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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire - unionism, Response to Permanent Revolution: Being syndicalist today by AL Orleans , AL Saint-Denis (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Thu, 22 Sep 2016 09:20:28 +0300

Three libertarian unionists meet Permanent Revolution. Because the ritual denunciation of "union bureaucracy" should no longer be used to mask the failure to act. ---- In the monthly Alternative Libertaire July-August 2016, a critical article was devoted to the Permanent Revolution website (RP). This article gave rise to online answer on that site . Linger to return on important issues concerning the relationship between political and union activism, issues of interest to all those convinced of the need to change society. ---- If we wrote this article, it is not for the pleasure of arguing with another revolutionary current, let alone to defend the trade union bureaucracies. But because, beyond the differences we may have on trade union action (and we do not find in the vision RP attributes, we shall return), a red line seems to have been taken with the recovery uncritically to a statement from the police headquarters .

Yesterday, the leaden Stalinist

We must first go back on the axis of break with the union leaders considered central RP. This axis, we criticize in our article and it is again assumed by RP in its response. There is indeed a history of opposition to the trade union bureaucracies, heavily influenced by the Stalinist millstone. It is interesting to return to precisely measure the distance that can separate us from past situations.

In the 1970s, the Stalinist apparatus did not hesitate to break mobilizations for political interests, and had the means to do so. The sometimes physical confrontation with it, especially embodied by the stewards of CGT at the time, was thus sometimes necessary.

Paris, May 17, 2016.

Today, low politisé.es permanent.es

Today this hegemony is no longer a distant memory. The union leaders are rather composed of permanent.es little politisé.es, which does not impel much and are englué.es in social dialogue ... They would even sometimes quite incapable of breaking a movement if their idea coming! The issue is not so much to fight these directions to work towards the wider participation of syndiqué.es to reflection and action. Where union democracy is alive, the union bureaucracies are quickly swept away.

This is indeed a sacred shortcut to include under the term "management" all permanent.es or even militant.es holding trade union office. The term seems to be used too extensively by our RP mates.

The guardrail to bureaucratization

There is thus among the so-called "directions" activists and anticapitalist mlilitants who try to live a democratic, class and mass. And they are not more than other prémuni.es against the risks of bureaucratization, to this loan that being aware is the first safeguard. Because bureaucrats left, who draft calls for a general strike but do not ask themselves the question whether they are broadcast and to hear from the syndiqué.es, are found in spades. What protects, it is precisely the broad participation of syndiqué.es in the development and decision-making.

In this regard, several union leaders have recently sent their greetings to RP on the occasion of its first anniversary. All trade union leaders do not seem to be bureaucrats to fight ... but then where the boundary is located? And judge?

Paris, May 10, 2016

Old divide between Leninists and revolutionary syndicalists

Here, we come back here in a very old debate between Leninists and revolutionary syndicalists. The first historically consider that the labor movement is necessarily reformist therefore unable to provide, by itself, dirigeant.es revolutionary, and the revolutionary consciousness must be brought in from outside by the political party.

The latter consider instead that the unions achieved a "double task" of immediate defense of the exploited and construction of the premises of revolutionary organs. That consequently it should work towards the emergence of revolutionary militant.es conscient.es and able to take responsibility.

Back on manipulation

To return to the resumption of police communiqué, assumed by RP in its answer: yes at that time, the risk of division was very high between on one side the "head of the procession" and the other the trade union movement. The movement against the Labour Law was struggling to take off and demonstrations remained very low.

Both the Inter was far too silent on police repression and at the same time, and that's what forgets to remind RP, several union releases came out to denounce it. Philippe Martinez was certainly present at the event cops on May 18, but at the same time he still refused to denounce the "rioters" facing journalists and politicians who pressed in.

On the approach in relations between the unions and the police, we refer here to the testimony of a trade unionist who attended the different scenes in an article we relayed on our website, and press AL trying to avoid division .

We continue to affirm once again that transmit the press uncritically the prefecture like retransmit releases employers without criticism and this contributes to the division in an unstable when the mobilization did not need. And here we see the same inability to want to build a unitary manner by moving the base. Also to focus too much attention on the union bureaucracies is especially reveals a certain inability to mobilize working people.

What is a red union, exactly?

Regarding the accusation of wanting to build "red unions" that is exactly the opposite that we defend in the original article: "unions must achieve class unity across political affiliations of one or the other ".

No, being "syndicalist", it does not mean activism in unions where each and every syndiqué.es are revolutionary, but on the contrary defend an anti-capitalist orientation in class and mass unions.

generally refers to "red union" union subservient to a revolutionary organization, whose leadership core is reduced to the members of this organization. It is usually characterized by its scarce workforce, by his verbal revolutionism, and a timetable for action submitted to the organization's requirements. This is the exact opposite of the model advocated by the revolutionary syndicalists.

Permanent revolution therefore accused of defending a 'red unionism ", although it denies it, solely on the basis of an allegation slid turn of a phrase, that of militant.es AL, would have exclude militants ' reformist '' in certain sections of the Solidarity federation " (??). It is dishonest to launch such an accusation lightly. How to respond?

In our case, we will continue to work with the affirmation of a contemporary revolutionary unionism by relying, not on ideological positions but on practical, daily and recorded in the period, animation struggles mass and union structures.

Gregory (AL Orléans), Martial (AL Saint-Denis), Theo (AL Orléans)

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