Tag Archives: anarchism

Jewellery & Capitalism; gender, class and the environment. Thurs 16th Feb

Jewellery and Capitalism talk and discussion, Thursday 16th February 7-9pm at GAS

Jewellery is a universal form of adornment dating back tens of thousands of years. This talk presented by Maddie, a jeweller and anarchist, explores some of the history of jewellery; its socio-economic significance, how it relates to gender, class, the environment and how it has been used and adapted by over the ages. Prepare to learn a whole new side to jewellery; a vast global business based around mythology, sentiment, status, ownership, exploitation and extremely successful marketing.

Magpies picking over deer carcass

 

Advertisements

Repost: Anarchist Thugs Respond: A Word About Saturday’s Events at Downing Street

Read the full article here.

image

“The masters of London have to be made to understand that they are surrounded by enemies. We outnumber them. Their entire strategy has been based on the assumption that we are better people than they are. They’re right of course. We are. We would never dream of kicking anyone out of their homes – even them. We’d never resort to guns and bombs like they do. But that very sense of decency that makes us refrain from doing so compels us to take action.

That’s what we did on Saturday.

The Tories need to know that their every move will face determined—and if need be, militant—opposition. When police attacked a peaceful protest, this time, protesters fought back. History must now record the very first day of the new regime was marked by battles in the streets. It will not be the last. And history is very much what’s at stake here.”

 

Post-election thoughts pt1: The SNP

Some thoughts by one of our members on the SNP in light of the recent election results. You can also read another member’s response here.

yellow tories

The leadership of the SNP must be the happiest people with the recent election results outside of the Tory front bench. Everything has lined up perfectly for them. But why would I say this when the polls were strongly hinting that the SNP could have been part of a coalition government and forced more devolved powers to Scotland? Surely they have missed out on making things better for the working classes here in Scotland?

The SNP as a political party doesn’t have the goal of making things “fairer” or to look out for us. That is the rhetoric of any opposition party the world over, and it is used to build membership and support. Once in power the SNP would get on with the same job that every government has, running the state to protect the capitalist interests of a specific segment of the ruling class while also keeping capitalism in check so it doesn’t all fall apart. At the moment that means implementing austerity and progressing the privatisation of public services; the working class will always be hard done-by.

The puzzle for the SNP  is that the segment of capitalist interest they fight would benefit most from independence. If they were seen to be helping run Britain then they would have a harder time looking out for their own interests. By missing out on coalition they also miss out on the LibDem problem of being a supporting part of whatever cuts the government were making. However, would the same fate awaited them as hit the LibDems, that of rapidly destroying their base of support? Not quite, but kinda.

The twist here in Scotland is that the SNP can always play the Westminster card, and they do, time-and-time-again. If something goes wrong, no matter what, it is down to London (or Tories or some other boogieman) and the solution is independence. It doesn’t matter that the horrendous attack on working class services by Edinburgh council are SNP led, or that they have clearly shown that they have no intention of scrapping Trident as they intend to remain in NATO, or even that a whole host of their white paper promises are for things already devolved to Holyrood. These are not the failings of the SNP, liberal democracy, or a capitalist system. Nope. It is all Westminster.

The problem for the SNP is that to keep voters on-side for now they need to be seen to be centre-left. This means giving us in the working class just enough concessions to make things look like they are trying their best until they can secure independence and then get on with looking out for their  interests in the way they want to. The less the SNP have obvious control over the better they look. If powers are devolved slowly, bit-by-bit, then they would either have to concede more and harm their interests or it would become clearer that they are just the same as any other party.

So for the SNP having a Conservative majority is perfect: they can fight and lose to them and look great while awaiting another referendum, and at the same time any flack can be avoided by saying the Tory’s are the cause and that the failure to provide opposition was the failure of the Labour Party in England.

My other thought on the SNP landslide is that it stands as another landmark point in the furthering of nationalist views in Scotland. The role of nationalism is to hide the struggle between ruling class and working class, having us in the working class to support actions that prop up a part of the ruling class rather than work on understanding our own interests and fighting to have our lot improved. Now the main narrative is that things will be made better if we get behind independence, something which has no guarantees and diverts us from taking part in grassroots struggles where we can make a marked improvement in our lives.

At the same time we can look at the voting figures in England and get a rough feeling over why people voted a certain way. On the other hand it is far more difficult to judge up here in Scotland, where the SNP present themselves as whatever will be popular in the area (so centre-left in Glasgow and centre-right almost everywhere else). Add to this the feeling of disappointment over the lack of change post-referendum and it becomes impossible to get a measure for the views of the SNP voter base. My feeling is that this time around most of their voters want a better society and some real change, but that they have been set-up for future disappointment as the SNP  fulfils it’s role as a part of the machinery of a neo-liberal social democracy.

So, if it is just a case that the yellow tories are in, what should we be doing? I’ll be putting up a post in the next few days with some more hopeful and proactive thoughts on that topic.

Brutal attack on anarchists movement in the Czech Republic

Over the past two weeks the Czech state has launched a massive attack on the anarchist movement under the name Operation Phoenix. Dozens of people have been arrested on terrorism and hate crime charges; flats, squats and social centres are being raided/evicted with alarming speed and brutality (with court orders that would normally take years to process being rubber-stamped overnight and water canons getting deployed); while the Anarchist Federation, the Anarchist Black Cross (prisoner support), and several other radical groups have had their servers taken.

These brutal attacks have been authorised due to the efficiency and effectiveness of the anarchist movement in recent years, with the local solidarity network growing in numbers and so being able to take on bigger and bigger targets, while social centres have provided the space for sharing of experience and ideas while building working class solidarity.

The Belarus ABC have been putting up info as they have it (here and here), while the ABC-Czech is collecting money for the legal support and can be contacted at abc-cz@riseup.net.

Solidarity with our friends and comrades, and if you can’t do anything else then considerer spreading news of this.

solidarity

Repost: Brief response to ‘4 Reasons Working-Class Radicals Should Vote Labour’ on the Novara Media Website | LibCom

Brief response to ‘4 Reasons Working-Class Radicals Should Vote Labour’ on the Novara Media Website | LibCom  (Click for full article)

Brief response to '4 Reasons Working-Class Radicals Should Vote Labour’ on the Novara Media Website

“…the only interest the Labour Party has in trade unions is a financial one. As long as the unions continue to spunk millions into Labour’s coffers, they will continue to pretend to represent working people. When then money is stopped – watch Labour run!”

Stop your preaching about voting – it relegates real struggle while supporting a sham that is destroying the world

There is a world beyond the ballot boxOne Glasgow AFed member writes:

Am probably not voting today. And I dare a single one of you to *seriously* tell me that’s because I don’t engage in politics. I might go along and chuck the greens a vote, but very firmly with my nose held and purely just to add to the proportion tallied against vaguely progressive politics. Elections are a sham and what we do in our every day life is a million times more important. In fact some argue that that elections act to entrench a system that I believe to be a part of why this world/society is such a frigging inhumane hole. So maybe not voting will be a more significant tally – of those disenfranchised from representative bollocks. And no, Labour winning is not progressive or better in any meaningful way. Though at least those who are gullible enough to vote for them are probably doing it for nice reasons. Unlike what an absolute selfish, heartless, stupid arsehole you’d have to be to actively vote Tory.

The thing that pisses me off most is those who tell me that I’m obligated or guilty if I choose to abstain from it. Some of those even acknowledge that the system is rigged, and yet still say we should engage! Just read a great comment on that : “If a race was rigged, you wouldn’t run it in the hope that you might make the organisers feel bad about illegitimately disqualifying you; if a game’s rules were unfair you wouldn’t play it and complain about how unfair it was. you find a different game, or you change the rules of that one.”

There’s a thing that happens when you’re vegetarian or vegan. You quietly order your dinner and don’t comment on anybody else’s, but anyway the meat eaters at the table start to chime in. Some of them are obv attempts to be friendly/assauge shame “I eat meat but I really enjoy vegetarian food too and have cut down on my meat consumption” whereas others (in my experience this is the absolute majority of comments) “I couldn’t give up meat. I love it too much. Vegetarians are so preachy.” And I try and ignore this and get on with my personal ethical choices, and wish they’d stick to theirs, or if they feel that guilty and defensive about it, try and get their absolution elsewhere. Because really, if you feel a nagging guilt that what you’re doing is wrong, and yet still do it just because you enjoy it, that’s pretty fucked up. Something is oppressive or not. Its fine to talk about how choices are compromised under capitalism – I would totally agree with you, and have similar qualms about not being vegan. But in that case don’t start pushing your meat into my face and telling me that its all ok. And if you’re fine about it, then why did you feel the need to bring it up with me in the first place?

Feels similar at election time. I don’t think I have a go at anybody about their political inaction for the 1824 days when there’s not an election. So why suddenly do I get all this bullshit around election time? This constant noise around the importance of voting plays just one purpose; it relegates down all the actual constructive politics people do in favour of something that is useless in ever effecting change.

Vote or don’t vote. I don’t care. But preaching about how important it is to keep the tories out, or how not voting is irresponsible is actively harming real moves to make actual progressive change. So STFU.

Compassionate voting…

It’s the general election today troops. We’re getting a say in who rules us for the next five years or so. If you have to vote then vote for your local rando and get them an MP’s job and off the benefits. Be kind and compassionate.