'Lessons ... on the Israeli-Lebanese War'

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Volin
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Aug 24 2006 15:19
'Lessons ... on the Israeli-Lebanese War'

This is from an Anarkismo article, 'Lessons for the anarchist movement of the Israeli-Lebanese War' (Aug 24 2006) which can be found here.

"Most anarchists today (with certain sectarian exceptions) accept the reality and importance of specific, nonclass, oppressions."

To what extent is it possible to distinguish these two 'oppressions' in the bigger picture of the totality - how can we fight against them without a class perspective? If we can't (and how do we transcend them without trascending class antagonism?) how then can they be counted as non-class oppression from a revolutionary standpoint?

"Nonclass oppressions include the oppression of women (gender), of People of Color (race), of Gays and Lesbians (homophobia), of minority religions, of youth, etc., as well as national oppression."

Which is,

"...also not a direct class struggle, even though its connections to capitalism are pretty clear. That is, the big capitalists of the industrialized nations seek to expand their wealth by dominating the weaker, “underdeveloped,” nations."

This is "imperialism".

"In reaction to foreign oppression, the people of these nations develop a desire for national freedom. First they want their “own” state, and then other measures of independence from the imperialists..."

But, "nationalism is not the same as national liberation".

"National self-determination (liberation) is a democratic right"

"The problem with capitalism (and Leninism) is not democracy but a lack of democracy and of democratic rights."

There's a confused paragraph on what the nation actually is, "Some anarchists have made the argument that they should not support oppressed nations because...there are no such thing as nations. Nations do not exist! As if France and Argentina are not real". Nations are a social construct just like class - culminating in Bakunin's insistence that 'nationality' is a natural fact, which again is what?

And all this has relevance to Lebanon (apparently) because,

"Revolutionary anarchists should (1) be in solidarity with the people of the oppressed nation against the oppressor (in this case Lebanon against the U.S.-Israel), while (2) politically opposing all bourgeois-statist (nationalist, Islamist, etc.) programs and leaderships."

And in siding with 'Lebanon' who does that include exactly?

-

Needless to say, I think all this is rather annoying.

Lazy Riser's picture
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Aug 24 2006 15:31

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Yeah me too. By this logic when the working class oppresses the bourgeoisie then all the anarchists will have to swap sides because “oppression is bad”.

And that stuff about "non-class oppression" doesn't work either. As if that's a built in thing that enlightened anarchists need to inhibit rather than a consequence of authoritarian conditioning and sexual repression in order to maintain bourgeois social status.

Love

LR

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Aug 24 2006 15:39

there's a good quote from a conversation between Foucault and Deleuze (the oft-cited 'discoverers' of 'non-class oppressions') where they both emphasise that these multiple oppressions are nothing if they are not linked to "the struggle of the proletariat". I'll dig it out when i get home.

If i had a quid for everytime someone (usually a crimethincer) tells me "class doesn't matter, deleuze and/or foucault says so" i'd be able to afford to oppress the dumb fucks in soo many ways grin

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Aug 24 2006 15:45

Ha Ha Ha Ha. This is gonna open the same can of worms that dominated 3 or 4 other threads!

I just went and skimmed read it. I actually sympathise with the gist of it but unfortunately the language gets too clumsy as in the last bit you've emboldened, which ends up making it jumbled and self-contradictory. They do actually criticise supporting Hamas and Hizbollah, but by supporting oppressed nations, and specifically Lebanon, it feeds back into a crass nationalism. I think similar but better articulated arguments were made on this forum.

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Aug 24 2006 15:52

Hi

Quote:
usually a crimethincer

The funny thing about it is that I know genuine Chaos Magick types with rock solid class politics, so being a bit of a wishy washy Druid can’t be the problem. Perhaps it’s an internet thing.

I think it’s sort of identity politics. Some people are attracted to anarchist-communism because it looks like an economic easy ride for the poor oppressed victims that, being losers and inadequates themselves, they relate to.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 24 2006 15:54
that article wrote:
As we are in solidarity with a strike while opposing the union bureaucracy, so we should be in solidarity with the people of oppressed nations while opposing their nationalist leaders.

I couldn't agree more grin

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Aug 24 2006 15:57

Hi

I'll oppress you in a minute if you're not careful.

Love

LR

coffeemachine
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Aug 24 2006 16:02
Joseph K. wrote:
there's a good quote from a conversation between Foucault and Deleuze (the oft-cited 'discoverers' of 'non-class oppressions') where they both emphasise that these multiple oppressions are nothing if they are not linked to "the struggle of the proletariat". I'll dig it out when i get home.

If i had a quid for everytime someone (usually a crimethincer) tells me "class doesn't matter, deleuze and/or foucault says so" i'd be able to afford to oppress the dumb fucks in soo many ways grin

Foucault: The question of geographical discontinuity which you raise might mean the following: as soon as we struggle against exploitation, the proletariat not only leads the struggle but also defines its targets, its methods, and the places and instruments for confrontation; and to ally oneself with the proletariat is to accept its positions, its ideology, and its motives for combat. This means total identification.

But if the fight is directed against power, then all those on whom power is exercised to their detriment, all who find it intolerable, can begin the struggle on their own terrain and on the basis of their proper activity (or passivity).

In engaging in a struggle that concerns their own interests, whose objectives they clearly understand and whose methods only they can determine, they enter into a revolutionary process. They naturally enter as allies of the proletariat, because power is exercised the way it is in order to maintain capitalist exploitation. They genuinely serve the cause of the proletariat by fighting in those places they find themselves oppressed. Women, prisoners, conscripted soldiers, hospital patients, and homosexuals have now begun a specific struggle against the particularized power, the constraints and controls, that are exerted over them.

Such struggles are actually involved in the revolutionary movement to the degree that they are radical, uncompromising and nonreformist, and refuse any attempt at arriving at a new disposition of the same power with, at best, a change of masters. And these movements are linked to the revolutionary movement of the proletariat to the extent that they fight against the controls and constraints which serve the same system of power.

In this sense, the overall picture presented by the struggle is certainly not that of the totalization you mentioned earlier, this theoretical totalization under the guise of "truth." The generality of the struggle specifically derives from the system of power itself, from all the forms in which power is exercised and applied.

Deleuze: And which we are unable to approach in any of its applications without revealing its diffuse character, so that we are necessarily led on the basis of the most insignificant demand to the desire to blow it up completely. Every revolutionary attack or defense, however partial, is linked in this way to the workers' struggle.

lem
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Aug 24 2006 16:06
Quote:
"National self-determination (liberation) is a democratic right"

Following on from a post that someone made quite a while ago, they argued that the most important thing about national liberation is not to support, it seems, exactly this: the creation of new a bourgeois state confused

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Aug 24 2006 16:12

The article is by Wayne Price from NEFAC. He argued that anarchists should support the Iraqi esistance too.
Devrim

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Aug 24 2006 16:21

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It follows. It's the difference between a moral and technical appraisal of the consequence of allowing Capitalism to prevail. That is to say, whether the problem is "your oppression" or opression in general.

I don't pretend to care about all the miserable people in the world, I care about getting what I want.

Class solidarity is just a logical strategy to enable political goals, I don't do it to get to heaven for being so nice.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 24 2006 16:30

but if you can't see the extension, securitization, and consolidation of contemporary capitalism in the actions of the US government in the middle east at the moment, then...

well, you're obviously not looking hard enough

eek

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Aug 24 2006 16:33

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Ho ho. Well I see the extension, securitization and consolidation of contemporary capitalism when I watch "Spongebob Squarepants", doesn't mean I stop watching it or even feel the need to express solidarity against it.

Love

LR

john
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Aug 24 2006 16:47

well maybe you should

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Aug 24 2006 16:54

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From Thirdworldism to Lifestylism, john's politics in a nutshell.

Love

LR

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Aug 24 2006 17:25

cheers coffeemachine, i'd just dug that out and was about to type it all in wink

ticking_fool
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Aug 24 2006 17:55

Can't be arsed reading it at the moment, but from what I can gather from people's comments this seems to be part of a very American debate about 'nations without states'. Some of them seem to have extended the experience of the AIM and the Black Panthers to anything that gets the word nation attached to it, with no regard for the messy details of any real history that might get in the way.

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Aug 24 2006 22:35
revol68 wrote:
ahh fuck, that article is awful, just fucking awful. And this from Platformists? The exiled "leadership of ideas".

The point about non class oppressions isn't that they are reducable to class but rather that they are caught in a totality of social relations.

this sort of shit only makes sense if you reduce the class struggle to the factory or to crudely "economic" exploitation.
Ironically the ICC and this kind of shit are just mirror images of each other.

Revol, you are obsessed. This makes me far more angry than the sum total of all your fucky fuck fucking flaming. Here we have a thread where the majority of posters are disgusted with a blatant expression of leftism and nationalism from a so-called 'anarchist', and your grandiose conclusion: the ICC is just the mirror image of this.

I really hope that one day you will get some inkling of why there has to be a basic level of solidarity between internationalists.

Jason Cortez
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Aug 24 2006 22:49
Quote:
I really hope that one day you will get some inkling of why there has to be a basic level of solidarity between internationalists.

If that's so i think you should pop off to revleft and help your buddies in EKS out. They seem to have been reduced to shouting and acussing others of being killers by default (hardly surprising given the level of argument)smile

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Aug 24 2006 22:59

Actually, I have just posted on there.
http://www.revolutionaryleft.com/index.php?showtopic=54766
The shouting is Leo's style, and actually we have got sympathetic private PMs from people on there. I am a bit more restrained,as you can see from my post there. Both styles have their uses.
We don't need Alf, and the ICC to back us up, but their assistance as would yours , would be appreciated.
I think that Alf is right though and revol does have a obbsesion with criticising the ICC.

devrim

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Aug 25 2006 06:43
Quote:
I don't pretend to care about all the miserable people in the world, I care about getting what I want.

Class solidarity is just a logical strategy to enable political goals, I don't do it to get to heaven for being so nice.

Lazy, does your strategy of class solidarity involve the more affluent sections of the working class? If so, following your logic, why should they express solidarity?

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Aug 25 2006 08:44

Revol, I didn't accuse you of supporting the IRA. In fact some time ago in one of these many threads about Lebanon I referred to the fact that you had opposed nationalism in Ireland. Baboon (who writes as a sympathiser, not a member) implied that you were ambiguous about the IRA, which is not surprising given the ambiguity of your whole approach to the Middle East.

Your insistence that the ICC is a "fucking cult" is just a means to avoid debate. Does "everyone know it"? Well, perhaps some people on these boards have had second thoughts since we began taking part. But maybe they're just brainwashed dupes. However, I don't want another "is the ICC a mad cult" discussion here.

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Aug 25 2006 09:07
Devrim wrote:
Actually, I have just posted on there.
http://www.revolutionaryleft.com/index.php?showtopic=54766
The shouting is Leo's style, and actually we have got sympathetic private PMs from people on there. I am a bit more restrained,as you can see from my post there. Both styles have their uses.
We don't need Alf, and the ICC to back us up, but their assistance as would yours , would be appreciated.
I think that Alf is right though and revol does have a obbsesion with criticising the ICC.

devrim

It's alright Dev i am sure you and Leo can handle a good ruck with a load of lefties. I am glad you have some sympathic PMs (no seriously i am) as the debate over there is pretty much about how much a uncritical a cheerleader for Hezbohlah one's anti-imperialism allows one to be.My suggestion to Alf was that he might better make use his time posting elsewhere. smile Revol dosen't have an obession with the ICC, they're the resident scapegoats (it use to be the primmos)that serve to remind us that pure abstract threory leads to sterilty. Now if you don't mind i'm off to get my hands dirty in the class war, well doing the washing-up.

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Aug 25 2006 12:56

Hi

jason wrote:
Lazy, does your strategy of class solidarity involve the more affluent sections of the working class?

Ho ho. It necessarily involves the most affluent sections of the working class.

jason wrote:
If so, following your logic, why should they express solidarity?

Well after “expressing solidarity” with a few last night, I guess it’s for fun and profit.

Love

LR

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Aug 25 2006 13:11

Can everyone stop talking about the ICC, it's off-topic. Since we can't delete threads we will have to delete any further derailing posts.

That anarkismo article as appalling. I see why people have slagged of NEFAC as nationalists now, even though that is still unfair as it's just Wayne who's the nationalist.

But seriously, posting this?

Quote:
Imagine! This essay has just been put up and already there are several responses, some lengthy. I seem to have touched a nerve

Touched a nerve? Trying to get anarchists to support nation states, things for which tens of millions of workers have killed and been killed? That article is very depressing. I'm hoping that WSM people don't agree with it? Cos a couple of WSMers have PMed me saying that they aren't soft nationalists and I would like to believe it...

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Aug 25 2006 13:12
Quote:
It's the difference between a moral and technical appraisal of the consequence of allowing Capitalism to prevail. That is to say, whether the problem is "your oppression" or opression in general.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I percieve most double income families as mostly having 'what they want'. I'm not sure we could achieve a revolutionary quorum without working class people who aren't morally affronted by oppression.

john
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Aug 25 2006 13:20
John. wrote:
Can everyone stop talking about the ICC, it's off-topic. Since we can't delete threads we will have to delete any further derailing posts

it's ok to let the conversation roam, sort of organically, sometimes, no?

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Aug 25 2006 13:29

Hi

Quote:
I guess what I'm getting at is that I percieve most double income families as mostly having 'what they want'. I'm not sure we could achieve a revolutionary quorum without working class people who aren't morally affronted by oppression.

Yeah well. Check out a few of those "pay off your mortgage early" adverts and think again. Working class life is but a sequence of adjourned dreams and unrealised desires.

Love

LR

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Aug 25 2006 13:32
Quote:
sequence of adjourned dreams and unrealised desires

Isn't that life in general?

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Aug 25 2006 14:15

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Maybe. But the problem itself is caused by the working class's capitulation to the wage labour system that affords the bourgeoisie their enhanced social status.

Love

LR