Saturday, 27 December 2014

Trying to get to grips with Veganism and animal rights more.

Reply to "Free trade is fair trade".

Free Trade is Fair Trade

I will write up a proper response later....

This video is naïve. And very unsophisticated- all government regulation is wrong no matter who advocates it and for what reasons which is a very simplistic analysis.

Where's class analysis? it's very poor.

The video says state regulation is neither fair or free.   Moans that states intervene in the market. True but not always bad if it helps the oppressed and capitalism requires it that's why, capitalism is never laissez faire.

This video sounds very little different from 'Anarcho'-capitalism.Anti-tax shit sounds like Ancaps.
Lays all the blame on governments. Sounds like 'Voluntaryism' rhetoric( as long as voluntary) not anti-hierarchy anti-oppression anti-exploitation arguments made.

"If trade were 'free' the only ones people would agree to would be fair ones" That doesn't seem likely to be true.

Market forces would demand environmental degradation and consumerism. Ignores these problems.  Ignores externalities.

Free markets talk is not very sophisticated. There is still problems of money and banks.

Anarcho-communism not 'market anarchism'.

 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

From The floodgates of anarchy - Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer.


"We can hardly declare ourselves unconditionally for unbridled freedom and then go on to lay down blueprints for the future. We are not clairvoyants to be able to predict the social and economic structure of a free society. It is not possible to lay down rules as to how affairs should be managed when the management of mankind itself is abolished. But at the same time, the rebel in this society cannot be patient enough to wait for an expression of spontaneity as if for the Messiah. He has to choose a programme of action and the road to Utopia. There may be more than one way, and we may need to shift our course, but the knowledge of where we want to get enables us to pursue a consistent course at the moment.
If our aim is the abolition of the State, it does not make good sense to think of forming a new state when the capitalist state is abolished, still less to establish a dictatorship. This, of course, was a fallacy of Lenin's "

" But with all their tolerance, the liberals will, in a crisis, betray their posts, for in times of stress they see "the floodgates of anarchy" opening. History has shown how the liberal will call in the army when things get tough, knowing that it will cause the downfall of democracy, but preferring that to revolution. General Franco was a paid Army officer on the salary list of the Republican Government he destroyed. The "impractical" Anarchist movement, the CNT-FAI (xv) called for the abolition of the Army and fought against it. The socialists and republicans preferred to bring in "reliable" Army officers, such as General Franco, with his Masonic background, replacing the monarchist officers. The Republic felt that this would save them from both fascism and the workers. The result is well-known"



"Anything was better than the "floodgates of anarchy" so far as they were concerned. So far as we are concerned, these are the gates which have to be opened. "




"It is an easy approach to libertarian thinking to express the iniquitous violence of the State, and contrast it with the complete non-violence of a non-governmental society. Yet it is dishonest to show the goods without mentioning the price, and a free society can only come about through determined resistance. It is not only a question of overthrowing a ruling class, but making it abundantly clear that no rule may exist again. The aim of the free society is not the "rejection" of the repressive organs of the State. It is their abolition.
In the realm of fiction, a revolutionary role is played by the creative writer, artist, musician. In the appreciation of their rejection of State values, the student plays a revolutionary role. But as regards the real thing, we have to consider in terms of the clash within society between those who rule and those who are ruled. It is a clash that amounts to civil war whether one calls it so or not. It is necessary to abolish imposed conquest in the realm both of the mind and of the body."

"Backward, indeed, to the free city, with its guilds of craftsmen and groups of scholars, its folk-meeting and loose federal association. But forward to the use of technology in its proper place, at the service of man, with education helping to eradicate hatreds and not ingrain them. Backward to the natural countryside, the village not tarted up for stockbrokers to live in and the streams not polluted because of the need for profits. But forward to the liberation of the mind from the superstitions of the past, to the ending of sexual puritanism with the incursion of authority into the concerns of humanity. Backward to the society without rulers imposed by conquest. Forward to the society freed from the domination of government or the principle of exploitation. Backward to the workers' councils of the Russian and German revolutions; the free communes of Spain, Ukrainia, Mexico; the occupation of the places of work in France and Italy; the earliest aims of the British shop stewards' movement and the federalistic conceptions of the First International. Forward to the Utopia of William Morris, now well within the reach of man. "

" the authoritarian communist has fallen into the trap of talking about national liberation and forgetting about social revolution, the danger for the libertarian is to fall into reformism. Once the near-impossibility of changing the State is accepted, and it is assumed, inaccurately, that it is therefore also impossible to abolish it; or, accurately, that this cannot be done without revolution and those with pacifist ideas reject this, one is driven to the position of liberalism. The militancy with which liberal ideals might be advanced does not make them revolutionary. Revolution has to do with social and economic change. Except in the transition to capitalism (in the American Revolution, for instance), even a liberal with a gun is not a revolutionary but an armed liberal. It may be necessary under a dictatorship to fight for so elementary a "reform" as free speech, but if one does not understand exactly what the issues are, one finds oneself fighting for any political leader or nation-state that happens to use "free speech" as a slogan."

"For the storm troopers are there in reserve all right, even if some of the gruppenfuehrers are saying, not "Sieg Heil!", but "I was quite sympathetic to them until . ."


". Legitimate violence is a State monopoly, for the State makes the laws. It is not possible for the revolutionary to shift people from deliberately induced apathy, within a framework acceptable to the Metropolitan Police or the capitalist press. Nor is there any way of rebelling discreetly, of challenging public opinion though refraining from offending people's conception of good taste. Nor can one change the economic basis of society to approving nods from the judiciary"



Those who look on violence as the worst crime of the State -- because they judge everything on its degree of violence -- may be right, but it does not follow at all that if the State could rule without violence -- if the ruling class could conquer without force of arms -- this would be the same thing as freedom.


On the contrary, a samurai class which could impose its will by moral authority and gentle persuasion would not be less authoritarian than one which needed to use the sword and the whip. It might be less intolerable to live under. But there is no difference, in the compulsion they use, between a Gandhi and a Mao Tse Tung. Gandhi, by his moral persuasion, might have been the more effective dictator.

 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

I really dislike C4SS.

http://c4ss.org/content/31273- WTF is this shit."Large Corporations Will Not Come to Dominate the Economy"


or this http://radgeek.com/gt/2009/06/12/freed-market-regulation/

http://c4ss.org/content/34181


http://c4ss.org/content/33966- WTF is this. An 'anarchist' supporting privatization of the NHS. No concern for human lives. No examples. Terrible terrible shallow writing.


"Note that I say “concerned with” rather than “automatically opposed to”. As Austrian competition theory explains, freed markets allow concentrations of economic power to ebb and flow like the tide. Competition is a state of flux and dynamism, with firms, workers and entrepreneurs constantly adjusting to a changing world. It is inevitable that — in some cases — power structures will emerge."
WTF!


http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/tgif-free-market-socialism/- this is very naïve and dangerous.

"The mundane price system is a perfect if unappreciated example. Prices are critical to our well-being because they enable us to plan our day-to-day lives. They do so by providing signals to us not only as consumers but also as producers. Prices guide our decisions about what to produce for exchange, how much to produce, and by what means. The resulting profits and losses reveal successes and failures at serving consumers. Without prices we’d fly blind, as Ludwig von Mises famously showed in his demolition of central economic planning. This is the upshot of the famous socialist-calculation debate."

"When the marketplace is really free and competitive (rather than constricted by the state to protect privileged interests"- Still STILL missing the point!



I Dislike Individualist anarchism since it's too obsessed with individualism, egoism and markets to be healthy.  C4ss expresses this to bad degrees despite the fact that they sometimes make correct statements too.

'market anarchism' is soft ancap ideology. It's one clique appealing to another.



 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Why an Independent Scotland is not enough.

A reply to an ally of the Radical Independence Campaign who writes  "... I still need convincing that independence is not the best thing for Scotland at the current time, as a means to a fairer society..."

backtowork


The short version of my reply is this:-

(1) the way the debate is framed is wrong. The debate asks the wrong question. Whether Scotland is ruled from Holyrood or Westminster is, beyond surface changes, irrelevant. The problems in Scottish society are not because of where it is ruled from but are merely aspects of global problems stemming from capitalism, patriarchy etc. Talking in terms of nations is not just a mistake but harmful in understanding the real sources of social problems.
(2)  There is no guarantees that things would be better. This is not an argument for the union either however. It is just a reminder that whether ruled by Westminster or Holyrood, the same problems will remain and that the creation of an independent Scotland will not change this and cannot. No government can solve the problems that exist which it exists to preserve. This is proven in theory and in practice by historical experience.
(3) Following directly from No.2,  An independent Scotland could not live up to the promises and claims made about it because of its existence in a world with capitalism, patriarchy etc.




Problem 1: The way the debate is framed- Westminister vs. Holyrood instead of oppressed vs oppressor.

Firstly, the framing of the debate is narrow. It is often claimed that the pro-independence side is not nationalist. But to reduce political debate down to an issue of nations is nationalist in the original sense of that word ( in the sense of viewing political issues in terms of nations and nation states) even if it may not be nationalist in the fascist/UKIP/BNP sense of that word.

It seems entirely clear to me that the Referendum debate is mystifying what the real problem is- capitalism and all systems of domination, exploitation and oppression- in favour of presenting the problem in Scotland as due to where the power is located. Throughout this debate there has been the pushing of ideas of 'national unity' and  'national interest'  which act to hide where the real problems and solutions lie. These ideologies further confuse and distract the oppressed from what is necessary.  Even 'benevolent' nationalism does this.

My problem with framing the debate in terms of nations is that it renders invisible the actual systems of oppression that exist. A consistent and recurring theme in the debate has been an analysis of  social problems that locates the source of  those social problems with Westminster/ the Tories/neo-liberalism instead of the more realistic targets- larger long standing systems of oppression like capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy etc. All the problems going on in Scotland are just manifestations of global problems brought about by systems of oppression and exploitation.

If you misunderstand the causes of social problems then you will seek faulty or wrong solutions to the problems which will not solve them and may infact make them worse.

Framing the issues in terms of Neo-liberalism ignores that neo-liberalism is merely a phase of capitalism and exists more or less, everywhere in industrialized nations.

Framing the issues in terms of nations masks the fact that people are ultimately divided by class not by nations.

I have personally seen the way in which the issue of independence has sucked radical activists into its orbit like a black hole diverting attention and energy to itself which would've been better spent elsewhere. We would say that the independence issue has co-opted radicalism into reformism.

I of course support reforms if gained from direct action at the grassroots. I'm not in favour of oppression sold as progress though and am opposed to reformism which means the belief that positive social change can come through working within the existing system.

 I have seen former radicals lose critical thinking to believing in independence. I have seen a Yes protester criticize a group I was involved with who were holding a pro-choice demo, a much more vital issue than independence I'm sure you'll agree. I've seen independence campaigners devote more time to independence than to pro-choice marches, anti-workfare etc. Those I'm least critical of are those who have done both together.

Ultimately, the referendum debate represents a debate between different degrees of kinds of capitalism. Most of the No side lean more towards private capitalism while those on the Yes side lean more towards state capitalism

. The problem is  not WHO is in power but that there is someone in power at all .We should not give power to rulers of any kind ever. The idea that an independent Scotland will represent massive positive social change is used to hide existing oppression and how that will not change except superficially and is used to tame and constrain resistance to oppression which sees the roots of the problems as located at a much deeper more systematic institutional level.

An independent Scotland will still have the inherent inevitable conflict of interests between capitalist class and the working class, which we call the class struggle.


....As for RIC: Far from being radical , RIC's beliefs seem to amount to little more than a re-hash of Old Labour and it's ideas on nationalization.


Problem 2.   No guarantees things will be better.


Scottish Independence offers no guarantees of things getting better and no guarantee they won't get worse. All it offers is the promise, the potential. All it offers is possibility of reforms but only the possibility to make some things  slightly better. And given what we know about the state, about politicians, it's highly likely we'll be disappointed. We can't trust any politician ever.

 It's by no means obvious that having the state closer to home will make it any more democratic. As The Glasgow Anarchist Federation has argued, "having the political class closer to home doesn’t necessarily make replacing them any more difficult. If anything, the intensification of the nationalist project championed by all apparently ‘progressive’ opinion could have a significant effect in mystifying power and class relations and undermining the self-organisation of the working class in favour of its passivity and support for new forms of failed ideas".

It seems quite apparent to me that this is what has happened.
The idea that the closer the government is to the people the more democratic it will be, ignores where the real power lies.Power is not exercised by governments but through them. This is not to suggest that governments do not have power but to remind people that governments serve their masters, the capitalist class and that the state exists solely to preserve the long term existence of the capitalist system and all other interconnected systems of oppression. 

The real power lies with the capitalist class (domestic and international) - with bosses, with bankers, with multinational corporations, with landlords, with the WTO, with the IMF and  with the world bank. Independence in a globalized economy is pretty much meaningless unless you favour autarky.
Unless there is direct democracy there will not be a more democratic society.  An actual direct democracy instead of a sham one will not exist in a society with patriarchy, capitalist, the state etc. It will not be allowed to.

Ultimately the Pro-Independence side offers the false hope and promise of "this time it'll be different" which is what politicians and political parties always say to revive hope in the dying belief in representative democracy.

With an  independent Scotland ,there is very real danger of   buying into the mythology of a socialist Scotland, of being misled to think we'll  finally get 'democratic government', to be conned into the belief  that elections are useful tools for social change etc.

There can be no such thing as a democratic government. The people will not be in charge of their own lives.  A government always consists of a minority who rule a majority by propaganda and if that fails, by force so there will still be a distinction between ruled and rulers no matter how 'democratic' the state claims itself to be.

 The state exists to protect and preserve capitalism and all of the other interconnected systems of oppression by any means necessary. That is its sole purpose. Anyone elected who aims to change that will either be diverted into working within a narrow framework, will be ignored or will be killed(e.g. Salvador Allende)

Problem 3:  Some ways in which it won't be better.



As the Anarchist Federation of Scotland write,  "An independent Scotland would in most respects have resembled the Scotland of the UK, a patriarchal, capitalist, environmentally destructive society. A country with the most unequal land ownership in the developed world – where 50% of the land is owned by just 432 individuals. A country dependent on North Sea oil for much of its exports – oil that must be left in the ground to prevent climate catastrophe. A country with huge poverty and huge wealth and little in the way of organised working class action to change that dynamic. And in so continuing to uphold the same institutions, the same structures of power, the same business interests, and the same political configuration, our fight against the state, capital and oppression continues."


RIC seems to believe that an independent Scotland will be unlike any other previous state. This is not true. An independent Scottish state will not be more honest/less corrupt, more democratic, more green, anti-capitalist, feminist etc.  We will not and cannot have a more just, more sustainable, less oppressive society merely by having a government at Holyrood instead of one at Westminster.


An Independent Scotland would not be fairer- an independent Scotland would need to pander to business to boost it's economy so it would be pro-big business if not neo-liberal. It would still indulge in lowered corporation tax, tax breaks and dodgy dealings of banks. It would still be capitalist. And an independent Scotland would still fall under the sway of all conquering institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO.

Contrary to those like RIC, Nationalization is not socialism, it is state capitalism.It turns the state into a collective capitalist. At it's most extreme, this is extremely totalitarian and repressive for example in the Soviet Union.

An independent Scotland would not be more green- an independent Scotland could not help but utilise North Sea oil with so much money and jobs invested in it and would be reliant on it most likely. To combat climate change, We need to move to renewables as quickly as possible and we need the end of consumerism which is a central driving force of environmental degradation. An independent Scotland could not do that and would have no reason to do that.

As Anarchist Federation(AFED) say, "An independent Scotland would have relied heavily on fossil fuels – not least to maintain currency reserves and a positive balance of trade. The extraction of North Sea oil will instead continue to prop up the UK’s trade deficit. "

Conclusion.

RIC seems generally concerned with electoral politics and elections. But this will not end oppression just change it's form. One split off group from RIC is the Scottish Left Project which seeks to form something akin to a left unity political party.

Representative democracy is neither representative nor democratic and cannot be made so. So parliamentary means are pointless.No politician cares about us. Direct democracy is the wave of the future.

We must use direct action, taking grassroots action ourselves  and not seek to appeal to governments or politicians. We must forget parliaments and politicians and work to build a grassroots expansive radical movement which seeks to overturn the foundations of oppression and replace it with directly democratic society . That  is it's true,  a longer and harder task for sure but a more worthwhile one.

Resources:-

http://libcom.org/library/against-nationalism

http://foranewleftliberty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/post-referendum-what-next-for-scottish.html

http://foranewleftliberty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/afed-scotland-on-scottish-referendum.html

http://foranewleftliberty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/anarchist-thoughts-on-scottish.html

 http://foranewleftliberty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/post-referendum-thoughts.html

http://foranewleftliberty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-cynical-view-of-scottish-independence.html

Some quick thoughts on Scottish independence


Beyond the Scottish referendum by Mike Sabot.
Independent and Free? A Glasgow anarchist’s take on Scottish Independence

Rhetoric of disempowerment

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/tag/radical-independence-conference/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/tag/independence/

 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

To those white folk protesting as part of #BlackLivesMatter.

"White people can and should be talking about and thinking critically about Whiteness. This is so important, and the first person each White person needs to be critical of is themselves"




Dear White Protestors

As I walked through the streets of Berkeley tonight listening to the overwhelmingly white crowd chant things like “Whose streets? Our streets!” and “This is what democracy looks like!” I felt uncomfortable. I passed white people holding signs that said “I can’t breathe” and I felt uncomfortable. Then, when we were instructed to sit down in the middle of the main street that runs through downtown Berkeley and were made to listen to a white person on a bullhorn declare “All lives matter!” I felt invisible. Ignored. Forgotten.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. 
"Whose streets?" As a Black person in this country, I am well aware that the streets belong to white people. I am not empowered or made more safe by hundreds of white people chanting that the streets belong to them. The street in Ferguson where Mike Brown was murdered and lay dead for 4.5 hours should have belonged to him, but it didn’t. He’s dead. He’s not coming back. That’s because the streets belong to white people.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. 
"This is what democracy looks like?" You’re right. Democracy has always meant that (for reasons you’re well aware of but like to pretend you don’t remember or don’t matter anymore) black people are a consistent minority in this country and thus must petition white people for our basic human rights. Democracy means voter ID laws and poll taxes. Democracy in America is a white majority dictating whose voice matters. Democracy is white liberals telling black folks to calm down and go the polls (and vote for Democrat) as if Bob McCulloch isn’t a "democrat." As if Jay Nixon isn’t a democrat. As if our president isn’t Black and it hasn’t done shit to lower the ever mounting body count of Black people gunned down in the streets by police and vigilantes. As if any Black politicians in a non-majority Black district can get elected, much less reelected, without catering to white people’s feelings. I know what democracy looks like and it hasn’t done very much for people who look like me.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. 
"All lives matter?" NO THEY DON’T AND THAT’S THE FUCKING POINT! Black people’s lives don’t matter, that’s why I’m out in the streets, to get people to realize that my life has worth. I have to protest to get people to even think about the possibility that if the police or some vigilante gun me down, it’s not because the genetic defects believed inherent in my blackness finally manifested and I had to be put down before I became more of a threat to white america. White america doesn’t need a reminder that "all lives matter," it needs to be made to recognize and respect that Black lives matter.
It’s Black bodies that are bleeding and dying in the streets. It’s Black bodies that can’t breathe. It’s Black bodies that are seen and treated as threats to whiteness as we shop in Wal-Mart, play in parks outside our homes, walk home with a pack of Skittles, sleep in our beds. It’s Black bodies that have hung like strange fruit from the trees of this nation for centuries.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. 
Stop whitewashing our movement. Stop pretending that “All lives matter” means anything other than “HEY ME TOO! WHAT ABOUT MY WHITE FEELINGS! DISREGARD THE ACTUAL REALITY OF BLEEDING AND DYING BLACK PEOPLE AND CATER TO THE HYPOTHETICAL AND EXTREMELY RARE POSSIBILITY THAT POLICE OR VIGILANTES WOULD BE ABLE TO EXTRAJUDICIALLY MURDER A WHITE PERSON AND FACE NO CONSEQUENCES!” Black people know our lives don’t matter because white people’s hypotheticals matter more than Black people’s reality.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. 
Stop cannibalizing our movements with hashtags about every other life but ours. Stop plagiarizing Black people’s actual struggles for fictionalized white pain (I’m looking at you Hunger Games, with your whitewashed protagonist. “The Hanging Tree?” For real?). Stop scrambling to stand atop the growing pile of dead Black bodies to use it as your makeshift platform to secure more privileges and status for yourself. Stop using protests that should be about Black lives to exercise your white angst, break shit under the cover of darkness, and then bask in the bright light of white privilege while Black lives are declared to be worth less than the windows you broke.
Dear white protestors, this is NOT about you. This IS about making Black Lives Matter.  
Our streets shouldn’t be burial grounds for Black people. Black people’s rights shouldn’t be put to a vote. Black people should be allowed to breathe, walk, exist, without fear.
So, if you’re actually here for making Black Lives Matter, put down your “I can’t breathe” signs (because you can, and that’s the point) and pick up one that declares Black Lives Matter (because right now they don’t, and that’s the point). Get off the ground and stand in solidarity as Black people “die-in” (because it’s not white bodies lying dead on our nation’s streets, and that’s the point). Hand over the bullhorn to a Black person (because your voice doesn’t need a bullhorn to be heard, and that’s the point).
And please, stop saying #AllLivesMatter…until they actually do.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

What's wrong with Radical Independence Campaign(RIC)?

I of course support reforms if gained from direct action at the grassroots. I'm not in favour of oppression sold as progress though and am opposed to reformism.


It's reformist:  It locates the source of social problems with Westminster/ the tories/neo-liberal instead of systems of oppression like capitalism,patriarchy etc. It views these problems through the lens of Scottish independence and the referendum. While this is not nationalist in the sense of fascism it does view issues through the perspective of nations which is very limited.

"this time it'll be different" type thinking. 

Neo-liberalism is a phase of capitalism and exists more or less, everywhere in industrialized nations.

RIC seems to believe that an independent scotland will be unlike any other previous state. This is not true.

Not truly radical: RIC seems generally concerned with electoral politics and elections. But this will not end oppression just change it's form. One split off group from RIC is the Scottish Left Project which seeks to form something akin to a left unity political party.
The class struggle will remain in an independence Scotland therefore RIC does not appear to even be anti-capitalist truly.

RIC has co-opted radicals into devoting their energy to it and to diluting their politics into reformism.

I've seen independence campaigners devote more time to independence than to pro-choice marches, anti-workfare etc. Those I'm least critical of are those who have done both together.


At most RIC favours old labour nationalization. http://radicalindependence.org/2014/11/23/the-peoples-vow/



Talking in terms of nations masks other kinds of social divisions e.g. class and hides class struggle, patriarchy, white supremacy and other systems of oppression. It is not useful or positive.


How radical or independent could an independent scotland be?

It's debatable how independence an independent Scotland could be with the existence of WTO , IMF, World Bank, US government etc. The answer is really, not independent!

An independent Scotland would need to pander to business to boost it's economy so it would be pro-big business if not neo-liberal.

An independent Scotland could not help but utilise North Sea oil and be reliant on it most likely.

SNP are hardly a radical party but more like Tartan Tories.


Anarchist viewpoints have been dismissed, ignored or left out(purposely or unconsciously not considered)

RIC seems to hate the anarchist federation.



Important quotes to consider:-

"The decision-making power of the Scottish state itself will always be subject to the vagaries of global capital, the movement of transnationals, the bullying of London and controlling eye of the EU and IMF. More importantly, having a smaller nation state won’t lead to ever smaller democratic units and it won’t replace representative democracy with participative, direct democracy. To suggest otherwise is simply naïve, and misunderstands that working class people can only gain power for themselves through struggle."

"The democratic myth is a large part of leftists’ justification for supporting an independent state. The Scottish Socialist Party sees it as a means for rejuvenating their brand of parliamentary socialism which, relying as it does on electioneering and the state, is basically a vision of Old Labour in a Scottish context: nationalization, progressive taxation etc. Capitalism, as always, isn’t actually threatened, it’s accepted with the hope of greater state intervention and welfare."

"Simply put, there is no reason to believe that in an independent Scotland libertarian socialist organizing would be in real terms any easier or that because of its existence we would see an upsurge in class struggle."

"If anything, the intensification of the nationalist project championed by all apparently ‘progressive’ opinion could have a significant effect in mystifying power and class relations and undermining the self-organisation of the working class in favour of its passivity and support for new forms of failed ideas. "- which is what we've seen happen.


"
An independent Scotland would in most respects have resembled the Scotland of the UK, a patriarchal, capitalist, environmentally destructive society. A country with the most unequal land ownership in the developed world – where 50% of the land is owned by just 432 individuals. A country dependent on North Sea oil for much of its exports – oil that must be left in the ground to prevent climate catastrophe. A country with huge poverty and huge wealth and little in the way of organised working class action to change that dynamic.
And in so continuing to uphold the same institutions, the same structures of power, the same business interests, and the same political configuration, our fight against the state, capital and oppression continues.

Similiar viewpoints here:- 

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/tactical-critique-of-the-radical-independence-conference-2012/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/dont-mourn-organise-edinburgh-anarchist-statement-on-the-referendum-result/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2014/09/18/referendum-rant-from-an-immigrant/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/beyond-the-scottish-referendum/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/rhetoric-of-disempowerment/

http://scotlandaf.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/independent-and-free-a-glasgow-anarchists-take-on-scottish-independence/


Monday, 1 December 2014

AFed against the SNP.

AFed Scotland:-

Nicola Sturgeon insists she does "not intend on waging a class war" and that she will be a "very strong ally" to Scottish companies.
The SNP are of course very much part of the on-going class struggle. Neoliberal capitalism is alive and well in Scotland, and the job of the ruling party is to ensure not just that that remains the case but that Scottish capital can intensify the competition against its rivals. Many people are complaining that the ‪#‎SmithCommission‬ powers likely to be devolved will lead to a downward spiral of tightened budgets and more cuts. Too often though, the implication is that Independence would be a fix to neoliberalism/austerity - which would mean that Scotland is somehow different from every other northern European country. And that we should rally behind the SNP as a mass party against Westminster and/or a new left electoralism. This is to argue that we unite with the very political managers, who are or would be exploiting us!
The point isn't to "hold Westminster's feet to the fire", it's to make every boss run scared of a militant organised working class. Which side are you on?
As the ‪#‎YesToAction‬ statement argues:
"Despite its claim to seek a better deal for Scottish people, the SNP-controlled Scottish Goverment is implementing austerity. It has already made cuts to further education – Edinburgh College workers struck against worse conditions. It has understaffed the NHS, while cuts to council funding are leading to disabled people paying for their own care. The SNP/Labour council in Edinburgh plans to slash £22 million from local services.
The devolution of new powers will not stop the cuts, and whether they come from local government, Holyrood or Westminster they are an attack on working class people."

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Reply to criticism of anarchism as not chaos.

"Anarchy is not anarchy if all it does is supply a new set of rules to replace the old ones - no matter how the new rules are formulated."




Anarchism is opposition to hierarchy, oppression, exploitation and privilege.

Anarchy is the condition of being in such a society i.e. a society systematically and institutionally opposed in practice to such things.

Anarchy is not chaos but bottom up organization. Absence of organisation does not lead to positive things for humanity. Disorganisation does not breed liberty or equality but opens the way to tyranny and exploitation.

Anarchy will of course include rules because it will involve organisation. Anarchy is not chaos.

How the rules are formulated is very important. It determines whether ordinary people are in control of their lives or whether distanced politicians/ capitalists/ WTO etc etc decide their lives for them. 


Society needs and involves organisation and organisations to function.

To fight against oppression you need organisation if you are to have a longer term campaign.


To fight a revolution you need to be organised into organisations since the state,capitalism etc is always organised and often well organised having done what they do for centuries.

To reject organisation is to wish failure on the revolution and resistance to oppression, it's to argue for ineffectiveness.


 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The SNP implementing Budget cuts.

The NHS in Scotland is devolved and controlled by the Scottish Government. Therefore NHS cuts are SNP policy and cannot be blamed on Westminster.





From the Scottish Anti-cuts Alliance:-

"The SNP Scottish government implemented the Con-Dem cuts with a savage cuts budget in February. The result is a £1.3 billion reduction in funding for public services in Scotland for 2011/12. Further cuts of another £2 billion are planned over the next three years. The consequences for jobs, services and working conditions are horrendous. Thursday 10th February – so-called Super Thursday – saw the majority of Scotland’s councils set cuts budgets amounting to the slashing of more than £500 million from local government over the next year. "

"Aberdeen the SNP/Lib Dem coalition demanded a 5% pay cut on all workers over £21,000 a year: when this was rightly rejected by the trade unions, the council then came back with a proposal for 900 compulsory redundancies and been forced to back down. Fife, the SNP/Lib Dem coalition voted to privatise all the council’s residential care homes. Renfrewshire the SNP led council proposed to axe 60 teachers posts and replace them with lower paid, less qualified staff. SACA welcomes the decision of Scottish Unison in December to call on elected politicians to set needs budgets and to support coordinated strike by public sector unions against cuts. It’s about time that elected politicians refused to make cuts and do what councillors did in Poplar, Clay Cross and Liverpool in the past and refuse to inflict Tory cuts on our communities."


Or else where...

"Local authorities across Scotland are being forced to make cuts in mental health and wellbeing services as a result of the SNP’s budget settlement for local government. SAMH told the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee in August 2009 that: “ we do not think that all of the challenges facing our services are directly caused by the recession: the removal of ring-fencing from mental health and Supporting People budgets has also had an effect… some local authorities are implementing necessary cuts in a short-sighted and possibly counterproductive manner… affecting its ability to provide services to communities… £2.7 million of apparently arbitrary funding cuts, made without appropriate planning or assessment of needs… they affect the service users whom we support. The problems also extend to health boards: last year SAMH was forced to close a successful service in Ayrshire after the local NHS Board withdrew funding, with little consultation with service users. We are now closing a service in Dundee following the withdrawal of funding; which involves £242,000 worth of budget cuts and affects 9 staff and 400 service users.”"


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10415954/Scottish-councils-increase-charges-for-elderly-care-and-parking.html - Scotland’s local authorities are increasing charges for services such as elderly care and parking to plug a shortfall in their finances partly caused by the council tax freeze, according to an official report published today.

Around 40 per cent of the charges are paid for social work care, in particular by pensioners who rely on services such as home care, meals on wheels and emergency alarms



Scotland: fight against austerity, against established politics

"a vote for the SNP is no way forward for the independence movement. The SNP are already implementing cuts. Just the other day, the SNP-controlled Dundee council announced a further £8 million worth of public service cuts. Remember: it’s not what they say, it’s what they DO that actually matters."



John Swinney’s determination to implement the ConDem cuts was summed up by his comments: “The government’s obviously operating within a very constrained fiscal environment. We place a requirement on public authorities and public bodies to operate ever more efficiently, and that will lie at the heart of the budget propositions that we take forward.”



Addressing the impact of the Council Tax freeze, Midwinter concludes:
“The result has been 40,000 job loses, cuts in services and increased charges. In addition, the Scottish government transferred a number of high-profile anti-poverty grants into council overall spending – meaning that they can spend it on what they like. These included the Community Regeneration Fund of £113m, the Supporting People Fund of £384m and the Fairer Scotland Fund of £145m.
“There have also been cuts in the housing and regeneration budget of £307m and Education Maintenance Allowance of £15m. The result is that about £1bn of targeted spend on poverty has disappeared. Despite the deputy first minister claiming in 2008 that her government would ‘address the root causes of poverty once and for all’, poverty levels have increased since then.


 
"the latest figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that the SNP Scottish Government will slash NHS spending by 1 per cent in real terms between 2009-10 and 2015-16, while England increases it by 4 per cent.
The Scottish Government’s own figures show the NHS cut its food and drink budget from £32.6million to £29.7million last year"
 

"Neil Findlay, Local Labour MSP has said resources should be targeted at protecting frontline NHS staff, after a report from an independent health economist showed that NHS Lothian is being forced to cut a further £27m over the next year."

"The report states that health boards intend to make savings through “programmes to improve … workforce efficiency” and warns that “could be frontline as well”.
Across Scotland, it has been frontline staff that has borne the brunt of the SNP cuts with over 4,500 NHS staff losing their jobs, including more than 2,000 nurses, since 2009."


The Scottish Parliament Information Centre analysis on the health budget confirms that the total NHS budget in Scotland will be cut by £319m in real terms over the budget period (2011-12 to 14-15). Extracted from: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/FinancialScrutiny/SB11-71b.xls (see Table 1.06 – Health)  


 

 

If ww2 was really about anti-fascism then why was the west pro-fascist before ww2?

  • The west did not care much about Franco's advance in the 1930s
  • The US had Japanese, Italian and German 'Internment camps'-concentration camps essentially- during World war 2.
  • WW2 involved co-opted the working class into support for capitalism and the bosses. WW2 representing if not the beginning then the increase in bureaucratic unions where union hierarchies operate as collaborators with the bosses and capitalists.
  • During ww2 strikes were suppressed.
  • Guns before butter policy
  • There was plenty working class radical anti-fascist movements and resistance e.g. Edelweiss Pirates.

"The real lesson of the Second World War was that it crushed the independent organisations of the working class. In the Axis countries they were taken apart, before being re-made as company unions by the occupying powers. In the Allied countries, unions lost their independence and became recruiting sergeants for the war effort"

The Allies used forced labour, too. Forty-eight thousand men aged 18 to 25 were sent down Britain's mines between 1943 and 1948. 21,000 seventeen year-olds were forced to dig. They were called the 'Bevin Boys' after Labour Minister Ernest Bevin. One in every ten that were called up for National Service in the Army were sent to the mines – after their ID numbers were ‘pulled out of Ernie Bevin's hat'. More than a third appealed, and a few were jailed for refusing.32 Conscientious Objectors, if they managed to convince a board of their sincerity, would then be forced to work in mines or on the land (composer Michael Tippet was jailed for three months for refusing)."

"
In Britain, the deal between labour and government was different from the German one. Instead of just coercion, the government and the bosses got the leaders of the trade unions onside. The trade union officials' support for the war was strong. Engineers' Union (AEU) president Jack Tanner – who had fought bitter battles with employers in the first world war - was thrilled:
Quote:
This is an engineer's war [...] It is a machine war with a vengeance. Whether it is in the anti-aircraft defences or the machines on land and sea, or in the sky, it is the engineer who stands behind them all"



That imperialist pig Winston Churchill, today still celebrated as an “anti-fascist”, enthused over Mussolini’s fascists in 1927 with the declaration: “Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism”

"It was only when German imperialism, militarised under Hitler, re-emerged as an imperialist competitor to be reckoned with that the “democracies” began to be hostile to the Nazis. For all the capitalist countries involved, the second world war was no different in character from the first world war. It was an interimperialist struggle for redividing the booty of capitalist profits. The imperialist states of both the Nazi-allied Axis powers and the Allied “democracies” all fought to defend their “right” to oppress and exploit the masses of the world. "


The internment of Japanese Americans was the World War II confinement of between 110,000 and 120,000.

"President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire West Coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in government camps.[7] Approximately 5,000 "voluntarily" relocated outside the exclusion zone,[8] and some 5,500 community leaders arrested after Pearl Harbor were already in custody,[9] but the majority of mainland Japanese Americans were "evacuated" from their West Coast homes over the spring of 1942. The United States Census Bureau assisted the internment efforts by providing confidential neighborhood information on Japanese Americans. The Bureau denied its role for decades, but it was finally proven in 2007.[10][11] In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the removal when Fred Korematsu's appeal for violating an exclusion order was struck down.[12] The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, avoiding the issue of the incarceration of U.S. citizens"


"In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act, which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 to each individual camp survivor. The legislation admitted that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership"


"On January 2, the Joint Immigration Committee of the California Legislature sent a manifesto to California newspapers which attacked "the ethnic Japanese," who it alleged were "totally unassimilable."[31] This manifesto further argued that all people of Japanese heritage were loyal subjects of the Emperor of Japan; Japanese language schools, furthermore, according to the manifesto, were bastions of racism which advanced doctrines of Japanese racial superiority.[31]
The manifesto was backed by the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West and the California Department of the American Legion, which in January demanded that all Japanese with dual citizenship be placed in concentration camps.[31] Internment was not limited to those who had been to Japan, but included a small number of German and Italian enemy aliens"

"Those that were as little as 1/16 Japanese could be placed in internment camps.[32] There is evidence supporting the argument that the measures were racially motivated, rather than a military necessity. Bendetsen, promoted to colonel, said in 1942 "I am determined that if they have one drop of Japanese blood in them, they must go to camp."




Franco:


"His government was recognised as legitimate by the French and the British in February 1939. In April 1939, America recognised Franco as head of Spain."

"Thursday 30 March 1939guardian.co.uk Mr. Chamberlain announced in the House of Commons yesterday the British Government's decision to recognise unconditionally the Franco authorities as the legal Government in Spain. "


"In 1955, John Foster Dulles, America’s highly influential Secretary of State, visited him. During the Cold War, Franco was seen as a safe bet against any spread of communism in western Europe."


 
"On 15 August, the United Kingdom banned exports of war materiel to Spain"
The United Kingdom proclaimed itself neutral; however, the British establishment were strongly anti-communist and tended to prefer a Nationalist victory. The ambassador to Spain, Sir Henry Chilton, believed that a victory for Franco was in the establishment's best interests and worked to support the Nationalists. British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden publicly maintained the official policy of non-intervention but privately expressed a preference for a Nationalist victory. Eden also testified that his government "preferred a Rebel victory to a Republican victory."
 
"Despite this, the British government discouraged activity by its ordinary citizens supporting either side."
 
"The United Kingdom and France recognised the Nationalist government on 27 February.[61] Clement Attlee criticised the way it had been agreed, calling it 'a gross betrayal... two and a half years of hypocritical pretence of non-intervention'"
 
 
"With World War II, the mythology of Fascism was enriched by a new element. This conflict was the necessary solution to problems both economic (crash of 1929) and social (unruly working class which, although non-revolutionary, had to be disciplined). World War II could be depicted as a war against totalitarianism in the form of fascism. This interpretation has endured, and the constant recall by the victors of 1945 of the Nazi atrocities serves to justify the war by giving it the character of a humanitarian crusade. Everything, even the atomic bomb, could be justified against such a barbarous enemy. This justification is, however, no more credible than the demagogy of the Nazis, who claimed to struggle against capitalism and Western plutocracy. The “democratic” forces included in their ranks a State as totalitarian and bloody as Hitler’s Germany: Stalin’s Soviet Union, with its penal code prescribing the death penalty from the age of twelve.Everyone knows as well that the Allies resorted to similar methods of terror and extermination whenever they saw the need (strategic bombing etc.). The West waited until the Cold War to denounce the Soviet camps."
 
 
 
 
  • World War II: a people's war? - Howard Zinn - Critical analysis of the idea that World War II was really a "people's war" against fascism, as opposed to just another inter-imperialist conflict with nothing to offer working people.
  • How the Allied multinationals supplied Nazi Germany throughout World War II - Article on how, behind the patriotic propaganda encouraging the working class to slaughter each other, international big business quietly kept profits growing across all borders.
  • World war as class war - James Heartfield - Article documenting the pitiless subordination of people to production on all sides of that crisis, and argues against the idea that the war tipped the scales in the favour of the working class.
  • Unpatriotic History of the Second World War - James Heartfield - 'Sixty million people died in the Second World War ... a war between imperialist powers to decide which among them would rule over the world, a division of the spoils of empire'.

  • Armageddon: The Reality Behind the Distortions, Myths, Lies, and Illusions of World War II - Clive Ponting - Examination of World War II debunks many of the convenient myths that have grown up about the conflict, using irrefutable statistics and facts garnered from a wide variety of sources.
  • Churchill - Clive Ponting - Book challenging the Churchill myth, declaring that much of the accepted interpretation of Churchill's life stems from his own writings about himself, and, using more recent source material, questions his competence as a war leader and his true level of popularity.
  • The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in WWII - John Spritzler - Spritzler shows that Allied war aims were not democracy and self-determination, but were, as wars generally are, opportunities to suppress class rebellion.
  • In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion - Clement Leibovitz and Alvin Finkel - On the cynical collaboration between the UK government and the Nazis in the 1930s.
  • A Higher Form Of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare - Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman - Harris and Paxman's (yes, that Paxman!) classic account of how the US and the British planned to use poison gas and anthrax to exterminate vast numbers of German civilians.
  • Winston Churchill and the "Second Front": A Reappraisal - Tuvia Ben-Moshe - This article shows how Churchill's war strategy was determined by British soldiers' reluctance to fight another bloody world war.
  • Brute Force: Allied Strategy and Tactics in the Second World War - John Ellis - Ellis shows how the Allies won the war, not because of democratic principles or clever strategies, but simply because they could inflict more destruction on their enemies than their enemies could on them.
  • Churchills's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II - Madhusree Mukerjee - Mukerjee shows how Churchill was quite as indifferent to mass death in his Empire as Hitler and Stalin were in theirs.
  • War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War - John Dower - Dower writes of the atrocities committed by both sides in the Pacific War.
  • The Meaning of the Second World War - Ernest Mandel - Classic Trotskyist account of the war.
  • Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation 1944-1950 - James Bacque - Bacque’s estimates of the numbers of Germans that died due to Allied post-war policies are exaggerations. But the quotes and other facts he comes up with are very shocking.

  •  
     
     
    Howard Zinn:-
     
    The poet Archibald MacLeish, then an Assistant Secretary of State, spoke critically of what he saw in the postwar world: "As things are now going, the peace we will make, the peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace, in brief . . . without moral purpose or human interest . . ."

           During the war, England and the United States set up the International Monetary Fund to regulate international exchanges of currency; voting would be proportional to capital contributed, so American dominance would be assured. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development was set up, supposedly to help reconstruct war-destroyed areas, but one of its first objectives was, in its own words, "to promote foreign investment."

           The economic aid countries would need after the war was already seen in political terms: Averell Harriman, ambassador to Russia, said in early 1944: "Economic assistance is one of the most effective weapons at our disposal to influence European political events in the direction we desire,.. ."
      Was the war being fought to establish that Hitler was wrong in his ideas of white Nordic supremacy over "inferior" races? The United States' armed forces were segregated by race. When troops were jammed onto the Queen Mary in early 1945 to go to combat duty in the European theater, the blacks were stowed down in the depths of the ship near the engine room, as far as possible from the fresh air of the deck, in a bizarre reminder of the slave voyages of old.

    The Red Cross, with government approval, separated the blood donations of black and white. It was, ironically, a black physician named Charles Drew who developed the blood bank system. He was put in charge of the wartime donations, and then fired when he tried to end blood segregation. Despite the urgent need for wartime labor, blacks were still being discriminated against for jobs. A spokesman for a West Coast aviation plant said: "The Negro will be considered only as janitors and in other similar capacities. . .. Regardless of their training as aircraft workers, we will not employ them." Roosevelt never did anything to enforce the orders of the Eair Employment Practices Commission he had set up.

     Franklin D. Roosevelt did not share this frenzy, but he calmly signed Executive Order 9066, in February 1942, giving the army the power, without warrants or indictments or hearings, to arrest every Japanese-American on the West Coast-110,000 men, women, and children-to take them from their homes, transport them to camps far into the interior, and keep them there under prison conditions. Three-fourths of these were Nisei-children horn in the United States of Japanese parents and therefore American citizens. The other fourth-the Issei, born in Japan-were barred by law from becoming citizens. In 1944 the Supreme Court upheld the forced evacuation on the grounds of military necessity. The Japanese remained in those camps for over three years.

    These German bombings were very small compared with the British and American bombings of German cities. In January 1943 the Allies met at Casablanca and agreed on large-scale air attacks to achieve "the destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to the point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened." And so, the saturation bombing of German cities began-with thousand -plane raids on Cologne, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg. The English flew at night with no pretense of aiming at "military" targets; the Americans flew in the daytime and pretended precision, but bombing from high altitudes made that impossible. The climax of this terror bombing was the bombing of Dresden in early 1945, in which the tremendous heat generated by the bombs created a vacuum into which fire leaped swiftly in a great firestorm through the city. More than 100,000 died in Dresden. (Winston Churchill, in his wartime memoirs, confined himself to this account of the incident: "We made a heavy raid in the latter month on Dresden, then a centre of communication of Germany's Eastern Front") 

    The United States Strategic Bombing Survey, set up by the War Department in 1944 to study the results of aerial attacks in the war, interviewed hundreds of Japanese civilian and military leaders after Japan surrendered, and reported just after the war:
    Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.


    Revealed: victims of UK's cold war torture camp




     

    Thoughts on Anarchist Strategy.

    • Against Armchair Anarchism:
    1.  Anarchists should avoid theorising but not acting.
    2. Anarchists should avoid becoming or being ivory tower intellectuals and while theory is important it should not and must not pass into the point of being academic.
    3. Anarchists should avoid becoming insular or being lifestylist or just being a hobby for intellectuals or activism becoming a lifestyle.
    4. Anarchist should engage with people where struggles are occurring BUT without compromising their principles.
    • There's nothing wrong with discussion of potential anarchist societies but no blue prints must be layed out and it is more important to focus on existing struggles and try to encourage them onto revolutionary paths.
    • Whenever and wherever we can act with others who are not anarchists for common goals that does not require us to compromise our principles we should try to do so.
    • Scottish anarchists should engage with disappointed Yes and No voters post referendum and encourage them to see that their desire for social justice could not be achieved by the means they've used so far. Obviously this requires different approaches in different contexts and with different audiences.
    • Visual presence at broad protest or public events is important.
    • Anarchists should not oppose Marxism completely. Anarchists should seek to learn from libertarian tendencies of Marxism.  It is my belief that properly understood and taken to their proper conclusions that anarchism and Marxism are the same thing.
    • Anarchists should learn from useful economic understandings of libertarian Marxists, especially Autonomists.
    • Anarchists must consider that capitalism is different and so resistance must be different in this current post-Fordist age.
    • Anarchists should seek to form a culture of resistance.
    • Anarchist should study past successes(however limited) such as Seattle 99, May 1968, Balcombe anti-fracking, Occupy, Spanish Revolution etc.
    • Anarchists should not join any organisations which require or would mean a compromise of their principles. This is difficult to judge beforehand in an abstract manner.
    • Anarchists should spread their ideas in the most straightforward manner with as little jargon as possible.
    • Anarchists should be cautious in supporting the PKK. We should accept their are differences in the composition of the group. But we shouldn't just embrace them wholeheartedly as having the same politics as us. They are good insofar as they oppose ISIS but beyond that how good they are is questionable.
    • Anarchists should never ever be Entryist.
    • It is worthwhile working with non-anarchists or reformists until such time as it becomes a problem e.g. requires compromising principles.
    • When a organisation's goal become contradictory due to the presence of reformists and revolutionaries then the group either must split or abolish itself otherwise everyone's energy will be wasted. A good example of how this can hinder a groups ability to function is many Occupy camps.
    • Like Errico Malatesta, I believe there is nothing wrong with working for reform as long as you keep pushing for revolution and do not stop with reforms when you get them.
    • Keep in touch with allies- especially in the anti-authoritarian left.
    • Coordinate. Communicate.
    • Educate. Spread the word. Have a visible presence. Public Outreach and presence.
    • By doing things people see that resistance is possible.
    • Actively seek out people who are having problems especially at work?
    • Drop in centre for would be organizers or workers or people with problems?
    • Go where struggles are going on. We can't stay in our anarcho bubble. We can't ignore struggles going on. We can critically engage with them.
    • "Fight where you are".




    Tuesday, 4 November 2014

    My Issues with the official Remembrance Day.

    What is remembrance day really about?  It is a selective kind of remembrance or more properly a certain kind of forgetting. What we're encouraged to remember is carefully crafted to suggest national unity and everyone all in it together against a foreign enemy.  It is a myth without any grounding in fact. This is not accidentally perpetuated but a deliberation omission by the ruling class. Whoever controls the past controls the present. Whoever writes the history has the final say.

    What is forgotten is the internal divisions and conflicts within society during that period(and continuing today) driven by those with wealth and power.  What is forgotten is how the world war 1 period was racked by strikes, mutinies, and the desire for revolution.

    It is forgotten that in 1915 there were the Glasgow rent strikes or that soldiers before, during and after World War 1 rebelled, shirked, resisted and mutinied in many different regions. It is forgotten that significant numbers of people in those times desired a revolutionary change of society.

    the official narrative of Remembrance day demands a carefully selected interpretation of history one which fits with the needs and desires of oppressive power structures but fails to remember very much.
    Surely it is a dishonour to the many innocent who gave their lives.

    Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it is often said. It seems remembrance day embodies this truth. Despite countless remembrance day and repeated insistences that it is about remembering the futility of war, the wars continue and militarism is still rampant.

    The military are treated with absolute reverence and any criticism of them amounts of being inhuman. There is a warrior cult surrounding them.

    If you truly support the troops there is only one real position for you to take and that is to be anti-war, to demand that the troops are returned home.

    If the troops really were fighting for our freedoms, they would turn their weapons on the oppressors instead of chasing the often the dark fantasies of elites who are either imagined fears or who were created by those very elites themselves.

    The only war that is worth fighting is the war for ourselves , the class war, the war against all oppressor for the people's control over society directly.

    I would much rather 'betray'  'my' country than betray my class which means to side with the oppressors against the oppressed.

    The Military has always been a tool of the ruling classes for oppressing those who sought to disrupt the status quo  from the diggers, to those resisting the highland clearances to The battle of George Square to the General strike of 1926. The military's function is to protect the power and profits of the ruling class domestically and abroad. The military does not exist to fight for freedom. It never has, does not at present and never will!

    Soldiers are to be pitied as victims of those with wealth and power. Soldiers are to be honoured when they resisted and rejected their roles as soldiers and became conscious of how they are or were using as tools by elites.

     

    Sunday, 2 November 2014

    During WW1 1914-1918.

    A reality check on the myth of World War 1 as a period of "pulling together" , of national unity, patriotism and of "we're all in this together".  As always when it comes from the politicians and bosses this was a load of lies.

    During the World War 1 Period of 1914-1918:-

    * Rudolf Rocker was imprisoned in Alexandra Palace during the war and deported in 1918.
    *Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman imprisoned under the US' Espionage Act in 1917.
    *Errico Malatesta consistently denounced World War 1 in writing both in 1914 and 1916 for Freedom.
    *During ww1 Wobblies from the IWW suppressed, arrested and killed.

    * 1914 saw  "3,000 unemployed demonstrate in Detroit; IWW gains control of Unemployed Convention in San Francisco. New York unemployed, led by Wobbly Frank Tannenbaum, occupy churches; Union Square unemployed riot. Sioux City, Iowa, free speech fight by the IWW."

    *Christmas Truce of 1914

    * 1915,  Joe Hill is executed in Utah by Copper Bosses.

    * January 15th 1915: Wobbly Ralph Chaplin completes his song Solidarity Forever,

    * Mary Barbour headed the Glasgow Rent strikes of 1915 with 'Barbours army' as they were called.

    * The Industrial Workers of the World(IWW) voted  in the 1916 convention  and  released an anti-war resolution saying " We, the Industrial Workers of the World, in convention assembled, hereby re-affirm our adherence to the principles of industrial unionism, and rededicate ourselves to the unflinching, unfaltering prosecution of the struggle for the abolition of wage slavery and the realization of our ideals in Industrial Democracy.

    With the European war for conquest and exploitation raging and destroying our lives, class consciousness and the unity of the workers, and the ever-growing agitation for military preparedness clouding the main issues and delaying the realization of our ultimate aim with patriotic and therefore capitalistic aspirations, we openly declare ourselves the determined opponents of all nationalistic sectionalism, or patriotism, and the militarism preached and supported by our one enemy, the capitalist class.

    We condemn all wars, and for the prevention of such, we proclaim the anti-militaristic propaganda in time of peace, thus promoting class solidarity among the workers of the entire world, and, in time of war, the general strike, in all industries.
    We extend assurances of both moral and material support to all workers who suffer at the hands of the capitalist class for their adherence to these principles, and call on all workers to unite themselves with us, that the reign of the exploiters may cease, and this earth be made fair through the establishment of industrial democracy."

    * 1916- The Everett Massacre, Frank Little Murdered,  Australian Wobblies tried for opposing conscription and the IWW outlawed.

    * 1917: The Etaples Mutiny,

    * French Army Mutinies of 1917.

    *The London transport women workers' strike  1918.

    * November 13th 1918 Mutiny in Shoreham.

    *4,000 troops demonstrated at Dover, in support of the Folkestone mutiny.   


    * 1919 Southhampton : 20,000 soldiers went on strike and took over the docks.
    * January 1919: RAF BIGGIN Hill:  Soldiers went on strike. "At the end of January 1919, the men of the Army Ordnance and Mechanical Transport sections at the Val de Lievre camp called a mass meeting which decided to mutiny."January 1919 there were mutinies on the mine-sweepers at Rosyth.
    *three thousand demonstrating troops marched on Whitehall in February 1919. At Battersea, troops of the Army Service Corps went on strike. They were joined by Service Corps men in Camberwell and Kempton Park.
    * March 1919 Kinmel Park Riots by Soldiers.


    *May 1919 Soldiers Riot in Aldershot with some carrying the red flag.

    *1919 Luton: Riots by ex-servicemen against the hypocrisy of the establishment.



    * Putkowski states that there were over 300,000 courts martials between 1914 and 1920 and he estimates that about 250,000 British troops were involved in ‘strikes, demonstrations and other forms of direct action on an unprecedented scale’ towards the end of the war.

    * Alexander Berkman said of World War 1,   "The ‘war for democracy’, the ‘war to end war’ proved the greatest sham in history. As a matter of fact, it started a chain of new wars not yet ended. It has since been admitted, even by Wilson himself, that the war served no purpose except to reap vast profits for Big Business. The World War built huge fortunes for the lords of finance — and tombs for the workers.......In times of peace you slave in field and factory, in war you serve as cannon fodder — all for the greater glory of your masters"

    *  Harry Patch(RIP) the last (until recently) surviving soldier of ww1 stated "I felt then, as I feel now, that the politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder"

    *The First World War was ended by heroes but not by soldiers 'fighting for their countries' but by the working class fighting for their class.

    Here’s a black poppy for this Remembrance Day. 




    This goes out to those who who died in, and all those who resisted and continue to resist, the capitalists’ wars. To those who mutinied, went on strike, shirked, refused to kill. For all those they executed for deserting. No more “future soldiers” or sycophantic, slavish patriotism.  Let’s take the fight to the bosses! For disobedience and class war!



    Luton Riots-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luton_Town_Hall
    http://libcom.org/history/1919-the-luton-riots