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(en) anarkismo.net, Germany, "We want to be there, where it burns!" - Interview with the re: volt Magazine by the dieplattform (de) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 2 Aug 2019 08:38:52 +0300


We gave an interview to re: volt Magazine! Just read: ---- The German-speaking anarchist movement is fragmented and imperceptible. At least that's what the activists of the platform think. They now want to create a more binding organization of German-speaking anarchism and carry out a nationwide information tour for this purpose. Reason enough to give the comrades the opportunity to present their concept. ---- Jan[re: volt]: Hello dear comrades. Just imagine what your new project is about. Why do you think an anarchist movement in Germany has to reorganize? Why should this happen with the concept of the platform[1]and what criticism is behind contemporary anarchism?
The platform: Hello Jan, first of all many thanks for the possibility of the interview. In our opinion, the anarchist movement in the German-speaking world needs to reorganize, since despite the growing interest in anarchism in the population, there is no significant strengthening of organized anarchism in particular. In parallel there are, in comparison to recent years, social movements that bring the masses on the road. Fides for Future, the fighting for the Hambach forest and generally against the lignite mining, against the new police laws, for a pier to Europe, against the shift to the right, against gentrification and repression, or even the feminist strike on 8 March are just a few examples. Nevertheless, the anarchist movement is very inadequate to be a noticeable part in most of these struggles. In our opinion, this is not only due to our numerical weakness, but also to many inadequacies in the movement itself. On the one hand, it is still a widespread phenomenon that large numbers of people who call themselves "anarchists" do not want to organize themselves permanently, or even reject formal organization in general. In addition to this problematic attitude, more erroneous concepts dominate, such as a misunderstood concept of autonomy, an attitude towards society characterized by isolation and not by a struggle within society, and by the revolution, which is more of a general task than that Confidence in the power of our ideas. From all these aspects, there follows a general lack of strategy, arbitrariness and lack of profile, unreliability and widespread public invisibility, such as poor visibility. You can find more about it in our policy paper.

It is not our intention to ignore the positive development in German-speaking anarchism that has been going on for many years. The anarcho-syndicalist Union of Independent Workers has grown, has sharpened its trade union profile and manages to wage small labor disputes and in part to win them. The Federation of German-speaking Anarchists has collected scattered small groups of anarchists and created a supraregional space of exchange. This has led, among other things, to the fact that anarchist group projects now exist significantly longer-lived, and to work continuously at a low level. In recent years, new anarchist locations have emerged nationwide, which usually claim to be open spaces for the district in which they are located.

Jan[re: volt]: For some years now, the autonomous left has also come to the self-critical conclusion that subculture must be part of social debate. This tendency underlines it with the orientation towards a reorganization in the German-speaking anarchism yes now also. How do you explain that despite the self-criticism, the radical left is still struggling to reconfigure?

The platform: Of course, there are many reasons and causes and, as you have already indicated, many exciting texts, analyzes and appeals have been published in recent years. A key point is certainly that the radical left has established itself in a kind of "scene reality" and made it comfortable. It's incredibly difficult to get out of it. Being, after all, determines the consciousness. So, if significant parts of the Left spend most of their time in scene space, have been politicized and still moving through subculture; if they continue to be quite young and student-shaped, it is of course difficult to achieve fundamental changes. In addition, large sections of the left continue to struggle to "get their hands dirty." Yes,

But we only reach the social revolution with a large part of society. We can only reach them if we fight for every meter, as, for example, the radical left in France does in the heterogeneous "yellow-west" movement, which can certainly be seen as controversial. Whether the interference in a social movement is successful then remains the question of constant analysis. Also within the platform this will be discussed again and again. It remains necessary to repeatedly ask and evaluate the question of the composition and goals of a "movement". In any case, social intervention in movements is one of the core strategies of our initiative. We consider it as a suitable means of getting out of our current weakness. The stated goal is

Jan[re: volt]: Historically, in the anarchist movement, the platformism of Nestor Machnow, which you refer to as anarchist movement, was repeatedly defamed by leading theoreticians of the movement as "anarcho-bolshevism." In Germany, the concept in form is now also something new, because apart from the anarcho-syndicalist FAU, there were always very limited anarchist organizing tendencies. Many anarchists find and found themselves more inautonomous small groups or house projects together. How are the feedback from the movement on your initiative in the current debate?

The platform: Due to the historical but also current defamation against the platformism, we have actually expected significantly more headwinds. Of course we get some criticism, but most of it is of a solidary nature. In general, our approach in the anarchist movement is drawing wide circles. We suspected that in advance. Because of the rather controversial proposal, but also because we had announced it very ambitious and big and bring in the debate. So it is all the more gratifying that, in addition to the many solidary criticisms that are very important to us, we also receive a great deal of popularity. The vast majority agree with our criticism of the movement, even though they may not draw the same conclusions as we do. We have the impression that a not to be underestimated part of the movement has just come up with such a serious approach as we propose. We are already causing a broad discussion within the movement, and some comrades who have not organized themselves before, or who have been frustrated by past experiences, are now regaining hope. It's a really great experience for us to experience it and be part of a new departure.

Jan[re: volt]: To spread your idea, you're doing a nationwide information tour. So far, do you have the impression that your idea is also off the beaten track of conventional anarchist groups, such as post-autonomous Antifa groups? If not, how do you explain this?

The platform: Unfortunately, this effect is currently still quite limited. In the run-up, we have already thought that our approach is also interesting for frustrated communists, for example, who want to renounce authoritarian organization but have not seen any alternative in their own right. This has not happened yet. The discussion is going on for the most part in the anarchist movement, which is also reflected in the participants of the events. Why is that? Perhaps simply in general terms, that other parts of the left often ignore or even fail to hear discussions and suggestions coming from the anarchist movement. We will see what the future holds for this issue as we become more present bit by bit. A start is perhaps this interview?

Jan[re: volt]: You operate a very sharp demarcation to other parts of the left. Exemplary if you speak of "authoritarian organizations". Since it would be difficult for a broader left, or even "frustrated communists" to find their way back to you. Why such a sharp demarcation? Do you not perhaps unnecessarily hurdle hurdles in possible alliance politics or possible interests?

The platform: First, we have to say that the platform is not designed as a mass organization. We are aware that significant parts of the anarchist movement and even larger sections of the other Left will not find their place again; but only a certain part, which we consciously want to reach and address. Above all, these are people who see themselves in the content, strategic, organizational and practical lines we have set up. We pull these "hurdles" because we think that a consistent approach within an organization works above all through shared principles and shared ideas. The broader an approach is in terms of content and at all other levels, the harder it will be to pursue a shared line or principle. Or the collective principle finally turns out to be so spongy and arbitrary that everyone can somehow come to terms with it, but no one really wants to stand up for it. We also think that having a clear profile on our part is more of a strength in working with other organizations and movements. Those who feel friendly with us know what they are with us. Conversely, we can communicate clear frameworks and ideas for cooperation. Those who feel friendly with us know what they are with us. Conversely, we can communicate clear frameworks and ideas for cooperation. Those who feel friendly with us know what they are with us. Conversely, we can communicate clear frameworks and ideas for cooperation.

But as far as for our own understanding of organization. But what about alliance politics? In the future, we will find our allies, especially outside the anarchist movement, above all in practical combat. Our motivation to sit flat in any left-wing unity alliances and then at some point to reach a totally diluted minimum consensus for all sides is relatively small. Rather, with all the non-authoritarian approaches we encounter in the social movements, we will be honest and on equal terms. From such practical connections of the fight, then certainly more can also arise. But those who act in social movements to increase the "herd of sheep" of their respective party or organization, The attempt to influence or even to take over social movement in an authoritarian way applies our fierce resistance. This applies regardless of the world view. Unfortunately, the left-wing spectrum reveals a multitude of groupings and parties that are not interested in the self-organization of the masses within society and social movements, but in their subordination to an often obscure program of domination. So we do not have much interest in classic alliance work. We want to fight for our common interests as a wage-dependent class - within social movements, and across differences. Unfortunately, the left-wing spectrum reveals a multitude of groupings and parties that are not interested in the self-organization of the masses within society and social movements, but in their subordination to an often obscure program of domination. So we do not have much interest in classic alliance work. We want to fight for our common interests as a wage-dependent class - within social movements, and across differences. Unfortunately, the left-wing spectrum reveals a multitude of groupings and parties that are not interested in the self-organization of the masses within society and social movements, but in their subordination to an often obscure program of domination. So we do not have much interest in classic alliance work. We want to fight for our common interests as a wage-dependent class - within social movements, and across differences. So we do not have much interest in classic alliance work. We want to fight for our common interests as a wage-dependent class - within social movements, and across differences. So we do not have much interest in classic alliance work. We want to fight for our common interests as a wage-dependent class - within social movements, and across differences.

Jan[re: volt]: Your initiative is now based on the background of stricter social conditions. In your founding document, you have dedicated your own chapter to the shift of social law. In it, among other things growing social problems, an activated racism on the basis of the refugee question and also a growing loss of legitimacy of the political system as a possible main causes. What practical consequences do you draw from this?

The platform: On the one hand, we formulate a clear and concrete analysis of political economy, which includes an analysis of world market competition and the resulting economic inequality. We will try to bring this analysis to an ever wider "audience" in order to gain awareness of the false "now" and class, that is, class consciousness. This is one of the basic prerequisites for social change. The rampant racism is in our view as similar to treat. Those who have class consciousness are less receptive to misanthropic ideologies. Individuals who are aware of basic systematics are more immune to racist delusion, to the search for "scapegoats" in the form of allegedly "strangers" or "others."

In our opinion, the aspect of increasing loss of confidence in the existing situation raises the central question: is this reactionary or progressive? The first turn is to fight, the latter is to support. This includes, for example, the support of concrete social struggles. From the neighborhood over the district, from the city, to the world. Specifically, these are the struggles of wage workers, tenants, those threatened or affected by poverty, or even people affected by misanthropic ideologies, such as racism or anti-Semitism. In short: "We want to be there, where it burns!"
Notes:

An anarchist tendency referring to the text "Organizational Platform of the General Anarchist Union", published in 1926 by a group of Russian anarchists in exile. In view of the lack of assertiveness and organizational weakness of the anarchist movement, this approach wanted to achieve a new, binding organization of the movement. The basis for this should be theoretical and practical unity, collective responsibility and a supporting structure.

[2]The term comes from the Especifismo. a sense of anarchism with a focus on a "specific, anarchist organization". It was created in 1956 in the "Federación Anarquista Uruguaya" and is today a widespread organizational model of the anarchist movement in Latin America. It is similar to platypormism in many ways. Its central tactic is social interference, the open participation of anarchists in broad social movements and class struggles. In contrast, for example, to Trotskyist entrism, it is not about taking an avant-garde or leadership role, but, in contrast, communicating revolutionary positions transparently and serving as antibodies to movements against authoritarian appropriation.

https://www.anarkismo.net/article/31496
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