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"politics"

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Santosona
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Oct 4 2013 15:57
"politics"

I understand there is a general idea that for communication, propaganda and organization. choice of language doesn't matter much apart from some notion of being accesible.

That said, I feel confused as to why libertarian communists continue to use the word "political" for anything except statecraft or attempts to get into a position to influence statecraft.

For most working people I know, the word politics is always negative. I think they are basically right. I don't think this need be apathetic or anti-intelektual. I think this attitude is against pro activism, against others speaking for us, alienation, and the left.
What work does "poilitics/political" do other words dont? I am sure someone will flame this as nitpicking, or over-estimating the importance of terminilogy, maybe even ironic. I think it is part of breaking with the left.
Yes words can be used in different senses, but I think this is beyond that.

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Pennoid
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Oct 4 2013 16:19

A lot of marxists like to use it in a way I'm completely unware what they mean. See: Goldner's New Piece on SPAIN

I think in part by "political power" or "political" he means consciousness or uniformity of mindfulness? It's all hegelian anyway.

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klas batalo
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Oct 6 2013 04:31

it sounds like you are coming from a sorta post-Left perspective but regardless...

because politics was associated for so long with parliamentarianism and statism i believe this is often why anarchist communists and anarcho-syndicalists talked of anti-politics/anti-political economic struggle.

i am not sure if i get the anti-state marxist use of the term either (where they say we need an overall political struggle over an economic one in the sense of what I said above). on a seperate note though i have seen the use of political to delineate struggles around oppresion/repression as opposed to struggles around economic exploitation.

if this is all the anti-state marxists mean then maybe i do get it, and it's just some weird base/superstructure thing for them or something, idk.

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Croy
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Oct 26 2013 13:49

The OP is right, say politics to most people, especially young people, and they think of parliamentary democracy and political parties that want to get into government i.e. statecraft. Rather than rejecting the term though, I think it's way better and effective to say something that would basically be like

"well, actually, you know all those shitty parties that don't do anything for us and betray their voters and all the things your disillusioned with. Well, there's actually other political positions that are against all of that, and anarchism is one of them and it actually has a whole different approach to politics (direct action etc) rather than just voting and lobbying/appealing to governments.

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Agent of the In...
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Oct 26 2013 15:11
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
"well, actually, you know all those shitty parties that don't do anything for us and betray their voters and all the things your disillusioned with. Well, there's actually other political positions that are against all of that, and anarchism is one of them and it actually has a whole different approach to politics (direct action etc) rather than just voting and lobbying/appealing to governments.

We have to try re-communicate to them that the political struggle is the class struggle, and that this struggle doesn't exist exclusively within state spheres such as congress or parliament. In fact, when defining our (i.e. working class) politics, politics should be dissociated from the state. And that the only way we can engage in this struggle is through self-organisation and direct action independent of and against both capital and the state.

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Serge Forward
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Oct 26 2013 18:17

While I am aware of the old anarchist usage of the term 'anti-politics', as said earlier, it was used to disassociate from the power-politics of statism, parliamentarism, etc. Nowadays, though, we'd probably just talk about Politics with a capital 'P' (statecraft, parliament and all that), while small 'p' politics would reflect wider social and economic struggles.

I always saw the the Marxist use of 'political struggle' as the struggle for the working class to gain power as a class, the so-called 'dictatorship of the proletariat' (another controversial term open to wide interpretation).

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Croy
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Oct 26 2013 18:25
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
"well, actually, you know all those shitty parties that don't do anything for us and betray their voters and all the things your disillusioned with. Well, there's actually other political positions that are against all of that, and anarchism is one of them and it actually has a whole different approach to politics (direct action etc) rather than just voting and lobbying/appealing to governments.

We have to try re-communicate to them that the political struggle is the class struggle, and that this struggle doesn't exist exclusively within state spheres such as congress or parliament. In fact, when defining our (i.e. working class) politics, politics should be dissociated from the state. And that the only way we can engage in this struggle is through self-organisation and direct action independent of and against both capital and the state.

I agree entirely but isn't that what I said in different words wink

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sometimes explode
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Oct 26 2013 19:02

When it comes up in conversations I tend to say that anarchism is politics while statecraft etc. is a police function set up to regulate/block politics. Serves as a good opener to talking about both traditional anarchism and contemporary radical theory that can be used by anarchists.

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Oct 26 2013 23:24
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
the croydonian anarchist wrote:
"well, actually, you know all those shitty parties that don't do anything for us and betray their voters and all the things your disillusioned with. Well, there's actually other political positions that are against all of that, and anarchism is one of them and it actually has a whole different approach to politics (direct action etc) rather than just voting and lobbying/appealing to governments.

We have to try re-communicate to them that the political struggle is the class struggle, and that this struggle doesn't exist exclusively within state spheres such as congress or parliament. In fact, when defining our (i.e. working class) politics, politics should be dissociated from the state. And that the only way we can engage in this struggle is through self-organisation and direct action independent of and against both capital and the state.

I agree entirely but isn't that what I said in different words ;)

I guess. I mean I know you already agree with that position. But we have to make it clear that's its the only approach to politics. Its not just one of many options.

sanatasosa1
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Oct 31 2013 16:24

Back with a slightly different name.

I don't understand why you want to preserve the word politics. I didn't know there were really any people besides those who want to manage others or be experts in policy who would be married to the term. I don't see the advantage at all.

It seems to me that use of it in the examples above, is so partial and antiquated as to be a kind of equivocation. I am sure the dictionary would disagree with me, but the person on the street wouldn't. What work does the word politics, as something desirable, do?
Do you know that it is not just a synonym for governmental corruption or pettiness, but for pettiness in general? For point scoring, flaming, sectarianism, nastiness etc?

Does it do things that words like discussion, controversy, debate, planning, meeting, action, agreement, power, disagreement, conflict, making, creating etc don't do?

So why care about semantics? Purism? No. For me it is not even about the term, but about the ability to even be clear when talking on one hand, and about seeing who to be a bit watchful of on the other.

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Nov 2 2013 08:29

Politics shmolitics?