This article is an attempt to investigate certain problems of the left via the lens of micropolitics and macropolitics, terms first introduced by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (D&G).
Faced with the challenging nature of texts from post-structuralist thinkers like D&G or Foucault, many people make the assumption that they are really motivated by an elitist desire to confuse, intimidate and befuddle the masses and divert theory into useless abstractions, far removed from the concerns of ordinary people for social transformation and liberation from oppression and exploitation.
Democracy mystified: a critical review of the book, Against Democracy by Miriam Qarmat (ICG) - Roi Ferreiro
Roi Ferreiro reviews Against Democracy, and subjects its attack on “democracy as a ‘thing in itself’” (“a fantasy of Bordiguist idealism”) and “liberty, equality and fraternity”—an attack that he depicts as abstract, ahistorical, reductionist, and reactionary “sophistry”—to a withering critique, asserting that such all-or-nothing verbal radicalism (“demagogy”) encourages “political indifferentism and passivity”, and he asks the rhetorical question, “is it possible for the ‘affirmation of the collective existence of men’ to be realized in any other than a ‘democratic’ way, and more concretely, in any other form besides that of ‘proletarian, direct and revolutionary democracy’?”.
Democracy Mystified – A Critical Review of the Book, Against Democracy by Miriam Qarmat (ICG) – Roi Ferreiro
John O'Reilly on some organization issues he sees in the IWW.
Like all organizations, the IWW has its problems to contend with. One of the ones that I've been observing recently that I think we continually cycle back towards is the problem of "being eaten by the young." Despite its name, its a problem that has nothing to do with age (I've seen people in their 20s be eaten by the young and I've seen retired people eat the old).
A look at two of many attacks faced by workers in HM Revenue & Customs. The contrasting responses from clerical grade union PCS and senior grade union ARC are worth noting, but not for the reason you might guess.
Listing all of the ongoing issues and disputes within HMRC at present would be an essay in itself. Suffice to say, there are a lot. In this post I want to talk about two in particular; the imposition of detrimental new terms and conditions for staff and the quotas in the new performance management system which are aimed at making it easier to sack the “bottom 10%” of staff from the job.
John O'Reilly and Juan Conatz talk about 'shotgun organizing' which they define as an individualized way of thinking every problem needs to be solved in the most intense and forceful fashion possible, regardless of whether or not it can be handled differently or of the effects on a workplace organizing committee.
About a year or so ago, one of us was having a one-on-one conversation with a member of the union involved in a campaign that was not public at the time.
This pamphlet was published by Solidarity (London) in May 1971. The years 1970-72 saw industrial struggle in the UK reach levels which hadn't been seen since the 1920s. This pamphlet set out alternatives to traditional strike strategy.
The aim of this pamphlet is to help along the discussion now going on amongst industrial militants about a more flexible and imaginative approach to industrial struggle.
Discussing the question of support for reforms against opposition to reformism.
I have no idea what's awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing. Later on, perhaps, they'll think things over; and so shall I. But what's wanted now is to make them well. I defend them as best I can, that's all.
Rieux, from Camus' "The Plague".
A piece exploring an experience organizing with transportation workers and the connections between political ideas, action, tactics, and radical potentials. Militant forms of reformism is explored along the way.
“We would like to thank these activists and the lawyer who won this fight for us. Before we met them we fought for 15 or more years with nothing. We were powerless, but thank god we have people to help us now do what we couldn’t do on our own”.
A lecture given by Bookchin at a conference in November 1971.
It was published in Liberation (New York) (March, 1972) and Anarchos (No. 4 1973). Solidarity (London) reprinted it as a pamphlet in December 1975. (Solidarity pamphlet 49).