Community Action Gathering - Discussion and Details

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Steven.
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Jun 20 2005 12:07
october_lost wrote:
kalabine wrote:
special mention to the bloke from glasgae and the burnley/preston contingent for travelling so far

Yeah we got alot out of it, the burnley posse have alot to go away and discuss with others...Im just annoyed I missed the ICC talking about revolution... grin

Were you the dude with the skinhead hairdo and glasses?

If so, hello!

Blacklisted
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Jun 20 2005 12:36

Thanx for the info Kalabine, will definitely join the list if/when its set up. Although I wasnt there this time Id agree with a regular gathering of this kind to keep this stuff progressing. The idea about joining groups like yerselves doing community type stuff sounds like a nice idea and well worth doing. If you guys decide to offer that, Id certainly be interested in coming out one time, so if you do can you put it up on these forums?

Cheers, B.

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Jun 20 2005 17:39
John. wrote:
october_lost wrote:
kalabine wrote:
special mention to the bloke from glasgae and the burnley/preston contingent for travelling so far

Yeah we got alot out of it, the burnley posse have alot to go away and discuss with others...Im just annoyed I missed the ICC talking about revolution... grin

Were you the dude with the skinhead hairdo and glasses?

If so, hello!

Skinhead!?

Hello all the same.....

pushka
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Jun 20 2005 19:52

LOL...poor old Octoberlost took a lot of stick from me and Mitch this weekend, hope he's all right! Seems he's a bit better known on the various message boards than he thought he was too...a folk hero perhaps? grin

Anyway, we all enjoyed the event immensly, and would love to return the favour at a later date, when we've got our scene organised a bit more...

Thanks for the great hospitality, and sorry we couldn't afford to contribute much to the cost!!!

kalabine
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Jun 21 2005 00:50
pingtiao wrote:

Thanks to HSG (wink) and the rest of the organisers. I nodded at least twice at kalabine in an "alright mate?" way, but I was rudely ignored :mad:

Speaking of which- kalabine, i forgot to donate before i left to help towards the cost of putting it on- is there anywhere I can send money to/anyone I can give cash to?

a donation would be cool, maybe give it to john or gav and they could pass it on to hi when they see them next? (if they're going to be seeing them soon)

i said hello when you registered! roll eyes tongue

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Steven.
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Jun 21 2005 08:56

Yeah we'll make sure he pays angry

Mitch
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Jun 21 2005 09:59
october_lost wrote:
kalabine wrote:
special mention to the bloke from glasgae and the burnley/preston contingent for travelling so far

Yeah we got alot out of it, the burnley posse have alot to go away and discuss with others...Im just annoyed I missed the ICC talking about revolution... grin

Dear Dr Lost,

Might you do better to work on your skills in finding out where the 142 bus leaves from Edgeware to Stanmore, before you speak on behalf of us Burnley posse.

I am concerned now with putting into practice what I learnt down there, learning more and keeping in touch with people that we met. The Hackney and Haringey lot are a model for genuine autonomous residents action, and I had the feeling that this event was indeed the start of something pretty big.

I intend to use all the ideas I picked up in our brief time down there.

Will you be coming to help us in Burnley and Nelson, Dr Lost, or will you continue to pontificate and spend numerous hours brushing white cat hairs off your anarchist black T-shirt.

Meowse. purrrrrrrr Yawn grin

pushka
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Jun 21 2005 17:19

Watch it Mitch...or I'll be coming round to clip yer claws!! grin

BB
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Jun 28 2005 10:19

Are there any reports from any of the meetings yet, any conclusions, further discussion?

Apart from london is grey, smoggy, an gives you black bogeys!

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jun 28 2005 11:48
Brighton Bomber wrote:
Are there any reports from any of the meetings yet, any conclusions, further discussion?

Apart from london is grey, smoggy, an gives you black bogeys!

Hardly! It was a beautiful day, we all went and sat in the park afterwards, then went to Brick Lane for a curry and then finished in the pub! Missed out there, er?!

I've got some notes on the council elections meeting, but still haven't typed them up...

I believe an email group will shortly be in opertion.

I do understand as well that people are up for another CAG next year.

Hackney Independent have put a short report on their own website

hackneyindependent.org

As well as quite a bit of internal discussion.

BB
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Jun 28 2005 14:09

ty, not much there though, i'll carry on waiting.

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jul 4 2005 11:37

Condemned by the International Communist Current as appeared in their bulletin World Revolution. Must have done something right then wink

Community Action Gathering: The libertarian way to strengthen the local state

If there’s something in the subject of an event that might attract people who want to talk about the class struggle, or any other aspect of communist politics, then the ICC will be interested. So when some of our militants went to a ‘Community Action Gathering’ held in East London in mid-June, we didn’t like the divisive workshops, but thought that one of the event’s aims - the promotion of “anti-authoritarian, anti-state, anti-capitalist and pro-working class politics, and collective, non-hierarchical forms of organisation” - might have interested people concerned with working class struggle.

Obviously we weren’t blind to the fact that the meeting was organised by two groups noted for campaigning for micro-reforms. The Hackney Independent website pictures abandoned cars that they want the local council to move, they worry about phone masts, they don’t want schools closed and they stood in the recent general election. Haringey Solidarity are concerned about advertising billboards, encourage people to sue the police for damages and want those with money problems to share/exchange second-hand items. But despite such unpromising credentials there was still the possibility that among those participating might be people who might want to discuss the defence of working class interests.

Drowning in campaigns

In a workshop on housing and urban regeneration the whole approach was on how to make the local state work. It was all very reminiscent of Fabianism and ‘municipal socialism’. Against private housing and council regeneration, that they thought was a cover for gentrification, there was a shared illusion in the possibility of “decent and affordable housing for all” in capitalism. At a different workshop there was a denial of this possibility, but still a belief that capitalism was capable of granting lasting reforms. For example, the establishment of the NHS in 1948 was seen as a great workers’ gain, with the fact that it was a creation of the capitalist state dismissed out of hand.

Not only were reforms, great and small, seen as the only possible focus for the class struggle, but also trade unions were presented as the means for this struggle. There were some attempts to talk about solidarity that went beyond the ritual of financial collections etc, as well as some basic questions about the development of workers’ self-organisation. However, talk about workers’ organising themselves came up against a basic denial of the way unions work against the attempts of workers to overcome their divisions and develop relations of solidarity. We were told that unions were “shit” and that unions are “part of capitalism”, but also that workers didn’t need to be told this as they use unions like they do shops, without illusions.

Throughout the gathering there were many disparaging remarks about Trotskyists, and the SWP in particular. Yet it was difficult to see much difference between what these campaigning ‘community activists’ were saying and what you can read in the big leftist papers. There was a more libertarian vocabulary employed, but there was also a lot of fashionable modern management-speak. In terms of political orientation the only difference between ‘hierarchical’ Trotskyism and ‘libertarian community activism’ is that the former sows illusions in the capitalist state as a whole, while the latter seem to be the ideology of ginger groups who want to improve the functioning of local councils.

At one point we heard that every situation, every struggle is different and should be seen as such. In reality, the basis of working class solidarity lies in understanding what we have in common, what unites us. It’s divisive to single out the struggle of fire fighters or food workers from the situation of those facing deportation or unemployment or who are anxious about the drive to war. We all face the same ruling class, the same capitalist state, and our strength lies in a unified struggle.

‘Don’t mention the revolution’

The brand of ‘community activism’ served up at the ‘gathering’ was most dangerous in the way that it concentrated its energies on the state. Campaigns for concessions from local councils risk drawing activists into the lowest reaches of the local state. Yes, housing has always been a major question for the working class, but it’s a problem that can only be solved at the level of the transformation of society by the whole working class after the destruction of the capitalist state. The capitalist state can only be an instrument of the ruling capitalist class, can only work against the interests of the exploited. In the old phrase, the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working class itself. In their struggles workers come up against the state locally and nationally. They also come up against ideas that claim that the working class does not have to liberate itself through its own struggles but can rely on unions, local councils, or any other form of the capitalist state.

During one discussion it was claimed that we probably all shared a view of what future society we’d like to see and on the need for fundamental social change. This was impossible to verify as none of the campaigns advocated had any perspective that might possibly challenge capitalism. Certainly the defensive struggles of the working class contribute to a growing confidence in the class, to the development of consciousness and self-organisation; but divisive campaigns that foster illusions in the state undermine the class struggle.

Between sessions at this event there was a break. Before resuming discussions one of the leaders of this ‘non-hierarchical’ meeting insisted (without any dissent) that there should be no talk of revolution during the remainder of the day. In continuity with this there was a thread on the LibCom website following the ‘gathering’ that referred to the presence of “ICC loons” – in contrast to the “sensible people” that have sensible discussions. This is a clear adaptation to the ‘common sense’ of bourgeois ideology. It’s supposed to be sensible to offer endless campaigns that never challenge capitalism, but crazy to talk of revolution and how the struggle of the working class offers a perspective for the transformation of society.

Norm 29/6/05.

See also this short article, Engels on the Housing Question

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Jul 4 2005 12:10

I love the finish flourish "see Engels on the Housing Question"....

That will come in handy!

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jul 4 2005 12:24
PaulMarsh wrote:
I love the finish flourish "see Engels on the Housing Question"....

That will come in handy!

Yeah, the 'Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844' smile

I hope Defend Council Housing have made good use of this text!

Beltov
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Jul 5 2005 12:21

Hi,

First, thanks for publishing our article for us. It is not true that we have 'condemned' such gatherings out-of-hand: it is vitally important that people who want to fight against capitalism, and search for an alternative to it, come together to discuss. What we have criticised is, first, the illusion that capitalism is capable of granting lasting reforms and second, that organising 'pressure groups' and using trade unions to campaign in favour of local government reforms is anything to do with the defence of workers' interests.

Also,

PaulMarsh wrote:
I love the finish flourish "see Engels on the Housing Question"....

That will come in handy!

The sentence at the end of the article was actually a hyperlink to another article on our site, which we hope you don't mind we quote in full here, as it is quite short...

Quote:
Against the idea of “decent and affordable housing for all” within capitalism it’s possible to turn to articles that Friedrich Engels wrote on the ‘Housing Question’ in 1872.

It is not the solution of the housing question which simultaneously solves the social question, but only by the solution of the social question, that is, by the abolition of the capitalist mode of production, is the solution of the housing question made possible. To want to solve the housing question while at the same time desiring to maintain the modern big cities is an absurdity. The modern big cities, however, will be abolished only by the abolition of the capitalist mode of production, and when this is once on the way there will be quite other things to do than supplying each worker with a little house and garden.

Having “provided proof of how impractical these so-called ‘practical’ socialists really are” Engels insists that “practical socialism consists rather in correct knowledge of the capitalist mode of production from all its various sides. A working class which is secure in this knowledge will never be in doubt in any given case against which social institutions, and in what manner, its main attacks should be directed.

There doesn't seem to have been much discussion of these criticisms here. So, just to pose a few questions that we think need clarifying:

1) Is the capitalist state (national and local) the enemy of the working class?

2) Is capitalism capable of granting lasting reforms?

3) Can the housing question be solved before the social question?

4) Was Engels correct to say that the working class needs to 'never be in doubt' against which institutions, and the way in which, its attacks should be directed?

We look forward to contributions on these, which we will consider and reply to.

Fraternally,

World Revolution.

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Jul 5 2005 12:25

So is there a need for practical work or not?

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Rob Ray
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Jul 5 2005 12:46

Wow Beltov's an entire world revolution by himself eek

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Jul 5 2005 12:48
october_lost wrote:
So is there a need for practical work or not?

No. All practical work is a distraction from the serious task of building the revolutionary party. Apparently. roll eyes

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Jul 5 2005 12:49
Saii wrote:
Wow Beltov's an entire world revolution by himself eek

No wonder they don't need anyone else. wink

Beltov
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Jul 5 2005 12:56
october_lost wrote:
So is there a need for practical work or not?

Yes, of course there is. But surely the point is that if you have illusions that capitalism can grant reforms, and that state organs such as the unions - or pressure groups like Hackney Independent, IWCA etc - can be used to win these reforms, then any practical work runs the risk not only of bolstering these illusions amongst the working class but also the very institutions that the working class must destroy?

What's the difference between the activism proposed by the SWP and the activism proposed by 'Community Action', or Dissent!, or the IWCA? From where we're standing they look exactly the same: leftist!

On the other hand, if you are conscious that capitalism can no longer grant lasting reforms, and that the unions and bourgeois political structures are the enemy of the working class, then your practical work is going to take a different form.

Sorry to return to Engels again, but he always stressed that the class struggle had three aspects: the economic, the political and the theoretical. If you neglect any of these then you are asking the working class to fight with one hand tied behind its back.

So, if you're asking for ideas on what 'practical' work we recommend, then here's a few starters:

+ read the classic texts of the workers' movement

+ learn about the history of the working class: its struggles and political organisations

+ get together to discuss the above with other like minded people: form discussion forums as has been done in Leicester

+ support and participate in the work of one of the left communist organisations: preferably the ICC!

Fraternally,

Beltov.

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Jul 5 2005 13:11

K I'll talk about it in your own terms. Lets say the day has come, the perfect conditions of extreme poverty etc to ferment the world revolution. On the one hand, you have a national, federated network of comunity groups who have been struggling for years to improve people's lives and are highly respected. On the other, you have the ICC, who have done nothing except whinge that the local school is closing down has no significance.

Who, as an unaffiliated person whose life has just been ruined by capital, would you listen to?

Now I don't want to do it for the reasons outlined above, which are just cold-hearted bollocks, I just think it's a good idea beause it builds the sort of community bonds I reckon will allow people to make up their own minds if and when the time comes, and make them a stronger and more cohesive society when they carry any changes out. But even from your own bizzaro-world perspective, surely you can think like a normal human being enough to understand why your article is bollocks?

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Jul 5 2005 14:00

Ah well..... looking on the bright side. The more these cocks post on here, the more it serves to remind us that anarchism is part of the mainstream labour movement, albeit one sadly derailed & sidelined by liberals & other assorted fuckwits.

Whereas their style of communism is pretty much fuckwit-only.

Beltov
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Jul 5 2005 14:12

To take up some of your points...

Saii wrote:
K I'll talk about it in your own terms. Lets say the day has come, the perfect conditions of extreme poverty etc to ferment the world revolution. On the one hand, you have a national, federated network of comunity groups who have been struggling for years to improve people's lives and are highly respected. On the other, you have the ICC, who have done nothing except whinge that the local school is closing down has no significance.

Who, as an unaffiliated person whose life has just been ruined by capital, would you listen to?

So, what political positions will this 'national federation of community groups' offer? What perspectives will it offer? A rehashed, modern version of petty leftist activism where you're not allowed to talk about the need to abolish capitalism? Or do you think that the revolution will be an 'a-political' affair?

Saii wrote:
...I just think it's a good idea beause it builds the sort of community bonds I reckon will allow people to make up their own minds if and when the time comes, and make them a stronger and more cohesive society when they carry any changes out.

As it's struggles develop and become generalised the working class will create its own organs to unify its struggles: general assemblies, then workers councils. We have confidence in the class that it will act in this way based on its nature and the experience of the past: Russia 1905/1917, Germany 1918, Poland 1980.

In fact, what the 'community action' approach reveals is a complete lack of confidence in the working class, in the need to build 'community groups' in the absence of genuine class organs. We call this substitutionism. 'When the time comes' the working class will be miles ahead of 'national federations' and will be reaching out to its class brothers and sisters around the globe. It will increasingly listen to those who defend internationalist, revolutionary positions and turn away from reformism in its 'traditional' and 'modern' garbs.

Beltov.

Mitch
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Jul 5 2005 14:16
Beltov wrote:
october_lost wrote:
So is there a need for practical work or not?

What's the difference between the activism proposed by the SWP and the activism proposed by 'Community Action', or Dissent!, or the IWCA? From where we're standing they look exactly the same: leftist!

Beltov.

I can tell you first hand from Burnley and Pendle that you're wrong here. The SWP have a very different approach to these groups. The SWP have nothing to do with residents' campaigns or residents groups locally here. They have been absent from campaigns to stop telecommunications masts, and other residents' led campaigns on housing.

The SWP approach has been more like this:

"+ read the classic texts of the workers' movement

+ learn about the history of the working class: its struggles and political organisations

+ get together to discuss the above with other like minded people: form discussion forums as has been done in [url=http://en.internationalism.org/wr/259_disc_groups.htm

+ support and participate in the work of one of the left communist organisations: preferably the SWP!"

Yawn, the droning irrelevance of Marxist forums - your approach is rather similar I'd suggest, proclaimed top down to the local community who are struggling to pay council tax, grappling for benefits they now have to beg for, or working trying to hold down two or three jobs to get in enough money on only low paid shit jobs available round here.

I totally disagree with your position. My stance is a commitment of years of hard work in the local community, looking at how I can practically support RESIDENT LED campaigns, and also to practically support friends and neighbours - good neighbourliness!

It is as important to challenge the SWP approach in local communities, as it is important now to challenge your road to nowhere. If you were serious, you'd get down to the nitty gritty of hard work in the local community from a stance of support, not with a puff of hot air.

Saii's summary makes good sense to me.

Fraternally, yours Mitch the Knife

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Jul 5 2005 14:27
Quote:
To take up some of your points...

So that'd be a no then roll eyes

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Jul 5 2005 16:17

Beltov,

Hackney Independent may respond to your article in due course. In the meantime I'd just like to clarify that we ran in a local by-election and not the General Election. I assume the confusion was because the two elections took place on the same day.

Beltov wrote:
'When the time comes' the working class will be miles ahead of 'national federations' and will be reaching out to its class brothers and sisters around the globe. It will increasingly listen to those who defend internationalist, revolutionary positions and turn away from reformism in its 'traditional' and 'modern' garbs.

Not everyone in Hackney Independent is a revolutionary, but I would personally agree with what you say here. (The following shouldn't by any means be taken as a response from Hackney Independent as a whole).

The difficulty I have is that "the time" doesn't seem to be getting any closer. In fact it seems to be getting further away. No doubt we can argue until the cows come home as to why this is but we would probably agree it is down to capitalism and the failure of the self-styled "left".

Perhaps you would class CAG as being part of that left but I would not. Certainly the people I know from community politics have no time for the tokenism of the SWP et al (as has been pointed out above). They've made a conscious decision to fight some local, perhaps winnable, battles and to bolster working class solidarity and consciousness at a time when this is at the lowest ebb in my adult life.

The ICC, on the other hand, according to your list, seem to recommend an alternative to this, which is:

a) reading texts,

b) setting up groups to discuss reading texts,

c) intervening at meetings to tell people to stop what they are doing because they are wrong as they haven't read the right texts,

d) and to join left-communist organisations so they can produce texts and co-ordinate the above activities on an international centralist level.

I have, on one level, some sympathy with your analysis, but it does seem pretty philosophical in the face of the harsh realities of my every day life.

No doubt you will argue that Hackney Independent's style of activism is entirely counter-productive and possibly adds to the retreat away from world revolution. But you'll no doubt understand why we are trying to do something rather than place our faith in the historic mission of the working class.

When they time comes perhaps we will join forces. Until then, you are welcome to carry on being correct on the written page, whilst we continue to make mistakes out there in our communities.

I have to go now, I'll try and answer some of your other points later.

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Jul 5 2005 19:37

these arguments all boil down to the Q of how you get from 'here' to 'there'.

Activists - as opposed to those who like to read old stuff and pontificate (and there's nothing wrong with reading old stuff - its v informative and useful sometimes) - recognise that stuff is bad NOW, and want to do something about it while raising class consciousness in the process. ultra-leftists like our friends in the ICC either see no point in challenging stuff in the here & now cos its all pointless and/or reformist, or worry that trying to do stuff now actually sows illusions that stuff can change, hence undermining the creation of a universal class consciousness that will rush us towards the day of revolution. i tend to think of the latter as the atrocity option.

a fellow shop steward a few years back, bemoaning the lack of militancy in the workforce, argued that we needed an atrocity by the employer (mass redundancies, whatever) to galvanise the workforce. notwithstanding the ICC's attitude towards those reformist running dogs in the TU movement, the fact is that continual atrocities perpetuated against the working class can just as easily promote profound disillusionment and defeat as well as a fighting spirit. resistance - active and, yes, mostly reformist in the short-term - may well sow illusions that undermine the hasting of the big day, but there's no guarantee that no resistance will build up sufficient pressure to cause the dam to burst; on the contrary without activists engendering the spirit of resistance (pointing to the possibilities, however small and reformist) we could be stuck with a future of abject barbarism and serfdom (for want of a better analogy). the ICC may well argue that we already exist in such a society. i disagree.

i still think stuff is worth fighting for. to that end, when i attend conferences like the one on 18th June, i don't want to talk revolution and go home smug in the knowledge that millions of people out there aren't as visionary as i am, i want to talk about how we MIGHT begin to challenge some of this stuff here & now. Because only by doing that will we be able to get THERE...

having said all that, i read the ICC article with interest and (laughter aside) i'm glad of the critique; cos it helps to focus my mind on the contradictions at the heart of what we are doing and attempting to achieve.

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Jul 6 2005 14:22

Just to prove to Jack that there are more than two of us, another ICC voice.

I was going to say that most of the comments on our CAG article simply used insults to avoid dealing with the real issues, specifically the questions that Beltov raised about the relationship between the class struggle and the capitalist state, and the possibility of reforms (July 5). Saii says we live in “bizzaro-world”, unlike “normal human beings”; Kalabine thinks we’re “loons”; The Button refers to us as “cocks” and “fuckwits”. Thankfully, however, the contributions by Fozzie and Haggy are an attempt to engage in a debate.

I will admit that Beltov’s list of possible activities gave a one-sided account of our approach, by emphasising only discussion and building the organisation. Obviously for us building a revolutionary organisation is central; theoretical clarification no less so. But the organisation does not exist for itself. Its aim is to influence the class struggle, to help the spread of class consciousness. That can only mean participating in the real movement of the working class – not only the future revolutionary confrontations, but the immediate, defensive struggles without which there won’t be a revolution.

The problem we are posing is not our invention. Rosa Luxemburg raised it in her pamphlet on the Mass Strike. She recognised that capitalism had entered a period when the class struggle would more and more take on an explosive character, that it was not something that could be built up little by little, organised in advance by the revolutionary minority. Later on it became clear that the mass organisations the working class had built up in the previous period had been recuperated, integrated into the state. There were no more permanent, mass working class organisations to wage the defensive struggle.

The Button actually poses the issue quite clearly: “The more these cocks post here, the more it serves to remind us that anarchism is part of the mainstream labour movement”. That’s precisely the point we are making in our CAG article: libertarian ideology acts as a more ‘democratic’ alternative to Trotskyism for pulling resistance to capital back into the arms of the official Labour Movement, ie the capitalist state.

Recognising the capitalist nature of the Labour Movement, understanding the impossibility of constructing permanent organisations for the day-to-day struggle, does not mean that we just sit back and wait for the revolution. If people are prepared to discuss it, the ICC actually has a wealth of experience in taking part in real initiatives of the class: general assemblies, strike committees, action groups of militant workers, committees of the unemployed - an experience drawn from a number of different countries. Neither do we rule out the possibility of defensive struggles in the neighbourhoods, even if it’s harder for them to develop on a class basis. The debate is not about theory v. action, but what kind of action and the need for a clear theory to guide it. .

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Jul 6 2005 17:17

No dear it's not that I'm avoiding the issue, it's that I'm laughing at your organisation's apparent inability to understand a normal human viewpoint.

Frankly, the idea of 'building a revolutionary organisation' without making a base for it first by getting people to trust what you are saying (hmm, I wonder how that could be done) is just moronic, even if that is your one and only aim for the near future - which to be honest, would make you a right bunch of tossers.

As long as you continue to disassociate from the real problems of the real world you will get nowhere, because you are talking capital to an uninterested audience, who will never listen to the words of yet another sect which has done nothing for them, no matter how clever and well-read. Any 'wealth of experience' your organisation has (which, given your numbers, I find unlikely) is completely undermined if your only resopnse to people struggling to improve their conditions is 'you're doing it wrong'.

If and when the working classes get to a point where they wish to rise up, it will happen without any of us being 'leaders', but in the meantime, it's worth building the strength of the working class through mutual support in the community. Simple as. That article, like the ICC, misses the point completely, and your continued support for it demonstrates only how far you have drifted from a realistic perspective.

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Jul 6 2005 17:45

The wealth of experience is not a question of numbers. It's a question of qualitative, and precious experiences that we have taken part in - such as in the case of the French railway workers in 1986, or the health workers in 1988, or the Italian COBAS when they first appeared, when workers openly organised outside the trade union framework. Trust will be won when it becomes clear that revolutionaries have been speaking the truth, even if for a long time whet they said was laughed at or seen as crazy-in this case, the simple truth that the unions are against us. Neither it is a question of telling workers that they are "doing it wrong" because they are already beginning to do it right every time they challenge the union rulebook. It's a question of making that implicit critique of the unions explicit - this is one of the most basic tasks of a revolutionary organisation.

"Nothing prevents us, therefore, from lining our criticism with a criticism of politics, from taking sides in politics, ie from entering into real struggles and identifying ourselves with them. This does not mean that we shall confront the world with new doctrinaire principles and proclaim: here is the truth, on your knees before it! It means that we shall develop for the world new principles from the existing principles of the world. We shall not say: abandon your struggles, they are mere folly; let us provide you with the true campaign slogans. Instead we shall simply show the world why it is struggling, and consciousness of this is a thing it must acquire whether it wishes or not" (Marx to Ruge, 1843)