This site is an archived version of Indymedia prior to 5th November 2012. The current site is at www.indymedia.org.nz.

Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

in

"This text is not just about anarchist theory, but strategy. It deals with constructive action we as anarchists — in whatever groups or organisations that currently exist — can undertake to link anarchism back with the labour movement in Aotearoa: to bring about radical, sweeping, social change."

Here's the revised edition of my earlier text, which has had a few changes made to it. It flows better now, is shorter, and is more structured. Attached is the pdf. PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY.

Feel free to reproduce, share, copy and publish it at your own will!

I will collate a print ready one at some stage, just get in touch if you want that version. Also I'll be printing it myself soon, with the aim of getting down to some serious work this year, especially in Otautahi. If you are in Otautahi and see any kind of value in what's proposed, lets get together!

Here's the blurb and contents:

This text is not just about anarchist theory, but strategy. It deals with constructive action we as anarchists — in whatever groups or organisations that currently exist — can undertake to link anarchism back with the labour movement in Aotearoa: to bring about radical, sweeping, social change.

Our actions and activities as groups or individuals across Aotearoa should be cohesive, and this can be done through the free agreement to collective programs on community strategy and workplace struggle. This text puts forward some constructive ideas for this purpose, mainly that of Industrial Networks and Community Unions or Assemblies.

As Joe Hill, I.W.W songwriter, organiser, poet and artist once said: 'whatever you do, don't try to overthrow the system alone!'

Contents:

2 | INTRODUCTION

What types of struggle could we undertake in order
to increase the acceptance of anarchist ideas in Aotearoa?

3 | ANARCHIST ORGANISATION

Specific organisation vs specific activity.
Problems we face in Aotearoa.

4 | COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Change from below.
Community unionism.
Community support.

7 | WORKPLACE STRUGGLE

Working within existing unions.
New unions vs existing unions.
Union bureaucracy.
Industrial Networks.
Working outside of the unions.

12 | CREATING A CLASS STRUGGLE FOCUS

How to start doing what is described above.

Discussion could take place at www.anarchism.org.nz for anyone interested.

Cheers!

Jared D
garage.collective(at)gmail.com

constructive_a.pdf

Related

http://www.garagecollective.blogspot.com

http://www.anarchism.org.nz

Comments

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

Indigenous rights? Environmental protection? Gender equality..?

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

"to link anarchism back with the labour movement" Wow, how's that for a really big premise.

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

"Indigenous rights? Environmental protection? Gender equality..?"

All total valid points, and topics which the industrial networks and community unions proposed in the text should address, as well as groups who might take up the techniques in the text. However, this text is about 2 particular forms of struggle, with the main topic as being "the linking of anarchism back to the labour movement". This text is not THE ONE text on every oppression under the sun - nor does it pretend to be.

Don't take that as ignoring your points (they are things we should all consider, and in fact are linked to class struggle and class division) but it simply isn't the purpose of this wee text.

Also, a lot of groups (such as Otautahi Men's Hui, a group I'm part of) already try to deal with those topics specifically. What this text aims to do is to highlight another area for action alongside those existing groups, an area (as the second poster points out) is often overlooked.

Cheers
Jared D

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

"Indigenous rights? Environmental protection? Gender equality..?"

All totally valid points, and topics which the industrial networks and community unions proposed in the text should address, as well as groups who might take up the techniques in the text. However, this text is about 2 particular forms of struggle, with the main topic as being "the linking of anarchism back to the labour movement". This text is not THE ONE text on every oppression under the sun - nor does it pretend to be.

Don't take that as ignoring your points (they are things we should all consider, and in fact are linked to class struggle and class division) but it simply isn't the purpose of this wee text.

Also, a lot of groups (such as Otautahi Men's Hui, a group I'm part of) already try to deal with those topics specifically. What this text aims to do is to highlight another area for action alongside those existing groups, an area (as the second poster points out) that is often overlooked.

Cheers
Jared D

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

What kind of people are you hoping to work with? Is it open to anyone who is interested?

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

Hi anon,

Yes, I think the industrial networks would be a great thing for any kind of militant in the workplace — keeping in mind the goal of such a network being workplace self-management, mass assemblies and the direct action of the rank-and-file within and against the unions. So, if you agreed with that, then I couldn't see any reason why an industrial network couldn't apply to various political labels (within that direct action framework, of course).

In saying that, I couldn't see the value working with folks trying to capture the union for their own ends, nor using the network to put forward their own organisation or party's position 'on behalf of the workers' — the point of the network (self activity, mass assemblies and rank-and-file control) would be a different kind of means and ends.

So, in short, if we are coming from the same place, then sure!

Jared D

Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

Well, I'm interested. I'm a student, parent and I work part time. I actually responded to your work on anarchism.org, although not saying anything really. I would like to be involved in some discussions and trying work towards making practical changes. I'm relatively new to this on a person-to-person level, having spent most of my time reading the past few years.

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

I´ve read the text Jared and think its very good, i remember being really pissed about the way that the platformist A-communist group was set up. I was told by one of the people involved that it was ¨exclusive¨ so as to keep out all the life-style hippy little-a anarchists from having any say in the way it was formed... i guess the people involved see most anarchist as being life stylists...including myself, and it was hurtful.
I like your ideas, most radical people get labeled by the mainstream and we shouldn´t do this to each other, anarchists should be working to support and include as many people as possible, excluding only when totally necessary and thats how I feel, i also wouldn´t have wanted to be a part of that group because of their attitudes to other Anarchists based upon their assumptions of what a ¨real¨ Anarchist or Anarchist-Communist is, but I would like a more organised class struggle anarchist group/fed in Aotearoa and would like to talk more about this, and what that would mean for me as a woman who has struggled against the flow for her whole life.

Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

AWSM was set up to be a group for anarcho communists. if arent one and dont want to be one, then its not the group for you and it would be a waste of your time and mine if you were involved.

If you are interested in anarcho communism and AWSM, then get in touch via info@awsm.org.nz

if you have a problem with us then get in touch too cos anonymous arguing on here is a bit pointless cos I have no idea who you are or what you think you might have heard about AWSM, and it might be productive to sort it out.

AWSM secretary wellington)

Re: Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed

I'm an anarchist communist who doesn't want to get involved with AWSM, and I think there are others too. Why? Well I think you know. Instead of saying the same old thing about membership, why not comment on the idea of Industrial Networks, and whether AWSM would work towards those ends? It would be more constructive.

Jared D

Re: Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed

Hang on, what's your name? I only see a position? Doesn't that make you anon, anon?

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

Thanks for the response. I'm stoked there has been positive feedback so far, and people are keen!

I'm going to try and set up a mailing list for people interested, and then maybe a regional hui (in Otautahi) with goals for a national one eventually. Of course, this depends on what other think, and have energy for. Until then, please email me and we can start talking that way, or again, on www.anarchism.org.

There is a national hui in April, but class isn't specifically mentioned on the agenda. Still be worth going I'd say.

The a few peeps in AWSM are my friends, and I have respect for what they are trying to achieve, but it just seems a bit backwards at times. I would agree with the above poster on labels being problematic — if we can agree on some cohesive class-based aims and principles, while keeping our autonomy intact, then I think we've taken a good step forward this year.

Cheers
Jared D

Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

We haven't put out an agenda for the April conference yet - but something will be along soon. I can't see how class won't be included, since, apart from a few odd fringe theories, its hard-wired into the whole anarchist project. There does seem to be a misunderstanding of class issues in some areas where people think 'class struggle' just means industrial action, which points to a real need to do a whole lot more basic political work.

Cheers

Sam Buchanan

Re: Re: Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed

Thanks Sam,

I guess I meant to say that more constructive strategies of linking back to workers didn't seem to be on the agenda, but like you say, it is early days yet. Indsutrial action is a big part of class struggle (as is community work), but that is something that often seems to be overlooked.

Look forward to the agenda soon!

Jared D

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

I agree with Anon. There appears to be enough division between ideas as it is we don't need to create more between each other.

I am very much looking forward to this year :D

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

I think AWSM has made us stop and think about organisation, which is great. I aslo think if another class struggle group/network/federation is set up alomgside AWSM then there's no reason that that group and AWSM couldn't join in the same tasks, and in the same federation — working together on an Industrial Network.

Of course, AWSM would have to want to do that, whcih I'm sure they would. If they didn't then we would have valid reasons to critique them further.

Yay for organising, lets get down to work!

Jared D

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

All totally valid points, and topics which the industrial networks and community unions proposed in the text should address....
---
SHOULD being the important word.
---
It would seem from looking at unions in NZ and industrial struggle that those points are often left last or ignored. When was the last 'greenban' or non pay strike? Industrial unions are often about more pay and better conditions, and ignore that increased production and consumption mean decreased surroundings and biodiversity and eventually the same in jobs (coal, and fossil fuels and minerals deplete, forests are cut down, water ways polluted etc.

Would be interested in reading any follow up texts on wider issues if you write them Jared.

------------
"Indigenous rights? Environmental protection? Gender equality..?"

All totally valid points, and topics which the industrial networks and community unions proposed in the text should address, as well as groups who might take up the techniques in the text. However, this text is about 2 particular forms of struggle

Re: Constructive Anarchism in Aotearoa 2009 — revised ed.

Yeah anon, I totally agree with you there.

The beauty about Industrial networks is that they exist to promote rank-and-file action within and against the unions — to encourage mass assemblies and direct action tactics — and not just over pay increases, but to bring about a more egaliatrian, environmentally sustainable, classless society. This would mean putting and end to harmful or needless industry, and using technology in more equal and worthwhile ways.

I'm not the best on this issue, but check out www.solfed.org.uk for some good anarcho-syndicalist analysis, or www.libcom.org.

Jared D