Anarchism and syndicalism: the CNT model and its dilemma

Anarchism and syndicalism: the CNT model and its dilemma

An article by Vadim Damier from 2012 critiquing the CNT model of anarcho-syndicalism

One philosopher has once told that the one, who doesn't study history, is doomed to repeat its errors. The problem consists just in looking for what was made may be not correctly or not very well in the past. This can give a possibility to avoid some mistakes in the present and in the future.

Of course, it would be unreasonably and conceitedly to give advices to comrades living in a country removed in thousands of kilometers, with quite other situation and with differing conditions of social and workers struggle. But when I turn around back on history of anarcho-syndicalist movement in Spain, I see not only brilliant victories and the Great Revolution, but also certain internal problems. And these problems remain the same throughout all history of heroic CNT.

The attempts of Bolshevist usurpation in the beginning of 1920s; the permanent discussions about participation in the politic; the cooperation of leading group of Pestaña and Peirò with oppositional politicians in the struggle against the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera; the Treintismo; the refusal of realization in July of 1936 of Concepto confederal del comunismo libertario adopted on Zaragoza congress; the “Ministerialismo” in the Civil War; the common front of “internal” fraction with authoritarian parties in the struggle against Franco in the 1940s and 1950s; the “Cincopuntismo”; the massive infiltration of the Reformists and then finally the splits which led to a creation of the CGT; and finally the actual troubles with the “heterodoxos” and attempts to force some of their most active critics out of Confederation…

ABOUT “CONTRADICTIONS”

So we can say that the CNT led through all its history a stubborn struggle against reformism. The Reformism was every time beaten but it emerged anew again and again. We never will cure this illness if we will not understand whence it arises.

There is a point of view that similar problems are inevitable for anarcho-syndicalism as such. That the anarcho-syndicalism acts in a cramped tension or “dialectical contradiction” between final goal and everyday achievements, between some “maximalism” and some “reforms”. That this way is very narrow, and so it is easy – or even “naturally”– to drive sometimes to some kind of “reformism”. But it is impossible to cure an illness simply declaring it “natural”: one day it can become deadly. Only the Marxists with their Hegelian schemes of “negation of negation” can estimate contradictions as the base of every development. The Anarchism seeks harmony as it goal, and this goal can be achieved only by the means of annihilation of contradictions and of restoring of harmony. An organism which is broken off by contradictions never can operate coherently, intelligently and purposefully. In the long term, it is doomed to defeat.

It is one of general principles of Anarcho-Syndicalism that, in this combination, the Anarchism is the goal and the Syndicalism is a mean. What is more, the anarchist workers movement or the anarchist Syndicalism is the sole form of MASS anarchism known in the history because it makes possible through the everyday concrete struggles to restore the solidarity and self-governmental capacity between people and to show them the perspective of a new live without hierarchy and domination. So the everyday syndical action is one of the best methods of achieving anarchist goals but no a value-in-itself for people which want to be free. Nobody in our movement doubt about it officially. But the reality looks sometimes differently…

OPENESS “TO ALL WORKERS”?

The peculiarity of the Spanish CNT was always a foundation of it strength and it splendid success. But it was also basis of some of its problems too – even although certain of these problems were “imported”.
Without making any deep voyages in the past, we remember that the Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo in Spain were found in 1910 on the crossing of two different traditions. The one sprang from the Spanish Regional Federation of the First International and it workers organizations: they had a clear and open libertarian goal, struggling not only for everyday betterments but also for a free and stateless society. The second tradition was of the French CGT with it Revolutionary Syndicalism based on direct action. The influence of this growing movement in the neighbour country was so big, that the workers associations in Spain abandoned even the former name of “Sociedades de Resistencia” and adopted the French name “syndicates”. Together with the French Revolutionary Syndicalism, some of it key notions traversed the Pyrenees: the openness of workers organizations “to all workers” independently from their ideas and social goals (an ideologically “neutral” syndicalism) and the view of a future society as a federation of syndicates rather than of the libertarian free communes (the key points of the Chart of Amiens of the French CGT).

But the significance of this CGT tradition was different for France and for Spain. For the France, the adoption of revolutionary syndicalism was an obvious progress because it appeared to be a rupture with a former domination of authoritarian Marxists in the workers movement. The Chart of Amiens was a compromise between the Libertarians, the authoritarian Socialists and the pure Trade-unionists, but it gave to the Anarchists for some time a very good possibility to extend the influence of libertarian ideas in the working class. But the Spanish anarchist workers movement didn't need such sort of compromises. It was enough powerful itself.

The notions which were “advanced” for a situation in France created a confuse duality in Spain. The CNT adopted both things simultaneously: the goal of libertarian society and the openness of syndicates “to all workers”. A very serious contradiction was created: how a worker which refuses a libertarian goal can be only and simply “as a worker” a member of any organization struggling not only for the partial betterments but also for a libertarian society? This gave birth to a permanent problem in the CNT between the “anarchist” and the “syndicalist”(it would be true to say, more “neutral”-syndicalist) tendencies.

The principle of “openness” cleared the way in the CNT not only for Revolutionaries but also for Reformists “as workers”. This was supported also by some Anarchists which shared a “Malatestian” position in respect of trade unions: they didn`t consider the unions as a mean of struggle for a libertarian society and viewed them as per se reformist. From both the “non-ideological Syndicalism” and Anarchism of Malatesta resulted the “openness” to “all workers” and the pursuit of quantitative growth of number of members in anarcho-syndicalist unions, at high speed and almost at any cost. And the partisans of a “syndical structure” of a future society (as Treintistas) tried to convince that the bigger the anarcho-syndicalist unions will be, the nearer is the revolution.

But this “quantitative”, “numerical” approach has also some further logical results. To be bigger, the syndicalist unions must “soften” their ideas and become more attractive for “normal”, that is for no-revolutionary, “moderate” workers so as not to scare them. They must be more “heterodox”, less anarchist, less “ideological”, more ready for compromises with politicians and reformists. In other words: they must themselves become reformists. Since then, the “openness” and the forced growth regardless of “ideal quality” become the banner of all Reformist with damaged the CNT from within.

ANARCHISM VS. “LESS-IDEOLOGICAL” SYNDICALISM

The more “anarchist” tendency in the CNT diagnosed the danger very quickly and they tried to repel it. In the beginning of 1920s, they showed an interest for an experience of anarchist workers movement in Argentina, FORA.

The “Forism” rejected both the “non-ideological syndicalism” and the position of Malatesta. Like the CNT, it proclaimed openly the anarchist-communist (libertarian communist) goal of anarchist workers unions. But it refused categorically the principle of their “openness” to “every worker” independently from his ideas and convictions and the numerical growth at any cost. The “Foristas” proposed “la formación de un movimiento sindical propio, con el programa del anarquismo, compuesto por anarquistas y simpatizantes que demonstrarán prácticamente al resto de los trabajadores, con quines conviven diariamente en la vida productiva, los métodos más eficaces de lucha y el verdadero fin de todos nuestros esfuerzos». (Emilio López Arango, Diego Abad de Santillan. El anarquismo en el movimiento obrero. Barcelona, 1925. P.163).

It was a notion of an anarchist workers organization which was in the same time syndicate and “ideological” association, or more correctly, a syndicate with clearly and openly defined anarchist ideas. There was no place for those who have fundamentally disagree with the anarchist social goal (as partisans of political parties), or who were simply looking for any “more efficient” trade union. It was a syndicat of “anarquistas y simpatizantes”.

Many people in European anarchist movement misunderstood this approach. There are opinions until now, that the “Forism” want to build a kind of anarchist political party: an organization where all members declare themselves consciously “AnarchISTS”, know libertarian theory, join anarchist philosophical or affinity groups etc. This is very far from the truth. The FORA was not only for “conscious” people, it was also for “spontaneous” Anarchists, that is also for people which may be didn`t know anarchist theory or didn`t declare themselves “Anarchists” but which shared anarchist goal of a free stateless communist society. “Frente a ese anarquismo filosófico o politico presentamos nuestra concepción y nuestra realidad de movimiento social anarquista, vastas agrupaciones de masas que no eluden ningún problema del anarquismo filosófico y que toman al hombre tal qual es, no solo como adepto de una idea, sino como miembro de una fracción humana explotada y oprimida” (Ibid. P.165).

In the face of political elusions of Pestaña and Peiró, quite a number of Spanish Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists expressed in 1920s their sympathy for “forist” options. This can be read in the known book of Juan Gómez Casas about the history of FAI. But in the end, another option prevailed: to unite all anarchist affinity groups in the FAI and to try to act as Anarchists in the CNT for counter the reformist tendencies of “less ideological Syndicalism”. Now, we know, that this approach has only a limited success and only for a very short time. Moreover, it even reinforced the “anarchist – syndicalist” duality in the CNT and not solved the contradiction mentioned in the beginning. It there are “special” Anarchists in any organization, it supposes that the others (a large majority) are not.

The problem influenced obviously the destiny of the CNT in the Spanish Revolution and remains unresolved until now.

WHAT NOW?

The actual situation in the anarcho-syndicalist movement (not only in Spain) indicates that this duality of anarchist tradition and of “revolutionary syndicalist” tradition of Chart of Amiens becomes a strong weapon in the hands of reformist tendencies. They seek to utilize it for struggle against revolutionary militants and unions worldwide, softening the “ideal” content, forcing the numerical quantitative growth of membership at cost of some “deideologization” of anarcho-syndicalism and imposing close cooperation with reformist trade unions and political forces. Their expectations are clear. We live in the situation of worldwide capitalist offensive when the big “official” reformist unions don`t want and also can`t organize the workers defense. The syndicalist reformists hope to take their place. But in the consequence of social atomization and of fuzzy workers class consciousness, they can recruit many people only refusing the “extremist”, “too revolutionary” and “too ideological” approach of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalism. Their aim is to become very “normal” trade unions (may be, a little more “radical” and persistent) without any goal of libertarian transformation of society. This would be a definitive return of “no-ideological syndicalism” to the Social-Democracy.

But the most of these hopes will be in vain in a long-time perspective. The “after-Keynsian” capitalism doesn`t need the persistent “social partners”; it need the destruction of organized labour, a capitulation. In this context, there are no place for the reformists which hope to coquet with own imaginary “radicalism”. To organize surrender, the big “official” trade unions are sufficient.
Without giving something for the workers, the reformist “deideologized” syndicalists can however kill the anarcho-syndicalist movement. Now, they throw off practically the old “duality” of anarchism and “openness”. Defending it, we will lose. We shall discuss new options, new alternatives in the anarcho-syndicalism. That is why the “forist” experience of real unity of anarchism and syndicalism and the “model” of anarchist workers organization can be useful in the actual situation.

Comments

syndicalist
Aug 7 2013 03:31

Oh, not seen this before ... i'd love to hear a CNT reply to this. On da GRIL...

akai
Aug 7 2013 04:20

This article was solicited for and published by a magazine published by some unions of the CNT. As in any situation, there would be agreement and disagreement with it, so it is unwise to give the impression there might be a single "CNT" reply. There is no such thing as a "CNT" opinion, unless it is one voted on issued by a Plenary.

syndicalist
Aug 7 2013 13:52

OK, it would be interesting to hear the many opinions of many CNT members.

akai
Aug 7 2013 14:53

I'm on some forum where I suppose it was discussed so I can ask if I can forward something, but it's in Spanish. I am afraid anything you might get in any other language would not really be too representative. I don't think there was too much debate about it though, if I recall. I can ask Vadim.

Picket
Aug 7 2013 14:59

The translation is a bit rough. I'd happily give some of my time to clean this sort of thing up. How do we go about that? I would just go ahead, but someone else might be doing it.

syndicalist
Aug 7 2013 15:02

For me, spanglish is not a problem. I'm just interested in what peoples comments might be.
Personally, FORAismo has elements I like and,perhaps, are more oriented to certain conditions or places or even smaller organizations. But I do not feel it is a replacement for building anarchy-syndicalist unions where immediately (and sometimes historically) possible.

You know where to find me if ya gots anything....

Picket
Aug 7 2013 15:06

might not be a problem for you but I often read articles, sometimes just posts smile which I need to rearrange as I read them, and think "I'd love to clean that up"! Kind of distracting from the content.

syndicalist
Aug 7 2013 15:09
Pikel wrote:
might not be a problem for you but I often read articles, sometimes just posts smile which I need to rearrange as I read them, and think "I'd love to clean that up"! Kind of distracting from the content.

I hear ya....but growing up in a community where english was a second language to many (including in the family), I guess i work ok with crappy and rough language. groucho

klas batalo
Aug 7 2013 15:59

i'm pretty sure this was translated from russian, akai is discussing translating forum posts from spanish.

Picket
Aug 7 2013 16:26

Right, talking at cross purposes! I am talking about this article, it could be modified to read in more "idiomatically correct" English, even without access to the Russian original, which wouldn't help me anyway as I don't know more than a few words of Russian.

akai
Aug 7 2013 16:36

The article was published in Spanish: http://www.iwa-ait.org/content/anarquismo-y-sindicalismo
It is here in Russian.

Maybe next week I'd have a chance to fix it, but I suppose somebody else would get around to it quicker than I.

Mark.
Jan 6 2015 16:48
syndicalist wrote:
Oh, not seen this before ... i'd love to hear a CNT reply to this.
akai wrote:
As in any situation, there would be agreement and disagreement with it, so it is unwise to give the impression there might be a single "CNT" reply. There is no such thing as a "CNT" opinion, unless it is one voted on issued by a Plenary.
syndicalist wrote:
OK, it would be interesting to hear the many opinions of many CNT members.

alasbarricadas thread
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=58596

syndicalist
Jan 6 2015 18:47

Most respectfully, I totally forgot about this article.
Why is the alas barricadas discussion happen like all this time later?
And are the folks even CNT?

While I am convinced that syndicalist unions will have, at first, a diversity of members
But without helping to develop the member along anarchosyndicalist path, the union simply becomes a trade union as opposed to a revolutionary union

akai
Jan 6 2015 20:35

You are right. And everybody knows it. But there are straight trade unionists and authoritarian leftists trying to influence and with their own ideas about what path to take.

I don't go on this forum, neither do most of my friends. There is no real discussion possible, problems with bad censorship. etc.

Anyway, I think the "dilemna" is a little different than presented in this article but that organization has a long organizational problem which keeps on repeating, making me sure that it is not a good model for us, although there are things certainly we can learn from and some aspects of the organization which should be commended and can give us good ideaas.

militant-proletarian
Jan 8 2015 21:30

So let's see, a guy from a Section with no union activity at all trying to teach a lesson about anarcho-syndicalism? Thank goodness he never wanted to "give advices to comrades..."

Historical rigor = zero
Respect = zero

When he's fit to lick Peiro's or Pestaña's boots, he may insult them. Otherwise, remain standing with your wackos of Adarga against the reformist ghost.

MT
Jan 9 2015 08:29

with posters like MP, the libcom discussion culture really goes down...

akai
Jan 9 2015 08:52

Well, times that by 10 and you unfortunately can imagine how discussion may look in certain corners.

Also the guy is involved in union activity in his workplace personally.

Anyway, when all is said and done, I think that the author of the article will have left a series of interesting texts for activists to read and think about while MP ... well, unfortunately we will all witness very quickly where his thinking will land him.

akai
Jan 9 2015 09:01

Personally, I don't agree with some main theses of the article, while other points I think are important and relevant. And my personal thoughts don't come from any armchair position, but actually from union experience. In terms of the relevance, I would have to say that every anarchosyndicalist organization at some point discusses questions of this nature, so I find the text, if not all its conclusions, to be very legitimate.

As for the question of depoliticizing, it is very relevant. If certain anarchosyndicalist organizations (at least one I know of) have approved plans which call on the organization to be less political and more "practical", it means that said organization is building conditions to move its orientation, although it might be that some members did not understand that yet.

Lloviendoraíles
Jan 9 2015 11:58

- La AIT es una organización abierta a todos los trabajadores.
- Es independiente de partidos, sectas y grupos de presión.
- Defiende que son los trabajadores los que han de llevar a cabo su propia emancipación.
- Los anarquistas NO pueden ejercer una función de tutela o dirección de los trabajadores.
- Los anarquistas SÍ deben estar en la lucha sindical. Deben mostrar valor, actividad, energía. NO deben intentar dirigir los sindicatos.
- Los trabajadores se bastan y se sobran para transformar el mundo, a través de la lucha sindical.

Es completamente falso que en los foros españoles no se pueda debatir debido a la censura. Lo que realmente ocurre, es que hay gente incapaz de argumentar en ellos, que se retira del debate cuando se le muestra otra manera de pensar. El anarquismo tiene en todo caso, que estar con quienes piensan diferente. Hablar a los que piensan como uno, sirve solo para escucharse uno a sí mismo.

Salud, y anarquía. Ni Dios, ni amo, ni tutela de los anarquistas.

syndicalist
Jan 9 2015 16:38

Fwiw .... I'm sympathetic to both dilemmas. But at some time the chicken has to cross the road
That the paper principles have to be more then that. How that is translated into reality and at what pace is not for me to determine for others But at some point you are or you aren't what you say in principle and written word you claim to be.

militant-proletarian
Jan 10 2015 05:53
MT wrote:
with posters like MP, the libcom discussion culture really goes down...

What kind of discussion could we have if this article is full of dogmatic nonsense? This guy has no respect at all and no historical rigor.

militant-proletarian
Jan 10 2015 05:54
akai wrote:
Anyway, when all is said and done, I think that the author of the article will have left a series of interesting texts for activists to read and think about while MP ... well, unfortunately we will all witness very quickly where his thinking will land him.

Please, enlight me: where my thinking will land me?

Lugius
Jan 10 2015 07:21
Quote:
Please, enlight me: where my thinking will land me?

In Parliament

MT
Jan 10 2015 08:37
militant-proletarian wrote:
MT wrote:
with posters like MP, the libcom discussion culture really goes down...

What kind of discussion could we have if this article is full of dogmatic nonsense? This guy has no respect at all and no historical rigor.

I said "discussion culture", but I see that this is something incomprehensible to you.

Lloviendoraíles
Jan 10 2015 09:06

La AIT defiende la independencia de los trabajadores, y que la emancipación de los trabajadores ha de ser obra de los propios trabajadores.

En ninguna parte dice que la emancipación de los trabajadores ha de ser obra de los trabajadores tuteados por los anarquistas que impiden su deriva reformista.

Es más: habría que ver quién es más reformista, si el anarquista que"lucha contra el reformismo", o los trabajadores que hacen la revolución.

akai
Jan 10 2015 09:54

Lloviendorailes, podemos discutir mucho sobre sus ideas, pero hay que empezar con un hecho. Lo que tu escribes no es ninguna posicion de la AIT. Tus declaraciones sobre la AIT son productos de tu pensamiento y entendimiento pero no productos de los estatutos o de decisiones tomadas por la federación o de su práctica.

Sobre la cuestion de la afiliación, no podemos decir que la AIT es abierto a todos, porque las Secciones determinan que puede afiliarse, quien no. Si no quieren miembros de partidos políticos, trotskistas etc., no deben aceptarles.

Los estatutos de la AIT son mucho más claros si hablamos de la misión de la AIT. Usas palabras y concepciones no claros diciendo que la AIT es independiente de ¨sectas¨ y ¨grupos de presión¨ sin definir que es esto. Estas sentencias no vienen de los textos o conceptos aprobados de la AIT. En los estatutos de la IWW hay una sentencia sobre ¨sectas antipoliticas¨, que signifca grupos especificas anarquistas. Hablando contra ¨tutela de los anarquistas¨¨, alguien puede pensar que anarquistas son organizadas en ¨¨sectas¨o son ¨grupos de presión¨¨ dentro organizaciones sindicales. Y estos ideas son en contradición de los estatutos de la AIT que dicen que el objeto de la internacional es promover el comunismo libertario, construir organizaciones que luchan para la sociedad futuro anarquista, etc.

Creo que esta visión es muy cómoda para los sectores anti-anarquistas que quieren depoliticizar las organizaciones de la AIT.

akai
Jan 10 2015 09:55

It might not be cool to respond in Spanish or refer to the post without making a full translation, but I will try to cover the main points.

Lloviendoraíles wrote that the IWA is an organization open for all workers and is independent of parties, sects and pressure groups. He also wrote that anarquists cannot play the function of tutelege and direction of the workers. Anarchists should be in the union struggle but cannot try to lead the unions. And that the workers are enough to transform the world, through the syndical struggle.

I thought this was worth responding to these ideas. But first one thing has to be perfectly clear.

Unfortunately, we see a problem from time to time with individuals making statements about what the IWA is, which in no way reflect decisions or positions taken by the IWA. In this case we see certain contradictions with reality.

For example, in the context of the article here, some have questioned what can happen when an organization is open for all persons of all sorts of political and tactical persuasions. Lloviendorailes contends that the IWA is an organization open for all workers. The problem is that this assertation does not stem from any decisions of the IWA, its statutes or its practice. The truth is that each member organization decides who its membership consists of and if „all workers” can join or not.

Then Lloviendorailes writes another statement which maybe reflects his interpretations or wishes, but does not stem from IWA documents and decisions saying that it is „independent of parties, sects and pressure groups”. This is very unclear and, as I said, is does not originate in the documents of the IWA. A reference to „sects” is in the IWW bylaws. http://www.iww.org/history/myths/8 As is explained here, the term „anti-political sect' „was specifically included to rule out exclusively anarchist organizations or tendencies as well”. So, in fact, having no definition of the word „sect”, this is dangerous language. One could believe it refers to specific anarchist organizations – but why would the IWA, whose specific goal be the creation of a future anarchist or libertarian communist organization, refer to any anarchist organization, which is fighting for the same thing, with such a negative word as „sect”.

The IWA statutes http://www.iwa-ait.org/content/statutes is what all IWA Sections should be in agreement with and in my opinion, they are rather clear. The IWA fights against the state and its organizations try to exert influence on other tendencies in the aim of spreading the struggle against capitalism and the state. The statutes read „Revolutionary unionism has a two-fold function: to carry on the day-to-day revolutionary struggle for the economic, social and intellectual advancement of the working class within the limits of present-day society, and to educate the masses so that they will be ready to independently manage the processes of production and distribution when the time comes to take possession of all the elements of social life.”

So, while we might all sort of try to understand the intenton of Lloviendorailes, these things can be interpreted in different ways and, in any case, pose a serious contradiction to what is actually the stated mission of the IWA.

Now, many anarchists of course are not very keen on being vanguardists and „leading people”, but the whole purpose of making an organization in the IWA is to introduce working class people to our ideas, to spread them and make our organizations models for the future self-managed society. If the ideas of anarchism are to guide the organization, it is clear that the majority of members have to adhere to these ideas, or at least be open to their practical application.

If we have an organization „open to everybody” (including people of different ideologies, authoritarian leftists, political party members, etc. etc.) and anarchists are being told „not to lead”, it is pretty clear that there is a chance that the others outnumber the anarchists and change the focus of the organization and how it acts. Obviously, if anarchists or anarchist sympathizers and numerically superior, it is not a question of them „leading” any union, but that the union acts in the spirit of the IWA, towards creating the libertarian society, and that this results from the members.

So the very idea posited by the writer implies that the unions are not anarchists, but anarchists are „participants” in a struggle of workers, most of whom are not (and will not be) anarchists.

The other question is whether the workers' syndical struggle is enough to transform the world. I think if we look at things historically, few IWA organizations have taken that position. I very much doubt that many of its current organizations would make such a statement.

In my opinion, these sorts of arguments strengthen the need for debate about neutral syndicalism, the syndicalism of the International before the split with the Marxists and the political aspect of the IWA. Making the idea behind the article more relevant.

However I personally don't agree with some ideas behind the article. The first, although not directly stated, is the implication that there is an either-or choice between two models. I personally reject both as being inappropriate for our specific needs and reality of our organization, although in both organizations historically we can find both inspiration and things to avoid.

To give a concrete example, our organization is NOT open to all workers. It does not aim to be. We are not open to members of political parties, to people actively promoting authoritarian leftism which contradicts our principles, to cops, supervisors who hire and fire people – we are not open to racists, nationalists, etc. etc. Despite this, we have a very high percentage of our members involved in struggles in the workplace and a very large percentage of our members do not come from the anarchist or any political movement. They came to us because they have problems at work and they read about us or see us and like the way we act. As to the exact principles of the organization, they should agree to them or not join. In terms of their level of belief in the revolutions or deep political understanding, well... that can be different, but we ask that all people who join try to understand and at the very least, not act against the goals of our organization.

How does that influence things? Well, yes, that means we do not take into our organization everyone we could possibility take. For example, we have a new campaign in one workplace. There are more than 50 people involved, but only a part of them are our members. Because we basically say that anybody in the workplace who wants to fight – we will fight together. This is how our union works. If you agree with our ideas (more or less), you can join. If not really, you don't have to join to work together in the concrete workplace struggles as equals. In this way, even the whole of the workplace can participate in its own struggle, not just the union. (After all, it is also our goal that the most people are engaged.)

Some people in the IWA would support this and some would be very critical. We always discuss with comrades in a comradely way about why we do this or that, but it is our choice. We have seen how some other organizations (here I am talking about outside our federation) develop. We know of one where they put everybody on paper and sign them up regardless of anything. Then they have no idea about anything and, in fact, a very small group of leaders wind up hierarchically controlling the unions because the members are passive and where not prepared in any way to be part of a non-hierarchical organization. Chairpeople of all the unions exist and in fact do most of the work and make the decisions. These are workers' representatives. We think that in order that anarchists are not representatives of workers, or the avant-garde class of the organization, the best way is that the people who do not come from that background be aware of what we are and that we are always acting to educate people – in our case, more by practice than by theoretical articles.

In this way, I have witnessed some really good moments. Some people who joined were not anarchists before, but they became so. Or, at least they are able to understand, in a very clear way, how these ideas influence the structure, functioning and way of taking action of the organization. I have seen a few times where people who did not come from a political background explain to new people about our ideas in a very clear way, based on a lot of empirical knowledge. I am talking about people who never read any of the „classics”, but read our newspaper or website or participate in discussions and just get the ideas. For us, these people are very good types of members of our organization.

What would be a bad development for us is having people who are actively against our ideas in the organization. I do not even want to think how it would look if we had lots of people agitating for legalistic methods, working through politicians or arguing for using tools of representative power to achieve our goals. I suppose if we had to have these types of discussions, we would just waste time, instead of concentrating on our concrete activity.

To sum up, currently there are some very unclear and contradictory ideas floating around some corners and some of them involve ideas about the „role of anarchists”, usually striving towards depoliticization. Other ideas feed into this strain, including ideas that call for the anarchists to stand down in their own organizations, claiming they are „workers' organizations” and the workers' revolution is sufficient. A number of similar ideas create the arguments for depoliticization and build up the position of the non-anarchist contigent in these organizations. Some of the proponents of these positions include anarchists whose ideas confuse the goals with the goals of direct democracy movements, who argue that the use of direct democracy is equal to the social revolution.

Lloviendoraíles
Jan 10 2015 21:18

La AIT es una organización que se dirige a TODOS los trabajadores Akai, para que se agrupen en organizaciones económicas. La AIT considera que únicamente estas organizaciones sindicales son capaces de organizar la sociedad de una manera comunista, y libertaria. La AIT apela al trabajador en su condición de productor. En ninguna parte dice que el trabajador tenga que ser anarquista, no se le exige tal cosa en ninguna parte.

La AIT es una organización que pretende unir a todos los trabajadores, al margen de partidos, para luchar contra el capitalismo. No es una organización de anarquistas que luchan contra su despolitización.

Es un sarcasmo que se diga que quienes queremos una AIT amplia, de trabajadores, queremos "despolitizarla", dando así por sentado que el anarquismo no es más que una tendencia política más, que se dedica a decirle a los trabajadores cuál es el camino correcto.

Los anarquistas "luchan contra el reformismo"..., JA, cuando en la práctica sindical, cuando la llevan a cabo, hacen exactamente lo mismo que los reformistas que combaten. ¿Cuál es la diferencia, por favor?

Los anarquistas lo que tienen que hacer, no es luchar contra el reformismo, ese fantasma, si no dar la cara activamente en el sindicato, cumplir los acuerdos y engrandecer a la AIT.

militant-proletarian
Jan 10 2015 20:41
Lugius wrote:
Quote:
Please, enlight me: where my thinking will land me?

In Parliament

Where have I defended that bullshit? Are you serious?

My name is Lugius, I'm mentally 15 years old, I read some books from which I learnt a lot about a very, very bad thing called "reformism". There were some "reformists" in the CNT during the 30s called "treintistas". This guy has a picture of a famous "treintista", so my simple mind tells me this guy is pro-Parliament (???). Viva la anarquía, muerte al reformismo!

Lloviendoraíles
Jan 10 2015 21:16

Miles de millones de trabajadores NO son anarquistas, pero la AIT quiere agrupar a los trabajadores, a todos, para que se emancipen.

¿Tiene que esperar la AIT a que se hagan anarquistas?

¿Se desea una AIT de unos cientos de anarquistas, o una internacional de trabajadores que se organicen al margen de partidos y políticos de todas clases?