Friday, August 22, 2014

Anarchism, Chile, Self-management, Argentina

 
 The following translations or summaries: 
 
Chile

Declaration of the Libertarian Left Before the Aug 21 Mobilization (*)

Chilean people are out in the street to push for real changes in education and for a new system of public education. The Libertarian Left supports the demands of the popular movements in the streets for free, public and quality education and for the social rights we struggle actively for.

The New Majority Government has lost its energy to realize the reforms that it promised during the presidential election. On the contrary it has given into the logic of the right-wing parties and is promoting merely cosmetic measures, not those that would transform the system of education. The New Majority is using its forces to coopt the student demands, subordinate the student movement and the social movements in order to create a "new accord" with the Right and the bosses...
This example (the struggle of students and workers for the reform. LG) demonstrates to us that the transforming reforms come solely from the organized student movement which has demonstrated a willingness to dialogue, to mobilize and as a consequence link with social demands...
We salute and greet the national mobilization of August 21 with the conviction that whatever reform will be institutionalized the main actor will be the social movement and it alone can respond against the interests of the elite.
For Liberty and Socialism,
Frente de Estudiantes Libertarios Chile
UMLEM
Oganizacion Communista Libertaria
Izquierda Libertaria

* Several hundred thousand students and workers demonstrated across Chile August 21 to push for genuine reform of the educational system, LG



Anarchists in the Labour Movement
Sintec (Construction workers union with 8000 members) is led by Cristián Vivar, an anarchist, and is part of a general resurgence of anarchism within the Chilean trade union movement. They are also involved with the dockers, wood workers, retail and municipal workers as well as this year, the election of FEL member Melissa Sepulvada to the presidency of the Chilean Student Federation. The Asociación Chilena de Seguridad (ACHS) with 1200 members, presided over by another libertarian, Víctor Quijada who is also a director of the Unión Clasista de Trabajadores, a rival federation of the mainstream CUT.
According to Left Libertarian, Manu García, this development is not recent. "We worked quietly for some years. Not only the relation with FEL and the unions, but the presence of libertarian militants already in the unions."
http://www.lasegunda.com/Noticias/Nacional/
2014/08/955977/anarquistas-ganan-terreno
-en-sindicatos-e-incluso-asesoran-en-negociaciones 

Argentina
The Federation of Argentine Worker Cooperatives (Federación Argentina de Cooperativas de Trabajadores Autogestionados -FACTA- ) is formalizing its entry into the CTA. (Argentine Workers Confederation)
FACTA groups together 60 coops with about 2000 members. For the CTA this incorporation helps bolster class unity and adds a dimension distinct from that of the usual boss-worker relation. FACTA will be invitede to participate in the next Congress of CTA and will bring with it the demands specific to self-managed workers.

http://www.cta.org.ar/trabajadores-autogestionados-se.html 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Appeasement And All That

Every time the US Empire and its satraps decide to attack some country, they accuse the opponents of such aggression “appeasers.” That our corporate masters should have the gall to use this term is shocking. But this will take a little historical explanation. Had the French Army occupied the Rhine in 1934, Hitler would be a footnote in history. Contrary to the Treaty of Versailles, the Nazis sent troops into the region, but nothing was done. The French right-wing – at that time in power - appeased the Nazis. Much of the left remembering the union sacree of 1914 opposed any action. But Hitler was not Kaiser Bill. The pacifists were fighting against the last war. So 50,000,000 people ended up dying in the future war, a war that could have been stopped with few causalities in 1934, as the German Army was far weaker than the French at this time. After the Rhine occupation, Germany re-militarized – also in opposition to the Versailles Treaty. Then came their aggression in Spain, the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and the seizure of Austria. Again not a finger was lifted to stop the Nazi advance. Hitler became seen as “invincible” , not because of any genius for political machinations, but simply because he had this string of victories. And as we know, “nothing succeeds like success.” The reason for Hitler's victories lay in the fact that the European and American ruling classes wanted him to win. He was their golden boy to stop the spread of socialism. Even Churchill was a Johnny-come-lately anti-fascist and only opposed the Nazis when he realized that they might threaten the British Empire. Had Hitler's bluff been called early on, his “magic touch” would have vanished and the German ruling classes would have sought another political device. The defeat of Fascism in Spain would have been a big victory for the left, further radicalizing the populations of Britain and France, which is why the rulers were opposed. The French far-right and the Radical Socialists (Neither radical or socialist, but centre-right) supported the Falange and prevented French intervention in Spain. A stronger personality than President Leon Blum, might have supported the Spanish left anyway, but being the person he was, he did not, and a golden opportunity was missed. Most of the American rulers and political establishment of the 1930s – the same group pooping bricks over the New Deal – were soft on fascism. Many like Ford, Hurst, and the Duponts were out and out pro-Nazi. They were on the outs with the Roosevelt people and especially had to pull in their horns when the US got into WW2. The more radical New Dealers were forced out at the end of the war and the former Hitler-appeasers came swinging back in. The American ruling class – largely appeasers, remember, feared a post-war depression. Rather than opting for social democracy as in some European countries, they went for military Keynsianism – the permanent war economy. In order to do this they needed some booga-booga – a scary-puppet enemy to rationalize all this waste of tax payer money. Stalin was quickly substituted for their former pal Hitler and Communism replaced Nazism as the world-conquering totalitarian threat. As cruel as Stalin was, he was not Hitler Mark 2. Nor was Stalinist “communism” Nazism. Stalin was actually a very cautious and conservative dictator, far too intelligent and knowledgeable to have loony fantasies about conquering the world. All he wanted was to maintain his sphere of influence and to be surrounded by nations that were not hostile to the USSR. The last thing he wanted was revolutions or more wars. Successful revolutions in Western Europe would have threatened the Stalinist regime far more than neutral or even pro-US regimes. US wars of aggression in Korea and Vietnam as well as coups against democratic governments like Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954 were marketed like they were versions of D-Day. Those who appeased the Nazis – and every other type of fascism, before and after WW2, accused those who questioned the US war and subversion machine as “appeasers.” The liberals gobbled up this propaganda and became fanatical Cold Warriors. One more lost opportunity, after this string of lost opportunities; the Cold War might have been avoided, but thanks to the liberals it wasn't. Millions died as a result of their cowardice and trillions of dollars squandered on military expenditure. Enough wealth to end poverty world-wide. The liberals lack of clear thinking, their falling for cheap emotionalism (in spite of their endless bellowing about Reason) and their inability to distinguish between one historical situation and another was disgraceful. One expects as much from the pro-fascist appeaser wing of the ruling class, but not from those who fancy themselves as progressives. But they didn't want the old Nazi appeasers accusing them of appeasing “communism.” SORRY FOR LACK OF PARAGRAPHS BUT THIS FUNCTION IS NOW NOT WORKING, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM PROGRAMS DESIGNED BY MORONS?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anarchist Out-Reach, An Idea

During the past few years an interesting DIY mutual aid phenomenon has popped up. You may have one in your neighborhood, a tiny free library consisting of basically an outdoor cupboard with shelves for books. People leave books and others borrow or keep them. (Hopefully, more borrowing than keeping, but if someone loves a book so much they wish to keep it, fine by me.) With the decline in the number of book shops and the public library seemingly concentrating more on “best sellers” rather than keeping a large permanent stock, the little libraries are helping to fill those gaps. According to the web site, http://littlefreelibrary.org/ (SORRY, ONCE MORE THE HYPERLINK NOT WORKING, THE IDIOTS) there are 15,000 of these libraries world wide. But that includes only the libraries that have contacted the organization. For example, my city is credited with only a single little library, when I know of at least 4 others. So there may be more like 50 or 60,000!
Now here is a great opportunity to get people acquainted with anarchist ideas. Select some basic, introductory book on anarchism and leave it at your neighborhood little library. Some suggestions – Colin Ward's “Anarchy in Action”, Kropotkin's “Fields, Factories and Workshops”. Whatever... but they should be geared towards people who have no idea, or worse, the wrong ideas, about anarchism. Essentially, stuff too esoteric, weird or resonating with sectarian infighting should be completely avoided. Since these libraries often take pamphlets and periodicals, those too may be left, but with the same proviso as the books. Whatever you do, don't overdo it. People will get annoyed if you cram the shelves with anarchist materials. No one likes to have ideas shoved down their throats. A couple of books is enough. Monitor the library to see that the books are being borrowed. If it is plain that someone has taken them permanently, then replace them. If you have an anarchist group in your town, acquiring basic anarchist books and stocking the little libraries could be one of you activities. If your neighborhood doesn't have a little library, the group could take it on as a task to create one. I have no idea how many people actually use these libraries, but suppose it was only two hundred in the course of a year, with say 5 libraries in town, you have a potential readership of a thousand people, the vast majority of whom you would otherwise never be in contact with.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The BRICS Bank and US Global Empire

And you wondered why the US Corporate State is attacking Russia? http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/29/the-future-of-the-brics-development-bank/ Sorry but the hyperlink function is no longer working - typically designed by idiots

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ISIS - Made in the USA

Kevin Carson hits the nail on the head - as he always does - and exposes the role the US state and its British satrap played in creating the islamo-fascist terrorist group, ISIS. See http://c4ss.org/content/29482

Flight MH-17

Amid all the hate-mongering by the media about Flight MH-17, it is a relief to read an objective report. For anyone naive enough to believe the mass media, remember the lies that led up to the US attacking Iraq.
See http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2014/07/fact-free-zone.html#more

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Craftsman Bungalow



No style is better suited to the environment of the Pacific North West as the craftsman house. This concept of house design grew out of the arts and crafts movement initiated by the libertarian socialist William Morris in the late 19th Century. The idea was to build solid, tasteful houses of local materials that fit into the environment.
 
Fit in they did. Constructed of lumber and stone, they had steeply pitched roofs and wide eves for the rain. Deep verandahs on the front and sides provided natural air conditioning in the summer and an outdoor room in the mild but wet months. The houses were placed near the street and with the front porch made for easy communications with passers-by and thus helped stimulate community. The slight set-back meant for a large back yard on an otherwise small lot.
 
Most of the craftsman bungalows were one and a half stories high, allowing for upstairs bedrooms. Such compactness once again allowed for a smaller lot. It also meant that construction costs were cheaper than a sprawling one story structure. An extra four feet of wall costs far less than an 20 feet of roof and concrete foundation. Since heat travels up, these bedrooms cost less for heating. The problem of hot rooms in the summer could be offset by window placement and awnings.
 
The more expensive craftsman are truly a joy to the eye. Stained and beveled glass above the windows and the front door. Oak doors, wainscotting, stonework and stone fireplaces were common. This is a style that was never ostentatious, phony or tawdry, unlike some of the houses that came later. If the owners were trying to send a message to passers-by, it was one of good taste, modesty and decency.
 
Craftsman were built roughly 1905-1930, though I have seen houses dating from the 1940s still influenced by them. This perfect West Coast style was replaced by the idiocies of fashion and design disconnected from the environmental and social necessities. First came the ersatz Southern California Spanish style of flat roofs and pseudo adobe. So perfect for our rainy weather. Then the phony ranch house, sprawling across the enormous lot, now needed. Today, the hideous, vinyl-clad, three car McMansion, a true monument to bad taste, bad planning and poor construction.
 
The depths of this idiocy were plumbed with the “leaky condo crisis” here in BC. The building regulations were set for dry Manitoba and not the wet coast. Naturally the condos leaked. Thanks to the criminality of corporate law, those responsible for this travesty were never held to account and the poor devils who purchased condos had to cough up for the highly expensive repairs.
 
The change in house style mirrors perverse socio-economic change. From solidity and modesty to trashy, disposable show off. This represents the corporatization of society, something largely absent in 1905. Alienation is at the core of corporate domination, so it should be of no surprise to you that the front porch had to go and the houses were deeply set back to eliminate communication. The sprawling house needs a bigger lot and so the cost was driven up. The garage, at one time hidden in the back lane, is moved to the front and it its latest manifestation, the snout house, obscures the dwelling completely. Neighborhoods begin to look like industrial parks. This shouldn't surprise you, given that the corporatist mentality is essentially totalitarian.

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