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CrimethInc’s hostility to organised anarchists and their reluctance to acknowledge workplace struggle combine to make their discussion of Wisconsin one of the weakest parts of the piece. They declare that “anarchists and fellow travelers occupied a university building in Milwaukee in an attempt to spread the unrest; rumors circulated about a general strike”, which is certainly one way of putting it. Another way of putting it might be to suggest that, rather than rumours about a general strike just circulating out of thin air, they might have had something to do with the huge push for a general strike made by the Industrial Workers of the World, including the IWW dual-carders who made two proposals to the South-Central Federation of Labor:
“first, to endorse a general strike and create an ad-hoc ‘Education Committee’ which could instruct affiliated locals on how they could “prepare for a general strike”; and second, to officially oppose all of the cuts that were contained in Walker’s bill. These proposals passed nearly unanimously.”
The IWW’s intervention has been described as:
“what is likely the largest, most concerted, and most successful intervention in a working-class struggle that the IWW has undertaken since the working-class ferment of the 1930s, at least. From mid-February to mid-March, the idea of a general strike was ever-present, such that nearly everyone in Wisconsin had to form an opinion on whether it would be feasible, successful, or justified. Even in many other parts of the country, from New York to California, the notion of a general strike became a legitimate topic for debate outside of the leftist milieu. It is very doubtful whether this would have happened without the activity of the IWW. IWW members from across the union coordinated their activity, and as a result the organization had an impact in the overall mood of the working-class greater than anything in decades.”
Rather than acknowledge that an organisation with many anarchists in its membership intervened in a mass movement to push its politics in a radical direction, CrimethInc just assert that:
“Anarchists of a more insurrectionist bent gravitated to the occupation in Milwaukee, which failed to pick up steam, while anarchists in Madison largely focused on providing infrastructure”, and complain that anarchists in Wisconsin were just “looking on from the margins”.
Since the CrimethInc ideology has decided that formal organisations are useless and workplace struggles are irrelevant compared to seizures of public space, a movement towards a general strike is seen as hardly worth discussing, and if there is anything important about it, it must have arisen spontaneously, so the activity of IWW members isn’t even worth mentioning. For a collective supposedly dedicated to opposing ideology, CrimethInc find it very difficult dealing with events that don’t fit neatly into their worldview.
7 notes (via hellfireandredredcommunism & selfactivity-deactivated2012090)