Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Anarchist Journal in Ontario

Common Cause, the new Ontario anarchist group

has launched as web site and journal, both named

LINCHPIN, available at http://linchpin.ca/

12 Comments:

Blogger Renegade Eye said...

It is functioning on a high level.

Do you think print has a place still?

11:57 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Definitely. Most people still like to have a book or magazine in hand. On line pubs like Linchpin are in PDF format exactly so people can run them off on their printers and distribute them

8:42 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Just more first-generation pro-unions crap... why hasn't the Anarchist movement grown out of this by now? Whatever happened to being against hierarchies and the ideal of self-management?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

If you feel this way, you can't know much about anarchism! Name an important anarchist theorist who was anti-trade union. Even an individualist like Tucker favored them. Ever hear of anarcho-syndicalism? This is by far the largest sector of the anarchist movement, maybe by twenty to one.
Anarchists are critical of mainstream trade unionism, as five minutes familiarity with our writings would show, but nevertheless, we see unions as an important defense mechanism for workers against the corporatist system. Furthermore, engagement with workers struggles – which in most cases means unions – is an important means for anarchist activists to show the practical nature of our viewpoint and to involve ourselves with ordinary people and break out of the counter-cultural/activist ghetto.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

I don't know of any thinker who was anti-unions because I just assume they all are... I mean, I've never read any of them about unions one way or the other.

As for how unions protect workers today, can you give an example? And how getting involved with those bands of thugs show the "practical nature" of our worldview? Is this practical nature of Anarchy shown by siding with thugs?

If that's what it is, then maybe my friends and I are not Anarchists! (although I still have yet to be convinced that unions have anything to do with Anarchy)

3:48 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

And as for not knowing much about Anarchy, I wrote a book about it that got very good reviews from Strike the Root, and Brad Spangler said he'd read it...

But hey, maybe it's complete shite. I don't know!

3:49 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

I suggest you do a little research and you will find that NONE of them were anti-union... Unions still protect workers – wages and working conditions are better in union jobs than non union. (I would not have been able to retire at 60 without unions pushing for a pension plan, nor a months paid holiday, and my wages would have been 40% lower. Merci CSN!) When the pus-sucking Liberal Govt of BC piratized hospital services, cleaners went from $17 an hour to $9.00. That is the difference. What thugs? Yes, a very small minority of union officials are criminal – probably a lot less than in other areas of life. Our complaint is that they are conservative and therefore self-serving, having more in common with the bosses than the workers. The thing is, not to get rid of unions but to convert them (or make new ones) into unions that are truly democratic, class struggle oriented and opposed to BOTH capital and the state. Such as the IWW or the Spanish CGT or the French CNT (Google them) But even a business union – for all of its many faults – is better than no union at all. If you want to know about thugs, you have to look at the history of Canadian unions – where goon squads were sent up from the US by gangster controlled unions of the AFL-CIA to smash militant Canadian unions like the Seamans Union or Mine Mill or militant locals of other "international" unions. I know of no thugs in Canadian or Quebecois unions, only Yanqui based ones. You have to work with unions, albeit in a critical fashion, because that is where most of the most conscious members of the work force are. Yes, Brad Spangler is fine with me, and maybe you understand enough about anarchism to write a passable book about it, but you are really off-base when it comes to unions and take a completely reactionary stance – your opinions are those parroted by far-right authoritarians like the Fraser Institute, who have proven themselves over and over to be the enemy of working people and the liberty we seek.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Democracy is a horrible idea already, why would you want unions to be democratic?

I think you misread my comment about thugs. I didn't say that they were criminals (although some of them are). I mean they are thugs- State-backed thugs, which is far worse than being a criminal. I work in a closed shop in Washington State and I have to pay them every month for basically nothing.

Oh, and now I'm being reactionary. That's nice. Whatever happened to Anarchists being anti-hierarchy? Like I said before, what the hell is wrong with self-management? We don't need unions or democracy in order to guard our work conditions.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Only capitalist pseudo-democracy is wrong. Direct democracy is the only real form of democracy, so-called representative democracy is merely an elective dictatorship.Anarchists practice direct democracy, and where possible consensus, in decentralized federated groupings.
"State-backed thugs," eh? That would be news to most unionists who are the victims of the state and its injunctions and cop thuggery. Tell that to the union leader who exposed the undercover pigs in Montebello!
Anti-union sentiment is classic reaction. If you walk like a duck, talk like a duck...
Self-management can at best be only partially achieved under capitalism. In order to achieve a self-managed society we must work to abolish the corporate state. In order to do this, working people and other oppressed groups must unite. Turning the unions into organs of popular struggle is part of the movement to achieve this.
Agreed, that informal groupings can fight the boss in the work place – and indeed such ideas are part of syndicalist strategy, but at some point you must create an organization if you wish to maintain and extend the struggle. Call this organization anything you want, but it ends up being a union of some kind.
All of what I am writing is pretty elementary anarchism so I would like to leave you here and suggest that you read the excellent Anarchist FAQ See http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/1931/ and Anarcho-syndicalism 101 http://as101.subvert.info/index.php to find out more about what anarchism is and is not.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

"Only capitalist pseudo-democracy is wrong. Direct democracy is the only real form of democracy, so-called representative democracy is merely an elective dictatorship."

God you leftie-anarchists are annoying.


"Anarchists practice direct democracy, and where possible consensus, in decentralized federated groupings."

Democracy and oh, by the way, we can also do consensus?? Did you get any whiplash writing that sentence?


"Tell that to the union leader who exposed the undercover pigs in Montebello!"

Yea, good for them, but that doesn't mean the union pigs are any better. The only difference is that they only have a stranglehold on you at your workplace.


"Anti-union sentiment is classic reaction. If you walk like a duck, talk like a duck..."

Anarchists are supposed to be against hierarchies, you dick. Did you not get the memo?

If it quacks like a statist...


"Self-management can at best be only partially achieved under capitalism. In order to achieve a self-managed society we must work to abolish the corporate state."

Then what are we waiting for?

-cut the irrelevant bla bla-


"All of what I am writing is pretty elementary anarchism so I would like to leave you here and suggest that you read the excellent Anarchist FAQ See http://www.geocities.com/capitolHill/1931/ and Anarcho-syndicalism 101 http://as101.subvert.info/index.php to find out more about what anarchism is and is not."

We've already read your pseudo-Anarchist FAQs, written by bigots like you who reject a whole bunch of Anarchist thinkers and people like me because we don't agree with your every position (unlike me, who doesn't exclude syndicalists from being Anarchists: in fact I support syndicalism, as long as it's about self-management, not unions, which are ruling class tools). They can go to hell.

If you want to help take down the State and hierarchies, then you're welcome to join us any time. Otherwise, have fun protesting, getting infiltrated by pigs, and looking like a complete ass on television AND making "Anarchy" equate violence to 99% of the population.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

"...looking like a complete ass on television AND making "Anarchy" equate violence to 99% of the population."

That would be news to the people who know me and read this blog.

Here folks is a fine example of the sub species Anarchicus sectarianus, a creature incapable of dealing with criticism or contradiction who can only retort with insults, posturing, and deliberate misunderstanding of the opponents position. And this is the last line I will write about this...

5:48 PM  
Blogger mollymew said...

As to the last few items on this exchange it is very much like two people taking past one another without any real mutual comprehension. Such as when one person says "alone" and another says "a loan". In normal speech the breath stop in the second item is rarely expressed. Here there are two different definitions about what "anarchism" means. Larry's definition is the classical one that most people across the world would recognize as THE definition. Tremblay's definition is pretty well restricted to the USA in the last few decades. Neither will ever convince the other.
I have to say that I obviously favour Larry's definition. What I would like to ask Tremblay, beyond the confusion of whether he is located in Montreal or in the northwest of the USA, is whether he is indeed a CA. If so, why, as his post implies, does he work for an employer when accounting skills are one of the most 'fungible' of technical skills in our society ? If entrepreneurship is so great why does he not go into private practice as so many accountants (90% of those in my acquaintance) do ? If the evil closed shop union is so bad they why not set up shop on your own ? That, of course, would be proper free enterprise. Could it possibly be, just by a far stretch of the imagination, that this closed shop has given you an income that you think you couldn't achieve by your own efforts in the free market ? I ask this as someone who has been self-employed for almost 25 years and who has been a success at it. Perhaps the old adage of "practice what you preach" would apply here.
Anyways, the two different definitions of "anarchism" come down to what I would call an 'exclusive' and an 'inclusive' definition of "freedom". Socialist anarchists want to include "freedom to" in their definition of freedom. Right wing anarchists in the USA, however much their own realistic economic choices might contradict their ideology (see above), want to define anarchism in an 'exclusive" way as merely being "freedom from". Never the twain shall meet. These are two totally different definitions of "freedom", perhaps as wildly different as "alone and a loan". The inclusive definition usually includes the exclusive one, and is broader and more ethical for that fact. Where it makes value choices it makes them, if the advocates are fully conscious, with full recognition of the fact that some things in life involve giving something up to obtain something better. I fail to see any recognition of this "tragic aspect" of reality in most things that right wing anarchists advocate. The old TANSTAFL adage seems to have escaped them when they concoct their abstractions. All power to them for taking an idea to its logical conclusion-even if they cannot live up to it in their actual life-but it seems to be very much like argueing to absurdity.
Anyways, to return to the first few comments before the argument began. Why print ? Well, unless you are willing to squint and endure major inconvenience every time you read, you have to accept the fact that there are many situations in life where a print version is 100,000 X superior to reading something off a screen. There is simply physical incompatibily between readability and portability that is unlikely to ever be resolved soon. It may be fine to read your email on a blackberry at the airport, providing you recognize how inconvenient it is. You will, however, hopefully have something better to read than email, something more interesting, and that requires print. Try to imagine the idea of sitting for a doctor's appointment over 2 hours after the scheduled time(Molly recently got in only one hour late) with nothing but what you can carry in your pocket for amusement to appreciate how sanity preserving print is. Most of life is lived awy from a readable computer screen.

9:16 PM  

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