[imc-northern] Banning groups advocating a "vanguard strategy for revolution"?
chris at anargeek.net
Fri Aug 21 05:23:10 PDT 2009
On Tue 18-Aug-2009 at 12:11:50PM +0100, Jim Dog wrote:
> Chris raised a really good point in irc last night hat perhaps we should
> clarify our guidelines along the lines of the RiseUp social contract
> which can be found here:
> And includes the following which I propose we work into our editorial
> "Riseup.net affirms common cause and solidarity with a broad spectrum of
> the political left. However, there are some things which we cannot
> support. We ask that you do not use riseup.net services to advocate any
> of the following:
> * Support for capitalism, domination, or hierarchy.
> * The idea that class oppression supersedes race or gender oppression.
> * A vanguard strategy for revolution.
> * Population control."
My point was that if you want to ban groups like the RCG then doing so
for their advocation of a "vanguard strategy for revolution" *might* be
a clearer way of doing it than using the no "political parties or other
hierarchical organisations" guideline.
However I'm not convinced that it is necessary to ban the RCG or have
such an additional guideline.
Also if you do want to go down this road then you might need to define
the term "vanguard", this might be a starting point for this:
In any social movement there is a vanguard and a mass. On one side,
the vanguard, are groups of people who are more resolute and
committed, better organised and able to take a leading role in the
struggle, and on the other side, the mass, are larger numbers of
people who participate in the struggle or are involved simply by their
social position, but are less committed or well-placed in relation to
the struggle, and will participate only in the decisive moments, which
in fact change history.
The Marxist theory of the vanguard, in relation to class struggle
under capitalism, stipulates that the working class, the mass, needs
to be militantly lead through revolutionary struggle against
capitalism and in the building of Socialism. The Communist vanguard is
theoretically made up of the forefront of workers who are engaged in
direct struggles against the capitalist state, and who occupy an
advanced position in constructively and creatively building the
And *perhaps* this, *unreferenced*, paragraph should be considered (my
history isn't good enough to know how accurate this is):
Although most anarchists and radical libertarians reject vanguardism
in principle as inherently authoritarian, the practices of some
anarchist groups have been criticized by their peers for constituting
vanguardism of the intellectual, if not organizational,
variety. Vanguardism was in fact an intrinsic element
of anarcho-syndicalism and revolutionary syndicalism in both France
and Spain in the early 20th Century. Theorists such as Georges Sorel
and vanguard groups such as the Spanish Federación Anarquista Ibérica
viewed the ordinary worker as being too complacent to revolt
spontaneously, due to his having been 'brainwashed' by capitalism and
reformism, and it was thus seen to be the duty of the 'enlightened'
anarchist to prepare a revolutionary situation in which spontaneous
mass rebellion could erupt. At times, this even led
to an ostensibly elitist anarchism: the French CGT's reformist
majority was excluded from input in the pivotal 1906 Amiens Congress,
as the Union's anarchosyndicalist leaders considered moderate workers
to be unqualified to decide policy for a Union whose direction was to
be revolutionary and apolitical.
It seems ironic that there was once a publication called "Vanguard: A
Libertarian Communist Journal" ...
As for the other points in the riseup.net social contract I'm not sure
they really apply to Indymedia sites in the UK in terms of the content
that is posted.
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