Saturday, 31 January 2009
The Lindsey Refinery wildcat is beginning to gain support in other sectors and seems likely to spread. Is this a "Good Thing"( autonomous mass action) or a "Bad Thing"(racist,xenophobic)?
Politicos on the left will struggle to explain and emphasise the class nature of the dispute whilst those on the right will try to highlight it's perceived nationalist nature. Both will be wetting themselves in excitement at the prospect of another opportunity to "sell the paper, build the party". For Anarchists and others on the libertarian left the the response must be neither to lift up our petticoats and run, lest we are contaminated by false-consciousness, or to go into a state of denial about the nationalistic, anti-foreign feelings that like it or not are a part of, but only a part, of the culture of ALL classes. Already there are interesting discussions going on both Ian Bone's and the Libcon sites (see links) but of course the REAL debate and the one that matters will be happening on the picket lines, in the pubs and in the homes of the workers involved.
This is the real world. Mass movements are not made up of perfectly formed, anarchist revolutionaries. If we wait for that we will wait a very long time. No, mass movements are just that and are made up of people with all the usual blessing and failings that you will find at work and in your neighbourhood. Mass movements always contain the potential for revolutionary change. For revolutionaries the message is an old one- trust the masses and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.