11.08.2010

Against Incorporation into the Parliamentary Left, State-Funded Social Movements and the Liberal Establishment: Statement Regarding Nov. 11 and Reasons for Non-Alliance in the Nov. 11 Coalition

Background

November 11 is the Polish national holiday. Each year, patriotic and far-right groups march on this day.

ZSP has always stood against the spread of creeping fascism, racism and all right-wing ideology. We have always actively opposed such marches and our members have always, even before the birth of our organization, been amongst the main opponents of the groups marching on Nov. 11.

Whereas in the past, actions against the fascist marches tended to either be informal or centered strictly around the anarchist movement, the present coalition, in our view, is symbolic of the degradation of certain anarchist political tendencies and their incorporation rather into broad liberal politics.

Cooperation with Liberals

Those who wished to become something like official organizers of anti-fascist events decided last year that their main goal was to create a broad anti-fascism, for everybody. Although this might seem logical on the surface, what it meant in practice was the organization of an event for the liberal and left establishment. The most prominent speaker was from the editorial board of the main establishment newspaper; this was highly criticized by all social anarchists in the city. At the same time, there was much effort made to push the social anarchists to the side; instead they simply ignored the liberal picket and engaged in radical direct action.

However, the main mouthpiece of the anti-fascist action had become the main establishment paper. This year, it plays even a greater role, mobilizing people to stand against the fascists. At the same time, it is practicing censorship against journalists who would write about social movements inconvenient to capital. In another city, one local editor would like to even try and take over the organization of the antifa protest himself, as would the President of the City who is running for re-election.

We also notice that the involvement of the mainstream establishment press, funded organizations and left parties in the action has only increased the importance of this event and thus has largely served to help the fascists mobilize. Whereas a couple of years ago they were only 50, now they are several hundred strong... and mobilize such numbers in different cities. Unfortunately we note that a certain part of this fascist movement is motivated by reaction to both the dominant neoliberalism
in Poland, as well as the role of the European Union. Critical feelings towards neoliberalism are effectively manipulated by nationalists and various right-wing populists thus the role of the ideological mouthpiece of neoliberalism in Poland and Europhoria has served as an additional argument used to support the right-wing mobilization.

Whereas the antifascist movement in Warsaw was once anti-party, (even last year political parties were told not to come with their flags and banners), this decision is now reversed. Such a decision is all the more troublesome when we take into account the fact that people who were at our actions just last week, or whom we cooperated with are now running for election.... on the list of the SLD.

Such degradation of the left cannot be left without comment. For the past decade, even the pro-statist people who considered themselves leftists have been trying to build some movements or parties outside of the SLD, the former ruling party which is responsible for, among other things, attacks on the labour code, liberalization of public services, the introduction of flat rate tax and many other forms of relief for business, sending Polish troops to Iraq, setting up CIA torture centers in Poland, inviting Americans to put missile bases on this territory, etc. etc. Some years ago, members of ZSP attacked the SLD at every opportunity with great support of the people which considered themselves left of the SLD, or some sort of authentic left. Now they are begging us not to make anti-election campaigns against them. Some of us were even invited to a meeting with heads of the SLD on the weekend and had to suffer naïve attempts to buy us off, including the incorporation of some of our concrete postulates into their political program. But our political vision has not degraded and we have made our positions perfectly clear.

Whereas it would hardly be imaginable for self-proclaimed anarchists to stand arm in arm on the barricades with the SLD just a few years ago, they are now in coalition with some groups either supporting this party and even one NGO whose founder and main person is a candidate. In such a context, the Nov. 11 action is their chance to appear among anarchists, leftists and liberals and try to convince them that they are an authentic left party. People who used to organize around anarcho-feminism get sucked into networks, also in the coalition, like the Left Feminist Network. Their portal, called Feminist Electoral Portal named after Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka (SLD politician killed in Smolensk) is linked to on the Coalition page and it is clearly geared towards increasing the participation of left women in the reformist projects through electoral politics.

Such groups are not the only problematic ones, but it is rather symbolic of a trend: the incoporation of anarchists into left and liberal projects and/ or the subsequent apologism for the crap politics of these groups.

Further, we have to note also the number of people amongst the organizers of the action who finance their activity, including parts of this action, using state or party funds.

Besides the inclusion of groups participating in elections and liberals, we even have the inclusion of bosses, for example bookshop / cafe Falanster, with which ZSP had a labour conflict, listed among the supporting organizations as Falanster Collective. (Sorry, but since when do collectives have bosses who can hire and fire workers and who are owners?) For us, naming a capitalist business (albeit alternative) as a collective is the same as treating the candidates and politicians of the SLD as part of “the movement”.

Such a movement is not for us. We remain opposed to parliamentarianism and political parties, opposed to state support, capitalism in the guise of alternative consumerism or ethical business, opposed to the neoliberal ideology which worms its way into the conscious of young people as a package of neoliberal economics and liberal personal and lifestyle politics.

For these reasons, as we see the so-called left, NGOs, liberal lifestyle anarchists and others slide deeper into the muddy waters of broad coalition politics, we again this year decide that our fight is not only against the fascists, but also against capitalism and the neoliberal establishment, as well as the social democrats which attempt to channel left social movements into the dead end of concillatory political alliances.


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11 November – Against Nationalism, Fascism and Capitalism

Statement of ZSP Warsaw

ZSP Warsaw wil actively oppose the marches organized by right-wing organizations in Warsaw 11 of November. We are not only against the right-wing groups such as ONR, and their storm trooper subculture, but also against all the proponents of authoritarianism, xenophobia, racism and capitalism who propagate their conservatice and antisocial world view, regardless of whether they dress in suits or Lonsdale and Thor Steinar shirts.

The politics of the right-wing offer nothing to the working class except for ideological poison which drives people further apart and strengthens the authority and power of small elites.

Nationalism – this is the ideology which pits people from different lands against each other when internationalism is needed more than ever to combat the manoeuvres of global capital.
Racism – functions essentially like nationalism, promoting hatred for no reason, creating false scapegoats for societal problems created by factors such as capitalism.

Fascism – extreme authoritarianism which will never solve the problem of a lack of democracy in the liberal-parliamentary system. The cult of leaders and totalitarian dictatorships of parties can come in different colours, brown and red and sometimes mixed. Each of these forms of power aim to destroy real grassroots social movements. During the period around the Second World War, people from both tendencies murdered workers fighting for their rights.

Capitalism – the tool which allows elites to accumulate wealth, power and control over the means of production – pushing even more social groups into the abyss of unemployment, homelessness and poverty. The ideological screen of capitalism is liberal democracy, which in its hyprocisy announces its fight against fascism and nationalism, although it is the best medium for these tendencies.

We oppose the spread of these toxic ideas and call instead for human solidarity, internationalism and libertarian communism based on direct democracy. We oppose centralization with self-management at the workplace and in the community.

We look critically on those antifascists who come from the liberal tendency and call for opposition against fascists from ONR, at the same time expressing their acceptance of the worst antisocial politics of neoliberal capitalism. Capitalism is a system just as deadly as fascism and is responsible for the death and misery of millions of people. Modern ghettos for the excluded are created on the orders of the neoliberals with the loud applause of the neo-liberal media – with Gazeta Wyborcza at their head. Therefore, being antifascists, we are the enemies of the propaganda line represented by Gazeta.

We call on those who share this opposition to capitalism as much as fascism to join the anticapitalist blok on Nov. 11.

Fascists and bourgeoisie – we plan your end!

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