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This article appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the author and publisher. COMMENT P.O. BOX 158 BURLINGTON, VT 05402 --New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought-- EDITOR: Murray Bookchin Vol. 1, No. 5 Price: 80 cents The American Crisis II NOTE: The following issue of COMMENT No. 5 is a continuation of No. 4. Please note that the publication of COMMENT has been moved to Burlington, Vermont, where it will be published for at least the next year. Readers who have subscribed to COMMENT will continue to receive it. Those who have not done so -- or do not intend to do so in the near future -- will cease to receive future issues owing to our very considerable print and mailing costs. Image::... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Table of Contents Introduction Inalienable Tenets of Anarchism The Class Struggle Organization and Anarchism The Role of an Anarchist in an Authoritarian Society Bringing About the New Society The Marxist Criticism of Anarchism The Social-Democratic Critique of Anarchism The Liberal-Democratic Objection to Anarchism The Fascist Objection to Anarchism The Average Person's Objection to Anarchism Introduction The Historical Background to Anarchism It is not without interest that what might be called the anarchist approach goes back into antiquity; nor that there is an anarchism of sorts in the peasant movements that struggled against State oppression over the centuries. But the modern anarchist movement could not claim such precursors of revol... (From : Hack.org.)


Note: This piece appeared as Vol. 1, No. 6 of Comment: New Perspectives in Libertarian Thought, edited by Murray Bookchin. Anarchism: Past and Present Note: The following issue of COMMENT was presented as a lecture to the Critical Theory Seminar of the University of California at Los Angeles on May 29, 1980. My remarks are intended to emphasize the extreme importance today of viewing Anarchism in terms of the changing social contexts of our era - - not as an ossified doctrine that belongs to one or another set of European thinkers, valuable as their views may have been in their various times and places. Today, more than ever, the viability of Anarchism in America will depend upon its ability to speak directly -- in the language of the Ameri... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The anarchist effort, like any effort, is one focused on social organization, these organizations should be voluntary and cooperative, and it is through these groups that we will establish a better world. (From : HoldOffHunger.)
• "Workers will never be able to emancipate themselves so long as they do not find in union the moral, economic and physical strength that is needed to subdue the organized might of the oppressors."
• "...we anarchists do not want to emancipate the people; we want the people to emancipate themselves. We do not believe in the good that comes from above and imposed by force; we want the new way of life to emerge from the body of the people and correspond to the state of their development and advance as they advance. It matters to us therefore that all interests and opinions should find their expression in a conscious organization and should influence communal life in proportion to their importance."
• "...the agelong oppression of the masses by a small privileged group has always been the result of the inability of the oppressed to agree among themselves to organize with others for production, for enjoyment and for the possible needs of defense against whoever might wish to exploit and oppress them. Anarchism exists to remedy this state of affairs..."


Anarchism versus Socialism By WM. C. Owen. London: Freedom Press, 1922. A FOREWORD "Anarchy versus Socialism," which FREEDOM now reissues, after it has run through its columns (1921-22), was published first some eighteen years ago. Emma Goldman was then one of the most popular lecturers in the United States, and, being questioned constantly as to the difference between the Anarchist and Socialist philosophies, felt the need of a treatise that would explain that difference. At her suggestion I undertook the task. The title showed my conviction that between these two philosophies of life no honest alliance is possible. I considered then that both sides suffered seriously from tile persistent efforts made to reconcile the incompatible, for tho... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism. At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Note: This article, from the book "Fragments: a memoir", by Sam Dolgoff (Refract Publications, 1986) recounts a trip to Israel by Sam and his wife Esther, to meet the anarchists there. In the mid-1970s Esther and I embarked on a two-week tour of Israel, not merely to see the sights, but to contact our anarchist comrades publishing their organ Problemen. We also wanted to contact Israeli settlers whom we already knew at home. We felt that the trip was all the more necessary because altogether too many comrades did not even know that there were a few anarchist groups in Israel, much less an anarchist publication there. We immediately contacted the editor of Problemen, Joseph Ludin, a prolific writer, himself an anarchist refugee from Poland. ... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

December 23, 1919.- We are somewhere near the Azores, already three days at sea. No one seems to know whither we are bound. The captain claims he is sailing under sealed orders. The men are nearly crazy with the uncertainty and worry over the women and children left behind. What if we are to be landed on Denikin territory. . . . . . . We were kidnapped, literally kidnapped out of bed in the dead of night. It was late in the evening, December 20, when the prison keepers entered our cell at Ellis Island and ordered us to "get ready at once." I was just undressing; the others were in their bunks, asleep. We were taken completely by surprise. Some of us expected to be deported, but we had been promised several days' notice; while a number were to be released on ba...


TO OUR COMRADES EVERYWHERE The anarchist movement is passing through a very difficult time. The World War, the Russian Revolution, and the present international reaction have resulted in the disorganization of our movement in the disheartening and disillusionment of many comrades. We are facing a serious task of reorganization; many vital problems are pressing for solution -- problem so grave that they can be solved only by the closest cooperation of the comrades in a spirit of mutual understanding earnestness and responsibility. That at such a momentous time there should develop in our midst the spirit of petty personalities and strife is more than tragic. It is positively criminal. The growing tendency of irresponsible accusations and rec... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. Ecology and Revolutionary Thought by Lewis Herber (pseudonym for Murray Bookchin) [Originally published in Bookchin’s newsletter Comment in 1964 and republished in the British monthly Anarchy in 1965.] In almost every period since the Renaissance, the development of revolutionary thought has been heavily influenced by a branch of science, often in conjunction with a school of philosophy. Astronomy in the time of Copernicus and Galileo helped to guide a sweeping movement of ideas from the medieval world, riddled by superstition, into one pervaded by a critical rationalism, openly naturalistic and humanistic in outlook. During the Enlightenment—the era that culminated i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Biography of an Anarchist
A Condensed Sketch of Malatesta from the book written by by Max Nettlau Published by the Jewish Anarchist Federation New York City. 1924 Introduction The short sketch of Malatesta's life is based on the exhaustive study of Max Nettlau, published in Italian translation by "Il Martello" in New York under the title Vita e Pensieri di Errico Malatesta, and in German translation issued at Berlin by the publishers of the "Syndicalist." Max Nettlau, the profound scholar of the Anarchist movement, biographer of Michael Bakunin and author of Bibliographie de l'Anarchie, lives in Vienna, and like so many intellectuals in Europe, in distressing economic condition. May I express here the hope that he will find sufficient encouragement to continue his v... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

CHAPTER I The Box Scandal; Gypsies and Germans; The Film Scandal; The Road to Salvation: In the Van; Lost Millions; Paradise Lost and Regained The Box Scandal Nellie, who ten years later was to be my grandmother, sat on the pavement in front of her house in a crumbling North London suburb tossing crumbs to the squawking birds, holding court of the cottages around among her chirping friends. Her husband Joe often remarked in reply to her complaints of the time he spent on charitable committees that she ran a more efficient advice center and board of help than anything the guardians of the parish did. Sure as fate Mrs Noel brought her along a hard luck story, a servant girl crying and holding her pinafore over her eyes to conceal her shame. "Her master won’t let her have her box because she left without notice," explained Mrs Noel, who faithfully found and put the lame ducks on proud display for Nellie to get fly...

Living My Life by Emma Goldman Volume one New York: Alfred A Knopf Inc.,1931. Chapter 10 When I returned to New York two days later, having been discharged by the Baltimore police magistrate with a strong admonition never again to come back to the city, a letter from Sasha was awaiting me. It was written in very small but distinct script and gave the details of the Monday in court. He had repeatedly tried to learn the date of his trial, the letter read, but he could not procure any information about it. On the morning of the 19th he was suddenly ordered to get ready. He had barely time to gather up the sheets of his speech. Strange and antagonistic faces met him in the court-room. In vain he strained his eye for the sight of his friends. He realized that they, too, must have been kept in ignorance of the day of the trial. Yet he hoped against hope for the miracle. But there was not a friendl...


"They Shall Not Pass!" They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, Their vict'ry turns to dust and ashes still; What tho' the tyrants should our bodies slay, The spirit free lives on and 'scapes their will. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When all have given their lives for liberty, Tyrants will know the price they have to pay T'enthralled a people fighting to be free. It shall not be! Let them do what they may, They shall not pass! They shall not pass! E'en should they win the day, When men as yet unborn shall read the story, They'll judge 'twixt those who st... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment In Russia (London: C. W. Daniel Company, 1925) PREFACE To First Volume of American Edition THE decision to record my experiences, observations, and reactions during my stay in Russia I had made long before I thought of leaving that country. In fact, that was my main reason for departing from that tragically heroic land. The strongest of us are loathe to give up a long-cherished dream. I had come to Russia possessed by the hope that I should find a new-born country, with its people wholly consecrated to the great, though very difficult, task of revolutionary reconstruction. And I had fervently hoped that I might become an active part of the inspiring work. I found reality in Russia grotesque, totally unlike the great ideal that had borne me upon the crest of high hope to the land of promise. It required fifteen long months before I could get my bearings. Each day, each...

The annals of literature tell of books expurgated, of whole chapters eliminated or changed beyond recognition. But I believe it has rarely happened that a work should be published with more than a third of it left out and-without the reviewers being aware of the fact. This doubtful distinction has fallen to the lot of my work on Russia. The story of that painful experience might well make another chapter, but for the present it is sufficient to give the bare facts of the case. My manuscript was sent to the original purchaser in two parts, at different times. Subsequently the publishing house of Doubleday, Page & Co. bought the rights to my work, but when the first printed copies reached me I discovered to my dismay that not only had my original title, "My Two Years in Russia," been changed to "My Disillusionment in Russia," but that the last twelve chapters were entirely missing, including my Afterword which is, at least to myself, the most vital part.


Translators Introduction The Ukrainian peasant anarchist Nestor Makhno visited Moscow in June 1918 and was granted extensive interviews with the Bolshevik leaders Sverdlov and Lenin. Many years later Makhno, an exile in France, wrote his memoirs of the tumultuous years 1917-18. "My Visit to the Kremlin" is a translation of the two chapters which deal with his encounters with the Bolshevik titans. Excerpts from these interviews have been quoted in various works in English but the full account was presented here for the first time . (i) (This pamphlet was sent by us to a Moscow publisher in 1992 and will appear in a re-translated edition in Russia for the first time simultaneously with this new edition - 1993 note). Moscow in June 1918 In Jun... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)


1. Anarchism was built up and invented by the working class to meet with specific problems in working class organization and to point the way to a society free from oppression. It differed from Marxism or authoritarian socialism in that it saw that copying bourgeois forms of organization or government was a mistaken tactic; also that government could form a new tyranny. It was not generally realized at the time that there could be two forms of aspirants to tyranny - capitalists and bureaucrats could take over a new government, but prior to that the middle classes were also divided in their attitude to socialism. The middle class as defined by Marx - the profit making class ^^ had a corollary in the mandarin class aiming at power and its cla... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Saverio Merlino sees, according to us, the decomposition and agony of the anarchist movement in the conflict between the individualist and the organizers on the ground of immediate action and in the intimate contradiction particular to the two streams of thought: those, the organizers “are not able to find a compatible organization with the anarchist principles”: those, the individualists, “miss the concept of retaliation which was the spirit of anarchist action. They can’t find a better way to act and they are not able to sustain an organization that they deny.” That these organizers can’t find some form of organization compatible with the anarchist principles is perfectly natural and logical: and this, its ar... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


This pamphlet is the second printing of an expanded version of an article that appeared in a 1970 issue of "Libertarian Analysis". It is the first pamphlet published by "Soil of Liberty". A second pamphlet, "A Critique of Marxism", also by Sam Dolgoff, is also available ($0.55). Bulk rates are available for both. Sam has been active in the anarchist movement since the 1920s and is a re- tired house painter living in New York City. "Soil of Liberty" offers a literature service through the magazine and a partial listing is available. Magazine subscriptions are $3 - $4 per year. Soil of Liberty POB 7056 Powderhorn Station Minneapolis, MN 55407 First Printing - August 1977 Second Printing - September 1979 NOTE: ABOVE LISTED PRICES ARE AT LEAST ... (From : Spunk.org.)


PREFACE Clarity of ideas is not characteristic of the average mind. Many people still continue to think and to talk of the Russian Revolution and of the Bolsheviki as if the two were identical. In other words, as if nothing had happened in Russia during the last three years. The great need of the present is to make clear the difference between that grand social event and the ruling, political party --- a difference as fundamental as it has been fatal to the Revolution. The following pages present a clear and historically true picture of the ideals that inspired the Revolution, and of the role played by the Bolsheviki. This pamphlet conclusively proves what the Russian Revolution IS and what the BoIshevik State, alias the Communist Party, IS... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


To write a biographic sketch of even an ordinary man within the limited space at my disposal would be difficult. But to write about one whose personality is so complex and whose life so replete with events as that of Alexander Berkman, is almost an insurmountable task. To do justice to such a rich and colorful subject one must not be so limited by space as I am. Above all, one should be removed, in point of time and distance, from the life to be portrayed. Which is not the case in the present instance. I shall therefore not attempt a biography at the present time. I shall merely joint down a few outstanding features in the life and activities of our Comrade, which may serve as an introduction to something bigger yet to be written. Perhaps i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Within the context of the debate that has taken place among our comrades from many lands regarding the Draft Platform of the General Union of Anarchists, published by the group of Russian anarchists abroad, I have been asked from several quarters to write a piece specifically devoted to the issue of the defense of the revolution. I shall strive to deal with it most diligently, but, before I do, I think I have a duty to inform comrades that this is not the central issue of the Draft Platform: the crux of it is the necessity of achieving the most consistent unity in our libertarian communist ranks. That portion asks only for amendment and completion before implementation. Otherwise, if we do not strive to marshal our forces, our movement will be condemned to succumb once and for all to the influences of liberals and opportunists who haunt our circles, if not outright speculators and political adventurers, who, at best, can prattle on and on but are incapable of fig...


• "The anarchists within the unions should strive to ensure that they remain open to all workers of whatever opinion or party on the sole condition that there is solidarity in the struggle against the bosses. They should oppose the corporatist spirit and any attempt to monopolize labor or organization. They should prevent the Unions from becoming the tools of the politicians for electoral or other authoritarian ends; they should preach and practice direct action, decentralization, autonomy and free initiative. They should strive to help members learn how to participate directly in the life of the organization and to do without leaders and permanent officials. They must, in short, remain anarchists, remain always in close touch with anarchists and remember that the workers' organization is not the end but just one of the means, however important, of preparing the way for the achievement of anarchism."
• "...a mass of people plagued by urgent needs and driven by aspirations - at times passionate but always vague and indeterminate - to a better life, and on the other individuals and parties who have a specific view of the future and of the means to attain it..."
• "Today, I believe, there is no-one, or almost no-one among us who would deny the usefulness of and the need for the labor movement as a mass means of material and moral advancement, as a fertile ground for propaganda and as an indispensable force for the social transformation that is our goal. There is no longer anyone who does not understand what the workers' organization means, to us anarchists more than to anyone, believing as we do that the new social organization must not and cannot be imposed by a new government by force but must result from the free cooperation of all. Moreover, the labor movement is now an important and universal institution. To oppose it would be to become the oppressors' accomplices; to ignore it would be to put us out of reach of people's everyday lives and condemn us to perpetual powerlessness."


This essay is contained in the book Anarchismus, Kommunismus, und Sozialismus (Anarchism, Communism, and Socialism) by Karl Diehl. Essay Six: The Theory of Anarchism Anarchism The Theory of Anarchism Why is it that in times of late Anarchy suits me so well? Each lives in pursuit of his wishes, That is also my goal. I leave to each his endeavors, In order that I might be able to pursue mine. In these verses, Goethe has characterized the essence of the anarchist movement in a strikingly accurate manner. Anarchism intends to create a society in which there is the greatest possible human freedom. To begin with, two sorts of prevalent errors regarding the means and intents of the anarchists must be dispelled. The anarchist movement is often mixe... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936Preface These essays are less an analysis of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-39 than an evocation of the greatest proletarian and peasant revolution to occur over the past two centuries. Although they contain a general overview and evaluation of the Anarchist and Anarchosyndicalist movements (the two should be clearly distinguished) in the three-year struggle at the end of the 1930s, they are not intended to be a full account of those complex events. It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Revolution was the farthest-reaching movement that the Left ever produced, for reasons the essays that follow will make clear. The Spanish proletariat and peasantry, led largely by Anarchist militants whose names will never be known to us, strained the limits of what we in the 1930s called "proletarian socialism" and went appreciably beyond them. Far more than the leaders of the Anarchosyndicalist National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist Fe...


The victorious revolution of the workers and peasants in 1917 was legally established in the Bolshevik calendar as the October Revolution. There is sane truth in this, but it is not entirely exact. In October 1917 the workers and peasants of Russia surmounted a colossal obstacle to the development of their Revolution. They abolished the nominal power of the capitalist class, but even before that they achieved something of equal revolutionary importance and perhaps even more fundamental. By taking the economic power from the capitalist class, and the land from the large owners in the countryside, they achieved the right to free and uncontrolled work in the towns, if not the total control of the factories. Consequently, it was well before Oct... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

Chapter 2. Repression, Violence and Failure; Development Continues (1825–1855) The reign of Nicholas I lasted from 1825 to 1855. From a revolutionary point of view nothing striking characterizes these years. This thirty year period is nevertheless notable in several important respects. Having ascended to the throne in the shadow of the Decembrist revolt, Nicholas I undertook to hold the country in an iron vise so as to squelch in the bud any expression of liberalism. He strengthened absolute rule to the limit and succeeded in transforming Russia jnto a bureaucratic and repressive state. ! The French revolution and the revolutionary movements which subsequently shook Europe were nightmares for him. He undertook extraordinary precautionary measures. The entire population was closely watched. The arbitrariness of the bureaucracy, the police and the courts no longer had any limits. Any expression of independence, any attempt to elude the iron...

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