La Tarcoteca

La Tarcoteca

lunes, 15 de septiembre de 2014

Bakunin: Nationalism, State and Religion

With its successes and failures, as every human being when exposed, understands and select the best option, Bakunin is not a thought or a static-action illuminated by the will of a god. Like many others who preceded him and will happen (as Berkman), the confrontation of ideas and practical exposure will pulish some of its edges, and others will remain to be ascertain for the following generations. One of this mean edges is the idea of culture used by many to justify the existence of the State. The political reality of a Europe bled in wars and preparing the next, did the father of anarchism understand the union of the Slavic peoples as the only possible solution, which has been used occasionally in the libertarian world as an authoritative reference to justify the current nationalism. But that was not the last word Bakunin spoke about the national question, he glimpse shortly after the trap of the so called "distinguishing characters".


Works in a point of his life, Bakunin argued: <<every people and even the most little ethnic or traditional unit has its own character, its specific way of existence, its own way of speaking, feeling, thinking and proceeding; and this idiosyncrasy is the essence of nationality, result of historical life and resume of the vital conditions of the people.>> In this kind of expressions remains those who above all political project aimed the independence of "their nation" through the creation of an independent State, with some ornament on the left. And those theorizing a life without State also see welcomed the independence of a territory culturally uniform.

But even in these times, Bakunin also says that <<we should put the Universal Human Justice above all national interests and abandon once and for all the false principle of nationality, recently invented by the despots of France, Prussia and Russia to crush the sovereign principle of Freedom.>>

Even then, defending the right of nations to develop without interference, Bakunin understands national freedom as "corollary" of the individual freedom by taking responsibility for their decisions, not as a above principle, which is how always ends up happening. This healthy and natural near to obsession Individual Freedom above political constructions, clear influence or affinity with Stirner, brings him to identify national constructions more as problem as solution, and over the years will clearly defend this position contrary to the demarcation of territories according to the dictates of the bourgeoisie or by the demonstrated strength in war.

The State

Since release from prison until the end of his days Bakunin expressed as this: <<The State is the younger brother of the Church, and patriotism. This virtue and worship to the State, is nothing but a reflection of divine worship ... the State has always been property of a privileged class ... but for the good of the State there must be a privileged class whoever interested in their existence, and is precisely this solidary interest of the privileged class with the State what is called patriotism ... the physiological element is the main base of any patriotism, simple, instinctive and brutal.>> Rounding out the deception the interest with the State of the privileged class is cover as popular interest, identifiying the aim of the poultry with the ​​farmer who eats one under the false premise that all are part of the farm.

As seen, State, Nation and Religion, go together to Bakunin and since then to those who identified with anarchism have join his program. Go hand to hand because Bakunin understands that this political form of organizing society is fundamentally authoritarian, and therefore sooner or later repressive of all freedom.

Power's self-preservation instinct leads Bakunin to suspesct of Marxist theory about the end of Statal structures in the last revolutionary stage. Bakunin spoke of the State as << a huge cemetery where [...] all the true aspirations, all the living forces of the country are abandoned to immolate and bury, generous, gently" and early warned the tendency to accentuate its totalitarian character. Even in periods of reduced pressure on individuals, as could make believe bourgeois democracies, Bakunin wary of wolves in sheep's clothing: <<instead of garanty for people, the representative system creates and guarantees the existence of a permanent opposed to people government aristocracy>>.

The russian revolutionary says that Universal Suffrage is simply a trap after which <<hides the really despotic power of the State, based on the bank, the police and the army>>, <<an excellent mean to oppress and ruin people in the name and under the pretext of an alleged popular will.>>


Material reality goes before ideas and therefore the State building as a form of government is obliged to seek justification for their despotic existence both in an idealized past of origin and common customs (nationalism) as in a third essential element: Religion.

In "Federalism, Socialism and Antitheologism", Bakunin drinks of the great atheist and anticlerical Enlightenment to strengthen its anti-authoritarian character refusing the mean dogma. Intend to liberate humanity from all coercive authority, it is essential to end with the ultimate source of authority, that is, the idea of ​​God. This will in being atheist if you want to be free, shared with Stirner, has been one of the central pillars of the libertarian movement despite the fanciful attempts to see in Christianism or even Islam common points that could coexist.

Rarely such a concise and clear deduction as presented in the Russian revolutionary "Federalism, Socialism and Antitheologism" work will be find:
"Unless one wants slavery, we can not and should not make the slightest concession to theology, [...] the one who wants to worship God must renounce his liberty and his human dignity:
God exists, so man is a slave.
The man is intelligent, fair, free, so God does not exist.
We dare the one able to get out of this circle."
We can not trivialize the intellectual and exemplar heritage receive from Mikhail Bakunin on these aspects if we want honor his memory as it deserves. And, above all, 200 years after his birth we are living a historic moment in which astonished the validity of the ideas for which he fought all his life.

Julia Reyero | CNT Newspaper
Source: Bakunin: nacionalismo, Estado y religión | Confederación Nacional del Trabajo

domingo, 7 de septiembre de 2014

Marx, Bakunin and the First International IWA

The different positions representing by Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin on what should be and how to organize the nascent labor movement not only marked the development itself of the First International, the International Workers Association IWA, but was also an expression of the two lines that henceforth, would mark the path of unionism.

One is called political and authoritarian of Marxist Socialism first, the Social Democrat after the Second International, and finally the Communist with the Third International sponsored by the Soviet Union and its appendix the International Trade Union. The other is the anti-authoritarian, collectivist first, anarch-communist afterwards, revolutionary unionism later, and finally anarcho-syndicalism.

The international organization of this second line was the IWA. Created in 1864 and rebuilt in Berlin in late 1922.

The clash has gone down in history focused on the figures of two senior representatives from each of the streams to the point which is attributed a key role in the decline and extinction of the first IWA. Today is the source of numerous writings in which the philias and phobias are distributed in equal part, depending on who wields the pen or pound the keyboard. Just take a look around the Web.

As often happens in these cases, and more with organizations involved, the colors of each are not exclusively black or white. Rather, walking all tones of gray. If accuse Bakuninist  of all kinds of intrigues and personal attacks, the same could be said against the Marxists. And about the doctrinal perspective or analysis of the events which they lived. As true as this 2014 and is the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Bakunin's is also the hundredth fiftieth the founding of the IWA in London.

Based on this principle, we can focus on the Marx-Bakunin conflict from three different perspectives: the context in which occurred the birth of organized labor, their personalities and the influence of each in approaches to the development of the labor movement.

The context

The IWA was the first attempt to create an international organization of workers. The culmination of a long process whose roots can be traced to thirty years earlier. Its creation is the expression of awareness as a social group of workers from different trends and traditions. From continental communist to British unionists, through Italian Mazzini or Garibaldinist. Also present existing organizations and individuals. All united by the idea, expressed by Marx in his famous 1848 manifesto, synthesized in the slogan: Proletarians of all countries, Unite! That means break the ties with bourgeois organizations and face them in an internationally way. The working world would have its own organization. Hence the expectation, and fear, with which it was received.

From the first moment were evidents the differences in approaches represented by Marx, who gained control of the organization through its General Council in London, and the anti-authoritarian, mainly French groups oriented by Proudhon ideas. If the Marxist leaning on the powerful German Social Democracy section, from 1868 opponents had the presence of Bakunin who, with his International Alliance of Socialist Democracy, became part of the International.

The IWA appeared, not coincidentally, in a context of crisis and war. In 1870 France and Prussia went to war. The french king Napoleon III defeat led to the proclamation of the Third Republic, and in March 1871, the Paris Commune. Were milestones. There were others, like the case of Russian Nechayev, where action and interpretative differences between the two currents were reflected. The staged issues such as homeland defense by Marxist and Bakunin pan Slavism, the role of the Commune and its pertinence. Recurrent matter. In 1869, at the Congress of Basel, they had already faced about the issue of worker participation in politics and the creation of a labor party. The accusations of adventurism and authoritarianism come back.

In 1872 the IWA met in The Hague and the Marxist achieved that Bakunin were ousted. Split was served. That same year the expelled met in Saint Imier. Little tour had both internationals. The Marxist, that had moved  the General Council to New York, in an attempt to keep it under their control, took a languid life until its formal demise in 1876. The bakunista also had not many more activity. In 1877 it held its last meeting in Ghent.

Clash of personalities: Marx and Bakunin

Certainly the life of societies due to structural causes and economic situations. But do not forget that the men and women protagonists and their personality and modus operandi have their own role. Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin doctrinal and organizational differences represent in the first labor movement is not a mere transposition of a history of "great men" are kings, politicians and labor leaders. Were ideological and organizational differences, that also involved their characters, personal issues, origins and cultural prejudices.

It seems they met in Paris in 1844 where they hold a good relationship but were never intimate. It was difficult to do so for a sentimental idealist and a doctrinaire scientist. Soon their differences appeared. In 1848 they faced about the Slav uprisings against German rule. The Russian and German dug their tomahawks. Marx accused Bakunin of "Russian agent" and the second to the first of pan-german and "corrupted by power." They spent more than three decades until a new meet in wich the differences continued now within the IWA. The intellectual and the action-man faced again.

Two strong personalities struggling to assert their views and influencing his colleagues. Hence the role played by the news about the activities of each other for the development of the labor movement. Not that these were the most important, but it played a role. About their actions, their people, circulated all kinds of rumors, information and counter information. Including the struggle for control and guidance of the IWA. The march of history is not inevitable, alien to their actors.

Nor should forget that were both "men" rather than "historical figures" representing trends. Their actions can not be seen from the standpoint of absolute truth or a sign of eternal identity. Even from the perspective of the consequences of their approaches. Probably  their own uncertainties and passions played a role. Like today, they stand in a crossroads that faced by proposals and projects.

The ways of unionism 

But beyond personalities and situations, which underlay the debate between Marxist and Bakunin was the model and the roads that would take the nascent labor internationalism.
- On one side the centralist and political of the London General Council controlled by Marx.
- Alternatively, in the other the defender of the autonomy of the sections, federalist and opposed to create workers' parties proposed by Bakunin.

A fight that would end even conditioning the existence of the IWA. The first sought the conquest of political power to stablish socialism with a transitional period of "dictatorship of the proletariat." The second wanted the destruction of political power and advocating abstention and non-participation in that field.

Under these finalists and organizative differences underlay others. In first place the relevance of "the authority". For Marx it was a guarantee of effectiveness. For Bakunin a way to perpetuate the control of men. Second is the role given to different social groups as revolutionary subjects. For the first it was the working class, the proletariat who would carry the process through the organized action lead by the science of dialectical materialism, a doctrine that reflects the interests of the working class. For Bakunin, the peasantry also had a role to play, and the individual and collective action compete with such "scientific" principles. But not only pesants, also individuals from other social groups. Against Marxist class ideology, anarchism emphasized the role of the individual.

Bakunin died in July 1876 in Bern and Marx in London in March 1883. Today, 150 years after the creation of the IWA have enough perspective to evaluate. First that finally ended prevaling Marxist approaches in European trade unionism. Political action was drifting to its current marginal situation. When they had the opportunity to occupy the State, as in Russia in 1914, ended up developing an exterminator totalitarianism. In second place, where Bakunin approaches prevailed, as in Spain, workers associations continued to be the revolutionary catalyst that led to the Spanish Revolution 1936-1939.

Source- Marx, Bakunin y la Primera Internacional: CNT via LA TARCOTECA Contrainfo

viernes, 5 de septiembre de 2014

Proletarian class death: China to mass produce industrial robots

With the robots mass production is time to forget the romantic idea of proletarian taking the means of production. There is no one left! They all have been swept away! As peasants were swept and substituted by harvesters and fertilizers. How are we going to take in a revolution the mass production if the production has been relocated? There is only left pure class struggle between rich and poor, owners and precarious; and restart from the ground to build up our destroyed networks.
China to mass produce industrial robots
China's first industrial robot production line is expected to start operation in the northeastern city of Shenyang this month.
SIASUN Robot and Automation Co. Ltd. will be the first to jump start China's industrial robot production with an annual capacity of 5,000. Their facilities will produce robots applied in welding, hauling, assembling, stacking, grinding and polishing, according to Qu Daokui, the company's CEO.
He said the production line is undergoing tests and the exact date of operation is yet to be announced.8 The application of robots has expanded from the high-end industries such as automobile and electronics manufacturing to traditional industries, including metal processing, bathroom hardware, food and drinks, said Qu, who is also director general of China Robot Industry Alliance.
China became the world's largest industrial robot market in 2013 with 37,000 industrial robots sold in the country, accounting for 20 percent of the global market.
Rising labor costs and aging population have prompted the application of industrial robots in China, which at the same time boosts the intelligent transition of the manufacturing industry, said Ding Han, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The progress of the Third Industrial Revolution Era, due to robotic and electronic advances, is evident an increase of global unemployment, even in the today industrialized countries in Asia despite its growth, that drops constantly. The gradual and progressive substitution of labor leads to reconcentrate and hyperaccumulate capital, unable to invest in other activity that not means accumulation. Accumulation that promise to paralized the all economy as it is happening. 
The industry will continue its slow evolution relocating to Africa, the last market, seeking ever lower wages. Countries that fit, like Germany, USA, China and Russia just keep producing high technology whose benefits are sufficiently concentrated to operate in these locations. The rest of industries will be swept away and replaced by ghettos and debris. 
Our is a society bereft of knowledge, of the productive means and finally freedom. We no longer serve to the powers interest, and that is the why we will be swept away like fleas if we do not regain the usurped by police and armies system power. Sovereignty. Empowement. Organizing is not a question of rights to defend public services. Planning alternatives have to be part of our short-term strategy. 
We are at war!