On the margins of the debate and split in the Irish anarchist organization WSM
anarchist movement |
Monday October 15, 2012 08:55 by Ilan S. - AAtW, ainfos. Mazpen ilan at shalif dot com Tel Aviv
Mass line versus workerism
The term "reverse engineering", used in computer programming, differs from the old strategies used in the past to start with a problem and try to find a solution to it as it starts with characterizing the goal and then working backwards to try to find the way to it.
The anarcho-syndicalist approach characterized the revolution for cancelling capitalism as an organized uprising of the working class in a crisis of the capitalist system in a similar manner to that of the Marxist left, which claimed that the revolution would be led by an organized party... but differed from it with a slight change: the revolutionary uprising would be led by an organized revolutionary labour syndicate which would be dominant in the working class and would be built and led by anarcho-syndicalists.
Instead of concentrating the efforts of the Marxist left into building the ultimate party which would gradually win the support of a significant part of the working class, they advocated efforts to gradually build the (one big) revolutionary union with anarchist leadership/principles that would gradually include most of the working class.
Neither of them really have bother to understand what has been going on in the minds of the masses of workers over the years, and what necessary and sufficient conditions are required in order to change the minds of the people before the outbreak of the revolution, when before the revolutionary crisis most of the working class will not be advocates of revolution.
Anarchists-Communists and other anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist activists who do not hold the view that a very large pre-revolutionary organization is necessary and able to lead the revolution that will abolish capitalism, advocate a wide variety of activities to bring about the dormant preparedness of the masses of the working class to start a popular uprising in times of crisis in the capitalist system.
Many of these activists intuitively understand that undermining the legitimacy of the capitalist system and strengthening the doubts in the minds of the working class about the feasibility of continuing to live under it, will lead to a serious crisis to arouse the dormant revolutionary trends to be aroused and expressed in an uprising that may lead to revolution.
Organizing the workers' struggle in the workplace was for many years the only prominent field of battle/struggle and contradiction between the interests of the workers and capitalism.
But, more and more other areas of conflict of interest and struggles against the capitalist system and its main aspects have become prominent (social services, gender, the environment, social security, wars, immigration, etc.). The struggles in these areas and more so the participation in them (direct actions are no less empowering than wildcat strikes) contribute to eroding the legitimacy of the capitalist system and the belief that there is an option to continue to live under it for long.
Those who do not understand the dynamics of undermining the legitimacy of the capitalist regime, the undercurrent doubts about life, and the tendency towards struggle/uprising are bound to channel efforts into areas with limited utility and ignore activities that contribute immensely to the mental change that is needed.
The nature of the current global struggle for "social justice" characterized by anti-capitalism and anti-authoritarianism (anarchist style by fans and detractors) shows the right direction.
Just one illuminating example:
A few dozen social justice activists - most of them with no previous experience of struggle with anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian tendencies, but influenced by the year of world social struggles - initiated mass actions that included at their peak nearly half a million participants in one evening of demos in a country with 7 million inhabitants.
Evening of 11.10.2012 in Tel Aviv: After splits and elections coming, those who reject the parliamentary road mobilized again about 400 participants in a social justice demo.