like having a class struggle presence in things like climate camp has already been mentioned, historically anti-militarist agitation at garrisons has also been a vital role. 'political' campaigns such as for reproductive rights, against homophobic attacks or what have you may also be better spearheaded by a specific organisation, with an a-s group playing a supporting role in its sphere of activity, e.g. ideally by organising industrial action, or a rent strike, or at least calling workplace meetings to discuss the issue)*. a bit further down the road, things like stockpiling arms/basic training might fall under the remit of a specific org, giving a degree of separation from the more overground union work (sounds - and is - fantasist today, but this is something the FAI played a role in in the 30s and it's not something that can be ruled out, unless we think an expropriatory strike wave can succeed without arming the workers).

Now it may be that's a false separation, or one which doesn't appeal to the AF, in which case a single political-economic organisation would make more sense. i think a lot of that stuff's in RORO though iirc, i'm to take my lead from the AF's own statements of its role here, but correct me if i'm wrong.

* to be clear i'm not saying wider social goals are beyond an a-s union, rather that its sphere of activity is limited more so than a specific organisation.

no1
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Feb 11 2011 01:14
Joseph Kay wrote:
no1 wrote:
I think the relationship between the FAI and the CNT is pretty unhealthy, and it can't serve as a model for what we're discussing.

care to elaborate?

Well it was made pretty clear to me at an IWA conference I was at a few months ago. The discussions were really interesting, with comrades from different countries presenting what they'd been organising, discussing the obstacles they overcame, the problems they faced, the tactics they used etc - all very inspiring, clever, thought-provoking. Then the FAI guy got up and told everyone about the importance of social revolution because apparently in all countries capitalism caused the same problems. It was typical of all political interventions - unsophisticated, utterly predictable, disconnected and adding nothing of value to the debate, unconsciously implying that everybody was an idiot who needed to be lectured on the most basic questions. The FAI still seem to think they are the chosen ones to whom the special mission falls of keeping the CNT on the anarchist course. And, well, we know how that worked out last time.

I can see value in having political organisations (plural). But there should be no secret political organisation acting within the political-economic organisation that arrogates itself the role of keeping the revolutionary union on the right path.

nastyned
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Feb 11 2011 09:32

I also think that comparisons with the CNT and FAI are unhelpful as we're in a very different situation and it's not a model I'd want to follow anyway.

T La Palli
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Feb 11 2011 10:44
Joseph Kay wrote:
Personally I'd favour turning DA into a web magazine and resurrecting the Black Flag proposal from earlier in this thread, if there's any traction to that it will turn into a formal proposal.

Personally, I favour the idea of the exploring the Black Flag proposal in additional to improved web content for AFed. Perhaps this will get some discussion at the next AF NDM as AOB. Unfortunately, it was too late for discussion to be scheduled in the main part of the agenda. So it looks like within both orgs this discussion will surface internally. Then if received favourably, move at a similar time to formal proposals. That would be good if it happened.

It seems to me though that, the conversation could continue to be conflated by a wider discussion over the roles of each organisation, and that this might cloud the discussion. I think the two things need to be separated to the extent that they can be as I think the shared ground is a firm enough to allow for a joint publication to be feasible. Whereas this would not be the case if the discussion was about merging the organisations. Imo, it would be useful to have a joint Afed-Solfed day-school to discuss the role of the political organisation and the economic/political organisation, industrial networks, FAI-CNT, what do we mean by revolutionary union. Something along this line anyway.

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Feb 11 2011 16:03
Quote:
Imo, it would be useful to have a joint Afed-Solfed day-school to discuss the role of the political organisation and the economic/political organisation, industrial networks, FAI-CNT, what do we mean by revolutionary union. Something along this line anyway.

You know what, I don't think this is a bad idea...

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JoeMaguire
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Joined: 26-09-03
Feb 11 2011 23:55

I think its a terrible idea. Real divisions will be overcome through political activity not discussing theory. SF needs to move beyond being another political organisation for the prospects of what have been discussed in the last few pages to be relevant. Post 226 is spot on.

nastyned
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Joined: 30-09-03
Feb 12 2011 08:51

No to me it isn't. I really don't go with this idea that what we need is a 'political' organisation and a 'political-economic' organisation.

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Steven.
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Feb 12 2011 10:49

I know I've said this before in these discussions, but I don't see what the difference is, if our politics are based on our economic interests (which they are for us). The only difference might be for example if Solfed did not allow members of the bourgeoisie to be members, but the AF did (but of course practically that wouldn't make a significant difference anyway)