On recent attacks on the ICC on libcom

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d-man
You're making a general point

You're making a general point, namely that for a revolutionary there's nothing to debate whether the State should do anything (fund healthcare, stop spending money on the arms industry); we should not be "fixated" on the fact that governments are cutting healthcare and increasing their military expenditure, because it is a trap to debate this. But does it follow that revolutionaries must avoid debating (that is offering "social-political analysis" of) the State's policy at all (again, like healthcare cuts and increased military spending)? Since the State's policy affects nearly every aspect of life, there would be little topics left to write about. And why should we abstain from the aspects of life such as art, literature etc? To give an example from the ICT forum, there is a thread on the topic of obesity, which can be considered a particular problem of the working class (eg via poor-quality food in children schools). Perhaps your (like baboon's) simple argument/presupposition would be just that the particular issues such as trans-identity or prostitution are of concern to only a small group, and are therefore relatively unimportant to discuss, unlike State-policy on healthcare and military spending which concerns everyone. This would not be a strong (or principled) argument, in my view.

Your comparison of the issue of prostitution to the right-wing topic of "death of Western civilization" is senseless, because the latter is a historico-philophical idea (but even then, shouldn't we precisely criticise right-wing ideologies?). So let's take instead a real/concrete issue like immigration. In fact the ICC has discussed the topic of immigration (here). Just as the SPGB summer school had a lecture on the issue of prostitution. My point is that hotly debated topics in society have a de facto effect on revolutionaries and animate them (for example the libcom attack on the ICC), regardless of the wishes of revolutionaries, and so I think an intervention with a communist perspective becomes advisable/unavoidable into these topics.

baboon
Anyone having problems

Anyone having problems accessing the libcom site? I can't get it at all with my server saying it's blocked because their security certificate run out yesterday.

petey
fixed?

baboon wrote:

Anyone having problems accessing the libcom site? I can't get it at all with my server saying it's blocked because their security certificate run out yesterday.

 

how about now?

baboon
They're up and running - they

They're up and running - they must have put some coins in the meter. A distinct lack of discussion on the "gilets jaunes" movement.

Comunero
I'm not arguing that we

I'm not arguing that we shouldn't debate about State policies, I'm arguing that we have nothing to propose to the State. It's not the same to debate the origin and meaning of State policies and leftist ideologies than to try to determine how to "improve" them.

I agree that it's not a very good point the number of people it affects or not.

I agree as well that hotly debated topics, as you put it, have an effect on revolutionaries. But we have to keep in mind that, even if the debate stems from the insistence of some leftist movements, most workers don't think about them in the same terms of the identitarian leftists.

My point about the right was probably poorly explained. What I'm trying to say is that leftist identitarian ideologies are as reactionary as the alt-right and similar rightist ideologies. One danger of leftism, however, is that it gives the impression of being somehow "preferable" or "closer". They aren't.

As a purely anecdotal fact, I've had quite more respectful and productive debates with rightists than with leftists, to the date. Just an anecdote though, it proves nothing.

d-man
Comunero wrote:

Comunero wrote:

I'm not arguing that we shouldn't debate about State policies, I'm arguing that we have nothing to propose to the State. It's not the same to debate the origin and meaning of State policies and leftist ideologies than to try to determine how to "improve" them.

It is on this general level about reformism that baboon too tried to locate the problem with the libcom-crowd as concerns idpol. But then the retort of the libcom-crowd was that our critique of idpol is thus not specific about idpol, but is just the general critique of reformism everyone shares (on libcom and in the ICC) with regard to Social-Democrats, the Greens, etc., so does not provide any specific new insight, and by singling out for critique "idpol" as especially bad, is giving cover to the "normal" reformism of Social-Democratcs, etc., and is non-constructive on how to tackle problems faced by identity groups in a revolutionary way (translation: critics of "idpol" are de facto racist, misogynist, etc.).

The distinction of analysing State policy vs. favouring/advocating State policy, would grant us permission for intervention in debate on the usual topics of idpolists. That would be already a big step, for it would show that we do have something intelligent, a communist perspective, to say on these topics (of trans-identity, prostitution, etc.), besides the lip-service of condemning right-wing attacks on minority groups.

But we are told further that we need "to do something about it". Taking the radical position that even activism without direct involvement in the election and legislative process, still involves application of pressure and appeals to the State to change its policy, so though this be dressed up as "challenging" the state, it is still reformist –  is again a critique that applies to all activism. Suppose though that idpols do reject traditional leftist activism as being insufficiently radical/efficient on these issues (they're loathe to recognise the significance of the traditional socialist movement, which did "do something" in fighting against black segregation, for women's maternity pay, decriminalisation of homosexuality, etc. ), and that they genuinely abstain from any hope on changing state policy, then they arrive not at the conventional reformist politics, but something closer to ultra-radical terrorist tactists or the often-invoked Maoist "struggle sessions" (or that of Christian fundamentalist who does not just enforce correct action/behaviour, but also correct belief). So it is not accurate enough to condemn idpol for its alleged State reformism. Perpaps idpols have not merely an "ultra-radical" wing, but their specific problem lies in their "ultra-radicalism".

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