Fly-by shit stir

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syndicalist
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Mar 17 2014 16:04
no1 wrote:
WY SolFed didn't agree with the direction of SolFed and felt progressively more alienated, so they disaffiliated. As political organisations go there's nothing remarkable about it.

Thank you. Simple enough.

rata
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Mar 17 2014 19:28
EdmontonWobbly wrote:
I don't blame the IWA folks one bit for getting their hackles up over this thread. I mean a political controversy in one national section is hardly the same as an entire international organisation being "in trouble" and looks a lot like shit stirring.

There's a lot of us in the IWW though that want closer ties with the IWA and to compare notes, particularly in sections that are doing industrial work, like the CNT and the USI. We already have a pretty constructive relationship with Solfed where we circulate a lot of their literature inside the IWW and even reprint some of their stuff on Recomposition. So here's the issue:

1. Is the no contact rule a barrier to this stuff? Is there going to be pushback now?
2. Who does the no contact rule apply to? Like does it apply just to the SAC, the SAC and WSA? The IWW? That isn't clear, though the International Secretary seems to be pretty clear the rule is still in place.
3. Is this rule actually practical? Because it sounds like it is selectively enforced and the degree it is enforced varies from time to time.
4. What is the goal of a all of this? Personally I think there are some important lessons inside the IWA that we could learn from and I actually think some of what we have done in the IWW has informed at least Solfed. I want those exchanges to continue and to build on that experience and I'm concerned the No Contact rule could be a barrier to this.

1. No.
2. There is no "No contact rule", as noted on this thread earlier. It is a hear-say misunderstanding of how things operate in libertarian federations. There is a decision of having no official contacts with SAC. That decision is still ongoing. Similar decision were never made for IWW or WSA. What happened in those cases is that, now ex IWA section in US - "AIT-US", was against contacts with IWW or WSA while they were part of the international, thus, as federalist principles talked about before demand, there were no contacts with any of them than. Since IWA doesn't have a Section in the USA anymore, it is open for all interested contacts in the USA, which are ready to cooperate while respecting principles of direct action, direct democracy and mutual aid.
3. Yes it is. I invite you to read again this thread, since it was also talked about, especially in akai's post. The rule is enforced by all sections of IWA as far as I am aware. As IWA is not IWW, in sense that it doesn't coordinate individuals but organizations, what do individuals do on their own behalf is not IWA concern, but of national federations and their relations to the concept of upholding ones own decisions.
4. The goal of this thread is, obviously, shit stirring, backed by approach to politics which can be described as anything but serious. Starting with the tittle, to the vast number of comments. Your concern comes from lack of information. You should just get yourself informed, and drop the concern. wink

akai
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Mar 17 2014 19:17

I have a concrete answer to the title question: NO. In the IWA, perhaps as in any federation, national or international, there comes issues which this or that member group of individual members might not agree with. Things happen, association is mutual, people sometimes come and go. As far as the FAU is concerned, they have been concerned with one or two issues for quite a long time. Things are going back 20 years and nothing is really new. I say it here on this thread because we can assume it is already known to many reading or posting here. Over this time, the FAU has a couple of times considered their affiliation to the IWA. These episodes did not affect the IWA as a whole. As a matter of fact, we see that while this issue may exist in a dramatic way for some individuals in the FAU, it hasn't even been a Congress issue for many years. In the meanwhile, IWA affiliation is growing and a number of our member organizations have been making good progress. So this is really far from a "trouble" situation - this is showing a positive trend.

Despite this positive trend, it does seem that some like to make big drama around issues like that, that actually have almost nothing to do with whether our Sections functional well locally, or our Federation internationally.

If anybody is interested then in internationalism and anarchosyndicalism, rather than this dubious internet activity, why not organize a protest or do something on March 24 to protest the imprisonment of oil workers in Argentina? You can see the IWA page for details.

syndicalist
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Mar 17 2014 19:23

The Minnesota "US AIT" was a "section" for 4 months, please.They quit the IWA because numbers of IWA folks retained their more then 20 years relations with us. And the so-called "US-AIT" cried off that people still had the desire to retain longstanding, cooperative and comradely relations with WSA .

Caiman del Barrio
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Mar 17 2014 21:28

Enough with the organisational patriotism on this thread please, from all sides.

Thanks to Akai, No1 and Edwob for bucking the trend.

syndicalist
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Mar 17 2014 22:04

I'm an organizational patriot read my middle finger

jolasmo
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Mar 17 2014 22:23
AES wrote:
jolasmo wrote:
I seem to remember West Yorkshire SolFed took it *very* seriously... roll eyes ~J.

no1 wrote:
Not sure if this is widely known but West Yorks left SolFed (i.e. IWA).

Ed wrote:
I imagine they still take the 'no contact' rule very seriously, though.. ;)

syndicalist wrote:
What happen to West Yorks SF? A PM would be fine.

syndicalist wrote:
What happen to West Yorks SF? A PM would be fine.

Solfed internal issues are not public issues, and should not be discussed in public (or directly with non-members) unless if consent is asked and given.

Presumably the former membership of West Yorks SolFed, having now left the organisation, a aren't allowed to talk about it any more either. wink.

For those whose curiosity was piqued by the above comments, it's honestly not at all juicy or exciting as anarcho-scene gossip goes. As people have said there were various personal and political conflicts within the local and between it and the rest of the federation which led to WYSF's departure. There is now a new (and in my view much better) SolFed local in West Yorkshire based in Calderdale, which was started by ex members of the West Yorks group before WYSF disbanded.

~J.

syndicalist
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Mar 17 2014 22:35

Candidly I'm not into the gossip and personal differences. More the concrete differences sometime peeps leave orgs. Because they have gone in another direction. This can have real roots in differences to tactics or perspectives. I've been on Libcom long enough (like 8 years or so) to have a record of interest in mostly concrete stuff. That's also why I said PM

Every org. Has it's pitfalls and issues. And if they are personality issues rather then sincere ideological ones well I'm not much interested

But there are few English speaking a/s orgs out there and we can all learn from each other. Including our mistakes and so forth

whatever

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AES
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Mar 17 2014 22:36

It's generally crap to raise internal issues publically without consent to do so being asked or given.

syndicalist
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Mar 17 2014 22:40

Then I an full of crap and have come to this realization here

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Lugius
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Mar 17 2014 23:35

Can someone confirm this? I heard that WSA is planning to send anarcho-syndicalists to the moon, allegedly because of its cosmic eco-gnosism. I hope that's true. This would give some hope to me that something could break up in interstellar space travel, quitting this fucking isolating policy.

syndicalist
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Mar 18 2014 01:07

We're just simply out of this world L

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A Wotsit
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Mar 18 2014 01:41

I have very little stake in this discussion and only a limited understanding but have been following.

As someone who for a long time flirted with the idea of joining SolFed (failed due to own flakiness, proximity to local meets, time and energy etc- not due to bad impression of the org- I still think IWA is a good org)- I find discussions about any anarchist organisation useful.

It helps me determine what that group is about, how it functions and whether I should make efforts to support it. I think these discussions are useful as long as those taking part are trying to share information in good faith, and the information being discussed isn't actively undermining the struggle (e.g. if it was useful to bosses in discrediting that org, and harmful to the members or could potentially get members in trouble at work then obvs it shouldn't be shared).

I think, in general, the more information shared and discussed in public the better- else people don't know whether they should join or support that organisation- and if things like splits happen with no explanation given- it can make it seem like important stuff is happening that may or may not indicate that organisation is 'in trouble' or even a source of trouble (for our class/ movement).

A tendency towards unnecessary secrecy and 'insider info' should be avoided, I think- as should salacious gossip and sharing rumours in bad faith. (having said that, much of this seems to have been nothing particularly important in terms of the IWA as a whole or useful in terms of making your mind up about joining/ supporting).

snipfool
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Mar 18 2014 02:06

*nodding along with Wotsit*
As it happens, I've just been reading Fighting for Ourselves and in particular the bit about the factions within the CNT like the Trientistas- very interesting stuff and important for mapping their decisions and so on.

Now some of the stuff touched upon in this thread is probably far less interesting and far less significant than what's written about in that book. But I just wanted to say, someone in the know better be writing some of this stuff down, as even if it's not appropriate to talk about here and now, it'd be a shame if e.g. SolFed's history was written someday as "there were a couple of disagreements about some stuff but we can't really remember so not sure where it went wrong really" wink

syndicalist
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Mar 18 2014 02:21

Most organizations had/have discussion bulletins or similar such things I would think that's where the record is. And it's perfectly legit for that stuff to remain internal I just don't care much for the way peeps reply. It's secret piss off there's a way to balance the need for internal confidence and external inquiry Yeah no one likes drama and no one likes folks who will pounce on every small and make political hay and drama about it. If something happened and it's public that something did, well a light and respectful reply usually carries the day. But I've mainly given up on folks to go forth in such a manner these days anyway

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Mar 18 2014 05:50
rata wrote:
lack of understanding of basis of anarchist federalism amongst many of the English speaking internet anarchists - it is a question of one of the founding libertarian principles. If IWA has a Section in a country, that Section alone is free to decide about politics in their own region. That means that nobody can do anything in their region without consulting them, because that would break federalist principles, and especially not cooperate with organizations in some region which are hostile to IWA Sections in the same region. That is basic logic, clear to anybody who is interested in serous political activities.

It is really sad to see this kind of infantile critique of basic anarchist principles, which is totally ignoring what revolutionary politics are and should be, and are substituting it with personal favoritism and hear-say analyses...

That doesn't make any sense to me. No disrespect intended to comrades in the WSA, but the WSA was the IWA affiliate in the US for a long while and it had between 10 and 50 members in that time. Prior to the WSA being an affiliate, it's my understanding that there was a New York based group that was the IWA affiliate for the US, and that group helped form the WSA. During that period, the IWW was slightly bigger than the WSA but still real small, probly like 300 or 500 people, and there were IWW members who wanted to the IWW to affiliate to the IWA instead of the WSA. The WSA could have said "don't have contact with the IWW!" (it didn't, and no insinuations intended about the WSA). Had the IWW become an IWA affiliate in this era I think it very likely would have said "don't contact the WSA!" because the people pushing for IWA affiliation were like that. Either way, the idea that 10 or 50 or 500 people would be able to tell, say, the Direct Action Movement (that's who SolFed was in the 80s, right? Sorry if I'm confused) who they could and couldn't interact with anywhere in the United States, that doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever.

rata wrote:
now ex IWA section in US - "AIT-US", was against contacts with IWW or WSA while they were part of the international, thus, as federalist principles talked about before demand, there were no contacts with any of them than.

This 'no contact with the IWW or WSA because AIT-US said so' thing is news to me. What happened with the 'AIT-US' and the WSA was a huge mess and the people who became 'AIT-US' behaved terribly, really unprincipled. I can't imagine it was improved by there being *less* contact between IWA people outside the US and people from the WSA.

Tommy Ascaso wrote:
what [Juan] posted up reveals the FAU has been conducting external relations contrary to what some sections perceive to be IWA policy. As far as I can tell that's the internal information people are trying to stop being discussed on this thread.

Here's what the article says:
http://libcom.org/library/iww-report-30th-sac-congress

Quote:
Other than the IWW, members from the Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT) of Spain and Die Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter Union (FAU-IAA) of Germany also attended. The International Workers Association (IAA/IWA) banished the SAC several years ago and has since not maintained much contact. The FAU-IAA and SAC are seemingly maintaining a friendly relationship, which is promising for the future of syndicalism in Europe.

What's the part that's contrary to IWA policy? Is it the 'friendly relationship' part or the presence of FAU members at the SAC conference? Is that kind of presence forbidden? If so, in what capacity? (Individual members attending, the organization sending members to observe and report, other stuff?)

no1
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Mar 18 2014 10:17
A Wotsit wrote:
As someone who for a long time flirted with the idea of joining SolFed (failed due to own flakiness, proximity to local meets, time and energy etc- not due to bad impression of the org- I still think IWA is a good org)- I find discussions about any anarchist organisation useful.
It helps me determine what that group is about, how it functions and whether I should make efforts to support it. [...]

Reading threads like this is one of the worst ways to find out what an organisation is like for lots of reasons - only a tiny percentage of self-selected members take part, none of which speak for the organisation ; the dynamics of forum discussions tend to draw out the extremes - people are motivated to post because they feel very strongly about something ie usually because they disagree with what someone else has posted ; in a federal organisation you're going to have a lot of heterogeneity, but your actual experience as a member will depend on the particular local you join ; the issues discussed here make up a rather small part of our actual activity. If you want to get a better idea of what SolFed is about, you're better off going to a workplace training which are open to non-members - https://twitter.com/SolFedTraining.

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A Wotsit
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Mar 18 2014 16:00

Just to clarify, I went on the organiser training (hugely useful), and 3 or 4 local meetings, and read fighting for ourselves and lurked on the email list for ages. I do know a good deal about SolFed & think it's a great org. I've also marched with them & been to some workfare actions.

I have met and marched with a CNT local (during 14 Nov 2012 strike), who discussed the CGT split with me at length and the reasons they make efforts to distance themselves from CGT- I fully agreed with their reasons to criticise and not work with CGT. Reasons such as CGT using representative (hierarchical) methods, and their willingness to work with the state and take state subsidies. This sort of approach contravenes core anarchist principles and harms working class ability to self-organise and struggle effectively.

I really didn't want to be critical of SF/ IWA, just keen to be kept informed & understand more about the org and how it relates to/ differs from other orgs is all.

I understand reasons given for saying threads like this are not best ways of keeping people informed, but I think if they crop up then trying to shut them down would potentially just fan the flames of idle speculation and create a negative impression of 'inside secrets'. I think the OP was awful btw and am not convinced that engaging with threads like this is a good idea, just that not engaging might make the thread even more damaging to peoples impression of the org. Having said that I also see many organisers have much better and more important things to do with their time and that individuals are not best placed to comment on the workings of their entire org (esp if nothing has been agreed democratically as the consensus or 'official position' on the issue).

(edited & expanded to bring up that CGT example and to try and show I see it is often necessary to distance your org from those who have bad/ conflicting methods or tendencies & try to be clearer about my original points/ perceptions)

akai
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Mar 18 2014 12:33

Hi - can I kindly suggest that is somebody wants to discuss the WSA for like the millionth time here, that they start a new thread? Thank you.

I will speak here to a practical issue which may be the source of confusion for some.

In the world, there are things like loose networks and federations. A federation can have different operating principles, but one thing is clear: if a federation builds its tactics, policy, etc. on federal decision making, it does expect that this will then be the tactics and policy of the federation.

Taking this into account, there is a rather long history of tension between those who have sought federal unity and those who have another idea in the IWA. The first big tension was in fact during the Spanish Revolution with the CNT. There was considerable criticism of what was happening and planned, both inside the CNT itself and the IWA. But the CNT believed it was in unique circumstances and should be left alone with its great experiment and be allowed complete autonomy in this respect. To say this was controversial would be an understatement. Since the CNT leadership was not happy with said criticism, nor with contacts by Secretary Besnard with radical factions, it make its push to get rid of Besnard and also to disenfranchize many of the IWA Sections, calling for voting to be limited to "legal sections", to be proportional, etc. They argued that each Section must be totally autonomous, a view supported by the FAU and by the Portuguese, which was essentially under the influence of the Spanish. Very irregular things then ensued, a very irregular Congress where votes were not counted, mandates not counted, etc. Basically, it would be fair to say that had it not been for the huge fascist terror which attacked our Sections, the IWA would have been split up after 1938.

After the war, in the late 40s and early 50s, a lot of reassessment was done. There were also huge divisions in the CNT in exile. FAU was basically gone. Helmut Rudiger was in Sweden and became one of the main proponents of the "total autonomy" line. As people may know, this became a big issue again in the 50s, as the SAC pushed towards pursuing a different direction, with participation in municipal elections, state-supported schemes, etc. There were also divisions about this in SAC - this wasn't always their line. As people who follow may know, the IWA did not think it was good, neither this direction nor the idea that each Section should pursue its own tactics, even if they were contradictory or radically different. The IWA adopted various stances about promoting a unity of tactics.

So this is the historical background of the issue. In the 70s, the IWA started to gain more members, the USI started functioning better, the CNT was back in Spain - but so was this issue. The group that is now the CGT split off from the CNT, holding its own factional congresses and again the division was about the practical ways of operating. These were not personal problems, or theoretical differences, but real differences in everyday practice.

In 1979 it was discussed and people stated that they do not want to encourage such splits and practices by recognizing those organizations that go off to pursue practices with involve, among other things, state subsidies. And that point, there was pretty much a consensus about that and this consensus included FAU. But later on some of them in FAU started to take another line when they personally preferred one organization over another. Some years later, the "total autonomy" view began to be spread in the FAU. At one point, a number of Congresses ago, they even motioned the IWA that all Sections should have "total autonomy" in things such as their international affairs. However no other Section of the IWA supported that motion.

A number of times on this thread and others, there have been questions and an opinion from one that some of these questions come from a lack of understanding of federalism. Although this might be said awkwardly, I would say that definitely the way that people understand federalism is a key issue.

Now, amongst those who see no big problems with any of the organizations split from IWA Sections etc., they absolutely do not want to understand why there could be incidents of bad relations and why we choose to support our comrade and not the others. It is part of a certain mindset which is just different. Especially if you are from a neutral syndicalist background, or if that organization is not from your own country, this might seem like an issue which you cannot understand. All fine and good. But what seems to be an assumption here is taken from a very individual point of view - as in, "I don't see why X organization should tell you what to do".

I would venture to think that this way of thinking is something which comes from misunderstanding of what is happening. If, for example, we don't have the USI-Roma in the IWA, it is because they went in a different direction, people understood this, people saw hostile activity towards our Section and just naturally solidarize with it, not with the others. This is, in fact, quite normal.

This only has every become an issue when some organization has in practice refused to really solidarize with our comrades, or when some organization has determined that it does not agree with the international decisions and wants to act a different way.

As anybody can guess, this type of behaviour is divisive. In a loose network environment, organizations might be free to pursue a half-dozen different tactics and international policy, but where a federation has decided to try to go in the same direction together, this undermines the strength of the federal policies and decisions.

I hope this clears up a little confusion with some readers as to the practical background of some of the issues raised here.

syndicalist
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Mar 18 2014 13:16

There was never a no contact position towards the IWW There we're people inside the IWW using for a long time the IWW name promoting a no contact policy with the WSA. Some in the IWW created issues with its historical relations with the SAC. The IWW also has maintained and promoted itself as an International in its own right

From WSAs inception. We have always gone on record in support of their being relations between the IWW and IWA. For the record some in the IWW tried to get passed a referendum to affiliate to the IWA during this period. But with each preceding attempts the IWW couldn't get it together

In regard to size of an organization it really comes down to whether a group or union formation supports the Aims & Principles of the IWA

Edit: Just for the record. Small in numbers but very active. And highly engaged domestically and internationally. WSA took its intetnationalism seriously and engaged constructively with other IWA sections including the FAU and most definitely the DAM

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Mar 18 2014 15:16

Akai thanks for an informative post, this entire thread seems like it's just been people speculating and asserting.

Nate didn't your IWW branch move to censure the Boston branch a few years ago for making a motion on behalf of Bekken after he'd been expelled? Is this wildly different, in principle, from asking international affiliates not to engage with a right-wing, pro-state split like the CGT?

There are problems with the whole "no contact" thing, but I think one of the biggest is that nobody can seem to agree on what it means and it gets blown out of all proportion, both inside the IWA and outside. I have never seen anything showing that "no contact" ever applied to the IWW. Also IIRC it was mostly about official structures of certain organizations, in particular when those structures are/were dominated by paid officers.

I agree with Akai that the situation around the WSA has been hashed out dozens of times on this forum and does not need to happen again on this thread. However I will say that the clique in Duluth that split the WSA and has also tried to badjacket the IWW is a perfect candidate for "no contact".

Nate's speculation of what the IWW might or might not have done if it had joined the IWA is just that, speculation. No doubt some of the people in favor of affiliation were jerks, as were some of the people against it. Some of the IWW members who opposed IWA affiliation IIRC were also members of the WSA so it isn't exactly a clean situation on either side. Anyways although it is important in its own small way we're talking about very small groups of people quite a long time ago, it isn't incredibly relevant for this thread.

Last thing I'd agree that an organization of ~500 members across North America is laughably tiny - but it's a joke to say that it is only "slightly larger" than an organization of 50 spread across a handful of cities.

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Mar 18 2014 16:24
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Any further posts on this thread about the WSA will be unpublished.

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Fall Back
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Mar 18 2014 17:29

Temp ban for Theft for repeatedly posting off topic despite multiple warnings.

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A Wotsit
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Mar 18 2014 18:10

I have deleted this comment and posted it on a thread about censorship instead.

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Mar 18 2014 17:58

That's a completely different topic that's been discussed a lot here, if you really need to you can try to start a new thread.

For a start at a very quick answer it makes the union reliant for it's day to day operation on something other than its members. The same as dues check off in the US makes unions reliant on the company (and the labor boards).

Mark.
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Mar 18 2014 22:24
EdmontonWobbly wrote:
Who does the no contact rule apply to? Like does it apply just to the SAC, the SAC and WSA? The IWW? … What is the goal of all of this? …

rata wrote:
There is a decision of having no official contacts with SAC. That decision is still ongoing.

Nate wrote:
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
what [Juan] posted up reveals the FAU has been conducting external relations contrary to what some sections perceive to be IWA policy. As far as I can tell that's the internal information people are trying to stop being discussed on this thread.

Here's what the article says: http://libcom.org/library/iww-report-30th-sac-congress … What's the part that's contrary to IWA policy? Is it the 'friendly relationship' part or the presence of FAU members at the SAC conference? Is that kind of presence forbidden? If so, in what capacity? (Individual members attending, the organization sending members to observe and report, other stuff?)

akai wrote:

After the war, in the late 40s and early 50s, a lot of reassessment was done. There were also huge divisions in the CNT in exile. FAU was basically gone. Helmut Rudiger was in Sweden and became one of the main proponents of the "total autonomy" line. As people may know, this became a big issue again in the 50s, as the SAC pushed towards pursuing a different direction, with participation in municipal elections, state-supported schemes, etc. There were also divisions about this in SAC - this wasn't always their line. As people who follow may know, the IWA did not think it was good, neither this direction nor the idea that each Section should pursue its own tactics, even if they were contradictory or radically different. The IWA adopted various stances about promoting a unity of tactics.

So this is the historical background of the issue. In the 70s, the IWA started to gain more members, the USI started functioning better, the CNT was back in Spain - but so was this issue. The group that is now the CGT split off from the CNT, holding its own factional congresses and again the division was about the practical ways of operating. These were not personal problems, or theoretical differences, but real differences in everyday practice.

More on the historical background...

I'm not sure how useful this is as the links are in Spanish, but there were a couple of articles on SAC in the late 70s / early 80s anarchist magazine Bicicleta. The first is a report on the SAC congress in June 1979 by a delegate from the CNT. It's interesting that the writer was impressed by the way the Swedes handled disagreements without falling out. I guess what this really reflects is how badly the CNT was dealing with disagreements at the same time, ending up with the split following the CNT congress in December.

The second article, from later in 1979, with the title 'international polemic', consists of a statement from the Norwegian NSF critical of SAC, with responses from SAC, FAU and the CNT. At this point the CNT had good relations with SAC, unsurprising given the amount of financial support the CNT was receiving from SAC.

When the CNT split came IWA membership went with one side (the CNT-AIT) while contacts with SAC and financial support went with the other side (the CNT renovados, now the CGT). I'm not sure how far people in SAC were actively taking sides, but as I understand it official SAC policy was to stay neutral. Given the bitterness of the split the CNT-AIT weren't impressed, hence the level of hostility to SAC.

I think there are two issues here that can get confused; the criticisms of SAC already being expressed by the NSF and others in 1979 - which are maybe still relevant - and the fall out from the CNT split - which is really ancient history by now.

If anyone is interested and has the Spanish there's a lot in Bicicleta on the revival of the IWA and the internal problems of the CNT at the time, though very much from the point of view of people who were later going to go with the renovados. Issues 1-4 and 6-21 can be accessed here. For really depressing reading there's a supplement on the 5th CNT congress, the one that led to the split.

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arminius
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Mar 18 2014 23:21

You've got to hand it to the newbie. They really know how to start a shitstorm then disappear.

There's been too much overreaction by everybody. At least it comes across that way - and if you think others have, maybe your comments seem that way to everyone else. Just a thought.

Chill out a bit, folks.

s.nappalos
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Mar 19 2014 01:19

This thread is a prime example of why these sorts of discussions should be avoided. No one benefits when we drag each others' work through the mud.

I think it's hard for outsiders and english speakers in general to get a good sense of stuff like the issues with formal organizational contacts between IWA and other revolutionary (reformist) syndicalist groups. Mostly people don't know the history and that leads to speculation and sweeping analyses that probably miss the real issues.

I actually think putting it in terms of anarchist principles doesn't help the debate. In reality y'all are dealing with super practical stuff coming out of the work, things like how your groups are funded, relationship of active organizers to their profession, institutionalizations within social democratic welfare apparatus, etc. There are concrete lessons and debates that come from work and are probably much more charitable than principles alone and that can put y'all in a bad light to observers. Federalism has been contested just like leninists do with democratic centralism for instance, and an argument about what constitutes proper federalism is less interesting than how people arrived at those positions.

Personally I'm a pluralist about organizations. When people can't agree on common activity, it's fine for them to work on different things and try to collaborate where there's overlap. More experiences give us ways to look at our own work and continually re-assess. There's no reason to snipe, compete, or try to destroy other people's groups.

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Nate
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Mar 19 2014 03:09

Admin: moved to http://libcom.org/forums/history/us-iwa-sections-19032014

OliverTwister wrote:
asking international affiliates not to engage with a right-wing, pro-state split like the CGT?

I thought the CNT and CGT were cooperating more recently? Am I misinformed?

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Mar 19 2014 08:34
Nate wrote:
Oliver Twister wrote:
asking international affiliates not to engage with a right-wing, pro-state split like the CGT?

I thought the CNT and CGT were cooperating more recently? Am I misinformed?

No, you're not. Some CNT sections are currently co-operating with some CGT sections where there is a practical reason to do so. Some CNT sections are dead against this though. I'm personally quite pleased, not because I particularly like CGT but just coz I still see them as a legitimate workers' organisation (even if I think they're inconsistent with their libertarian principles). Like a kind of more radical RMT.. to call them a "right-wing, pro-state" union is massively unfair. That makes them sound like fascists when they are probably more left-wing than any union which exists in either of our countries!

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