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Thread: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Don't know but think it's on a placard from one of your water protest pics...I was wondering what it meant.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    It's an organisation of grassroots citizens who support democracy and that kind of thing and is funded by a philanthropic corporation which is supported by like-minded individuals and NGOs in many countries around the globe such as South Korea, Israel, the Phillipines, Bahrain, Canada and Switzerland.

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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraxinus View Post
    Don't know but think it's on a placard from one of your water protest pics...I was wondering what it meant.
    It is looking for a change to the Constitution to provide for "people inspired" constitutional amendments.

    It seems to be strongly supported by DDI - Brendan Ogle offered support too.

    The guy holding the banner, called Martin somebody, says that he started the campaign.

    Anyone know him ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    As we don't seem to have a dedicated thread for the whole NGO, Foundation, phenomenon - which has had a very big impact on politics in the last 20 years - I'm posting here, and will amend the title of the thread to make it more general (currently it is "Avaaz.org"). As anyone on the internet knows, there has been an explosion of all kinds of single issue NGOS that purport to over us a better, shinier life if only we give them our time, money, and click on their online petitions etc. This single issue approach has long been a feature of ISO politics presumably before receipt of any Foundation money. Instead of an across the board alternative to capitalist society, today, a single hashtag dominates for a few days or weeks before something else gets the headlines.

    As part of the ongoing discussion on the Trump Presidency Thread - rather than further derail it I'm replying to AMH here.

    The question he asked was, is it OK for a left organisation like the International Socialist Organisation to take funding from "the Foundations" ? - the streams of funding with a neoliberal agenda but that are directed into innumerable NGOs and activist groups on various issues.

    A group within the ISO wrote this piece which questions the set up in relation to Haymarket Publishers, (connected closely to the ISO) which accepts funds from Foundations amounting to around a quarter of its income

    https://externalbulletin.org/2014/02...iso-and-cersc/

    http://wgf.org/

    http://www.isreview.org/issues/61/re...otfunded.shtml

    My answer is - no it is not ok. Left groups should be campaigning against the Foundations, not taking cash from them.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 02-02-2017 at 01:28 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    As we don't seem to have a dedicated thread for the whole NGO, Foundation, phenomenon - which has had a very big impact on politics in the last 20 years - I'm posting here, and will amend the title of the thread to make it more general (currently it is "Avaaz.org"). As anyone on the internet knows, there has been an explosion of all kinds of single issue NGOS that purport to over us a better, shinier life if only we give them our time, money, and click on their online petitions etc. This single issue approach has long been a feature of ISO politics presumably before receipt of any Foundation money. Instead of an across the board alternative to capitalist society, today, a single hashtag dominates for a few days or weeks before something else gets the headlines.

    As part of the ongoing discussion on the Trump Presidency Thread - rather than further derail it I'm replying to AMH here.

    The question he asked was, is it OK for a left organisation like the International Socialist Organisation to take funding from "the Foundations" ? - the streams of funding with a neoliberal agenda but that are directed into innumerable NGOs and activist groups on various issues.

    A group within the ISO wrote this piece which questions the set up in relation to Haymarket Publishers, (connected closely to the ISO) which accepts funds from Foundations amounting to around a quarter of its income

    https://externalbulletin.org/2014/02...iso-and-cersc/

    http://wgf.org/

    http://www.isreview.org/issues/61/re...otfunded.shtml

    My answer is - no it is not ok. Left groups should be campaigning against the Foundations, not taking cash from them.
    I do not disagree, as he who pays the piper calls the tune. My question was rather as to what conclusions one should draw about an ostensibly radical or progressive organization, the ISO or any other, which does this all too popular thing of getting funding from all those nice sounding foundations.

    I think in most cases (not all) it is a symptom of the disease of reformism, the same disease that in America for example led all too many radicals, as well as millions of frightened nonradicals, into voting for HRC as the alleged lesser evil. Not of other worse diseases.

    -AMH-

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    I do not disagree, as he who pays the piper calls the tune. My question was rather as to what conclusions one should draw about an ostensibly radical or progressive organization, the ISO or any other, which does this all too popular thing of getting funding from all those nice sounding foundations.

    I think in most cases (not all) it is a symptom of the disease of reformism, the same disease that in America for example led all too many radicals, as well as millions of frightened nonradicals, into voting for HRC as the alleged lesser evil. Not of other worse diseases.

    -AMH-
    Reformism is not a disease, it is a political standpoint. In your view, is the ISO/Socialist Workers Party reformist ? and speaking as you are a "Marxist Historian" do you not think this is the worst disease that could strike a revolutionary organisation ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Reformism is not a disease, it is a political standpoint. In your view, is the ISO/Socialist Workers Party reformist ? and speaking as you are a "Marxist Historian" do you not think this is the worst disease that could strike a revolutionary organisation ?
    Absolutely reformist, as reading the ISO paper demonstrates. The British SWP are slightly less reformist than their former comrades of the ISO, simply because English public opinion is to the left of American.

    Given the worldwide right turn in class consciousness since the collapse of the USSR, not just the ISO but virtually the entire American left, except for the Spartacists and Norden's Internationalist Group, which I consider to be left centrist. I can't think of another American left organization with members too large to fit in a phone booth that I would even call centrist. When they talk of revolution it is just rhetoric, the real program of most American leftists these days is to tax the rich and not be racist or male chauvinist or anti-gay, instead of socialist revolution.

    Pretty much the same is true in England for that matter. And I would assume for the Irish outcroppings of Brit left groups.

    A bad disease, but not the worst. White racism is worse, and outright political banditry like the Northites is worse. The bizarre cultism of Avakian's RCP, one of your larger American left groups, is as bad as their reformism. And then of course the worst disease of all, left organizations actually degenerating into ruling class provocateurs, like the La Rouche organization, which once upon a time was a left organization.

    -amh-
    Last edited by A Marxist Historian; 03-02-2017 at 10:25 PM.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by A Marxist Historian View Post
    Absolutely reformist, as reading the ISO paper demonstrates. The British SWP are slightly less reformist than their former comrades of the ISO, simply because English public opinion is to the left of American.

    Given the worldwide right turn in class consciousness since the collapse of the USSR, not just the ISO but virtually the entire American left, except for the Spartacists and Norden's Internationalist Group, which I consider to be left centrist. I can't think of another American left organization with members too large to fit in a phone booth that I would even call centrist. When they talk of revolution it is just rhetoric, the real program of most American leftists these days is to tax the rich and not be racist or male chauvinist or anti-gay, instead of socialist revolution.

    Pretty much the same is true in England for that matter. And I would assume for the Irish outcroppings of Brit left groups.

    A bad disease, but not the worst. White racism is worse, and outright political banditry like the Northites is worse. The bizarre cultism of Avakian's RCP, one of your larger American left groups, is as bad as their reformism. And then of course the worst disease of all, left organizations actually degenerating into ruling class provocateurs, like the La Rouche organization, which once upon a time was a left organization.

    -amh-
    The UK SWP was in recent years caught up a scandal regarding allegations of abusive behaviour by male SWP'ers.

    I did not know that the RCP were active in America. In the UK they metamorphosed into the right libertarianism of the rather odd Spiked group. Almost all of the main Spiked writers are ex-RCP people. Mind you, the RCP were always rather odd, if we are talking of the same group.

    Edid: The La Rouche lot are/were the rummest of the lot. A really odd political cult that seems to, as you say, have been a left organisation at one point, though always with a cult of leadership around its leader.
    Last edited by pluralist; 03-02-2017 at 10:36 PM.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org

    Quote Originally Posted by pluralist View Post
    The UK SWP was in recent years caught up a scandal regarding allegations of abusive behaviour by male SWP'ers.

    I did not know that the RCP were active in America. In the UK they metamorphosed into the right libertarianism of the rather odd Spiked group. Almost all of the main Spiked writers are ex-RCP people. Mind you, the RCP were always rather odd, if we are talking of the same group.

    Edid: The La Rouche lot are/were the rummest of the lot. A really odd political cult that seems to, as you say, have been a left organisation at one point, though always with a cult of leadership around its leader.
    A different RCP. The American Revolutionary Communist Party are and in fact always were the largest American Maoist organization. Their main difference with orthodox Maoism is that they consider Bob Avakian Thought to be just as important if not more so than Mao Tse Tung thought. If you run into them, they will be hawking one of his books. He is the greatest genius of the 21st century you see.

    Still fairly large as American left groups go.

    I've had some Internet arguments with the Brit RCP. They in fact reminded me very much of the La Rouchies back in the day when they were still a left organization, except without the cultism.

    I recall arguing with one of the "Marcusites" about economics, quoting from the third volume of Capital which I'd just read, and the guy sneering at me because I hadn't read volume 4 unlike him. La Rouche or rather Lyn Marcus was supposed to be a Great Genius as he was allegedly the only man on earth who truly understood Marxist economics (even then, his Marxist economics was more than dubious, but I digress...)

    Spiked are not as far as I know government provocateurs, but they do seem to have their prime modus operandi advocating for various capitalist industries, so I don't think I'd consider them a left organization at this point.

    -amh-

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Ah ok. I've just had a quick look at the Wiki article on the US RCP and yes it is clear that as you say the US RCP are a different group to the now-defunct UK organisation of the same name.

    I don't know if Spiked are or are not government provocateurs. They seem to ally with the most reactionary elements in the UK society. Possibly for tactical reasons, I don't know. I cannot see anything Marxist, or even social democratic in what they publicly put forward. Brendan O'Neill, one of Spiked's main writers, also writes for the Daily Telegraph now and again, or Torygraph as it is sometimes known.

    Was Lyndon's original surname Marcus? I was not aware of that. Similarly, Frank Furedi (the de-facto leader of the UK RCP, and Spiked) used to be known as Frank Richards.
    Last edited by pluralist; 03-02-2017 at 11:15 PM.
    "If you go far enough to either extreme of the political spectrum, Communist or fascist, you'll find hard-eyed men with guns who believe that anybody who doesn't think as they do should be incarcerated or exterminated. " - Jim Garrison, Former DA, New Orleans.

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by pluralist View Post
    Ah ok. I've just had a quick look at the Wiki article on the US RCP and yes it is clear that as you say the US RCP are a different group to the now-defunct UK organisation of the same name.

    I don't know if Spiked are or are not government provocateurs. They seem to ally with the most reactionary elements in the UK society. Possibly for tactical reasons, I don't know. I cannot see anything Marxist, or even social democratic in what they publicly put forward. Brendan O'Neill, one of Spiked's main writers, also writes for the Daily Telegraph now and again, or Torygraph as it is sometimes known.

    Was Lyndon's original surname Marcus? I was not aware of that. Similarly, Frank Furedi (the de-facto leader of the UK RCP, and Spiked) used to be known as Frank Richards.
    I don't see any particular reason to see Spiked as government provocateurs, and given how poisonous and divisive such charges are, I never make them without solid evidence-as with the La Rouchies. But like the La Rouchies, they have abandoned the left for the right, though not with the secret police like La Rouche notoriously has done. Their flacking for corporate interests likely has much to do with the income stream that keeps them going.

    Back in the '90s when I was arguing with them, before they stopped calling themselves revolutionary communists, their politics was really rather like that of the "NCLC" of Marcus before they went off the rails.

    La Rouche is the real name. Lyn Marcus, a combo of Lenin and Marx, was the party name he used during the twenty years of his life that he spent in left organizations. Mostly in the American SWP, a few years in the Workers League, the distant ancestor of the World Socialist Website, during which he was in fact the organization's theoretician, so described publicly. And even a few months in the Spartacist League, after he got disgusted with the WL's then cult leader, one Gerry Healy, an Irishman you may have heard of. He quit when the editors dared to edit one of his articles.

    It's actually a fine piece, except for the paragraph that slipped though the editorial net about how a revolutionary leadership to be "qualified" has to be "schooled in Marxist economics." Here's the URL for it. "Battle for Asia" by "L.M.," the front page article in Spartacist magazine #6.

    https://www.marxists.org/history/eto...06-07_1966.pdf

    Page two, "reunification smashed," is about the parting of the ways between the Spartacists and Gerry Healy's "International Committee of the Fourth International," a name the WSWS still I believe uses, and how a fragment including L.M. went with the Spartacists-briefly.

    -amh-

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Interesting, but does not appear to be to do with the "Foundations" ?

    Would you like to suggest a thread topic, if I was to move those posts to a suitable thread ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Interesting, but does not appear to be to do with the "Foundations" ?

    Would you like to suggest a thread topic, if I was to move those posts to a suitable thread ?
    Something on the order of left history, or American left history.

    -AMH-

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Meanwhile in Romania, another Colour Revolution attempt ?

    http://www.politicalworld.org/showth...382#post461382
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Avaaz.org - Foundations, NGOs and Politics

    Row in Hungary over Victor Orbans regime closing of Soros funded university. Orban is no angel, has authoritarian tendencies and exploits race tensions. Along with this Hungary has a poor record over the protection of their Jewish minority. But as has been highlighted on here Soros funded foundations have been involved in attempted regime change of democratically elected governments across Eastern Europe, most recently Romania.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/w...sity.html?_r=0

    Pro EU protests by student being held this weekend in Budapest at the closing of the university.

    It's a quite grim spectacle at the moment of a choice between neoliberal globalists or right wing conservatives bordering on fascists. Trump Clinton, Le Pen Macron, Yanukovch Poroshenko. It seems that the choice for people is the right or the far right.

    This could end up with the break up of the Eu in the east, with the Visegrad group. The Eu defeat of syriza could end up being their downfall. A grassroots left wing movement that was happy to remain in the Eu but wanted radical economic reform. Did the aggressive facing down of syriza leave potential similar partners across Europe feeling redundant? And with this political elimination of the left...a left that was happy to remain in the eu....leave a vacuum which now the far right is beginning to fill, and not afraid to break up the EU.

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