Building an Anarchist International

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AndrewF
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Nov 9 2005 12:54
Building an Anarchist International

I thought people might be interested in the WSM position paper on 'Building an anarchist international' agreed at the Oct 2005 WSM National Conference. It's online at http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1701

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the button
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Nov 9 2005 13:01
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As none of the current anarchist groups in Britain are moving in our direction or seem likely do so in the future we should have a medium term objective of encouraging contacts in Britain towards setting up an organisation along similar lines to ourselves. When resources permit, this will involve producing a bulletin for Britain and organising meetings over there..

Yay! Another anarchist group in Blighty! tongue

PM gentle revolutionary -- I'm sure he'd be interested. wink

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Nov 9 2005 13:11
the button wrote:
Yay! Another anarchist group in Blighty!

Actually that is a rather old bit that was retained rather than a new addition. There has always been a certain level of interest in such a project but its never really got the critical mass together yet to be self-sustaining.

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Nov 9 2005 13:27
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Establish and maintain contact with other anarchist-communist groups, and tendencies within other organisations moving in the direction of our politics.

OK, slightly more seriously. The bit I've highlighted sounds dangerously like the old Trot tactic of "splits & fusions."

If a "tendency" within another anarchist group is moving towards your politics (or indeed, shares your politics), would you seek or encourage that tendency to split the existing group & join your own, or to engage in a faction fight in their current organisation to win them over to your politics?

Perhaps I'm just being old & cynical, but that does look like a recipe for leftist headbanging of the first order.

It might also be of concern to the AF (of which I'm not a member) since a fair few of their members seem to be influenced by platformism to a greater or lesser degree.

nastyned
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Nov 9 2005 13:45

I don't remember a flood of AFers rushing to join the 'Revolutionary Anarchist Workers' or whatever they were called. Or join up with that guy in Southampton who seemed on a similar wavelength to the WSM.

Has the WSM given up on the SIL then?

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the button
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Nov 9 2005 13:51
nastyned wrote:
I don't remember a flood of AFers rushing to join the 'Revolutionary Anarchist Workers' or whatever they were called. Or join up with that guy in Southampton who seemed on a similar wavelength to the WSM.

Exactly. The aspect of the WSM's position that I quoted just strikes me as a teensy bit inward-looking &, well, claustrophobic.

Again, I'm probably looking at this very negatively, but it seems to me that the last thing we need is another tiny group. Especially not a tiny group of purists.

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Nov 9 2005 13:53
nastyned wrote:
Has the WSM given up on the SIL then?

grin

Reading their position paper, I find it hard to credit that the WSM would ever have entertained the ragbag nature of the SIL in the first place. wink

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Nov 9 2005 13:54
the button wrote:
OK, slightly more seriously. The bit I've highlighted sounds dangerously like the old Trot tactic of "splits & fusions."

Well we are not trots and we don't spend too much time worrying whether or not we sound like them. In fact I often think this worry is more of a hinderance than anything else as it means anarchists fail to do stuff they need to do (like sell publications or recruit) for fear of sounding like trots.

the button wrote:
If a "tendency" within another anarchist group is moving towards your politics (or indeed, shares your politics), would you seek or encourage that tendency to split the existing group & join your own, or to engage in a faction fight in their current organisation to win them over to your politics?

Don't know - it hasn't happened and we have no policy on it, we haven't even discussed the sceanario. Mind you we are not talking of extending the WSM to Britian in any case so the decision would not be ours to make, it would be up to that group.

the button wrote:
Perhaps I'm just being old & cynical, but that does look like a recipe for leftist headbanging of the first order.

So you'd advise them to stay put and not argue for their politics within the organisation they were staying put in? This sounds like a good example of a fear of trotskyism rendering anarchists ineffective.

the button wrote:
It might also be of concern to the AF (of which I'm not a member) since a fair few of their members seem to be influenced by platformism to a greater or lesser degree.

Well since I've been around the AF (or ACF) have announced the formation of a group in Ireland on two or three occasions (rightly) without appearing to lose any sleep as to what the WSM or other groups here might think of that. Also as far as I know at least one of the members of Organise! is also a member of the AF. If there are a number of AF members who reckon it should be more like the WSM I'm sure they are in a better place to judge how to go about this then I am - as it is I'm not aware of the existence of any such group and don't see how specualtion about what we might say to such a group would help anything.

We are certainly not 'targetting' the AF - I'd imagine if people were to take such an initative they would be doing so from outside the existing organisations - because they felt something different from what exists was needed.

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Nov 9 2005 13:55

Cheers for that Joe -- you've put my mind (partially) at rest.

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Nov 9 2005 14:02
nastyned wrote:
Has the WSM given up on the SIL then?

Yeah when putting the paper up I noticed there was no mention of the SIL in it. This is odd as we haven't decided to leave or anything and makes me wonder where the decision to get involved was ever recorded - I'll go off and search for that in a minute.

The rag bag nature of SIL was the reason we got involved - if it was actually setting itself up as an international we wouldn't have been interested but we recognised the benefit in the co-ordination of solidarity projects and the occasional face to face meeting. Which is what we wrote when we signed up

WorkersSolidarity2002 wrote:
The SIL brings together a wide variety of anarchist groups internationally from the largest (the Spanish CGT with 45,000 members) to some of the smallest (including ourselves). The purpose of the SIL is not "a new international workers association with its statues and agreements and organic structures" but biannual co-ordination meetings intended to reply to capitalist globalisation and aimed at "fostering international solidarity and mutual aid".

In practical terms this means those organisations based in the countries of Europe where workers have won higher wages and a higher standard of living helping the organisations in the 'global south' where workers are poorer in real terms.

http://struggle.ws/wsm/ws/2002/71/sil.html

WeTheYouth
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Nov 9 2005 16:08

Theres already an amazing international IWA, why have more... twisted

kalabine
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Nov 9 2005 16:27
the button wrote:
or to engage in a faction fight in their current organisation to win them over to your politics?

why would it matter if some AF members did argue for platformism within the fed?

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Nov 9 2005 16:33
kalabine wrote:
the button wrote:
or to engage in a faction fight in their current organisation to win them over to your politics?

why would it matter if some AF members did argue for platformism within the fed?

It doesn't, in & of itself.

My point was (and Joe has largely put my mind at rest about this) that if the WSM was seeking to build its own international by fostering faction fights within other organisations, that would be profoundly fucked up.

There's a big difference between arguing for a position, and engaging in a faction fight.

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Nov 9 2005 16:43
the button wrote:
Let's just end this here, & split off those last 2 posts. This is a (potentially) interesting discussion about how/where anarchist groups seek to build & recruit.

Edit: Actually, I'm off home in about 10 minutes, so flame away. roll eyes

angry

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Nov 9 2005 16:48
Jack wrote:
Oh right, and so because I'm an admin means I shouldn't comment on someone who posts here saying stuff that's totally unacceptable for the context forum, then?

Because your an admin you should probably resist the temptation to drag a pretty unrelated issue into a thread that is otherwise mostly constructive. What was said by an AFer on another thread has very, very little to do with this thread.

The problem with admining something is that you really should be better behaved than everyone else. Otherwise its going to look like you get away with stuff that others would not. If you can't or don't want to behave the smart thing is to give up your admin power.

Sites that have an open policy normally are usually explicit that this sort of thing should not happen - eg "Continuing debates across multiple articles. Anarkismo.net is not a bulletin board. All comments should directly relate to the article or preceding comments. Users should refrain from constantly bringing up points from previous threads, unless they have a close relevance to the new article. Users should also note that repetitive demands of another user to answer a particular question or point is a reason for deletion especially when it occurs across multiple threads."

http://www.anarkismo.net/docs.php?id=29

malatested
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Nov 9 2005 17:20
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Also as far as I know at least one of the members of Organise! is also a member of the AF.

Just to put this to bed, Jack, no members of Organise! are members of the AF.

In relation to the point regarding AF in Ireland, well, the last incarnation was a successful one in the sense that it helped pave the way for the eventual almagamation of AFI/ASFand anarchism generally in Ireland is better off for that.

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Nov 9 2005 17:59
malatested wrote:
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Also as far as I know at least one of the members of Organise! is also a member of the AF.

Just to put this to bed, Jack, no members of Organise! are members of the AF.

Yeah that was me - it was based on one of them signing himself as ' NUIG Ecology Society/Anarchist Federation/Organise! (personal capacity)'

http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=68015But actually when I checked I see the last time he did this was around 10 months back so I guess he left since.

The general point obviously holds even if it is now out dated.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Nov 9 2005 18:54

In the latest copy of 'Resistance' the blurb identifies the AF as an organisation with members in Britain and Ireland.

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Nov 9 2005 19:14

Well, I personally thought the position paper was fucking good,

and when I'm over in Ireland I'll definetely look into the WSM

more. I'm not an outright Platformist but I certainly agree with

the more organised structures they appear to have and a lot of

their other positions. And yeah, I think the AF would make

progress if it was more like them.

The usual slagging off from revol et al. is expected and

frankly beginning to piss me off. What the hell do you

contribute to (any) discussion? If you're going to flame the

admins should do something about, as was agreed. Trying to

undermine the WSM and anarkismo.net when both have done

excellent work is pathetic. What a loser.

Mike Harman
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Nov 9 2005 20:33

revol, are you trying to get yourself banned?

'cos that's what'll happen if you flame in organise. This thread has already been split once ffs.

sovietpop
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Nov 9 2005 21:09

I don't understand you revol, every now and then, on this board and urban, you say something that makes a lot sense, but people don't hear it because they are just used to dismissing you because most of the time you seem to be caught in flame wars. Its like there is an evil revol doing battle with the good revol.

Mike Harman
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Nov 9 2005 22:01
revol68 wrote:
oh come on if i have to listen to Joe bang on about how amazing the wsm are i'll fucking puke.

not only that but his pathetic and childlike attempt to be made a mod.

Then pm or e-mail him or something.

more self promotion

Insurrection
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Nov 17 2005 12:50
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I thought people might be interested in the WSM position paper on 'Building an anarchist international' agreed at the Oct 2005 WSM National Conference. It's online at http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=1701

I cant wait for another platformist organised international that will fail, i mean with the huge numbers its bound to attract its just what we need. grin

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Nov 17 2005 13:02
Insurrection wrote:

I cant wait for another platformist organised international that will fail, i mean with the huge numbers its bound to attract its just what we need. grin

Like thanks for bumping the thread but I'm sure you could come up with a better critique then this (which is both pointless and very much in the style of someone you think is an idiot).

Edited to add - woops thought you were someone else

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Nov 17 2005 13:54

That's gotta be the most idiotic shit ever. When were there previous platformist internationals? Maybe the one they tried to create in 1926?

Or maybe you're considering ILS a "platformist international"?

BB
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Nov 17 2005 15:04

Does this count as flaming if i attack a thread?

Someone wake me up...

Yo BB! Eh, this is really inspiring stuff...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sorry, i forgot to add, this is the organise forum, no?

nastyned
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Nov 18 2005 20:02

To get back to the original point I think the position paper looked more like 'building an international WSM' than building an anarchist international. If you really want to build strong links with overseas organisations you're going to have to lighten up a bit.

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Nov 19 2005 14:40
nastyned wrote:
To get back to the original point I think the position paper looked more like 'building an international WSM' than building an anarchist international. If you really want to build strong links with overseas organisations you're going to have to lighten up a bit.

Could you explain this a bit as I can't see straight off where you are coming from here.

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Nov 19 2005 16:36

Nastyned that doesn't follow from what's in the paper.

Fair enough if you're critical of the WSM, but why base that on misconceptions? 'Platformists' have always wanted to work with other organisations and unions of like-mind, it says it in this position paper and it goes right back to the earliest anarchist communists. But ofcourse they want to make their type of movment more well known and establish a more tacticly unified international, why shouldn't they?

nastyned
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Nov 21 2005 18:36

Oh yes it does.

If i remember rightly the only reference made in the position paper to anarchists outside of ireland was...WSM members that have moved overseas! This isn't really building an anarchist international is it?

If the WSM really want to build an anarchist international i think they'll need to lighten up a bit on the amount of political agreement they're after. As the WSM already has overseas contacts and has already worked practically with overseas groups it would seem more sensible to me to try basing an anarchist international on that.

And which of my misconceptions are you referring to Volin, I don't really get that bit.

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Nov 22 2005 16:25

I presume you mean 'reference to a specific group or individual' as the whole paper is about building links with anarchism outside of Ireland anyway? The bit on our members abroad is really a committment / intention to try to keep contact with migrants than anything else.

The paper is also a critique of meaningless internationals - we would not see ourselves as anywhere remotely near the point where launching an international would make sense. Doing it properly would take resources that we don't have and that practically no one else that it would be worthwhile to involve in such an international has either.

I think the degree of agreement would be a lot looser than the degree of internal agreement the WSM has. Something along the lines of the Anarkismo guidelines - http://www.anarkismo.net/docs.php?id=1 - would be about right in striking a balance that is specific enough to encourage mutual solidarity but loose enough to allow local tactical flexibility. As a number of organisations have signed up to these so far they could provide a future basis for an international way off in the future. But first we need to build the sort of local organisations that would make such an international something other than a drain on resources.