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state of american anarchism ...

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petey
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Mar 17 2006 21:05
state of american anarchism ...

... or, for that matter, libcommism.

hi folks, your moderator here, trying to start a thread that i hope will peel off in any number of directions, both organizational/informational and theoretical, and can be split as the need arises.

i look with some envy on the situation in the UK and eire, where there seems to be a fair number of groups who are pretty well organized and active: solfed, AF, antifa, libcom. apart from the IWW there seems almost nothing on this side of the ditch to compare. NEFAC is a going concern, but i'm unclear on exactly what they do. but i'm no expert, and if you're a member of a such a group, please sound off.

there may be two problems with my problem. first, anarchists won't be very interested in defining actions as "national" (NEFAC isn't, e.g.). second, it's a big country, and maybe there can't be such a thing as an "american anarchist" scene. there's some info on chicago here: http://www.libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6383, and some info on san francisco from felixfrost in various recent posts.

so, if the problem is size, might this be one reason why primitivism bulks large in american anarchism? if anarchists/libcommies can't organize nationally, do it the good old american way and head out by yourself? not for a moment that i doubt the sincerity of a john zerzan (i find his arguments coherent, actually), but why has this position not developed so strongly elsewhere? (and is american consumerism the source of american leftist lifestylism?)

yet the IWW do do it nationally (OK, internationally, but you see what i mean). i have a few problems with them, but they are the only group who have built an anti-hierarchical structure to improve the immediate material conditions of people who are economically abused. i know there are critics who claim that they're not so anti-hierarchical, and critics who call them naive (ICC), but there doesn't seem to be any other outfit approaching what they're doing.

so:

what actions are people talking and where? speak.

is there a charcteristic american anarchism? does it matter?

what do youse think of the IWW?

tip o' the hat to john for suggesting this board

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Steven.
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Mar 18 2006 01:33
newyawka wrote:
i look with some envy on the situation in the UK and eire, where there seems to be a fair number of groups who are pretty well organized and active: solfed, AF, antifa, libcom.

TBH I wouldn't be so envious, if you're here it's not a pretty picture. I think that one thing that helps with the image a LOT is just libcom.org the website. Because it's the biggest anarchist one in this country by a long shot this is the place loads more people will come to, and so it continues.

In the US the biggest by far is infoshop, so that kind of politics is the one which is emphasised more (of course, there is a wide range of politics on infoshop, but the crimethincy soft individualism is more prominent). And the grass is always greener!

But if you want to start a thread on the UK movement you can do so in Organise, this is about you guys, and i look forward to reading it.

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888
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Mar 18 2006 01:38

To me it seems tehre's actually more potential in the US than the UK...

WillsWilde
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Mar 18 2006 03:02

Because the various anarchist scenes are so divided geographically and theoretically, it's unwise for any single person to try and make sweeping statements about the larger spectrum. I would tend to agree with Capt.' Haddock about the prodominance of Crimethincy crap, and I do think that a lifestyleist strain is preodominant, which means a set of cultural signifiers excluding the participation of people who don't dress like gutterpunks, or people who actually work for a living. Crimethinc tends encourage an ahistorical perspective...as though people who don't know anything about Spain or the Ukraine (Makhno does get a story in their last mag, tho) would merely be bored by the details...the heroic struggles of millions against fascism against state and capital are so tedious...just tell them that in the new world they can steal from or fuck over whoever they want. Instant anarchy. That's an over simplification, but check out their message board, you'll see what I mean. But as I've said before atleast they've included a Situ-type perspective which a lot of the more trad Anarchos dismiss.

The problem here with anarchism is that it is subcultural to the extent that a lot of the card carriers really have little practical empathy for the working class. Not all, just a lot of those that I have met. The idea of building models of non-heirarchical oraganization and collective economies- however hemmed in by the strains of the market- takes a back seat to the largely fruitless, un-qualitative and unimaginative 'direct actions' of a few nihilists who can't think tactically or control their anger .Those who romanticize some cinematic showdown with the State should really look a the lay of the land, the tactical concerns, the sort of work 'defence commitees' have done historically. But the fact is, that the Community one would hope to defend is atomised, neutralized by its addiction to Spectacular pacificatiion. Americans know very well that they are being screwed but they either blame the minority group of their choice,drift into compulsive decompression, accept what we call "Capitalism' as a form of bad weather that will never change, or see the predatory nature of the system and decide that it's better to exploit than be exploited. This exploitation can also take a happy-liberal-organic-pseudo--multicultural-non-profit-politically- correct flavor- what Vaneigem calls market humanism. I call it opportunism.

The IWW was a good idea and remains one. It's not overtly heirarchical, delegates are subject to recall, a lot of the rank and file don't feel too connected to the process but I can only explain from my angle that when you are busting your ass to make rent it is difficult to devote as much time to organizational efforts as you'd like. I too have had difficulties, but they are largely due to my impatience, my inexperience with collective/assembly forms, and the contempt I have for 'ghetto anarchist rhetoric." Talking with non-authoriatrian socialist types has shown me the value of reading Pannekoek, etc.. I get on libcom and see that others are thinking the same way. It's intersting to see how well the Wobblies saw globalization coming. If you have a problem with the IWW, all I can say is JOIN IT, heh, heh.

Americans will never accept Anarchism by that name, but American traditions of mutual aid and cooperation can be expanded upon and loosely joined with a radical critque. I do believe that with long and intensive involvement with the community-that means Anarchist getting out of their armchairs or out of the gutter- a radically decentralized, directly democratic workplace and neighbourhood council-based movement is possible in America, if it can exclude political party representation, and keep out the ISO and RCP, and the employing class out,and we can start lurching toward the flashpoint of 'dual power'. The only compromise anarchists would be fool enough to make in this process would be in treating "Direct Democracy" as a rallying point or ideology, and not merely a form of decision-making with it's own flaws and obvious imbalances.

What is it, I think Goldman said...something like..the level of violence necessary for the execution of a revolution is inversely proprtional to the level of organization on the part of the revolutionaries.

Remember, there were massive General and Rent strikes in the US before the communist manifesto was even written. Americans have a collective amnesia about the real power of labour, their power, and the fucking AFL sure isn't going to tell them.

I have much more to say on all of this, will probably have to correct myself or explain further, but i don't want to appear too indulgent. Thanks anyhoo. red n black star

professorat
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Mar 18 2006 15:19

Umm. Let me see. If Pannekoek picks up on the ' idea' ( the same idea that was passed on by Fanelli to Spain in 1868 ) around 1918 then it follows that this Wilde analysis above should be valid around 2056.

I can't wait. smile

WillsWilde
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Mar 18 2006 16:15

Um...no implication here that I'm a 'follower' of Pannekoek's thought, that my perspective is based entirely on his thought, that I think his thought is without it's antecedents, no pretense at even making a broad analysis, just some ideas that I'm trying to share, but of course the first response is from someone has the need to feel that he's smarter/more educated, has to be sardonic smartass. Surprise, surprise. Efficiently prevent any real discourse from happening, flex yr muscles, whatever. Thanks for nothing.

Mike Harman
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Mar 18 2006 16:40

nice post willswilde.

8)

WillsWilde
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Mar 18 2006 23:46

Just got back from the Anarchist book fair in SF. On the way home passed through a "World Can't Wait" rally at the civic center. Weird.

Book fair was great tho. Still a kind of subcultural 'this is our thing' feeling.

The rally was weird...really rather farcical looking at all these RCP/marxist-leninist stalls, kids trying to hawk the Socialist Worker. Huge crowd of lemmings.

me- " Are you a Marxist-Leninist?"

ISO girl- "Yes, I like Lenin, Trotsky, all that. We're totally against Stalin though."

me- "Ever heard about the Kronstadt? the Ukraine? You approve of the slaughter of millions in the name of a centralized state that pretends to represent the will of working people [not verbatim, but, you know.]?

ISO girl- "what are you an Anarchist?"

me- "Damn straight."

ISO girl- "Sorry, I'm not supposed to talk to people like you."

Heh, Heh. red n black star

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jef costello
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Mar 19 2006 00:47
WillsWilde wrote:

ISO girl- "what are you an Anarchist?"

me- "Damn straight."

ISO girl- "Sorry, I'm not supposed to talk to people like you."

Heh, Heh. red n black star

grin

I think the fragmentation and lifestylism is a problem in Britain too. Libcom is great but there are few regular posters and they are scattered. That is why its great when someone who hasn't posted before or who posts rarely says something.

You may wish to consider an introductions thread, I found out from libcom that there were anarchists living close to me.

red n black star

WillsWilde
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Mar 19 2006 02:46

I did post on the introductions thread, i think i screwed it up tho cos I'm very new at online posting and such. I know a lot of anarchists in the area, believe me there are tons in the Bay who wave the black flag. I can say that there are a lot of good people- especially the old schoolers. There are also a lot of gnarly types who don't seem to have a footing in the history and theory. Which is not essential, if there is atleast curiosity or the capacity to apprehend concepts which are ultimately quite rational/simple.

Too many give merely lipservice to the idea of 'building community', it's a slogan, not a motive. The more balanced anarchos warn us bay-area newbies that it's a very cliqueish scene, and Ive definitely found it out the hard way.

My emphasis is on art's role in engendering revolutionary consciousness & solidarity. To 'militant' types, any mention of art elicits a knee jerk response- accusations/assumptions of middle-class humbuggery which in my case are absurd, cos' i was born and have always been hand-to-mouth, working-class, no education, etc.

I'm attracted to situationist thought because it sheds light on the close relationship between aesthetic and economic concerns...what passes for art and entertainment only breeds more compulsion, glorifies materialism, deepens apathy.

The aesthetics of anarcho-prop in the US are by and large lame, grey, doctrinaire, cliche'd beyond redemption, and I think that may explain part of why many otherwise receptive Americans don't latch on.

"The point of Revolutionary art is not to show people what life is like, but to make them live." red n black star

petey
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Mar 23 2006 18:58

lots of good stuff here, life has my head spinning like a top just now but i do want to highlight a few things.

WillsWilde wrote:
a lot of the card carriers really have little practical empathy for the working class. Not all, just a lot of those that I have met.

alot that i have met too. they not only lack empathy, they seem to feel, behind closed doors with friends, that slagging laborers is a naughty acceptable bigotry. i used to blow my stack at poseurs who liked to call cops "pigs" and thought they had made their bones with such language. one grace of the IWW is that it's counterweight to the baleful image of the sort i just described, who had me despairing of the entire movement at one point.

WillsWilde wrote:
Remember, there were massive General and Rent strikes in the US before the communist manifesto was even written. Americans have a collective amnesia about the real power of labour

yes they do. more than one sector has realized this problem and has declared the distribution of this history is the/a major task. how to do it? hey - each one teach one.

WillsWilde
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Mar 23 2006 21:07

...I think the one of the problems here in th US is that radicals see themselves as being in a curent outside of the working class, that has to somehow jump in and convince everyone. Like you say, it's best as a one on one thing. But american anarchism never was outside of the working class...i would go so far to say that the practical or fighting edge of libertarian socialim in America Is or was the I.W.W., and you see real consciousness of its values ebbing and flowing with the effectiveness of the union.

there will always be lifestylists, and i will always hate them. I have a strong class bias, a viccious one in fact , and if i could work it out, i might find myself 'converting' some middle class college student to some radical stance....which would be turnabout because it is always upper/middle-class collegiates who are starting little currents of radicalism...bringing stone tablets down from the mountain for all us poor proles...and giving up when things get too hot, or they realize that if they live off of mommy and daddy they don't get much cred with this abstraction-gone-frighteningly-real known as working class life.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Mar 24 2006 18:09
newyawka wrote:
NEFAC is a going concern, but i'm unclear on exactly what they do. but i'm no expert, and if you're a member of a such a group, please sound off.

I'm in NEFAC. Whatchya wanna know?

I think one of the biggest problems in North America right now is that social movements are incredibly weak, and its not just the anarchists, but the entire left that is in full retreat. This has definitely affected our group, and I would be lying if I said things were going well for us. Aside from a few cities with semi-functioning groups (Montreal, Quebec City and Boston), NEFAC is really a few scattered individuals across the region.

Where we have functioning groups, there is solid activity going on. I know in my city (Boston) we have been involved with some longterm activity around anti-gentrification/neighborhood organizing and labor solidarity, plus some research for some future campaigns around immigration struggles. Plus we put out a bi-monthly agit-prop sheet (Strike!), the English theory/strategy mag for NEFAC (Northeastern Anarchist). We have a study group, and some of us are involved in more general anarchist activity around our city (running an infoshop/bookstore, organizing the upcoming anarchist bookfair, and some of our members are also apart of an anarcha-feminist group called La Rivolta!, which just had a successful weekend festival earlier this month).

The problem is, on a regional level we are not as cohesive and unified as we sometimes present ourselves in print. We also have the same problems as every other semi-longterm anarchist group and project... we've lost people to burn-out, people starting families, past infighting, issues of sexism and violence, drugs, etc. It's tough but I am optimistic we can keep things together, and hopefully be a relevant anarchist presence when social movements become stronger again.

There was talk at one point of starting a continental federation of class struggle anarchists, which included NEFAC, NAF, WSA, FRAC, Capital Terminus Group, and contacts in Mexico. But it seemed premature, and those of us from NEFAC advocated that people first try and better organize themselves in their respective regions, and once this happened we could seriously discuss a continental initiative. Anyways, there was alot of discussion at one point, but it seemed like a stillborn project, and since then a few groups have folded. Ah well... we'll get there someday.

Cheers,

----MaRK

petey
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Mar 24 2006 20:32
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
I'm in NEFAC. Whatchya wanna know?

hey mark! i wanna know everything!

Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
Where we have functioning groups, there is solid activity going on. I know in my city (Boston) we have been involved with some longterm activity around anti-gentrification/neighborhood organizing and labor solidarity, plus some research for some future campaigns around immigration struggles.

...

There was talk at one point of starting a continental federation of class struggle anarchists, which included NEFAC, NAF, WSA, FRAC, Capital Terminus Group, and contacts in Mexico. But it seemed premature, and those of us from NEFAC advocated that people first try and better organize themselves in their respective regions, and once this happened we could seriously discuss a continental initiative.

here in newyawk housing is the biggest deal, but that may not be so elsewhere: some places immigration issues are the biggest deal. i think it would help if the range of issues could be narrowed down like this, for a continent-wide action i mean. there's neighborhood organizing going on all over, at least based on all the group names i see mentioned, but do they co-operate? in brooklyn Make The Road seems to be working some of the same area as IWW, but i'm not sure they work together.

people could google your website, but for the lazy, could you post it here? thankx!

Smash Rich Bastards
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Mar 24 2006 21:23
Quote:
hey mark! i wanna know everything!

Well, if your ever in Boston and willing to buy the beers...

Quote:
here in newyawk housing is the biggest deal, but that may not be so elsewhere: some places immigration issues are the biggest deal. i think it would help if the range of issues could be narrowed down like this, for a continent-wide action i mean. there's neighborhood organizing going on all over, at least based on all the group names i see mentioned, but do they co-operate? in brooklyn Make The Road seems to be working some of the same area as IWW, but i'm not sure they work together.

Yeah, a couple of years ago we tried to narrow our main focus down to a few areas of struggle (labor, community, anti-poverty, immigration) to try and move away from a reactive activist mentality and more in the direction of pro-active, longterm anarchist organizing. We still took on "reactive" campaigns and activity (antifa, reproductive rights, anti-war, etc.) but the goal was to really try and focus on rooting ourselves in areas we thought were most relevant to everyday class struggles in region.

This ended in mixed results. Some small victories and experience gained, some failures and mistakes made; some anarchist influence established, some foot-soldiering for liberal reformists. More recently we have given more autonomy to the sub-regions represented in NEFAC, and each one decides on their own priority of focus. I think this is a step backwards personally, but its where we are at.

Quote:
people could google your website, but for the lazy, could you post it here? thankx!

The website is down at the moment. Add to the list of things that are dysfunctional with NEFAC these days... should be up soon though. Here's the address: http://www.nefac.net

Cheers,

----MaRK

Smash Rich Bastards
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Mar 24 2006 21:51
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TBH I wouldn't be so envious, if you're here it's not a pretty picture. I think that one thing that helps with the image a LOT is just libcom.org the website. Because it's the biggest anarchist one in this country by a long shot this is the place loads more people will come to, and so it continues.

Yeah, the grass always seems greener somewhere else. I've been to England twice, and once to Ireland. Met some solid anarchists and all-around great people, but I wouldn't say the movement is all that much different then it is here. There's more formal organizations, but they are all fairly miniscule and anarchists are just as scattered, divided and uninfluential. Plus there are all the same whack-job tendencies represented (well, in England anyways) that we have here.

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 24 2006 23:53
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
newyawka wrote:
Aside from a few cities with semi-functioning groups (Montreal, Quebec City and Boston), NEFAC is really a few scattered individuals across the region.

Nothing in nyc?

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EdmontonWobbly
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Mar 25 2006 19:01

I guess I'll make this post as something of an introduction, I've been reading posts for about a month or so before I decided to wade into the discussion. I'm an Anarchist from a rural area of northern Alberta Canada, I've been following NEFAC from a distance for a few years and am generally in agreement with a lot of their politics as well as the especifismo stuff I was introduced to via a fellow wob. My main gig is the IWW however, here in Edmonton where I live.

When I first moved here the Anarchist scene was huge- and very much influenced by anti globalization stuff and crimethinc. This is especially interesting because while much of Canada is quite liberal Alberta is not, it sits firmly on the right alongisde places like Texas or Alabama.

The Anarchist movement however went into sharp decline once all the crimethincers moved on, settled down or hopped the next box car out of town. A few of us kind of drew a balance sheet of our activism and decided to get involved in the labour movement, first with the Student Worker Action Group (SWAG) and then with the IWW. We became decidedly more organized and started making a lot more long term plans.

Over the last three years we have built our Edmonton Branch up to be the largest one in Canada. We have dozens of people coming to our monthly branch meetings, and even now have a small (but dedicated) group of people who work in the building trades to agitate for direct action up north in petroleum industry.

I remember one comrade from out of town once asked me why we didn't look at setting something like NEFAC up in Edmonton. The thing is I think that the theoretical development is important (we have a small monthly study group where we have read Pannekoek, the Platoform, Maximoff, and some Paul Mattick etc), but really the practical work we do is very time consuming. Setting up an ideological group seems to be putting the cart before the horse. It's important to me that the theory comes from the organizing on the ground and frankly the movement is just getting started here.

I also think the IWW is better (it still needs a lot of work) than other groups at reaching out to people who may not be into politics. Generally I think the IW is free of a lot of the strained political rhetoric that a lot of lit has these days though it is lacking a real sense of humour sometimes.

I think the real strength of our IWW group is that we can appeal to people as workers, not neccessarily as communists or anarchists and draw out the radicalism from there. We may not be in radical times but there is a lot of educating ourselves through organizing direct action on the jobs and trying tactics out that can be done. We can also build a good raport with rank and file groups in mainstream unions in case they ever need support.

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 25 2006 23:39

Hey FW,

great stuff about Edmonton, I knew you were good but never had an opportunity to find out a few things I'm particularly interested in.

Firstly, do you have direct organising drives (as opposed to concentrating on political forms of action)? Obviously no need to give details.

Secondly, do you have (concentrated and organised?) Wobbly activity within mainstream unions? See "The Role of the Dual Carder in the IWW" on http://www.iww.org/culture/official . Great stuff. It's also important to penetrate the trade union circles (meetings, actions, local trade union councils, union magazines) to attract the best and most experienced unionists.

Also, are you folks in Edmonton familiar with the dues restructuring debate? This is a crucial question for the growth of the union. We have to change the ways we take dues if we want to retain members (especially in bigger GMBs where it's very tedious, time-consuming and unpractical to take dues directly). If we had standing order dues system a few years ago perhaps we wouldn't have had enormous setbacks like in Portland, which had about 300 members at one time. This is an extremely important question for Edmonton as well, and Edmonton's position will be important in the union-wide discussion.

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AndrewF
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Mar 26 2006 09:43

From the outside and limited direct contact it appears anarchism in North America is very much more healthy in 2006 then is was in 1996 or 1986. Really that is the key thing - comparisons with other countries don't have a lot of meaning except in terms of improvement over time.

I don't think the same could be said of Britain, the movement there today seems pretty much close to what it was in 1996 or 1986.

In Ireland things are still quite small but like a lot of the world we have a much stronger movement today than in 1996 or 1986.

I think NEFAC are 'suffering' from their early success more than anything else. After they emerged they rapidly dominated not only the movement in the North East but also anarchist debate across north america. Moving from that to being really functional takes lots of time and experimentation. Often its the period when things most seem to be not working so well that create the discussion that opens up the biggest steps forward. We (WSM) have had those sort of crisis on a 3-5 year cycle, we've pretty much always came out much stronger once we've sat down and dealt with them.

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Steven.
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Mar 26 2006 13:49

Edmonton Wobbly - really interesting post, I didn't know any of that, so thanks, and welcome to the boards 8)

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Mar 26 2006 16:51

We are just getting back into 'direct' organizing drives. In particular we have a fairly promising lead in IU 650. I think the thing to emphasize is that there is a steep learning curve if you are actually trying to build real fighting unions based on direct democracy. I have little illusions about being on an equal footing to compete with the business unions any time soon, but what we can do is educate fellow workers about taking direct action on the job, and educate ourselves about organizing.

May not be the revolution, but that first step is a critical one, and in the end probably a lot more 'effective' than getting them to read some musty political tracts from the 30's. Besides trying to organize is the only way we are going to get experienced organizers to build the Union.

We have also been involved in the past in attempts organizing workplaces that were too big for our IWW branch to take on. Like a call centre (about 450 employees) that I was invovled in trying to organize with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

As for dual card activism, our branch is built on it. Long before I joined there was a concerted effort in the branch to pursue a dual card strategy and we released a fairly controversial document called the red paper. You can find it online at:

http://edmonton.iww.ca/redpaper.html

I think it needs a lot of updating, I would say in the short term it's our dual card activism in the petroleum industry in Northern Alberta that could yield the most success. However if we are going to build the OBU we also need examples of direct action taking place outside of the fetters of the business unions for our dual card agitators to point to as real examples.

Yeah, I agree that the dues issue is a central one. I think on this issue I'm in the agreement of most of our branch. We think that a dues increase across the board is a must, however we want to keep subminimum as a hardship category. The 'madison' method of direct deductions is something the bulk of our branch supports (though there is some grumbling about it being a lot like a checkoff) from some members. Though I don't think we would support it being mandatory, but rather strongly encouraged by branches.

In the end we do need more money and there are two ways to get it: more members, or a dues increase.

There is organizing going on across the continent and much of it looks really promising. I got to meet a lot of these people first hand in Austin last month and not only do they seem like great people but there was more diversity in that crowd than I have ever seen at an IWW event. However, we are inexperienced and we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking organizing is going to be easy. I think a dues increase is a safer bet.

gentle revolutionary
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Mar 26 2006 18:23

Thanks for that!

Smash Rich Bastards
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Mar 27 2006 23:07
gentle revolutionary wrote:
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
newyawka wrote:
Aside from a few cities with semi-functioning groups (Montreal, Quebec City and Boston), NEFAC is really a few scattered individuals across the region.

Nothing in nyc?

Yeah, we got a small group in NYC. When I said semi-functioning, I meant a group that is large enough to sustain activity, have a few things going at once, etc. I would think you need at least a healthy 10-12 members in a given area to really take on more serious organizing and propaganda. But yeah, the few people we have in NYC are great, committed, serious, etc. They are just spread a little thin and limited in how much they can contribute to struggles in their city, that's all.

Cheers,

----MaRK

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PaulMarsh
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Mar 28 2006 07:01

I used to really like the old Barricada anarchist magazine, and was sorry when that folded in 2003. It seemed to avoid some of the white, liberal guilt that (to my mind) is never too far away from the American left, and that at times can effect the US anarchist movement.

Of the US stuff we get sent to the Class War PO Box we get (unsolicited) Green Anarchy, and we also get Anarchy A Journal of Desire Armed, and Alternative Press Review.

I do not know what we have done to APR, but we have been posting them Class War since London CW started editing the paper (1997) and they have never once reviewed us!

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Apr 17 2006 00:16
WillsWilde wrote:
What is it, I think Goldman said...something like..the level of violence necessary for the execution of a revolution is inversely proprtional to the level of organization on the part of the revolutionaries.

That sounds very interesting, does anybody know the exact quote by any chance?

WillsWilde
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Apr 18 2006 03:11

I still can't find the exact quote but here's something from the mayor of Seattle (obviously not sympathetic, heh, heh) about the amazing Seattle general strike of 1919 that communicates a simalr idea...look in Libcom's History section under 'Strikes'.

"The so-called sympathetic Seattle strike was an attempted revolution. That there was no violence does not alter the fact. . . . The intent, openly and covertly announced, was for the overthrow of the industrial system; here first, then everywhere. . . . True, there were no flashing guns, no bombs, no killings. Revolution, I repeat, doesn't need violence. The general strike, as practiced in Seattle, is of itself the weapon of revolution, all the more dangerous because quiet. To succeed, it must suspend everything; stop the entire life stream of a community. . . . That is to say, it puts the government out of operation. And that is all there is to revolt - no matter how achieved."

red n black star red n black star red n black star

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Apr 18 2006 03:44

I'm against "revengism" but not repression of those actively seeking to assert the economy against the working class.

WillsWilde
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Joined: 16-03-06
Apr 18 2006 03:52

My line is"'non-violent, non-pacifist." Build something worth defending, and learn how to defend it in the process, don't take shit lying down.

I also believe that the sort of gang-style warfare between the CNT and the govt. hitmen in Spain was a legitimate form of tactical self defense.

I don't believe that the destruction of 'property' is inherently violent, but there are so many variables... a little monkeywrenching goes a long way in lieu of pyrotechnics.

red n black star

Catch 22
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Joined: 1-04-06
Apr 18 2006 20:20

I'm not big on violence, especially "propaganda of deed" crap. I believe that a revolution should come about through some sort of a general strike with the creation of dual power structures to begin the transition to a new society. If the government doesn't like this and tries to stop the workers, then by all means practice self-defense. Otherwise keep away from the guns.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
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Joined: 14-03-06
Apr 18 2006 21:08
Catch 22 wrote:
I'm not big on violence, especially "propaganda of deed" crap. I believe that a revolution should come about through some sort of a general strike with the creation of dual power structures to begin the transition to a new society. If the government doesn't like this and tries to stop the workers, then by all means practice self-defense. Otherwise keep away from the guns.

scrub 'if' for 'when' and i totally agree.