BNP vs far left...or something

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Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 12 2004 18:29
BNP vs far left...or something

Why hasn't the recent increase in popularity of various far right groups such as BNP coincided with an increase for left wing groups?? I mean, the BNP recruit heavily in the working class, purporting to offer solutions to the same problems as socialists groups focus on, and their popularity is indicative of a general disaffection with "conventional" political parties and, one might say, the general electoral system itself.

So...why aren't the bourgeiousie talking in hushed tones about anarchists in the same way as they are fascists?? The short answer is probably "cos the British left wing is a fucking mess" but I wanna know what "we're" doing wrong and why we're so shit. I have my own theories and I'm wondering if they link in with general feeling on here.

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Steven.
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Dec 13 2004 00:34

Hmmm I think one thing is focus. The BNP pretend to want to deal with problems working class people are really bothered about - the Left don't bother, and instead concentrate on recruiting students from the latest trendy-left campaign (like anti-war, palestine, refugees are welcome here yada yada).

I think that's probably a big reason - although the main one I think is the media shifting all blame for social ills on immigrants + w/c criminals etc.; the far-right naturally grows off this.

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 13 2004 18:15

Is it?

800,000 people voted for the BNP, but how many of those become involved in party struictre, i mean be serious, when the BNP actually hold rallies how many people turn up. I'm not downplaying the BNP threat, i'm just pointing out that all the BNP need to do at best is get people to vote for them, or get them to join up, building a fascist movement is always going to be easier because all it is is playing to populism getting funding and then waiting to be co-pted into the bourgeois order in a period of crisis.

A serious anti-capitalist movement requires the creation of revolutionary structures, not just voting for some random nutter in a by election.

However, i don't think just saying ''the left is too middle class'' is a satisfactory answer at all. I mean 1 million people marched against the war, they came out and they knew who was organising it, so simply saying we failed to recruit most of them because they're ''all trendy middle class wankers like'', or ''it was all the SWP's fault sob sob'' is not a satisfactory analysis either, and to be honest i think that sort of thionking can do almost as much harm as wanky activist permamnent oppositionalist type crap. People aren't stupid, we knew what the war was about and we looked for alternatives, none were successfully offered and the anti-war movement degenerated into a-b marches where only a small set of people remained involved.

Not neccessarily saying i have any answers, though we all have ideas, but simply saying they're ''all too middle class'' is a bit pointless and doesn't really provide any analysis on how to create a revolutionary movement in a relatively stable society.

john

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Steven.
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Dec 13 2004 18:30

Er, john that's not what I said at all.

My point was that I think you can only build a decent communist movement based on people doing things which will benefit themselves - i.e. which are based on their concrete experiences.

I get pissed off with people who said everyone who marched against or cared about the war was "middle class" - they're the same patronising people who hold a ridiculous ken loach-esque stereotype of w/c people as unthinking pie+mash-eating, cap-doffing idiots.

But yeah the BNP are organisationally small, and shit with not much basis in most of the country apart from as an anti-immigrant protest vote...

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 13 2004 18:40
George'sBush wrote:
Er, john that's not what I said at all.

My point was that I think you can only build a decent communist movement based on people doing things which will benefit themselves - i.e. which are based on their concrete experiences.

I get pissed off with people who said everyone who marched against or cared about the war was "middle class" - they're the same patronising people who hold a ridiculous ken loach-esque stereotype of w/c people as unthinking pie+mash-eating, cap-doffing idiots.

But yeah the BNP are organisationally small, and shit with not much basis in most of the country apart from as an anti-immigrant protest vote...

sorry, i know you don't think that, i just wasn't thinking for a minute and saw a tide of hysterical anti-SWP posts saying that sort of thing

Anyways, how do you think we could turn anti-war protestors into active socialists? I mean aswell as having a communty network to recruit people into what ideas can we think of. I think that this is a serious issue, because wile the iraq war festers its only a matter of time before we get another war, say a year or two years at best, there are clearly a number of countries on the list so to speak.

john

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Steven.
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Dec 13 2004 18:43
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Anyways, how do you think we could turn anti-war protestors into active socialists?

Sleep with them?

Nah seriously I dunno... I think the best we can hope for is that people get a taste of their own power, so I dunno just argue for things which will aim for that in whatever you do?

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 13 2004 19:00
George'sBush wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
Anyways, how do you think we could turn anti-war protestors into active socialists?

Sleep with them?

Nah seriously I dunno... I think the best we can hope for is that people get a taste of their own power, so I dunno just argue for things which will aim for that in whatever you do?

damn you, i thought you'd have some grand plan to save us all

now what am i supposed to do

john

3rdseason
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Dec 13 2004 19:12
cantdocartwheels wrote:
[Anyways, how do you think we could turn anti-war protestors into active socialists?

Perhaps having some sort of really basic leaflet about what anarchism is, anarchists position of a few basic issues, a list of good books for those who wish to read surther, a short explanation of why anarchism is cool and socialist parties aren't and some contact details.

If say, 1000 of those were handed out at the big anti-war demo I reckon there would have been something like 50 people following up an interest in getting involved/discussing ideas further. That might not sound like a lot but given how tiny the @ movement is, it woulda been great. grin

Nightjar
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Dec 13 2004 19:14

The left are not interested in the things that most concern working class communities, only that 'socialism' is the 'answer' and that the working class have to except this or bog off. The left for along time told people to vote Labour - failing to realise that the 'big' parties, their reputations and their anti-working class nature were the reasons that the likes of the BNP have gained pockets of support. The BNP orientate towards the working class - the left don't.

tumble-weed
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Dec 13 2004 19:48

i think the fact that such a vast majority of the anarhcist population are such elitist wankers who are striving to become famous working class heros. they dont seem to recognise the fact that the most important thing we can do at this moment in time is try and appeal to people and get them on side (i know im starting to sound slightly SWP but do bare with me). From what ive seen of the majoirty of anarchists in england (other countries seem much nicer) is people not wanting to explain to people how much better our world can be and where the problem lies they just wanna sit in a dark pub and slag off anyone whose ideals dont fit theirs exactly and spout pseduo-intellectuall bollocks that the majority of the working class cant understand (i've never once been able to finsih an issue of freedom or an anarcho text as all the jargon goes well over my head) until we can fool joe public into beliveing that we're not JUST bunch of outcasts who hate each other we'll never be taken seriously.

The BNP have become a really dangerous party recently in that they now look highly respectable jolly folk who care (and all the naughty stuff can be blamed on C18) their propaganda is spot on and most of us are too brainwashed by a life time of telly and tabloids to REALLY think for ourselves (i know i sure as hell am) so maybe thats the direction we wanna go (strong media like)

i might be worng htough, ive not really put a lot of thought into this post i just needed a rant....

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 13 2004 19:51
3rdseason wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
[Anyways, how do you think we could turn anti-war protestors into active socialists?

Perhaps having some sort of really basic leaflet about what anarchism is, anarchists position of a few basic issues, a list of good books for those who wish to read surther, a short explanation of why anarchism is cool and socialist parties aren't and some contact details.

If say, 1000 of those were handed out at the big anti-war demo I reckon there would have been something like 50 people following up an interest in getting involved/discussing ideas further. That might not sound like a lot but given how tiny the @ movement is, it woulda been great. grin

i don't think thats enough at all, its a start i guess, but you need more than just pamphlets. I mean how do you make anti-war groups localised and effective. How can you conduct local anti-war demos and actions and keep them going and still keep a mass involvement.

jihn

3rdseason
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Dec 13 2004 19:58
tumble-weed wrote:
they now look highly respectable jolly folk who care

No they dont.

what about that recent documentary expose??

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 13 2004 20:01
Nightjar wrote:
The left are not interested in the things that most concern working class communities, only that 'socialism' is the 'answer' and that the working class have to except this or bog off. The left for along time told people to vote Labour - failing to realise that the 'big' parties, their reputations and their anti-working class nature were the reasons that the likes of the BNP have gained pockets of support. The BNP orientate towards the working class - the left don't.

How is this pointless generalisation of any use on here, can't we keep this as a serious discussion and not another chance to air hysterical sectarian rants. I mean its not like the anarchist movement isn't riven by sectarian feuds is it.

john

Anarch
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Dec 13 2004 21:01

You got to remember that anarchists are asking people to do real organizing and resisting, which is a lot harder and more intense than just voting for the BNP and letting their harder core members do all the rallying and intimidation. Moreover, I think that the solution that the BNP offers seems easier, even though it is bullshit. Of course the left is also very disorganized right now...at least where I live. And I wont rant on about it as I will give people heart attacks, but there is a lot of pandering to the intellectals and hippie types...to a large degree in the USA.

tumble-weed
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Dec 14 2004 00:30

i sware i wrote a rpely about the recent documentary, i dont remember what it said but it was along the lines of "oh yeha i forgot that than i rambled on about how i know a lot of people that were shocked by it and wdnt have htought it of them, ramble ramble". i dont remember wot else; i suck.

butchersapron
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Dec 14 2004 00:35

Anarchists currently have precisely nothing to offer the working class other than finger-wagging moral admonishments from inexperienced posh teenagers. There is no anarchist movement that has any influence in the working class. This is the fault of 'the anarchists'. It doesn't matter how 'true' our ideas are.

The sooner we wake up to this and dig our way out of this sub-cultural ghetto that the middle class built for the movement the better - and frankly, that means getting our hands dirty - which doesn't mean setting up social centres - it means putting self-expressed working class needs and the direct achievement of them at the centre of our acvtity.

Going on some of the dross posted on here, i don't think we're either up to it or most of us want to be.

3rdseason
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Dec 14 2004 00:54
tumble-weed wrote:
i sware i wrote a rpely about the recent documentary, i dont remember what it said but it was along the lines of "oh yeha i forgot that than i rambled on about how i know a lot of people that were shocked by it and wdnt have htought it of them, ramble ramble". i dont remember wot else; i suck.

s'ok smile smile

Anarch
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Dec 14 2004 01:08

You are one hundred percent correct, butchersapron, but what do you suggest that we do? It is all well and good to offer criticism, but what we need is for anarchists who have this understanding to formulate ideas and tactics to make anarchism effective and dangerous to the ruling classes. I am sure everyone here would consider anything that might bring our ideas closer to reality.

And we need guns wink

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Refused
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Dec 14 2004 11:37

If you want guns fuck off to the USA and don't come back.

anna_key
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Dec 14 2004 14:41

Make anarchist tv stations! tv is the most powerful media there is and people have done it before or could televise a protest ourselves just a one-off thing rather than rely on the media 2 give their views of what we're about 2 the public. I no I live in a fantasy world but it cant be that weird if people have done it before?

Nightjar
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Dec 14 2004 16:19

cantdocartwheels - what bit of my post did you find 'sectarian'? Was I plugging any particular ideology or group? Do you think the left and the anarchists have basically 'got it right' and all that's needed is just to do more of what they have have been doing for years. Do you reckon we should just go and hand out 'Listen to us - anarchism is the answer leaflets' in the High st, or god forbid, council estates? If so, I wouldn't hold your breath. Most working class people aren't into gesture politics (which is what the left/anarchists have made into an artform for the past 50 years)

Butchersapron's comment were spot on. smile

Anarch
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Dec 14 2004 18:45

"Butchersapron's comment were spot on."

Yes, but what do we do about it? It might be a good thread but it would proally just be filled with people yelling at each other...

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 14 2004 19:01
butchersapron wrote:
Anarchists currently have precisely nothing to offer the working class other than finger-wagging moral admonishments from inexperienced posh teenagers. There is no anarchist movement that has any influence in the working class. This is the fault of 'the anarchists'. It doesn't matter how 'true' our ideas are.

The sooner we wake up to this and dig our way out of this sub-cultural ghetto that the middle class built for the movement the better - and frankly, that means getting our hands dirty - which doesn't mean setting up social centres - it means putting self-expressed working class needs and the direct achievement of them at the centre of our acvtity.

Going on some of the dross posted on here, i don't think we're either up to it or most of us want to be.

Nice Rhetoric, which no doubt we all agree with

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cantdocartwheels
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Dec 14 2004 19:04
Nightjar wrote:
cantdocartwheels - what bit of my post did you find 'sectarian'? Was I plugging any particular ideology or group? Do you think the left and the anarchists ...

fair enough, i thought you mesant ''the left'' as in the way wanky individualists do

apologies

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2004 19:11

couple of obvious reasons;

-Anarchists dont recruit, being an anarchist is more orientated towards action as opposed to recruiting people to a cause

-the bnp offer a simple (albeit false) answer for some simple issues, for some very simple people. Those who support the bnp come from both middle and working class backgrounds.

-they point to something tangible (immigrants) as the cause of everything bad, whereas a critique of capitalism and hierachy are rather more complex subjects

-they arent revolutionary they simply want to make a few rather bellicose and malevolent tweeks here and there.

-they appeal to those with an inability to think for themselves, of which there are many in the UK.

-Many of there members are working class, they speak bluntly, ignore political correctness (which many people see as restricting their ability to slag off minorities, which is a great pastime of those who cant express their inferiority and alienation in a more direct fashion).

-they are more contraversial than the SWP or SLP and as a result get more TV coverage.

-They are (wrongly) seen as a group which fights against the mindless bureaucracy and double standards of government.

and as a result some people rally to their cause.

I'd hope that anarchists wouldnt aspire to such recruitment politics as the BNP and SWP though to be honest.

3rdseason
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Dec 14 2004 19:16

I agree with pretty much everything Vaneigemappreciationclub says.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 14 2004 19:27

its a bit sad really, i was working down a local factory in the summer, doing the most mind numbing work imaginable on a production line, eight hours of standing glueing shit together and putting it in boxes, and there were people there who would go on and on about the fact that so n so couldnt speak 'a word of fucking english', many of the poor souls seemed to have developed early dementia from the inescapable monotony of work and decided to turn their discontent on some poor migrant who was probably earning half the paltry wage they themselves were earning, whilst all the time the supervisor would be standing over you like a fucking vulture reminding everyone that they should work harder.

3rdseason
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Dec 14 2004 19:31

Once I was at this houseparty and there were these guys there who were going to this BNP march in london the next day. I just sat there eyeing them with hatred...

They smoked crack and heroin for breakfast too. eek

yozzee
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Dec 14 2004 19:33
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
its a bit sad really, i was working down a local factory in the summer, doing the most mind numbing work imaginable on a production line, eight hours of standing glueing shit together and putting it in boxes, and there were people there who would go on and on about the fact that so n so couldnt speak 'a word of fucking english', many of the poor souls seemed to have developed early dementia from the inescapable monotony of work and decided to turn their discontent on some poor migrant who was probably earning half the paltry wage they themselves were earning, whilst all the time the supervisor would be standing over you like a fucking vulture reminding everyone that they should work harder.

Do you think the workers in that factory were aware of how shit it was working there?

Caiman del Barrio
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Dec 14 2004 21:49
Anarch wrote:
You got to remember that anarchists are asking people to do real organizing and resisting, which is a lot harder and more intense than just voting for the BNP and letting their harder core members do all the rallying and intimidation.

All the points raised, especially this one, are very true.

But my point was more specific to the present: anarchism has always required a stronger commitment than fascism, but how come that hasn't always been a problem?? (Well Ok it has, but not to this extent) A purported rise in "working class issues'" political relevance has almost always coincided with a far left wing revival as well as far right - it makes sense.

Vaneigemappreci...
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Dec 16 2004 19:32

Yeah the workers in that factory (well most) found it incredibly demoralising and generally shit. It was interesting how the workforce was fragmented, you had those who had worked there for years and seemed fairly comfortable (if not happy) with what they were doing, you had a shit load of temps who'd last a couple of weeks and get the fuck out, you had the uni leavers who thought that they were superior to everyone else (much of the racism came from this crew) and you had migrants who for the large part stuck to themselves. Leading to a hugely fragmented workforce.