International Libertarian Solidarity

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JDMF
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Oct 23 2004 20:56
International Libertarian Solidarity

Could anyone who is better informed give us a lowdown on how the ILS, International Libertarian Solidarity is doing these days?

http://www.ils-sil.org/

When it was set up i found it a very encouraging project, hope it is still going on.

Also, are there any recent info on how syndicalist groups from CGT in spain to SKT in russia/siberia are doing? All info is getting to be a bit old...

Steve
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Oct 23 2004 21:40

Always makes my smile how the WSM, with it's criticisms of anarcho-syndicalism, manage to end up in an organisation with the two reformist syndicalist unions the SAC & the CGT.

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888
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Oct 25 2004 00:06

Well it seems to do some useful work... parts of the IWA and IAF are a bit paranoid about it. It's not supposed to be some coherent international, it's a network to get useful things done.

Some platformist organisations aren't really that far away from the CGT and SAC in their compromised leftist ways, I sometimes suspect...

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Oct 25 2004 04:14

never heard of them...oh, are they syndicalists? For fuck's sake, let's lose the protestant work ethic shall we? I'm not one for theory, but surely this is an old one? Technology? Work? Social conditioning? Helllo? (yes,Helllo IS spelt with 3 l's)

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Oct 25 2004 04:17

Sorry, I'm really pissed and feeling sarcastic confused black bloc

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JDMF
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Oct 25 2004 08:20

can't anyone ask a simple question on this board without it going all over? I knew though that this question will have more replies from both puritans who think SAC and CGT are reformist, and from people who do not agree with syndicalism of any kind.

Fact is that these groups have been able to mobilise good amount of workers under libertarian/anarchist banner and i think it is well worth seeing what they are up to.

I emailed my mate in moscow about the SKT question, will post the reply here.

Steve
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Oct 25 2004 10:34

Never been called a puritan before.

smile

Organisations that take state money, take part in corporate state institutions and organise cops and screws are reformist in my book. Btw I've heard that the CGT are finally going to come clean and drop their commitment to libertarian communism at their next congress.

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Oct 25 2004 11:45

sorry steve, went on a generalisation bend there smile

Well, lack of understanding of other cultures can contribute to what one considers reformist. Certainly SAC would be stupid to refuse the unemployment securities provided by the state, i'm sure you would agree? Of course a group which only has handful of people and no practical relevance to working class doesn't have to make such desicions. In nordic countries if you get unemployed you get up to 60% of your old income, partly paid by the state, part by the unions funds. SAC does this as does the reformist unions as well. I would love to see a person who wold rather live with the state provided minimum unemployment benefit directly administreted by the social services just because they want to remain pure.

Also, perhaps worth defininig what organise cops and screws mean - anarchists love to hit 50 000 member strong CGT about couple members who work in the prison services - years back i spoke with a guy who know the people concerned and they are plummers and stuff who work in a prison. Didn't the CGT make a policy desicion to exclude members who are armed, that is police and armed prison guards?

Then the pet case study of a cop who was a member of SAC in one of their local groups. I don't know much about that one, never heard anything from the swedes directly.

I think pointing these isolated incidences out as some kind of guidance on how your relationship to these groups should be defined goes far to explain the isolationist mentality in small and tight anarchist groups in UK. We are so pathetically small that we cannot even entertain an idea where we ourselves may be faced with a concrete situation where we would need to react to situations like the ones mentioned.

Also, regarding the "i've heard", you know as well as i do that anarchists and other radicals love rumours and the amount of dirt dished on these groups is phenomenal. And if that was true it would be even more of a reason for anarchists to be involved in these groups and keep the commitment alive.

Anyways, just my 2p's worth...

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Oct 25 2004 12:01

Yeah JDMF I'm a bit of a fan of ILS-SIL, and I do think it's a bit sad when everyone just slags everything off.

Especially as the CGT doesn't organise screws - as shown on here before it was people like plumbers/cleaners - nor any violent arm of the state-type person. There were 2 cops in the SAC who've now left.

It would be interesting if they drop the libertarian communism - that would mean explusion from SIL right?

And the SAC getting money from the state is unavoidable, but a numer of people have told me about the CGT being given state funding - what's the truth of this one?

Steve
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Oct 25 2004 12:05

The "I heard" bit was from a comrade who has just returned from living in Spain. He siad that at the last CGT congress the move to drop libertarian communism was narrowly defeated but it looks like at the next one it will be passed. We'll see.

The following is taken from something he has written

Quote:
The CGT grew out of a split in the historical anarcho-syndicalist Spanish CNT-IWA, principally over the question of whether to stand for workplace committees or not. These committees are elected by workers but are not accountable to the membership and neither, ultimately, are those elected. The CGT reflects a disparate set of values and members - it claims, or some sectors of it claim, to be anarcho-syndicalist, but many of its unions are full of political party members; it stands for election in prisons, hardly a libertarian practice; it has or has had police unions (such as the Mossos d’Esquadra in Barcelona) and has recently in Seville been forced to reinstate a female worker (it has paid employees) it sacked.

I'm probably going to Granada in December for the IWA Cogress so I can bring back more juicy tit-bits if you like. wink

Steve
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Oct 25 2004 12:17
George'sBush wrote:
And the SAC getting money from the state is unavoidable, but a numer of people have told me about the CGT being given state funding - what's the truth of this one?

They get state money by standing in the workplace councils.

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Oct 25 2004 12:27

steve, the quote you provided is quite telling. I mean why would union block membership from people who are members in a political party (IWW and SAC also have members of political parties) - i think there's a confusion here between syndicalist union and anarchist political group. The latter could easily have a rule against members of political parties (plus host of other rules to maintain their ideological unity).

Issue with SAC and CGT, or any other group which is libertarian/anarchist/syndicalist and who want to have any kind of real life relevance among the workers has to look issues such as workplace councils according to the situation they have on the ground. I have no reason to doubt their decision to join them. When being a part of a marginal and insignificantly small group one is not faced with these dilemmas and i'm afraid when talking to anarchists they often are comfortable staying small and isolated for this very reason.

steve, yeah i've heard about those congresses and how exited people are to slag off non iwa groups, though to be honest mate, look at the state of iwa affiliated groups at the moment. Marginal groups ranging from 20-200 members mostly, cnt being the odd one out (correct me if i'm wrong on this one!).

Deezer
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Oct 26 2004 10:52

SAC money from the state is not confined to the union contribution to unemployment benefits. Back in the Summer of 1996 Organise! in an earlier incarnation, and before its short affiliation to the IWA, interviewed the then International Secretary of the SAC Kieran Casey.

The information may have been got 8 years ago but there have been no changes here as far as I am aware. A problem for some of the anarcho-syndicalist 'purists' may be the fact that the central committee members are paid, but more importantly state funds are got and used for international charity work by the SAC. According to Kieran at the time getting money for this was okay becasue it was an added bonus, "a luxury", which didn't impact on the normal budget of the SAC. After defending this Kieran admitted "that the effect is like a creeping shadow".

While the SAC are certainly not the typical TU as we know them here they are still quite a long way from their anarcho-syndicalist roots. The union also employs full-time employees leaving it open to the inenviable position of being both representative and employer. We have seen what this leads to with TU's having workers taking industrial action against them, also if they suffered a decline in membership there would be inevitable payoffs.

My major criticism of the SIL/ILS is one which explains exactly why the WSM with their criticisms of anarcho-syndicalism (largely strawman criticisms at that) can comforatbly join this international. The SIL/ILS had at its meetings split along economic and political lines to conduct much of its business. This reinforces the WSM idea that all unions will drift towards reformism and that the role of the platformist organisation is to provide the 'leadership of ideas' to the workers who drawn towards reformism and compromise at every turn.

I think the current Organise! have plans to put this interview on their website.

circle A red n black star

btw one cop in a revolutionary union is one too many. And surely a cop in an 'anarcho-syndicalist' union is a contrabiction in terms no matter what way it is dressed up or put in terms of oh but Swedens different. SO different that their cops did indeed shoot and injure anti-capitalist protestors a few years back - and members of the SAC actually condemned the protestors.

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Oct 26 2004 12:33
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
and members of the SAC actually condemned the protestors.

members of enrager condemned anarchist protesters when they got beaten up by cops just a week ago, don't use that against enrager though!

SAC was heavily involved in the support of prisoners etc of that said event, but no doubt they had loads of members who were against participating to the Gothenburg event in the first place. This kind of different opinions is what happens when you have a group which is slightly bigger than your circle of friends wink

Garner
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Oct 26 2004 13:54
JDMF wrote:
members of enrager condemned anarchist protesters when they got beaten up by cops just a week ago, don't use that against enrager though!

I think you'll find they only condemned anarchist protesters for complaining like hippy liberals about being beaten up by cops.

Steve
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Oct 26 2004 16:13

Now I know who you are! I was at that plenary as well and seem to have different recollections. I was wondering why you included the FAU in with the CNT & USI and dismissed the rest of us. You seemed to be big mates with the FAU delegates. Anyway the stuff about the FAU is more than just them inviting people to a conference, you should have listened more closely.

Steve
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Oct 26 2004 19:39

Except Tony? confused He's older than all of us!

Maybe it was the person you were with who was specially fond of the FAU. wink :wink: nudge nudge say no more!

Steve
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Oct 26 2004 20:59

I was with Tony meeting people at the airport and driving them to his place and then into town. I drove you to his place. I think we all had a take away curry and were asked if we wanted to score something outside the off-licence by a scally.

JoeBlack
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Nov 4 2004 17:24

The usual disappointing 'analysis' of the SAC/CGT thing from the IWA fan club coupled with some surprizing sectaranism from Organise members. A rather good illustration of the problems with what pass for 'internationalism' amongst anarchists these days. The same silly pissing contests that the more obscure trot sects indulge in about whose 'international' is bigger and whose has 'sold out'. Blah!

It is simply a lie that the CGT had cops who were members, this has been explained many times in many places and Steve shames himself by repeating this lie. (For those who are genuinly ignorant it stems from some Catalonian traffic cops who applied to join the CGT years back, they were turned down and then set up their own union with a logo that looked like the CGT's). Likewise with the 'screws' who were in fact plumbers and cleaners who worked in a prison and were admitted to the union by the Grenada section of the CGT. This caused a huge internal row and Grenada was told this was not on at the next conference. But again expect to see the lie about screws being repeated year after year by those who know better. [The SAC story is true, there were 2 or maybe 3 cops in the SAC in one of the small northern towns, they have left but even so the SAC voted down a motion which would have stopped cops joining in the future].

My problem with these lies is that they stand in the way of any real analysis and critique of the CGT. Which is a real pity as the CGT seems to be about the only major 'success' story of syndicalism in recent decades. (The CNT, USI and SAC have all had a decline in membership, the CNT-F is worth considering but it is still really more or a propaganda group than a union, just a very big propaganda group with a couple of small unions sections.) Getting beyond being a historical nostalgia society means being able to critically analyise what has worked, even if you end up rejecting 99% of it. Hiding behind cop legends is not critical analysis.

As to the original question. The SIL-ILS project (which was never an international) has run out of steam after completing the initial solidarity projects it took on. Precisely because it is a rather loose network of libertarian groups rather than an international it lacks any sort of internal co-ordination. It's network form is the reason a rather wide range of the less sectarian anarchist groups and unions got involved in it, it was built around providing concrete solidarity rather then peddling a particular version of anarchism. But the network form and the obvious political and tactical differences that exist between the member organisations makes further development rather difficult.

I think any honest apprasal of the organised anarchist movement would conclude that it is mostly pretty fucked despite (or maybe because of) the huge rise in the interest in anarchism. A lot of it looks a lot like the worst of trotskyism, tiny groups whose main activity is slagging off other tiny groups or acting as self appointed watch dogs of anarchist purity. What a waste of time.

JoeBlack
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Nov 5 2004 10:48

Revol I was actually referring to the line

revol68 wrote:
platformist groups such as the WSM are essentially pushing a trotsykist appraoch to unions, they will provide the brawn for their brains.

Most anarchists consider being called trots as nothing more than an insullt, similar to the way teenagers having a row with their parents often call them fascists. I'm sure you'd be insulted if someone called you a trot. BTW this is a good illustration of why arguments based on analogy often don't convince anyone as both sides are unlikely to accept the analogy.

Seeing as 'Boulcolonialboy' makes the argument without the nasty analogy I presume this is a standard Organise thing? If so its a little odd as exactly the same criticism can be made of ANY anarchist organisation that is active in unions and argues for ideas. IE if its true of the WSM its also true of Organise. I don't think its much of an argument anyway as its rather obvious that all our fellow workers are not anarchists (and more than few vote Fianna Fail or DUP). So we do need to convince them of the validity of anarchist ideas and tactics. Presumably that is part of the purpose of the Education Workers Network proposal? But maybe that is for another thread or a face to face discussion?

One thing I'm a little puzzeled about is the reference to a seperation in SIL of the economic and political. I don't get this unless its a reference to some of the inter-union co-operation that is happening around stuff like Education outside of the SIL structures? As this only involves some of the European groups (the unions for the most part) its a mistake to read it as any sort of SIL decision.

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Nov 5 2004 15:10
revol68 wrote:
revol68 wrote:
bar all the bullshit about the SAC and CGT and cops, i think the important point about the ILS is the fact it seperates the political from the economic... the implications being that the working class is too thick to reach beyond a trade union conciousness and therefore needs special political leadership.

Come on that's shite!

Most SIL groups are unions. Sure platformist groups are members too, but in different countries! (with the exception of IWW-US and NEFAC, but nefac don't act as a FAI to the iww's CNT).

JoeBlack
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Nov 5 2004 16:45
revol68 wrote:
sorry george but it's not shit, the SIL had seperate politcal and economic networks!!

As I've already pointed out I don't think this is the case. What is your evidence that it is? Apart from anything else it gives SIL the credit for about 10 times the organisation that it has.

revol68 wrote:
The WSM's present position of "reforming the unions" and its idea that an anarcho syndicalist union is just one that has democratic structures is deeply inbued with the idea that a mass revoultionary anarcho syndicalist/council communist/ autonomous working class organistations are an impossibility

We don't say that it is an impossibility but something that is only possible in revolutionary times. At times like the moment when most workers vote FF, DUP or maybe Labour than the unions will be reformist for these reasons as well as structural reasons. Ideological reasons (ie what they claim to stand for) would be least important in my opinion, after all most British unions had clause 4 type statements for decades after they seriously supported such positions. Oddly some modern syndicalists seem to reverse this and place ideology first (as can be seen on this thread) a position I don't get at all.

There is an interesting contradiction in our position here in that CGT is something that approachs a mass union (but 50,000 is still quite small) and maintains something of revolutionary libertarian position. But it is also very obviously under pressure from sections of its membership to ditch such positions. As already stated the SAC has gone further done the road of giving in to such pressures. But in comparison with Irish unions it is still a good counter example.

revol68 wrote:
instead the role of anarchists is to push the existing unions to the point of no return whereby the working class will seek a more revolutionary leadership (in the idea's sphere) and be drawn to the revolutionaries of the platform who will offer the correct analysis and capitalism will be wiped into the dustbin of history!

Your not seriously putting that as a summary of the WSM position are you? If so I can see why you might call it trotskyist as its a transitional program approach. But it is not at all our position - go read our position paper on the unions at http://struggle.ws/wsm/positions/tradeunions.html you won't find anything you can quote here which says anything like the above.

For the record in so far as we think anything of the transitional program approach we reject it as being dishonest and trying to trick workers into doing something (making a revolution) that they don't intend to. I for one don't see how you could have a libertarian version of such a theory as it requires an all knowing leadership manipulating a pretty dumb workering class.

I also think it would be stupid of any revolutionary group of a couple of dozen to imagine that it would one day become 'the' revolutionary organisation. That is not the way it has ever worked in terms of any of the mass anarchist organisations which have generally arisen through mergers of many existing groups at times when huge numbers of workers were looking for radical alternatives. The CNT is one example amongst many. Save the 'we are the revolution' stuff for the Sparts.

Our interest in CGT, CNT, Cobas etc is that they are a living example that there are ways to organise a union that don't have all the problems of what workers in Ireland are familar with. It's not that they are perfect and certainly not that we expect to lead them some day (that one is really weird, better brush up on my Castillian I guess).

revol68 wrote:
i just feel that such a leadership of ideas must come from within the class and be rooted in its everyday struggles, within the workplace and communities, and not be the product of some self ordained "leadership of ideas"

Well I think we'd agree with this 100%. The whole point of the 'leadership of ideas' concept is that the idea of some sort of fixed vanguard that always has it right is not only laughable but dangerous. In terms of the current tiny organisations being 'a leadership of ideas' is something that you aim at becoming in the areas you are active, not something that you are or if you at one moment succeed that you will retain.

Anyway I hope this clarifies things a bit.[/i]

JoeBlack
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Nov 5 2004 16:54
revol68 wrote:
the SIL had seperate politcal and economic networks!!

I've decided as this is an important question I'd ask again what evidence this claim is actually based on? Maybe I've missed something we are pretty much on the fringes of things cause of our small size and lack of language skills.

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Nov 5 2004 17:57
revol68 wrote:

as for the political (actually i think it might have said ideological) networks im almost 100% positive i read the the minutes of the Sil conference and it had listsof which groups had signed up to which, i believe the AF france and alternative libertaire where amongst the sigantures in the ideological network. I tried googling for this document but can't find it. I shall search my international files when i get home.

here's one list:

PARTICIPATING ORGANISATIONS: AL BADIL (Lebanon), ALTERNATIVA LIBERTARIA (Cataluña), ALTERNATIVE LIBERTAIRE (France), CGT (Spain), CNT (France), CONSEJO INDIGENA POPULAR Oaxaca (Mexico), FAG (Brazil), FAU (Uruguay), MARMITAG (Greece), NO PASARAN (France), ORA-S (Czech Republic), OSL (Argentina), OSL (Switzerland), SAC (Sweden) & UNICOBAS (Italy) Support Messages Sent ANACHO SYNDICO (India), FAF (France), IWW (USA), NEFAC (North-East Canada-USA), SKT (Siberia), USI-Rome (Italy), WSM (Ireland), Bikisha Media Collective (South Africa), Zabalaza Books (South Africa)

But as a loose network, i would not read too much into this.

Also, i don't have any problem with the "social partnership" things CGT and SAC are doing with the state as they deal with real material needs of working class and it would be foolish not to (like for instance how some off the wall anarchists claim that it would be better if SAC didn't offer unemployment benefit for it's members according to the system in sweden, that it would be better to starve for the purity of the ideology or something...).

Deezer
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Nov 6 2004 00:05
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
SAC money from the state is not confined to the union contribution to unemployment benefits. Back in the Summer of 1996 Organise! in an earlier incarnation, and before its short affiliation to the IWA, interviewed the then International Secretary of the SAC Kieran Casey.

The information may have been got 8 years ago but there have been no changes here as far as I am aware. A problem for some of the anarcho-syndicalist 'purists' may be the fact that the central committee members are paid, but more importantly state funds are got and used for international charity work by the SAC. According to Kieran at the time getting money for this was okay becasue it was an added bonus, "a luxury", which didn't impact on the normal budget of the SAC. After defending this Kieran admitted "that the effect is like a creeping shadow".

While the SAC are certainly not the typical TU as we know them here they are still quite a long way from their anarcho-syndicalist roots. The union also employs full-time employees leaving it open to the inenviable position of being both representative and employer. We have seen what this leads to with TU's having workers taking industrial action against them, also if they suffered a decline in membership there would be inevitable payoffs.

My major criticism of the SIL/ILS is one which explains exactly why the WSM with their criticisms of anarcho-syndicalism (largely strawman criticisms at that) can comforatbly join this international. The SIL/ILS had at its meetings split along economic and political lines to conduct much of its business. This reinforces the WSM idea that all unions will drift towards reformism and that the role of the platformist organisation is to provide the 'leadership of ideas' to the workers who drawn towards reformism and compromise at every turn.

I think the current Organise! have plans to put this interview on their website.

circle A red n black star

btw one cop in a revolutionary union is one too many. And surely a cop in an 'anarcho-syndicalist' union is a contrabiction in terms no matter what way it is dressed up or put in terms of oh but Swedens different. SO different that their cops did indeed shoot and injure anti-capitalist protestors a few years back - and members of the SAC actually condemned the protestors.

Okay, I did not attack what JDMF called the 'social partnership' functions of the SAC, I don't happen to think that it is a good idea to pull out of the unions role in provision of unemployment benefit. I said that paid committee members may be a problem with anarcho-purists, implying at least that I don't have much of a problem with that either (or at least one of next to no importance) however I have pointed out that SAC gets other state money for projects that are to all intents and purposes international charity projects. They also have employees, not union bureaucrats or fulltimers, as far as I remember clerks and bookshop workers, I've said what my problem is with this above.

I have not repeated lies or stretched the truth in relation to cops or screws in the CGT - I didn't mention them at all (although I would generally agree with revol68 in relation to his criticisms of that organisation, and I believe that the position of IWA sections in relation to works councils is the correct one). Of course, I acknowledge that the SAC is leaps and bounds ahead of TUs in Britain and Ireland but, I repeat, it is still some way from its anarcho-syndicalist roots. And anarcho-syndicalism is not simply about structure, this misunderstanding and beligerent attachment to it, goes to the heart of what I refer to as largely strawman criticism of syndicalism from the WSM. Nor is this a case of modern syndicalism or syndicalists putting content before structure. And here is part of the problem, this interchangeable use of the terms syndicalist and anarcho-syndicalist is unhelpful and makes things unclear, and in my most paranoid moments I imagine the WSM or members of it are all to aware of this. The goal of libertarian communism is intrinsic to anarcho-syndicalist unions.

I must however point out that this is a personal position (and paranoia?) not a position held by Organise! and neither myself nor revol68 claimed to be speaking on behalf of that organisation on this topic.

As for Joe's comments about revol68s comments I don't actually regard this as being sectarian. There is a valuable discussion to be had in concrete terms as to the impact, if any, this actually has on how we work day to day in the existing unions. In my opinion there is however quite a gap in outlooks in relation to the processes at work in society and on levels of emphasis (between ideas and economic conditions) in relation to what influences and radicalises workers between myself and revol68 on one hand and the WSM position on the other. revol68 decribing the position of the WSM in relation to trades unions as 'trotskist' was in reference to what he regards as similar tactics and I didn't read it in any way as namecalling or dismissivness that Joe Black has read into it. He did not go 'you're a trot nananananana' or in his intimable style 'fuck off yez trot bastards', which is mmore how he may have conducted himself had this actually been a sectarian attack. But as we all know revol68 can speak for himself.

I stand over my ps about cops in revolutionary unions - in the case of the SAC Joe admits this is true and while there may not be any members who are cops at present there is no bar on membership. Maybe this is just a reaction born of seeing cops in action over the years in northern ireland that i really shouldn't universalise (a strange new take on cultural imperialism?), but no I really don't think so.

Problems between the IWA the SAC and the CGT go back a long way and it isn't simply a case of how high you can piss. A lot of distrust is ingrained, and a lot of the distrust was deserved, particularly in relation to the renevado split and the SAC money that helped the split out in the early days. Whether this was an 'innocent' mistake on behalf of the SAC does not magic away the damage caused at a time when, as it has since been acknowledged by all and sundry, the Spainish state were engaged in a dirty war against the CNT.

The current no contact line of the IWA in relation to the SAC isn't a good way of dealing with this (for example Organise! in its former incarnation could not have carried this interview out a couple of years later as an IWA affiliate, and that imho is ridiculous), and I do believe the IWA has not responded well to many of the pressures of the last few years but to blame them alone on this state of affairs is blinkered and onesided.

Just to point out, Organise! do not regard themselves as an anarcho-syndicalist organisation nor do we believe that an organisation of a dozen people is going to create an anarcho-syndicalist union in Ireland, this does not mean we have not got sympathies with and admiration for anarcho-syndicalist unions. Nor does this translate into blinkered CNT or IWA 'fan club' like behaviour.

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room101
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Nov 7 2004 00:20

I'm inclined to agree with Joe on this. If the C.G.T. and the S.A.C. are so beyond the pale that networking with them is a no no, how in the name of God would it ever be possible to go beyond groups of a tiny size? You are not going to see some pure unsullied working class rising up as if out of your theory books.

There will not be any broad libertarian large organisation in Western Europe circa 2004 without sometimes questionable policies, if ever.

The C.G.T. and SAC and Vignoles issue is a non-issue. Doubtless these groups can be a bit crap, but so what, it hardly means that they have two heads and eat children.

In regards to syndicalism - well this is the nearest it is to being successful now, not nearly a hundred years ago, syndicalists should surely draw the lesson if they don't like what they see.

On the state money issue, well why not? and it is not as if this something which does not goes on in Ireland to a far greater extent than is suggested in the interview with the chap from SAC. As we know well.

Anarcho-syndicalism seems to me to be based on the notion that you can recruit into your purist group enough people to eventually class yourselves as a union, well I suggest you will be waiting a long time to see that (like anarchist groups in Ireland have how many members after how long?), nevermind to see it and keep the purism.

yozzee
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Nov 7 2004 03:05

Fucking AF again!

Hate 'em.

room101
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Nov 7 2004 03:18

"no one expects an anarcho syndicalist union to be made up of 100% dyed in the wool libertarian communists but it most certainly shouldn't sit on works councils and take money from the state for helping to manage industrial relations!"

Exactly - you wish to maintain it's political purity. Just never seems to work though!

I wasn't aware Organise! was an anarcho-syndicalist organisation - so it's vision of how such would come about isn't really relevant.

malatested
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Nov 7 2004 11:39

Room101

"I wasn't aware Organise! was an anarcho-syndicalist organisation - so it's vision of how such would come about isn't really relevant."

Boulcolonialboy

'Just to point out, Organise! do not regard themselves as an anarcho-syndicalist organisation nor do we believe that an organisation of a dozen people is going to create an anarcho-syndicalist union in Ireland'

Just to reiterate what Boulcolonialboy has already said -Organise! is not an anarcho-syndicalist organisation and does not have as its goal the creation of an a-s union. Our position on TUs is laid out in our aims and principles

http://flag.blackened.net/infohub/organise/content.php?content.2

Naturally, attitudes to IWA, for example, will differ from individual to individual and quite healthily so.

A question for Joe though. The WSM are rightly against social partnership in Irish TUs but appear to offer support to the CGT who are clearly involved in works committees - social partnership in other words. How do the two balance? I'm not suggesting this translates as vicarious support for social partnership, but nevertheless it is something that should be addressed, or am I missing something?

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Steven.
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Nov 7 2004 12:13

Someone wrote an article for Freedom about the CGT, saying (from the cgt website) they represent over 1 million workers via the works councils, and are as such the 3rd union confederation in spain - is this true?

Also the things which the Italian USI has begun to take part in, are they different from works councils? And how?

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JDMF
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Nov 7 2004 16:32
malatested wrote:

A question for Joe though. The WSM are rightly against social partnership in Irish TUs but appear to offer support to the CGT who are clearly involved in works committees - social partnership in other words. How do the two balance? I'm not suggesting this translates as vicarious support for social partnership, but nevertheless it is something that should be addressed, or am I missing something?

i think you are, you are not comparing like with like. I mean, if we had a primmie taking part to this discussion they would say that the very being of working would be part of managing capitalism and social partnership smile

Perhaps i'm looking at this from a wrong angle, because i don't see any of these ideological impurities in CGT and SAC etc as a problem, because for me it is more of an issue of direct democracy and direct action, a union which is controlled by the workers for the workers. We are not living very revolutionary times so it is no wonder that any group which has a tad bit higher membership will have pressures of reformism just by the virtue of being in the workers control.

How would those who have a problem prevent this in practise? Would you do it like in convcentinal unions and have essentially very undemocratic structures and separated leadership to maintain the purity? Don't think you would... This is why i got "burnt out" from my union stuff, because it is relatively easy to climb up the trade union hierarchy and then be in a position where you can make decisions which ok might be all cool and politically sound, but don't have fuck all to do with workers control and direct democracy.

This is why i don't think political anarchist groups and syndicalist unions work are conflicting, both are needed.