The Platform: Issue 1

From The Platform

“The impotence of the anarchists … in particular depends on the lack of a practical programme that could be implemented in the short term.” – Errico Malatesta, 1924

2014 heralds new attacks on the conditions of the working class and what little gains have been wrought from capitalism in Australia over the past hundred years. Abbott is gearing up, 2013 was the prelude, the real horror awaits us in 2014’s planned austerity budget. In this issue we touch on some of the battle grounds. Brutal attacks on refugees conceal real attacks on the conditions of the working class.
Access to healthcare is in the firing line as increased ‘copayments’ move the cost of healthcare to those who can least afford it whilst private health insurers reap billions in government hand-outs.

New police powers brought in under the cover of conservative moral panics in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria give the state increased scope to choke resistance from our social movements.

This is the first issue of a new publication from Anarchist Affinity. We take Malatesta’s criticism seriously. As anarchists we need to do more than recount tales of past glories.

This new quarterly publication is a small step towards advancing an anarchist understanding of the situation that confronts us here and now. We write from an explicitly revolutionary anarchist viewpoint, but we want to do more than just talk to the small groups of self-identified anarchists that already exist in Australia today.

Right now attacks on the working class are expanding, sexism rears its ugly head, the ecological crisis demands action, and what passes for social democracy offers no real alternative. If anarchism is going to play any part in building a movement against these systems of oppression, anarchists MUST engage in the concrete discussions which Malatesta called for in 1924. Anarchist Affinity

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Comments

First of all, it seems to me a mistake — and in any case impossible to realise — to believe that all anarchists can be grouped together in one ‘General Union’ — that is, in the words of the Project, In a single, active revolutionary body.

We anarchists can all say that we are of the same party, if by the word ‘party’ we mean all who are on the same side, that is, who share the same general aspirations and who, in one way or another, struggle for the same ends against common adversaries and enemies. But this does not mean it is possible — or even desirable — for all of us to be gathered into one specific association. There are too many differences of environment and conditions of struggle; too many possible ways of action to choose among, and also too many differences of temperament and personal incompatibilities for a General Union, if taken seriously, not to become, instead of a means for coordinating and reviewing the efforts of all, an obstacle to individual activity and perhaps also a cause of more bitter internal strife.

we anarchist can be in a general union if we choose, and we have been int he past.

1) "we have been in the past" - No, "we" haven't. And even if we had, that wouldn't mean that it's a good idea now.

2) "we can be in a general union if we choose" - Maybe, but again, even assuming it's possible and that everyone would want to do that, it's not necessarily a good idea.

It's a Malatesta quote. Where they decided that he's down with the platform is beyond me.

One Big Union, One Big Project, One Big Leader! Sieg Heil...

Fact check: Malatesta rejected and criticized the Platform.

Fact check: Galleani supported organization and rejected insurrection.

Trying to organize anarchists is like trying to herd cats. Sooner or later the futility of it all wears one down and one gives up on the endeavor. And then the next generation gets struck by that idea, and the whole situation repeats itself.

Speaking in cliches is like dry humping a wall. Sooner or later the futility of it all wears one's boner down and one gives up on the endeavor. And then the next generation gets struck by its own boner for posting comments on it.

Malatesta, among his various stupidities, was for using money after "the revolution."

That may actually be a reality whether one likes it or not.

I 1iterally just read a passage in Fra Contadini where he said money wasn't needed ATR

Whoever wrote this must be having an identity crisis.

Anarchist or Stalinist?

"Anarchist or Stalinist?"...ah that's kind of cute. Would you mind elaborating on how platformism = Stalinism? You know, so that we can better understand how little you know about either of the two?

But yes, I agree with the above commenter in that I can think of nothing more horrid than a ginat union of @'s.

I'll have a gin AND TONIC at the union meeting, stirred not shaken, for the politburo!

Pretty sure stalin stood on a platform...

Zerzan must be a stalinist then.

well does stay in a trailer when everyone else is camping together in the woods at earth first gatherings. Thats why that shit gets tagged. Plus he probably like bookchin. fuck secret stalinists.

P.S. Maybe Zerzan is a "self styled" stalinist?

Can you explain what's anarchist about platformism?

Platforms are probably flammable...

I know real anarchists drop banners with Sean Swain quotes and use Derrick Jensen as a scientific authority when debating.

Anarcho-stalinist!!!

fuck work and your holy working class with it

-lumpen

Fact check: the Platform was developed by Ukrainian anarchists and peasants with the significance of the working class being downplayed.

Oh, great, now you bring the Ukraine into it!

The lumpen-proletariat aren't people who choose to not have stable jobs. It refers to people who are excluded from productive activity. Prisoners, rural trailer park'ers, the homeless etc. They don't even have the opportunity to work and since work is one of the few collective activities permitted in today's society, lumpen proles traditionally don't know how to do stuff with other people. This is not always true, especially after the emergence of street organizations in the middle of last century.

I'm a lumpen-prole by virtue of the fact that I score very low on the employability scale for a ton of reasons. They range from being at the mercy of larger economic forces all the way to my shitty attitude and everything in between. I'm disabled but still kind of big and menacing, hate most people and cheerfully tell them so, ESPECIALLY hate the yuppie manifestations of consumer capitalism that are an entire lifestyle for most of the people doing the hiring so yeah, low employability.

Majority years of my adult life, I've made a few grand annually, never more than 10 (welfare is about 7.5k a year where I live)
but enough about me. My point is that after a few years, I stopped blaming myself and started to shift towards a deeper undertanding of the class war and my own approximation of "class consciousness", which led to a whole praxis eventually but that shift involved the nature of my "exclusion" becoming something more like fuck-that-entire-world-of-yuppie-bullshit.

Of course I still have to hustle to get by, work sometimes, petty crime other times, rely on my support network too and spend some of my free time giving back so I'm not a completely useless parasite on the people I love. So does it mean I'm not lumpen because I stopped mindlessly trying to claw my way back in to "inclusion"? These distinctions aren't so easy as that.

The only true lumpens are heroin users, and thieves (will steal even from fellow activists, and rob anyone in a squat or activist project) for their heroin, or similar drugs. you are not lumpen, you are a fraud.

Obviously trolling but it's not a fuckin race you douche. Kill yourself.

Malatesta and Makhno were a crypto-drug dealer.

lumpen are shapeshifters made out of ancient rags

Much the same for me, but in reverse! I'm more tactful in my social interactions, I dropped out of college because I hated the system and wanted to escape its boring future. I have healthy hate, which is love in reverse, and a similar generosity despite my own poverty. Yes you are not lumpen because you have no desire to claw your way up the hierarchical ladder of capitalist business. The hierarchical/conquest mentality of which the lumpen possess from their position on the bottom rung of the social ladder is not in your mind.

"heathy hate"

lol love how you added that in their

STAY POSI BRO

(kill yourself)

You sound lumpen to me. The lumpen-proletariat is not determined by it's desire to be excluded or included. Ideology has nothing to do with it. The objective fact of exclusion is what makes one lumpen, not ideas.

fuck work and your holy working class with it

-heroin addict and person who stole all your possessions to fund it

hell yeah bruh

this entire thread of "lumpenness" is useful in demonstrating how the concept of lumpen-prole, and the "radical, gritty" stance of favoring the lumpen-prole in opposition to the proletariat, is nothing more then a radicalization of traditional Marxism, a possible and intelliable position WITHIN the confines of Marxism, merely a cooler, updated version of fighting for the proletariat, or being the proletariat.

to look at it one way: pro-lumpen anarchists speech, action have the same effects in their own scenes and socials contexts (scenes that are normally insurrectionary, nihilist, or queer circles) as pro-prole anarchists have in their own scenes (working class revolution syndicalist circles) - it is only because pro-lumpen anarchists would be excluded and laughed away from the insurrectionary circle if they spoke the traditional language of pro-working class that this transformation occurs - but the two positions have the same effects and are performed for the same reason - DISCIPLINE.

Queer nihilism itself is nothing more then a radicalization of identity politics, and insurrectionism nothing more then a radicalization of activism. So the symmetry is perfect - pro-working class anti-oppression activists versus queer insurrectionary lumpen nihilists. Social justice versus social war. Black panther party versus communist party. Bakunin versus marx. Peasents, indigencious, and criminals versus factory workers. They are twins of each other, and intimately connected, and often times the slide between one and the other is SEAMLESS. Oftentimes fluctuating and oscillating second from second. This structuration is essential to their continued existence and effectiveness.

Read through the above comments. it is blinding obvious.

1) Essentialism. This is what lumpen is, this is what lumpen is not.

2) Inadequacy and one-upmanship. You aren't lumpen enough, i am lumpen.

3) Identity defined as position. In a line that sounds ripped right from Monsiuer Dupont: "Ideology has nothing to do with it. The objective fact of exclusion is what makes one lumpen, not ideas"

4) "Class consciousness". A discourse of social and personal revelation. "... for many years i hated mysely, then i realized"

5) Anti-bourgeois. "yuppies"

This digusts me. I am so disappointed with people for allowing this identity politics and Marxism, this politics of revolution and social activism, to be smuggled through the backdoor,by being dressed up as something new, a rupture with past traditions, sexy, exciting, dark, and edgy. It's not. It's bullshit.

P.S To be clear, my problem with these positions isn't the actions that are referenced or aesthetics and lifestyles promoted. I have no problem with robbing activists or anarchists, drug use, not working at waged jobs, etc etc.

And of course this hoary game "The lumpen-proletariat aren't people who choose to not have stable jobs"

UR NOT A REEL PROLE UR CHOOSING TO LIVE LIKE ONE WAH WAH WAH

anarchists confirmed for Maoists. no wonder the insurrectionary masturbate over the black panther party to this day lol. we should never for

https://www.google.com/search?q=thom+yorke+you+disgust+me&biw=1366&bih=6...

I mean ur using a term that was coined by KARL MOTHER-FUCKING MARX. how is the fact that ur being Marxist not obvious...

So hating yuppies makes me a pseudo-marxist? I didn't "hate myself" so much as develop my analysis enough to take a step back and identify the dogma being thrown at me by the capitalists since I was a child. Anyway, none of this was supposed to be "exciting" or "edgy", least of all "sexy"?! I find your bizarre misapprehension strangely flattering dump-truk and I'm definitely not concerned with your disgust.

I was just trying to share my admittedly-limited first-hand perspective on why that particular marxist term has been useful to me. I don't totally discount marxism or identity politics and I don't worship at their respective altars either. Do you spend a lot of time disgusted and disappointed with the tiny proportion of people that agree with you on almost anything? ;)

Essentialism is a phrase that applies to identity categories. Whether or not one is a part of the lumpen-proletariat has nothing to do with identity. One does not decide their class position. Class is determined by the relationship to the means of producing surplus value. If one is excluded from the sites of production (including if ones body has become a valorized asset to capital a la prisoners) then one is a lumpen-proletarian. This is not the same as saying "a man is __, a woman is __." What I'm saying is that class is not an identity.

Regardless, organizing on the basis of class is also no promise of revolt. That goes for any class, proletarian, lumpen, or whichever. The dialectical relationship between these classes means that their existence co-substantiates each other, as the poster above kind of illustrated (but as others have illustrated before: workers are only workers because of their bosses, and vice versa).

What is shared inside of classes or identities is somewhat coincidental. We must be organized on the basis of our inclinations. Namely, our inclination to unravel government and control. We ought to link with anyone who shares this inclination. From this perspective, I will argue as Malatesta once did, there are only two classes: the people who want to do away with the existing way of life and the people who want it to stay the same. Learning how to proceed - where to strike, what to learn, how to grow - from here without becoming an isolated, militant, sect is really the interesting question.

Yeah, I'm the angry gimp from the above post and I have to stress that it's really weird how I say something as simple as "I identify as lumpen based on a,b,c" and this gets immediately twisted in to accusations of everything from "trying to be sexy/edgy" all the way to I must be a closeted marxist-platformist sent to infiltrate and destroy. Gear the fuck down.

"This is not the same as saying "a man is __, a woman is __."

You're saying a lumpen prole-tariat is (fill in blank) excluded from the site of production etc.

"If one is excluded from the sites of production (including if ones body has become a valorized asset to capital a la prisoners) then one is a lumpen-proletarian."

This is a definition. An absolute one. And there are many whose found the concept of essentialism useful because it is was part of a moment, an experience of thought that allowed them to avoid such absolutist definitions.

Why avoid "absolutist defintions"? 1) They allow you to listen to people to certain extent, if one chooses. Example: "I'm lumpen" instead of saying "Ah you're not lumpen" one can say "oh, go on"

2) They allow one to evade mintorizing any sort of practice or social position "this group practices criminality, and these people have this relation in society." Instead an universalizing gesture: "criminality, wretchness, trashness, exclusion, sleaziness can be found in many places." This universizing movement, when pushed to a certain extreme, destroy the idea of class, classes, society, social organization, position, and structure. Not only is class not an identity, but there is no class and no identity.

You contest my use of the world essentialism. Yet you do not seem aware that the usage I am suggesting, and your usage of it have been in conflict since the very beginning of the word, and this conflict transverses many fields of thought and life, intellectual and otherwise. the history of queer theory and the content is one such site. The phrase "queer is not an identity, it is a position" was a anti-sociological gesture to some! It's sociological and ethnographic usage, the one you are putting forward in regards to lumpen, was not dogma to all, although it seems to be to many. The fact that you are unaware of this struggle makes me somewhat banal, I guess.

lol makes YOU somewhat banal. but talking to you makes me banal so ha...

and queer theory really wasn't that great begin with hahaha. it's really not a surprise that the major understanding of it as queer nationalism has been so successful ( those disgusting pink triangles) - all the seeds were there from that start.

see I told you resistance could be found everywhere!!! (even in my own post ahaha)

I have heard people defend "talking about position" as non-essentilist because it wasn't postulating an "essence", some inner energy, but rather an contingent exterior state based on social relations, a.k.a social constructivism against naturalizing theories.

Do you think of essentialism as essence-ism? I did for a while but then I "realized", and I state it like this for rhetorical thrust, that essentilism was actually ESSENTIAL-ISM, and that the "original" propagators (like my appeal to hidden, original knowledge?) of the word were opposed to social construcvism in ADDITION to naturalizing theories.

I know many people who only think of it as essence-ism...

enough with bashing essentialism. YAWN. monadism rocks. so does luce irigaray. can everyone just stop being trend gatekeepers. its so boring and it inhibits thought. essentialism is needed to really actually discus how you say feminism.

and i have a more than sneaking suspicion that its importance in discussing actually existing conditions of being a woman in this world has led to its 'unfashionability.' but dont listen to me, i just know everything. its a bad habit.

lumpen-prole is an interesting idea, because there are some who understand it as those who are excluded, on the bottom, the sub-proletariat, or unter-proletariat, and this class is not necessarily all criminals, but just the wretches, the losers, the miserable filthy ones, the "rags" - and the others who understand it is all those of the poor that are criminal, the "rags" are in the evil trash of the poor.

There is some overlap obviously (people tend to associate being on the bottom with leading to crime) but the fact of the distance, the gap, between these two definitions is fasnating to me.

Because you could then take the word lumpen, as many people do, and use it by itself, or in conjecture with other classes, and there would be these enormous amibuquity and conflict. Because if it is simply the wretched, the losers, either in terms of weath, or social standing (and here is another gap) with a secondary association with crime, then the lumpen of the bourgeoisis are the nerds, the housewifes, "queers", the eccentrics, drug addicts, depressives and mental asylum inhabbitats, bourgeois blacks...

but if lumpen primarily means criminal... then the lumpen of the bourgeois, or just the lumpen in general, could theoretically be the "best of" whatever class they were in... Yuppies, under this definition, would be lumpen then, according to popular depictions. (coke snorting, white collar crime)

Then lumpen doesn't mean sub, but uber.

So who are the lumpen-proletariat.... Are they the sub prole-tariat, "crackheads", or are they the uber-proletariat, the gangsters, who often have more weath and social power then factory workers, of course it is liquid...

The first conception is unavoidably a leftist one (we fight for the wretched of the earth) and the second one can either be a leftist one with an edge ("we fight for the disposed, but the very fact of their dispossession gives them this evil and poisonous strength, but we should never forget that they are still sad and hurting wretches of a sort") a sort of new form of "The spontanousness of the masses" - OR one completely divorced from leftism... a sort of aristocracy...

(I'm not interesting in any position of the game myself, not totally, but the play of it fasnaastes me)

its a meaningless phrase used by ignorant power mongers to belittle important ant-imperialist thinkers and anyone who doesnt have a PhD (evevn if that happens to be a funny paper, like a "creative writing PhD( and (which does the not include the bourgeois candy ass marx, who i believe to be a do-gooder imperialist thinker through and through,,,worthless, and has only been read by tyrants...
), such as the much contested phrase "underclass"...
. by those " definitions" more than half of the artists writers and serious intellectuals in the world until the last ten mostly regrettable years are the lumpen proletariat. i dare you to say it to jay-z face. in fact, i dare you to say it to mine (i am an anti-work independent public intellectual...)

and how do you account for prince kropotkin. how many of you social climbing colonialist blackface scumsuckers of the bottom of the fishbowll of capitalism would have denied your natural born title to theorise and practice anarchism: the """""""lumpen proletariat"""""" of political theory.

yeah we mostly agree here actually. this subject just makes me steaming mad, bc i have spent so muc time with 'the lumpen'''''''' artists and people as equals, and i will throw punches for them...

i also agree, and am saying the same, that in the purer conception of anarchism the educated lumpen is THE UBER. it is the subject. the illegalist, the person who uses the gift economy....(not the worker drone , like in marx)

"One does not decide their class position." Have you read anything in the last 200 years, about anarchy or anarchic forms of modernism/futurism /surrealism and etc... or been involved with any truly subcultural phenomena? in your natural life... asking for a friends

who churn their own butter. get over it. youre like civil war people, or steampunk....i dont f=give a fuck abt his boring economics. money is an imaginary joke anyway....this dude never even had a job, you'really following a completely out of touch maniac... and you wonder why none of this shit has actually worked??? seriously. oh yeah, and hes really helpful to feminists lol. we are all working machines. brill.

and he creted this lumpen proletariat shit. that has been nothing but pure shit ....stirner and de bord were lumpen too i guess, bc they HATED work and thats what anarchy is...not all this low rent bruce springsteen sneding his sax player out to the riot to get murdered so he can weep like a hunter . poh the police did it...of course the police will kill you on site you stupid mothewrfuckers.

Did everybody on this site forget the part where Bakunin made lumpen-prole in to something besides an insult?
(Exactly because he hated Marx too, along with most of the posters here apparently?)

Anyway, I'm the OP and it's been interesting to watch a handful of random lunatics weigh in on the subject even though most of you are assholes so ... thanks for your time! If you accept any kind of class analysis at all, then I must be a lumpen-prole although I only really use class analysis for rhetorical purposes. Definitely not emotionally invested.

also, the jews in general. Me and him part ways there.

rhetorical purposes?... Sounds like politics.... *sigh*

you mean like posting here?

I'm the OP and I must admit to you all that I'm a stalist, guilty as charged! I invite you all to send me to the anarchy gallows.

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