‘The debate that will sink or sail anarchism for the future’…

I’m taking the unusual step of posting up EAST HAM DAVE’S comments on the OBLITERATION OF THE LEFT’ thread on the main page. I think the points he raises are important ones – do we as anarchists continue to say ‘Open the prisons, disband the police…….’ and wonder why this approach to say knife crime does not find popular support?? Here’s what EHD says:

‘Ian,I for one,totally agree with everything you have said.You only have to look at some of the replies to your rant to see how out of touch a lot of anarchists are.The problem with most revolutionaries -myself included in my own way-is that we have liberated ourselves, at least mentally-from capitalist culture to such a degree,that in the process,we have become distanced from the mass of people we most need to activate politically.
You’ve bought this up before Ian,but until we TRUELY come up with some realistic ideas of our own,that both give people hope,AND confront social problems now with some sort of immediately implementable solutions,we will be playing ‘knee-jerk- reaction politics and chasing our own tails forever.I hereby suggest the following;use this blog as a forum for coming up with some ideas of our own,to deal with REAL social problems here and now,real solutions,and re-organise ourselves politically so that we immediately use this new programme to take it straight to the heart of working class areas,and IMMEDIATELY,put up candidates in every working class electorate,with these new ideas being the foundation stone of our platform.I don’t give a fuck if people think we should just slightly modify our approach so as to be more effective.That,for me ,is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.We literally need to chuck out everything and start again.Whether we like it or not,our present political course is seen as little different from the left.And the left,as I have said before,are heading for the abyss.
I agree that the Tories will win with such a huge majority,that they will in a way ,have a mandate to rule for three or more terms.But lets not kid ourselves that that will give the resistance a much needed kick up the Kyber to re-activate itself.We need to move way beyond this sort of reactionary politics.
The question I pose for others to contribute to and answer is;Do we have ANY real implementable ideas NOW,that we can walk onto an Estate or street or into a pub,and offer as tangible,realistic and workable to the people whose liberation our ideas purport to represent?
Like I said before,the whole slate is ours for the taking.The left are totally distrusted by the working class.They are seen as Black and White TV politics in the age of Plasma screen life.
Ian,you can’t let this one go.These challenges need to be met with a clear head and a willingness to make some SERIOUS changes to how we do business.Over ten years ago,the BNP was faced with a similar dilema to us;pursue a failing course,or make some major changes in strategy and direction.They took up the challenge,and look where they are now-the new third force in British politics.Everything the anarchists and Left try to do to undermine them,is simply a REACTION to their success.They do not confront them with any realistic solutions of their own to divert street level support their way.BECAUSE,THEY DON”T HAVE THE GUTS TO DO IT.
They are only going to get bigger.
Tired,Disneyland sloganeering and posturing,are seen for what they are now-a total lack of real ideas to deal with the ‘here and now’.
Before anyone replies to this with the usual left wing non logic,I ask doubters to do the following;walk onto any estate,into any pub,and listen to people and ask yourself this;do we have with our present strategy,any hope of helping or activating such people with our current course?
I’ll in fact take it all a step further-this is THE debate,that will sink or sail anarchism, for the future.’

From THE OBLITERATION OF THE LEFT ( inc. anarchists), 2008/07/26 at 11:44 PM

32 Comments

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32 responses to “‘The debate that will sink or sail anarchism for the future’…

  1. X

    When did the BNP become the new 3rd force in Britain? Talk about exagerrate. They have zero MP’s. A few councillors in yorkshire and essex doesn’t equate to a national success story. especially as any local nutter can muster 60 odd votes and get elected as a councillor.
    If ever Griffin needs a good PR he knows where to look.

  2. maryportagainstracism

    I’ve gotta say. He speaks the fucking truth. We’ve gotta appeal to the masses and we’re never gonna do that fucking about in squats and eating vegan food.

  3. Louis Lingg

    In fairness to comrades of yore, the ‘open the prisons, disband the police’ position was one which saw all criminal justice systems as state authority and legal control of our class by our enemies and was informed by the violent persecution that radicals / revolutionairies suffered from police at the time as well as looking forward to a time (long in the future if we are honest) that society had advanced to a stage that the root causes of crime had withered away.

    There are various papers (far too deep for me)written on the subject of ‘Natural Law” based on principles of social justice and the negation of juridical laws, decided by communities themselves, directly democratic or by delegates, and compatible with libertarian principles in general, human rights included.

    Before someone brings up the subject of the evils of vigilantism I remember that in my village in the 50s and early 60s, families who were suspected of anti-social behaviour such as theft from neighbours and vandalism got “visited” by burly locals who “had a word” after which the behaviour stopped or the families moved away – people generally avoided bringing in the police.

    I know that this is a slippery slope but communities tightly banded together with a common purpose and moral code can achieve a lot if organised. Thieving, rape and drug dealing were not tolerated in Anarchist Catalonia.

  4. Fellow Traveller

    The message of anarchists to the ordinary people is not ‘we can save you’ but ‘you can save yourselves if you take control’.

  5. I have one last thing to offer. The bloke “on the estate and in the pub” (is that me?) will say, unfortunately, whatever Murdoch or The Daily Blackshirt has been pumping into his head since he was old enough to read. Murdoch has always backed the winner. What a fucking coincidental lucky Capitalist Pig he is. (!).
    Now I suggest stop slagging off the left on ‘blogs such as this and others. If you really, truly want what you claim that you want, in the interest of the class, then swallow hard, take a deep breath, and turn your fire on the fascists. UNITE AND FIGHT. If you can’t do that, then repent at your leisure. Marxist, Leninist, Trot and even the Stalinist and Social Democrat, UNITE and take on the class enemy. Bitching among ourselves is a luxury we cannot afford. I’m almost begging you, please drop the ego, defend the left against the reactionary and the imperialist and the feudalist and racist. Thank you comrades, and good luck.

  6. Watcyn Youd

    Sorry ajit8, but I generally find that people who talk about ‘the class’ instead of ‘our/my class’ are middle class twats, or indoctrinated wankers. Besides, I also thought Leninists, Trots, Stalinists and Social Democrats are also our class enemies too (perhaps not in the same manner as fascists, toffs and tories, but still the enemy).

  7. You may be closer on the second option. Hope we meet. >; )

    (Up to you, Ian. Does he want photos or DNA? Send him my email address)!

    ajit8, is asking you to unite, simple as. If you can’t see the sense, stick to blogs.

  8. Ella

    Leninists, Trots and especially Stalinists are anti-freedom and tend to be middle class in an offensive position that in a purely working class revolution, as my number one G Marx stated it had to be all those years ago, the middle class, in their opinion, can obviously be the vanguard but you see the working class do all the real work. . . as the foot soldiers. Class enemies they truly are.

  9. D Marl

    We could unite with the trots and the leninists and the stalinists or whoever, but we’d end up getting tarred with the same brush as those fuckin bozos. We need to move beyond ‘left and right’. Those are just terms coined to describe a type of government. We’re supposed to be anarchists at the end of the day. Plus, if by some amazing chance they managed to stop chatting ludicrous shite and whingeing on about fucking people who outlined their theories a hundred-and-fifty-fucking years ago and actually managed to ferment some sort of popular, working class supported ‘revolution’, as with every other revolution, we’d end up either locked up, in exile or dead. So fuck ’em.

  10. AL

    We shouldn’t become as reactionary as the BNP in the hope of winning over white van man. Some of the posts here seem to suggest the fault of the left (and anarchists) is they care too much about immigrants — answer: lets do the opposite. This is nonsense, the point is that the current climate has lent itself more to the rise of the reactionary than the anarchist. Xenophobia that has basically been drummed into peoples heads for the last 20 years, and a whole generation of young people have been brought up with ipods, myspace, consumer markets, mobile phones..etc than class struggle experience.

    Remember the difference between the BNP and anarchists. The BNP want to take power, anarchists want to destroy power. It doesn’t fucking matter how many BNP councillors there are, look how many labour/tories have(!), what matters is to what extent does the working class populations follow their leaders, BNP or Labour? Ulitmately this is the BNP’s biggest downfall, an anti-establishment party against the main parties telling people what to do, but wanting to become part of the establishment and tell people what to do.

    What can we tell people living on estates or in the pub? Well I think theres alot of sound people already around that need a few practical examples to support – its a bit like all the nationalism being drawn out of people when england plays, we need an anarchist working class version of that ala poll tax, or mayday, but with a deeper politics.

    The more examples we have of our politics, the more presence we have, the more you give people a chance to either agree or disagree.

    So howabout some mass proletarian shopping in London – rising prices, profit soaring for supermarkets, low wages…etc..who won’t agree with us especially if we had out “our” produce to those that want it.

  11. Can I point out that celebrating the collapse/death of the ‘left’, SWP whoever is not without its dangers.

    I certainly know of comrades who looked in exactly the same way at the end of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

    Was it replaced with anything better? No.

    Were many good activists lost? Yes.

    One of the odd things about the collapse of the SWP in recent years has been the disappearance of many long term activists, who especially outside the big cities, were often leftists of some standing. Yes they could often be a pain in the arse, and apologised far too often for shit within their own party.

    Some just seem to have given up after too many years of failure, whilst I suspect for many the SWP’s attitude towards the Socialist Alliance was the last straw. It is a lot easier to be sectarian and childish in north London than in a small town in Devon or Durham. Respect was never going to work for these comrades, who often did not have a local Mosque to grovel at.

    Are we necessarily better off without them?

  12. ajit8

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1872/10/authority.htm

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch03.htm#s3
    **************************************************
    But the necessity of authority, and of imperious authority at that, will nowhere be found more evident than on board a ship on the high seas. There, in time of danger, the lives of all depend on the instantaneous and absolute obedience of all to the will of one.

    When I submitted arguments like these to the most rabid anti-authoritarians, the only answer they were able to give me was the following: Yes, that’s true, but there it is not the case of authority which we confer on our delegates, but of a commission entrusted! These gentlemen think that when they have changed the names of things they have changed the things themselves. This is how these profound thinkers mock at the whole world.
    ***********************************************
    We are not Utopians, we do not “dream” of dispensing at once with all administration, with all subordination. These anarchist dreams, based upon incomprehension of the tasks of the proletarian dictatorship, are totally alien to Marxism, and, as a matter of fact, serve only to postpone the socialist revolution until people are different. No, we want the socialist revolution with people as they are now, with people who cannot dispense with subordination, control, and “foremen and accountants”.

  13. Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

    It’s boring intellectual bollocks like most of the posts here that turn most ‘normal’ people off. I totally gave up the will to live after 4 words of that last one by ajit8 wtf!!
    The joke is most of you have been debating this nonsense for over decades and you still have no clue to how irrelevant you are. I wish you luck in your attempts to turn Anarchism into the modern day Monster Raving Loony Party.

  14. AL

    To “disgusted”,

    Well anarchists continue to be involved in all many of sane stuff — look at LCAP (www.lcap.org.uk), look at all the work that no borders network does in stopping men, women and children being deported, look at antifa, not to mention all the local campaigns that anarchists are involved. One anarchist initiative is at the forefront (literally) in stopping the expansion the City into Shoreditch (bowl court social centre).

    the thing that pisses me off is that these debates aren’t new, the analysis isn’t new, its a tiresome argument. What do you suggest we do? Run in elections? Be more like the BNP? At the end of the day anarchists are small in number, we need to become more effective as anarchists and more involved and vocal as working class people in these different issues.

    AL (london)

  15. D Marl

    I don’t care what Engels thought about authority. He lived in 1872. I live in 2008. And I don’t care about what Lenin said either, he was a murdering prick who helped create a disasterous dictatorship that murdered millions of innocent people.

  16. blazingtemple

    Yeah, fuck elections man. No one votes anymore anyway…
    I agree that sitting round in squats eating vegan food isn’t exactly connecting with the working class grass roots, but it is a way to raise awareness of possible alternatives to the wage slavery thing.
    As far as all this war of class against class goes though, I think y’all need to get a grip. If we want a fairer social order we shouldn’t have a war against a class as a demographic, but a war against class as a system. In that sense it doesn’t matter whether your father was a coal miner, a publican, or a university lecturer. Stop demonising people and look to the roots of their behaviour.
    Fuck’s sake…

  17. “We shouldn’t become as reactionary as the BNP in the hope of winning over white van man.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this – I’ve just come back from a ‘focus group’ meeting with the council about housing (£30 to spend an hour and a half slagging them off, not bad)

    There were ten of us, all working class and all parents. Whilst the main conecrns were homelessness and poor quality housing there was no talk at all about immigrants taking our houses/jobs/women.

    Interestingly as well, despite the person running the group deliberately trying to lead us on anti-social behaviour only one person thought it was more serious an issue than poor quality housing although there was a general ackowledgement that the behaviour of some kids was a problem

    no-one at all thought the answer to that was more police, longer prison sentences etc, instead it was unanimous that kids have little to do, no local resources and little to look forward to

    in Glasgow the working class ran a campaign stating immigrants welcome here and became actively involved in stopping dawn raids and forced deportations

    the richard little john type often shouts loudest and it suits both the likes of Murdoch to portray all working class people like that and the middle classes who can then feel superior at their wonderful liberalism

    but the ranting reactionary are in my experience in the minority and tend to come from the upper working class or lower middle class – mondeo man with his slim panatellas and jeremy clarkson fetish

    i also firmly believe that this is both the group who most support the BNP and who the BNP is desperately trying to court

    we need to be looking beyond just aping reactionary (and thoroughly unanarchist) sentiment in the hoping of courting a group with views who are actively opposed to any kind of socialism or libertarianism (unless its the liberty to drive at 80mph through council estates whilst immigrants bounce off their bumpers) and start to work towards solutions to the problems that all of the working class from all ethnicities face

    poor housing, lack of facilities for young people, low pay, homelessness etc – LCAP is a good start

    and Paul I take on board your comment on the other post but its also slightly unfair – it seems were damned if we do and damned if we dont.

    the wembley occupation is a good starting point, as could be the campaign against the fifth runway at heathrow – something that could unite both the green end of the anarcho spectrum with class war anarchists who should be supporting the struggle against peoples homes being trashed in the name of profit

    one for thing sure, spending a week in a field winding up miners and threatening to disrupt the local power supply is hardly likely to endear us to anyone at all

  18. Johnnyvoid – Point taken re LCAP.

    What I really meant to say is I found it curious how Anarchists seemed to suddenly decide LCAP was absolutely brilliant as soon as it appeared. I can’t help feeling if other groups had done similar stuff, the same degree of praise would have been lacking.

    Its a bit like with the Haringey Solidarity Group, I’m told how brilliant they are so often, by Anarchists who have never been involved with them, I always tend to be disappointed when I actually look at any of their stuff!

  19. Watcyn Youd

    Having said what I said above, I would point out that I have friends who are Leninists, Trots, Stalinists and Social Democrats, who I’ve worked with and supported on local stuff. When my old union branch sec put up for elected mayor as a Respect candidate, I looked after his press and manifesto until he had a stroke and had to withdraw. Hell I’ve even worked with Tory councillors (and my New Labour mate) who supported our local Community Centre. For local stuff it’s a case of needs must – but I like to reserve the right to pick and chose what I can go along with.

  20. Tomc

    I do agree with you totally about the state of the anarchist movement and the death of the left, but I think what the BNP went through 10 years ago and what the Anarchist movement is facing today is very different.

    The BNP were always an organisation that looked to the Electorial process to give itself importance, to get 200 votes more than last time meant they could argue they were growing etc, the guise of politic-ing meant they could get out and engage with people on the doorstep, when was the last time you had the local Anarchist come round for a chat about the crappy pavements?

    Their real problem was one of acceptance, and what mask to show to the public, one that BNP leadership have done well to hide behind the last 10 years, where as ours problems (apart from petty squabbles) is one of engagement, or lack of it with genuine good people.

    As Anarchists we choose not to engage in the sham we call democracy, but then how do we engage with decent working people who want and desperately need an alternative?

    Surely it’s not our job to build a mass user friendly movement, but to build an organisation of working class people who can influence others, though their own acts and deeds to provoke ideas and provide support.

    There is need for focused action! the betrayal of the Labour Party and the Left has left the British working class is pretty dead as an organisational force, it needs resuscitating, it needs victories against the ruling class no mater how small.

    But where do we currently stand?
    Do we as Anarchists try and put the petty differences behind us and try to organise into a fit and healthy body of genuine opposition or will we let the divisions of our history see us once again become irrelevant to the people who would benefit from our ideas and actions.

    So where Next?

  21. John Pearson Allen

    Tomc; Big up!

    DMarl; Proudhon? Bakunin? Kropotkin?

    Watcyn Youd; No war but the class war. !?

  22. Darren

    Twenty years ago,Ian Bone suggested Class War(CW) put up a candidate in the Notting Hill constituency,in West London.The suggestion was met with howls of derison,and a seemingly endless barrage of reasons,why it couldn’t be done.At the time,we were both on a giddy high,having just nailed down Joe Strummer to do a National Tour with CW(ironically,met with the same people telling us why it can’t be done,why it wouldn’t work,and the reasons why it would never work on a national scale,”cos we don’t know anyone in Merthre Tydvil..”)…to cut a long story a little shorter,we had to practically beg the other members to ‘see’ the benefits of putting up a candidate in a class divided area.I remember the two of us both looking at each other across the table at meetings and shaking our heads in total bewilderment.We put up a solid working class bloke,John Duignan,as our man.He wasn’t shy at coming forward,and bravely put a public face to the organisation that very recently had celebrated an accused cop killer,Winston Silcott.We had a right crack with the election.For a month or so,it was so much easier to walk up to Joe Public,and thrust a CW leaflet into their hands and begin a raucous convo about rich people invading the area,cops,crime,lack of facilities for low income earners ,Housing,transport,etc.It was a great opportunity to talk CW shop and walk into estates,pubs,etc and hand out leaflets and speak to working class people…and have a go at local toffs who we were campaigning against.It was FUN.Something,that gets bled out of political groups after self sacrifice starts to become a ritual.OK,we only polled 60 or 70 votes.But,as someone pointed out shortly after,thats 60 or 70 people who heard about us and agreed with what we were proposing.Wedge that up against that tried,tested,and failed old anarchist cherob,of “Don’t vote…”and I think the publicity you give your ideas to a wider audience speaks for itself.Of course,with hindsight,we would do it slightly different now.But,the point being,the ideas initial unbelievers,agreed that it was a success and it gave us a breathe of fresh air and FUN,at a time when it was starting to look like all work and no play…..Twenty years on and Ian is
    having to convince a new generation of anarchists the potential IMPACT,of putting up candidates…
    If you think this is yawnsome,then change channels,cos this is going to be a long one.
    I’ve been nagging Ian til his ears bled through the telephone receiver about the need to revamp the movement for years.
    We metamorphisised in CW.It was called grafting our own way forward,our own way of doing things that suited late 20th Century society.It really was about us severing ourselves completely from the left.We HAD to.The patronising racism of the left was the beginning of the white working class leaving the left wing arena.It was a pivotal moment.The shit that passed for positive discrimination,became policy in left wing councils and left wing organisations that resulted in the white working class,particularly in London, shoved down the housing list,jobs passed on to any one else who was of colour just to make it LOOK good for a disasterous attempt at racial hegemony,regardless of qualifications.They resented it.And,this is the point when the seeds of the BNP’s success began.Everyone knew Blood and Honour was never gonna be a popular movement.Organised skinhead nazis and the height of skinhead subculture missed each other by 10 years.The BNP knew it was never going to broaden its appeal by latching itself to increasingly smaller numbers of skins marching down the High street waving Union Jacks.
    IT WISED UP.It made the move to making racial ideas seem common sense and sensible.We had to do the same with class war politics.Which meant pushing,promoting and publicising class conscious working class action.We learnt that we had to make it seem common sense and second nature.As Sean from Southampton said at the time;”We have to push this simple political line to such an extent that working class people find it second nature to fight and organise against their class enemies and defend their class interests….”.Realistically,we were never going to encourage a culture of resistence using the tools of the left and even those of the anarchists.We used our own toolkit.Somewhere,somehow,the anarchists have drifted back to the safety of the lefts apron strings.Unfortunately,I’ve always thought that the Right was more understanding of working class culture than most anarchists.That is not to say that they liked it.They just knew how to use it, and manipulate ones love of a country and it’s culture to serve their own agenda.
    Sorry to serve up my own take on history,but it is necessary, so I can explain the reason I think we are in such a mess-internationally- as a movement.
    We simply have to renovate our ideas,so that they can be put into action now.And that’s what this is all about-taking action,and making changes.Without changing, we are finished as a relevant,realistic vehicle for changing things in the eyes of the people we align ourselves with-the working class.A lot of our ideas
    are workable only in a Utopian sense.And I don’t mean to be a dream killer,because they are truely beautiful ideas.But if we are to be relevant in the 21st century,we are going to have to come up with some WORKABLE,REALISTIC alternatives,and use EVERY vehicle we can to get these ideas across to OUR people.And that DEFINETLY includes putting up candidates.
    We are going to have to be extremely brave.We are going to have to write up a completely new set of aims and ideas.The old ones are great futuristic goals,but we have to step into totally unchartered territory and tackle transport,housing,immigration,crime,drugs,healthcare in a new,realistic and relevant way.If we do it,we will cause a HUGE commotion.It’s not going to be easy,because a lot of the life rafts we have all clung desperately to for so many years,are going to be set adrift forever.We ALL know we have to do it so as not to become political dinosaurs in the 21st century.
    The left,and their way of doing business,are done.Ian and the others are 100% correct-we are for the history books if we continue as we are.
    We can not play it safe,and pretend to ourselves that if we persist,and wear the passage of time,that our day will come and the working class will see the light our way.How different is that really,from other failed doctrines.I remember a fellow from the Workers Revolutionary Party,outside Brixton Tube 20 years ago, trying to convince me that soup kitchens,with ques a mile long, were just around the corner,because capitalism was in its death throws….I wonder where that crystal ball gazer is now?
    What we need is a way of putting new ideas forward,without having to debate every syllabol and every step with people who intentially or not,reduce this process to a mind numbing throb,that sidetracks ideas and energy.This part is going to be hard because we need input-but positive,creative, progressive input.We simply can not let ourselves be choked to death creatively in a quagmire of ego’s and non-sensical arguement.

    If we want to create a better world,NOW,for ourselves,for our children,these are our considerations.I don’t want another generation of anarchists to burn out banging their head against a wall from an instruction manual written about the same time most people were still moving around in a horse drawn cart.Equally,I don’t want to go back to horse drawn carts as well.

  23. Tomc

    Darren I totally support the idea of putting up candidates, to allow us to put forward our ideas to a wider public, with no illusions of why we are standing or the out come, it has to be a good tactic of engagement. I think for any Anarchist who has reservations, it just a tactic! as Darren puts it part of our Tool Box.
    Yes your dead right to point out the right has been able to to portray a better understanding for the working class, but we have a great opportunity in this current economic climate to put forward out agenda, when white van man loses his plasma TV he’s gonna look for someone to blame, lets make sure that he blames the system.

  24. Thank you Darren. We’re nowhere near dispensing
    with democracy yet. A 40% turn-out gets the politicians and media club just about wetting themselves with a sense of success. But the 60%
    that stayed away won again. Capitalism makes the guns and creates the class that will turn the guns against the capitalists. The state creates the system that we can turn against them.

    What is a ‘state? The state is an organised democracy. The police. The courts and prison service. It is a repressive organisation.

    At what stage in history is a state necessary? Only when the haves need protection from the have nots.

    So at what stage can we dispense the organised democracy, the police and the courts?

  25. Dixie

    We need local papers or leflets like the brisolian (sp?) that are not just for the political minded that you can hand out when you go to the pub (If you can still afford it), discuss with people what’s on it, really get through to people.

    We don’t want any of this long winded shit with as stupid as this may sound “Long words” and endless discussion and critiques of past revolutionarys, People don’t care about stalin, trotsky, marx or anyone else, good or bad, people care about what’s happening now.

    Dawn Primilero (sp?) is a total cunt yet most people don’t even know who she is (South bristols local MP). People want to read about why the fuck we need that rediculous center in town when we have the gallerys and everything around it, and people want to know why the fuck all the pubs are closing in bedminster.

    This is just examples from my area but i’m sure it’s the same everywhere.

    We need news that people are interested in, not some shite about climate camp and 9/11 truth.

    My two-cence.

    cheers.

  26. Dafydd Jones from "Merthyr Tydfil"

    Far too many people up their own fucking arses on here. Too many big words with silly pedantic arguements and not enough balls. Get to the fucking point for fucks sake then get out there and do it.

  27. louis

    You hit the nail on the head there Dixie. Alarm and the Bristolian were a much better read than that pseudo-intilectual bullshit that got written in CW -more “roots” and far more relevant)

  28. If I’m brief, I’m misunderstood. If I get too(!) tricky, I’m a twat, wanker, middle class. Do you realise that (some of) you show almost as much bigotry as those to who(m) you claim to be the (my) class enemies. (Like workers aint allowed to read or nuffink)!

    Dixie,
    You did not just appear, and you will not just disappear, either physically, philosophically, politically, culturally, or historically. (Stop)?

    Do not separate yourself from the past or the future. Nuff said.

  29. Joe

    Would it be a good idea to set up communes in communities now. I mean a bit like in the fashion of the community gardens but it could be used to address local issues that the local people could deal with. This would be a great way to keep anarchists in touch with normal people in the community politically.

  30. Ella

    We need local papers or leflets like the brisolian (sp?) that are not just for the political minded that you can hand out when you go to the pub (If you can still afford it), discuss with people what’s on it, really get through to people. – Dixie

    A group of us in Bristol are doing just that. We’ve started trying to compose the first issue but just can’t decide on a name. If you want to be involved please get in touch. Don’t you think ‘The Pickled Egg’ would be perfect? No one else does. 😦

  31. Anonymous

    The British working class is a many and varied thing, and contradictory too. Politically it is having trouble organising – there are about 7 attempts i think to realign the left (Campaign for a new Marxist party, Campaign for a new workers party and so on). Small victories happen all the time, the IWW had a victory in Scotland recently when they stopped redundancies and closure at Glasgow uni in Dumfries. What we need is discussion, networking and agreement to do things.

    After Ian and martin speak in October, I would like to see the room split up into groups (not of friends, so people fend for themselves – that is the way to learn) and then talk about different issues we can all campaign on (10 minutes).

    Then split the room into areas where people live (North London, S London, E London, Bristol, Liverpool, Sheffield etc and talk about how we can do it (10 minutes).

    All groups should take notes and take responsibility for typing it up and submitting it to this blog.

    Meeting closes with final rousing ‘just do it’ from Ian:)

  32. Nice of Sweden

    Hi!

    Just want a say on this complex matter. When Class War was at it’s height a number of Swedish Anarchists were very inspired by you. Some of us founded a group called Folkmakt (People’s Power – I was not one of the founders, but got in early on) heavily inspired by CW. We had a lot of fun, pissed a lot of people off and talked a lot about class. In the end we had a big impact on the sort-of-anarchist left as far as class politics goes. But that was about it. As an organisation we had no structure and got nowhere.

    At about the same time, in part by the same people, the Syndicalist Youth Federation (SUF) was set up. It started with a number of local groups writing proper statutes and having proper membership. Some of these groups met at national meetings twice a year (to begin with) to discus and after many meetings accept common principles and statutes. This may sound boring, but it was not. It was what forged us together, I believe. Some didn’t like the majority decisions and left, which was fine. Some didn’t like it all but decided to stay. And it was all very democratic.

    Personally I left when I felt too old for a youth federation, but SUF is still around. The “schooling” of activists in SUF has been extremly important for revitalising the Swedish syndicalists (SAC) and reorganising SAC as a union.

    The type of organisation chosen was one of many reasons (but a very important one I believe) why SUF easily outgrew and outlived Folkmakt (and also did much better in getting women and immigrants involved).

    I could go on forever about this, but this was the main things than sprang to mind reading this blogg.

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