Really fucking tired of the AWL now

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Ellar's picture
Ellar
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Nov 5 2011 15:44
Really fucking tired of the AWL now

So yeah, they've posted something about anarchists.....again. This time its written by a anarchist who doesn't seem to kow a huge amount about actual anarchist organisation in Britain.

http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/11/04/five-things-trotskyists-should-know-about-today%E2%80%99s-young-anarchists

This comes after the article blaming anarchists in greece for the death of a communist, who actually died of heart failure and had no physical injuries. I'm convinced theres been a ridiculous internal discussion in AWL about "how we stop people getting into da ANARKY" their obsessed. Or maybe I'm obsessed, either way I thought I should post this up for people to have a look at.

sawa
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Nov 5 2011 15:59

LOL who the fuck wrote that? Tis a really confused article.
What is with the patronising "young anarchists" too?

Thought the AWL were usually relatively, compared to other trot groups at least, more comradely(not writing complete utter pish) about anarchism as they wanna recruit anarchists and ya know actually work with us.

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Entdinglichung
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Nov 5 2011 16:26

from http://www.mondialisme.org/ ... most of their stuff is far better: http://mondialisme.org/spip.php?article1600

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Ellar
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Nov 5 2011 16:11

In person they get really friendly with anarchists. Sometimes this seems to be because they actually want to work with us on a individual level, other times I think its cos they want to recruit us and don't really understand how different our position is to theirs. As a whole tho I think they are as bad as the rest and I trust them about as far as I can throw them.

Allot of the time when I'm talking to or around AWL I just feel like i'm being studied by some group of socialist intellectuals who think anarchists are myserious creatures that have only been around for ten years.

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JoeMaguire
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Nov 5 2011 16:14

It looks like this was taken up by a 'younger' anarchist comrade. Do we know them Ellar?

Having skimmed it, it makes the mistake of trying to represent 'younger anarchists' and sets up a few red herrings.

Quote:
Trotskyists gene­rally are trai­ned in « Party schools » where they learn about the his­tory of the wor­kers move­ment and learn the basic laws of Marxist « science ». ... Young European « anar­chists »’ poli­ti­cal culture is much more diverse : it deri­ves from all sorts of radi­cal or mar­gi­nal films or docu­men­ta­ries, semi-poli­ti­cal comics and music, from the no global move­ment lit­te­ra­ture, from all sorts of tiny book­lets repro­du­ced in « info­kiosks », etc.

It should have stressed that theory for anarchists is not static but usually based on interpretation of recent action and events. This isn't conveyed in the best way here.

Quote:
Trotskyists should rea­lize that young « anar­chists » today want ACTION NOW.
...The most « phy­si­cal » and some­ti­mes « macho » anar­chists want to confront phy­si­cally the cops, to throw Molotov cock­tails, to smash the face of fas­cists, to des­troy the head­quar­ters of some bour­geois party, etc. The more « pea­ce­ful » ones (but it can also be the same as the first ones) want to build new human rela­tion­ships here and now. That means orga­ni­zing squats or com­mu­nes ; ques­tio­ning the gender rela­tion­ships now ...

Sets up a total false dichotomy here between insurrectionists and...I am not sure who else.

Quote:
Young anar­chists are often very pre­ca­rious as all the mem­bers of their gene­ra­tion, work in call cen­ters, tem­po­rary jobs, and not so keen to work in big fac­to­ries or com­pa­nies which anyway are down­si­zed eve­ryw­here at least in Europe.

This is not helpful. It reinforces the idea that anarchists can't be based heravily in workplaces.

Quote:
There also some anar­chists (not all of them of course, because some anar­chists have… Trotskyist tac­tics of infil­tra­ting the trade union bureau­cracy) who think that trade unions repre­sent bar­riers and breaks on forms of self-orga­ni­za­tion among wor­kers, and in many cases are overtly hos­tile to any auto­no­mous cur­rents that have emer­ged among radi­cal wor­kers.

This is a good point, but not put across particularlly well. Trots tactical raise d'etre is cosying up to the union bureaucracy. They have nothing to propose on this front aside from discussions about better leadership. The real work is going to be addressing horizontal organising which is free from TU bureaucracy and silly party building projects.

Harrison
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Nov 5 2011 16:21

AWL as a national org and views on anarchism are well annoying. To be honest i think the attempts to instill hostility towards anarchists are mostly implemented from the top down or older members

I say this because the rank and file student AWL'ers i work with in my uni's NCAFC branch are pretty sound and also content to work with anarchists.

I'm doubtful of the idea of trotskyist orgs being homogenous orgs. The degree to which anarchists can cooperate with them when organising, depends how much the local rank and file follow the party line / what the party line actually is.

It does depress me that AWL's "libertarian image" has been eating into AF and SF's rate of growth, but that said i don't think we should adopt a default position of hostility toward rank and file AWL members. (not that i think you were suggesting that).

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JoeMaguire
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Nov 5 2011 16:21
Ellar wrote:
In person they get really friendly with anarchists. Sometimes this seems to be because they actually want to work with us on a individual level, other times I think its cos they want to recruit us and don't really understand how different our position is to theirs. As a whole tho I think they are as bad as the rest and I trust them about as far as I can throw them.

Friendship is friendship, you shouldn't judge it on a political level. The problem here is them organising through democractic centralism which basically overrides their relative autonomy on various projects. It means a branch or individuals can have relatively good intentions to a particular activity, but its marred when they work in groupthink mode. Forming blocs around tactical or strategic issues etc.

I would argue our role in a particular activity they are involved in changes massively according to their density.

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lzbl
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Nov 5 2011 16:42
Harrison wrote:
AWL as a national org and views on anarchism are well annoying. To be honest i think the attempts to instill hostility towards anarchists are mostly implemented from the top down or older members.

Agreed.

posi
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Nov 5 2011 17:27

By the way, I don't think Yves identifies as an anarchist. I believe he'd describe himself as some sort of libertarian/left/unorthodox Marxist. He lives in France.

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Ellar
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Nov 6 2011 00:32
Quote:
Friendship is friendship, you shouldn't judge it on a political level

Yeah I agree (some friends have much worse politics then AWL) but I'm more talking about when they cosy up to you in a political setting like a meeting or something. If Its just a chat in the pub I'm not thinking "whats this guys strategy",

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 6 2011 13:45

Some of the ideas here aren't too bad, and he takes on some leftist monoliths quite accurately, but I'm not sure what the point of it all is. Seems to me like he's trying to aid some parasitic Trots in their recruitment strategy.

Caiman del Barrio
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Nov 6 2011 15:05

I've had a brief email correspondence with the author and he's asked me to post the following on this thread:

Quote:
I did not pretend to explain everything about anarchism in 1000 words. I
just wanted to underline some basic questions that Trotskyists should ask
themselves. And if they really succeed to answer these questions, they will
probably question Trotskyism, Leninism and Marxism as well.
For me it was not a sign of despise or condescendance to call anarchists who
are less than 30 years old "young". It's a biological fact, nothing else.
I tried to (apparently in an awkward way) communicate my experience of an
ex-Leninist, ex-Trotskysit, aged 61 today, who has had many contacts with
much younger people who have great hopes and illusions (in the beautiful
sense of the word, the capacity of dreaming), which seems to me very
positive.
Help trots to Recruit or Manipulate anarchists ? You ask me.
I think anarchists are intelligent enough not to be seduced with nice
words....
If you read my conclusion with accurate glasses it seems clear (at least to
me) that if trotskyists want to discuss with anarchists they should question
all their program and leave trotskysim in the "dustbins of history".
The conclusion seemed to me quite clear. But according to your questions
it's not. [I'd accused him of helping Trots manipulate their language in order to better recruit anarchists wink - CdB]

P.S. A part of what I wrote was orally said on the 22nd of October in London
and has therefore nothing to do with what happened in Greece 2 weeks
later....
I'm not Nostradamus grand-grand-grandson !

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Ellar
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Nov 6 2011 15:37
Quote:
P.S. A part of what I wrote was orally said on the 22nd of October in London
and has therefore nothing to do with what happened in Greece 2 weeks
later....

Not saying it did have anything to do with it, just thats its part of AWLs trend at the moment, posting articles about anarchists in a attempt to steer people away from anarchism.

Thomas G
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Jan 17 2012 18:52

I read your posts precisely last month, but I'll try to comment after the fast reading I've just done...
Truly, I'm a little surprised about your reactions. Especially that you did not notice that the text by Yves (according to me) was written in a rather humorous way. Indeed there are some "clichés", but the author informed the reader somewhere in the text.

==>

Quote:
Well there is a bit a truth in these mutually shared cli­chés.

I think the most important is in the last lines, when Yves invites the trotskyists to get rid of their ideological schemes. Yves and I discussed a little by mail about this text. He noticed epidermic reactions from trostkyists, which were rather agressive. We've shared the same viewpoint, that anarchists and troskyists have progress to make on the humour side...

Thomas G
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Feb 25 2013 13:34

This "polemical" text has been translated into French recently by Yves Coleman: http://www.mondialisme.org/spip.php?article1861