Archive for August, 2012

Austin’s Picks: Is Class Struggle Anarchism?

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Austin K sent this link along in an email this morning. It’s a couple of years old, but it’s still worth sharing and reading. The links go to interesting websites if you have an open mind about politics, which is to say, that you can imagine or entertain valid political positions that are broader than the republican and democratic party talking points. I am only posting two of the points that Nate pulls from Tom’s article. Nate uses his What in the Hell …? website the way I use smallblueplanet.org as a staging area to gather ideas, to store links and info, then to compose from that website for publication elsewhere. For me, that makes Nate’s What in the Hell… ? particularly interesting.

What in the Hell is Class Struggle Anarchism?

July 24, 2009

Austust another WordPress.com siteIt’s

Hat tip to Tom Wetzel for this fine article. Check it out. Full disclosure and a little bragging, I know Tom, we’re both involved in the Workers Solidarity Alliance, so I’m biased. Anyhow, read his piece.

My favorite three bits are quoted below. With these bits I was reading it and I was like “yeah, this is what I try to do in this kind
of work but I haven’t put it this clearly before,” which is a cool feeling, like the article put clearly into words what had been more of a gut feeling for me or stuff I’d fumbled and put badly before.

1. “Dual organizational anarchists often say that the role of the anarchist political organization is to “win the battle of ideas,” that
is, to gain influence within movements and among the mass of the population by countering authoritarian or liberal or conservative ideas. Bakunin had said that the role of anarchist activists was a “leadership of ideas.”

But disseminating ideas isn’t the only form of influence. Working with others of diverse views in mass organizations and struggles, exhibiting a genuine commitment, and being a personable and supportive person in this context also builds personal connections, and makes it more likely one’s ideas will be taken seriously.”

2. “mass struggles and mass organizing as the process for changing society…because it is through the active participation of growing numbers of ordinary people, building and controlling their own movements, that they develop the capacity and aspirations for changing society.

From the point of view of “organized anarchism with a class struggle perspective,” two kinds of organization are needed: (1) forms of mass organization through which ordinary people can grow and develop their collective strength, and (2) political organizations of the anarchist or libertarian socialist minority, to have a more effective means to coordinate our activities, gain influence in working class communities, and disseminate our ideas. In the World War 1 era Italian anarchists coined the term “dual organization” for this perspective.

Read the whole piece if you have a couple of minutes.

Austin’s Picks: Autonomy Alliance

Friday, August 24th, 2012

“It’s a scary time to be involved with radical class struggle. But was it ever any other way?”

Austin Kelly suggests you scan this one from LibCom.org:

 

 

Autonomy Alliance: The interview

 

 

An interview conducted with two members of St Louis libertarian group, Autonomy Alliance.

While in St. Louis, I was lucky enough to stay with two members of the Autonomy Alliance. In that time, I’ve been impressed with the level activity I’ve seen from the group—regular publications, public events (not the least of which included a screening of the 1971 film Sacco and Vanzetti), and running a once-yearly weekend school.

Unlike many of the city-based libertarian groups in the US, I hadn’t heard of them before. So I thought it’d be worth learning a bit more about them. The following interview took place with those same two members, although it’s in personal capacity, so should not be taken as the official AA positions.

Tell me a bit about the group. When were you founded? How many people are currently active? Are members active in any other organizations? What are the particular politics of your group and what level of political agreement do you strive for? What are the activities and projects you’re involved in?

Autonomy Alliance has been active for about 5 years, although it’s current core group has only been active since late 2008. There are about 10 members who attend regular meetings, vote on event proposals, and facilitate annual events. Our members are all involved with other local and national anti-capitalist organizations. AA is made up of PARECONists, social anarchists, radical feminists, and Wobblies. The goal has always been to bring together folks of different radical left-wing backgrounds into a cohesive organization to work on local projects, distribute literature, discuss readings and put out a quarterly newsletter.

One aspect of AA that differs from many radical groups is that we have defined membership, a democratic voting procedure, and agreed upon organizational by-laws which we collectively edit every year or so. While AA is still small in numbers, I think we’re able to focus our time and energy into local projects in a way that’s relatively efficient. I think we all want to avoid the pitfalls that come along with doing things in a disjointed and loosely organized way. We co-sponsor an annual event called Left Wing School, a day long series of workshops and panel discussions on a wide ranging number of subjects, from labor, environmentalism, feminism, Palestine solidarity, etc. The LWS has occurred every December for the past several years. In the past, we’ve also co-sponsored several commemorations of the 1877 General Strike. In 2010, we brought in famous labor historian, Jeremy Brecher, along with popular singer-songwriter David Rovics to participate in this event. It was attended by about 100 people.

Read the whole thing? or turn on Good Morning, America? You make the call.

How about a little Economics?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

How about a discussion of our economic situation?

Verdict in Rachel Corrie trial next week. Be there – Traditions on Wednesday at 6:30

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Verdict in Rachel Corrie Lawsuit to be Announced August 28th – Family to Hold Press Conference in Haifa

This is a big deal in Olympia because so many of us are connected to the Corrie family. You are not forgotten, RachelRachel was a well-known Oly activist. She was loved, she is missed. Rachel’s death in the occupied territories of Palestine welded the communities of Olympia and Rafah together

 

The verdict will be announced on the 28th in Haifa. On Wednesday, Aug 29th, we will have a video conference call with Craig and Cindy Corrie at Traditions Cafe at 6:30 pm. I hope that many of you will be able to join us at Traditions next Wednesday to support Craig and Cindy and to pay your respects to Rachel.

Here is a link the Rachel Corrie Foundation website if you want to know more. Here is an update and some background from the Corrie family:

Posted in News and Updates, Trial, Trial Press Releases on August 21, 2012 by .

 

(Haifa, Israel – August 21, 2012) – The verdict in the civil lawsuit against the State of Israel for the killing of peace activist Rachel Corrie over nine years ago will be announced August 28, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. at the Haifa District Court.

Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death March 16, 2003, by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9-R bulldozer while nonviolently protesting demolition of Palestinian civilian homes in Rafah, Gaza.

Download: English (pdf, 289.14 kB) العربية (pdf, 395.01 kB) עִבְרִית (pdf, 459.65 kB)

The lawsuit, filed in 2005 on behalf of the Corrie family by attorney Hussein abu Hussein, charges the State of Israel with responsibility for Rachel’s killing and failure to conduct a full and credible investigation in the case.

“The lawsuit is just a small step in our family’s nearly decade-long search for truth and justice,” said Craig Corrie, Rachel’s father. “The mounting evidence presented before the court underscores a broken system of accountability – tolerated by the United States in spite of its conclusions that Israel’s military investigation was not ‘thorough, credible, or transparent.’”

Winning the War on Position

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Austin Kelly sent along this link.

Winning the War of Position

August 19, 2012

| Filed under For discussion


This article makes a number of arguments about the direction the IWW should take in its organizing, including taking a longer-term perspective than the next few years.

Winning the War of Position: Working-Class Hegemony and Class Unionism
by B.C.

It is readily apparent to any working-class person that the economic oppressions of capitalist society, numerous though they may be, are only one facet of the system of social control exercised by bourgeois society. The dominant culture is one of homogenous individualism, materialism, and intellectual vapidity. It is not a culture natural to a free and free-thinking people; but rather a culture designed to maintain the integrity of an unjust social order, designed to favor an exploiting class over a mass of oppressed working people – using each and every tool, political and ideological, that it can exploit in its battle for continued dominance.

Read the whole article?

Oh yeah, a republican congressman said something stupid about birth control and a lot of the media thought that was news. It may be an entertaining story and it’s always fun to see a politician twist in the wind, but I don’t think it’s news that right-wingers are ignorant on topics of science, biology, conception etc. It is kind of ironic that this particular ignorant republican congressman sits on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. But hey, he sits there, drawing a salary, nobody claims he brings anything to the table.

Keep it simple, keep it honest

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Kundun!

We are fortunate to live as contemporaries of the 14th Dalai Lama

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Oneness of Humanity

What’s so grand about a grand jury?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

What you can do to support Grand Jury Resistance in Seattle and Portland

Posted on August 2, 2012 by blackorchidcollective

Please spread this widely. Many thanks to friends who have organized around this. The website is here

Grand Jury Resistors Speak: “Our Passion for Freedom is Stronger than the State’s Prisons”

Another source for information: Green is the New Red

How about a little Michael Parenti debating Christopher Hitchens?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

I know that many of us will miss Christopher Hitchens. Here is a debate between Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti.

A couple of great minds, quick thinkers, people who could think on their feet. Enjoy!

OMJP Meeting Tonight! 7 pm, Aug 22nd at POWER Office

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Regular meetings on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the POWER Office next door to Rainy Days Records on 5th

See you there!

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