Aufheben: Oil wars and world orders old and new

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pingtiao
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Jan 10 2004 17:11
Aufheben: Oil wars and world orders old and new

The excellent Aufheben recently released the latest edition of their autonomist journal, with an excellent article on the Middle East, capitalist geostrategy and coherent anti-authoritarian analysis of current events.

They unfortunately haven't updated their unbelievably crappy website with it, but I tracked it down at the Autonomedia Interactivist Information site.

Quote:

The American-led interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s were presented as 'humanitarian wars'. With the widespread, if not always universal, support of the 'international (bourgeois) community', the liberal apologists for such wars were able to claim that they were being waged to uphold the universal norms of the 'civilised world' that now overrode the old principles of national sovereignty. The conflicting material interests underlying these military adventures were far from apparent.

...article found here

nastyned
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Jan 10 2004 17:32

i thought their analysis of the oil stuff was very good but their analysis of the anti war movement didn't seem to say much.

and as Marxists they are definitely authoritarians. i can remembers someone from aufheben making a big point about this a couple of years ago.

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pingtiao
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Jan 10 2004 18:19

Really? I've been under the impression that autonomist Marxists are anti-authoritarian? Can you give examples to help me here

I am currently in the mode of thinking that says that my allies are libertarian communists, autonomists, council communists, anarco-syndicalists etc...

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pingtiao
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Jan 10 2004 18:19

Really? I've been under the impression that autonomist Marxists are anti-authoritarian? Can you give examples to help me here

I am currently in the mode of thinking that says that my allies are libertarian communists, autonomists, council communists, anarco-syndicalists etc...

p.s. hello there. AF Mark here

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PaulMarsh
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Jan 10 2004 18:41

I think Ned is being very harsh there - I don't think they are authoritarian.

Boring and pompous yes - authoritarian no.

nastyned
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Jan 10 2004 21:02

well i was in a meeting when a bloke from aufheben insisted on saying he was an authoritarian. his words not mine. i think he was basing it on the engels quote about revolution being itself authoritarian.

he was also very anti-anarchist so was probably just making the point to show he wasn't one of us.

captainmission
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Jan 11 2004 16:22
nastyned wrote:
well i was in a meeting when a bloke from aufheben insisted on saying he was an authoritarian. his words not mine. i think he was basing it on the engels quote about revolution being itself authoritarian. quote]

Engels was such a liberal little nob wasn't he?

Quote:
he was also very anti-anarchist so was probably just making the point to show he wasn't one of us.[/

Never really got why there's always been so much territorialy pissing and bad blood between anarchists and autonomists?

nastyned
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Jan 12 2004 12:21
captainmission wrote:

Never really got why there's always been so much territorialy pissing and bad blood between anarchists and autonomists?

Yeah, it surprised me too.

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Jan 12 2004 17:49
captainmission wrote:

Never really got why there's always been so much territorialy pissing and bad blood between anarchists and autonomists?

I think the UK has always been particularly poorly served by its Autonomists, that's all ........

captainmission
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Jan 12 2004 18:37

are there really any autonomists in the UK? Apart from Aufheben and that guy that wanted to do HUB (which probably makes 3)?

anna_key
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Jan 13 2004 16:32

What are autonomists?

redmist
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Jan 13 2004 18:33

There are even some of us libertarian Marxists as well in the U.K !

As far as the anti-war articles in Aufheben go I was not as impressed by them as I have been in the past by some of their stuff.

I haven't got much time at the moment and haven't got their magazine with me but as far as I can remember there was little mention of the Palestinian struggle in connection with the anti-war movement. This I find supprising considering how so many in the movement made the link between the Imperialist war in Iraq and the oppression of the Palestinians by Israel-a client state for U.S. interests in the region.

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pingtiao
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Jan 14 2004 08:20

I thought that the link was mostly made by way of political expediancy. It seemed to me that the SWP courted the Muslim Association of Britain with this carrot, to swell numbers and recruit more acolytes.

Not to say that the client-state relationship between the US and Israel is not a part of the plans of Capital to integrate the Middle East more thoroughly into the market, but the Aufheben analysis was putting the war into a geopolitical context. I read it as an analysis of strategy based on short and medium term requirements for US Capital, whereas the Israel strategy has been more long-term and ongoing.

butchersapron
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Jan 14 2004 08:33

To be fair to the people involved with producing Aufheben they did do a very in-depth and pretty exhaustive piece on Palestine a few issues back, that clearly situated the struggles there in the wider context.

Behind the twenty-first century Intifada

http://www.wildcat-www.de/en/material/aufh10b.htm

Mystic
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Jan 14 2004 15:20

Revolutionary Marxism is based around centralisation and the accumulation of power into the hands of a political elite who oversee the revolution. I know that Marx assumed that the political elite would eventually hand back the power to the people once a communist society had been created, but when you're giving the green light to authoritarianism that's always unlikely (as every single Marxist experiment I can think of has shown). So, Marxism in itself isn't necessarily authoritarian, but since it uses authoritarianism as a vehicle for socialism, I think any anarchist can see why it is a flawed theory.

redmist
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Jan 15 2004 20:21

I have just read the article that Aufheben did on the Intifada from September 2001, and I agree with you Butchers that it certainly was an in-depth analysis of the Palestinian struggle. But this seems to make it even more suprising that in their recent anti-war articles they hardly make any reference to the importance of the struggle of the Palestinian proletariat.

Looking over the articles again I have only found one brief mention of the Palestinians in the conclusion to 'Appendix:Oil wars and new world orders in historical context'(p.27). Here in relation to comments about Islamism as an Ideology the Palestinian masses are said to have been relegated to a 'sub-proletarian existence'.I hope this is not a case of writing off their struggle because as 'sub-proletarians' they are not seen to be able to play a crutial role in terms of the disruption of the functioning of Capital.

If this is the thinking then could it not be be said to resemble the workerist approach of groups like the SWP and even they-who generally seem to write off the revolutionary potential of any groups outside of industrial workers- have a clear line of support for the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, as amongst other reasons it helps destabilise US imperial interests in the region.

redmist
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Jan 15 2004 20:22

I have just read the article that Aufheben did on the Intifada from September 2001, and I agree with you Butchers that it certainly was an in-depth analysis of the Palestinian struggle. But this seems to make it even more suprising that in their recent anti-war articles they hardly make any reference to the importance of the struggle of the Palestinian proletariat.

Looking over the articles again I have only found one brief mention of the Palestinians in the conclusion to 'Appendix:Oil wars and new world orders in historical context'(p.27). Here in relation to comments about Islamism as an Ideology the Palestinian masses are said to have been relegated to a 'sub-proletarian existence'.I hope this is not a case of writing off their struggle because as 'sub-proletarians' they are not seen to be able to play a crutial role in terms of the disruption of the functioning of Capital.

If this is the thinking then could it not be be said to resemble the workerist approach of groups like the SWP and even they-who generally seem to write off the revolutionary potential of any groups outside of industrial workers- have a clear line of support for the Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, as amongst other reasons it helps destabilise US imperial interests in the region.

butchersapron
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Jan 15 2004 20:37

That certainly was not the impression i got - in fact i was happy that the palestinian proletariat was being included as a player in this, rather than being relagated to being passive sidekicks of Arafat or the other bosses - i also think that the aufheben folks would have some problems with the idea of imperialism full stop - ( i do) but that's for them to say.

I'll have another look at the text when i get a chance, as i'm genuinely suprised that you got that from it though...

redmist
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Jan 18 2004 20:52

There are some further points I would like to raise about the anti-war article. In the 'A phenomenal anti- war movement?' when referring to the content and form of the movement Aufheben refer to a friend of theirs who was not even aware of even one of his workmates(in the Post Office) going on the national demonstrations.I understand that this was their experience of what occured in a particular workplace to do with the war, but this was very different to my experience.Prior to the war apart from discussing particular workplace related issues eg.problems with management etc. I heard next to no discussion of wider political issues.However in the lead up to war everyone I work directly with-in a small traditionally unmilitant branch of the public sector- was discussing it with almost all being against the war(nb.most of these people are are not Guardian reading university graduates but have been working since 16).Also there were a number of discussions along the lines of 'Bush talks about freedom for the iraqis but what about the Palestinians'. At my workplace at least a link was made between the Palestinian struggle and the attack on Iraq-which explains part of my concerns in what I saw as a lack of focus on this in the Aufheben articles.(I would also further argue that such a link was made more generally in the anti-war movement).