Union Scum?

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jef costello's picture
jef costello
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Nov 28 2015 11:55
Ghost Whistler wrote:

Surely the tories are worse! they are the ones currently destroying society.

And when they get back in LAbour will almost certainly do the same.

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Noah Fence
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Nov 28 2015 12:09

Almost certainly?

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 28 2015 12:26

I apologise if I have misunderstood what has been said. I make no claims to being an expert on these ideas; I rarely get to discuss them if at all. In fact, the few friends I have in the real world are slowly turning to the right wing along with the world, it seems. I have a friend who's becoming more racist by the week. I blame the Sun and the mainstream media he, through his partner, has gotten into (she once referred to an asian candidate on The Apprentice as 'poppadom'). I'm trying to navigate through these ideas and the politics of our times as best I can, so I don't mean to say anything ignorant (though I'm sure I will).

Parliamentary politics is obviously a joke. Westminster is clearly an old boy's club for the privileged ruling elite. But i think individuals do make a difference. For instance, I argued that, during the election, it was worth voting Labour. Not because they are going to do enough, but for not being as vile as the Tories right now. The differences would be tiny but, for example, getting rid of the bedroom tax, which I believe they would have done if nothing else, would be worth that alone. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a Labour supporter and Miliband was as much a joke as the rest of them, but in the present, with all the misery heaped on society by the Tories, doing something just to ameliorate that doesn't mean endorsing Labour or the clearly broken system they sign up to.

I would assume that, in an anarchist society, decisions would require a functioning democracy and that people would have a say. I don't think that principle, even though that's not what we have right now, is worth while.

I understand that marxist definition of class (i think), but that's not the only use of class that I see. Correct me if I'm wrong but he didn't use class to define society in terms of low, middle or high class/aristocracy. I hear some anarchists/anti-capitalists talk from a position of almost reverse-snobbery where they sneer at anyone from the middle class or the higher classes. Take for instance the attitude of the Fuck Parade toward the cereal killer cafe people. I thought that was self defeating and some guy called Red and Black, whose youtube channel i follow, made repeated comments sneering about these people, as if fitting the social profile of 'hipster' means they are deserving of being attacked and blamed for the gentrification of the east end.

I hate the ruling elite and notions of hierarchy, I despise these people lauding their privilege over everyone else, consequently it follows that reverse snobbery is not productive either because it creates further division.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 28 2015 12:27
jef costello wrote:
Ghost Whistler wrote:

Surely the tories are worse! they are the ones currently destroying society.

And when they get back in LAbour will almost certainly do the same.

I wouldn't disagree.

Spikymike
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Nov 28 2015 17:35

I don't disagree with the critical points made by Webby and others about the Labour Party and class etc but ....Just thought I'd mention that as it turns out quite a lot of civil service low paid workers and their families are themselves on various social benefits and do have an interest in resisting cut backs or restrictions. Trouble is, as with all struggles in the here and now, individual actions taken by brave workers on moral grounds mostly just gets them the sack and moving to collective action based on foundations of common solidarity is a difficult process especially when the so-called workers friends in the Unions put obstacles in the way in defense of their own sectional interests. Sometimes a bit of organised pressure applied by the immediate victims of benefit sanctions 'against' the workers enforcing those sanctions can assist the braver individual workers and pressure others into taking a more collective stand against, at least the worse effects, of applying the government's and management's regulations - the main culprits here.
If you search 'Anti JSA' here you will find an extensive discussion of these problems some of us had to consider in a much earlier and largely unsuccessful struggle over the former introduction of the JSA and benefit sanctions, which you might find helpful?

Sleeper
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Nov 28 2015 17:18

As a working class kid growing up on a council estate in Liverpool I assumed everyone understood how we felt about Thatcher and all those tory twats. Then I realised the Labour Party did the same thing, and often claimed to do it in our name. It took a while but then I started to put things together for myself and realised that we have to find ways to share and aid each other mutually, and we have to cooperate voluntarily for all of us.

jef costello wrote:
Ghost Whistler wrote:

Surely the tories are worse! they are the ones currently destroying society.

And when they get back in LAbour will almost certainly do the same.

I wouldn't disagree.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 28 2015 21:27
Spikymike wrote:
I don't disagree with the critical points made by Webby and others about the Labour Party and class etc but ....Just thought I'd mention that as it turns out quite a lot of civil service low paid workers and their families are themselves on various social benefits and do have an interest in resisting cut backs or restrictions. Trouble is, as with all struggles in the here and now, individual actions taken by brave workers on moral grounds mostly just gets them the sack and moving to collective action based on foundations of common solidarity is a difficult process especially when the so-called workers friends in the Unions put obstacles in the way in defense of their own sectional interests. Sometimes a bit of organised pressure applied by the immediate victims of benefit sanctions 'against' the workers enforcing those sanctions can assist the braver individual workers and pressure others into taking a more collective stand against, at least the worse effects, of applying the government's and management's regulations - the main culprits here.
If you search 'Anti JSA' here you will find an extensive discussion of these problems some of us had to consider in a much earlier and largely unsuccessful struggle over the former introduction of the JSA and benefit sanctions, which you might find helpful?

Thanks, I will look.

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 29 2015 05:01
Quote:
I hear some anarchists/anti-capitalists talk from a position of almost reverse-snobbery where they sneer at anyone from the middle class or the higher classes. Take for instance the attitude of the Fuck Parade toward the cereal killer cafe people. I thought that was self defeating and some guy called Red and Black, whose youtube channel i follow, made repeated comments sneering about these people, as if fitting the social profile of 'hipster' means they are deserving of being attacked and blamed for the gentrification of the east end.

Yeah, you'll find very little of that sort of thing on libcom (thankfully!).

Quote:
I hate the ruling elite and notions of hierarchy, I despise these people lauding their privilege over everyone else...

That said, you will find a materialist notion of class, of which Webby has outlined pretty well earlier in the the thread. It's not cultural class - but equally it's not about "privilege" as such either.

I mean, I work alongside the owner of my language school and I doubt she brings in 50K a year - hardly a privileged existence! But she's still my boss, she still exploits me, and the profit that keeps the business running comes from the surplus value of my labor.

Equally, this is the same reason why we're critical of Labour. Corbyn may legitimately have the best of intentions, but once he's in power, he's a manager of national capital and, because of that, fuck him.

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 29 2015 15:51

Can Corbyn do nothing from the position he's in?

I accept that he's part of a system that's the problem, but can that not be used productively?

Not to suggest he will or that he's our last best hope.

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 29 2015 18:16

I don't know, I guess I view Corbyn a bit like a nice new HR manager at work. Sure, in theory, they can make things a bit nicer: new policies, better enforcement of old policies, maybe even taking a worker's side in a disciplinary or labor dispute. But that's all pretty useless unless we're organized to fight and defend those things and prepared for the reality that no matter how nice or good-hearted or well-intentioned the new HR manager may be, our interests will, at some point, inevitably diverge.

And that's even worse with electoral politics where the energy and effort that goes into getting a Corbyn elected could be far better used building up a practical solidarity and organization on the ground.

As it stands now, getting Corbyn down a to a picket line is seen as as some sort of victory in itself and reinforces this idea that deferring to powerful people somehow builds up our power as working people.

Sleeper
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Nov 29 2015 19:02

What Corbyn is doing is realising the idea we can take control when we need to. The ruling and middle class hate it because they now understand the working class decide it all...

Sleeper
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Nov 29 2015 19:24

Ghost Whistler are you still with me? Are you ready to get it on and see what we can do?

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 30 2015 00:29
Fai1937 wrote:
What Corbyn is doing is realising the idea we can take control when we need to. The ruling and middle class hate it because they now understand the working class decide it all...

I can't tell, is this a joke?

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 30 2015 00:31
Fai1937 wrote:
Ghost Whistler are you still with me? Are you ready to get it on and see what we can do?

Ghost Whistler
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Nov 30 2015 09:28
Fai1937 wrote:
Ghost Whistler are you still with me? Are you ready to get it on and see what we can do?

ok, not sure what you mean but i'm here to have a conversation