Nazis in CGT-E

121 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anarchosyndicaliste
Offline
Joined: 14-12-09
Aug 14 2010 00:44

Well, so the spain CGT expelled some neo nazis. Thanks God !

But in fact they just made half the job.

Because it remains in spain CGT a lot of nationalists (catalans), trotskysts, maoists and other communists that have no place into what claim to be an anarchosyndicalist organisation ...

But may be is it less problematic to be trotskyst than nazi ? Not to my opinion in fact, they are both workers ennemy, and deserve both to be fought.

--------------------

It is true that no organisation can claim to be protected from infiltration.

There is no miracle receipe against it.

But at leat, the organisation can adopt some organisational and ideological mecanism that tend to reduce it, or at least not allow it openly.

I mean, when CGT in catalonia changed its organisationnal statutes (like in the 90's) to allow member of political parties to be elected into the structure of the organisationnal, it is a clear signal to all the potential infiltrators to come. They are more than welcome, and nationalists from ERC, trotskysts from various churches (even Spartakysts who knows ?) just ran to CGT at that time.

Also if you adopte this kind of "a-political attitude" ('we are a union, not a political organisation, political opinions have to stay at the entrance door of the union - cf. Amiens Chartas') and you valorize pure action than debate, it is not a surprise that some opportunist can be as fish in clear water ...

Khnigt rose is right regarding representation : representation can only lead to centrist position for the representative ...It it is also a mecanism that allow a good manipulator to take the power.

> This says no more about the CNT and its theoretical foundations than the nazi infiltrations say about CGT

Well the nazi infiltration may be not. But the way the issue has been solved, surely yes.

I mean if it is a national comitee that expelled the guys, and not the section, nor the general assembly of local union, or the regional comitee, but had to go to the national one ... Its is about centralism, hierarchy, and all that kind of stuff ...

PS : To syndicalist

In my opinion, regrding the WSA case, you have been victim of two successive infiltrations but in opposite direction. A first one, in San Francisco (or los angeles ? always mixed) that was in fact hostile to IWA. And a second one, later, in Minnesota, that was hostile to WSA in fact. Those two infiltrations made their bisness, split and ran away (which is i think the basic principle of any infiltrator : create split or confusion and after the damage is done just disapear).

While it has been possible for WSA to be infiltrated ? My personnal opinion (but may be you would disagree) is that WSA didn't want to make a choice in the conflict at the international level between opposite tendancies in the "revolutionnary anarhcist workers" movement. The problem is that by not making a choice, it is external groups that made the choice for you and forced you to be in the situation you have been.

Well, now some water has flowed under the bridge, we could think that the reemerging WSA will be immunised from this issue.

Unfortunately, i think that WSA is one more time infiltrated by some one that has his own agenda, which is not necessary the WSA one (ate least historically, my dear dinosaur smile ) I mean when you read the interview Grubajic made of some liberal student serbian group in the July Industrial Worker Issue, where he present himself as WSA member, i am ready to bet with you that this guy will launch the next round ... I mean this text is not informative. It is a clear agression against the serbian IWA section ... Grubajic used IW (and also the name of WSA organisation) to engage into a pesonnal dispute. (is it allowed in WSA that someone can prevail of his group's membership for something that haven't been eventually decided by the collective ?)

The political meaning of this text, the time when it has been written, the circumlocution wording ... it sounds like a déjà vu in fact ... You will be used ...

It seems you have an new outbreak of your infantile disease of taking any wind that blows (from parecon to anarco-communist), trying to keep together water and oil. May be - if you shake well - you will make a mayonnaise, but i am afraid it will finish one more time into ketchup smile

revolut
Offline
Joined: 21-08-08
Aug 14 2010 01:27
Quote:
I mean if it is a national comitee that expelled the guys, and not the section, nor the general assembly of local union, or the regional comitee, but had to go to the national one ... Its is about centralism, hierarchy, and all that kind of stuff ..

If the sources are correct, the national comittee didn't expel the nazis, but the general assembly of the local union (well, they left the organization were the local union was going to expel them, it seems).

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Aug 14 2010 03:13
Quote:
[Anarchosyndicaliste] July Industrial Worker Issue, where he present himself as WSA member, i am ready to bet with you that this guy will launch the next round ... I mean this text is not informative. It is a clear agression against the serbian IWA section ... Grubajic used IW (and also the name of WSA organisation) to engage into a pesonnal dispute. (is it allowed in WSA that someone can prevail of his group's membership for something that haven't been eventually decided by the collective ?)

I'm not familiar with the article. I need to see it Mr. T.

Quote:
May be - if you shake well - you will make a mayonnaise, but i am afraid it will finish one more time into ketchup

Uh, what else but ketchup do you put on your, as we say, "french fries" (frietes) anyway?

On our perspective concerning the WSA and the IWA, much has been said here:
http://libcom.org/forums/workers-solidarity-alliance/workers-solidarity-alliance-and-iwa

Of course I reject your view that "outside" groups should intervene in the internal affairs of affiliates.

As for the current WSA, yes, like any open organization we always run the risk of inflitration by people with their own agendas. Sometimes organizations fail to prevent abuse, sometimes they do better.

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
Aug 14 2010 04:52
syndicalist wrote:
Uh, what else but ketchup do you put on your, as we say, "french fries" (frietes) anyway?

Mayonnaise in some countries like Belgium., Salt and Vinegar in England.

Devrim

Anarchosyndicaliste
Offline
Joined: 14-12-09
Aug 14 2010 06:24

eh eh ... the "A" team is reforming smile

> Of course I reject your view that "outside" groups should intervene in the internal affairs of affiliates.

Oh, but me too, you know it ! I didn't say outside group should intervene, i just noticed that it happened, twice, and it is certainly a part of the explanation of what happened.

> As for the current WSA, yes, like any open organization we always run the risk of inflitration by people with their own agendas. Sometimes organizations fail to prevent abuse, sometimes they do better.

Yes, you are perfectly right. And it is the same risk for an non open organization. smile

My intent was just to think about how to not avoid it, but may be to be able to detect malignant movements as soon as possible just to try to not have bad effects. Openess and debate are surely a good step to prevent it. But i think it doesn t mean neither that anything is possible, in the name of autonomy of structures, like this CGT case shows us. It is a question of balance may be ?

(like ketchup and mayonnaise with fries : both are good, but too much leads you to sickness smile )

syndicalist
Offline
Joined: 15-04-06
Aug 14 2010 12:44

I think for the part I don't disagree with anything you said "A" in your last post. Too many fretes lead to heart attacks you know.

The question will always be balance: the internal balance between a varied membership and the external needs of organizations that one affiliates to (as with, let's say, the IWA).

I think there are many challenges always before us. I think in north america (without certain traditions, ties and continual face-to-face met-ups) we will not always be the same as elsewhere, for better or worse. So we try to do the best we can, sometimes it works, sometimes not. But this is not the place to continue this conversation.

JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
Offline
Joined: 26-09-03
Aug 15 2010 12:10
Anarchosyndicaliste wrote:
Well, so the spain CGT expelled some neo nazis. Thanks God !

But in fact they just made half the job.

Because it remains in spain CGT a lot of nationalists (catalans), trotskysts, maoists and other communists that have no place into what claim to be an anarchosyndicalist organisation ...

I think this is incorrect. Anarcho-syndicalism is not a political recruitment organisation, its a body for struggle.

Can someone explain some of the points made on this article
http://syndikalismus.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/faschisten-in-der-spanischen-cgt-jetzt-erst-„enttarnt”/

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 15 2010 16:58
october_lost wrote:
I think this is incorrect. Anarcho-syndicalism is not a political recruitment organisation, its a body for struggle.

It's a bit off topic but could you expand on that. I'm still trying to get my head round modern anarcho-syndicalism.

JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
Offline
Joined: 26-09-03
Aug 15 2010 17:53
nastyned wrote:
october_lost wrote:
I think this is incorrect. Anarcho-syndicalism is not a political recruitment organisation, its a body for struggle.

It's a bit off topic but could you expand on that. I'm still trying to get my head round modern anarcho-syndicalism.

Shorthand comment, needed elaborating further.

Its not about recruiting politically formed anarcho-syndicalist militants, its about setting up a body which is based on libertarian principles (recallable mandates, direct democracy, no scabs/managers/bureaucrats/party full-timers etc) which struggles for a classless society.

The real prospects for such an organisation within the UK is that it will pick up workers who confront social democracy within the trade unions. These workers may have all kinds of political baggage, but if they agree broadly with the organisation and follow every organisational principle, this is fine. But in its proto-phase the base of the organisation is going to have a more political bent. The important thing is that new members take part in the internal life of the organisation and through the praxis of the organ their politics are sharpened. No amount of political theory broachs the magnitude of the tasks that are required for the working class, but this as to be done through organically linking politics and economics through struggle and not by separating them a la the IWW.

Such an organisation may invariably have traces of this or that tendency within it (which was what I was objecting to), as long as they do not run counter to the overall trajectory or form a sizable body within it somehow, it shows your ideas are making in roads. A mass organisation on this basis will invariably ebb and flow, its the dilema of trying to principally reach a large audience without watering down your politics vs. being a politically pure small core of people. Part of the ebb and flow issues IMO can be resolved by an internal political organisation, which was raised on the AF/SF thread numerous times previously.

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 15 2010 18:17

Thanks O_L.

Volin's picture
Volin
Offline
Joined: 24-01-05
Aug 15 2010 21:28
october_lost wrote:
Anarcho-syndicalism is not a political recruitment organisation, its a body for struggle.

I agree on the latter point, but do you think this is compatible with a membership which includes "nationalists (catalans), trotskysts, maoists and other communists"?

october_lost wrote:
The important thing is that new members take part in the internal life of the organisation and through the praxis of the organ their politics are sharpened. No amount of political theory broachs the magnitude of the tasks that are required for the working class, but this as to be done through organically linking politics and economics through struggle and not by separating them a la the IWW.

Not sure entirely if this what you mean, but if we're talking about the 'revolutionary union' itself rather than the broader strategy of trying to create mass assemblies, I don't see how you skip the requirement of members adhering to basic anarchist politics - anti-state and capital, direct democracy and not representing other workers. This would, by nature, exclude the leftists mentioned above - but not from assemblies. I don't think adhering to these principles is in any way inorganic, nor indeed, that people's understanding won't grow with experience; which is the whole point.

CGTistas may also think their (apolitical) organisation is in itself radicalising, and somehow unites the economic and political in struggle without doing so in its structures from the start.

vanilla.ice.baby
Offline
Joined: 9-08-07
Aug 16 2010 05:31
october_lost wrote:
Part of the ebb and flow issues IMO can be resolved by an internal political organisation, which was raised on the AF/SF thread numerous times previously.

A vanguard if you will?

JoeMaguire's picture
JoeMaguire
Offline
Joined: 26-09-03
Aug 16 2010 08:22
vanilla.ice.baby wrote:
october_lost wrote:
Part of the ebb and flow issues IMO can be resolved by an internal political organisation, which was raised on the AF/SF thread numerous times previously.

A vanguard if you will?

No a strictly political organisation in the first instance, or rather I should have said political organisations. I suspect there are a few caucus's and political platforms being pushed within CNT-E, so to call it a vanguard probably dismisses the healthy level of pluralism involved.

Volin wrote:
october_lost wrote:
Anarcho-syndicalism is not a political recruitment organisation, its a body for struggle.

I agree on the latter point, but do you think this is compatible with a membership which includes "nationalists (catalans), trotskysts, maoists and other communists"?

october_lost wrote:
The important thing is that new members take part in the internal life of the organisation and through the praxis of the organ their politics are sharpened. No amount of political theory broachs the magnitude of the tasks that are required for the working class, but this as to be done through organically linking politics and economics through struggle and not by separating them a la the IWW.
Volin wrote:
Not sure entirely if this what you mean, but if we're talking about the 'revolutionary union' itself rather than the broader strategy of trying to create mass assemblies, I don't see how you skip the requirement of members adhering to basic anarchist politics - anti-state and capital, direct democracy and not representing other workers. This would, by nature, exclude the leftists mentioned above - but not from assemblies. I don't think adhering to these principles is in any way inorganic, nor indeed, that people's understanding won't grow with experience; which is the whole point.

Nothing is homogenous or static and its not always a matter of waiting for fully formed militants who agree with all your politics. As long as they are not party full-timers, the organisation is generally inoculated against an aggressive takeover and abuses etc I can imagine them participating inside an anarcho-syndicalist vehicle/project causes a significant rupture in their politics and not ours. I was objecting to Anarchosyndicaliste who could be suggesting that anarcho-syndicalism was all about forming homogenous political cells. Its not. If people are attempting to build strictly anarcho-syndicalist political groups, then their not offering anything that is a divigence to an anarcho-communist political group, and frankly in this period anarcho-communist groups have been more successful to my mind.

october_lost wrote:
The important thing is that new members take part in the internal life of the organisation and through the praxis of the organ their politics are sharpened. No amount of political theory broachs the magnitude of the tasks that are required for the working class, but this as to be done through organically linking politics and economics through struggle and not by separating them a la the IWW.
Volin wrote:
CGTistas may also think their (apolitical) organisation is in itself radicalising, and somehow unites the economic and political in struggle without doing so in its structures from the start.

I don't think you can assess the problems of CGT purely from the point of view of its political makeup. I see the CNT-E winning workers through its militancy and not having to vet every dot and coma of what a person believes to enter the organisation as long as they broadly support the A&P's. I surmise that hostile leftist groups and petty bourgeois nationalists use CGT entirely for their own political ends, there is a vast amount of difference between those two poles.

Volin's picture
Volin
Offline
Joined: 24-01-05
Aug 17 2010 11:35
october_lost wrote:
I see the CNT-E winning workers through its militancy and not having to vet every dot and coma of what a person believes to enter the organisation as long as they broadly support the A&P's.

Well, exactly. It's not about having the ideological closeness of one of the a/s propaganda groups (we'd want plurality, as you said) but you still have broad A&Ps for any members. So, nationalists, trotskyists et al. shouldn't be joining in the first place. I'm a bit ignorant...

What are the differing requirements for joining the CGT and CNT-E?

It's also not about reducing the former's problems to just its political makeup - although that is a very important part. The CGT isn't anarcho-syndicalist because of its separation of the political and economic, its reformism and complicity with the state, its conventional union-style recruitment, its structures which negate the basics of accountability and direct demoracy etc. Despite this, I know there are many people in the organisation who genuinely consider themselves anarchists.

october_lost wrote:
I was objecting to Anarchosyndicaliste who could be suggesting that anarcho-syndicalism was all about forming homogenous political cells. Its not. If people are attempting to build strictly anarcho-syndicalist political groups, then their not offering anything that is a divigence to an anarcho-communist political group, and frankly in this period anarcho-communist groups have been more successful to my mind.

I didn't get that from his post at all. In any case, comrade, there are - as you probably know better than me - a number of interpretations and strategies for a/s organising. Perhaps, the FORA are an example of a 'strictly anarcho-syndicalist political group'?...I don't happen to think they were wrong, actually.

nastyned
Offline
Joined: 30-09-03
Aug 17 2010 11:58
Volin wrote:

It's also not about reducing the former's problems to just its political makeup - although that is a very important part. The CGT isn't anarcho-syndicalist because of its separation of the political and economic, its reformism and complicity with the state, its conventional union-style recruitment, its structures which negate the basics of accountability and direct demoracy etc. Despite this, I know there are many people in the organisation who genuinely consider themselves anarchists.

I don't really know a lot about the CGT but does it separate the political and the economic? They still seem to engage in political activity and they're not linked to any party are they?

Volin's picture
Volin
Offline
Joined: 24-01-05
Aug 17 2010 12:15

Maybe you're right. It'd be interesting to find out more about them, but for me they come across as essentially an economic union that also does a bit of activism on the side. I also don't know how they could have political/economic unity when their politics are relegated to a sort of 'culture' of the union - which practically anyone can join.

Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
Offline
Joined: 30-12-05
Aug 17 2010 19:59

The CGT isn't apolitical in this sense, and "practically anyone" can also join the CNT. The split between CNT and CGT isn't about this, but about participating in workplace elections, receiving state subsedies, etc.

CNT Sevilla wrote:
Anyone can voluntarily belong to the anarcho-union, with the exception of police, soldiers and members of security forces. No ideological qualification is necessary to be in the CNT. This is because the CNT is anarcho-syndicalist, that is, it is an organization in which decisions are made in assembly, from the base. It is an autonomous, federalist structure independent of political parties, of government agencies, of professional bureaucracies, etc. The anarcho-union only requires a respect for its rules, and from this point of view people of different opinions, tendencies and ideologies can live together within it. Ecologists, pacifists, members of political parties ... can be part of the CNT. There will always be different opinions, priorities and points of view about concrete problems. What everyone has in common within the anarcho-union is its unique way of functioning, its anti-authoritarian structure.

From the pamphlet Anarcosindicalismo Basico

Volin's picture
Volin
Offline
Joined: 24-01-05
Aug 17 2010 20:51

Hmm...yes, I've heard this before.

How does it work in practice, though? Don't individual members have to accept the IWA's Principles of Revolutionary Unionism, i.e. that the 'goal is the reorganization of social life on the basis of Libertarian Communism via the revolutionary action of the working class' etc.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 17 2010 21:05

Quoting CNT-Sevilla isn't very helpful as their approach is apparently controversial. The Sevilla text just as easily describes the old CGT-F, IWW or base unionism, i.e. it's not a description of anarcho-syndicalism but syndicalism generically as 'democratic unionism'. The IWA is explicitly not neutral on political parties, but opposed to them (unlike the Amiens Charter unions), so it's odd to claim political party membership is compatible with the CNT (although passive members of political parties may need to be distinguished from party activists, depending on the country/culture in question).

That said, i agree the CGT-E is not apolitical. I mean, i don't think any union is apolitical as things like participating in representative structures, taking state money, having paid officials etc are always-already ideological. But the CGT clearly doesn't have anarchist politics, as manifested by its actions. there's also a difference between recruiting workers on a purely economic basis and doing so according to political principles.

The latter is what the CNT mostly does - certainly if CNT branches voted to say, participate in union elections, take state money or join works councils they'd find themselves sanctioned or expelled. Those are ideological (revolutionary, anarchist) principles, and so Sevilla are wrong saying "no ideological qualification is necessary to join the CNT", whatever the recruitment practices in their local federation. I mean just try being pro-state subsidies in the CNT then claim there's no ideology!

Of course that doesn't preclude ideological pluralism above and beyond those shared revolutionary principles, and i think Sevilla are right to stress that as the CNT is not a party with a party line (except on basic matters of principle like class collaboration).

martinh
Offline
Joined: 8-03-06
Aug 17 2010 21:37

TBH I think a lot of the reason for the vitriol directed against CGT-E by some in CNT and the IWA is because CGT state that they are anarcho-syndicalist. If they were merely a radical union which co-operated with state structures, and contained anarchists, I doubt people would get so worked up about them. (I mean there are unions like that in France and Italy which comrades there criticise but not with the same force).

To me this is key. The CGT's participation in state structures is, as far as I and a lot of other anarchi-syndicalists are concerned, puts them outside that tradition. They obviously disagree, or they wouldn't keep using the term. But the disagreement is about something real.

Regards,

Martin

revolut
Offline
Joined: 21-08-08
Aug 17 2010 22:33
Quote:
Quoting CNT-Sevilla isn't very helpful as their approach is apparently controversial. The Sevilla text just as easily describes the old CGT-F, IWW or base unionism, i.e. it's not a description of anarcho-syndicalism but syndicalism generically as 'democratic unionism'. The IWA is explicitly not neutral on political parties, but opposed to them (unlike the Amiens Charter unions), so it's odd to claim political party membership is compatible with the CNT (although passive members of political parties may need to be distinguished from party activists, depending on the country/culture in question).

I'm not sure why it's controversial. If I'm not wrong, in the revolutionary syndicalism model of the old CGT-F the union is considered a economic and apolitical organization, which abstains in political activities; while the anarcho-syndicalist organizations not only their aim is the libertarian communism, but they're openly anti-State and anti-parliamentary.

The CNT-Seville text which Felix Frost quoted doesn't discuss this. What it says is that while the structure of the organization is anarcho-syndicalist, the members only have to respect the federal pact (the internal rules of the organization) whatever its personal ideology is, and independent if they're members of a political party. The difference between CNT-E and CGT-E at this point is that members of political parties can't be elected for position of responsability in the union (i.e., members of the Local or National Committees), while in CGT-E they can.

Quote:
That said, i agree the CGT-E is not apolitical. I mean, i don't think any union is apolitical as things like participating in representative structures, taking state money, having paid officials etc are always-already ideological. But the CGT clearly doesn't have anarchist politics, as manifested by its actions. there's also a difference between recruiting workers on a purely economic basis and doing so according to political principles.

I agree that the CGT-E practice isn't anarcho-syndicalist, but I think the point is that they don't even claim to be apolitical at a ideological (or rhetorical if you prefer) level. They claim they're anarcho-syndicalist, and they do 'anarchist' activies at a "cultural level": campaigns and acts about the 'historical' CNT and the 'Memoria Historica', talks about anarchism, publishing books, etc.

Volin wrote:
How does it work in practice, though? Don't individual members have to accept the IWA's Principles of Revolutionary Unionism, i.e. that the 'goal is the reorganization of social life on the basis of Libertarian Communism via the revolutionary action of the working class' etc.

We could say that they haven't to accept it "in theory"; but "in practice", they can't act against them or against the other rules of the organization.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 17 2010 22:47
revolut wrote:
I'm not sure why it's controversial.

i'm not that up on internal CNT politics, but my understanding is they're by far the largest local/regional federation and their approach to recruitment has raised some eyebrows amongst the other sections.

revolut wrote:
I agree that the CGT-E practice isn't anarcho-syndicalist, but I think the point is that they don't even claim to be apolitical at a ideological (or rhetorical if you prefer) level. They claim they're anarcho-syndicalist, and they do 'anarchist' activies at a "cultural level": campaigns and acts about the 'historical' CNT and the 'Memoria Historica', talks about anarchism, publishing books, etc.

Yeah, they built a monument to Durruti in León too. the point is that many unions have some stated politics, and even act on them, but nonetheless recruit on a purely economic basis. There's clearly an ideological component in the CNT however, with regard to principled opposition to taking state funds, participation in union elections/works councils etc. Now i suppose you could be a member of a Trot party but agree with those positions. Personally I think you'd be at odds with the IWA principles. Sevilla would apparently see no barrier to membership, other sections might well do (i mean, they'd oppose a fascist who held those views, and Leninists aren't held in much higher regard than fash for obvious historical reasons).

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 17 2010 23:01

it's complicated. a section of the Sevilla local/Andalucia regional, the SOV, was expelled in controversial circumstances. The decision was ultimately at a regional level, but i'm not sure if other regions/locals recognise the decision. According to the SOV version linked, the CNT's membership-weighted voting also played a part (there being a material incentive to boost/inflate membership, thus boosting your vote). sounds like all sorts of power struggles going on. my spanish really isn't good enough to follow all the nuances of this stuff tbh, but that's my impression.

Felix Frost's picture
Felix Frost
Offline
Joined: 30-12-05
Aug 17 2010 23:34
Joseph Kay wrote:
The IWA is explicitly not neutral on political parties, but opposed to them (unlike the Amiens Charter unions), so it's odd to claim political party membership is compatible with the CNT

You might find the CNT statutes odd, but they do explicitly state that members of political parties may not hold office in the union, which means that party members are allowed to join the CNT.

CNT Sevilla wrote:
The restriction against members of political parties to serve on union committees, was adopted in the 1930s as a means of defending the unions against control by the Communist Party. No restriction was made against authoritarian communists belonging to the confederation as workers. But these people belong to parties which aspire to become vanguards and guides of the workers, and one of their tactics is to infiltrate independent organizations in order to control them. For this reason it is necessary to limit their aspirations to have power.

- - -

Joseph Kay wrote:
The latter is what the CNT mostly does - certainly if CNT branches voted to say, participate in union elections, take state money or join works councils they'd find themselves sanctioned or expelled. Those are ideological (revolutionary, anarchist) principles, and so Sevilla are wrong saying "no ideological qualification is necessary to join the CNT", whatever the recruitment practices in their local federation. I mean just try being pro-state subsidies in the CNT then claim there's no ideology!

Here you don't even make logical sense. The fact that a CNT local would be expelled if it behaves contrary to the organization's agreed upon rules and statutes, proves that it's wrong to say that there isn't any ideological qualification necessary for individuals to join the organization?

In any case it's clear that when CNT Sevilla writes that "no ideological qualification is necessary" what they mean is just that there isn't a list of specific ideological positions that you have to adhere to, and that different tendencies and ideologies can coexist within the organization. The text then goes on to describe the CNT's revolutionary principles.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 17 2010 23:49
Felix Frost wrote:
You might find the CNT statutes odd, but they do explicitly state that members of political parties may not hold office in the union, which means that party members are allowed to join the CNT.

No, it means it's left unsaid, so it's ambiguous - at least that's how it's ben explained to me. Of course in the absence of a specific prohibition you'd assume membership is allowed. The question would be whether you can accept the anti-parliamentary, anti-state principles of the CNT and simultaneously accept the pro-state principles of a political party. This doesn't seem to have caused to many problems in practice with the ban on office putting off any entryist attempts and meaning party members participate as workers rather than politicos. But i do think it's a contradictory formulation, since you can't be pro-state and anti-state at the same time.

Felix Frost wrote:
The text then goes on to describe the CNT's revolutionary principles.

right, which is a strange definition of "no ideology" to say the least.

revolut
Offline
Joined: 21-08-08
Aug 18 2010 00:08
Quote:
The question would be whether you can accept the anti-parliamentary, anti-state principles of the CNT and simultaneously accept the pro-state principles of a political party.

Well, we could say it's a little like in the Gospels: "Anyone who is not against us is for us", i.e. 'if you don't act against the principles of the CNT, it doesn't matter if you disagree with them'.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 18 2010 00:19

that seems to work ok in practice yeah, insofar as i'm not aware of any problems caused by members of political parties (i don't follow internal CNT stuff closely). i mean the corresponding also applies in almost any organisation - if you say you agree with the principles but act against them it's the acts that count.

robot's picture
robot
Offline
Joined: 27-09-06
Aug 18 2010 04:35
Joseph Kay wrote:
Quoting CNT-Sevilla isn't very helpful as their approach is apparently controversial. The Sevilla text just as easily describes the old CGT-F, IWW or base unionism, i.e. it's not a description of anarcho-syndicalism but syndicalism generically as 'democratic unionism'. The IWA is explicitly not neutral on political parties, but opposed to them

Whereas the approach of the CNT Sevilla (one of the biggest local federations, if not the biggest) might be controversial, the text Felix cited is from »anarcosindicalismo basico«. This text has been out for more than 10 years now in a couple of editions as a book and booklet. It is one of the widespreadest propaganda tools on CNT bookstalls. It was initially published before the reemerge (and eclipse) of CNT Sevilla. The clause Felix felix cited in fact reflects the CNT position. They allow workers to be a party member (and in fact they always had some, thought they always have been few) or not to believe in an anarchist credo (they have had some trots as members over the time). But they do not allow party members as delegates, a practice other IWA sections adopted. And they never asked anybody to pledge loyalty to any other document others than the statutes of the CNT.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Aug 18 2010 10:11

Yes, but my point is the statutes of the CNT are ideological, so it's contradictory saying 'you don't need to have any ideology you just need to accept our revolutionary anarchist statutes'. Now maybe the point is members don't need to identify as anarcho-syndicalists, anarchists etc as long as they act like them. That would be internally consistent (and something I'd agree with). Maybe Sevilla are using 'ideology' to mean 'tight party line' rather than 'set of shared assumptions, values and goals', which would tend to the latter reading.

fingers malone's picture
fingers malone
Offline
Joined: 4-05-08
Aug 18 2010 21:51

Hi, workers who join the CNT don't necessarily choose it because they feel it reflects their politics, they sometimes join because they are getting really fucked about, haven't been paid, have been sacked, etc, they are angry and feel let down by their normal union or aren't in one and through a recommendation of a friend or whatever they join the CNT. An awful lot of people were joining that way recently. I don't remember meeting anyone who was in a political party but I met a lot of workers who were fairly apolitical. After someone's workplace conflict was resolved they either left, stayed involved at a minimal level, ie came along to a few pickets etc, or in the case of some people they got involved as militants.