Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : interests of the workers

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The ABC of Communist Anarchism

From: Alexander Berkman, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism, New York: Vanguard Press, 1929.

What Is Communist Anarchism?

CHAPTER I

I: What Do You Want Out Of Life?

     What is it that every one wants most in life? What do you want most?

     After all, we are all the same under our skins. Whoever you be - man or woman, rich or poor, aristocrat or tramp, white, yellow, red or black, of whatever land, nationality, or religion - we are all alike in feeling cold and hunger, love and hate; we all fear disaster and disease, and try to keep away from harm and death.

     What you most want out of life, what you fear most, that also is true, in the main, of your neighbor.

     Learned men have written big books, many of them, on sociology, psychology, and many other 'ologies', to tell you what you want, but no two of those books ever agree. And yet I think ...


• "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."

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