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Debate - Anarchosyndicalism vs. Insurrectionism (Seattle)

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action_now
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Jul 14 2011 19:27

was only giving some tips....but ok, yeah. though perhaps why IA is different and doesn't feel it has to defend others as much, but instead apply critical thought is because it is not an ideology and nor does it follow a program. affinity groups and the individuals involved may disagree on somethings despite having affinity. it's a methodolgy meaning that lots of things can be used, considering it adheres self-organisation, permanent conflictuality and attack. the reason alot of thought is not very clear is because they are offering ideas and encouraging critical thought and experimentation, not serving up a pre-packaged way of going about struggle. but i suppose you know better?

anyway, lets wait and see how the debate goes.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 14 2011 19:29
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pre-packaged way of going about struggle.

Is the implication here that anarcho-syndicalists do?

LBird
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Jul 14 2011 19:36
action_now wrote:
...IA is different ... because it is not an ideology..

This is a serious political mistake to make, action_now.

Every movement is ideological.

Perhaps someone who is familiar with IA (which I'm not) could outline its apparently hidden ideological content, for us all to learn - forewarned is forearmed.

action_now
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Jul 14 2011 19:42

IA is not a 'movement' either.

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888
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Jul 14 2011 19:50

Just saying you're not a movement or ideology doesn't make it so. The Situationists liked to claim that they somehow magically escaped becoming an ideology, but it's pretty clear you can view Situationism as an ideology. Besides, the term ideology has several meanings, not all bad. As for movement, it's indisputable that there is an insurrectionist movement, that you can tell apart from other strains of anarchism, and that multiple groups in different locations have certain common agreements and ways of doing things.

action_now
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Jul 14 2011 20:22

lets be clear, im looking to be constructive. you should give wolfi landstreichers 'from politics to life' for a view of why IA does not consider itself an ideology and stuffs like one of the better critiques of anarcho-syndicalism (admittedly many of the critiques are not very good imo). i think it depends what you see as a movement. for example anarchists in greece speak of anarchist space- though this does differ. that's the thing with IA, it's hard to pin down outside of the main priniciples because there are so many different practices and analysis- so it's going to be hard to guess what angle they're going to come at from. do you know who you're debating or are you in anyway familiar with what they may say?

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Wolfi_Landstreicher__From_Politics_to_Life__Ridding_anarchy_of_the_leftist_millstone.html

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Malva
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Jul 14 2011 20:19

I don't see how having an insurrectionist position that is close to the SI can be so wildly naive as is being implied here. The biggest wildcat strike in history happened partly as a result of their insurrectionist tactics. As for the issue of ideology, they were concerned that theory often became a massive speculative intellectual exercise, where people tried to prove the objectivity of a fact forever, rather than a tool of class struggle. The point was that they never wanted to have a fixed speculative structure that didn't respond to the practical problems faced by revolutionary workers. Or, more importantly, one that could claim its theoretical positions were more sound than the real practical experience of workers. As for being a 'movement', this had to do with the fact that they didn't want to become a mere aesthetic as surrealism or dada had become AND because they were trying to give voice to an historical subject they felt already existed. Was Marx a 'movement'? He was part of one but he was just one guy offering workers a tool in their own movement against capital. A struggle they were already engaged in on a subjective level by the very fact of being a worker, as Das Capital shows. Having an insurrectionist position doesn't mean you have to be some naive romantic cut off from reality. Yes, there is passion and an element of individual will involved, but that is a strength not a weakness. It stresses the subjective side of class struggle which from a value-form perspective is what is most important.

jacobian
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Jul 14 2011 20:28

"We know whats bad, ideologies are bad, therefor we don't have one because we don't believe in having bad things" is the intellectual equivalent of a kid thinking that people can't see them because the kid can't see the people from their hiding place.

To be fair it's a pretty common delusion that isn't just present with I@. Some other ones are "we don't believe in having bureaucracy so we don't have one" and "we don't believe in being on the left, so we're neither left nor right"

Juan Conatz wrote:
Doesn't mean they aren't the same tradition, despite what right wing platformists, say.

The "right wing" platformist I know most directly (myself) doesn't say that. They say that the modern AS crowd that likes to define itself as the one true inheritor of syndicalism is full of it when they try to remove groups like the CGT which are actually closer to historical anarchosyndicalist practice. It isn't a denial of groups like SolFed being influenced by the tradition.

That same "right wing" platformist also thinks its a strategy with no hope in hell of working, but that's not much to do with pedigree.

action_now
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Jul 14 2011 20:37

you don't have any interest in discussion, you said yourself, so admin: no flaming .

LBird
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Jul 14 2011 20:50
action_now wrote:
...why IA does not consider itself an ideology ...

Well, as jacobian has pointed out above, just saying IA is not an ideology is much the same as conservatives saying theirs is not an ideology either, when it clearly is.

For example, does IA regard its starting point as 'individuals' or 'workers'? Whichever of these two starting points it takes has a great affect on how it then addresses many other issues.

Whether IA calls this 'ideology' or not, it is an ideological choice.

I think that you'll find from experience that any system of action/thought which denies that it is ideological just takes in unexamined the prevailing ideas in society.

action_now
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Jul 14 2011 21:04

i don't appreciate your condescending attitude. what makes you believe i have not come to my position through experience? anyway i understand considering yourself to be ideological or not to be a rather academic question that does not really further anything other than petty squabbles.

A Murder of Crows

Quote:
DS: First off, Kellen would agree with me that this label “insurrectionary anarchist,” like all labels, is limiting. We take what we want from a bunch of radical ideas and tendencies while rejecting any aspects of them that we don’t find useful or worthwhile. So we want to reject becoming messiahs of any category, label, or ideological division. We’re interested in social war and autonomy with anyone who shares that same aim, anarchist, insurrectionary, or neither. There’s the saying that in the supermarket of ideas you should take what you find relevant and discard the rest. This should be done without buying into the complete package of an ideology. Steal what you need and burn the rest.

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Jul 14 2011 21:03

Thanks action_now for the links. I was already planning to read a tension in practice as it happens. I know one of the two insurrectionists' ideas somewhat, and the other not so well. I believe they are involved in http://tidesofflame.wordpress.com/ - a new Seattle I-A paper, but I'm not completely sure. I know he is influenced by Bonanno, and apparently I need to take more of a look at the concept of "irrational riots" (I seem to remember looking at that a few years ago and not finding it very convincing).

I think a big challenge will be defending anarcho-syndicalism, which is easy to attack. Other posters have mentioned some useful stuff earlier in the thread.

action_now
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Jul 14 2011 21:10

i'm just really hoping that they'll be something constructive coming out of the debate, especially with all the stuff that is seeming to go on over there at the moment! i mean how do IA and AS (and others) interact in seattle- presumebly there's some overlap with this debate being proposed.
so many discussions become hostile shitstorms for no reason when both individuals of each trend can participate together when it fits without losing their integrity, which is highly positive when coming at it from a view of projectuality.

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Jul 14 2011 22:16
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i'm just really hoping that they'll be something constructive coming out of the debate, especially with all the stuff that is seeming to go on over there at the moment! i mean how do IA and AS (and others) interact in seattle- presumebly there's some overlap with this debate being proposed.

Yes, we get on well in person, and have participated in some common projects, e.g. the attempt at a solidarity network in Tacoma, and anti-police demonstrations. It's very easy for arguments on the internet to degenerate into flaming, but on the other hand, in the real world, there hasn't been enough conversation between the two tendencies in Seattle, so our disagreements are unclear and unvoiced. This debate should change that...

LBird
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Jul 14 2011 22:13
action_now wrote:
i don't appreciate your condescending attitude.

I apologise, action_now, for appearing to be 'condescending', but I'm concerned that a fellow Libertarian Communist seems to underestimate the centrality of 'ideology' to all forms of political action/movement/whatever you call it.

action_now wrote:
what makes you believe i have not come to my position through experience?

No-one comes to any position merely through 'experience'. All our experiences are understood through ideology. You had an ideology before your 'experience', and you have picked up another ideology after your 'experience'. It the same for all of us - I'm no different to you.

I've had a quick look at the link that you helpfully provided, and it's full of ideology!

This series of posts isn't intended to insult you, but to help you. If that comes across as condescending, once again I apologise. Put it down to my crap manner. But the content is worth considering.

I'll leave the subject alone now, if you feel it's not helpful.

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Jul 15 2011 03:33
action_now wrote:
affinity groups and the individuals involved may disagree on somethings despite having affinity. it's a methodolgy meaning that lots of things can be used

These are important differences from other tendencies -- all platformists agree on everything, because they all belong to a single hive mind, and all syndicalists use only one thing in all circumstances all the time always forever and that's how it's always been. therefore insurrectionary anarchism is superior.

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Jul 15 2011 03:38

Three quick things I wanted to add. One, what syndicalists have on insurrectionists is some idea of how to do stuff collectively on the job, which for people who have jobs, that matters. Not everyone has a job, of course. Two, I think there's stuff in Black Flame, a lot anarchosyndicalists have been pro-insurrection, and the early IWW framed their goal as occupations (first recorded sitdown strike in the US was 1906, IWW shop), they would sometimes talk about this as "a lockout of the capitalist class" and would pose this as superior to strikes. Communization or some shit. Three, on engaging with these cats, I think it's good to do so. I have my doubts that a debate will work but I hope it does, and I think some one on one conversations about key disagreements could work wonders.

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klas batalo
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Jul 15 2011 05:48
action_now wrote:
i don't appreciate your condescending attitude. what makes you believe i have not come to my position through experience? anyway i understand considering yourself to be ideological or not to be a rather academic question that does not really further anything other than petty squabbles.

A Murder of Crows

Quote:
DS: First off, Kellen would agree with me that this label “insurrectionary anarchist,” like all labels, is limiting. We take what we want from a bunch of radical ideas and tendencies while rejecting any aspects of them that we don’t find useful or worthwhile. So we want to reject becoming messiahs of any category, label, or ideological division. We’re interested in social war and autonomy with anyone who shares that same aim, anarchist, insurrectionary, or neither. There’s the saying that in the supermarket of ideas you should take what you find relevant and discard the rest. This should be done without buying into the complete package of an ideology. Steal what you need and burn the rest.

honestly i think IA is now just used as an umbrella term for the pluralistic multitude of tendencies present on anarchistnews.org really just means extreme direct action activist anarchists without adjectives who like to riot...maybe throw some post-classical thought in there.

there was some interview recently from people in olympia that talked to greek anarchists. the dude from USA asked if there were anarchist communists or individualists, etc there in greece. the greeks just answered "you know, we're just all anarchists, but there is a new trend, tho small of anarcho-syndicalism" which they thought was promising.

the greeks totally owned this olympia kid, and were even bringing up how they think greece is long away from a revolution because they don't even try to occupy or take hold of the means of production, etc...it was honestly quite hilarious.

http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2011/07/12/ektos_sinoron.ogg

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klas batalo
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Jul 15 2011 05:53

of course reading a murder of crows makes a hell of a lot of sense too:

http://zinelibrary.info/anarchy-activism-and-insurrection-conversation-murder-crows

which i believe action_now quoted from.

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Various_Authors__A_Murder_of_Crows.html

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klas batalo
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Jul 15 2011 06:02

also i can't remember where I heard about this, but apparently insurrectionary anarchism isn't actually big in greece as a tendency...and often a lot is lost in translation, because like of course anarchists who have partaken in an insurrection could be thought of as being insurgents, but doesn't mean they all are down with bonanno or whatever.

for instance you have AK who are more anarchist without labels, even some are into parecon, autonomia, etc they are usually the ones with the red and black flags you see in riot porn...wait you see the organizational anarchists in the riot porn...

then you get the polytechnic anarchists, who identify as anarchists but are more contemporary, etc

you have the libertarian syndicalist union (ESE) folks...and the base union/cobas type groups

you have the CCF individualist-nihilist folks, and the new ubran guerilla warfare as they like to call it...

there are also small libertarian communist groups...

there have been platformist groups and attempts at larger general unions of anarchists

etc and so on...

Greek Anarchy is just as diverse a "space" as American Anarchy...

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Jul 15 2011 06:57

Geez, the Greeks going to the Northwest is becoming part of an American Anarchist Mythology.

I just heard from 2 folks that were in town from Eugene about how the Greeks came back to the vegan collective house they were staying at there with McDonalds and proceeded to be yelled at by the green anarchists that lived there. Which supposedly they replied "So fucking what? Not eating there doesn't change anything!"

There were some other gems, but I can't remember them

EDIT: holy christ that guy from Olympia sounds like an asshole. Why do 60% of American anarchists have that accent, wherever their regional origin.

EDIT 2X: Now I remember... the Northwest anarchists and the Greek anarchists were talking about the differences between their respective anarchist movements. The Greeks are like (in thick accent): "Over there we have no have no what you call,pacifists. There's the police lines and our lines amd its understood if the police cross our lines we hit them with sticks."

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Chilli Sauce
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Jul 15 2011 07:10

EDIT 2 is beautiful.

Now go to bed Juan!

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Jul 15 2011 09:19
Malva wrote:
I don't see how having an insurrectionist position that is close to the SI can be so wildly naive as is being implied here. The biggest wildcat strike in history happened partly as a result of their insurrectionist tactics.

all revolutionary anarchists/communist are "insurrectionist". That doesn't mean they have anything to do with self-described "insurrectionist anarchism" - nor does May 68.

888, prior to your debate I also recommend having a read of this to acquaint yourself with insurrectionist positions:
http://objectivechance.com/automatic_insurrection

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Jul 15 2011 11:08
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We must negate all banality—in secret.

It's 4am and i'm very drunk and supposed to go to work tomorrow, but that was very funny for some reason. Projectuality - how does it work:\>|?

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Jul 15 2011 14:06
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all revolutionary anarchists/communist are "insurrectionist". That doesn't mean they have anything to do with self-described "insurrectionist anarchism" - nor does May 68.

My bad. I thought the idea was just a debate between anarchosyndicalism and non-syndical forms of praxis. I had no idea that there was such a thing as "insurrectionist anarchism" in the sense that you described.

raw
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Jul 15 2011 14:35
Juan Conatz wrote:
Geez, the Greeks going to the Northwest is becoming part of an American Anarchist Mythology.

I just heard from 2 folks that were in town from Eugene about how the Greeks came back to the vegan collective house they were staying at there with McDonalds and proceeded to be yelled at by the green anarchists that lived there. Which supposedly they replied "So fucking what? Not eating there doesn't change anything!"

There were some other gems, but I can't remember them

EDIT: holy christ that guy from Olympia sounds like an asshole. Why do 60% of American anarchists have that accent, wherever their regional origin.

EDIT 2X: Now I remember... the Northwest anarchists and the Greek anarchists were talking about the differences between their respective anarchist movements. The Greeks are like (in thick accent): "Over there we have no have no what you call,pacifists. There's the police lines and our lines amd its understood if the police cross our lines we hit them with sticks."

lol! laugh out loud The two greeks in question are friends of mine from occupied london. I'll ask them the details of this little mcdonalds encounter - its sounds just like them! smile

raw
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Jul 15 2011 14:45
Steven. wrote:
all revolutionary anarchists/communist are "insurrectionist". That doesn't mean they have anything to do with self-described "insurrectionist anarchism" - nor does May 68.

Agree with this point.

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arminius
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Jul 15 2011 16:13

Actually I'm finding it impossible to get through to your link (the autonomiaseattle.org one)for this event to try to publicise it...

raw
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Jul 15 2011 17:18

On the other hand until anarcho-syndicalists are doing this the IA's will always be more cooler smile

Chile - Valparaiso: anarchist demo for free education
http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/07/482324.html

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Jul 15 2011 19:27
sabotage wrote:
there was some interview recently from people in olympia that talked to greek anarchists. the dude from USA asked if there were anarchist communists or individualists, etc there in greece. the greeks just answered "you know, we're just all anarchists, but there is a new trend, tho small of anarcho-syndicalism" which they thought was promising.

the greeks totally owned this olympia kid, and were even bringing up how they think greece is long away from a revolution because they don't even try to occupy or take hold of the means of production, etc...it was honestly quite hilarious.

http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2011/07/12/ektos_sinoron.ogg

Oh dear, the interviewer is an idiot