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Thread: Insurgent Notes No. 4 -August 2011

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED DAVE View Post
    Did it ever occur to you that (a) left-communist strategists are not exactly fond of you?
    My experience on this board has demonstrated that hardcore left-com strategists (of the non-Bordigist kind) are unwilling to discuss revolutionary strategy, really sticking to their guns of state capitalism, decadence, mass strikes, the usual councilism, or even the anti-"permanent workers organization" position. The tone of my posts re. those positions over the past year merely reflects that sad experience.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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    In 1878, Lassalle had been dead for 14 years.

    Notice how every thread turns into a thread about DNZ as soon as he shows up? This is indicative of his personality pathology: not a single comment on anything that IN has ever produced, correctly or incorrectly, just his "experiences."

    What a narcissistic goon; he might even be what is described clinically as an ambulatory psychotic.

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Neue Zeit View Post
    (of the non-Bordigist kind)
    I really wish that Bordigists posted on this board. With your workerism, eclecticism, hostility to crisis theory, rampant organisational fetishism, methodological formalism and manner of constructing arguments that would embarrass a lawyer they could have a field day.
    "From the relationship of estranged labor to private property it follows further that the emancipation of society from private property, etc., from servitude, is expressed in the political form of the emancipation of the workers; not that their emancipation alone is at stake, but because the emancipation of the workers contains universal human emancipation – and it contains this because the whole of human servitude is involved in the relation of the worker to production, and all relations of servitude are but modifications and consequences of this relation."

    - Karl Marx -

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.Artesian View Post
    Notice how every thread turns into a thread about DNZ as soon as he shows up? This is indicative of his personality pathology: not a single comment on anything that IN has ever produced, correctly or incorrectly, just his "experiences."
    Yes, it is really boring. I will try to return to the topic at hand. I have just read the article in your magazine about Turkey and two things struck me:

    Quote Originally Posted by IN
    Regardless of the fact that Taksim Square1 did not transform itself into Tahrir Square, there has been a major upswing in labor militancy in the past few years which seems to have no clear end in sight. Reports of yet another strike or demonstration in the past several months have managed to drown out even the more stentorian accolades to Turkey’s successful weathering of the current crisis.
    The article appears to have been written just before the last elections (June 2011), and this is certainly not the impression that I have got. To put it quite bluntly there seems to have been an absence of labour militancy since the defeat of the TEKEL strike when it could be said that there was a strike wave and people were talking about a workers' spring.

    Apart from the two day health workers strike in April, I can't think of any major strikes this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by IN
    Why the Tekel strike was so remarkable, beyond its militancy—which included hunger strikes, occupations, the formation of a tent commune in the middle of the capital city of Ankara—was the background of the workers themselves. Most closely aligned themselves to the Islamist AK Party (AKP) or the fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP), and had otherwise been staunch anti-leftists.
    I am not sure how true this is. Most of the TEKEL workers that I had close contacts with personally leaned more towards Kurdish nationalism though I realise that this obviously wasn't true for the workforce as a whole, but three of the five factories were in the South East.

    I can also remember the MHP coming down to address the workers very early in the struggle, and them not getting a particularly enthusiastic response, and basically being ignored, which one would presume wouldn't have happened if many workers had been 'closely aligned' with them.

    Devrim

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    The article appears to have been written just before the last elections (June 2011), and this is certainly not the impression that I have got. To put it quite bluntly there seems to have been an absence of labour militancy since the defeat of the TEKEL strike when it could be said that there was a strike wave and people were talking about a workers' spring.

    Apart from the two day health workers strike in April, I can't think of any major strikes this year.
    It was written before the June election, yes. Since Tekel there have been plenty of strikes in different trades, the metal workers, transit/RR workers in places like Eskisehir and Gebze. They may not be as big as Tekel, but there is a notable upsurge in trade-union led activities, particularly protests and demonstrations as well. There were even attempts back in late summer of 2010 and into the fall of Tekel workers attempting to rally their forces again.

    I agree in so far as these other strikes are not necessarily breaking with the trade unions, sure. These aren't necessarily major, crippling strikes, but they are strikes nonetheless (never made the claim that they were major).

    I am not sure how true this is. Most of the TEKEL workers that I had close contacts with personally leaned more towards Kurdish nationalism though I realise that this obviously wasn't true for the workforce as a whole, but three of the five factories were in the South East.

    I can also remember the MHP coming down to address the workers very early in the struggle, and them not getting a particularly enthusiastic response, and basically being ignored, which one would presume wouldn't have happened if many workers had been 'closely aligned' with them.
    As far as the second charge, I was referring to the voting background of many of the Turkish workers, not so much the ones from the east, although there is some (not sure about now) sympathy towards AKP. I can't claim to have scoured all the Tekel workers for their political affiliations or voting patterns, but from my own work and through contacts, it seems that many had Islamist and/or hard-right sympathies. It was clear that during the strike and even the initial stages of it, many were shocked to see how the very parties they had supported were now turning against them (I can recall an article by a pro-MHP publication which denounced the Tekel strike as have something to do with the PKK). We're literally talking about men and women who loathed the established left (quite frankly, I don't blame them) and saw them as a menace. This changed significantly, and through their own wildcat strike as well as the various "leftist" outfits which were among them in the tent commune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    It was written before the June election, yes. Since Tekel there have been plenty of strikes in different trades, the metal workers, transit/RR workers in places like Eskisehir and Gebze. They may not be as big as Tekel, but there is a notable upsurge in trade-union led activities, particularly protests and demonstrations as well. There were even attempts back in late summer of 2010 and into the fall of Tekel workers attempting to rally their forces again.

    I agree in so far as these other strikes are not necessarily breaking with the trade unions, sure. These aren't necessarily major, crippling strikes, but they are strikes nonetheless (never made the claim that they were major).
    I think that you are writing from outside Turkey, and perhaps from afar have picked up a very different impression of what is actually going on. Of course there are always strikes.

    I can remember arguing with some Arab leftists earlier this year. They were saying that Egypt was in the period of the mass strike as there wasn't a day between the last big movement at al-Mahala and the start of events in Tahir square when there wasn't a strike somewhere. I remember when I was working in the London Post Office in the late 80s and there was a period then where there wasn't a day without a strike somewhere in the London Post Office for two years. That didn't mean that there was a 'mass strike' in the London Post Office.

    The point that I quoted was this:

    Quote Originally Posted by IN
    Reports of yet another strike or demonstration in the past several months have managed to drown out even the more stentorian accolades to Turkey’s successful weathering of the current crisis.
    To me it doesn't seem to at all reflect the situation that we are living through. At the time of TEKEL you could say that this was true. Certainly strikes were erupting in various sectors at the time. Since then, however, there has been a lull. During the run up to the election this wasn't the case. Certainly there weren't strike movements that drowned out the AKP's crowing about the economy.

    In line with this I'd also mention that I was kind of surprised by the title. Taksim does not look anything like Tahir as you say, but the addition of the word yet seems to imply that we are moving in that direction. I certainly don't feel it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    There were even attempts back in late summer of 2010 and into the fall of Tekel workers attempting to rally their forces again.
    These were particularly sad. The way you put it makes it sound like there was a real attempt by the workers to revitalise the struggle. In reality, it was the actions of a dwindling group around one person. That is not to say that small groups can't play an important role in struggles, but in this case it never seemed like they would manage to 'rally their forces'. They attempted two demonstrations in Ankara (and others in İstanbul, which I didn't attend) after the struggle was effectively over. The first of these attracted about fifty people (only about a dozen or so of whom were actually TEKEL workers) and the second far less. A far cry from the high point of the struggle when there were well over 100,000 people on a demonstration in Ankara.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    As far as the second charge,
    It was not a charge Kadir, merely a comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    I was referring to the voting background of many of the Turkish workers, not so much the ones from the east,
    Firstly, the majority of the TEKEL factories (3 of 5) were in the East, so those workers actually made up a significant proportion of those there, which was even more pronounced in the early days as they seemed to have been at the centre of organising it.

    Secondly perhaps it gives a false impression to people who don't know Turkey when you say:

    Quote Originally Posted by IN
    Most closely aligned themselves to the Islamist AK Party (AKP) or the fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP), and had otherwise been staunch anti-leftists.
    What it sounds like here is that these people are militants or sympathisers of extreme rightist political parties. As we both know, in the context of Turkish politics today these two parties actually draw the majority of the electorates votes. (50% and 13% respectively).

    Then when you later say that you are talking about "the voting background of many of the Turkish workers", it would come as less of a surprise that the workers voted for the main bourgeois parties, but the way that you present it comes across as if these people were some sort of fascist or Islamicist militants. Maybe we could say that the phrase is just poorly worded.

    You right though that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    We're literally talking about men and women who loathed the established left (quite frankly, I don't blame them) and saw them as a menace.
    This maybe true for many of the workers. However, from my own experience, and I was there from the start, this loathing was never expressed at the demonstrations outside Türk-İş. On the contrary people seemed open and friendly to the left from the moment that the camp was established. Now of course, all of the 12,000 workers weren't there, and it would be unsurprising if the people willing to take militant action were at least not a little more influenced by the left, and added to this as ı said before the workers from the South Eastern factories played a major party in the initial stages of the struggle.

    What I do remember though was that Kurdish was being openly spoken down there, which for those who aren't aware of the climate in Turkey, is something that is quite rare in Ankara, and that when the MHP came down to address the workers, there was a feeling of disinterestedness and even hostility. It was certainly a long way off a group of workers being 'closely aligned' to the MHP.

    Devrim

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    First, I am not saying these were "mass strikes" which went over and beyond any trade union, but stated that there has been an increase in strike activity since Tekel.

    You're correct in that the contingent of Tekel workers which did attempt to revive the struggle or to at least keep it alive, were small, and did keep their suspicions of mainstream trade unions with them. That was my point there, I don't think I was implying anything beyond that. Other groups which struck earlier this year had answered calls from the union leaders.

    You seem to be picky on my wording, and from my own experience, and those of my comrades as well as others, many of these workers did have right-wing and Islamist leanings for certain. They were no the "shock troops" of the gray wolves, but there was not much of a question as to know for whom to vote. Were there others which were more inclined towards the left--possibly, but that didn't seem to be the reading I had gotten. But I wouldn't say the majority were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    First, I am not saying these were "mass strikes" which went over and beyond any trade union, but stated that there has been an increase in strike activity since Tekel.
    I didn't mean to suggest that you were saying that there were "mass strikes". My point there was that there are always some strikes. I don't think that there has been an increase in strike activity since TEKEL. I think that there has very clearly been a decrease.

    Devrim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadir Ateş View Post
    You seem to be picky on my wording,
    Maybe I am. I don't mean to be, sorry. It just seemed to come across to me as something a little exaggerated, which was my impression of the whole tone of the article.

    Devrim

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    Volume 1



    note: this analysis was originally intended to appear in Insurgent Notes 5. However it is unlikely that IN will appear before the end of December, 2011, and I do not believe that INcan be a significant weapon of analysis and agitation with this infrequency of appearance. I don't think TWR can become that weapon either, but at least there's less waiting. So I have "resigned my position," actually discontinued my presence on the editorial board of IN. I'm sure there will be further opportunities for collaboration and disagreement with the comrades of IN, and I certainly hope to remain personal friends with them.
    Chapters, 7, 9, 11, 13


    1. Radio Nowhere
    By the time you re-read this, it will be obsolete. Greece will have declared bankruptcy, and the European Union will have to decide whether to issue EuroBrady bonds or implode, realizing too little and too late, that it, the European Union was an idea conspicuous only in its absence.




    full here

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  15. #31
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    Very interesting article. I've had to read it 5 or 6 times to get the full meaning of it. As I understand the culmination of the current crisis (of course capitalism is crisis, an equilibrium is unusual), capitalists can extract profitability from assets which are no longer able to be fully engaged with labor power. Essentially finacialization has almost reached its limits, there's "nobody behind the curtain". This is more than just another crisis.

    I kinda sort of understand. This is extremely important but a bit difficult for me.

    Do you think B of A will be the next Lehman Brothers? There's an article in Counterpunch

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/...-glue-factory/

    I have mixed feelings about Mike Whitney.
    The only reason I can come up with, is that they know that a lot of these complex instruments are undercapitalized and ready to implode, so they want to make sure they get their money back any way possible.

    Let’s say the second biggest bank in the country is starting to teeter because it’s loaded with all manner of dodgy (toxic?) derivatives that could blow up at any minute and take down the entire global financial system. Would you (a) Wait until the bombshell exploded knowing that the only choice you would then have would be to further expand the Fed’s balance sheet by another couple trillion dollars or (b) Try to sleaze the whole thing off on Uncle Sam and let the taxpayers pick up the tab?
    I’m not sure, but I think Bernanke may have chosen (b).






    So we are in for another, very severe financial crisis, soon?
    To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget

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    I think BoA will be the next Lehman + the next Dexia + the next Bear Stearns + the next Washington Mutual + the next Ireland.

    We are already in the structural inability of capitalism to "correct" "adjust" devalue enough assets to support re-expansion.

    This is way more than a financial "crisis" although there is no doubt that the financial sector, concentrating as it does everything that capital wishes to become, is in desperate circumstances.

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    I read your article and enjoyed it, S. Artesian. It is unfortunate to hear you have left the Insurgent Notes Collective though. Do you think there is any other way out of this crisis other then A) the direct destruction of the productive forces or B) Revolution? (I suppose this is the big question on everyone's mind though)
    Make no mistake: The organization of the working class must be both economic and political. The capitalist is organized upon both lines. You must attack him on both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulappaul View Post
    I read your article and enjoyed it, S. Artesian. It is unfortunate to hear you have left the Insurgent Notes Collective though. Do you think there is any other way out of this crisis other then A) the direct destruction of the productive forces or B) Revolution? (I suppose this is the big question on everyone's mind though)
    Yes, that's the big question. No, I think those are the two directions-- either destruction of productive forces or revolution.

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