1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

EDL watch

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Das Uberdog, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    The "hard work" undoubtedly done by the Far Right in communities is aimed at WHAT though ? Fighting the cuts in local nursery provision ? Building support for campaigns against the closure of a local emergency ward/hospital ? Campaigning to stop the closure of a local youth centre ? Well I can accept that now and again the Far Right ARE adroit enough to get involved in campaigns like this - but not often. The "task" and aim of the Far Right is predominently to go round stirring up community divisions, Black against White, locals against Polish inworkers, taking advantage of the crimes of a handful (eg Asian Rochdale child abusers) to stigmatize entire ethnic communities, spreading lies about "immigrants and council house allocations, etc, etc. In other words their "activism is overwhelmingly shit stirring - and feeds on and builds up existing prejudices. In that sense it is so much EASIER than the task set for the Left, in trying to actually fight against things like local Nursery provision cuts, and to actually SUCCEED now and again during a period of recession and attacks on every aspect of the social infrastructure.

    Certainly the LEFT needs to be involved in these important local campaigns - much more than they do now, but fighting the ever increasing "austerity" attacks of the "System" has to be done in the context of an understanding as to what "capitalism" IS, and WHY it is currently in crisis .... and WHY IT ISN'T the "fault" either of the white working class OR any minority ethic group. The theoretical understanding can't be separated from the motivation and tactics of the struggle. "spontaneous" struggle on its own can lead groups of activists into all sorts of reactionery blind alleys. The "working class" is a very disparate social grouping, thoroughly indoctrinated over HUNDREDS of years by the capitalist class with all sorts of reactionery ideas. Apparent "spontaneity" in a lot of working class thinking and perception is of course actually a whole raft of carefully inculcated capitalist ideology, from Monarchism to Racism etc, etc. It is this inculcated poison that the Far Right can feed off effortlessly. So activists wanting to work in working class communities with an agenda that will lead towards progress rather than reaction have to carry SOCIALIST ideas with them, as part and parcel of their work, not spring socialist ideas out of a bag, once they have "built up credibility" through generalised local campaigning. "hiding ones (political) light under a bushel" always leads inevitably to opportunism, and to groups who refuse to accept the need for a joined up political philosophy taking the "path of least resistance " -- to reaction.

    Nigel likes this.
  2. Red Storm

    Red Storm M14

    I see what you are saying. However this is what the far left is doing now and it isn't achieving much. I don't think the politics should be hidden as, initially, I think they should be openly working class politics focusing on material gain for working class people in a community or work place where the point that unemployment isn't down to immigration and cuts aren't being implemented because "Britain is skint". However, I maintain that abstract notions shouldn't be bombarded upon working class people when you are first getting boots on the ground and building up a good relationship. What will people think of you if you reel quotes from Marx; they'll think you're a crank.
    ayatollah and Delroy Booth like this.
  3. emanymton

    emanymton A cat politely sat on the flaming gardener.

    Yes,but who actually subscribes to this theory, I challenge you to show be in writing someone seriously arguing for this. Some dickheads might act like this but tha's a different issue.
    Come on Butchers, you believe in overthrowing the capitalist system, you oppose racism, you fight sexism. I am sure you have done more for these causes in you life than I have in mine. You argue for these things within the working class don't you? You believe you are right and others are wrong on a huge number of issue and you argue for what you believe is right. You are in effect telling other working class people who disagree with you that you are right and they are wrong, that you have it all worked out and there is nothing wrong with this. Of course some on the left are crap at doing this (I'm pretty shit at it to be frank, but I think releasing this is very important, too many don't) but that again is a different issue. On this very thread you have argued for you position with other working class activists.

    Yes things can still be learnt from the collective experience of the working class in struggle, especially when it comes to strategy and tactics. but even here I am sure you would argue you corner on a range of issues.

    What really sticks on my gut about this who argument is that it seems to separate left wingers from the working class as if they where two separate groups with no overlap. I identify myself as a socialist (but not a Leninist, I did once but no more) and I'm working class. I have as much right to speak and be heard as any other member of the working class, but no more that any other, I don't just have a right to argue my corner but a responsibility to do so. I don't believe you really disagree with this.

    I honestly don't get what you saying here, either you go to the working class and just do whatever they want (how you decided which bit I don't know), or you have to be prepared to stand your ground and argue for you beliefs when it is appropriate to do so. If it's the latter then I don't see how that differs from the existing left other than you saying it's different. You might want to argue you can do it better and that in general the culture of the left makes it bad at doing this in practice, but you can't really argue you are doing something different.
    ayatollah likes this.
  4. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    This is the historical experience of leninism, it's the historical self-understanding of leninism - without it it is not leninism. If you don't believe that your party is in advance of the workers, that it has to reach the backward workers though the most advanced layers of the workers and that task has been consecrated to you by the virtue of being in a leninist party then you're not a leninist. You may still have the cultural resiudes of believing that everyone else is relatively backwards by comparison though. (And that's without going into the problems of scale models of i'm a 98% class conscious worker - what are you?)

    Damn right i do, but i don't seek to place that on the basis of me being cosmically advanced via self-selecting membership of a party.

    Nice of you to concede that rather than this being pretty much the whole point that it's possible it might teach someone (who?) about something, rather than teaching itself.

    Left wing as organised groups are separate from the wider w/c no matter how much it sticks in your guts. No one is saying that you don't have a right to speak, you do. What you and other socialists do not have the right to do is to say that the needs of the w/c are being articulated by you because you're a socialist.

    'Go to the w/c'? This is the language of a group relating to an external group - you don't 'go to the w/c'. Who is going?

    What on earth made you think that activity in w/c communities means not arguing about your collective interests and needs? That's the whole point, rather than turning up and going yep we've worked it all out for you, you must be a formal socialist, wait whilst we patiently explain it to you.

    In 2012 - really?
    sptme and romeo2001 like this.
  5. emanymton

    emanymton A cat politely sat on the flaming gardener.

    So you can't meet my challenge then, all you have is the historical experience of Leninism. I would challenge your assertion that Leninists believe the party is in advance of the workers. Firstly it should be a party that consist mostly of workers and the workers can't be more advanced than the workers. They would say that the party consists of some of the most advanced workers, but that is a very different thing. What I think, and this might be part what you are saying as well, is that the language used (being more advanced, being more class conscious) can create a sense of superiority and elitism. In this cases it is not the basic theory that is at fault but the way it is expressed and put into practice. I guess you will argue that it is an unavoidable outcome of the theory, but I just can't see the logic of that.

    OK, yes clumsy language on my part I should try harder, I mean that really I should. Individual members of the working class learn from their experience and from each others. Nothing teaches like experience though.

    I disagree with the first part, sort of. As I said originally there is overlap, not all members of left wing groups are workers and obviously not all workers are members of left wing groups, but they are (well most of them) strongly connected to the working class. On your second point you are of course quite right.
    Yes shit use of language again, sorry.
    What's the year got to do with anything?
    This really is the crux of it again. If you argue for you position you are effectively saying you have at least some of it worked out. I really think you criticism of the left (around this point at least) is one of style not substance.
    ayatollah likes this.
  6. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    The challenge? There's a post on the last page that does it, and that didn't come out of his own head - it came from the sort of assumptions that are commonplace on what's left of the left.

    You want me to show you people from the left arguing that left is in advance of the w/c and so needs to to patiently explain' to the w/c how the left is right? How long have you been in the left?
  7. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    The whole point of a leninist party is that it is advance of the workers. If you don't recognise that basic point then you've no business discussing leninism. And no, the theory means the party is in advance. Did you ever even realise this when you were a leninist?

    Ok, but why even think to frame it that way?

    Any overlap is minimal marginal and irrelevant.

    Because this is dinosaur talk

    No, it's not. It's one of base approach. If it's the same as mine it would not start from the position that a party could ever hold claim to a higher or more developed conciousness. if it's the banality that people think different things then fine - but why the song and dance in defence of the opposite above?
  8. emanymton

    emanymton A cat politely sat on the flaming gardener.

    I'll have to answer tomorrow, I have things I need to do and I'm using you to distract myself from them.
  9. past caring

    past caring The Cathars were right

    Indeed - was struggling for words a bit.
  10. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    I entirely agree with you. You've buggered up that debate then !
  11. Das Uberdog

    Das Uberdog remembers the alamo

    all the eggs in the same basket? all the Basques in the same exit??

    bignose1 likes this.
  12. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    Butchersapron quote
    "No, it's not. It's one of base approach. If it's the same as mine it would not start from the position that a party could ever hold claim to a higher or more developed conciousness. if it's the banality that people think different things then fine - but why the song and dance in defence of the opposite above? "

    THIS seems to be the nub or crux of the philosophical , and hence political, difference between those of us on here arguing from a socialist perspective and the people arguing that a socialist party shouldn't operate from the basis of having "a more developed consciousness" than the mass of working class people". Well, OK it sounds really poncy and elitist to claim that a socialist organisation, which of course must aim to include as many (blue collar, white collar, unemployed)working class people as can be attracted to the struggle, can have an understanding of how capitalism works, and what the objectives of class struggle should be to bring about a fairer, juster society, BEYOND the mass of the working class. BUT to argue that this isn't possible is to wilfully ignore just how much reactionery shit has been thoroughly absorbed from the mass media, and the crappy existence under capitalism for most people, into a wide reaching repressive IDEOLOGY , which prevents MOST working class people from recognising who their real enemy is and how to combat the system which oppresses them. If this wasn't true, why are so many working class people avid Monarchists, rabid racists, extreme Nationalists, etc etc. The ruling class wouldn't spend so much time and effort dominating the content and tone of popular culture and the news mediaif it didn't serve to maintain the status quo.

    A Socialist party acts as the "collective historical memory" of the class, learning lessons from defeats as well as victories, so that, hopefully, the working class and its allies don't have to relearn all the lessons learnt by each generation in struggle from square one over and over, To deny the role of socialist theory, and the need for principled working class based socialist parties to drive forward the struggle by banding together the most class conscious, militant, combative, workers, is the worst sort of "spontaneist" nonsense.. and leads nowhere.
    The Prestonian likes this.
  13. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    It is 95 years since lenins bolsheviki seized power and parties based on the Leninist model werecestablished all over the world.ayatolah, can you tell us of one instance in all that time when a party like the one you describe has existed?
    If you wish to style yourself as " the memory of the class", then you might try remembering the record of such parties.
  14. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    And what is the difference between your distain for the poor duped proles, and jazzz and his clones whining about sheeple?
  15. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    I am the last person to deny that all too many socialist parties , everywhere, have all too often exhibitted "false memory syndrome" when trying to understand the lessons to be learnt from the defeats in particular of the working class. Indeed, on another thread , on the Greek crisis, a representative of the Communist KKE, has repeatedly defended ALL the disastrous policies of Stalin , as if they represented all that is the best in socialist theory and action !

    That being said, are you actually denying that the TINY super rich ruling class across the world manages to maintain its privileges other than by successfully weaving a web of IDEOLOGY which fools most people, most of the time, into actively supporting capitalism, or at least grudgingly going along with it as an economic and social system ? If most people are not fooled most of the time by the whole raft of ideology which oppresses us all , then you presumeably find nothing strange in the current widespread enthusiasm in the UK for the daft pageantry of the Golden Jubilee (Gawd Bless Er !), at a time when most people are facing real hardship ? Recognising that capitalist ideology persuades most people, most of the time , to go along with the grossly unequal system of capitalism , does NOT mean that socialists view the working class as "poor duped proles" as you suggest. It is recognising how ALL class societies work, from the heart ripping theocracy of the pre Columbian Inca Empire, to Feudalism, to modern day capitalism. For example the pre Columbian Inca thought it was necessary to rip the living heart out of sacrificial victims each day.. or the sun wouldn't rise ... NOT because they were STUPID, but because they were ensnared within a particular world view - an IDEOLOGY - which bolstered the structure of the class society of their day.

    I am also not denying that it is currently impossible to point to a socialist party which has all the answers, or the perfect organisational form, (whatever that might be), to build a mass revolutionery party of the most militant and class conscious workers, to overthrow capitalism... but that doesn't mean that the myriad of small socialist/anarchist groupings currently trying to play an active role in resisting the austerity offensive and TRYING to interpret and understand what is going on and to find a way forward, are't collectively part of the eventual solution. Yeh they are all flawed -- too many are bonded to a version of "Leninism" which encourages sectarianism ... but the current post 2008 Crash struggle is in its early days -- lots of time yet to develop and modify structures and policies as the struggle intensifies.
  16. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    perhaps i am just intrigued as to how holding a party card in your wallet makes you immune
  17. Ranbay

    Ranbay The same rules apply

    Dates for your diary
    5th May Luton
    16th June Dewsbury
    21st July Bristol
    18th August Walthamstow
    September Walsall Date pending.
  18. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    Being a member of a socialist organisation, or simply holding to a socialist or "Marxist" world view, DOESN't make anyone immune to influence from the all pervading capitalist propaganda permeating all aspects of life. However given that socialist analysis and activity provides a counterbalancing world view and model for comparison to contrast with the dominant ideology it is possible for socialists to "filter" a lot of the dominant ideology out, and hence hopefully find a collective and individual way forward "against the stream" of omnipresent ideas like , Racism, Monarchism,sexism, the inevitability of capitalist relations , the claimed inevitability of the current "austerity" strategy of the ruling class , etc.

    However , remembering, for instance, the rampant male chauvinist sexism rampant on the supposed "revolutionery" Left in my youth in the 1970's , the ability to disconnect oneself from the dominant ideology of the time is only ever partial and incomplete. AND of course the counterposing ideology of the Left can often take "wrong turns" - eg, Stalinism, the extraordinary sectarianism in many Trotskyist groups , etc. All one can say is that a Socialist perspective provides an alternative "world view tool kit" for workers engaged in struggle with capitalism -- it doesn't guarantee that the conclusions drawn using this frame of reference will always be correct . Only putting a particular analysis into PRACTICE, shows whether a particular analysis is right or wrong.

    One thing is certain though, expecting "everyday popular common sense" to provide an accurate model of the world , such as to guide people to genuinely identify the source of their oppression, is stunningly naive - not because people are generally "stupid", but because throughout history the "ruling ideas of any age have been the ideas of the ruling class". Hence the rising bourgeois class in Europe in the Middle Ages had to break with many key aspects of the Feudal ideology of that time, in order to see themselves as a distinct class with a particular interest and future social/economic role. Such is the task facing the working class today.It's not rocket science as a concept, its not even specifically "marxist" ... it was a basic ingredient of the O level Sociology I used to teach 30 years ago for heavens sake ! If people weren't generally easily persuadable by propaganda and controlled information flows to hold particular views or view objects and events in particular ways, the entire Lobbying and advertising industries have been wasting their time and money for a long, long, time now !
    The Prestonian, Nigel and bignose1 like this.
  19. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    But no attempt to answer as to why the "mammary of the class" can't remember the record of 100 years of Leninist failure, but just wants to repeat it all over again.
  20. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    Nor how you can claim that your ideology raises you above the herd.
  21. krink

    krink I'll do it this afternoon

    oh well at least there's none anywhere near me. we have the daft gets from infidels instead but they're fuck all.
    Ranbay likes this.
  22. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    "mammery".. good one..nothing like raising the tone. The question therefore arises as to YOUR own "solution" to the ever deepening capitalist crisis, barney_pig. Sneering one liners are all very well, but don't add anything to the debate - especially as you haven't actually understood a word I've written.

    I assume you have some view as to where we go from here ? Ever onwards down the capitalist road to ever greater austerity ? A "spontaneous" fightback by working people, with no attempt to get militant class fighters organised or tackle the sheer weight of capitalist ideology ? Don't like that one much ... left to the most powerful "drivers" of capitalist ideology, nationalism and racism, people may well "choose" to go down the fascist route. I don't know about you but I'm not in favour of that. I'm not a fan of traditional "Leninism" in its stalinist guise either actually . I think I'd rather go for Democratic Socialism thanks very much. And YOURSELF ? Care to enlighten us where YOU stand ? Or are you just a bottleless single line of negativity Troll type of guy ?
    Nigel likes this.
  23. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    What I am opposed to is the Leninist lie that the working class cannot challenge the ideas of the ruling class without the assistance of The Party,
  24. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    Democratic socialism is an ambiguous term; is Philip Gould your guru?or is it Mandel that floats your boat?
    Neither in my view have been able to offer the working class any thing more than a choice of controllers.
  25. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    Nope I'm just a revolutionery socialist. I wasn't aware that any NuLabourites nowadays favoured the "S" word. Revolutionery socialism doesn't always mean an admiration for the rigid excesses of what is nowadays seen as "Leninism" - but is more accurately a term which describes the excesses of Stalinism. However, without a well organised, and reasonably disciplined, but democratically structured, socialist party, or hopefully, set of parties, it is hard to see how working class people and their allies, who wish to take on the hard organisational task of opposing capitalism in a crisis on a long term basis, can actually pool their resources and experiences to carry out that historic task.

    Pray tell us Barney_pig, assuming you are not a big fan of the continuation of capitalism, how YOU see the coming struggle being mobilised ? You are good at sneering in one liners .. but strangely silent at putting forward ANY ideas as to how capitalism can be fought in a coherent and effective way ... without groupings of people united around a set of principles, aims and objectives, getting together to do this , ie "parties". If you just think that a rising tide of working class anger will spontaneously lead to a mass rising one day, and the institution of a egalitarian society - then dream on -- because there are a LOT of other well organised PARTIES offering all sorts of very nasty alternatives with seductive ideologies to the working class -- Fascism for one.
  26. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    Which trotskyist gang floats your boat ayatollah?
  27. ayatollah

    ayatollah Well-Known Member

    Sorry to disappoint you Barney_pig, I had my fill of 10 years of Trotskyism in the 70's. However , depite the almost semi-religious "scriptural" nature of their inner life, and usually viciously sectarian nature of a lot of Trotskyism, and its failure as a thead of the socialist tradition to really analyse what is wrong with "Democratic Centralism" in its Leninist form for party building , I nevertheless recognise that there are many fine revolutionery socialists spread across the Trotskyist grouplets in the UK and elswhere , with plenty to bring to the struggle. Like a lot of socialists I'm hoping, perhaps forlornly that the rising tide of struggle will lead to new alignments on the Left, and the eventual emergeance of a better series of revolutionery parties, tempered by the needs of the struggle itself, rather than old dogma. By which I DON't mean the basic principles of socialism itself.

    If you are some sort of Anarchist, Barney_pig, fine by me, I recognise the contribution of Anarchist theory too to the rich mix which the working class needs to draw upon in struggling to build a better society, based on democratic workers power.

    What I would suggest however, is that Anarchism has not grasped the "problem" of the state, and revolutionery organisation, and the overthrow of capitalism any more successfully than Trotskyism. But wheras "Leninism" has chosen over-rigid centralism for the Party as the vehicle to confront a highly organised capitalist state - and hence laid itself vulnerable to the Stalinist takeover of both Party AND state... Anarchism has overemphasised "spontaneity" in working class self activity, underappreciating the key role of capitalist ideology in holding back workers not organised in a political party from effectively carrying out that struggle. And of course the typical shambolic anarchist grouping is fine for turning out a few "Black Bloc" street fighters to throw rocks at the police, or campaign around local issues , but is USELESS in taking on and defeating the capitalist state.

    I suggest both traditions could have something to "bring to the party" (pun).
  28. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    I apologise to you ayatollah, I thought you were being newly mouthed about your troskyism and so was goading you on that basis.
    I do not, as might be expected agree that anarchists have failed to understand the capitalist state: I think we do, and do so better that the leninists do. After all, where we understand that an essential part of the oppression of capitalist state IS THE STATE! Leninists want to replace that state with one of their own, thus replicating that oppression in a different form.
    I also have serious issue with the whole Marxist conception of false consciousness, if the French san cullottes believed they were fighting for liberte egalite fraternite but instead were dying to make Europe safe for capitalism, is it not possible that marxists aren't fighting for another form of exploitative class society.
    romeo2001 likes this.
  29. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    newly mouthed? do you mean mealy mouthed?

    oh - and not only possible but extremely likely.
  30. barney_pig

    barney_pig Po-cha-na-quar-hip

    the problem of posting off a phone with a creative attitude to spell check.

Share This Page