more anarcho-bolshevism: platformism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platformist

I know re-posting a wikipedia article is not original or creative, and that I am perhaps way behind the curve in learning the anarchist vocabulary for different organizational forms, but hey.  I’m trying.

I like what I see here — anarchists who dive in and get their hands dirty in setting up the basic rules required to sustain an organization, rather than walking on eggshells over possibly “oppressing” someone by setting up a private organization with a specific set of opinions.  (My previous thoughts as a former-anarchist bolshevik re-entertaining anarchism.)

Oddly enough I’m moving further away from this specifist, platformist sort of model, and toward an umbrella model between different groups or viewpoints.  But I think this drift toward vagueness needs to happen more among socialists than among anarchists.  Socialists are too narrow, too insistent on their own viewpoint, and could benefit from mixing it up a bit.  On the flipside, in my experience anarchists will let pretty much everyone in and could probably compensate for it by having a clear mission statement, political perspective, system of routines, etc.

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3 thoughts on “more anarcho-bolshevism: platformism

  1. Hey there. I’m down to umbrella with lots of people, but I want to say something and not sound like exactly the sectarians you’re saying should get over themselves. But please do tell me if you honestly think I should get over myself.

    The one thing I feel like I can’t countenance are the groups that insist on calling North Korea (and the old USSR, and China, etc.) socialist. I feel like that kills us, makes us instantly ridiculous in people’s minds. If those countries are socialist and socialism is what we’re aiming for, I think Americans won’t get on board with that in a million years. Am I wrong? Should we umbrella with them anyway? I’d rather socialism as a movement be as little associated with those countries as possible.

    • Heyo,

      First off, North Korea is like THE WORST possible example, so for the Spart weirdos who go to marches holding signs like “DEFEND THE NORTH KOREAN DEGENERATE WORKERS’ STATE’S RIGHT TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS” like, yeah fuck those people, and honestly I have other problems with the Sparts anyway for just going relentlessly on the attack.

      As for as the general “anti-revisionist” USSR/PRC supporters, it’s tricky. There are huge shades of difference within them. Maoists, for example, critique the USSR as state capitalist and also now widely regard the PRC as capitalist as well. That’s not my analysis precisely but it’s not the stereotype of Stalinism.

      Furthermore, there are complexities within the histories of both governments. Both the USSR and PRC had workers’ councils at various times, but also eroded their power through the direct rule of a one-party state. So which USSR/PRC are we supporting or opposing?

      That being said, all but the most idiotic Stalinists don’t really support dictatorship. For example, most Stalinists in the USA just support things like higher wages/universal healthcare/a revolution with heavy doses of democracy. Really their biggest error is supporting the Democratic Party, honestly.

      My approach is this: work with Stalinists, but reserve the right to vocally contend that the regimes they support are not socialist.

      In terms of scaring away normal people, I think we all have to work on issues of relating to normal people’s visions and issues, and not focusing so much on our own historical minutiae. Also a good socialist party should emphasize democracy, and insisting this be a major part of the party culture disarms a lot of the damage the Stalinists could potentially do.

      So like, in my imagined Future Party, we would not spend most of our time even talking about that shit anyway. We would talk about building socialism here, in the democratic way it ought to be built. And when the historical issues come up, we can all give our own perspectives on it.

      • Thanks! Not to sound like a robot, but I truly appreciate your extremely rapid and thoughtful reply.

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