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Monday, December 08, 2008

Anarchist Asher Announces AWSM

My old opponent Asher Goldman and his comrades have formed a new anarcho-communist organisation.

From Indymedia

A new organisation has been formed with the aim of building a revolutionary anarchist communist movement in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand. For now, we are a small organisation with members in Wellington, Christchurch and a few smaller towns across the country.

AWSM came together when a few anarchists saw the need for a coherent and organised group of anarchist communists, inspired by the “platformist” strand of anarchist thought. Informal chats over the last few years turned into serious planning a few months ago and a little conference at Labour weekend (late October) in Wellington.

As class struggle anarchists our priority is active involvement in workplace struggles and industrial action as well as community based campaigns in our neighbourhoods.


AWSM's aims & principles are;

1: The Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement is an organisation working towards a classless, stateless society: anarchist-communism. We are made up of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists from across Aotearoa / New Zealand.

2: Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class. But inequality and exploitation are also expressed in terms of race, gender, sexuality, health, ability, age etc, and in these ways one section of the working class oppresses another. This divides us, causing a lack of class unity in struggle that benefits the ruling class. Oppressed groups are strengthened by autonomous action which challenges social and economic power relationships. To achieve our goal we must relinquish power over each other on a personal as well as a political level.

3: We believe that fighting all forms of oppression and exploitation is necessary. Anarchist-Communism cannot be achieved while sexism and racism still exist. In order to be effective in their struggle against their oppression both within society and within the working class, oppressed groups may at times need to organise independently. However, this should be as working class people only, as cross-class movements hide real class differences and achieve little for those in the oppressed groups. Full emancipation cannot be achieved without the abolition of capitalism.

4: We support Tino Rangatiratanga and stand in solidarity with grassroots indigenous struggle and direct action, while not supporting Maori capitalism and corporatisation (we acknowledge the lack of anarchist theory on the indigenous struggle in Aotearoa / New Zealand and are in the process of researching, debating and discussing a more detailed position on this point).

5: While trade unions can never be revolutionary, we recognise that the majority of collective workplace struggle today occurs within unions and therefore our members should join unions where they exist in their workplace, while being wary of any attempts by union bureauracrats to stifle rank and file struggle. Where unions do not exist we encourage our members to engage with their fellow workers to initiate collective action.

6: We recognise that the general strike is one of the working class’ most powerful weapons and oppose all restrictions on worker’s rights to take collective action, including strikes.

7: As well as exploiting and oppressing the majority of people worldwide, Capitalism threatens the planet through war and the destruction of the environment.

8: It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation.

9: We acknowledge that by implementing the organisation section of the The Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists - theoretical unity, tactical unity, collective responsibility and federalism - we will be best able to move forward in promoting the aims and principles of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement.


AWSM's website links to several sites linked to some of the Maori activists involved in Tame Iti's "quasi military" training camps in the Ureweras.

It is also believed that some AWSM supporters were among those arrested or raided by police in the October 15th 2007 anti terror raids.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Reid of America said...

"Capitalism is based on the exploitation of the working class by the ruling class."

Communism is based on the exploitation of the working class by those with no class.

Anarcho-communism is an oxymoron. Anarchists have more in common with capitalists than with communists. But that doesn't matter because this new party is about destruction which is the one thing they have in common.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Hi Reid

Adjusting to life under "The One"?

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

Hi Trevor,

I am hoping that Obama has outgrown the politics of youth and academia. He has sent out mixed signals so far. We will know more once he assumes power. I fear as the economy gets worse he will revert to protectionism and socialism as the cure. I also fear he will appease any large scale terror attacks.

I am glad New Zeal is getting a larger readership and profile on the web.

Keep on blogging!

3:03 AM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

Hey Reid,
I believe you would find true communism and anarchism are in fact highly similar. Although naturally this would be assuming true communism is achievable. I also stress that the world has never seen communism but rather Socialist States.

As for your comment on protectionism, I would hope that USA does not pursue such policies. Although I do not think that protectionism is in itself a bad thing. But rather it is best suited for when industries are in their infancy.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Asher said...

Trev - You do realise the ONLY place you could have got that (several years old) photo of me is on Redwatch NZ / Leftywatch, right? IE - You've been looking on Neo-Nazi blogs for photos of left-wing activists. As much as I can't stand your politics, I know you aren't a Nazi, so why are you taking things from them?

Incidentally, I own that image, and I don't want you using it on this site - as a staunch defender of property, I'm sure you'll delete it straight away now that I've asked.

Oh, and Reid, you couldn't be more wrong - anarchism and capitalism have nothing in common. Anarchist-Communism has a long and rich history stretching back to the 1800s, one which I personally am proud to claim and attempt to continue.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Gekko said...

"Oh, and Reid, you couldn't be more wrong - anarchism and capitalism have nothing in common"

Perhaps you'd like to explain why? Surely anarchism is about freedom from opression, and since capitalism represents voluntary freedom of exchange of property I would say that "anarchism and capitalism have nothing in common" is a fairly indefensible statement.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Asher said...

Gekko - An Anarchist FAQ says it better and more referenced than I would have time to do - http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/index.html

Especially Section C - What are the myths of capitalist economics? (http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secCcon.html) and Section F - Is "anarcho"-capitalism a type of anarchism? (http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secFcon.html)

5:06 PM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:08 PM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

@Gekko-
Capitalism depends quite heavily on oppression as a result of class. This oppression often stems into 'race' and gender as well.

6:11 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

What planet are these people from?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

Asher,
Now that you are a self proclaimed political leader why don't you provide Trevor with a press kit so he can post a pic of you. I assume most voters in NZ have never heard of you so any publicity is good publicity.

The only thing anarchism and communism have in common is a burning hatred of the existing political order. If the existing political order collapsed then anarchists and communists would fight each with the same hatred they now have against capitalism.

3:03 AM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

Reid you are quite the confused person here. Explain to us how anarchism has nothing in common with a classless stateless society?

A Socialist State is NOT communism.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Reid of America said...

red,

Your conception of communism and anarchism are fantasies that can never eventuate in the real world. We have real world examples of communist states and there is anarchy on the streets of Greece today. The real world results of trying to implement utopian political fantasies has been horrific. Anyone who believes in learning from experience would have nothing to do with these collectivist fantasies.

In order for a true stateless and classless society to exist you would first have to get rid of human biological differences that lead to class in the first place. Once you get rid of differences in the human population such as intelligence, physical strength, beauty, mental disorders, productive drive, etc. then true communism is possible. Until then you will remain marginal political freaks who consistently garner 1% of the vote.

9:48 AM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

@Reid-
I do not claim they are achievable, nor do I say such an attempt would be desirable. Personally I find communism to be severely lacking as it is quite socially and culturally blind. However Simply because it may not be achievable does not mean we should label something else as communism.

What you seem to be hinting at are Socialist States. As I am sure you are aware a Socialist State is a country which tried and failed at reaching communism. Hence they are not communist.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Asher said...

Reid - Since when am I a "self proclaimed political leader"? I profess to be nothing of the sort. Just because Trevor seems to think I'm in charge, doesn't make it true - AWSM is an anarchist-communist group, we all have an equal say (as you could no doubt easily find out by reading our constitution).

As for anarchist societies, check out parts of Spain during the Spanish revolution/civil war, and parts of the Ukraine during the Russian revolution, for a start. Anarchism is most certainly a very real possibility - not for tomorrow, but certainly for the future.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Asher said...

Oh, and check out http://libcom.org/thought/anarchist-communism-an-introduction to finally put your "anarchism and communism are opposed" thoughts at rest.

Anarchism is, of course, opposed to Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Leninism etc etc. But that's different from (small c) communism.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Gekko said...

"Explain to us how anarchism has nothing in common with a classless stateless society?"

I don't understand. Are you going to 'enforce' classlessness? Surely class is just an abstract term for a group of people who posses certain characteristics (such as owning property or (horrors) voluntarily exchanging money in return for the services of others). Are you going to use force to ban this practice? Ditto for discrimination, which at it's base is simply freedom of association. Are you going to ban that by force too? Doesn't that make you the state?
If you are not going to be the state and are not going to ban these things by force then you have the voluntary society that is anarcho-capitalism. Freedom of association and freedom to trade.

9:11 AM  
Blogger reddeath26 said...

@Gekko-
Lol you are asking me to defend something which I believe is close to impossible. Assuming that communism is possible, they have already reached the stage where there is no classes or state. It is the end phase, while there are still classes and a state then it is not communism. The way in which society was supposed to reach this stage was through a Socialist State.

1:55 AM  

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