My Problem With The "Towards A Union Of Organizers" leaflet

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Juan Conatz's picture
Juan Conatz
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Jun 29 2012 16:41

Also, the NA IWW organizer training says nothing about becoming stewards or reps in mainstream unions, although there are plenty of dual carders that are stewards.

Anything higher than steward starts getting into constitutional stuff

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Jun 29 2012 16:51
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A point SolFed users on here have emphasised in previous discussions is that people shouldn't take libcom.org SolFeders as representative of the group as a whole. SolFed's strategy is something that has been agreed by the whole group and it has been mentioned that there will be a pamphlet appearing soon to flesh out the theoretical and practical dimensions of it. While it maybe obvious to you and other SolFeders on here that taking union positions is something you've have a critical standpoint toward and view it as a tactical thing, my perception is that throughout the group that is not the case. I could be wrong, but that is my perception. And I do think this has consequences, practically over the long run, the contradiction between a strategy that is aimed at independent workplace committees and members who take on union positions for an extended period of time, has to be squared.

And to be honest, the thing about the limits of trade unionism is what the more sophisticated of the lefties would say when pushed on such issues.

This is nonsense. We're not talking about SFers getting into flame wars and this being taken as representative of the organisation. Rather, we're talking about SF strategy as laid out in our strategy documents and the organiser training program.

So when Alf said (paraphrasing) that the SF training program is about teaching members to use the "union machinery" and we say--based on our strategy documents and the program itself--that that's not true, you can't come back and say "Well, my perception says this, man..." What a load of crock.

Now, where you're correct is that there is a contradiction in being a union rep and revolutionary and SF is very aware of this. However, unlike the left communists, we're interested in strategy as informed by practice. This entails a structural critique of the trade unions (far deeper than what leftists--who are inherently tied to trade unionism--will say "when pushed". roll eyes Admin: no flaming). This may lead some members, in some situations, to take on shop steward roles. But that's never the end game in itself and the overriding goal is always to supersede the trade union structure.

Alf, this may come across harsh, but has there been any practical outcome of your campus discussion groups? Because the impression I get about the ICC politics is that it involves trying to get people to express the right line--mainly the counter-revolutionary nature of the trade unions. SF takes a different approach based on engaging people in struggle over material issues and then using that to open up the space to have deeper political conversations.

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Jun 29 2012 16:59

OK, perhaps the impression you get of what I do at work is no more accurate than my view of what you do in your training sessions?

I would have thought from all the posts I have done about what i do at work that you would be hard pressed to argue that it "involves trying to get people to express the right line--mainly the counter-revolutionary nature of the trade unions".

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Jun 29 2012 17:57
Harrison wrote:
from what i remember reading written by other ex-DAM members, i think it was a political failure within the group (an attempt to unfold into a syndicalist union that went badly wrong) that led to loads of people leaving - the remaining people who wanted to learn from it and change strategy dissolved DAM and formed SolFed (and moved away from the strategy of rank and file opposition within the TUC unions*)

I may need correcting...

I left when they took the decision to 'turn themselves into a union', so I am not sure about exactly what went on internally, but it seems a fairly reasonable summery as I remember it all.

Devrim

syndicalist
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Jun 29 2012 18:21
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[quote=Harrison:
from what i remember reading written by other ex-DAM members, i think it was a political failure within the group (an attempt to unfold into a syndicalist union that went badly wrong) that led to loads of people leaving - the remaining people who wanted to learn from it and change strategy dissolved DAM and formed SolFed (and moved away from the strategy of rank and file opposition within the TUC unions*)

It'd be interesting to hear from someone active at the time inside DAM. I thought that some of the struggles were over how to find the proper balance between doin purely A/S stuff and social anarchist stuff.

The pamphlet help to spark some debates globally
and, in some measure, laid some of the seeds at getting A/S to think about organizing a certain way.
the whole question of "industrial networks" and the formation of same was, in part, a product of the process of reorienting 1990s A/S..... From a personal experiance, I can say that the pamphlet was discussed and some of it we tried act upon in the WSA (short lived industrial networks).

Personally, I always liked the DAM comrades. or neally all the ones I met in those years.

What I think needs to be contextualized is that most IWA comrades in the industrialized west (inc. all european counteis sans spain-cnt, france-cnt & italy-usi)worked inside the reformist unions. Up until prolly the late 1990s this was mainly how it was.
A/S "rank & filism" was not a new or strange phenom.
And on your side of the pond, the old SWF (pre-DAM)
carried the lion share of the National Rank & File Movement.

The decade of 2000s is when there have been noticeable shifts away from this. In part because deinstrialization has brought private sector unionism to new lows, most younger folks don't work the old jobs and many barely work at all. Very much a sea change in things. But the basic principles of working class self-organization, of A/S trying to infuse militant, radical and revolutionary principles and perspectives change little. Perhaps the format and forms, but not the concept of the ideal. Ah, another conversation.

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Jun 30 2012 07:37

Alf, this may come across harsh, but has there been any practical outcome of your campus discussion groups?

Not sure what you would count as a practical outcome. My experience with this kind of thing is that it is quite loose and informal, and goes through ups and downs, so what practical use it can be depends on the circumstances to some extent. At the moment the forum is kind of dormant - partly because it's been exam time and some of the more politically aware students are focusing on their A levels, partly because Miles and myself have not really succeeded in getting others to take on the 'organising' work. Also, I am more or less retired now and only work very part time.

The forum has served as a medium of discussion among staff and students, both about more general questions and about more immediate ones connected to the 2010 students' struggle and the recent public sector strikes. Four moments stand out in my memory: a discussion about conspiracy theories, which are very prevalent among the students, especially the African Christians and the Asian Muslims; a big meeting about Israel/Palestine, which was successful and well attended precisely because one or two students took on most of the organising tasks; a meeting with the group that called itself the 'left wing student assembly' about the public sector strike, which was both general ('is a one day strike the way to push back the government?', etc, and practical: where shall we meet tomorrow to go on the demo, etc.

The forum has also served as a medium for discussion - and, I would say, organising -among staff about to go on strike action. This is mainly because there is no common forum for workers from different unions to come together. The clearest example of this was on the eve of the strike last June (I think - there have been so many) when about 40 members of staff, from different unions or none, used the forum to hold a meeting where it was decided that no one there would cross the picket line even though officially only the NUT (and maybe the UCU, although it only has a member or two there)was on strike. I think that's practical.

Harrison
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Jun 29 2012 19:13
Devrim wrote:
I left when they took the decision to 'turn themselves into a union', so I am not sure about exactly what went on internally, but it seems a fairly reasonable summery as I remember it all.

thanks, i think it might have been from one of your old libcom posts that i got that information !

syndicalist wrote:
And on your side of the pond, the old SWF (pre-DAM)
carried the lion share of the National Rank & File Movement.

We're actually currently waiting for the SF archives commission to sort out digitising the SWF archives (which will make an interesting read)

syndicalist wrote:
The decade of 2000s is when there have been noticeable shifts away from this. In part because deinstrialization has brought private sector unionism to new lows, most younger folks don't work the old jobs and many barely work at all. Very much a sea change in things. But the basic principles of working class self-organization, of A/S trying to infuse militant, radical and revolutionary principles and perspectives change little. Perhaps the format and forms, but not the concept of the ideal. Ah, another conversation.

agreed - what i think is so interesting though is how the 2008 crash and its aftershock has swept away the creeping attempts within the libertarian left to pronounce the 'death of class' found in some of the post-autonomists etc. and as soon as crisis emerges, class struggle re-emerges and suddenly communist organisations across the world receive a new lease of life as mass class struggle becomes a valid concept again

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Jun 29 2012 19:36
Chilli Sauce wrote:
The "most rebellious" workers aren't really our target audience. And even if the term training does initially put them off (I've never seen this happen and can't imagine it being so), it should only take about a 30 second conversation to change that.

I can imagine that the term 'training' would put some people off.

Personally I would be interested to try it, but I can imagine others of my age and social background who would be put off by terms like 'traning', 'workshop', 'role plays' etc.

To me (and try to remember that it has been a few decades since I lived in the UK) it sounds like US style management speak. I can remember things like them trying to bring 'teams' and 'team leaders into my Post Office.

Things my have changed since then, and it might be quite common to refer to things like this now, but reading the blurb on your site, I do find it quite in that style and offputting.

Devrim

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Jun 29 2012 21:30

I've been meaning to say, some of my co-workers finds words like "communism" and "decadence of capitalism" offputting. To a lot of people it just sounds like old-fashioned authoritarian socialism. Oh and the 'libertarian' part of libertarian communism makes people think of Ron Paul. Maybe those words could be scrapped too.

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Devrim
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Jun 29 2012 22:11
Nate wrote:
Oh and the 'libertarian' part of libertarian communism makes people think of Ron Paul.

I don't even know who you are talking about

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I've been meaning to say, some of my co-workers finds words like "communism"...offputting.

.

Yes, I am sure they do. There is a difference though in that the words I quoted above have all been used in the reasonably recent past as part of an ideological attack upon the working class.

Whether people still react to them lie that within the working class in the UK as I said I have no idea. I have probably spent less than a month there in the past two decades. They might be quite commonly used there now. I can imagine it putting people off though.

Devrim

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Jun 30 2012 03:38
Nate wrote:
I've been meaning to say, some of my co-workers finds words like "communism" and "decadence of capitalism" offputting. To a lot of people it just sounds like old-fashioned authoritarian socialism. Oh and the 'libertarian' part of libertarian communism makes people think of Ron Paul. Maybe those words could be scrapped too.

If you do away with the 'libertarian' bit of libertarian communism, you end up with 'communism' which as Nate says some workers find off-putting. But some workers find words like unemployment, cut-backs, austerity, wage-freeze, redundancy and so on, offputting too. I should think nowadays that even the authoritarian word "capitalism" is starting to sound a bit off putting to many. Of course the thing about good old fashioned communism is that it's the only solution available to decomposing capitalism, and the sooner our co-workers - be they employed, on benefits, pensioners or students - realize this (its decay is after all now visible for all to see) the sooner we can take steps to get rid of it. It isn't a question of scrapping words, it's a question of thinking about what they mean, and relating them to the increasingly unbearable conditions of existence we all find ourselves in. Wouldn't Ron Paul agree?

Oh, and the one word you can scrap is the 'authoritarian' you wrongly attached to socialism.

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klas batalo
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Jun 30 2012 06:27

@nate do you really think left communists talk about communism at work? or do they relate to people on a class basis?

i think the words we use are all based on context. if someplace you can use the dictatorship of the proletariat and the revolutionary party to mean a council system of democracy and revolutionary minorities i guess sure go ahead. i am partial though to...ANARKY!!!!!

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Jun 30 2012 06:47

Sabotage my point was that "a few of us find some words like training offputting" is a little weird given that our milieu is awash with terms that (at least where I live) are way, way more offputting and confusing, like communism etc. And as I thought was made clear in the thread the actual practice, the term 'training' refers to isn't anything anyone here really seems to have a problem with (systematic attempt to transmit collective experience and bring people up to speed so they can avoid some of the more predictable mistakes and participate more fully as equals in the organization). Unlike ideas like communism and revolution and so on, ideas which at least some working class people object to not because of terminology but because of real political differences that have to be hashed out.

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klas batalo
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Jun 30 2012 16:14

I feel that.

Android
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Jun 30 2012 16:18
Chilli Sauce wrote:
This is nonsense. We're not talking about SFers getting into flame wars and this being taken as representative of the organisation. Rather, we're talking about SF strategy as laid out in our strategy documents and the organiser training program.

So when Alf said (paraphrasing) that the SF training program is about teaching members to use the "union machinery" and we say--based on our strategy documents and the program itself--that that's not true, you can't come back and say "Well, my perception says this, man..." What a load of crock.

Maybe I have been unclear but this is not my point at all. I accept that SolFed as a group has an agreed strategy (would be weird if I didn't!) which is in an early stages of implementation etc. My point is essentially this:

Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, the NA IWW organizer training says nothing about becoming stewards or reps in mainstream unions, although there are plenty of dual carders that are stewards.

This has been my point that the strategy does not seem to address this and leaves it to individuals. In my opinion, groups should view their members activity at a workplace level (as in other areas) in a collective manner (most political groups do this on paper (literally!) and SolFed being the most comprehensive class-based approach, in practice I can think of in English speaking world), not micro-managing members activity, but having a common orientation and framework for discussing and developing a response to issues that arise in day-to-day activity.

Not to address this in the strategy seems odd since it is a long standing issue for activity at a workplace level, Since there is various dynamics, processes and pressures that comrades experience to take on union positions. Even though it seems to me that is not on the level that it was in the 1970s due to changes in capitalism (causualisation etc), it is still a substantial pressure, from both above and below, for someone active in a workplace. Just for the record in case it arises in the course of this discussion - I have very little experience of workplace activity due to being in my early 20s and having a disability which greatly limits my employment chances, so I'm definitely at the bottom of the class struggle league table!

Finally, I don't really an issue per se with the word 'training' which might be different for people with more experience of 'training' at work or of a union variety. And since I have not been on SolFed's organiser training, my understanding of it is limited, based on what I have gleaned from reading discussions on various threads and on their website.

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Jun 30 2012 18:34
Android wrote:
Juan Conatz wrote:
Also, the NA IWW organizer training says nothing about becoming stewards or reps in mainstream unions, although there are plenty of dual carders that are stewards.

This has been my point that the strategy does not seem to address this and leaves it to individuals. In my opinion, groups should view their members activity at a workplace level (as in other areas) in a collective manner (...) Not to address this in the strategy seems odd since it is a long standing issue for activity at a workplace level, Since there is various dynamics, processes and pressures that comrades experience to take on union positions.

None of that seems to really apply to SolFed. For the IWW in the US, I agree with you that the organization should be clearer on this but I also think it really doesn't matter very much in any real way. (It's worth pointing out that the IWW's constitution says "Branches may allow IWW members to become officers of trade or craft unions as long as these exceptions are reported to the General Administration and no IWW member receives significant pay (more than dues rebate and expenses) as a result of being an officer or official in a union that does not call for abolition of the wage system." So there is a constitutional limit on involvement in other unions.)

This issue about stewarding hasn't been an issue with any real practical significance for the IWW in the US, though. Here's why. The actually existing IWW operating in the actually existing contemporary economy, has by far its most active membership of people who are under 40 and work in the private sector. And really it's probly people in their 20s who make up most of the active membership, and a lot of them are working part-time jobs. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011 in the US

Quote:
Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (37.0 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.9 percent). (...) the union membership rate was highest among workers 55 to 64 years old (15.7 percent). The lowest union membership rate occurred among those ages 16 to 24 (4.4 percent). (...) Full-time workers were about twice as likely as part-time workers to be union members, 13.1 percent compared with 6.4 percent.

So the numbers of the US working class who are actually in unions are small. And the numbers are a tiny handful among the demographics the IWW is actually active among in the US. So it's pretty much irrelevant for the time being. The IWW tends to mostly not bother to make policy unless something has been an issue for the organization. Because of the reality of unionization rates in the US it hasn't really been a serious issue here. And so, no real policy.

I will also say that the hegemonic/common sense view among members is one of being skeptical of the business unions. That could be deeper and there could be better analysis for it. But all of the above is why it's not in the training program and why it's irrelevant to most of what the IWW's doing. Oh yeah, also, the heart of the training program is about building a workplace grouping that takes action together outside of institutional mechanisms - it's an organization building thing centered on direct action. That doesn't get into union officialdom etc but it's very clear to participants that things like union elections, filing grievances, etc, don't fit into the vision of workplace action and organization we're talking about in our training. I realize that that's not clear in our literature that's available in the internet. That failure to reflect the actual practice of the organization is a flaw of that literature but it's not a serious organizational flaw in my opinion because the IWW doesn't expect online literature to do much work, the organization mostly operates via direct interpersonal contact - especially when it comes to things like getting people to attend trainings.

There's been some talk that the IWW dual carders should figure out what they think is the best approach to issues of stewarding etc. There's not aggreement on that among the small numbers of IWW dual carders. That's not a pressing issue for the organization as a whole and since I'm not a dual carder I don't have very strong feelings about it. All of that said, I think what the IWW/CUPW dual carders are doing is very exciting and has a lot to say about how IWW members should relate to stuff like being a steward etc. (I can find a link if you want more detail, there's been several articles about this on Recomposition.)

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Jun 30 2012 22:18

I have to say that I've always liked SolFed, especially their Brighton group and stuff they produced (like that pamphlet Anarcho-Syndicalism in 21st Century) and especially when I used to be a member of Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists (MASA) from Croatia... I've even met few Brighton comrades in Spain on IWA's conference. Saying all that I have to say that so far some of you have acted really stupid in this thread, because you are attacking Alf only on personal level, which is not really nice, especially because a lot of people do that in every thread he appears. Also, I'm really disappointed that nobody really tried to answer his points. I'm for from "love & unity" hippie bollocks, but when you have political discussion you should be able to answer with arguments instead of personal attacks.

I'm personally really interested in hearing argumentation for having members who are shop stewards, because when I was a member of MASA we were pretty much against taking part in "Yellow unions". For me personally it's quite weird to attack "yellow", official unions, and in the same time have some members in there, because when you write a critique of them most of the time people are criticising bureaucracy for suppressing workers independent actions and then you have members who have same positions of power within union.

That reminded me of a case when Italian platformists manage to get their member being head of one union due to their entryist politics... And I don't wanna be misunderstood, I don't have anything against working with union rank-and-file, quite contrary, but taking part in bureaucratic machine is something quite different.

Also, I've read that it isn't SolFed's strategy to have shop stewards in unions, which is good, but you still have them... why? Maybe some shop stewards could answer that question?

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Jun 30 2012 22:50
Kontrrazvedka wrote:
Also, I've read that it isn't SolFed's strategy to have shop stewards in unions, which is good, but you still have them... why? Maybe some shop stewards could answer that question?

The strategy also doesn't say "don't be a shop steward". If it did, then there'd be a contradiction. Just because a tiny handful of SF members do something doesn't mean it's part of our strategy, or in contradiction if it's not in there. The strategy isn't an exhaustive guide for what all members would do in all circumstances.

Honestly, the whole "how can you be a steward if you are opposed to trade unions" just rings so false. It's a bit like when Louise Mensch (Conservative MP media star) attacked Occupy LSX for drinking Starbucks - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3252FSW7OC4

Just as buying coffee from a multinational chain doesn't negate a critique of capital, taking on shop floor positions doesn't negate criticism of trade unionism.

It's not to say there's no possible problems with being a steward that *could* arise - eg, depending on how you do it you could make co-workers rely on the union rather than themselves, you could get drawn into tedious procedural work etc., but it's not necessarily the case. Anyone who thinks being a steward means you can't argue against the union or refuse to implent any bullshit you might get passed down from above (what are they going to do, threaten to murder your family?) is at best deluded.

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Jun 30 2012 23:10

I've never said that SolFed has a strategy: "don't have a shop stewards", but I was saying that you don't have official strategy on that topic and that it depends on individual cases.

So, I'd still like to hear what are good things that come out of that... maybe backed up with some experience which is not problem to post on public forum...

I think it's kind of silly to compare union bureaucrat with Starstruck coffee. I doubt that consumerism and position in a managing/disciplining working class are the same things. This is vulgarisation of role of unions in capitalism.

Also, this line:Anyone who thinks being a steward means you can't argue against the union or refuse to implent any bullshit you might get passed down from above (what are they going to do, threaten to murder your family?) is at best deluded. have reminded me of my recent polemic with one social-democrat who argued for creation of Croatian SYRIZA, so that he can go to parliament to promote anti-parliamnetarism and direct democracy. Of course that shop stewards do not have to pass down all decisions which come from the top (and I personally know a lot of "radical" shop stewards and union representatives), but what does shop steward do during "happy times"? Also, does anarcho-syndicalist critique of "yellow unions" or "revisionists" (like CGT, SAC etc.) include that shop steward or he is exempt? Is critique based on individual steward and his good will and political ideology or on operative position withing capitalist system?

I mean, with all due respect, isn't it quite better to organise workers outside of institutions of capitalist control?

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Jun 30 2012 23:54

edit - you know what, fuck this, post deleted.

When someone thinks organising on a class basis means discussion meetings on conspiracy theories and Palestine, just engaging with them means they win.

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Jul 1 2012 01:05
Fall Back wrote:
None of the benefits I got from being a steward are going to do communism alone, or build class power, but they all make doing it easier, with no negative consequences. If I wanted, there's stuff I could get that would make things easier, but I think would become problematic (facility time, more resources and finances eg.) that I avoid. If the advantages I could accrue were reduced, or the role started to become problematic, I'd just fuck it off - as I said, it's a tactical decision, and if it ceases to be tactical to hold the position, an SF member would just walk away - or as would be the case in many workplaces, just not take it in the first place.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me (us), I appreciate it really a lot, even I don't have to agree with you in making conclusions.

Also, I'd like use this space to share some of my own experiences and thoughts. Now, you know that I'm quite younger than you, so I'm still student and I'm in a no position of being union member... During my time in MASA, which is once again an anarcho-syndicalist organisation from Croatia (just to remind other people), a lot of comrades and me have established certain connections with working class. Now, I wasn't always happy with certain ways of doing that, which is one of reasons why I'm not part of that group anymore. But, talking about "good ones" I can say that our approach was always to go outside of institutions of capitalism. Results were good, especially if you take that we were (and still are, no matter where we are now) inexperienced, young and small and weak as an organisation. We made connections with workers, get them interested in our literature etc. For example, I've left MASA but I still maintained certain connections. Last month I made an interview with workers from one "self-managed" factory about their struggle... we also had discussion about unions, communism and stuff. It was interesting. Workers here despise unions. Unions have a history of fucking up workers and workers know that, but still when they are in deep shit they turn to unions, even they know that unions are shit. So, this is little bit a rant (cause it's late here and I'm trying to say as much as I can), but my point is that it would be really backwards from me being a shop steward. Why? Because, instead of calling workers for independent class struggle and organising out side of union... A lot of stuff you mentioned as positive is of technical nature. I know it's hard to provide certain stuff if you don't have structure and funds that unions have, but nobody said that trying to work in non-revolutionary situation is easy...

Quote:
Of course they aren't the same, but the point is, that saying one can't be opposed to something just because they use it is a worthless argument. It's no better when applied to unions than when it's applied to jobs/consumer goods/bank accounts/state benefits etc.

There's is big difference in living in capitalist system (where you need to buy food, work, pay bills etc.) and reproducing it's ideology and myths. As I said, I have nothing against working with union rank-and-file, but I find a bit problematic in being in a position of power within a union. I don't find your compartment valid at all. Tbh, it's like when Croatian social-democrat tried to diss anarchism with "you can't be an anarchist because you eat in McDonald's" stuff. Let's move from it...

Quote:
The analogy might work if I was trying to change the union from the inside, which I'm not. Or maybe if getting elected to parliament was something you could just walk into, which it isn't. It's a minor part of my day to day activity, that I can fuck off at any point - utterly unlike leftist parliamentarianism

My point was never that being a shop steward is only thing you do or that you are trying to change union. My point was that shop steward is a function just like MP is, but of course, not of same power.

Saying this, it brings up one question: could you do the same stuff you do if you were just an ordinary union member?

Quote:
I have no idea what "happy times" are tbh. When does the class struggle go on pause? If you mean when we're not on strike or directly in dispute,

Yeah, I mean that it's a time when you are not directly involved in anything (as an union, not you as an individual or a member of SolFed). After all it's not like unions take big part in class struggle or that they are fighting it every day...

Quote:
pretty much the same I'd do if I wasn't a steward/did before I was one - argue for collective responses the workplace grievances and working across union boundaries, and pointing out the problems with unions to co-workers.

So, you could do that and not to be shop steward?

Quote:
My criticism of trade unions is based on a materialist analysis their structural role in capitalist society. It's not based on painting them into an idealist box marked "baddies".

I'm not marking anybody as "bad" or "good". My criticism of union is based on a fact that every time workers are trying to do anything union leaders, shop stewards and whole crew are trying to control the struggle and keep it calm. It goes for even radical struggles, such are happening right now in Croatia. Relaying on materialist analysis it's quite obvious what are these people trying to do.

Your position on the other hand is relaying on single shop steward. Now, if it wasn't you on that position (or any other SolFed member) and if it was some cunt from some bourgeois party you know what would outcome be... So, can we relay only on individual? In a case that workers have person like you - they are lucky, but you are an individual and it's a question how long can you go against current. For example, workers I've mention were all kicked out of union when they did that. Did they wanted to participate in union anymore? No. They realised problems of union. Were they idealists? Not at all.

Quote:
I'm no more going to dismiss "shop stewards" as a homogenous mass as I am union members as a whole.

I'm also not pointing my finger on individuals, but on structures of capitalist society. They are not some empty shells which you can fill with flowers... they are meant to exist for certain reason. Full control.

Quote:
Such a view does no one any good.

With all due respect, I hear that every day for every position I take against certain capitalist institution... but not from the crew anyone would like to be associated...

Quote:
As I alluded to earlier, it has little more role in upholding capital than me having a job does.

Can you brake strike if you are working as for example carrier in liquor factory warehouse? I don't think so, but shop stewards and union representatives brake strikes all the time. I'm not saying that you'll personally do that, especially because I find you as a comrade, but someone could... it's quite easy to happen... I mean wasn't there some kind of an attack on English anarchist because he was a scab, cause that's was only thing he could do to keep a job he really needed? Also, there's big harm of spreading myths that institutions of capitalist control could work in workers way if there are right people on them.

Quote:
If it somehow made arguing against the union more difficult, or 'strengthened the union's hold' over workers, there might be a point, but it doesn't - if anything, I've found having a steward position has made arguing against unions far easier, since it's not just dismissed by my co-workers as pissing from the outside.

This is an argument in a line of "you gotta do that to be serious"... I mean, can't you earn respect from workers with your "regular SolFed" activity? You can.

Quote:
Yes, that's why I'm a communist. But, I'm also not an idealist, and don't base my political strategy on what I'd like things to be.

Neither do I. I just don't believe that participating in bourgeois institutions will lead me where I wanna be. Agitating for independent workers organising will, even it's hard... but you know what 50 Cent said... develop class consciousness, or die trying wink

Quote:
At present, I reckon I get a (minor) benefit from being a steward, so I'll be one. So long as it doesn't hamper my principles or get in the way of my organising, there's no reason not to. If things change, and it does, I'll stop. Pretty much, the same assessment I make with everything in my political life.

Ok.

Quote:
What it comes down to tho, is for you, Alf, Android, others is to make the case what harm is caused by taking steward roles. And not just the idealist trash you've spouted so far, or examples of problems that *could* arise - actual, solid material reasons where taking a steward role *must always* causes harm.

I believe I answered on this stuff. If you need more examples I can write you about struggles in Croatia and experience... just let me know wink

Iskra's picture
Iskra
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Jul 1 2012 01:08
Fall Back wrote:
edit - you know what, fuck this, post deleted.

I've still answered you. I hope you don't mind.

Quote:
When someone thinks organising on a class basis means discussion meetings on conspiracy theories and Palestine, just engaging with them means they win.

I don't know what do you think with this? You're just dissing ICC? I'm not a member of ICC. Neither is Android.

So, if you wanna continue attacking ICC feel free if you like it (I personally dislike it and I believe that discussion would be better without that), but still you can answer to us.

Harrison
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Joined: 16-11-10
Jul 12 2012 04:30

The internet mental strikes back:

http://insipidities.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/combination-of-loose-and-strict_23.html

Some highlights:
"the anti-theoretical fetish for 'solidarity'"
"As one of Solidarity federation's thrusting sales’ reps has it" (referring to me)
"The self-deceiving anarcho-syndicalist fanatic is therefore indistinguishable from any other ideologically motivated bully"

"The long term object of the syndicalists is an idealistic ‘union of organisers’ where everybody is organising each other. "
Oh no not Idealism! Please come and save me with lots of esoteric rambling and denunciations!

Here is such a spectacular case of completely missing the point, that i had to post a paragraph:

lettersjournal (in all likeliness) wrote:
The reduction of class struggle to easily consumed massified ideological commodities has always drawn communist critique of syndicalism. One of the IWW militants describes the experience of training in his own words:
syndicalist wrote:
Being in a room full of "peers" and having them go hard at you in a make believe address or raising a resolution at a meeting dominated by trade union hacks is a hellava lot better then going at it cold feet...."trust me" I got ripped to shreds the first few times I tried it in a reformist union meeting. Point being, you toughen up a bit, you have a bit of an expectation, you learn some of the parameters of certain "dos and don'ts".

The production of militants is integrated into the reproduction of variable capital, over which the militant, under certain circumstances, is factored in to becomes its capitalist. The militant is produced within the group by a rite of challenge or ‘ripping’ which desensitises or ‘toughens’ him. It is a self-initiated process which converts his humanity into an ideological role integrated into the general process of the reproduction of variable capital. Externally, his function is to return all critique of capitalist relations to questions of the management of production (rendered invisible as it is directed towards need).

Nate's picture
Nate
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Jul 12 2012 05:08

אם אתה רוצה תמונה של היומן של אותיות, דמיין שיר אודות אתחול החתמת על פני אדם — הודגש.

Fall Back's picture
Fall Back
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Joined: 22-09-03
Jul 12 2012 05:59
insipidities wrote:
"TIME CUBE 4ce"

In 1884, meridian time personnel met

in Washington to change Earth time.

First words said was that only 1 day

could be used on Earth to not change

the 1 day bible. So they applied the 1

day and ignored the other 3 days.

The bible time was wrong then and it

proved wrong today. This a major lie

has so much evil feed from it's wrong.

No man on Earth has no belly-button,

it proves every believer on Earth a liar.

Children will be blessed for

Killing Of Educated Adults

Who Ignore 4 Simultaneous

Days Same Earth Rotation.

Practicing Evil ONEness -

Upon Earth Of Quadrants.

Evil Adult Crime VS Youth.

Supports Lie Of Integration.

1 Educated Are Most Dumb.

Not 1 Human Except Dead 1.

Man Is Paired, 2 Half 4 Self.

1 of God Is Only 1/4 Of God.

Bible A Lie & Word Is Lies.

Navel Connects 4 Corner 4s.

God Is Born Of A Mother –

She Left Belly B. Signature.

Every Priest Has Ma Sign

But Lies To Honor Queers.

Belly B. Proves 4 Corners.

Your dirty lying teachers

use only the midnight to

midnight 1 day (ignoring

3 other days) Time to not

foul (already wrong) bible

time. Lie that corrupts earth

you educated stupid fools.

GoBelly-Button Logic Works.

When Do Teenagers Die?

Adults Eat Teenagers Alive,

No Record Of Their Death.

Father Son Image, Not Gods.

Every Man Born Of Woman.

Belly-Button Is the Signature

Of Your Personal Creator -

I Believe Her Name Mama.

Pastor Told His Flock That

God Created All Of Them -

Truth Was That They All had

Mama Made Belly Buttons,

Church Was Full Of Liars.

Earth Has 4 Days In Same 24 Hrs., 1 Day God Was Wrong.

Einstein Was ONEist Brain.

Try My Belly-Button Logic.

No God Knows About 4 Days, It Is Evil To Ignore 4 Days,

Does Your Teacher Know ?

Fraudulent ONEness of religious

academia has retarded your opposite

rationale brain to a half brain slave.

YOU IGNORE 3 OF 4 DAYS -

FORCE 4 DAYS ON EARTH,

THEY ALREADY EXIST.

4 HORSEMEN HAVE 4 DAYS

IN ONLY 1 EARTH ROTATION.

4 ANGLES STOOD ON 4 CORNERS.

4 CORNERS ROTATE TO 16 CORNERS

WHICH EQUAL TO 4 CORNER DAYS.

TEACHERS ARE EVIL LIARS - THE

ONEness OF GOD IS STILLness DEATH.
YOU WERE ONEness RETARD ON THE
EARTH OPPOSITES ALL YOUR LIFE.
LOVE OF GOD IS HATE OF CHILDREN.
SUPPORT TIMECUBE OR BE CURSED.

EARTH HAS 4 CORNER

SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY

TIME CUBE

WITHIN SINGLE ROTATION.

4 CORNER DAYS PROVES 1

DAY 1 GOD IS TAUGHT EVIL.

IGNORANCE OF TIMECUBE4

SIMPLE MATH IS RETARDATION

AND EVIL EDUCATION DAMNATION.

CUBELESS AMERICANS DESERVE -

AND SHALL BE EXTERMINATED.

http://www.timecube.com/

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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Joined: 5-10-07
Jul 12 2012 13:12
Quote:
TEACHERS ARE EVIL LIARS

Exactly.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
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Joined: 5-10-07
Jul 12 2012 13:26

I know no one actually reads this shit, but what a mental bastard:

Quote:
Organiser training is presented as a proffessionalisation of workplace opposition but actually functions as an initiation rite in the self-production of militants. It is designed to instil a sense of regimental allegiance in the cadre, to establish an on-message consistency and to develop the proffessional resonance of the brand (one black and red flag for every employee).

...This is only feasible where internal discipline and regulated communication is imposed around its sacred core: nobody questions the organisation, ever.

...It is imbued with the logic of the commodity form. It argues for the development of a red and black commodity that will appeal to consumerist conventions

roll eyes roll eyes roll eyes

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Juan Conatz
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Joined: 29-04-08
Jul 12 2012 14:45

lol great stuff!

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 12 2012 14:59
Quote:
...It is imbued with the logic of the commodity form. It argues for the development of a red and black commodity that will appeal to consumerist conventions

reformist syndicalism with all it's red & black flags and no content would fall squarely here...seriously.