IRA , anarchists and N.Ireland

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magidd
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Sep 29 2006 16:32
IRA , anarchists and N.Ireland

What id the attitude th the republickan tradition among the britich and irish anarhists?
Do you know any attempts of cration common anarhist class-strugle organisations wich unite people from catolik and protestant areas?
Does IRA exist naw? Do they have sort of left wing or they just nationalists?

knightrose
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Sep 29 2006 17:38

In Britain there is a clear tradition which sees the IRA as being just a state in waiting. They want to be the government of a united Ireland. One current group that holds this position is the Anarchist Federation, of which I'm a member. A group I was in before, Subversion, published a pamphlet on nationalism in Ireland: Ireland, Nationalism and Imperialism, the Myths Exploded. It's available on http://www.af-north.org/Subversion/ireland.htm

Some Irish anarchists take a different line, as do some British anarchists. But as Revol says I'll let them have their own say.

magidd
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Sep 29 2006 19:40

Thank you for information!
Are republiscan ideas are popular in N.Irlend todey?

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AndrewF
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Sep 30 2006 09:53
magidd wrote:
What id the attitude th the republickan tradition among the britich and irish anarhists?

There has been and probably still is a very wide range of attitudes from those who come close to lining up with the British state to those who saw the republicans as fighting for socialism.

I'm in the Workers Solidarity Movement, you will find our very detailed position paper on the partition of Ireland at http://www.wsm.ie/story/804 I'm not going to be online much this weekend as I'm in Derry at a meeting we are doing but if you read that and post any questions I'll be happy to reply to them when I get the chance.

magidd
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Oct 1 2006 02:09

I am reading this.

Ferst qwestion
you say "republicanism unlike loyalism often developed significant left strands within it because, at least in theory, it was based on the 'equal rights of all' rather then the 'god given destiny of the chosen people' or the secular variations on this theme".

Ya,
But olmoust every modern capitalist state based on the same prinsip.

Second- You say that you help british anarhists to help britich workers to deny any rule of British state in Irlend.
I olso dont like brirtish state in Irlend. But what about Irish state in Irlend? Do you think it will be the same shit?

Number 3. This is from another point;)
Why IRA (or people who close to irish nationalism) can make such incredibly nise songs and anarhists can't? We were lisening here they songs and woching clips and one women from our organisation (she is new) sad that she dislake nationalism but this songs (The Foggy Dew, Old Brigade and some overs) are created by people who has dignity and beliv in they ideas. As for modern anarhist punk musik ets and some a-films she sad this is just idiotic.

Loke at this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0K1qKFRJrA

Or that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVMILhFayJw

Or that http://youtube.com/watch?v=xxDHHSZCu3M

And i can add somthing. Films of IRA demonstrate peoples resistens. Just NORMAL people not some exotik persons.
Anyone if he is not just philistine wood be impressed.
Anarhist moves from some streat partys from London, from some resistens of RTS ets demontrate very exsotik people looks strange, funny or ugly wich make 90% spectators think that anarhists just stupets. I do not want to say they are i am just saing about impression.

nighty nighthawk
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Oct 1 2006 02:39

Yes, Sinn Fein are a left party, the same as the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Forgive m e if I only read the first post, but this is really very weak.

I mimagine the anarchist position is that people are people irrelevant of race or religion.

Fair enough, but it isn't white working class english (or blacks) being murdered and butchered by the Loyalists in the 70's.

It would seem the anarchists have a lot to learn.

knightrose
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Oct 1 2006 07:11

I expect some of the anarchists from northern ireland will have something to say on this, but in the 70s we saw working class people in catholic and protestant areas being killed. We saw army terrorism by the British, indiscriminant bombings in cities in Northern Ireland and mainland Britain by the IRA, revenge shootings by IRA and UDA (and co), undercover hit squads run by the state.
None of these were the result of working class politics. They were the actions of factions of capital, rulers and wannabe rulers.
We (the AF) always oppose nationalism in any form. Equally we oppose the repressive actions of the British state. Which doesn't mean we support the British state. From what I have seen, anarchists in the north of Ireland take a far harder position on nationalism than those in the south. It'sa probably soemthing to do with actually living in the reality of it all.
The IRA kneecap and beat kids for joy riding and drug dealing.

jack white
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Oct 1 2006 15:42
revol68 wrote:
Us - ie Organise!

Are you back in Organise now so?

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madashell
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Oct 1 2006 15:50

I thought Organise were defunct :?

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Steven.
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Oct 1 2006 16:24
madashell wrote:
I thought Organise were defunct :?

No they're not. Don't know where you heard that.
http://flag.blackened.net/af/orgireland/about.php

(their site's a bit fucked right now tho)

Deezer
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Oct 1 2006 16:30

No Organise! are not defunct. Yeah our site is a bit fucked, thats an old one but at least it works. Current site seems to have disappeared.

Yeah, looks like revol68 is back in Organise! now, he even dragged him self away from his pc and got along to a meeting last week.

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AndrewF
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Oct 2 2006 12:23
magidd wrote:
IFerst qwestion
you say "republicanism unlike loyalism often developed significant left strands within it because, at least in theory, it was based on the 'equal rights of all' rather then the 'god given destiny of the chosen people' or the secular variations on this theme".

Ya,
But olmoust every modern capitalist state based on the same prinsip.

For sure - but national liberation movements tend to be strong in areas where states are not based on this principle or where it is flawed. Apartheid South Africa or Israel/Palestine being the more extreme examples. In the case of the north of Ireland the 'troubles' originated in the state suppression of a civil rights movement based on demands for 'one man, one vote' etc. Without this its very unlikley the nationalists would have been able to wage a 30 year war. Their previous attempt in the 50's fizzled out.

magidd wrote:
Second- You say that you help british anarhists to help britich workers to deny any rule of British state in Irlend.
I olso dont like brirtish state in Irlend. But what about Irish state in Irlend? Do you think it will be the same shit?

Obviously as anarchists in Ireland we want to see the overthrowal of the Irish state. The section your referring to above is about counter acting the tendency in Britain to see the British state as somehow stuck in the middle of two warring tribes rather than as a major cause and actor in the conflict.

magidd wrote:
Number 3. This is from another point;)
Why IRA (or people who close to irish nationalism) can make such incredibly nise songs and anarhists can't? We were lisening here they songs and woching clips and one women from our organisation (she is new) sad that she dislake nationalism but this songs (The Foggy Dew, Old Brigade and some overs) are created by people who has dignity and beliv in they ideas.... Films of IRA demonstrate peoples resistens. Just NORMAL people not some exotik persons.

This relates to my first point above on the immediate origins of the conflict. The civil rights movement mobilised a very large proportion of the catholic working class, its suppression therefore meant that a large proportion felt they were being targetted. If you take the annual commemoration of the Bloody Sunday massacre in Derry what you see is a demonstartion almost entirely composed of the population of the local housing estates rather than 'political activists'.

BTW it is not at all accurate to imagine northern anarchists have a single voice. Apart from the WSM members who live in or are from the north there have also been a fair number of other anarchists over the years who have made other choices including joining the nationalist parties. John McGuffin was one widely know example who died in 2002 see http://anarchism.ws/ireland/people/JohnMcGuffin.html but others have done so more recently leading for instance to the Irish Socialist Republican Party's newspaper carrying the front page headline 'No War but the Class War' (in reaction to the gulf war) after a former member of Organise-IWA (and Class War) not only joined them but took up a leading position. Being 'on the ground' has led different anarchists to radically different conclusions.

fort-da game
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Oct 2 2006 16:50
magidd wrote:
Why IRA (or people who close to irish nationalism) can make such incredibly nise songs and anarhists can't? We were lisening here they songs and woching clips and one women from our organisation (she is new) sad that she dislake nationalism but this songs (The Foggy Dew, Old Brigade and some overs) are created by people who has dignity and beliv in they ideas. As for modern anarhist punk musik ets and some a-films she sad this is just idiotic.

It's said that Serbian nationalist poetry/music is very beautiful.

Fife and drum stir the soul but why?

beautiful folk forms tend to develop alongside 'oppressed' national identity – tragedy and fate lends beauty to very partial/simple accounts of past occurences.

What is it exactly that we derive from folk forms? Precisely what is lost, what is no longer accessible. Nationalists make a living from past defeat – the more beautiful their music the more true their cause and so the more brutally their policy may be prosecuted. The music comes from 'within', it does not follow a commodity form.

A sacred, that is abstract, relation to the earth is deemed sufficient justification ... atavistic certainty and a warrior's perspective on life is based on an identity derived from retribution and grievance.

The proletariat has no folk music, it has no land. Where there is folk music the populace has not been proletarianised?

cheers,

P.

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Shorty
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Oct 2 2006 20:56
magidd wrote:
Number 3. This is from another point;)
Why IRA (or people who close to irish nationalism) can make such incredibly nise songs and anarhists can't? We were lisening here they songs and woching clips and one women from our organisation (she is new) sad that she dislake nationalism but this songs (The Foggy Dew, Old Brigade and some overs) are created by people who has dignity and beliv in they ideas. As for modern anarhist punk musik ets and some a-films she sad this is just idiotic.

Does Lynched count? confused

http://www.myspace.com/lynched4life

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Oct 2 2006 21:05
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
Nationalists make a living from past defeat – the more beautiful their music the more true their cause and so the more brutally their policy may be prosecuted. The music comes from 'within', it does not follow a commodity form.

And in the rest of Europe socialists and anarchists have also made this kind of music - to remember past struggles and defeats. In the UK, however, it seems only to be the Republicans who are any good at the political music - the rest of us have to make do with either dreary chants ('who let the bombs out') or twee folk music (Rossleson's The World Turned Upside Down).

Why is this, I wonder?

martinh
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Oct 2 2006 21:26
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
Nationalists make a living from past defeat – the more beautiful their music the more true their cause and so the more brutally their policy may be prosecuted. The music comes from 'within', it does not follow a commodity form.

And in the rest of Europe socialists and anarchists have also made this kind of music - to remember past struggles and defeats. In the UK, however, it seems only to be the Republicans who are any good at the political music - the rest of us have to make do with either dreary chants ('who let the bombs out') or twee folk music (Rossleson's The World Turned Upside Down).

Why is this, I wonder?

A couple of ideas as to why:
1. folk tradition is weaker in England than elsewhere in Europe, partly because industrialisation happened earlier
2. folk tradition tends to be in more rural, sparsely settled places where making your own entertainment is often the best option.
3. what replaced folk music in England varied from place to place (music hall in the cities, brass bands in pit villages, choirs in Cornwall, folk music in Northumberland, for example). A lot of these traditions have their own songs of working class resistance, however, they are all now pretty alienated from their original base, to a greater or lesser degree.
4. Once you enter into mass consumer music, even around the fringes of it, anything political changes its character. Because music isn't something that people create, rather they play recordings. This means it isn't alive in the same way so there's no room for participation in the same way. There was loads of great political music in the mid 80s (3 johns, Redskins,) esp around the miners strike. But it wasn't generally music to do anything with than consume.

(THere are of course loads of exceptions, but i think most are minor wink )

regards,

Martin

bastarx
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Oct 2 2006 22:35
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
It's said that Serbian nationalist poetry/music is very beautiful.

The modern sort certainly isn't.

rata
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Oct 2 2006 23:08
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
The proletariat has no folk music, it has no land. Where there is folk music the populace has not been proletarianised?

In fact this is quite an important issue here in Serbia, in the sense of class struggle in the culture. Me, being folk music fan myself, would like to add few comments to this debate.

We would need to define what do we understand by folk music. I understand it as any music made by "common people". In Serbia and Balkans it took a special form of "turbo-folk" music, traditional folk music sounds mixed with electronic beats.

I agree folk music can be nationalistic, just as any other type of music. And if we are not having the same idea of a revolutionary subject as some rigid Trotskyst sect than we are not going to see only people with a specific music taste as proletariat.

In Serbia two emerging trends can be seen on the cultural front, with, as expected, close links to different political ideas. Supporters of the liberal parties, which took over power after the 5th of October 2000, are trying to create this image - there is two types of people in Serbia: "urban" people, supportive of euroatlantic integrations and neoliberal reforms, young, happy, individualist, listening to whole range of different music ganders, with only one focusing point - hating turbo-folk music, while, on the other side, stands, in the best cultural-racist manner, "rural" people (of course these terms are not referring to the living place but to the state of mind), orientated against the reforms and EU, collectivist, voting for Milosevic (socialist) or Seselj's party (right wing party with some specifics, in earlier stages linked with war crimes, now trying to present a face of antiglobalist, anti-imperialist, but still strongly nationalist party), or, in most cases, are not voting at all, old or pensioner, "oriental" and, of course, listening to folk music.

What is being created, and perpetuated, is the racist idea of "European" Serbia, linked to the "European" tradition, and "Asian" Serbia, linked to the "Asian hordes" etc. The focal point in that distinction, on the level of culture, is turbo-folk music and the relation to it.

But, when an in-depth analyses of Serbian turbo-folk music is being made, and compared to, for example, Serbian contemporary R'n'R music, you can see that much higher level of conservativism is found in the today’s rock circles, linking themselves to the "new wave" music tradition, than in the folk music. Lots of rock bands in Serbia are linked to the church propaganda, due the factor that Serbian orthodox church is organizing monasteries where the junkies are cooling down, and lots of Serbian rock starts, after going through the procedure, are reborn Christians. On the other side, folk singers are mainly bohemian characters, often of different nationalities, such as Muslim or gipsy, usually singing about drinking their asses off because of love problems, or some real heretical stuff such is verse from popular folk hit: "Even the god has given up on me, I don't care I live as I want".

Questions such as gay rights are one more example of much more progressive attitude of the folk musicians: today only public figures which are normalizing gays in Serbia are famous folk singers.

Similar situation with folk music can be found all around Balkans.

Therefore you can see that we, as revolutionaries from the Balkans, are not at all involved in the fight against the folk music, quite the contrary...

fort-da game
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Oct 3 2006 13:21
rata wrote:
Therefore you can see that we, as revolutionaries from the Balkans, are not at all involved in the fight against the folk music, quite the contrary...

The actual mechanics of these exchanges/relations of affects is perhaps a more important question than preferred taste for a tradition. I wonder whether it is really possible to ‘deploy’ cultural artefacts (we know about ‘national’ ballets and such like but these are icing on the cake, they do not articulate a direct message.)

I forgot to mention how folk music emanates from 'within’ the people, it appears to be spontaneous, and is connected to actual shared experience/work and also long continuities in the demographic. We forget when we think about Feudalism how it survived for such a long time and how sophisticated it became in preserving social stablity. In this context, folk music is ‘complaint’ given a sanctioned form, it is context bound, and like ‘confession’ and carnival it is a ritualised opportunity to escape from present experience.

I think this is significant when compared to folk ‘revivals’ (for example when Dylan broke the illusion that what he was doing was ‘folk’). The dynamics of such revivals tend to involve one person singing, lots of others listening ... ie a proper ordering for commodity distribution, where a single reproducible artefact is able to elicit a collection of different responses in its consumers. Maybe there is something radical in that, but I can’t see what it is – the message doesn’t even help us to ‘see things as they really are’ because in sharing a ‘message’ with the singer, we forget our passivity and his stardom.

rata wrote:
On the other side, folk singers are mainly bohemian characters, often of different nationalities, such as Muslim or gipsy, usually singing about drinking their asses off because of love problems, or some real heretical stuff such is verse from popular folk hit: "Even the god has given up on me, I don't care I live as I want".

Yes, well one alternative to both pop and european folk forms is that of the cathar/troubadour tradition in France, Brassens and Ferre being the last anarchist representatives that I am aware of. The troubadour is not of the people but plays a provocateur role, he is an outsider and an agitator. But again, we have to remember this tradition was/is not autonomous, being considered a ‘national’ treasure, and thus nurtured by the French state as part of its policy of anti-americanism.

Anarchists have sometimes played an important mythic-cultural role in the formation of European states during the end of the A/H empire. So, to answer my own question, yes culture can be deployed.

P.

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jef costello
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Oct 3 2006 15:09
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
Yes, well one alternative to both pop and european folk forms is that of the cathar/troubadour tradition in France, Brassens and Ferre being the last anarchist representatives that I am aware of. The troubadour is not of the people but plays a provocateur role, he is an outsider and an agitator. But again, we have to remember this tradition was/is not autonomous, being considered a ‘national’ treasure, and thus nurtured by the French state as part of its policy of anti-americanism.

Equating cathars and troubadours is illogical.
Many, if not most troubadours were from the nobilityand far from being considered a national treasure their work was marginalised as it was in Occitan. The french translations of their work and their imitators the Trouveres had better luck but I think you might want to find another example.

fort-da game
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Oct 3 2006 16:23
jef costello wrote:
]
Equating cathars and troubadours is illogical.

You may be right about ‘equating’ – but it is a common identification, particularly amongst present day French folk musicians (for proof, it is only a matter of googling the words cathar and troubadour). I was referring to post-war balladeers, and their appropriation of a French national subversive form.

But I agree with your implied point – it is absurd/inauthentic to project ‘traditions’ back, as if there could be continuities of cultural ‘resistance’. However, these continuities are used to legitimise certain cultural/political forms that are apparently not included in mainstream accounts.

I have recently got interested in the biological term ‘prochronism’ (a law which states that organisims carry, in their form, evidence of their past growth), this is particularly important when considering the legitimacy of ‘resistant’ or counter-histories, and how these as much as mainstream history become subject to tyrannical mythologies. The manipulation of continuities, of preserved traditions, where none such exist, is used, as in the case of the IRA, to legitimise basic schemes of primitive accumulation and expropriations (and for others, record sales).

It also occurs to me, with reference to prochronism (and its opposite, the erasure of ‘our’ history, ‘our' forgetting of ‘our' past), is that one of the reasons we tend to no longer enjoy folk forms today, or feel uncomfortable, is the foriegnness of the feelings evoked. The feelings/perceptions of the folk form are now obsolete, and we become acutely aware that our not belonging to that world is unbearable/hilarious (planxty/morris dancers).

P.

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jef costello
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Oct 3 2006 17:10
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
I have recently got interested in the biological term ‘prochronism’ (a law which states that organisims carry, in their form, evidence of their past growth), this is particularly important when considering the legitimacy of ‘resistant’ or counter-histories, and how these as much as mainstream history become subject to tyrannical mythologies. The manipulation of continuities, of preserved traditions, where none such exist, is used, as in the case of the IRA, to legitimise basic schemes of primitive accumulation and expropriations (and for others, record sales).

It also occurs to me, with reference to prochronism (and its opposite, the erasure of ‘our’ history, ‘our' forgetting of ‘our' past), is that one of the reasons we tend to no longer enjoy folk forms today, or feel uncomfortable, is the foriegnness of the feelings evoked. The feelings/perceptions of the folk form are now obsolete, and we become acutely aware that our not belonging to that world is unbearable/hilarious (planxty/morris dancers).

P.

Interesting, I'm not sure the term "prochronism" is necessary though, it sounds like a complicated way to refer to something when there is no need. Either something is there or it is not, I suppose as a term to refer to history, resonance, traditioons etc it could be useful. I'm glad you defined it, if it is worth using it you've gone about it the right way.

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jef costello
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Oct 3 2006 17:50
revol68 wrote:
I'd rather listen to a MP3 than have to wail like a cock end in some fucking barn.

I like to think we'd all be playing music and stuff like that in a communist society, although my preference would be for Django Rheinhardt style guitar playing smile
I see the earlier point, but I don't think mass consumption is a bad thing in itself.

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OliverTwister
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Oct 3 2006 17:51
Quote:
Yes, well one alternative to both pop and european folk forms is that of the cathar/troubadour tradition in France, Brassens and Ferre being the last anarchist representatives that I am aware of. The troubadour is not of the people but plays a provocateur role, he is an outsider and an agitator. But again, we have to remember this tradition was/is not autonomous, being considered a ‘national’ treasure, and thus nurtured by the French state as part of its policy of anti-americanism.

What's your point - that culture is contested by the bourgeoisie?

fort-da game
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Oct 3 2006 18:14
OliverTwister wrote:
Quote:
Yes, well one alternative to both pop and european folk forms is that of the cathar/troubadour tradition in France, Brassens and Ferre being the last anarchist representatives that I am aware of. The troubadour is not of the people but plays a provocateur role, he is an outsider and an agitator. But again, we have to remember this tradition was/is not autonomous, being considered a ‘national’ treasure, and thus nurtured by the French state as part of its policy of anti-americanism.

What's your point - that culture is contested by the bourgeoisie?

I don't really get your question. I'm saying that cultural forms, even where the message is radical, is capable only of communicating conditions as they are, and often much less than this.

There is a history of useful cultural romantic rebels beginning with Byron and Shelley. I acknowledge that there is a separation between what these 'unique' individuals experienced/achieved themselves and how they have been appropriated and reproduced.

I guess one thing I didn't talk about is experimentation in form; there has been a recent revival in 'psyche-folk', 'anti-folk', 'electro-folk', I think that there is a case for 'experiment' as a means for expressing, I don't know, cultural 'negation'? (But I wouldn't want to argue it too far, as marketing of 'experiment' here, as with abstract expressionism, is all part of the modern array).

P.

fort-da game
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Oct 3 2006 18:24
revol68 wrote:
I'd rather listen to a MP3 than have to wail like a cock end in some fucking barn.

You are claiming consumer choice is a vital aspect of communist critique? But an mp3 player cannot be produced in isolation, the capital investment required for this technology would presume the continuation of value production and the economy’s continued investment in new technology (and so the exploitation of labour power) ... whereas wailing like a cock in a barn implies only the accumulation of common experience amongst human beings living in close proximity, and is thus compatible with a non-economically organised society.

In other words, our preferences are not historically decisive – it seems to me that communism will be colder and quieter, but with more outbursts of wailing.

Folk music/folk history under industrial conditions aids in the development of a subversive category of patriotism. This is why I would like to discuss it. Its ‘resistance’ is problematic to me because on the one hand I find the form stirs my soul, on the other I am aware that there is nothing in my experience that connects me with it. If only I had a ‘homeland’, an identity, songs, myths, tradition. But I don’t, the nearest the English have to this is the fad for ‘trace your ancestors’.

I can also see that most anarchist activity/perception is ‘folk’ based, the demographic of anarchists and modern day folk enthusiasts is probably very similar (meaning that the structural form of their consciousness is also probably similar) – I can see that many anarachist accounts of anarchists in the spanish revolution for example are equivalent to ‘wailing like a cock in a barn’.

p.

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jef costello
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Oct 3 2006 18:39
Dr Cous Cous wrote:
I find the form stirs my soul, on the other I am aware that there is nothing in my experience that connects me with it. If only I had a ‘homeland’, an identity, songs, myths, tradition. But I don’t, the nearest the English have to this is the fad for ‘trace your ancestors’.

There is English folk music, there are English folk tales cultural memory etc. It's easy to fetishise Irishstuff and in some ways trhey have a more vibrant lived culture in that way but don't dismiss what goes on in England.

fort-da game
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Oct 3 2006 19:28
jef costello wrote:
There is English folk music, there are English folk tales cultural memory etc. It's easy to fetishise Irishstuff and in some ways trhey have a more vibrant lived culture in that way but don't dismiss what goes on in England.

I agree that these artefacts persist but their communication at a 'folk' scale and within a folk network are severely impaired to say the least, and are more often transmitted via 'collectors' and historians.

The alternative is to consciously re-appropriate them through psychogeography, but again this is an avant garde procedure. The gate is closed, except in moments of crisis.

I was thinking how the english working class, by and large, has promoted 'novelty' above 'memory'. We tend to forget the terrible psychological impact of industrialisation, but I think this refusal to remember is evidence for it.

P.

fort-da game
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Oct 4 2006 10:25

Detest or not, your argument that communism will be not too different to capitalism is alien to me.

My understanding is that the level of force required to produce commodities of the type you suggest is unsustainable under conditions where others do not have to work.

I also think that what individuals prefer under certain conditions is not important, as consumer choice is not decisive but merely an expression.

What is possible and what is not in society proceeds from the principle of organisation. If you think that communism is a matter of 'progressing' the relations of production, that history is a matter of continuity and development, that's fine (it doesn't make any difference to me, you may be right but I see no evidence for this). As far as I understand, communism is a radical break with the past, and very little will be carried over.

But this is not a moral matter. I congratulate you on feeling at home in the world, I wish I could feel the same, for you perhaps communism is a formal matter, a mere politics – you are happy with the products that surround you, I am in no position to judge that, your mp3 player makes you feel good, perhaps you have a clearer understanding of use value than I do.

But as a damaged individual myy critique of who I am, and the conditions under which I live, suppose the overcoming of, as you say, all alienation. It is certain that there is a psychological component in this on my part, for me communism is a matter of desperation and of desperate acts.

P.

fort-da game
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Oct 4 2006 12:15
revol68 wrote:
On a more philosophical level the notion that folk music was anymore pure or umediated is retarded, it took place within a world mediated by forms of labour, and various social mores. Even the music of the most "primitive" tribes is mediated through their customs, environment and resources.

I don't think I made any of these claims, on the contrary, I argued that folk culture was part of the means of social control under feudal conditions. I also made the point of how 'folk' appears to us today, ie folk culture is classified as 'folk' only from the perspective of capitalist existence, for itself it is merely 'singing' or whatever. Maybe I could have made these points more clearly but I was happy to 'think aloud' – it also just occurred to me that folk music has declined the more people's complaints have become medicalised.

On your other points, I certainly wouldn't condemn other people's experimentation with technology, innovation is important in all human relations (the new Lego catalogue for example contains a 'factory' element in which the consumer designs their own model the pieces of which is then supplied to them – from this particular perspective, technology sounds fun and allows a high degree of control, but that's not the full story is it? – the problem is always at the macro/structural level, the pre-conditions for such design).

My point was only that digital technology as we know it supposes heavy industry and also a heavily capitalised infrastructure (concentration of labour/distribution networks, and so on). We have arrived at this technology via mass production, the production line.

Now, it is my contention that it is the factory itself that is foriegn and alienating, the work that it demands is reductive and dehumanising. Whereas what I infer from your argument is that it is merely the government of the factory that is the problem, if the workers were in control then the factory would be more pleasant.

Unfortunately, I think, there has to be a high level of unimaginable violence done to others to get them to agree to work in a manner compatible with mass production. For example, I refused to work in the local factory when I was 16 because it, and the people in it (my god-awful proletarian parents and their neighbours) filled me with fear, I chose a hypocritical anti-factory 'lifestyle' instead and probably ruined my life (being constantly thrown back on to that type of work).

However, I do not feel that 'communism' would help me to overcome my fear and hatred so that I might learn to love the line. I agree subsistance is an ugly thing but I feel a need to 'own' myself at a basic level which, it seems to me, the continuation of factories would deny me.

P.

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Oct 4 2006 18:22
revol68 wrote:
P.s. anyone who imagines that communism will be some sort of straight break from capitalism is an idiot.

That is what I think, or at least wish for.

I would think, speaking as nobody special, that a communist society would begin from very simple circuits of immediate reproduction, like a stroke patient learning to walk and talk again. But maybe it's just me who needs that kind of therapy.

The other thing I was thinking about 'folk' is its relation to de-skilling. If I think about it, I am a completely useless human being, I have no talent and no skills (as with many millions of others), for this reason perhaps 'folk' becomes attractive because it implies competence and a defined role in society.

Quote:
The anti productionist, who sneer at the workerists will me snirking on the other side of their face when medicines, electricity and other things we spurn as the spawn of spectacle become scarce and the hidden bode of production becomes all the more visible in it's absence.

Great rhetoric. It reminds me of Brecht who said all of the problems in Ibsen's plays could be solved by penecillin. But I remain unconvinced – it is true that a more immediate control over social reproduction will mean that some will die where they now live (very premature babies and the very old) but I also assume that others will live, and live better, where now they die (the starving and war-torn, that is assuming that the basics of social existence are guarenteed)

P.