New anarchist organisation, The Anarchist Communist Group

February 2024 Forums Events and announcements New anarchist organisation, The Anarchist Communist Group

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  • #86024
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    Founding Conference of New Anarchist Organisation, the Anarchist Communist Group

    On Saturday 17th February, anarchist communist militants met in Leicester to found a new organisation, the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG). Those present adopted  Aims and Principles and a constitution. The preamble to the Aims and Principles reads:

    “We are a revolutionary anarchist communist organisation made up of local groups and individuals who seek a complete transformation of society, and the creation of anarchist communism. This will mean the working class overthrowing capitalism, abolishing the State, getting rid of exploitation, hierarchies and oppressions, and halting the destruction of the environment. To contribute to the building of a revolutionary anarchist movement we believe it is important to be organised. We are committed to building an effective national and international organisation that has a collective identity and works towards the common goal of anarchist communism, whilst at the same time working together with other working class organisations and in grass roots campaigns. We do not see ourselves as the leaders of a revolutionary movement but part of a wider movement for revolutionary change. In addition, we strive to base all our current actions on the principles that will be the basis of the future society: mutual aid, solidarity, collective responsibility, individual freedom and autonomy, free association and federalism.”

    The discussion document “Potential Activities Of A New Organisation” was discussed and adopted. Initial emphasis would be on agitational literature and activity around Land Justice, housing, workplace organising and solidarity and the NHS. In addition, there was a commitment to street agitation-stickers and posters.
    It was decided that the ACG should focus on the campaign against Universal Credit using the Disabled People Against Cuts slogan “Stop It and Scrap It”. Leicester ACG agreed to make and circulate leaflets and stickers in regards to Universal Credit, capable of being locally adapted.

    It was also agreed to hold Annual Day Schools. The first of these will be in early November 2018 in London on the subject of “Advancing The Class Struggle: Problems and Issues for the Anarchist Communists”.
    It was agreed to bring out a newspaper that will be primarily agitational. The first issue should appear in April of this year. In addition we will be establishing a new website soon. We will also soon be producing a series of pamphlets.

    It was agreed to seek affiliation to the International of Anarchist Federations and to attend the forthcoming international conference in Slovenia.

    A motion was passed on Anarchist Communist Unity. It reads:
    “Whilst recognising the differences between our organisation and others on the libertarian communist spectrum in Britain – Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, Libertarian Socialist Federation, etc. – we should seek to promote where possible: joint solidarity work with comrades facing repression, imprisonment, bad health, either here or in the rest of the world; joint solidarity work over workplace struggles – joint bulletins where possible, joint fundraising and publicity etc.”

    The conference was marked by a spirit of enthusiasm and by a business-like approach. We intend making ourselves known through our activities, propaganda and development of theory.

    #132057
    KAZ
    Participant

    Links to other organisations: I suggested that we also open channels to the SPGB. Chappy (who takes the Standard and thinks youse guys are swell!) shot me down in flames. It was kind of inappropriate as I can't see any of that stuff appealing to any of you in retrospect or even being allowed given the hostility clause. By the way, am I still entitled to be on here? I got wiped off the AFed's one asap.

    #132058
    Brian
    Participant
    KAZ wrote:
    Links to other organisations: I suggested that we also open channels to the SPGB. Chappy (who takes the Standard and thinks youse guys are swell!) shot me down in flames. It was kind of inappropriate as I can't see any of that stuff appealing to any of you in retrospect or even being allowed given the hostility clause. By the way, am I still entitled to be on here? I got wiped off the AFed's one asap.

    The forum is open to users who have a query concerning the case for socialism.  You are entitled to be on here as long has there's no breach of the rules which results in an indefinite suspension.  An indefinite suspension is not a permanent ban but a period determined by the seriousness of the breach of any of the rules.

    #132059
    KAZ
    Participant

    Blimey sounds like I'm on your hit list.

    #132060
    KAZ
    Participant

    "I'm warning you sonny"

    #132061
    KAZ
    Participant

    I've put a smiley there to indicate that I am, once again, being a smart arse bastard. I was kind of hoping that someone might comment about the hostility clause. Clearly it works both ways. 

    #132062
    Brian
    Participant
    KAZ wrote:
    I've put a smiley there to indicate that I am, once again, being a smart arse bastard. I was kind of hoping that someone might comment about the hostility clause. Clearly it works both ways. 

    As well you know I may add.  The hostility clause is the declaration of our willing participation in the class war.  But that is not to say we are on the defensive, we are just notifying those who support capitalism – wittingly or unwittingly – we have no intention of being or becoming passive and docile servants of the ruling class.  And therefore, we are taking the offensive.

    #132063
    Mike Foster
    Participant
    KAZ wrote:
    I was kind of hoping that someone might comment about the hostility clause. Clearly it works both ways. 

    The 'hostility clause' certainly doesn't prevent the SPGB arranging debates with other organisations, nor does it mean those debates would have to be 'hostile' in tone! Personally, I'd like more dialogue with anarchist groups, in the spirit of learning about different approaches and perspectives.

    #132064
    Rusty Pigfumbler
    Participant

    Debates are more interesting if they are hostile -as the Hostility Clause demands they should be. The Socialist Party is more into 'engaging' these days. 'Reaching out' and all that palaver. Not that it has done them any good. Every anarchist I have come across has despised the Socialist Party. It annoys them because it doesn't fit into to their view that Marxian Socialism is inherently authoritarian.No one put it better than Stalin: 'Some people believe that Marxism and Anarchism are based on the same principles and that the disagreements between them concern only tactics…This is a great mistake. We believe that Anarchists are real enemies of Marxism. Accordingly we also hold that a real struggle must be waged against real enemies.'The founders of the Socialist Party would have endorsed this.

    #132065
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

     Our hostility clause certainly does appear unique and it has always been subject to regular debate within the Party. It can justifiably be put down to the 19th-century social democrat roots of our Party since it stems from the early members experience of the SDF and the Socialist League. William Morris together with Aveling, Eleanor Marx, Belfort Bax and other members of the SDF, resigned and issued a statement giving their reasons, for  "a body independent of the Social Democratic Federation".  Yet they added: "We have therefore set on foot an independent organisation, the Socialist League, with no intention of acting in hostility to the Social Democratic Federation”. The main weakness, as some saw it, of the Socialist League, was that it "had no intention of acting in hostility" to the SDF. When the Socialist Party was formed, its members made sure our Declaration of Principles would include a hostility clause against all other parties (such as the SDF) who advocated palliatives, not socialism.When it was drawn up, the early members envisaged the party developing rapidly into a mass party, and not remaining the small educational group that we have been up to the present. And in that context is our party is not going to do any election or parliamentary deals with any other political party, either to get elected or to obtain reforms. Basically, the hostility clause applies to political parties, organisations aiming at winning control of political power. In the eyes of those who drew it up, it was about the attitude that a mass socialist party should take towards other political parties.The hostility clause doesn't mean that we are hostile to everything. There are a whole range of non-socialist organisations out there, ranging from trade unions to community action groups which we are not opposed. Nor does the Clause 7 read"If you are not in the SPGB, you are automatically anti-socialist." There are, and always have been, socialists outside the party in the sense of people who want to see established, like us, a class-free, state-free, wage and money-free society based on common ownership and democratic control with production solely for use not profit. We should recognise this. Okay, we consider that they hold a mistaken view of how to get there but clearly they are not in the same category as openly pro-capitalist groups. So what about the anarchists? We are not opposed to them because they represent some section of the capitalist class. We are opposed to them because we disagree with their proposed method of getting rid of capitalism rather and that opposition doesn't need to go as far as “hostility”.A better attitude to them is to engage them in comradely debate to try to convince them that the tactics they favour to achieve socialism are mistaken and they should join us. Of course, we think that the tactics anarchists espouse such as insurrection (no longer popular among the anarchist these days) or a general strike (which still retain much of its appeal) is dangerous to the working-class interest and we openly we say so, opposing them. We disagree with the way they are proposing to or fellow-workers as a means to establish socialism — and, of course, they are against what we suggest. The SPGB and the anarchists agree to disagree. Comradely disagreements. We aren't challenging one other's socialist credentials. And our opposing respective views are put forward to our fellow-workers and in the end, it will be they who will decide what to do. The socialist movement must be a working-class movement. It must depend upon the working class initiative and intelligence. Until the requisite knowledge is equal to the task there can be no emancipatory liberation for the workers. We do not seek to substitute the party for the class or see the party as a vanguard leading the masses to the Promised Land.In 1904 we raised the banner for such a single, mass socialist party and proclaimed the party as the basis or embryo of such a party (Clause 8). Not only did the working class in general, or in any great numbers, not "muster under its banner"  but neither did all socialists. So we were left as a small propagandist group and continue to be. And that is what we must address.  That's my view, anyway, heretical or not. 

    #132066
    KAZ
    Participant
    Mike Foster wrote:
    Personally, I'd like more dialogue with anarchist groups, in the spirit of learning about different approaches and perspectives.

    Mike: With one or two exceptions, I honestly don't think the modern anarchist movement has much to teach the SPGB. It's pretty toxic to be honest. One problem that we do share, however, is a participation problem. In terms of organisation, the new ACG is making attendance at full meetings (ADM/ Conference equivalent) compulsory (ie you have to have a good excuse not to be there) – in the same way that SPGB EC members are supposed to attend EC meetings – and abolished formal delegation (you can forward your views via any member who is attending). I'm not suggesting the SPGB does this but seems like a good idea to me. It also avoids the problem of using delegate status to legitimise your own views. I've probably done this in the past before.

    #132067
    KAZ
    Participant
    Rusty Pigfumbler wrote:
    No one put it better than Stalin: 'Some people believe that Marxism and Anarchism are based on the same principles and that the disagreements between them concern only tactics…This is a great mistake. We believe that Anarchists are real enemies of Marxism. Accordingly we also hold that a real struggle must be waged against real enemies.' The founders of the Socialist Party would have endorsed this.

    Gurgle! Splutter! Not sure if quoting that murderous old red fascist is an appropriate way to back up SPGB principles and policy. Like the SPGB, anarchists certainly were the enemies of Stalin's 'Marxism' even if some collaborated with it (they all came to sticky ends). The true enemy of all socialists (anarchists being a subset) is capitalism, although some seem to have trouble recognising this. If the Founders really did endorse this sentiment, incidentally, why would they be selling literature by Kropotkin – the 'Anarchist Prince'?

    #132068
    ALB
    Keymaster

    When the SPGB was founded a lot of anarchists really were the bomb-throwers they are caricatured as:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1910s/1911/no-86-october-1911/why-socialists-oppose-anarchismOthers were "individualists":http://socialiststandardmyspace.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/the-conflict-between-anarchism-and.htmlIt is not true, eiher, that anarchism is a subset of socialism. Some anarchists do stand for socialism (as a classless, stateless, moneyless, wageless society) but only a minority.

    #132069
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Getting back to the hostility clause, I think it is something that we in the NE Branch have always taken very seriously, even when dealing with each other

    #132070
    ALB
    Keymaster
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