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 Post subject: Self-Defense Training as Necessity and As An Organizing Tool
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:41 pm 
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https://anticapital0.wordpress.com/self ... zing-tool/

We have seen the opening of several facilities intended strictly to serve as self-defense for minorities or antifa most notably/recently

https://antifascistnews.net/2017/04/18/ ... scist-gym/

The next question, assuming we can obtain these skills and disperse them around our movement fairly broadly. How can we link up to defend minorities using these skills, where do we go from simple self-defense to defense of the class as a class.

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 Post subject: Re: Self-Defense Training as Necessity and As An Organizing
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:41 pm 
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Continuation of remarks re religion and socialism, JAI's article

Here are the editorial remarks:

Quote:
“If you build it, they will come.”

Editor’s Note:

There is much in John Imani’s article with which we disagree, not the least of which is the attempted “reconciliation” of Christianity with socialism. It was in the Manifesto of the Communist Party that Marx wrote, “Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge.” Throughout the history of the workers’ movement up to and beyond the post-war communist movement, fractions of varying degrees of influence and size have adapted themselves to forms of social Christianity (or faith in general), trying to mine the ‘progressive’ elements of religion for use in the emancipation of the working-class and the revolutionary movement toward communism. But these adaptations can only mimic the construction of a revolutionary movement. Whether talking about Christian trade unions, past and present (Germany, Canada, France), labor priests (and one doesn’t have to go far back in history to find their reactionary role—i.e. A.E. Staley lock-out in the 1990’s) or attempts by revolutionaries to co-opt religious institutions (Latin America)—it is a heritage of practical capitulation to what are inherently reactionary institutions and ideologies. The socialist revolution will be made against religion because religion will be, as it always has been, against the socialist revolution– and the existence of religious faith will be, as it always has been, a major barrier to communism.

Moreover, we disagree with the separation of “private property”– privately owned commercial buildings, privately owned means of production– and government property. Government and class are indissolubly linked by and in the reproduction of property through the exploitation of labor. While it may be tactically easier to seize ostensibly ‘public’ property that has been abandoned, it should not go without comment that all property belongs to us, we just haven’t seized it yet. The establishment of property, public or private, comes only at the use of batons, bayonets, bullets, and bombs. The entire existing means of production today was of course created by the working class, whether or not those means of production are State owned or privately held, they had to be first wrested from the hands of the workers that produced them. We should not make a fetish of ‘public’ land, as though we are entitled to the use of it in distinction from ‘private’ land which we are not entitled to the use of. All property was created by the working class, and as such we must make no distinction in our theoretical approach to seizing State assets as opposed to private assets, one may be easier or more difficult as the situation exists, but in principal all property was created and belongs to the working class.

We don’t believe that “charity” plays a role in the struggle against exploitation, as charity is essentially a gesture made to the helpless.

Nevertheless, John’s emphasis on the importance of self-defense training as a collective endeavor, as building a collaborative organization, is something with which we agree wholeheartedly.

–Anti-Capital






John has provided his response:
Quote:
Reply to the Editorial Notes on the asserted "attempted “reconciliation” of Christianity with socialism"


I am not a Christian. I was not advocating Christianity. I do not advocate for or against any religion. This, my, position on religion is political not theological; the same for my views on God. I simply do not have sufficient information to either declare for God's existence nor against it. But I await no pie-in-the-sky deliverance from evil. If such were the case then I would be monk and not a revolutionary.


My point on the Socialist Party and its Sunday schools was to demonstrate the depth and breadth that a successful revolutionary organization must wield if it is to be successful. I also predicted that revolutionaries would operate restaurants. By the same token, the attack upon my 'religiosity' then ought be accompanied by the charge of my advocating petit-bourgeois capitalism which I certainly do not.


Indeed the point of the inclusion of the quotation from the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 4, Verses 32 to 35 was to unveil to the many unaware of its existence and significance the weapon against capitalism posed in words that those ancient Christians were communists.


And Marx is neither God nor a god. In my opinion, he makes a tremendous fundamental mistake in the politics of his political economy with his comments in his passage on the 'Commanding Will' when he writes: "On the one hand, all labour in which many individuals co-operate necessarily requires a commanding will to co-ordinate and unify the process, and functions which apply not to partial operations but to the total activity of the workshop, much as that of an orchestra conductor. This is a productive job, which must be performed in every combined mode of production." In this Trotsky's militarization of labor paved the way to the latter's reduction to an appendage to the Communist Party and the end of any hope of communism. The same was so with the re-initiation of rank in the Red Army. And more can be justified with reference to that quote from Marx.

The church of his time was a political as well as an economic bulwark of the existing orders wielding an influence to a degree it does not possess today. And Marx was not only right to attack its authority but compelled to by its position as backstop of ancien regimes, still-existing feudalism and capitalism. And the underpinning of its political-economic power was its hold on the question of morality. Thus religious morality (where class-based) was, ought and must be attacked.

Those who wish to rail against religion most certainly have their rights to do so. But they do not and cannot make such a position a requirement for entree into, by what such rules would amount to being, a club of revolutionaries whose religion is no religion.


JAI


The following remarks represent only my view on this issue.

I'm not demanding that John or anyone advocate against religion. However, I do insist on an historically accurate assessment of the role religion has played in maintaining structures, and relations, of oppression and exploitation. Citing 2 or 3 verses of the New Testament as authority for the benevolence of Christianity, and its acceptance of socialism, is not that historically accurate assessment.

As for restaurants, John said there would be restaurants in a revolutionary society. A restaurant is a social space organized around fulfilling a practical human need. Restaurants, collective dining, outside the framework of individual, or nuclear families, does not automatically involve a commercial relation, nor a relation of domination. Modern religion not only assumes both, it is inconceivable (!), literally, without both. If John argued that the revolution will inevitably and eternally require hierarchic relations between server and served, or commercial relations between server, served, and "owners"......yeah I'd take exception to that too.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to find the roots of Lenin and Trotsky's (the original impulse was shared by Lenin and Trotsky; Lenin changed when resistance strengthened) advocacy of the militarization of labor in Marx's remarks, rather than in the social conditions of the new Soviet society, the decimation of the working class in the civil war, and the desperate circumstances the Bolsheviks found and made, for themselves. I mean you can find a quote to justify anything you want, I guess, but that doesn't explain why anyone thinks the quote has any applicability for any issue at any point.

Finally, this "The church of his time was a political as well as an economic bulwark of the existing orders wielding an influence to a degree it does not possess today. " is again not historically accurate. The "church" as a singular institution may or may not wield as much power as it once did. There is no doubt that the intensified, and extensive, wave of reaction in the US, and elsewhere, is accompanied, produced, quickened, by growing religious identification.


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 Post subject: Re: Self-Defense Training as Necessity and As An Organizing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:01 pm 
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The portions of JAI's reply to the editorial remarks that stand out to me:

Quote:
Indeed the point of the inclusion of the quotation from the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 4, Verses 32 to 35 was to unveil to the many unaware of its existence and significance the weapon against capitalism posed in words that those ancient Christians were communists.


I've had trouble with this basic issue in other contexts: what relevance do pre-capitalist movements that were explicitly or implicitly "communist" have for the communism of the proletariat? I can't see them as representing examples of some kind of transhistoric tendency toward communism, nor providing something useful to the contemporary revolutionary movement.

The problem with such bible quotes is that more than enough counter-examples can also be found, like

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust." 1 Peter 2:18

which are used concretely against the contemporary working-class:

"Unions may represent a group of employees and negotiate a contract with an employer to their mutual benefit. However, if the union uses tactics to try and force an employer to give more than he is willing to give then we have a sinful, unBiblical, oppressive situation. No Christian should support such activity which is actually criminal extortion.

This means that strikes are totally wrong. No Christians should ever vote for a strike for any reason. Any job action designed to hurt the employer's business or force him in a contract against his will is sin."


http://www.free-bible-study-lessons.com/unions.html

And that remains on the terrain of the text and theoretical discussion; that doesn't even scratch the surface of the tangible, practical, concrete practice of religion (institutions, movements, groups, etc.).

I understand the point regarding the Socialist Party of America and agree that the depth and breadth of the revolutionary party must be immense-- but don't think the example of Socialist-religious schools is a positive example.

Quote:
Those who wish to rail against religion most certainly have their rights to do so. But they do not and cannot make such a position a requirement for entree into, by what such rules would amount to being, a club of revolutionaries whose religion is no religion.


Apologies for the lengthy quote, but it works:

Quote:
Engels frequently condemned the efforts of people who desired to be “more left” or “more revolutionary” than the Social-Democrats, to introduce into the programme of the workers’ party an explicit proclamation of atheism, in the sense of declaring war on religion. Commenting in 1874 on the famous manifesto of the Blanquist fugitive Communards who were living in exile in London, Engels called their vociferous proclamation of war on religion a piece of stupidity, and stated that such a declaration of war was the best way to revive interest in religion and to prevent it from really dying out. Engels blamed the Blanquists for being unable to understand that only the class struggle of the working masses could, by comprehensively drawing the widest strata of the proletariat into conscious and revolutionary social practice, really free the oppressed masses from the yoke of religion, whereas to proclaim that war on religion was a political task of the workers’ party was just anarchistic phrase-mongering.


https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/ ... may/13.htm

There is a difference between the atheism of communism and provoking anti-religious policies as a matter of politics. I think the accusation that the editorial comments were "railing against religion" would be accurate only if these editorial comments were not made in response to the positive affirmation in the article that religious faith and religious institutions have a potential role to play or progressive function to carry out in the revolutionary movement.


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