Federation co-operation

122 posts / 0 new
Last post
Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Dec 9 2009 13:39
Quote:
a 'friends of' group around the core group.

I believe that NEFAC have something a bit like this. Imo there's no need to have a formal network around the group; I don't think it has a useful role to serve. It's enough just to have a list of folk in the area who are likely to want to get involved in stuff.

Nor do I think the key to being more successful organisations is relaxing our membership criteria. The reason I think the schism between AF and SolFed is silly is because our politics are actually pretty much identical, minus the jargon.

~J.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Dec 9 2009 13:30
radicalgraffiti wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
BigLittleJ wrote:
Thrashing_chomsky wrote:
allybaba wrote:
3.Anti - Prejudice. The AF would major fail with its non exceptance of religious members. I think its principle 10. I understand why they do this as they don't want a bunch of religious nuts taking over the federation and the no gods no masters thing

Except that this isn't why we have principle 10. We have it because the theory and practice of the AF is based in our materialism.

Nonsense, not allowing people in your group who beleive in god isn't a materialist approach in practice at all, its a fundamentally idealist one.

how could the group be materialist if the members are not?

Because a materialist beleives practice leads to theory rather than vice versa. We don;t come to be anarchists through accepting a set of ideas, we come to it through struggle aganst wars against work and all the other shit class society throws at us. If i'm doing stuff at work with workmates, i'm not going to exclude them on the basis of religion. I would obviously argue against people talking about religion in meetings (very unlikely to happen in the UK in fairness) in the same way i'd argue against sexism or racism but i wouldn't do a litmus test of peoples personal beleifs and idiosyncracies before taking action.
I mean imagine going to the miners strike in 84, and refusing to act alonsgide people who might hold sexist or homophobic beleifs, you wouldn;t have found yourself getting very far would you. The point is its struggle that defeats those beleifs (eg gay pride marches with the miners at the front and womens support groups), not you stamping your own set of ideals on people.

can an admin split this discussion off tho, since BLJ has a point about not derailing this thread

Halifaxclasswar
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Dec 9 2009 13:37

But surely in the case of people who don't fully agree with the politics, it would be good for them to be able to meet up outside of 'core' meetings, even if just to get hold of the newest copy of the freesheet or monthly paper and have a chat about politics, i think a lot of people get interested in elements of anarchism but aren't lucky enough to know others who are, and so there ideas never grow. I don't think this is relaxing membership criteria, it would just be a space set up by the federation for non-members to get together.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Dec 9 2009 13:40
Halifaxclasswar wrote:
I don't think this is relaxing membership criteria, it would just be a space set up by the federation for non-members to get together.

like this?

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Dec 9 2009 13:43
Halifaxclasswar wrote:
But surely in the case of people who don't fully agree with the politics, it would be good for them to be able to meet up outside of 'core' meetings, even if just to get hold of the newest copy of the freesheet or monthly paper and have a chat about politics, i think a lot of people get interested in elements of anarchism but aren't lucky enough to know others who are, and so there ideas never grow. I don't think this is relaxing membership criteria, it would just be a space set up by the federation for non-members to get together.

(My comment about relaxing membership criteria was addressed at posters who had been suggesting a 'super fed' with fewer A&Ps.)

The AF does do public meetings on anarchism, admittedly as one-offs, but I don't see the need to take names down tbh. If people want to meet up and chat about politics every week, great, but there's no need to formalise that.

~J.

arminius's picture
arminius
Offline
Joined: 11-08-06
Dec 9 2009 13:54

Now we're talking about *merger* again, instead of *cooperation*! If we want a separate thread for that, fine, but it is a different discussion.

I still maintain that cooperation is a factor -and useful- for the most part on the local level. If A is in group 1, B is in group 2, C is unaffiliated, and they all live in the same town/area, and there are no other members of their respective orgs there, and nothing else going on locally for them, I'm sure they could come up with stuff they could work together on (and probably throw in good discussions that would result in understanding [not recruiting] each others' positions) - even if it's just sharing a ride to some big demo/action!

That said, I think things like bookfairs, etc, *are* good for morale, as long as they are not taken for *real* activity - morale is a good and necessary thing, and we can't always count on the BBC to report a story that gets us pissed off enow to get us back to activity! I think the joint social between AF and SolFed announced on another thread is an excellent example. But for the most part, local activity is where this cooperation will be most fruitful, imo.

As for "Anti-prejudice", I'm prejudiced as fuck against gung-ho capitalists and any one who identifies as any sort of Leninist - it takes a *lot* to get me past it, even timewise, on even a personal level. So I guess wouldn't make the cut. All of which is to say that that point of 'anti-prejudice' is a nonsense.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Dec 9 2009 14:14
madashell wrote:
Thrashing_chomsky wrote:
What do people think of a new fed, that has just five really simple As and Ps,

1. Anti-Authoritarian

2. Anti-Capitalist

3. Anti-Prejudice

4. Class Struggle

5. Direct Action

That everyone can be a part of?! SolFed, CWF, AF, L&S, and all those class anarchists and groups that sit on the side at our meetings wishing they could vote but they don't agree with our stance on X or our method of Y?

Just an idea.

TBH, I don't really see what the point in that would be. I'm all for practical cooperation between difference class struggle anarchist groups, but I can't really see what a federation of federations could do that the existing feds aren't doing already.

In terms of a set of principles, anyone can agree to a vague set of ideas, That in itself is fairly meaningless.
There are pelnty of things a permanent co-ordinated body of anarchist groups could do.
Two examples would be
*It would have the number to set up organised and systematic distros for anarchist agit prop (eg freedom, federation free sheets etc) rather than the decidedly ad hoc distribution that individual anarchist groups manage at present
* It could set up a network solely designed to respond to strikes and occupations when they happen with access to its own funds and numbers of people on the ground to go and hand out agit prop, give out food and drink etc etc something anarchists only managed with varying degrees of success at visteon and vestas but were completely unable to do at total and so on.
I don;t think those are exactly impossible things to manage.

Jason Cortez
Offline
Joined: 14-11-04
Dec 9 2009 14:52

I really doubt that this would lead to much better distro, as it would still be largely the same people.
The second one is more interesting but would still be dependant on where folks had any density, we are at present too small to find organise our way out of such problems. My assumption is that these structures would not draw in much of our periphery and would mean just greater workloads for little or no gain.

Farce's picture
Farce
Offline
Joined: 21-04-09
Dec 9 2009 15:15
Jason Cortez wrote:
I really doubt that this would lead to much better distro, as it would still be largely the same people.

But would a paper with the combined writers pool/editing team/budget of Resistance and Catalyst (and maybe even Freedom) be way better than either publication is at the moment (not that I think either paper is bad, but they're clearly not the best of all possible papers)?

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Dec 9 2009 16:01
Jason Cortez wrote:
I really doubt that this would lead to much better distro, as it would still be largely the same people.

Have to disagree with that really, i mean we're just talking about the basics of making sure borders and local libraries etc etc get copies and having regular stalls and weekly/fortnightly paper sales/fresheet distros. Something i think thats important in terms of presence and too often dismissed by anarchists as something only trots do.
Obviously atm theres no individual anarchist organisation with enough active members to actually do this on any scale without suffering complete burn out. However, if you combined numbers, certainly in London anyway, you might be able to take a few steps in the right direction and not place too much burden on a handful of individuals.

Quote:
The second one is more interesting but would still be dependant on where folks had any density, we are at present too small to find organise our way out of such problems. My assumption is that these structures would not draw in much of our periphery and would mean just greater workloads for little or no gain.

The point would be that as a national network it would be able to send people from areas of higher density to places were we'd only have isolated individuals. So when theres a visteon strike out in basildon aswell as in London,we'd be organised enough to have a quick ring round on a phone tree, work out who was free and who could get time off work, and send a van full of anarchos armed with some leaflets and thermos flasks or whatever into depest darkest essex.

You only draw in people on the periphery by actually doing stuff and tbh i think there are plenty of people who'd turn up to bigger strikes and occupations if there was a bit of a more organised response, since theres obviously no point in turning up as individuals.

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Dec 9 2009 16:24

I totally agree with Jack here; we don't want a looser group, just the opposite. It's not a question of getting together all the anarchies in the country, but of two groups with very similar ideas working towards closer practical unity.

~J.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Dec 9 2009 16:45
Jack wrote:
Cantdo - why would that need a new organisation tho?

I didn't say it needed a new organisation. Its more about existing networks working together and about having enough numbers to do things on an organised basis rather than an ad hoc one.

Quote:
If AF and SF had their shit together both internally (AF closer to this than we are right now!) and in terms of productively cooperating, surely this would be a given?

To a certain extent yes but i think there are also tonnes of people who aren't in the feds (many not being in any organisation at all for fairly understandable reasons) who are worth working with. Just thinking of brighton or colchester back in the day i could name loads.
I mean this is why we'd prefer to see open industrial networks, because we recognise AF and SF alone are just a drop in the ocean and we realise that both groups are in truth both small and purely political.

I don;t know if this r&b thing is going to work out or not, certainly i would agree the last few conferences haven;t produced much thats that promising but its best to go into things with a little bit of optimism rather than just automatically assume the worst. I just listed two things i think that gathering might be able to achieve in response to people mentioning more general co-operation.
Its a somewhat different issue to the one of af and sf working together though i guess, which is a far more common sense affair since af and sf really aren;t that different as others on this thread from both organisations have noted.

Yorkie Bar
Offline
Joined: 29-03-09
Dec 9 2009 17:35

I think cantdo was referring to individuals with sound politics who aren't in groups for "fairly understandable reasons" not just 'everyone in the ghetto'. Like Steven. or someone. I read him as saying that if the AF and SF got together and became more functional organisations generally then more people would get involved.

~J.

cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
Offline
Joined: 15-03-04
Dec 9 2009 20:01
Jack wrote:
The problem is tho, there are probably as many people from no Fed who you'd want to exclude as you'd want to work with - either because they're just generally unworkable with, embarrassing or so politically different to you that there is little scope for common action. By the time you have principles that define a group down to those who we'd want to work with, they'd probably look remarkably similar to the SF or AF A&P.

Taking LEWG as an example i can't really see who you;d want to exclude exactly. I mean trot and union full timers yes obviously they should be excluded along with obvious fash (two of those groups not qualifying as educaton workers in the first place), but surely everyone else is welcome as long as they act according to the A&P's no? I mean having straight up anarchist a&p's like sf/af/lewg etc is important coz you shouldn;t hide your politics but they are more about providing a guide to action because you can;t actually force people to theoretically agree with them. Your always going to get people joining groups who agree in spirit but don;t really fully agree with the principles, as the CNT found in 36.
I mean your always going to have to work with people you disagree with whether its just at work or in more politicised networks, the point is to have those arguements out in the open not run away from them.

Obviously the r&b thing is a bit different, i was just reposting two ideas that had been floating on the lists for a while. Maybe something will come of them maybe not. Its obviously a pretty seperate thing to AF/SF co-operation tho which is somewhat more concrete atm thankfully.

Choccy's picture
Choccy
Offline
Joined: 9-12-04
Dec 9 2009 22:24
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Taking LEWG as an example i can't really see who you;d want to exclude exactly. I mean trot and union full timers yes obviously they should be excluded along with obvious fash (two of those groups not qualifying as educaton workers in the first place), but surely everyone else is welcome as long as they act according to the A&P's no? I mean having straight up anarchist a&p's like sf/af/lewg etc is important coz you shouldn;t hide your politics but they are more about providing a guide to action because you can;t actually force people to theoretically agree with them. Your always going to get people joining groups who agree in spirit but don;t really fully agree with the principles, as the CNT found in 36.
I mean your always going to have to work with people you disagree with whether its just at work or in more politicised networks, the point is to have those arguements out in the open not run away from them.

well this was the thinking in early LEWG meetings certainly, and it's a position that I think makes a lot of sense in pragmatic terms. The LEWG principles are still quite vague, but to be honest they're a working guide, providing a template for a group that is still pretty embryonic.

Farce wrote:
Jason Cortez wrote:
I really doubt that this would lead to much better distro, as it would still be largely the same people.

But would a paper with the combined writers pool/editing team/budget of Resistance and Catalyst (and maybe even Freedom) be way better than either publication is at the moment (not that I think either paper is bad, but they're clearly not the best of all possible papers)?

Noticed you left out The Leveller, sectarian prick wink

Caiman del Barrio
Offline
Joined: 28-09-04
Dec 9 2009 23:18
RednBlack wrote:
I think "Freedom" is making moves in a positive direction. Providing a non-alligned anarchist paper across the federations and also independent of them.

Admittedly I haven't seen a Freedom in like 3 months but I'm definitely of the opinion that it's getting worse. The last one I saw had a lot of "quips" and "jokes" which are only really relevant to active anarchists (and often only those in London at that). I only got about half of them, and didn't really wanna get them. It seemed to be attempting a kinda Schnews light-hearted kinda thing...

[/constructive criticism]

Plus, on the issue of independence, isn't one of the editors in L&S?

Quote:
I also agree with "Freedom"'s calls for an annual Anarchist Movement Conference.

Christ, get a social life already!

Farce's picture
Farce
Offline
Joined: 21-04-09
Dec 10 2009 12:54
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
RednBlack wrote:
I think "Freedom" is making moves in a positive direction. Providing a non-alligned anarchist paper across the federations and also independent of them.

Admittedly I haven't seen a Freedom in like 3 months but I'm definitely of the opinion that it's getting worse. The last one I saw had a lot of "quips" and "jokes" which are only really relevant to active anarchists (and often only those in London at that). I only got about half of them, and didn't really wanna get them. It seemed to be attempting a kinda Schnews light-hearted kinda thing...

I actually think there's definitely a place for a Schnews/Sun-type light-hearted thing, it's just that there's a massive difference between having jokes about Gordon Brown and David Cameron and having jokes about Ian Bone and dundee united.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Offline
Joined: 6-11-03
Dec 10 2009 13:16
Mike Harman wrote:
Alexa's getting less and less accurate (unless they changed their statistics recording methods), however there's other sites which do nice graphs too:

http://attentionmeter.com/?d1=libcom.org&d2=anarkismo.net&d3=socialistworker.co.uk&d4=&d5=

http://siteanalytics.compete.com/libcom.org+anarkismo.net+socialistworker.co.uk/

Interesting, also beats the Morning Star and Indymedia (which seems to have tanked in the last few months).

Quote:
Plus, on the issue of independence, isn't one of the editors in L&S?

Well yeah but another one is in Solfed and DT is afaik an independent, as is the sub and the reviews editor.