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indonesia / philippines / australia / community struggles / press release Friday May 17, 2019 06:40 byMelbourne Anarchist Communist Group

On 18 May, enrolled voters in Australia will decide which members of the capitalist class will represent us in Parliament and crush us in government for the next three years. This election occurs at a time when the world has been informed that it has, at most, until 2030 to take effective action to stop and begin reversing climate change, or risk crossing tipping points into runaway temperature rises that would kill billions and endanger industrial civilisation. So you’d think the major players would be presenting plans to fix it. But no, this is Australian capitalist democracy and we get something different.

On 18 May, enrolled voters in Australia will decide which members of the capitalist class will represent us in Parliament and crush us in government for the next three years. This election occurs at a time when the world has been informed that it has, at most, until 2030 to take effective action to stop and begin reversing climate change, or risk crossing tipping points into runaway temperature rises that would kill billions and endanger industrial civilisation. So you’d think the major players would be presenting plans to fix it. But no, this is Australian capitalist democracy and we get something different.

The incumbent government is a coalition of the Liberal Party, the open representatives of Big Business, and the National Party, which pretends to represent farmers but actually represents mining companies. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, two years ago infamously thought it would be a jolly jape to bring a lump of coal into Parliament and taunt his political opponents with it. He is only PM because climate change deniers in his own party nobbled some ineffective attempts to do something about the issue and eventually brought down Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal Prime Minister they detested for being too liberal.

What are they offering? Firstly, they have promised a vast number of mostly small infrastructure and spending projects in seats they need to hold and a handful they hope to take. It is a grab bag with no coherent vision. Second, they promise a substantial tax cut in five years for people on upper middle incomes. Apart from that, they offer nothing. Nothing but a relentless scare campaign against the Labor Party and its leader, Bill Shorten.

And what of the Labor Party? This party fundamentally represents the desire of the union bureaucracy to reach a compromise with capital about permissible reforms that might better the lot of working people while preserving existing capitalist relations. Its leader, Bill Shorten, comes from the Australian Workers Union, which has a deserved reputation of decades of undemocratic sellouts of its members. Naturally, the capitalists don’t criticise him for that, since it’s the one thing they are in favour of union officials doing.

Surprisingly, Labor is presenting its strongest contrast with the Liberals for a generation. This is because Shorten and other senior Labor figures have seen the death spiral into which most European social democratic parties have entered and declined to join them. They’re not departing from neo-liberalism, but they’re having a serious go at a range of costly tax loopholes used by the richest 10%. They’re also promising to do something effective about climate change, though their concrete proposals are only about half of what is needed.

Who else is running? Firstly, we’ll take the Right. There’s One Nation, as nasty a bunch of racists and bigots as you’re ever likely to find, and then there’s a collection of Right wing nut jobs (mostly running only for the Senate) who for reasons known only to themselves aren’t in One Nation. Clive Palmer, a mining magnate, is trying to buy his way into Parliament with a Trump-esque slogan and a policy free zone onto which people can project their wishes. And a dishonourable mention has to go to Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party, who are actual capital-F Fascists, but have an accidental Senator to give them publicity.

On the Left, we have the Greens. As a capitalist party, they shame Labor by campaigning to their Left, proposing a range of supportable reforms and some climate change policies that start to approach what is necessary. They are fundamentally handicapped, though, by their delusion that a just and sustainable capitalism is possible. Whatever the virtues of their individual policies, the working class would end up bearing the cost.

The final party worth mentioning are the Victorian Socialists, who are running in three lower house seats in Victoria. The MACG oppose running for elections because, although it’s possible to enter a capitalist Parliament on a principled basis, we think it’s a waste of time and effort to do so. The energy required for the election campaign can be far more usefully directed towards building grassroots struggles. Nevertheless, the question arises of how to respond if a State Socialist group decides to waste its resources that way.

Because the Victorian Socialists have no chance of being elected, they only have to pass two very simple tests. They have to be standing clearly for Socialism and against capitalism. Secondly, the party mustn’t have disgraced itself in front of the whole working class like the British SWP has with its rape apologism (put “Comrade Delta” into your favourite search engine). They pass both these. We make no detailed demands of their policy, because we understand that no Parliamentary program, however “correct”, can get us to Socialism. And the Victorian Socialists’ program is indeed quite weak. For more details, you can consult your friendly local Spartacist, who will be only too happy to brief you on their shortcomings.

On this basis, we believe it is possible for Anarchists to lodge a principled vote for the Victorian Socialists. We must emphasise, though, the very limited meaning of such a vote. It is simply to say “I’m against capitalism and for Socialism” and it is only because the Vic Socialists have no chance of winning. If they stood a chance, no matter how remote, we would have to judge them on a much stricter test. A crucial element would be whether a Victorian Socialists MP would explain to the working class that Socialism is only possible through the revolutionary actions of the workers themselves and not through Parliament. This is a test they would not pass.

Finally, it is necessary to point out that the Victorian Socialists have already demonstrated our thesis that Leftists should put their energies into grassroots struggles rather than election campaigns. On 4 May, the Fascist party Yellow Vests Australia held a small demonstration in Melbourne. Normally, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism would have mobilised in opposition. Most of its members, however, are in Socialist Alternative, the main force behind the Victorian Socialists, and the SAlties were out busy doorknocking for the Vic Socialists instead. Other groups, being smaller, didn’t want to risk mobilising on their own. So the Fascists went unopposed. Fail.

BUILD MOVEMENTS NOT ELECTIONS

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana / anti-fascism / link to audio Thursday May 16, 2019 14:42 byBruno Lima Rocha

Part 3 of an audio series debating the reasons for the right-wing rising in Brazil, contextualising and analysing the rise of Bolsonaro and the right-wing in Brazil.

Part 1 | Part 2

Part 3 of an audio series debating the reasons for the right-wing rising in Brazil, contextualising and analysing the rise of Bolsonaro and the right-wing in Brazil.

ireland / britain / repression / prisoners / press release Monday May 13, 2019 23:17 byMelbourne Anarchist Communist Grouptri

The MACG thus defends Julian Assange, not because of his politics, which have curdled and are now quite suspect, nor because we consider him innocent of the Swedish accusations. The US ruling class has no objection to his politics, because they are riddled with the sort of people with whom he has been collaborating. And neither do they have any objection to sexual assault – if they did, Donald Trump would not be President. The United States wants to punish him, not for any crimes he might have committed, but for his good deeds. The MACG defend Assange for those same good deeds.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, was arrested on 11 April when the Ecuadorian Government invited British police into their London embassy for that purpose. Initially charged with breaching bail, he was quickly also hit with a US charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. He has since been sentenced to almost the maximum term for breaching bail and the process for extraditing him to the United States, which could be a long one, has begun.

The United States wants Assange because Wikileaks stands against the entire apparatus of national security in that country and has published much damaging information about its murderous and undemocratic activities – not least the Collateral Murder video that made Wikileaks famous. Wikileaks is so dangerous to the reputation of the CIA, the US military, State Department, the FBI, the major political parties and so many other components of the State in the US that the capitalist class want that organisation shut down for good and for Assange to be made an example of to deter potential successors. Accordinly, though the charge on which Assange has been arrested is one that has a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, it should be expected that other, heavier charges are in the works.

In publishing the crimes of Uncle Sam, Julian Assange performed a great service for the working class and the oppressed peoples of the world and on that basis he must be defended against US attempts to seek retribution against him. He is, however, no saint. Firstly, he is accused of sexual assault in Sweden. While it is clear from published facts that Assange’s sexual ethics are poor, the Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group is unsure whether his actions amount to a breach of Swedish law. Accordingly, we believe that he should go to Sweden to deal with the accusations and clear his name or face the consequences.

Secondly, Assange’s tactics during the US election campaign of 2016 and his political statements since are quite unsavoury, while some of the political associates he has been cultivating during his time as a fugitive in the Ecuadorian Embassy have been extremely dangerous. We therefore believe that, once he is out of the clutches of the United States, his future activities should be watched with great care until he can explain himself as a free agent.

The MACG thus defends Julian Assange, not because of his politics, which have curdled and are now quite suspect, nor because we consider him innocent of the Swedish accusations. The US ruling class has no objection to his politics, because they are riddled with the sort of people with whom he has been collaborating. And neither do they have any objection to sexual assault – if they did, Donald Trump would not be President. The United States wants to punish him, not for any crimes he might have committed, but for his good deeds. The MACG defend Assange for those same good deeds.

ASSANGE SHOULD GO TO SWEDEN NOT TO THE US

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

*Article from the The Anvil Vol 8/3, May-June 2019.

Einleitung von der plattform

Mit dieser Broschüre hältst du den Anstoß für den Plattformistischen Anarchismus von 1926 in der Hand. Viele anarchistische Zusammenhänge auf der ganzen Welt beziehen sich auf die Grundannahmen dieses Textes bis heute. Auch uns, die wir uns vorgenommen haben, das plattformistische Model in der anarchistischen Bewegung im deutschsprachigen Raum zu etablieren, hat dieser Text mit beeinflusst.

Die Kritik am anarchistischen Kosmos, welcher im Text vorgenommen wird, wirkt in weiten Teilen so, als wäre es ein Text aus dem Jahr 2019 und nicht von 1926. Was uns erschüttern muss, in Anbetracht dessen, dass es nach dem Scheitern des “Realsozialismus” immer noch nicht gelungen ist, die anarchistische Bewegung zur tragenden revolutionären Kraft heranwachsen zu lassen, was im Interesse eben dieser liegen sollte. Umso wichtiger empfinden wir es daher dazu beizutragen, dass dieser Text eine möglichst hohe Verbreitung erfährt. Dennoch wollen wir einige Gedanken vorweg schicken und manche inhaltliche Annahmen, welche im Text getätigt werden, auf die heutige Zeit anpassen. Immerhin hat sich die Gesellschaft in der wir leben in vielerlei Hinsicht verändert.

So ist es unsere Annahme, dass Herrschaft heutzutage deutlich komplexer funktioniert, als dies 1926 der Fall war. Im vorliegenden Text wird die Herrschaftsausübung lediglich im klassischen Sinne beschrieben. Also der Repressionsapparat samt seiner Polizei, seinen Armeen und Gerichten unterdrückt die Lohnabhängigen mit unmittelbarer Gewalt und verhindert dadurch aktiv mögliche Bestrebungen einer umfassenden Emanzipation. Natürlich bestehen die Klassengegensätze bis heute fort. Auch wir teilen die Annahme, dass die Gesellschaft grob in eine besitzende Klasse und eine Klasse der Lohnabhängigen geteilt ist. Obwohl diese über hundert Jahre alten Erkenntnisse immer noch aktuell sind, gibt es im Vergleich zu den damaligen Verhältnissen Unterschiede im Detail: Das Klassenverhältnis ist heutzutage viel fragmentierter als damals. So gibt es beispielsweise durch das Franchise-Konzept eine Heerschar kleiner Chef*innen, welche zwar unter ihrer Anstellungsgewalt Leute stehen haben, die sie auch entlassen können. Gleichzeitig sind sie aber auch selbst jederzeit ersetzbar und ebenso lohnabhängig, nur eben mit einem etwas größerem Stück vom Kuchen. Dieses unmittelbare Gewaltverhältnis der Repressionsorgane gegen die Lohnabhängigen existiert ebenso weiter. Allerdings funktioniert ein Großteil der Beherrschung subtiler. Dieses staatlich-kapitalistische System sorgt schon, bevor die Leute überhaupt auf den Gedanken kommen auf die Straße zu gehen und gegen ihre Unterdrückung zu kämpfen, für die scheinbare Befriedung des Klassengegensatzes. Techniken der Befriedung sind unter anderem Vereinzelung und Atomisierung sozialer Beziehungen, Legitimierung von Herrschaft durch scheinbare Mitbestimmung, vermeintliches Entfliehen von gesellschaftlichen Zuständen durch Konsummöglichkeiten (Waren, Dienstleistungen, bestimmte Drogen) oder immer noch höhere Lohnarbeitszeit, rechtlich und gesellschaftlich verankertes Sozialpartnerschaftsprinzip, einer umfassenden Propaganda der Alternativlosigkeit von Kapitalismus und Herrschaft und zuletzt ein umfassender Repressionsapparat. Die strukturelle Ausbeutung und Unterdrückung sowie der gegenseitige Konkurrenzkampf der Massen durch die Lohnarbeit, wird dabei im Sinne der herrschenden Klasse sowie der Weltmarktkonkurrenz stets aufrechterhalten.

Unserer Klasse wird auch nicht mehr der Zugang zu Bildung und Kultur verwehrt. Auch wenn die Substanz, der Inhalt und die Sinnhaftigkeit der jeweiligen Bildungs- und Kulturangebote oft fraglich ist, benötigt der heutige Kapitalismus eben deutlich mehr gut ausgebildetes Personal und viel weniger Heerscharen an unausgebildeten Fließbandarbeiter*innen als damals. Zumindest was den deutschsprachigen Raum angeht, da ein Großteil der klassischen Fließbandproduktion entweder ins Ausland ausgelagert ist oder von Maschinen erledigt wird. Kritikwürdig empfinden wir auch, dass einige grundlegend wichtige Aspekte wie Feminismus, der Kampf gegen das Patriarchat, Kolonialisierung, Nationalismus, Imperialismus, Antisemitismus, sowie das gegeneinander Aufbringen der Lohnabhängigen durch Rassismus, keinerlei Beachtung im Text erfahren. Natürlich setzt der Text in der Einleitung voraus das: “Wie jeder neue, praktische und zugleich verantwortungsvolle Schritt hat auch die Plattform zweifellos ihre Lücken. Möglicherweise sind eine Reihe von wesentlichen Überlegungen nicht in die Plattform eingegangen oder sind ungenügend berücksichtigt worden; eventuell sind andere Punkte wiederum zu detailliert oder mit Wiederholungen ausgearbeitet worden.” Gewisse Anarchafeministische Grundannahmen mit anzuschneiden hätte dem Text jedoch sicherlich gut getan. Unter anderem deswegen empfehlen wir der/dem geneigten Leser*in an dieser Stelle auch die in vielerlei Hinsicht weiter entwickelte und angepasste Form des Textes: Das Grundsatzpapier von der Libertären Aktion Winterthur. Auch ansonsten schadet es nicht bei aktuellen plattformistischen Organisationen wie der Black Rose Federation oder anderen vorbei zu schauen, die allesamt daran arbeiten die Grundlage von 1926 für unsere heutige Organisierung weiterzuentwickeln und aktuell zu halten. Auch wir werden uns mit unserer ganzen Kraft dieser Aufgabe für den deutschsprachigen Raum zuwenden.

In Zeiten basisdemokratischer Bestrebungen in vielen Bereichen der anarchistischen Bewegung halten wir zudem eine verallgemeinerte Ablehnung “der Demokratie” per se für antiquiert. Konkreter lehnen wir die bürgerlich-parlamentarische Demokratie und ihre scheinpartizipativen “Angebote” in Form von Wahlen und Stellvertreterpolitik ab. Basisdemokratie oder auch Rätedemokratie erkennen wir jedoch als integralen Bestandteil vieler (anarchistischer) Graswurzelorganisationen als praktikabel an. Historische Beispiele, in Bezug auf Rätedemokratie, sind zum Beispiel die Pariser Kommune (1871) oder auch die Münchner Räterepublik (1919). Aktuelles Beispiel ist Rojava in den “kurdischen” Gebieten Syriens.

Aber nun wünschen wir euch viel Freude mit dem Text und der darüber hinaus weiter gehenden Beschäftigung mit plattformistischen Inhalten. Zu diesem Zweck findet ihr im hinteren Teil der Broschüre eine entsprechende Linksammlung zum Plattformismus und Especifismo (der Südamerikanischen Ausprägung des Plattformismus). Ihr werdet feststellen, dass die Textausbeute in deutscher Sprache zu diesem Thema sehr gering ausfällt. Diese Leerstelle zu füllen hat sich unsere Schriftenreihe “Kollektive Einmischung” zum Ziel gesetzt, der Anfang ist mit der weiter gehenden Verbreitung des Grundsatztextes von 1926 hiermit getan, wir freuen uns auf Kritik und Diskussion, also Los geht`s, für das schöne Leben für Alle!

Die Plattform, Mai 2019

https://www.dieplattform.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/KE2-5-1.pdf

brazil/guyana/suriname/fguiana / anti-fascism / link to audio Monday May 13, 2019 15:40 byBruno Lima Rocha

Part 2 of an audio series debating the reasons for the right-wing rising in Brazil, contextualising and analysing the rise of Bolsonaro and the right-wing in Brazil.

Part 1 | Part 3

Part 2 of an audio series debating the reasons for the right-wing rising in Brazil, contextualising and analysing the rise of Bolsonaro and the right-wing in Brazil.

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