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Matilda Joslyn Gage was an American writer and activist. She is mainly known for her contributions to women's suffrage in the United States (i.e. the right to vote) but she also campaigned for Native American rights, abolitionism (the end of slavery), and freethought (the free exercise of reason in matters of religious belief). She is the eponym for the Matilda effect, which describes the tendency to deny women credit for scientific invention. She influenced her son-in-law L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz. She was the youngest speaker at the 1852 National Women's Rights Convention held in Syracuse, New York. She was a tireless worker and public speaker, and contributed numerous articles to the press, being regarded as "one of ... (From: /
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-19th century. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, the first convention to be called for the sole purpose of discussing women's rights, and was the primary author of its Declaration of Sentiments. Her demand for women's right to vote generated a controversy at the convention but quickly became a central tenet of the women's movement. She was also active in other social reform activities, especially abolitionism. In 1851, she met Susan B. Anthony and formed a decades-long partnership that was crucial to the development of the wom... (From: /
[THE SAME SCENE.—The table has been placed in the middle of the stage, with chairs around it. A lamp is burning on the table. The door into the hall stands open. Dance music is heard in the room above. Mrs Linde is sitting at the table idly turning over the leaves of a book; she tries to read, but does not seem able to collect her thoughts. Every now and then she listens intently for a sound at the outer door.] MRS LINDE. [looking at her watch]. Not yet—and the time is nearly up. If only he does not—. [Listens again.] Ah, there he is. [Ges into the hall and opens the outer door carefully. Light footsteps are heard on the stairs. She whispers.] Come in. There is no one here. KROGSTAD. [in the doorway]. I found a note fr... (From:
[THE SAME SCENE.—THE Christmas Tree is in the corner by the piano, stripped of its ornaments and with burnt-down candle-ends on its disheveled branches. NORA’S cloak and hat are lying on the sofa. She is alone in the room, walking about uneasily. She stops by the sofa and takes up her cloak.] NORA. [drops her cloak]. Someone is coming now! [Ges to the door and listens.] No—it is no one. Of course, no one will come today, Christmas Day—nor tomorrow either. But, perhaps—[opens the door and looks out]. No, nothing in the letterbox; it is quite empty. [Comes forward.] What rubbish! of course he can’t be in earnest about it. Such a thing couldn’t happen; it is impossible—I have three little child... (From:
[SCENE.—A room furnished comfortably and tastefully, but not extravagantly. At the back, a door to the right leads to the entrance-hall, another to the left leads to Helmer’s study. Between the doors stands a piano. In the middle of the left-hand wall is a door, and beyond it a window. Near the window are a round table, arm-chairs and a small sofa. In the right-hand wall, at the farther end, another door; and on the same side, nearer the footlights, a stove, two easy chairs and a rocking-chair; between the stove and the door, a small table. Engravings on the walls; a cabinet with china and other small objects; a small book-case with well-bound books. The floors are carpeted, and a fire burns in the stove. It is winter. A bell r... (From:
[Chiefly designed to have been incorporated in the Second Part of the Vindication of the Rights of Woman.] HINTS. 1. Indolence is the source of nervous complaints, and a whole host of cares. This devil might say that his name was legion. 2. It should be one of the employments of women of fortune, to visit hospitals, and superintend the conduct of inferiors. 3. It is generally supposed, that the imagination of women is particularly active, and leads them astray. Why then do we seek by education only to exercise their imagination and feeling, till the understanding, grown rigid by disuse, is unable to exercise itself—and the superfluous nourishment the imagination and feeling have received, renders the former roma... (From:
A taste for rural scenes, in the present state of society, appears to be very often an artificial sentiment, rather inspired by poetry and romances, than a real perception of the beauties of nature. But, as it is reckoned a proof of refined taste to praise the calm pleasures which the country affords, the theme is never exhausted. Yet it may be made a question, whether this romantic kind of declamation, has much effect on the conduct of those, who leave, for a season, the crowded cities in which they were bred. I have been led to these reflections, by observing, when I have resided for any length of time in the country, how few people seem to contemplate nature with their own eyes. I have "brushed the dew away" in the morning; but, pacing ... (From:
[Begun to be written in the year 1787, but never completed] CAVE OF FANCY. CHAP. I. Ye who expect constancy where every thing is changing, and peace in the midst of tumult, attend to the voice of experience, and mark in time the footsteps of disappointment, or life will be lost in desultory wishes, and death arrive before the dawn of wisdom. In a sequestered valley, surrounded by rocky mountains that intercepted many of the passing clouds, though sunbeams variegated their ample sides, lived a sage, to whom nature had unlocked her most hidden secrets. His hollow eyes, sunk in their orbits, retired from the view of vulgar objects, and turned inwards, overleaped the boundary prescribed to human knowledge. Intense thinking d... (From:
LETTER I Dublin, April 14, [1787.]         Dear sir, I am still an invalid—and begin to believe that I ought never to expect to enjoy health. My mind preys on my body—and, when I endeavor to be useful, I grow too much interested for my own peace. Confined almost entirely to the society of children, I am anxiously solicitous for their future welfare, and mortified beyond measure, when counteracted in my endeavors to improve them.—I feel all a mother's fears for the swarm of little ones which surround me, and observe disorders, without having power to apply the proper remedies. How can I be reconciled to life, when it is always a painful warfare, and when I am deprived of all the pleasures I relish?&... (From:
Introductory Letter. Letter II. Management of the Mother during pregnancy: bathing. Letter III. Lying-in. Letter IV. The first month: diet: clothing. Letter V. The three following months. Letter VI. The remainder of the first year. Letter VII. The second year, &c: conclusion.LETTER I I ought to apologize for not having written to you on the subject you mentioned; but, to tell you the truth, it grew upon me: and, instead of an answer, I have begun a series of letters on the management of children in their infancy. Replying then to your question, I have the public in my thoughts, and shall endeavor to show what modes appear to me necessary, to render the infancy of children more healthy and happy. I have (From:
Paris, February 15, 1793.         My dear friend, It is necessary perhaps for an observer of mankind, to guard as carefully the remembrance of the first impression made by a nation, as by a countenance; because we imperceptibly lose sight of the national character, when we become more intimate with individuals. It is not then useless or presumptuous to note, that, when I first entered Paris, the striking contrast of riches and poverty, elegance and slovenliness, urbanity and deceit, every where caught my eye, and saddened my soul; and these impressions are still the foundation of my remarks on the manners, which flatter the senses, more than they interest the heart, and yet excite more interest than esteem. The whole ... (From:
In Glasgow’s Pavilion Theater you would not expect to see a play like THE SASH MY FATHER WORE by Hector MacMillan. Folks go there to see pantomime more than biting satires. And one has to admire the courage of the actors who can get up in Glasgow and tear into their lines that strip the Orange and Papist legends down to their pubic hair. It’s about a stalwart Orangeman who finds to his dismay his long haired son is falling away from the faith of his fathers and the bits of realization start coming out … only fourteen miles from Scotland to Ireland… “Christ it’s three times that f’Glasgow t’Edinburgh” and did you know “King William there ‘of blessed memory’ … th... (From:
It is becoming increasingly fashionable these days for academics and professional writers and historians to illustrate their theses with the assistance of the tape-recorded mumblings of the inarticulate to support their unsubstantiated class-prejudices. This book is described by its publishers as “a deft combination of serious in-depth research and imaginative reconstruction”, but not one word of fact emerges from it. (We subsequently learned that the “in-depth research” and information came from a fringe theater group). The author’s “imaginative reconstruction” consists of one specific reference to the blowing-up of the Post Office Tower which, incidentally, was omitted from the police charges whic... (From:
Four decades on from its first issue, Black Flag is one of the few remaining publications from that time. So it is a great pleasure to be able to interview its founding editor, or at least the surviving half of that editorship, Albert Meltzer having died in 1996, as we enter the next ten years of struggle. When Black Flag was launched did you expect it to still be going 40 years later? Didn’t really think about it actually, our only concern was to get the next issue out and doing the other things we were doing. Would you care to talk a little about the founding of Black Flag? When I came out of prison in Spain one of my concerns was the lack of a pro-prisoners defense group, to which Albert suggested we relaunch the long-defunct A... (From:
Written by an American intelligence agent (Psychological Warfare Branch), this is the first reasonably satisfying account to date, in English, of the French Resistance. David Schoenbrun has an obvious affinity for those whose activities he describes, and his profession as a spy proves both useful and illuminating as he guides us through the murky labyrinthine world of political and military intrigue in London, Washington and Casablanca as well as Occupied and Vichy France. But it was not the Generals who fled to London or North Africa, nor the adventurers of the OSS or the SE who constituted the French Resistance, as this book clearly shows. It was the ordinary men and women from all walks of life and varying political persuasions. They we... (From:
My first meeting with Miguel García García took place in the mid-1960s in la primera galleria of Madrid’s Carabanchel Prison. He was in transit to another penitentiary and was in what was known as ‘periodo’ – a fortnight of sanitary isolation, ostensibly to prevent or limit the spread of disease. I was the practice nurse (practicante) for the 7th Gallery, a position that gave me the run of most of the prison and allowed me to liaise with comrades in different wings, especially with isolated transit prisoners or prisoners in solitary confinement. Miguel passed through Carabanchel on a number of occasions over the years, going backwards and forwards between penitentiaries and Yeserias, Spain’s main ... (From:
With the death of Luis Andrés Edo, aged 83, in Barcelona, the anarchist movement has lost an outstanding militant and original thinker, and I have lost a comrade-in-arms, a former cell-mate — and an irreplaceable friend. The son of a Guardia Civil, Luis was born in the benemérita barracks in Caspe (Zaragoza) in 1925, but the family moved to Barcelona the following year when his father, Román, was transferred to a new cuartel in the Sants district of Barcelona, where the young boy grew up, educated by nuns, monks and priests. Later, after the social revolution of July 19 1936, the ten-year old Luis became not only a ‘child of the barricades’, but also a ‘son of the CENU’ (el Consell de l&rsq... (From:
Just how important are the extremist groups in Britain today? Are they compatible with Parliamentary Democracy? These are some of the questions John Tomlinson, academic ex-labor M.P. and Junior Minister at the Foreign Office sets out to answer in this book — or does he? At the end of it, the reader is left wondering just who the extremists are; the medicine the author prescribes would serve only to further polarize society and kill the doctor as well as the patient. In spite of his self-styled impartiality and objectivity, Tomlinson’s position is that of an “extremist of the center.” By damning Left and Right equally he hopes to infer that he is the guardian of the mythical middle ground and epitomizes the spirit of... (From:
My first meeting with the dynamic and generous-spirited writer José Martín-Artajo (Pepe) was… in London in the early part of 1968. It was a year after he broke completely with his bourgeois past and walked out of his career as a Francoist diplomat, following the US-led colonels’ coup in Greece in April 1967. He had been first secretary at the Spanish Embassy in Athens. At the same time he separated from his German wife, Christa von Petersdorff, a psychoanalyst and translator of the works of Freud into French. Christa and Pepe met while she was researching her PhD on the comparative myth of ‘Don Juan’ in France, Italy and Spain. After the split she always said, with a smile, that she had ‘known Do... (From:
Stuart Christie has been an active anarchist through writing, publishing and action. He first achieved notoriety in 1964, when he attempted to assassinate the dictator, Franco. He was imprisoned for 20 years but freed only 3 years later thanks to an international campaign that included Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertrand Russell. In the 1970s, Stuart and Alfred Meltzer re-formed the Anarchist Black Cross (an organization to aid anarchist prisoners), edited Black Flag magazine and – by and by – was acquitted of being part of the Angry Brigade. Below is an interview with Stuart, together with an extract from a book he wrote providing details of what happened on that fateful journey to Spain to assassinate Franco. Introduction On 31 ... (From:
Goliardo Fiaschi, anarchist, born August 21 1930; died (aged 69) July 29 2000, was one of the youngest of the generation of anti-fascist partisans who resisted Mussolini’s Fascist regime in Italy and Franco’s dictatorship in Spain. (He left me his Lavallière knot floppy necktie — shown here — in his will.) In 1943, the young Italian anarchist, Goliardo Fiaschi, falsified his birth certificate — to make himself appear older than his 13 years — and joined the wartime Italian partisans. Armed with a captured rifle almost as big as himself, he accompanied the women who regularly crossed the Apennines on foot carrying food from Parma, Reggio or Modena, some 150 miles away, back to the starving inhabita... (From:
I’ve just heard [2019] from Xavier Montanyà that Floreal Barberà Blanch, another of the unsung heroes of the anarchist anti-fascist struggle, has died at the age of 98. A veteran of the 117th Brigade of the 25th Division on the Levante front where he fought until the final exile in France. His extraordinary life story is too action-packed to compress into a few paragraphs, but suffice it to say among other things he was a key member of the Ponzan escape network (sometimes known as the Réseau Pat O’Leary). As a 23-year-old he saved the lives of a caravan of sixty members of the Jewish Combat Organization (OJC) who had been abandoned by their guides crossing the Pyrenees into Spain, preventing them falling int... (From:
Sad news today: after a month’s deterioration in his health, Flavio Costantini, graphic artist and friend of 40-years, passed away peacefully in a Rapallo hospice on Monday 20 September. His wife, Wanda, and other close family members and friends were at his bedside. Flavio had lung cancer for some time; the seriousness of his condition, however, was known only to himself and Wanda – until near the end, which came sooner than everyone expected. He leaves cheery memories, and the world – artistically at least, with his visually thought-provoking images – a richer place … Flavio collaborated with me from the launch of the first Cienfuegos Press publication, illustrating the cover of Antonio Tellez’s &lsqu... (From:
More often than not it is the artist, writer or poet, rather than the historian or sociologist, who succeed in capturing the spirit of an age; in so doing, they make an important contribution to our understanding of society. Flavio Costantini is such a person. Born in Rome in 1926, his earliest ventures into art were motivated more by intellectual frustration than by artistic masters. “I started to draw because I read the Kafka books… it was impossible to write like Kafka, so I began to draw”. Other writers followed, but it was the human condition as portrayed by Kafka which was to remain the dominant influence in Costantini’s world. Retiring from the navy in 1955, Costantini returned to Italy to begin a new caree... (From:
My eulogy for Brenda: Good morning everyone and thank you all for coming on this sad occasion to say goodbye to Bern, my wife, life partner, friend and comrade through fifty-one years of life’s vicissitudes, caprices and blessings — the beloved mother of Branwen — and Nanna to granddaughters Merri and Mo. Brenda was an intensely private person who— although engaging, sociable and witty — disliked being the focus of attention, but I’ve no doubt she would have been pleased to see everyone here, sharing this day with us. A baby-boomer, born in Shoreditch in London in April 1949, Bern’s formative years were spent in Gosport in Hampshire where her lovely dad, Bert, was a Chief Petty Officer, a ‘... (From:
Antonio Téllez Solà, who has died at his home in Perpignan aged 84, was one of the last survivors of the anarchist resistance which fought to overthrow the Franco dictatorship. He was also one of the first historians of the post civil war urban and rural guerrilla resistance to the fascist regime. In his actions and his writings, Tellez personified refusal to surrender to tyranny. The son of a railway worker, he was born in Tarragona and was radicalized by the October 1934 insurrection in Asturias, which failed when the unions outside the mining region failed to give their support. On 19 July 1936, when the workers, this time united, held at bay the rebellion of most of the Spanish officer class against the infant left-wing R... (From:
I am sorry to announce the death this morning of my old friend and comrade Antonio Martin Bellido who died at 5.00 am, the same time 51 years ago as his two comrades, Joaquin Delgado and Francisco Granado, whose lives – and deaths were so closely entwined with his own. His funeral will take place in a few days. Antonio Martín Bellido, Madrid 1938-Paris August 17, 2014: son of a Madrid UGT (General Workers’ Union) militant exiled in France where he lived, in Strasbourg, from the age of two. Having served his apprenticeship as an electrical engineer, he moved to Paris at the age of 19 where he joined the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (FIJL). In 1962 he visited London with other young Spanish and French anarchists... (From:
Cienfuegos Press is an anarchist publishing project that for the last eight years has made a startling variety of books, pamphlets and magazines available to the English language reader. Its first book was Sabate, the story of one part of the guerrilla war carried on by anarchists against the Franco regime in Spain until the late 1950’s. Man! , an edited collection of articles and poems from the U.S. journal of the same name that published from 1933 until 1940 followed later. The Press has since published many, many books and booklets including Berkman’s The Russian Tragedy, Albert Meltzer’s The International Revolutionary Solidarity Movement, Gregory Maximoff’s The Guillotine at Work, Poole’s Land and Liberty... (From:
Another fine comrade gone! Just heard the news that Amedeo Bertolo, a friend and comrade since May 1968, a pivotal figure in the Italian and international anarchist movement, passed away this morning (22 November [2016]) in Milan. Amedeo was, with others, including Giuseppe Pinelli, a founding member of the Ponte della Ghisolfa anarchist group, the Croce Nera Anarchica and its bulletin which later became the glossy monthly ‘Revista A’, and countless other anarchist and libertarian initiatives and actions over the years. One such spectacular action was the 1962 kidnapping of Franco’s vice-consul in Milan, Isu Elias – the first political kidnapping since the war. The abduction was in response to the sentencing to death... (From:
To the People of Mexico: To the Peoples of the World: Brothers and Sisters: As of today, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation has declared, throughout all rebel territory, a GENERAL RED ALERT Based on this, we are informing you: First — That at this time the closure is being carried out of the Caracoles and the Good Government Offices which are located in the zapatista communities of Oventik, La Realidad, Morelia and Roberto Barrios, as well as all the headquarters of the authorities of the different Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities. Second — That also being carried out is the evacuation of the members of the different Good Government Juntas and the autonomous authorities, in order to place them in shelter... (From:
“Until death if it is needed.” “Until death if it is needed!” I heard this sentence in 1992, in Tzeltal… in Tzotzil… Ch’ol, Tojoloab’al… I think also in Mam… and also in Spanish. In 1992, 500 years after the Spaniards came to conquer these lands. I heard it when our peoples, our men, women, children and elderly decided to take arms against the supreme government. Nine months ago, or a bit more, we published the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona.[1] We committed ourselves to make an effort to unite all the resistances, all the rebellions, and all the fights that rose from below and from the left in Mexico, against the voracity of the governments and the powerful one... (From:
Good afternoon, good evening. My name is Marcos, Insurgent Subcommander Marcos, and I am here to introduce you to Insurgent Lieutenant Colonel Moisés. Within the EZLN General Command, he is in charge of international work, what we call the Intergalactic Commission and the International Sixth Declaration, because of all of us, he is the only one who has the patience for you all. Vamos a hablar despacio, para la traducción. We will speak slowly, for the translation. Nous allons parler doucement, pour la traduction. We want to thank you for having come all the way here to understand directly what is happening with this Zapatista process, not only with the attacks we are receiving, but also with the processes that are being buil... (From:
Brothers and Sisters of Rebel Italy: Greetings from the men, women, children and old ones of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Our word is made cloud in order to cross the ocean and to reach the worlds which are in your hearts. We know that today demonstrations are being held throughout the world in order to say “No” to Bush’s war against the people of Iraq. And it must be said like that, because it is not a war by the North American people, nor is it a war against Saddam Hussein. It is a war by money, which is represented by Senor Bush (perhaps in order to emphasize that he is completely lacking in intelligence). And it is against humanity, whose fate is now at stake on the soil of Iraq. This is the war of f... (From:
Acknowledgments THIS BOOK could not have been were it not for the generosity of spirit, talent, and daring of many people, more than could possibly be named in this short page or retained in this faulty memory of mine. To the dedicated people who translate the Zapatista communiqués so that they may circulate the world through the Internet, we owe a great debt for keeping the issues in Chiapas ever-present and for helping breach the Mexican government’s cordon of silence and denial. In Mexico, first and foremost, to the organization of Enlace Civil for the bridges they build between the communities of resistance and civil society, and for the guidance and care they shared with us during our visits to Chiapas. To Javier Elorri... (From:
National Commission for Democracy in Mexico FROM: LA JORNADA, JANUARY 18, 1995, To the weekly magazine PROCESO; the national newspaper EL FINANCIERO; the national newspaper LA JORNADA; the local newspaper of SCLC TIEMPO: January 16, 1995 Sirs: Here go some communiqués which indicate a change of direction in the winds. You are threatening us with unemployment again. I hope this time it’s serious. They tell me that Mr. Robledo Rincon [fraudulently elected PRI Governor of Chiapas] is huddled with his armed guards, self-named “state public security police,” in some place in the governor’s palace. Even though those who oppose the popular will are limited to four neighborhoods of the old capital of Chiapas, Tuxtl... (From:
“Marcos, the quintessential anti-leader, insists that his black mask is a mirror, so that ‘Marcos is gay in San Francisco, black in South Africa, an Asian in Europe, a Chicano in San Ysidro, an anarchist in Spain, a Palestinian in Israel, a Mayan Indian in the streets of San Cristobal, a Jew in Germany, a Gypsy in Poland, a Mohawk in Quebec, a pacifist in Bosnia, a single woman on the Metro at 10 p.m., a peasant without land, a gang member in the slums, an unemployed worker, an unhappy student and, of course, a Zapatista in the mountains’. In other words, he is simply us: we are the leader we’ve been looking for.” — Naomi Klein Ladies and Gentlemen: We received the letter that, dated January 1st, ... (From:
“War is a matter of vital importance for the state; it is the province of life and death, the road which leads to survival or elimination. It is essential to study it in depth”. Sun Tzu, “The Art of War” As a world system, neoliberalism is a new war for the conquest of territory. The ending of the third world war — meaning the cold war — in no sense means that the world has gone beyond the bipolar and found stability under the domination of a single victor. Because, while there was certainly a defeat (of the socialist camp), it is hard to say who won. The United States? The European Union? Japan? All three? The defeat of the “evil empire” has opened up new markets, and the struggle over ... (From:
FOREWORD This interview was created and conducted by El Kilombo Intergaláctico. We are a people of color collective made up of students, migrants, and other community members in Durham, North Carolina. Our project is to create a space to strengthen our collective political struggles while simultaneously connecting these struggles with the larger global anti-capitalist movement. When we designed this interview in our community assembly, we wanted to bring out several thematic layers. We wanted to talk about issues unique to the US: a particular set of race relations and our own perspective on the battle between capital and color; the historic and contemporary predominance of migrant, displaced, and “in-flight” populati... (From:
“Most psychologically and/or physically abused children have been taught by parenting adults that love can coexist with abuse. And in extreme cases that abuse is an expression of love. This faulty thinking often shapes our adult perceptions of love. So that just as we would cling to the notion that those who hurt us as children loved us, we try to rationalize being hurt by other adults by insisting that they love us.” ― bell hooks Last week, one of our members had a long and painful conversation with one of their siblings. We were reminded that there are all types of family and that our biological connections are often a source of deeply painful memories. This week we want to remind ourselves that there is no such thi... (From:
The way most people talk about climate change we are led to believe we all have an equal part in creating the capitalist nightmare we live in, but that’s a lie. The unsustainable and extractive nature of capitalism grew directly from the ideological and material foundations of European colonization. We cannot hold the entire human species responsible for that. It’s victim blaming. The vast majority of waste is produced by the same people and institutions who hold power. Fighting for our planet, the health of our land, our food, our homes, our communities, is where the fight against capitalism and white supremacy collide. Any fight for environmental justice must also be a fight for racial justice because BI&POC are the ones ... (From:
“As long as there is capitalism on the planet, it will never be saved; because capitalism is contrary to life, ecology human beings, and women.” ― Berta Cáceres “Capitalism can no more be ‘persuaded’ to limit growth than a human being can be ‘persuaded’ to stop breathing. Attempts to ‘green’ capitalism, to make it ‘ecological’, are doomed by the very nature of the system as a system of endless growth.” ― Murray Bookchin We cannot talk about sustainability without also talking about access, labor, and capital. And while we recognize it’s not easy to balance so many different forms of access and need ― financial, physical, racial, envi... (From:
The Limits of Individualism Too often we come home demoralized by the oppression we see every day. We want to do more to fight back against the inertia that allows oppression to exist. Sometimes we are able to do more — often we’re not. In this three part series we want to explore what it means to constantly come up against our capacity. We want to expand on how positioning oppression as something individuals can or should dismantle alone is a trap wielded to maintain the violence we resist. We want to identify how our willingness to make a difference in the world is used to beat us into submission by constantly refunneling our energy into hierarchies that don’t deviate from the status quo but rather reinforce it. And f... (From:
Academia has an aversion to language that precisely names oppression. Maybe it’s because it is largely controlled by wealthy, conservative white men (84 percent of full-time college professors are white and 60 percent of those are men). The stats for elementary and high school teachers aren’t better ― 80 percent white. Where white people don’t dominate totally, academia is still full of liberals who too often trade accurately naming oppression for institutional clout. In this Eurocentric, male, and capitalist education system, radical BI&POC are left in a constant cycle of learning “new” language to describe problems we’ve lived through and named for generations. But we think it is important t... (From:
One of our first priorities, after the first week of the December 2008 rebellion had passed, was to record its most important events so that comrades abroad could have some first-hand information. The recording took the form of a rough chronology of the events in Athens, supplemented with a chronology of what had happened in Thessaloniki which was written by the Blaumachen group and other comrades. Later, in the end of January 2009, we attempted a first analysis of the rebellion which was the text Like a Winter with a thousand Decembers (co-written with Blaumachen) –a text that, as the Chronologies before it, was sent to numerous comrades abroad. The above-mentioned texts, as well as an older text of ours, The Permanent Crisis in Edu... (From:
In January 1994, in the south eastern state of Chiapas in Mexico, news of the Zapatistas armed revolt composed mainly of Indian peasants, traveled all over the world bringing about an explosion of interest and information on Mexico because the rebellion was automatically connected with the Mexican revolution. In this text we undertake an analysis of the class struggles in Mexico since the beginning of the century up till now, which includes a critical presentation of the guerrilla movement of the Zapatistas. Among last year’s events, a presentation of the “National Democratic Convention” was decided upon, not only because its character transcends the boundaries of Chiapas but also because it is indicative of the political ... (From:
What is everywhere and almost on a daily basis proved is that the propaganda of the ruling class is not relied solely upon the hired bands of lackeys (media scum and academics), but it is also proped up by the confusing ideologies of their self declared enemies. The rulers’power lies in their skill in stuffing their slaves with words to the point of making them the slaves of their words, Vaneigem once said. And he was right. During the last year there was much political debate between Greek and (Slav)Macedonian bureaucracies upon the name,the constitution and the symbols of the new Macedonian state. Two large nationalist demonstrations were held by the major political parties in Greece in order to put pressure on EEC bureaucracy to... (From:
Interview with Greek anti-authoritarian communist collective TPTG about crisis of capitalism and its reflections on Greece and class struggle of proletariat against austerity measures. Interview was made before elections in Greece, but we discuss Left and their actions. Also, first two answers are taken from their article Burdened with Debt Reloaded. In 2010 you’ve published an article Burdened with Debt which you have presented in summer camp. In this article you’ve wrote about the way in which the crisis of capitalism is reflected in Greece, i.e. the “debt crisis” and “shock therapy” of the PASOK government in cooperation with the EU and the IMF, and you have also examined possibilities of class strug... (From:
The following text is a dialogue between Ta Paidia Tis Galarias (Τα παιδια της γαλαριας) [1] and the Lost Children’s School of Cartography about the latter’s text, Lost in the Fog [2]. This dialogue was produced for publication in TPTG’s journal, along with their Greek translation of Lost in the Fog. 1. Political and Class Composition You say, “While the occupations were perhaps first populated by the same cliques of activists who had championed the previous failed American social movements,” Could you offer the Greek reader some more details regarding these movements? It is fitting you would ask this qu... (From:
I. Our discussion deals with self-propagating systems. By a self-propagating system (‘self-prop system’ for short) we mean a system that tends to promote its own survival and propagation. A system may propagate itself in either or both of two ways: The system may indefinitely increase its own size and/or power, or it may give rise to new systems that possess some of its own traits. The most obvious examples of self-propagating systems are biological organisms. Groups of biological organisms can also constitute self-prop systems; e.g., wolf packs and hives of honeybees. Particularly important for our purposes are self-prop systems that consist of groups of human beings. For example, nations, corporations, labor unions, and po... (From:
It’s the autumn of 2025 AD. The technoindustrial system fell apart a year ago, but you and your friends are doing alright. Your garden has flourished this past summer and in your cabin you have a good supply of dried vegetables, dried beans and other foodstuffs to get you through the coming winter. Just now you’re harvesting your potatoes. With your spades, you and your friends uproot one potato after another and pick the plump tubers out of the soil. Suddenly the friend at your elbow nudges you and you look up. Uh-oh. A gang of mean-looking men is coming up your trail. They have guns. They look like trouble, but you stand firm. The leader of the gang walks up to you and says, “Nice looking potatoes you got there.”... (From:
1. As the Industrial Revolution proceeded, modern society created for itself a self-congratulatory myth, the myth of “progress”: From the time of our remote, ape-like ancestors, human history had been an unremitting march toward a better and brighter future, with everyone joyously welcoming each new technological advance: animal husbandry, agriculture, the wheel, the construction of cities, the invention of writing and of money, sailing ships, the compass, gunpowder, the printing press, the steam engine, and, at last, the crowning human achievement-modern industrial society! Prior to industrialization, nearly everyone was condemned to a miserable life of constant, backbreaking labor, malnutrition disease, and an early death. Are... (From:
The revolution is not a dinner party…[1] -- Mao Zedong A great revolution is brewing. What this means is that the necessary preconditions for revolution are being created. Whether the revolution will become a reality will depend on the courage, determination, persistence, and effectiveness of revolutionaries. The necessary preconditions for revolution[2] are these: There must be a strong development of values that are inconsistent with the values of the dominant classes in society, and the realization of the new values must be impossible without a collapse of the existing structure of society. When these conditions are present, there arises an irreconcilable conflict between the new values and the values that are necessary fo... (From:
About Freedom Club Freedom Club (FC) was an anarchist terror group that engaged in a bombing campaign on scientists and technologists between the 1970s and 1990s to spread an anti-industrial message. They promised to stop the bombings if a national newspaper would widely publish their manuscript against industrial society, “Industrial Society and Its Future,” also known as “The Unabomber Manifesto.” After the Washington Post and the New York Times published the manuscript, David Kaczynski contacted the FBI to suggest that FC might be his brother, Theodore Kaczynski. When the FBI raided Ted Kaczynski’s house, they found all the evidence needed to link him to the bombings and convict him as the Unabomber. Ted... (From:
C. W. Griffin, Jr., exaggerates the extent to which Americans romanticize the freedom, independence, and adventure of the frontier. In any case, such romanticization should be regarded as a symptom rather than a disease. A happily married man does not daydream about romantic love. Similarly, a man does not romanticize frontier freedoms unless he is suffering from a lack of personal autonomy. Mr. Griffin apparently would like to change people to make them fit the restrictive structure of society. Perhaps a better solution would be to change the structure of society so that it becomes possible to allow people some of the freedom and independence that they seem to crave. A society, after all, is supposed to be designed for the benefit of the p... (From:
I should begin by noting that the validity of my comments about McVeigh is limited by the fact that I didn’t know him terribly well. We were often put in the outdoor rec yard together in separate wire-mesh cages, but I always spent most of the rec period running in a small oval, because of the restricted area of the cages and consequently I had only about 15 or 20 minutes of each rec period for talking with other inmates. Also, I was at first reluctant to become friendly with McVeigh because I thought (correctly) that any friendly relations between McVeigh and me would be reported to the media and I also thought (incorrectly, it seems) that such reports would lose me many supporters. But my reluctance very soon passed away: When you&r... (From:
Regarding Individualists Tending Toward Savagery (ITS), you say that they do not believe that a movement should be created dedicated to the elimination of the techno-industrial system and that their intention is to stop technological progress, but without the intention to or any hope of eliminating the system. From this, and also from the parts of the communiques that UR has sent to me, it is clear that ITS is ignorant when it comes to politics. It is absolutely impossible to stop technological progress, or even to slow it down, without eliminating the entire technological system. In addition, the parts of the communiques that I have mentioned show that ITS’ understanding of revolution is at a kindergarten level. They believe that a ... (From:
Ted Kaczynski describes his experiences in the wilderness and his thoughts on civilization, violence, and green anarchism. Up to the time when I entered Harvard University at the age of sixteen, I used to dream of escaping from civilization and going to live in some wild place. During the same period, my distaste for modern life grew as I became increasingly aware that people in industrial society were reduced to the status of gears in a machine, that they lacked freedom and were at the mercy of the large organizations that controlled the conditions under which they lived. After I entered Harvard University I took some courses in anthropology, which taught me more about primitive peoples and gave me an appetite to acquire some of the know... (From:
You write: “Even some primitive people from Mexico join the values of modern society (because of TV). What could make them go back to the forest?” What could “make them go back to the forest” would be an end to the functioning of the world’s industrial centers. The Mexican Indians couldn’t use their TV sets if the TV stations were no longer broadcasting. They couldn’t use motor vehicles or any internal combustion engines if the refineries were no longer producing fuel. They couldn’t use any electrical appliances if the electrical power-plants were no longer producing electricity. Or, even if the Indians relied on small, local, water-powered generators, these would become useless when parts of... (From:
Ted Kaczynski’s thoughts on revolution, anti-tech ideology, and green anarchists in a letter to a German. There are two difficulties connected with the characteristic victimization issues of the left, such as the alleged oppression of women, homosexuals, racial or ethnic minorities, and animals. First, these issues distract attention from the technology problem. Rebellious energies that might have been directed against the technological system are expended instead on the irrelevant problems of racism, sexism, etc. Therefore it would have been better if these problems had been completely solved. In that case they could not have distracted attention from the technology problem. But revolutionists should not attempt to solve the probl... (From:
*1. Theodore Kaczysnki (Unabomber) Answers Questions About His Book And Society Theodore Kaczynski (UNABOMBER) is serving time in Florence, Colorado’s maximum state prison for bombings in America that began in 1978 and ended with his arrest on April 6, 1996. He claims that his reason for doing this is to get the worlds attention so that his anti technological manifesto (Industrial Society and its Future) could be read. In 2010 his collected essays and his manifesto were published under the title Technological Slavery. Below is an exclusive question and answer interview with him conducted through mail. In paragraph 28 of Industrial Society and it’s Future (ISAIF) you write that “the duty of society to take care of the in... (From:
The supreme luxury of the society of technical necessity will be to grant the bonus of useless revolt and of an acquiescent smile. —Jacques Ellul[1] The System has played a trick on today's would-be revolutionaries and rebels. The trick is so cute that if it had been consciously planned one would have to admire it for its almost mathematical elegance. 1. What the System Is Not Let's begin by making clear that the System is not. The System is not George W. Bush and his advisers and appointees, it is not the cops who maltreat protesters, it is not the CEOs of the multinational corporations, and it is not the Frankensteins in their laboratories who criminally tinker with the genes of living things. All of these people are servan... (From:
Once upon a time, the captain and the mates of a ship grew so vain of their seamanship, so full of hubris and so impressed with themselves, that they went mad. They turned the ship north and sailed until they met with icebergs and dangerous floes, and they kept sailing north into more and more perilous waters, solely in order to give themselves opportunities to perform ever-more-brilliant feats of seamanship. As the ship reached higher and higher latitudes, the passengers and crew became increasingly uncomfortable. They began quarreling among themselves and complaining of the conditions under which they lived. “Shiver me timbers,” said an able seaman, “if this ain’t the worst voyage I’ve ever been on. The dec... (From:
In these pages it is argued that continued scientific and technical progress will inevitably result in the extinction of individual liberty. I use the word “inevitably” in the following sense: One might—possibly—imagine certain conditions of society in which freedom could coexist with unfettered technology, but these conditions do not actually exist, and we know of no way to bring them about, so that, in practice, scientific progress will result in the extinction of individual liberty. Toward the end of this essay we propose what appears to be the only thing that bears any resemblance to a practical remedy for this situation. I hope that the reader will bear with me when I recite arguments and facts with which he ma... (From:
“Morality, guilt and fear of condemnation act as cops in our heads, destroying our spontaneity, our wildness, our ability to live our lives to the full.... I try to act on my whims, my spontaneous urges without caring what others think of me.... I want no constraints on my life; I want the opening of all possibilities.... This means... destroying all morality.” — Feral Faun, “The Cops in Our Heads: Some Thoughts on Anarchy and Morality.”[1] It is true that the concept of morality as conventionally understood is one of the most important tools that the system uses to control us, and we must liberate ourselves from it. But suppose you’re in a bad mood one day. You see an inoffensive but ugly old lady; her... (From:
I see from Green Anarchy No.6, page 7, that Jesús Sepúlveda says the Zapatistas are resisting modernization. If that’s true, then they had better get rid of Subcomandante Marcos, ¡muy pronto! The good Subcomandante is no opponent of modernization. Here are some quotes from a speech that he gave during the Zapatistas’ recent march on Mexico City: If we don’t already have enough money for medicine, now they will be taking another bit out of our wages… The economic packages…mean nothing to us but more taxes, price increases, salary reductions, more unemployment, fewer work benefits, uses the furniture; the one who enjoys our work; the one who is fed… The one which has the light,... (From:
In 2009, a correspondent asked me whether I thought nuclear weapons were the most dangerous aspect of modern technology. What follows is my reply, heavily rewritten. The most dangerous aspect of modern technology probably is not nuclear weapons. It could plausibly be argued that the remedies for global warming that are likely to be adopted constitute the most dangerous aspect of modern technology. Nations have a strong incentive to avoid using nuclear weapons, at least on any large scale, because such use would probably be suicidal. This doesn’t mean that nuclear war can never happen. On the contrary, the risk of it is very real. But a major nuclear war at least is not a strong probability for the foreseeable future. On the other ha... (From:
A number of anthropologically inclined individuals have in recent years gained fame and fortune by authoring books of the "Naked Ape" genre. These writers, by explaining human behavior in terms of territorial imperative, dominance rankings, and other instincts originating before the dawn of Paleolithic times, have succeeded in attaching an aura of romance to our most mundane actions. Nowadays, when a man makes love to his wife, he is no longer just a man making love to his wife; he is a muscular, aggressive cavemen enacting a savage rite inherited from the misty past. When a junior executive bosses a subordinate, he is proving his virility by reinforcing his position in the dominance hierarchy; and when he attends a business conference, he ... (From:
Introduction Ted Kaczynski wrote this letter in reply to a Turkish anarchist, Kara, who sent him a series of questions as an interview for her zine. Rather than include Kara’s letter, I have quoted only the questions which Kaczynski answered. Spelling and typographical errors, apparently introduced in transcription, have been fixed. Kara’s English has been corrected. Section headings have been added. In the letter, Kaczynski describes his personal motivation for absconding from civilization; he quotes from his journal to explain his motive for seeking its destruction; he asserts the responsibility of technology for civilization; he addresses the idea of nonviolence as a value in itself; he rebuts the romanticized vision of p... (From:
Introduction 1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lea... (From:
When I wrote to the New York Times offering to desist from terrorism if my manuscript were published, I promised that the manifesto would not explicitly advocate violence, because I assumed that the mainstream media would refuse to publish anything that did advocate violence. For that reason, in Industrial Society and Its Future (ISIF), I understated the probable role of violence in revolution. In reality, I think it is almost certain that a successful revolution against the techno-industrial system will have to involve violence at some point. Force and violence are the ultimate sanction. When a major social conflict cannot be resolved through compromise, the issue is settled by physical force or the threat of it. As I argued in ISIF, para... (From:
When I was in highschool I took a course in chemistry. There was only one aspect of the subject which interested me, as any chemist could have seen from a brief inspection of my rather specialized home collection of reagents: powdered aluminum, powdered magnesium, powdered zinc, sulfure, potassium nitrate, potassium suitable combinations, these things are capable of exploding. One day in the laboratory, having finished my assigned experiment early, I thought I might as well spend the extra time pursuing my favorite line of research. On theoretical grounds, a mixture of red phosphorus and potassium clorate seemed promising. (I did not know at the time that it is the red phosphorus in the scratching surface of a match-book,... (From:
1. The Purpose Of This Article. The purpose of this article is to point out a very simple principle of human conflict, a principle that opponents of the techno-industrial system seem to be overlooking. The principle is that in any form of conflict, if you want to win, you must hit your adversary where it hurts. I have to explain that when I talk about “hitting where it hurts” I am not necessarily referring to physical blows or to any other form of physical violence. For example, in oral debate, “hitting where it hurts” would mean making the arguments to which your opponents position is most vulnerable. In a presidential election, “hitting where it hurts” would mean winning from your opponent the state... (From:
I have to begin by saying that I am deeply dissatisfied with this book. It should have been an organized and systematic exposition of a series of related ideas. Instead, it is an unorganized collection of writings that expound the ideas unsystematically. And some ideas that I consider important are not even mentioned. I simply have not had the time to organize, rewrite, and complete the contents of this book. The principal reason why I have not had time is that agencies of the United States government have created unnecessary legal difficulties for me. To mention only the most important of these difficulties, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California has formally proposed to round up and confiscate the original and e... (From:
The “ecofascists,” as I understand that term, share, at a minimum, two traits: They do not advocate total rejection of modern technology; instead, they want to create a society in which technology will be “limited and “wisely” used in such a way as to ensure the ecological health of our planet. They support, if not white supremacism, then at least white separatism. First let’s take trait I. In essence, the ecofascists want a planned society, which means quite simply that they are socialists, for the fundamental idea of socialism is that of the planned society.[1] The illusion of the planned society originated in the Enlightenment, when certain philosophers, misled by the successful applicat... (From:
After reading the five communiques that the Individualists Tending toward the Wild [1] (ITS) have published on, Último Reducto (UR) wish to make some comments about these texts: [2] We are not going to go into the worn and generally sterile debate here about whether or not the use of violence as a means for combating the techno-industrial system is appropriate. Our critiques will go in other directions: 1. It is unfortunate what an overwhelming number of spelling mistakes, syntax errors, failures of grammatical concordance, stylistic defects, punctuation mistakes, etc., appear in ITS’ first four communiques, since it makes reading them much more difficult and less attractive for those who mi... (From:
Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an ax in the hand of a pathological criminal. — Albert Einstein[1] 1. A great revolution is brewing; a world revolution. Consider the origin of the two most important revolutions of modern times: the French and the Russian. During the 18th century France was ruled by a monarchical government and a hereditary aristocracy. This regime had originated in the Middle Ages and had been founded on feudal concepts and values — concepts and values suitable for a warlike agrarian society in which power was based principally on heavy cavalry that fought with lance and sword. The regime had been modified over the centuries as political p... (From:
I would like to comment on some statements that were made in reference to the Unabomber’s manifesto in GA 40–41. In an article on pages 21–22, Anti-Authoritarians Anonymous wrote: [A] return to undomesticated autonomous ways of living would not be achieved by the removal of industrialism alone. Such removal would still leave domination of nature, subjugation of women, war, religion, the state, and division of labor, to cite some basic social pathologies. It is civilization itself that must be undone to go where Unabomber wants to go. I agree with much of this. But there is the question of feasibility. As was pointed out in Industrial Society and Its Future (ISIF), paragraphs 208–210, modern technology depen... (From:
In 1999 I requested an interview with Theodore J. Kaczynski for the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch which he kindly granted. The interview took place that same year at the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado. BVD: Well… TJK: Well. BVD: Well, why did you leave your job at Berkeley and your career in mathematics? TJK: At the time I accepted the job at Berkeley, I had already decided that I would keep it for at most two years before leaving it to go live in the woods. The fact is that I never at any time felt satisfied with the idea of spending my life as just a mathematician and nothing more. Ever since my early teens I had dreamed of escaping from civilization—as in going to live on an uninhabite... (From:
1. Último Reducto has recently called attention to some flaws in my work. For example, in ISAIF, paragraph 69, I wrote that primitive man could accept the risk of disease stoically because “it is no one’s fault, unless it is the fault of some imaginary, impersonal demon.” Último Reducto pointed out that this often is not true, because in many primitive societies people believe that diseases are caused by witchcraft. When someone becomes sick the people will try to identify and punish the witch—a specific person—who supposedly caused the illness. Again, in paragraph 208 I wrote, “We are aware of no significant cases of regression in small-scale technology,” but Último Reducto... (From:
The Orphic initiators of antiquity, the Orpheotelestai, were said to travel from city-state to city-state healing ancestral curses, performing initiations, offering deliverance by way of sacrifice, and distributing piles of magical books. One such book, the Orphic Hymns, contains ritual technology for the invocation of the gods in nocturnal rites. Another, the lesser known Orphic Lithica, functions as a handbook on the magical uses of stones by the ritual practitioner. Stones figure prominently in the reemergent magical traditions of the present, and these traditions are beginning to wake up to the danger posed by the commodification of sacred stone and plant allies. This danger is nowhere more evidenced than in the esthetic-extraction fren... (From:
Sun in Pisces · New Moon in Pisces The puppet, called “historical materialism,” is to win all the time. It can easily be a match for anyone if it enlists the services of theology, which today, as we know, is small and ugly and has to keep out of sight. – Walter Benjamin The new moon has always been the ally of runaways, anarchists, and insurgents. In the darkness, guided only by the stars, we make our escapes, we hide from our enemies, we attack. The doors to these possibilities are especially open during Pisces, the watery sign of all things hidden and the last sign before the cycle begins once again with fire. A Piscean origin story tells of Aphrodite and Eros leaping into the Euphrates and taking the f... (From:
February 2018 · Sun in Aquarius · Full moon and total lunar eclipse in Leo I am not a progressive. I think the idea of progress an invidious and generally harmful mistake. I am interested in change, which is an entirely different matter. – Ursula K. Le Guin I approached the confines of death, and having trod on the threshold of Proserpine, I returned therefrom, being borne through all the elements. At midnight I saw the sun shining with its brilliant light; and I approached the presence of the Gods beneath, and the Gods of heaven, and stood near, and worshiped them. – Apuleius, Metamorphoses But as always we refuse to despair. We are aware that many comrades are searching for possibilities to... (From:
January 2018 · Sun in Capricorn · Full moon in Cancer · Saturn in Capricorn What characterizes revolutionary classes at their moment of action is the awareness that they are about to make the continuum of history explode. The Great Revolution introduced a new calendar. The initial day of a calendar presents history in time-lapse mode. And basically it is this same day that keeps recurring in the guise of holidays, which are days of remembrance. Thus, calendars do not measure time the way clocks do; they are monuments of a historical consciousness of which not the slightest trace has been apparent in Europe, it would seem, for the past hundred years. In the July Revolution an incident occurred in which this consciou... (From:
December 2017 · Sun in Sagittarius · Full moon in Gemini The avenger that completes the task of liberation in the name of generations of the downtrodden. This conviction, which had a brief resurgence in the Spartacus League, has always been objectionable to Social Democrats. Within three decades they managed to erase the name of Blanqui almost entirely, though at the distant thunder of that name the preceding century had quaked. – Benjamin, “On the Concept of History” Let us finally conclude the immanence of the smallest scraps of matter. Although their lifespan is of one second, their rebirth is boundless. The infinity of time and space is not the exclusive privilege of the universe as whole. I... (From:
November 2017 · Sun in Scorpio · Full moon in Taurus We might describe the lunar month leading to this moment, when the moon radiates in the company of the starry bull, as the time of the mask. Children disguise themselves as faeries and goblins and show up on doorsteps demanding tricks and treats; descendants paint skulls upon their faces in honor of the ancestors; faces are carved into fruit and left at thresholds as offerings for the restless trouping spirits; nocturnal mischief and masses are held in the streets. Masquerade, carnivalesque processions, fantasies and grotesqueries. And also the death throes of empire persist. Toxic waters brewed from a century of industrial abuse continues to drown those lives left behind ... (From:
October 2017 · Sun in Libra · Full moon in Aries Hurl me into the next existence, the descent into hell won’t turn me. I’ll crawl back to dog his trail forever. They won’t defeat my revenge, never, never. I’m part of a righteous people who anger slowly, but rage undammed. We’ll gather at his door in such a number that the rumbling of our feet will make the earth tremble. – George Jackson Say, “I am a child of Earth and starry Heaven; But I descend from Heaven alone. This ye know yourselves. But I am parched with thirst and I perish. Give me quickly The cold water flowing forth from the Lake of Memory.” The sun in justice is perfectly balanced by its mirror in... (From:
September 2017 · Sun in Virgo · Full moon in Pisces And it seems to me the struggle has to be waged on a number of different levels: they have computers to cast the I Ching for them but we have yarrow stalks and the stars it is a battle of energies, of force-fields, what the newspapers call a battle of ideas – Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letter #45 Blow up the sun – Feral Pines Welcome to the first issue of The Otherworlds Review, a monthly newsletter by and for those who walk the threshold, who attend to the openings between the worlds, who wear the mask and who look beyond the veil. In the varied lineage of the underground and anarchist press, we receive and transmit communications from place... (From:
“There was no longer any reality, only its caricature” -Gottfried Benn “We are the cause of the universe, its creation and its future destruction.” -Baudelaire It does not escape us that “‘metaphysical’- exactly like ‘abstract’ and even ‘thinking’- has become a word before which everyone more or less takes flight as before a plague victim.” (Hegel). And it is certainly with a shiver of wicked joy, and the worrying certitude that we’re going right to the wound, that we bring back into the center what the triumphant frivolity of our times believed it had forever repressed to the periphery. In so doing, we also have the effrontery to claim that we&rsqu... (From:
2013-01-22 04:50:39 +0000 Redefine historical conflict I don’t believe that ordinary people think that in the short run there is any risk of a sudden, violent dissolution of the state, of open civil war. What is gaining ground instead is the idea of latent civil war, to borrow a journalistic expression, the idea of a civil war of position that would strip the state of all legitimacy.” (Terrorisme et dimocratie, Editions Sociales, 1978) Once again, blind experimentation, with no protocol or almost none. (We have been left so little; this may be our chance.) Once again, direct action, sheer destruction, out-and-out confrontation, the refusal of any kind of mediation: those who don’t refuse to understand will get... (From:
2016-02-27T00:21:00 (Post Scriptum) Everyone knows the terrible communities, whether because they’ve spent some time in them or because they’re still there. Or simply because they’re still stronger than the others, and so some of us have still partly remained in them — while at the same time being outside of them. The family, the school, work, prison — these are the classical faces of this contemporary form of hell, but they are the least interesting because they belong to a bygone depiction of commodity evolution, and are at present merely surviving on. There are some terrible communities, however, that fight against the existing state of things, and that are simultaneously quite attractive and much better... (From:
“The moral and political significance of thought only appears in those rare moments of history where “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”; where “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity”. In these crucial moments, thought ceases to be a marginal affair to political questions. When the whole world lets itself be carried away without thinking by what the many do and believe, those who think find themselves exposed, because their refusal to join with others is patent and becomes thus a sort of action.” — Hannah Arendt, Moral Considerations The Imaginary Party is the particular form that Contradiction as... (From:
A man that wants to take a fortress by assault can't do it merely with words, but must dedicate all his forces to the task. Thus must we accomplish our task of silence. — Jakob Frank, Words of the Lord PEOPLE write a lot about these times, and PEOPLE talk even more. And it seems that the more PEOPLE write and talk the less they want to be understood. Their reasons for that are pretty sparse, yet there certainly are reasons. There have to be. What's clear is that the majority of them are hardly avowable. As for those that are, in the end they always give in to the need to make themselves heard, and then are met with laughter. The only exception to this rule is Critical Metaphysics in the broad sense, in the sense that we, like so... (From:
Democracy reposes upon a neutralization of antagonisms relatively weak and free; it excludes all explosive condensation... the only free society full of life and force, the sole free society is the bi or polycephal society that gives to the fundamental antagonisms of life a constant explosive outlet, but limited to the richest forms. The duality or the multiplicity of heads tends to realize in the same movement the acephalous character of existence, for the principle even of the head is reduction to unity, reduction of the world to God. — Acephale, January 1937 I consider all the acts of the “avant-gardes” in their supposed succession. They all come out with an injunction, with a commandment: a commandment regarding ... (From:
* <strong>Of course you know, this means war!</strong> In everything one must begin with principles. The correct course of action follows. When a civilization is ruined, its bankruptcy must be declared. There’s no point cleaning house when the house is falling apart. Goals aren’t lacking; nihilism is nothing. It’s not a question of means; powerlessness is no excuse. The value of the means has to do with the ends. Everything that is, is good. The world of the Qlippoth, the Spectacle, is all entirely evil. Evil isn’t a substance; if it were it would be good. The mystery of the effectiveness of evil comes down to the fact that evil doesn’t exist; it’s just an active nothingness. What’s... (From:
Introduction to Civil War We decadents have frayed nerves. Everything, or almost everything, wounds us, and what doesn’t will likely be irritating. That’s why we make sure no one ever touches us. We can only stand smaller and smaller—these days, nanometric—doses of truth, and much prefer long gulps of its antidote instead. Images of happiness, tried and true sensations, kind words, smooth surfaces, familiar feelings and the innermost intimacy, in short, narcosis by the pound and above all: no war, above all, no war. The best way to put it is that this whole preemptive, amniotic environment boils down to a desire for a positive anthropology. We need THEM to tell us what “man” is, what “we” a... (From:
rule no. 1 until further notice, all your rights are hereby suspended. Naturally you should keep the illusion that you still have some for a little while. That way we can violate them one by one, case by case. rule no. 2 Be nice. Don’t mention laws, the constitution, or any of the lucubrations of another age to us anymore. Some time ago, as you will have noticed, we passed certain laws that put us above the laws, and the rest of the so-called “constitution.” rule no. 3 You’re weak, isolated, stupid, abused. We are numerous, organized, strong, and enlightened. Some might say we’re a mafia; that’s a lie — we are THE mafia, the one that’s won out over all the others. We alone are ab... (From:
“We can imagine a time when the machine of governance would replace — for better or worse, who knows? — the insufficiency of the minds and devices of politics that are customary today.” — Father Dominique Dubarle, Le Monde, December 28th, 1948 “There is a striking contrast between the conceptual refinement and dedication characterizing scientific and technical reasoning and the summary and imprecise style that characterizes political reasoning... One even asks oneself whether this is a kind of unsurpassable situation marking the definitive limits of rationality, or if one may hope that this impotence might be overcome someday and collective life be entirely rationalized.” — An ency... (From:
“The first philosophies furnished power with its formal structure. More precisely speaking, ‘metaphysics’ designates the apparatus whose actuation requires a principle: associating words, things, and actions. At the time of the Turning Point, when presence as ultimate identity turns into presence as irreducible difference, its actuation appears to be without principle.” – Reiner Schürmann, “What is to be made of the end of metaphysics?” ~ This text was the document written for the foundation of the SASC, the Society for the Advancement of Criminal Science. The SASC is a nonprofit dedicated to the anonymous collection, classification, and diffusion of all knowledge-powers useful to anti-imperi... (From:
The conquerors had conquered without trouble: they had taken a city that had gotten rid of its gods. No one recalls today, among the insurgents of times past, what exactly happened at the start. In place of a response, certain had a legend; but most only answered that “everyone is a start”. This commenced in the heart of the metropolises of yesteryear. There reigned there a sort of frozen agitation, with crowded intersections where everyone pressed together, preferably in a tiny metallic box called an “automobile”. It began thus in this manner, by gatherings without object, silent gatherings of masks, in the margins of the general busyness. An impression of a great idleness emanated from these little groups of ... (From:
Mr. Bloom watched curiously, kindly the lithe black form. Clean to see: the gloss of her sleek hide, the white button under the butt of her tail, the green flashing eyes. He bent down to her, his hands on his knees. “Milk for the pussens,” he said. “Mrkgnao!” the cat cried. They call them stupid. They understand what we say better than we understand them. James Joyce, Ulysses At this hour of the night The great watchmen are dead. Doubtless THEY killed them. The weak glow of their solitary stubbornness disturbed the party of sleep too much. That, at least, is what we think, we guess — we who’ve come so late — in light of the perplexity that their name still stirs up at certain times. E... (From:
There are several ways of beginning a book or pamphlet on a labor question. One may start, as many pundits do, with Adam and Eve and work on through history until one has reached the Tolpuddle martyrs on the second last page. Or one might begin, continue and end by quoting the writings of bearded gentlemen who lived a hundred years ago. This method saves writing half of the book if sufficient quotations are made – and it saves all the ideas. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the scissors beats both of them! There is a third method… .to begin with the subject at its place and in its time. This I would do. I will take as my starting point a discussion I had with my workmates a few days ago. This discussion is woven, in... (From:
1. What’s Wrong With the Unions? HOW often we hear the question “What’s wrong with the unions?” In factory, ship or mine, in pub and club, by non-unionists and trade-unionists, the question is raised. Few would be daring enough to resist the criticism. During the past twenty-odd years the unions have rapidly degenerated as fighting working-class organizations. Wages have fallen when they might have risen. Rights have been lost and no attempt is made to regain them when circumstances have improved. Strike funds are withheld from strikers and the trade union boss is allied to the employer. To the degeneracy of the trade union bureaucracy is added the most shameless treachery of the new type of shop steward, the Com... (From:
When, in 1939, Fascism triumphed in Spain, the Libertarian movement was downcast, many gave up hope and departed. The social climate, too, was gloomy, for Spain had been, not only the last, but the only hope of defeating World Fascism. And in spite of those who murmured, “Now for peace, I always said they should not have resisted Fascism,” the world knew that in the same year war would again sere the earth and tens of millions would die in the rubble of civilization. That, all knew, was the beginning; none could know the end. There were Syndicalists before and during the 1914–1918 war. They were not many, but their work in the social struggle was so earnest, so great and so apt to the workers’ needs that the class e... (From:
The repeal of The 1927 Trades Disputes Act by the Labor Parliament makes little difference to the prospect of a General Strike. The Labor leaders believe that, for the present at least, they can better suppress strikes by their control of the trade unions than by Parliament. On the other hand, when the workers are willing to engage the class enemy in a General Strike they will not consult Acts of Parliament to do so. During the 1926 General Strike the strikers did not care two hoots whether the strike was legal or illegal. Why did the British General Strike of 1926 fail? Not because the workers failed to strike. The number of blacklegs was insignificant. The attempt of the middle-class to scab on the strikers was a poor effort and was rapi... (From:
One’s first day at work is an important day. In my case it was also a very long day. Hurrying along the damp, dark streets at 5.30 on a winters morning, with a tin tea can and a parcel of bread (there were few canteens at that time), I felt like a workman, though a very small one. The first world war was still raging and my first inside view of the factory was of rows of 60-pounder and 18-pounder field guns, anti-aircraft and mountain guns, tanks and anti-sub artillery, then lines of machines turning gun barrels or milling breech blocks. It was noisy, bewildering and rather threatening, but youth is buoyant and I soon adapted myself to my new environment. I soon learned that some persons were jolly, some indifferent and some aggressi... (From:
Syndicalism — a theory and movement of trade unionism, originating in France, in which all means of production and distribution are brought under the direct control of their workers by the use of direct action, and organized through federations of labor unions; direct political and economic democracy in the workplace and community organized through labor unions and federations, including the abolition of capitalism, social classes, parliamentary government, bureaucracy and political parties. Anarcho-Syndicalism — Syndicalism; the Anarchist labor movement as characterized by labor unions and federations in Argentina(FORA), Bolivia(FLP), Costa Rica(HL), Chili(IWW), Denmark(USP), France(CNT), Germany(FAU), Guatemala(CAS), Holland(... (From:
Fascism by 1934 was marching triumphantly. In Italy, Mussolini had long consolidated his power and was preparing to attack Abyssinia. Hitler, after one year of power, was tightening his hold on Germany and preparing the first of the many international adventures which were to lead to the pyre at his Berlin bunker. In England, Mosley had returned from a long visit to Germany and reorganized and re-trained his blackshirted British Union of Fascists. At that time there seemed nothing to stop Oswald Mosley’s military marching columns and aggressive propaganda. The Labor Party advised, “Be constitutional. leave it to the police and don’t forget to vote Labor!” The Communist Party, as each big Fascist meeting was announce... (From:
Victory over Toryism The air raid sirens had hardly sounded the last all-clear when Britain was thrust into the hurly-burly of a General Election. Before the world’s first atom bombs had fallen on Japanese cities, a Labor Government with an overwhelming majority ruled the House of Commons, and when victory over Japan followed victory over Germany, a Labor Prime Minister, head of a victorious Labor Government, rose to tell a House of Commons packed to the roof with his jubilant comrades. The road was now open, the way to the New Jerusalem was clear. The older members of the Labor Party, who had canvased on doorsteps after hard days in the factories, who had spoken from boxes on street corners to hostile or indifferent audiences, o... (From:
Present discussion of post war demobilization should naturally recall the discussion of the subject in 1918. Then, as now, the politicians had well-laid plans abundantly reported by the Press. How true is the comment of Burns, “the best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley”. In a few weeks the demobilization plans of the politicians were shattered by the soldiers who almost demobilized themselves. But it was not demobilization alone which caused the mutinies of 1918 and 1919. It was also a revolt against tyrannous discipline, low pay and senseless parades. The first postwar mutiny occurred on November 13th, 1918 at Shoreham, only two days after the Armistice. The strike was led by a Northumberland sergeant, G.P., who in ... (From:
The pursuit of power A POLITICIAN who has one single overpowering aim and pursues it relentlessly, even wading in blood, has, if circumstances are favorable, a chance of success. He is not usually good at longsight or broadsight, but on a single aim he makes fluffy liberals his victims. The same is true of tycoons. Lenin and the Bolshevik party had that single purpose, to gain and keep absolute power; all other things were means to that end, or were forced on them by the pursuit of it. This is true of collectivism and nationalization. I shall quote a great deal from Mr. M. H. Dobb, M.A., because of his long service to the Communist Party, his position as lecturer in economics at Cambridge University and the respect given him by the CP. ... (From:
One way of writing history is to take a social group, in one place and at one time, leaving the broad drama of great events, and treating the subject as a microcosm, letting the minutiae of humble lives interpret the greater story. In thus taking one corner of the Durham Coalfield as my subject I might as well be writing of the coalminers of Scotland, South Wales, Yorkshire or almost anywhere. When the General Strike of 1926 ended, I lost my job in Coventry. Four weeks after the Strike I decided to go North, but at Coventry station I was told: “We can issue a ticket to Derby only. The railways are so disorganized we cannot guarantee any travel beyond that distance.” So, with three tickets and four trains, I reached Newcastle (a... (From:
The “Internationale” has appeared in the news at almost weekly intervals since June of last year. Russia’s entry into the war was followed by the B.B.C. controversy “to play or not to play.” The song might serve Russia in place of a national anthem but still that did not live down its rebel past. After that came news and rows about it being played or not played at anything from political banquets to football matches. From all this hullabaloo has come the idea, repeated again and again by the ill-informed Press, that the “Internationale” is a Russian Bolshevik work. Our readers will know of course, that it is neither Russian nor Communist. It was written in French by Eugène Pottier in 1871 an... (From:
Syndicalism and Workers’ Committees Published in the Jan/Feb 1962 issue of World Labor News In case the critics of revolutionary industrial unionism — Syndicalism — wish to know what it is about, let us recapitulate the main idea. What the historians of labor call the “Syndicalist Tendency” in the English-speaking world must include the IWW, the Industrial Workers of the World and, in Britain, we cannot ignore the work of the old Socialist Labor Party in popularizing the ideas of industrial unionism, particularly in Scotland. At the end of the 19th Century, the socially-conscious workers were faced by a host of unions which organized disunity in the industrial struggle. Even by 1939 there were 40 unions in... (From:
Simultaneously with the strike action of the British Army in England came the strikes of British Army units in France. Little of these is recorded and many are entirely without printed word. Fortunately there existed the Herald, a weekly paper, which, early in 1919, became a daily, run by George Lansbury. The Herald and the Daily Herald of those days were very different to the Herald of the T.U.C. and Odhams Press. The files of Lansbury’s old paper give us a glimpse, though only a glimpse of the unrest in the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. Of the hitherto unrecorded mutinies one shall serve us as an example of many. The 4th Middlesex stationed at Caudry, Belgium was, like every other fighting unit, glad of the pr... (From:
Intro: So It Begins The primary critique of the summit-hopping era, (one that applies to me as well) is that we never expanded outside of the activist context, never moved beyond complaining loudly around summits, never moved from complaint to active engagement. But there was something in the summit era that did hold promise; in the concentration of numbers in space there was always this possibility of breaking out of the confinement of the downtown area, the confinement of the frontal conflict between police and anarchists, the confinement of pre-planned confrontation, and the limitations of the dates of the summit itself. There was this sense that activism could be transcended, that conflict could be amplified on the streets with the s... (From:
In this analysis, Tom Nomad presents an account of the rise of the contemporary far right, tracing the emergence of a worldview based in conspiracy theories and white grievance politics and scrutinizing the function that it serves protecting the state. Along the way, he describes how liberal counterinsurgency strategies function alongside the heavy-handed “law and order” strategies, concluding with a discussion of what the far right mean by civil war. The bulk of this text was composed in September and October 2020, when the George Floyd uprising was still unfolding and many people feared that Trump would try to hold on to the presidency by any means necessary. Since then, the uprising has lost momentum and the Trump administr... (From:
Several months ago, Cleveland police attacked a crowd that attempted to unarrested a young teen outside of a Black Lives Matter conference. The resulting standoff highlighted increasing tensions in a city that had already been brewing with anger at the police following the murder of Tamir Rice and the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a 31 year-old white patrolman who stood atop the car of two unarmed African-American motorists and fired into their vehicle 15 times, after other officers had already riddled it with bullets. In this interview, author and anarchist strategist Tom Nomad discusses how the last few months in Cleveland have played out and the dynamics leading up to the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC). It’s Going Dow... (From:
There has been a lot of noise made in the past series of years about the rise of counterinsurgency doctrine within the US military, and some great writing on the topic, including Ferd Kaplan’s new history of the rise of David Petraeus and a recent piece by Adam Curtis, which summarizes this history well ( My interest in this topic is not only connected to the impact that COIN operations have had on domestic policing, which Kristian Williams wrote about at length in a piece called The Other Side of the COIN: Counterinsurgency and Community Policing (, but how the failures of COIN, and its ossification in doctrine, have caused a fundamental shift in US strategy into a post-counterinsurgency form o... (From:
“Put quite plainly, nonviolence ensures a state monopoly on violence. States- the centralized bureaucracies that protect capitalism; preserve a white supremacist, patriarchal order; and implement imperialist expansion- survive by assuming the role of sole legitimate purveyor of violent force within a territory. Any struggle against oppression necessitates a conflict with the state. Pacifists do the state’s work by pacifying the opposition in advance. States, for their part, discourage militancy within the opposition, and encourage passivity” — Peter Gelderloos. How Nonviolence Protects the State (2007, South End Press) Introduction Perhaps one of the most exhausting debates within “activist” movem... (From:
On many levels it seems almost pointless to write yet another text on Aufhebengate, especially a review about a book on the scandal and the controversies and collaboration-sympathizing that occurred in the vain, and inexplicable, attempt to defend John Drury from his own actions. Usually interpersonal issues point more to the poverty of the militancy and viability of certain circles of so-called “radical scenes” than anything of consequence. In these cases I would usually not waste my time writing a critique of a second-rate academic who writes for a generally obscure, though in the past sometimes interesting, journal. However, the case of Aufhebengate raises issues, both of the stakes and risks of insurgency and the tactics of ... (From:
The Syrian conflict, and the state’s response to the revolution on the ground can actually tell us a lot about US military and IDF strategy as we transition into Fourth Generation Warfare. If we look at the progression of the tactical dynamic we can see a series of dynamics surrounding the interaction between the resistance’s attempts to accelerate movement in space, and political possibility, while the regime attempts to cease movement. This has followed a specific trajectory that we can track between the advent of regime snipers and the current insurgent attacks on airports that has accelerated over the last two weeks. But to understand this it is necessary to go over a much abbreviated discussion of the tactical trajectories ... (From:
Preface The following collection of essays began their current evolution around 2005, when some anarchists began a concentrated study of police tactics, largely born out of necessity in the moment, but becoming over time a focus for some of us. The first of the following texts, A Primer On Police Crowd-Con- trol Tactics and Frameworks was released in 2007, in the lead-up to the October Rebellion demonstrations in Washington DC. It has been updated numerous times over the years, appearing under a variety of titles depending on the context of its distribution, which almost always occurred person-to-person at gatherings and workshops. At the time that these initial writings were being done anarchist praxis and direct action still operated u... (From:
“Revolutionaries always pay their parking tickets” — William Haver Introductions Anarchist discussions of illegalism become confused when it is defined in relief; “if the law is a criminal imposition by the ruling class, criminals are truly revolutionary regardless of their actions” they say. Such a definition leads to idiotic floundering to find a place in the revolutionary milieu for notorious criminals. Yet even the most dedicatedly nihilist anarchist would balk at seeing the perpetrator of the Montreal Massacre, a misogynist with an utterly incompatible vision of the future, as a comrade or as being of the same class or category. Rehabilitating certain anarchist propaganda of the deed causes further ... (From:
This depends on which of the two meanings of “libertarian” you have in mind. In the original 19th century and early 20th century sense of “libertarian,” which is still predominant in a number of non-English-speaking countries, there isn’t really any difference in terms of which segment of political opinion these terms refer to. In this original sense of “libertarian” the difference is between a positive and a negative definition. “Anarchism” has a negative definition: opposition to top down hierarchies of power (“bosses”, “rulers”) such as the corporations and the state. “Libertarian” refers to a viewpoint that places great emphasis on positive liberty... (From:
For the older big cities in North America, public transit is critical to their daily functioning. Organizing among workers and riders on public transit has a strategic importance. Busses, light rail cars and subway trains attract a diverse working class ridership. Workers in small factories, department stores, hospitals, and restaurants are thrown together on the bus. We encounter retirees going to a doctor’s appointment, the unemployed, working class students going to classes at a community college, people of all colors and nationalities, immigrants and native-born. Organizing among transit riders allows the organizers to interact with a broad spectrum of the working class population. Transportation is how people glue together the ... (From:
TIM GOULET’S review of Ralph Darlington’s Radical Unionism (“Syndicalism’s lessons”) makes a number of mistaken claims about revolutionary syndicalism, based on fundamental inadequacies in Darlington’s book. The claim that “syndicalist unions broke off from mainstream federations to form ‘purely revolutionary’ unions, cutting themselves off from the mass of workers” doesn’t hold up, though it does conform to the Leninist orthodoxy of “Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder. There were many countries where the syndicalist unions were the majority--such as Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Brazil. Syndicalist unions in South Africa, such as the Ind... (From:
Capitalist dynamics are at the very heart of the current crisis that humanity faces over global warming. When we talk of “global warming,” we’re talking about the rapid — and on-going — rise in the average world-wide surface and ocean temperature. Thus far a rise of 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880. According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, two-thirds of this temperature increase has occurred since 1975. A one-degree rise in temperature might seem like no big deal. As the NASA scientists point out, however, “A one-degree global change is significant because it takes a vast amount of heat to warm all the... (From:
Two Classes or Three? The working class is a subjugated and exploited group within capitalism. As class struggle anti-authoritarians, we believe that the working class has the potential to emancipate itself from class oppression, and in doing so it creates a new social structure without a division into classes. But how is this possible exactly? As I see it, participatory economics (often abbreviated as parecon) is an attempt to specify the institutions of a new economic system in which class oppression no longer exists. A vision of a society beyond capitalism is important both to motivate struggle today as well as to provide guidance on the strategy for social change that we pursue. But what creates the division of society into classe... (From:
As Cindy Milstein points out in her essay “Anarchism’s Promise for Anti-capitalist Resistance,” anarchists have been involved in numerous visible protest actions, such as the various protests at meetings promoting corporate globalization from the 1999 “Battle of Seattle” on, or the Direct Action to Stop the War protests in San Francisco in 2002. Activists who are already radicalized converge in such actions. Of course a variety of organizations mobilize to participate in some of these protests, from environmental groups to the unions who mobilized for the 1999 World Trade organization meetings. But what is the relationship of the anarchists to the other social movements and mass organizations? Anarchists are a... (From:
Anarcho-syndicalism has been and continues to be the most influential current within anarchism. Anarcho-syndicalists seek to build revolutionary unions, that organize all workers in a democratic union with a minimum number of full time ‘officials’ who will be on the average wage of those they represent and completely answerable to the rest of the membership. The Workers Solidarity Movement does not consider itself anarcho-syndicalist but we seek to maintain good relations with anarcho-syndicalists everywhere. We print here an interview about the International Workers Association, the international body that many anarcho-syndicalists are part of. The interview is with Tom Wetzel, from the Workers Solidarity Alliance, the U.S. se... (From:
It’s pretty rough being an Israeli anarchist these days. On a good day you are dismissed as irresponsible and naive, ignorant of history and blind to reality while your dedicated, life-risking activities are, at best, an easily-absorbed tantrum in the Nanny State. And that’s on a good day. The normal treatment is a bit less savory. You are violently despised, branded a fifth column for Iran and al-Qaida, and all the beatings, tear-gassings and shootings you and your comrades endure are gleefully cheered on, alongside the usual calls to put the anarchists up against the wall. In his May 24 “Power & Politics” column “Anarchy has its place”, Elliot Jager is just the man to give you a bit of both. After ... (From:
Note from CrimethInc. Anarchists such as David Graeber and Cindy Milstein have used the term “prefigurative politics” to describe the anarchist principle that the ways we organize in the present should reflect the sort of society we hope to create in the future. Yet the concept of prefiguration is drawn from a Christian theology that presumes a future salvation so certain that it radiates backward through time, generating its own precursors. Many Marxists, too, see history as the inevitable unfolding of an ordained process—a sort of secular second coming of Christian millenarianism. Most anarchists, by contrast, take nothing for granted about the future, especially in today’s context of ecological collapse—s... (From:
Abstract ‘Prefigurative politics’ has become a popular term for social movements’ ethos of unity between means and ends, but its conceptual genealogy has escaped attention. This article disentangles two components: (a) an ethical revolutionary practice, chiefly indebted to the anarchist tradition, which fights domination while directly constructing alternatives and (b) prefiguration as a recursive temporal framing, unknowingly drawn from Christianity, in which a future radiates backwards on its past. Tracing prefiguration from the Church Fathers to politicized resurfacings in the Diggers and the New Left, I associate it with Koselleck’s ‘process of reassurance’ in a pre-ordained historical path. Contra... (From:
The Israeli ‘Tent Protest’ movement came and went over the space of 6 weeks in the summer of 2011. The movement started on 14 July when Daphni Leef, a freelance video editor from Tel-Aviv, pitched a tent on Rothschild boulevard in the city center, after having to vacate her rented apartment for renovations and discovering that a new flat would be beyond her means. Leef created a Facebook event for her protest and was joined by several friends. Within 24 h, dozens of tents were standing on the grassy sidelines of the promenade, and over the coming fortnight more than 60 encampments appeared in almost every Israeli town and city. The protests’ agenda rapidly widened from housing prices to the high cost of living, and from th... (From:
Environmental direct action has been a major site for the revival of anarchist political culture since the 1970s. In tandem, a diverse body of eco-anarchist thought has emerged in response to the environmental crisis. In Germany and France, mobilizations against nuclear energy in the 1970s provided the major vehicle of continuity for the radical surge of 1968, and formed a laboratory for direct action tactics and autonomous organization. In the United States, anti-nuclear campaigns turned toward direct action in 1976 with the Clamshell Alliance’s occupations of the planned site of the Seabrook reactor in New Hampshire. The occupation inspired similar direct action groups nationwide, including the Abalone Alliance in California, where... (From:
Like most political words, democracy is an “essentially contested” concept—its meaning is itself a political battleground. What political ideologies do, as mass patterns of political expression, is to “de-contest” or fix the meaning of such concepts and place them in particular relationships. The term “equality,” for example, can mean equal access to advantage (liberalism), equal responsibility to the national community (fascism), or equal power in a classless society (anarchism). On such a reading, there is no way objectively to determine the meaning of such concepts—all that exists are distinct usages, each of them regularly grouped with other concepts in one or another ideological formation... (From:
Anarchists Against the Wall (in Hebrew: Anarchists Against the Fence) is an Israeli action initiative supporting the popular Palestinian struggle against segregation and land confiscation in the West Bank. The initiative started in April 2003 when farmers from the village of Mas’ha invited Israelis and internationals to establish a protest camp on their land, which was about to be confiscated for part of the Israeli government’s Separation Barrier. Over four months the camp was visited by a thousand people and became a center of information and struggle against the occupation. The Palestinian nonviolent campaign proliferated and the fluid group of Israel anarchists mobilized to support popular committees in villages including ... (From:
Malatesta This is why we are neither for a majority nor for a minority government; neither for democracy not for dictatorship. We are for the abolition of the gendarme. We are for the freedom of all and for free agreement, which will be there for all when no one has the means to force others, and all are involved in the good running of society. We are for anarchy. — Neither Dictators, nor Democrats: Anarchists We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in whi... (From:
Abstract The contemporary reemergence of anarchism on a global scale deserves serious attention from students of ideology. As the defining orientation of prominent activist networks, anarchism today is the principal point of reference for radical social change movements in the North, and represents a mature and complex genre of political expression. This article offers a synchronic and diachronic analysis of contemporary anarchist ideology, based on participant research on large-scale ideological expression in anarchist movement networks. I identify and discuss three major conceptual clusters which mark contemporary anarchism’s stable ideological core: (a) the construction of the concept of ‘domination’ and the active o... (From:
Anarchism has been a political undercurrent in Israel and Palestine for a century, appearing in three disconnected waves: the libertarian socialism of the early Kibbutz communes, the publishing and cultural activities of Yiddish-speaking immigrants, and contemporary Israeli anarchism. In Palestinian society there are individual sympathizers but no organized anarchist movement, with Marxist parties such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leading the secular left wing. Yet the first Intifada (1987–9) drew widespread support from anarchists as a grassroots uprising involving tax refusal, general strikes, urban confrontation, and the establishment of underground schools and mutual aid projects. Since 2000, Israeli... (From:
Contemporary anarchists’ practical attitudes toward technology seem highly ambivalent, even contradictory. Our proverbial antiauthoritarian could pull up genetically modified crops before dawn, report on the action through e-mail lists and websites in the morning, fix her or his community’s wind-powered generator in the afternoon, and work part-time as a programmer after supper. Thus, on the one hand, we find anarchists involved in numerous campaigns and direct actions where the introduction of new technologies is explicitly resisted, from bio- and nanotechnology to technologies of surveillance and warfare. On the other hand, anarchists have been actively using and developing information and communication technologies (ICTs), as... (From:
For my parents, Shifra and Ze’ev and in memory of Yosef Gordon (1920–2005) Abstract This thesis explores contemporary anarchism, in its reemergence as a social movement and political theory over the past decade. The methodology used combines participatory research and philosophical argumentation. The first part, “Explaining Anarchism”, argues that it should be addressed primarily as a political culture, with distinct forms of organization, campaigning and direct action repertoires, and political discourse and ideology. Largely discontinuous with the historical workers’ and peasants’ anarchist movement, contemporary anarchism has come together in the intersection of radical direct-action movements in ... (From:
The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics Acknowledgments We would of course like to thank everyone at AK Press—especially Zach, Charles, Lorna, Jessica, and Kate—the contributors, and the many people who have written in support of the book. Without all of you this book would not be possible. Deric Shannon Since this book is about anarchist criticisms and alternatives to capitalism, I would like to take the time to thank people who have helped me along in the spirit of mutual aid. Without many of these people I would have gone without food and shelter, without others I would have gone without needed kindness and friendship, and without them all my life would certainly be emptier. First and foremost, th... (From:
O eastern light, awaken Those who have slept! The darkness will be broken, The promise kept. It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you giv... (From:
In a passionate speech, writer takes aim at publishers who put profit before art To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long – my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for 50 years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists. Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken soci... (From:
It’s not hard to see why Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her early novels. In the space of six years came A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Lathe of Heaven (1971) and The Dispossessed (1974). These books and many others—including Lavinia (2008), an astonishing take on Virgil’s Eneid—have been a steady influence on authors of the imagination, notably Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, David Mitchell, Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith, who said that “Le Guin writes as well as any non-‘genre’ writer alive.” We talked at Le Guin’s home in Portland, Oregon. Euan Monaghan: Lavinia was your most recent novel. It’s an interesting book to come at this point ... (From:
Introduction Written in the glare of the United States’ war on Indochina, and first published as a separate book in that war’s dire aftermath, The Word for World is Forest is a reflection on invasion, exploitation and oppression, and on the necessity and cost of resistance. Though short, the novel is far from slight. It brings into sharp focus several of its author’s enduring concerns, and draws on the same intellectual resources that illuminate her wider work: notably anthropology, anarchism, feminism and Taoism. Characteristically of all Le Guin’s writing, it embodies the stubborn virtue of seeing with both eyes, in depth and in color, without looking away from or ignoring uncomfortable truths. At the time of... (From:
This photograph illustrates something I’ve been thinking about cats, dogs, and people. And about Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. We know that dogs, descended from wolves, and having lived domestically with humans for as long as 30,000 years, are for the most part deeply hierarchical, conceiving of society as a pyramid with The Boss (Alpha Male, Master, Mistress, God, King, Leader) on top and other beings arranged in descending order beneath. Obedience to authority and acceptance of one’s place in that social and moral order is right behavior. I believe that cats, descended from semi-social or asocial wild cats and having lived domestically with humans for probably less than 3,000 years, have no concept whatever of a rightful hi... (From:
For the last couple of centuries, novels have been written mostly by middle-class writers for middle-class readers. Novels about the very poor, the oppressed, peasants, aren't generally written by or for the people they are about. Thus they tend to have a distanced, sociological air, while being at the same time terribly depressing – revelatory, grim, unhopeful and of necessity brutal. The two great American novels of the oppressed, Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Grapes of Wrath, are saved from that minatory coldness by the authors' passion for justice and their loving respect for their protagonists. The same is true of Portuguese author José Saramago's early novel, Raised from the Ground – with a tremendous bonus: the author ... (From:
“SURELY,” said the young doctor, “there are unpardonable crimes! Murder can’t go unpunished.” The senior partner shook his head. “There are unpardonable people, perhaps; but crimes…they depend…” “On what? To take a human life—that’s absolute. Self-defense aside, of course. The sacredness of human life—” “Is nothing the law can judge of,” the older man said dryly. “I have a murder in the family, as a matter of fact. Two murders.” And, gazing mostly at the fire, he told his story. My first practice was up north in the Valone. I went there with my sister in 1902. Even then it was a drab place. The old estates had sold out to the be... (From:
In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in some... (From:
Introduction When we celebrate May Day, we rarely reflect on why it is a public holiday in Malawi or elsewhere. We want to share the powerful struggles that lie behind its existence and the organizations that created it and kept its meaning alive. May Day, international workers day, started as a global general strike commemorating five anarchist labor organizers executed in 1887 in the US. Mounting the scaffold, August Spies declared: “If you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery – the wage slaves – expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a... (From:
When we commemorate May Day we rarely reflect on why it is a public holiday in Africa or elsewhere. Sian Byrne, Paliani Chinguwo, Warren McGregor, and Lucien van der Walt tell of the powerful struggles that lie behind its existence. INTRODUCTION May Day, international workers day, started as a global general strike commemorating five anarchist labor organizers executed in 1887 in the USA. Mounting the scaffold, August Spies declared: ‘If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement – the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery – the wage slaves – expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread upon a ... (From:
This is a time to embrace working-class unity and challenge the status quo of capitalist oppression. May Day – a call to build an international movement of working class and poor people across lines of race, nation and religion for workers’ control and democracy from below, social justice and freedom from political and economic oppression – remains critical. In a country racked by anti-immigrant violence, racial and ethnic tensions, the fragmentation of the labor federation Cosatu, corporate scandals and political corruption, it is time to remember May Day’s roots and aspirations. The day has become an institutionalized festival, yet its origins lie in powerful struggles for a united, anticapitalist, bottom-up, glo... (From:
The origin of May Day, International Workers Day, lies in the historic fight for decent working hours that culminated in the execution of four trade unionists in Chicago, the United States, in November 1887. This was a decisive moment in the struggle for a just society through militant trade unionism. In Nigeria, May Day was first declared in 1980 by the People’s Redemption Party (PRP)-led government of the late Abubakar Rimi in Kano State. Therefore this article draws attention to the anarchist ethos of, first, building a people’s counter culture to unravel the dominant class culture in the society and, second, building a counter-power that draws its energy from the trade unions, peasantry, the unemployed and the oppressed to ... (From:
The history of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU), formed in South Africa in 1919, is replete with lessons for today’s movements. The ICU, which also spread into neighboring colonies like Basutoland (now Lesotho), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Southwest Africa (now Namibia) was by far the largest protest movement and organization of black African and Colored people of its time. Influenced by a range of ideas, including revolutionary syndicalism, the ICU had both amazing strengths and spectacular failings. This piece explains. INTRODUCTION Amandla! Audience: Awethu! So, the audience is good. I suppose there is no need to talk about myself. Noor Nieftagodien, of Wits ... (From:
INTRODUCTION Red and black regards, comrades! Mass organizations of counter-power of the working class and poor based on revolutionary counter-culture and direct action are necessary for social revolution. To build these, anarchism needs to become the dominant ideology of the working class, peasantry and poor (the popular classes) again. The current South African (SA) context, given its history and the current balance of forces, dictates that it is among the black majority that anarchism needs to take hold. Black working class anarchists are best able to relate the ideas most effectively to local community and cultural landscapes. As anarchism competes with other ideologies, a militant black working class cadre can only emerge out of rig... (From:
EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION: Today the terms “populism” and “workerism” are widely thrown about in South African political circles. Often, these terms and others (“syndicalism,” “ultra-left,” “counter-revolutionary,” “anti-majoritarian” …) have no meaning: they are just labels used to silence critics. SA Communist Party (SACP) leaders do this often. But in the 1980s, “populism” and “workerism” referred to two rival positions battling for the soul of the militant unions. These debates, thirty years on, remain very relevant: let us revisit them, and learn. Today’s radical National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) was part of the &l... (From:
Many in the working class hope the 2016 local government elections will prove a turning point. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the 2014 elections easily, but its grip is weakening. The ANC-allied Congress of SA Trade Unions (COSATU) has split, the radical metal union NUMSA expelled. The ANC could even lose control of at least one of giant “metro” municipality in 2016, possibly greater Johannesburg or Nelson Mandela Bay – probably to the moderate Democratic Alliance (DA), not the ANC breakaway, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The Vote Won’t Free You We anarchists and anarchist sympathizers in the TAAC (and ZACF) have stated consistently our opposition to elections to state power. State instituti... (From:
In the build up to the 2014 (May 7) elections, politicians – whether from the DA, ANC, EFF, or PAC – have been calling on us to vote. As part of this, they have promised to meet people’s needs, end poverty and serve communities when they are elected. The promises of all these politicians are lies. Politicians don’t give a damn about workers and the poor; all they care about is their own power. They will tell us anything to get nice jobs in parliament. When politicians get into the state – whether at a municipal or national level – all they do is pass laws and put in place policies that benefit themselves and their rich friends. They protect their own interests and those of their allies in the form of the... (From:
Introduction: Class Struggle, the Left and Power Twenty-five years into democracy the black working class majority in South Africa has not experienced any meaningful improvements in its conditions. The apartheid legacy of unequal education, healthcare and housing and the super-exploitation of black workers continues under the ANC and is perpetuated by the neoliberal policies it has imposed. These troubles are part of the world’s troubles; this neoliberalism is part of global neoliberalism. As the global economic crisis deepens, the global ruling class is making the working class pay, transferring the costs to workers and the poor, leading to increased poverty, unemployment, inequality and insecurity. And so in South Africa neolibe... (From:
A constant fixation on the machinations of elite power maneuvering, and persistent, recurring calls for either new leadership, or new political parties, are evidence of a very conservative and authoritarian political culture. These stories may well be important. Indeed, this is the nature of current socio-economic organization (capitalism and the state). These human-created forms of control always operate to centralize power up the hierarchy, thus investing tremendous power in the hands of very few. This few – race, gender, rhetoric regardless – the ruling class, are those who control the means of production, administration and coercion. Our pre-occupations are drawn to such elite individuals and groups as many of us have chosen... (From:
Let us learn from our past struggles, in the USA and in Malaysia. May Day should be an occasion to reflect not jubilate, to engage not agonize, to demand not relent, and to organize, not complain. We need systemic change that can guarantee equality, fraternity, self-management and socialization of the commonwealth, guided by a bottom–up approach to decision making. We need a labor movement that is multicultural and international, feminist, active in urban and rural struggles, and that prizes reason over superstition, justice over hierarchy, self-management over state power, international solidarity over nationalism. We need to fight for a universal human community, not parochialism and separatism. The organizational power and strategi... (From:
Comrades, this presentation covers the themes of global redistribution, economic growth of a new type, and renumeration and what these may mean in an economy based on anarchist principles. I was mandated to examine how these themes related to the two required readings for this week: Read’s Kropotkin: Selections from his Works, and Albert’s Parecon Introduction I found it hard to locate bits from the reading that spoke to the themes. As such, I found it necessary to extrapolate from my understanding of the readings and the principles of justice and equality that underlie the writer’s contributions. I base that which is to follow in agreement with Albert’s definition of an economy as a system of produ... (From:
What Next? Facing an economic crisis of world historical proportions, the worst since the Great Depression, the United States has already responded with striking political changes, particularly the election of the first African-American president. What is likely to happen in the future and what should be the response of revolutionary class-struggle anarchists? The Crisis Economically, what has begun is either a deep, lengthy, world-wide, recession — or a collapse into a second Great Depression, possibly worse than the first. Either way, large numbers of workers and their families are suffering and will face more suffering, from unemployment, underemployment, losses of their homes, the loss of the equity they had in their homes... (From:
There is a lot of evidence that working people can manage workplaces, enterprises, and industries. What kind of self-managed economy would work best? How could it be achieved: by reform or revolution? How could self-management be integrated into the revolutionary program? There has been an increased advocacy lately of worker self-managed enterprises (also called producer cooperatives, workplace democracy, democratic ownership, “autogestion,” etc.). As I shall show, this has been advocated as part of both reformist and revolutionary programs. Faced with the evils of capitalism, radicals are looking for alternatives which do not require the state ownership and bureaucratic planning of the failed “communist” (state... (From:
We are two members of the collective which publishes The Utopian. Recently we joined the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC, commonly referred to as “nee-fak”). We joined because we see the need for a revolutionary transformation of society and the replacement of its authoritarian capitalist structures with organizational forms in which all people can participate in the making of all decisions which affect their lives. We also see the need for anarchists who share such a vision to be organized. Third, we believe that the working class will play a key role in the struggle against the inextricably intertwined racist, sexist and national oppressions of the present capitalist system. NEFAC goes far in addressing t... (From:
A Jewish joke from World War II: A Nazi officer stopped an old Jewish man and demanded that he answer, “Who started the war?!” Knowing what was good for him, the old man answered, “The Jews!” The Nazi nodded, but the old Jew continued, “…and the bicycle riders.” Puzzled, the officer asked, “Why the bicycle riders?” The Jew shrugged. “Why the Jews?” There has recently been an increase in anti-semitic actions in the U.S., as well as in other Western countries. From 2017 to 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation League, attacks on Jews more than doubled, to 39. All “anti-semitic acts” in this period totaled 1,879. (While recognizing that Arabs may also be called &l... (From:
Chris Day’s article, “The Revolutionary Anarchist Tradition” (Love and Rage Vol. 7 No. 4) points to the pro-organizational current in the history of revolutionary anarchism. He notes that there have been anarchists who have advocated greater organizational coherence and serious theoretical and strategic thinking by the anarchist movement. In general, I agree with him (although he rather brushes off Malatesta, the great pro-organizational revolutionary anarchist; a great deal can be learned from Malatesta). This is a much better position than, for example, one calling for the abandonment of anarchism in favor of a new synthesis dominated by Marxism. However, when pushing for more organizational structure and theory, it is p... (From:
Many things have been impressive about the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. The extent of the demonstrations, the depth of the anger, and the mass mobilization of the African-American community has been heartening. As I write, weekly and daily protests are still going on, extending into occupations, across the U.S. and even internationally. The U.S. population, which had seemed to be so quiesent, hunkering down during the covid-19 plague and the politically repressive Trump administration, has suddenly burst out in righteous outrage. One aspect of the protests that has impressed many is the large proportion of white people who are participating. Along with African-Americans, Latinx, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans, white people h... (From:
In the United States, there has developed an enthusiastic movement of support for the Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama. Besides the large forces he appeals to, especially among young adults, he is overwhelmingly supported by the left: liberals, social democrats, and Stalinists. I appreciate the movement-like aspect of his popular support, yet I personally will not vote for him. I do not try to persuade individual friends, family members, and coworkers not to vote for him, but I would like to change their attitudes. It is typical of liberals, etc. that they start elections by declaring the Democratic candidate to be the “lesser evil” (which admits that he or she is an evil). But as the election gets closer,... (From:
Revolution, Violence, and Nonviolence While absolute pacifists are a small minority in the general population, they are a large proportion of anarchists. Pacifists are completely against war or any type of mass violence under any circumstances, even in defense from military invasion or to make a democratic revolution. Naturally many pacifists are also anarchists — being against armies, they also oppose the police. It has been said jokingly (with what truth I do not know) that during retreats of the pacifist War Resisters League, softball games are played between the anarchists and the Socialist Party members. When I first became an anarchist, it was of the anarchist-pacifist tendency. I admired the pacifist Paul Goodman, who was p... (From:
A small group of militants, hundreds or a few thousand, hated the U.S.A. so much that they spent years planning their attacks on New York City and Washington D.C. They did not care that they would murder thousands of people, mostly working people. They were so perversely dedicated that they were willing to die themselves in the attacks. Around the world a great many people were pleased by the assault, to the point of celebrating. Many, many more did not support the explosion of the Twin Towers, and even condemned it, but still expressed understanding for the motives of the terrorists. There were few or no political or religious leaders in mostly-Muslim countries or elsewhere who endorsed the attacks. Even the assailants kept quiet; no one ... (From:
As members of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation, we believe there is a need to restate some fundamental positions we hold in common. We have taken this step because some recent opinions stated within Love and Rage backtrack on some of these basic principles. We believe: Revolutionary anarchism is the program of a self-organized, cooperative, decentralized, and thoroughly democratic society. All social needs will be provided by a network of voluntary, self-managed associations. This means the overthrow of all forms of oppression, including, but not limited to, the domination of the working class, women, gays and lesbians, African Americans, Latinos, youth, neo-colonies, and nature. Self-organization of the people is bo... (From:
“Some people believe that Marxism and anarchism are based on the same principles and that disagreements between them concern only tactics, so that…it is quite impossible to draw a contrast between these two trends….This is a great mistake….Anarchists are the real enemies of Marxism.” —J. Stalin (quoted on p. 290) Historically, authoritarian, statist, versions of socialism have dominated the Left—and do so today. Yet, even further to the left, there have also been anti-authoritarian and anti-statist socialisms. To redevelop and rediscover this broad current of libertarian socialism requires looking at the historical interaction, overlapping, and cross-pollination of anarchism and anti-authoritari... (From:
Part I: Why the Working Class Recently an activist friend, who has been influenced by Michael Albert’s Parecon program, wrote to me. He asked, “Why should we call ourselves class struggle anarchists instead of feminist-antiracist-green-class struggle anarchists?” In other words, why single out the struggle of the working class? At least his approach includes class conflict as one of the aspects of social struggle. There are many, liberals and radicals, who completely reject class struggle. Many denounce unions (from the right). Hardt and Negri have been influential in replacing the working class theoretically with a concept of the “multitude.” Among anarchists, a great many reject any major role for class s... (From:
Part I: The contradictory meanings of Communism There was a vision, called “communism,” which was held by Kropotkin and other anarchist-communists in the 19th and early 20th century. Marx and Engels shared essentially the same goal. In the stateless, classless, society of communism, the means of production would be held in common (by the community), work would be carried out due to social motives rather than for wages, and consumer goods would be available to all according to their needs. But during the Cold War, “communism” came to mean something entirely different. Great nations were ruled by self-named Communist Parties. Their economies were managed by totalitarian states, their powerless workers produced comm... (From:
“Anarchism” is a very broad and uncertain term. Probably most of the public think that anarchists are for breaking windows and blowing things up, unaware that many anarchists are absolute pacifists. Meanwhile, those who identify themselves as anarchists sometimes define anarchism as their particular school of thought. They regard other anarchists as not really anarchists at all. Taking me as an example: In my years of trying to work out a particular anarchist perspective, I have repeatedly been told that I am no sort of anarchist or that what I advocate is not genuine anarchism. Most recently I have been informed that what I advocate is not anarchism, because I am for democracy. I have called anarchism “extreme democr... (From:
Bring the Ruckus, the statement by the Phenix Ruckus collective, declares itself for “a dual power strategy”. It defines this as “one that directly challenges institutions of power and at the same time, in some way, prefigures the new institutions we envision...” As an example, it gives its Copwatch campaign. Other “popular protests”, however well meaning, if they do not lead to this so-called dual power strategy, “should be abandoned” by revolutionaries. It gives the example of animal liberation, but could have cited many more popular struggles. What is “dual power” anyways? The term itself arose during the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Russian word “dvoevlastie” is us... (From:
The following essays cover different topics, written at different times, but all reflect a particular viewpoint. I am not a spokesperson for anyone and make no claims to be an “orthodox anarchist,” whatever that would be. But my views are more-or-less consistent with the main tendency of certain traditional and current anarchist thought. This tendency is revolutionary, believing that eventually the working class will have to directly confront and dismantle the state; it is anti-capitalist, in the tradition of libertarian socialism, social anarchism, and anarchist-communism; it is decentralist, believing that society should be in human scale, rooted in direct democracy; it is federalist, believing that local assemblies and workpl... (From:
There was a controversy in the late 60s and the 70s about the establishment of a memorial to W.E.B. Du Bois. In terms of the struggles which shook the U.S. in this period (“the sixties”), it was peripheral, but it shines some light on the central issues of African-American liberation and the Cold War, of white supremacy and anti-communism. In the town of Great Barrington, in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, it was proposed to establish a memorial to the Black scholar and activist, William Edward Burghhardt Du Bois (pronounced doo-boyz). Cornel West goes so far as to describe him as “an American intellectual of African descent, the greatest one produced in this country….” (1989; 138) He was certainly inter... (From:
There are many approaches to anarchism, but for me the central issue is the vision of an anti-authoritarian, stateless, classless, oppression-less, society. It is the vision of a world based on cooperation, participatory democracy, production for use rather than profit, free and equal association in all areas of life, and ecological balance with the natural world. It would involve networks and federations of self-managed workplaces, industries, communities, neighborhoods, and (so long as they are still needed) militia units (the armed people). These would be managed by direct, face-to-face, democracy—the self-organization of the people. To achieve this, people would organize under the principle of as much democratic decentralization a... (From:
What Can Anarchists Learn From His Revolutionary Life? Victor Serge is admired for his writings and his life, including his participation in the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. He went from anarchism to Bolshevism to Trotskyism and then broke from Trotsky. Trotskyists often cite him against anarchism. 90 years after the Russian Revolution, it is worth asking, what, if anything, can anarchists learn from him? In her posthumous book, Susan Sontag (2007) has an essay, “Unextinguished: The Case of Victor Serge.” She is one of many who have admired Serge’s work and life, such as George Orwell. Peter Sedgewick (of the British Socialist Workers Party) called Serge “one of the most outstanding socialist authors who... (From:
Part I. A USA Anarchist Opinion on the Iraqi War The U. S. A. deserves to be militarily defeated in Iraq. It should be forced to withdraw from that country. The U.S. is waging a war of aggression, invading and occupying a country that did it no harm and had been no threat, overthrowing its government, killing tens of thousands of its people, including civilians, torturing others, remaining in the country even after overthrowing its government, violating the wishes of most of its people, trying to sell off its oil, and planning to maintain U.S. military bases there for a long time.. All this was justified by a campaign of lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction and about ties to terrorism. If international law means anything at all, this i... (From:
Alternate Tendencies of Anarchism Uri Gordon (2008). Anarchy Alive! Michael Schmidt & Lucien van der Walt (2009). Black Flame. It has been stated by various theorists that there are two main trends in modern anarchism. How they are conceptualized varies with the writer. I will state how I see the two broad tendencies in the anarchist movement, using the above two books to illustrate the two trends (this is particularly not a review of Black Flame). I will describe them as differing on the issues of revolution or reformism, of democracy, of what “prefigurative politics” mean, and of attitudes toward the working class. Near the beginning of a recent book on anarchism by Uri Gordon (2008), an Israeli anarchist, t... (From:
To many liberals, progressives, unionists, activists of various just causes, Democrats of all stripes, democratic socialists and concerned citizens, the problem the U.S. is facing is essentially that Donald J. Trump is president, and is backed by the Republican Party. I disagree with this widespread belief. It is likely that Trump will be removed from office in the next two years, whether by impeachment (unlikely due to the Senate Republicans) or by national elections (probable but not certain). Liberals, progressives, etc., look forward to this as a glorious day. The sun will come out from behind the darkling clouds, little birds will sing again, the miasma of evil and stupidity will lift from the land, and all will be well again. Things ... (From:
To many liberals, progressives, unionists, activists of various just causes, Democrats of all stripes, democratic socialists, and concerned citizens, the problem the U.S. is facing is essentially that Donald J. Trump is president, and is backed by the Republican Party. I disagree with this widespread belief. It is likely that Trump will be removed from office in the next two years, whether by impeachment (unlikely due to the Senate Republicans) or by national elections (probably but not certainly). Liberals, progressives, etc., look forward to this as a glorious day. The sun will come out from behind the darkling clouds, little birds will sing again, the miasma of evil and stupidity will lift from the land, and all will be well again. Thin... (From:
Trump and the Left Resisting the Trump presidency has led many on the broad Left to focus on electing Democrats. However, is Trump the central problem confronting us, or is he just a crude manifestation of the fundamental problem, a global capitalist system that is spiraling downward and veering out of control? Implicit in the efforts to defeat Trump is the conviction that the election of a Democrat to the White House, along with the election of a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, will reverse the impetus of the Trump presidency, while providing the basis for a substantial step forward toward a just and humane society. Liberal Democrats believe that capitalism can be reformed by a benign intervention of the state acting t... (From:
This is an autobiographical account by a leader of U.S. Trotskyism during the tumultuous period of the Sixties (a period which really runs from the mid-Fifties to the mid-Seventies). He was a leader of the main U.S. Trotskyist group, which was then the Socialist Workers Party (SWP—no relation to the present-day British Trotskyist group of the same name) and of its youth organization, the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA). Barry Sheppard was a friend of other Trotskyist leaders, especially Peter Camejo. The Sixties were the last period of mass radicalization. Since we are now moving into a new period of mass radicalization, it is important to learn whatever we can from previous periods (including the even earlier Thirties). Hopefully we c... (From:
A revolutionary organization is built around its program. It embodies its program, which is why people join it. The program includes its ultimate goals, that is, its vision of a new, self-managed, society. The program includes an analysis of what the existing society is and how it works. It includes a strategy for getting from where we are to where we want to go. I do not mean only a discussion of how the workers in the course of a revolution could begin to build the new society (such as Kropotkin’s Conquest of Bread), but how to get from the existing, nonrevolutionary, situation to that revolution. These are all essential parts of a program for revolutionary, working class, libertarian-democratic, socialism. (I will refer to this as ... (From:
They first came for the immigrants, and I did not speak up—because my family had not been immigrants for three generations. Then they came for the U.S. Muslims and Arab-Americans, and I did not speak up—because I did not want anyone to think I was sympathetic to “terrorism.” Then they came for the African-Americans, shot them down in the streets and put thousands of their young men in prison, but I did not speak up—because I did not want to look “soft on crime.” Then they came for the Gays and Lesbians, and I did not speak up—because I did not want anyone to think I was Gay. Then they came for the atheists and secularists, and I did not speak up—because atheists are even more unpopul... (From:
Opening “The transcripts of the 2006 meetings [of the governors of the Federal Reserve Board and the presidents of the 19 regional banks, two years before the Great Recession]...clearly show some of the nation’s preeminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with shepherding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.” NY Times January 13, 2012 “Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the socialists and the communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class.&rdq... (From:
Theses, October 2000, and Discussion These “theses” were written in October, 2000, shortly after the beginning of the new Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, and were posted on The Utopian website. Along with the theses, we are reprinting a comment by Wayne Price and my response, which were also posted on the site. Since the theses were written, a good deal has changed. Hundreds more have died. The Barak government in Israel was voted out and a coalition headed by Ariel Sharon took office—strengthening what I see as Sharon’s strategy of blocking agreement on the establishment of a truncated Palestinian state. The Bush Administration in the U.S. backed Israeli positions somewhat more than the Clinton Administration... (From:
Errico Malatesta (1853—1932) was a younger comrade and friend of Michael Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, who were among the “founders” of revolutionary anarchism. He may be seen as continuing their theory and practice where they left off—after Bakunin died and after Kropotkin betrayed anarchist principles to support the imperialist Allies in World War I. He was of a generation which included significant anarchist figures, including Emma Goldman, Luigi Fabbri, Pierre Monatte, and Nester Makhno, among others. Living through World War I, the Russian revolution, and the rise of fascism, he made important contributions—which remain valuable for anarchists today. These were expressed in his direct, plain-spoken, style, ... (From:
In the United States there has been recently a rise of interest in “socialism,” especially among young adults (“millennials”). Different political views have reacted to this rise in various ways. Conservatives are appalled (“Have we forgotten the lessons of the Cold War?”). The leadership of the Democratic Party (the moderate center) is disturbed (“We’re for capitalism, after all!”) The liberal-left is pleased, so long as “socialism” is interpreted to mean liberal-left politics—not taking away the wealth of the capitalists and creating a democratic, nonprofit, economy. Anarchists also have various responses. Some hope to create a libertarian (anti-authoritarian) social... (From:
The anarchist writer and anthropology professor, David Graeber, has written a number of thick volumes. This is a smaller work, a collection of essays written between 2004 and 2010. They have, Graeber assures us, a “unifying theme.” They focus on questions of strategy for the global justice movement, including “revolution”, what Graeber means by the term, and what he thinks about it. In my opinion, this book, like his other writings, combines intelligent insights with muddled thinking and a non-revolutionary perspective (see Price, 2007; 2012). Graeber’s main concern is that movement activists seem to be discouraged by the failures and limitations of the various struggles against the states and the corporations... (From:
The Platypus Society is having a panel on “Marxism and Anarchism,” 3/17, in Chicago. It prepared a list of questions on the topic. These are my responses to the questions, in preparation for the discussion. Announcement of Event The Platypus Society is having a panel discussion in Chicago on “Radical Ideology Today: Marxism and Anarchism.” It will be at 7 pm on the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), room TBA, March 17, 2014, a Monday. This is part of a number of discussions on this topic which they are sponsoring in several cities (including NYC). At this point in time, I was told, they have invited Peter Hudis, of the Marxist-Humanist Institute, someone from the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party, a loca... (From:
For Black History Month: In 1941, the African-American labor leader, A. Philip Randolph made a call for a national demonstration by African-Americans in Washington, D.C. The demonstration never occurred, because of sabotage by White and Black liberals. But the organizing for it, and the movement behind it, continuing during World War II, had a big impact on U.S. Black people. It was an important influence preparing for the Civil Rights and Black Liberation struggles of the 1950s and ‘60s. --- In 1941, the African-American labor leader, A. Philip Randolph made a call for a national demonstration by African-Americans in Washington, D.C. The demonstration never occurred, because of sabotage by White and Black liberals. But the orga... (From:
It is now 70 years since the end of the Second World War (1939—1945). It is often referred to as the “Good War” or even the “Last Good War.” The U.S. soldiers who fought it have been called the “Greatest Generation.” Since wars are best seen as evils unless proven otherwise, it is worth asking why World War II has such a good reputation, and whether it deserves it. After all, approximately 60 million people died around the world from that war. I am going to argue that World War II was not the “Good War,” that it was a war between imperialist states fighting for global domination. But it was not “nothing but” an inter-imperialist war—not “simply” an inter-im... (From:
Review of Ronald D. Tabor, The Tyranny of Theory: A Contribution to the Anarchist Critique of Marxism (2013). 349 pages. This is a review of Ronald D. Tabor, The Tyranny of Theory: A Contribution to the Anarchist Critique of Marxism (2013). Marxism, like anarchism, came out of movements for democracy, socialism, and working class liberation. Its goals were for a free, cooperative, classless, stateless, and nonoppressive society. Yet Marxism ended up establishing totalitarian, mass murdering, state capitalist, regimes. This is the paradox of Marxism. Why did this happen? An attempt to analyze this is made in this new book by Ron Tabor, a former Marxist and now an anarchist. wayne discusses Ron’s ideas. There is a paradox to ... (From:
This is an important and interesting book about how to build a movement. From the blurbs it includes, it has been highly praised by many well-known militants and theorists of change. In my opinion, as a libertarian (antiauthoritarian) socialist, it has something profoundly true to say, but it is politically unbalanced. We live in a time when awful things are happening, politically, economically, socially, militarily, and ecologically—and worse things threaten to happen. Yet, as Jonathan Smucker points out (relying on the polls), “Today in the United States more millennials identify with socialism than with capitalism….On nearly every major issue, relatively progressive positions have come to enjoy a majority of support&h... (From:
Background: The Korean War The Korean War of 1950—1953 has been called “the Forgotten War” or “the Unknown War.” In the section on Military History at my local Barnes & Noble bookstore, there are many volumes on World War II and on the Vietnam War and even on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but nothing at all on Korea. This is typical. However, in many ways it was a turning point in world history after World War II. It solidified the pattern of the Cold War of “peripheral” wars but no World War III. It excused the re-armament of the United States, which, among other effects, was a cause of the postwar boom. And for Koreans, it froze in place the painful division of their ancient nation. The ... (From:
Both anarchism and Marxism developed in the 19th century out of movements for democracy, workers’ rights, and socialism. With this common background, they had a great deal of overlap—plus deep divisions. They split in a bitter faction fight in the First International—officially called the International Workingmen’s Association. The International was founded in 1864 and their fight took place in the early 1870s, in the same period as the rebellion of the Paris Commune (1871). The anarchist movement, strongly influenced by Mikhail Bakunin, developed through the First International. On the other hand, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had been working out their views since the 1840s, but Marxism expanded theoretically and ... (From:
Cindy Milstein is a speaker and writer who is well-known to US anarchists. There seems to be hardly an anarchist conference or bookfair which she does not speak at and usually has been involved in organizing. Her rapid-fire speech is as well-known as her open-mindedness and friendliness to people from all trends within anarchism. She is also prominent as a former student of Murray Bookchin (1921—2006). Coming out of the anarchist-communist tradition, he was extremely influential. This book is a reworked collection of a few of her essays. It serves as both an introduction to anarchism and an overview of the current state of the anarchist movement (community, milieu, or whatever)—as she sees it. There is much to like about this l... (From:
How did the Russian revolution go from an extreme popular democracy to the horrors of Stalin’s totalitarian state capitalism? The Russian revolution of 1917 involved vast numbers of people. It included almost all the working class of the cities, most of the peasants, and the mostly-peasant ranks of the military (swollen by the needs of World War I). The working people created delegated representational councils (soviets), along with factory committees, unions, regimental councils, peasant village councils, and cooperatives. There was an enormous growth of left-wing parties and organizations with their newspapers, leaflets, and public speakers, who competed with each other, and allied with each other, in a great popular democracy. Thes... (From:
There has been a spurt of interest in a small radical book titled “The Coming Insurrection” (“TCI”), with authorship attributed to the “Invisible Committee” (IC). It was originally published in France in 2007. That country’s police cited it as evidence in a trial of “the Tarnaq 9,” radicals who were accused of planning sabotage. The French Interior Minister called it a “manual for terrorism” (quoted on p. 5). A U.S. edition got an unlikely boost by the far-right tv talk show clown Glen Beck. He has repeatedly identified it as a manual for a take-over of the U.S. by the left, by which he means everyone from the mildest liberal Democrats leftward. “This [is a] dangerous l... (From:
The negotiations between the US government and the Iranian government is essentially bizarre. The US state (and the states of France, Britain, China, Germany, and Russia) are negotiating with the Iranian state over whether the Iranians can develop a nuclear power industry which might, perhaps, be used for building nuclear bombs. The Iranians deny they are interested in building such bombs. The US state, armed to the eyebrows with nuclear weaponry, plus the largest military forces on the face of the earth (larger than all others combined), and allied, in the region, with nuclear-armed Israel, is making unilateral demands on Iran. In return, the US offers only to end its “sanctions” and embargo of the Iranian economy. We see the m... (From:
Ernesto (Che) Guevara has become an international icon of the left. Pictures of the martyred revolutionary are widely seen on tee-shirts and posters, not to mention coffee cups. Movies have been of his life. He appears even in musicals and movies about unrelated people (for example, “Evita”). He is admired by people who know little or nothing about him, including liberals who would never advocate a revolution in their own country. He is also admired by people who would like a revolution, one which would reorganize the U.S. to have the same system as Castroite Cuba. There are those who condemn Che (and Castro’s Cuba) in the name of democracy and freedom, but they are mostly supporters of U.S. imperialism and Western capital... (From:
Recently I was at a weekend adult camp for people interested in left-wing “political music.” People had all sorts of political viewpoints. However, several times I heard versions of the statement, “We should remember the good things which the Communist Party did.” It wasn’t that they wanted to join the present day Communist Party (a thin shadow of what it once was), but they wanted us to honor the historical Communist Party. They saw it as supplying a tradition for a new radical movement. Such opinions are widespread on today’s Left. For anarchists and other anti-authoritarian socialists this is a worrying trend. The Communists, it was said, had once played a key role in organizing unions, especially in ... (From:
The flood of human beings across national borders has shaken the world. There are more refugees than at any time since World War II—about 60 million. However, this article focuses on the immigration question for the U.S. These are mostly people from Latin American countries, fleeing poverty as well as civil wars, criminal gangs, and government repression. However some of the issues are relevant to thinking about the problems of refugees from the Middle East. One of the most heartening things in recent years has been the on-going popular struggles in the U.S. of Latinos and immigrants (overlapping groups). Since the massive demonstrations in 2006, these groupings have not stopped raising their issues and fighting for their rights. The... (From:
In 1985, I participated in a “dialogue” between the unorthodox-Trotskyist organization I was then a member of and an anarcho-syndicalist organization. The topic was “Where do anarchists and Marxists differ, and can we learn from each other?” From my current perspective as a revolutionary anarchist, I now believe that much of what I then said was wrong. By the mid ‘fifties, the radical organization I was a member of—the Revolutionary Socialist League—no longer felt comfortable describing itself as Trotskyist or Leninist. We had held a libertarian-democratic-proletarian interpretation of Marx, Lenin, and Trotsky. Almost all the other Marxists interpreted them as authoritarian and statist (and were fo... (From:
This book brings together a set of analyzes of popular struggles in a number of countries—as its subtitle indicates. It is written by a someone within “the libertarian or left communist milieu” of Marxism (43), although he expresses a friendly attitude toward anarchism. Overall it has a conclusion, a rejection of “a methodology repeated again and again whereby different variants of the far-left set themselves up as the cheering section and often minor adjuncts to ‘progressive’ movements and governments strictly committed to the restructuring (or creation) of a nation-state adequate to…world capitalism. This methodology involves imagining…a healthy ‘left’ wing of a bourgeois or na... (From:
At a March conference of the U.S.—Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists (US-NEFAC), we discussed a document some of us had written. It covered the current economic crisis and the likely prospects for the coming period. No one claimed to know for sure what the immediate future would bring—would the Great Recession be over soon or would recovery collapse into a new crisis? When will there be a new working class upsurge? But we expect that the overall economic direction will be downhill, despite short-term ups and downs; that there would be no return to the relative prosperity of the 50s or even the 90s; that there is a likelihood of a second Great Depression, worse than the 30s; that ecological and environmental decay wi... (From:
The quotation at the right is from the beginning of “The Two Souls of Socialism,” by Hal Draper (1992), published as a pamphlet in 1966. Draper’s editor notes, “Its political impact on a generation of socialists in the United States and Great Britain has been considerable.” (Haberkern, 1992, p. xvii) It influenced that wing of Trotskyism which rejected Trotsky’s belief that the Soviet Union under Stalin (and after) was some sort of “workers’ state.” Instead, these semi-Trotskyists held (correctly) that the U.S.S.R. had developed a bureaucratic ruling class which collectively exploited the workers. Draper’s pamphlet was rewritten as the first half of a work by David McNally, &ldquo... (From:
There are a number of radicals who reject the “two-party system”. These are socialists (of various sorts) and left-liberals who do not accept the anarchist goal of abolition of the state as well as capitalism. But the Leftists I am writing about agree with anarchists that it is a mistake to support the Democratic Party and its politicians and its organization (the modern Republican Party is not an attraction for Leftists). They agree that the Democrats, like the Republicans, are agents of the big business owners; that the Democrats support capitalism as a system; that they support the imperialism and war-making of the national state as it is; that, while the Democrats play lip service to the danger of climate change, they actual... (From:
This essay is slightly expanded from one which was rejected by a US anarchist magazine for political reasons. It deals with a disagreement among activists: Should we propose that the movement raise a program of demands? I think that anarchists should, but with a more libertarian-democratic version than the liberals and state socialists. The essay is followed by a response to the political points raised by the editors of the anarchist journal. During the height of the Occupy Wall Street encampments, a dispute broke out among activists. Various liberals and state socialists advocated that the movement raise a program, a set of demands on the capitalist class and the state. This approach was opposed by a number of anarchists. Given the ec... (From:
Max Stirner was the pen name of Johann Kasper Schmidt (1806–56). He was part of a milieu of young philosophers who sought to develop further the philosophy of the great German thinker Georg W. F. Hegel, who had died in 1831. This milieu has been referred to as the Young Hegelians or Left Hegelians. While Hegel’s system had solidified into a reactionary form, they mainly tried to rework it in more humanistic, naturalistic, and democratic directions. The most well-known of these young men today (there were women in the grouping, but their names have dropped out of history) are Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. (Engels had been a personal friend of Stirner’s for a time.) Michael Bakunin—later a founder of revolutionary so... (From:
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness [mercy], and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah (Quoted frequently by Rev. Barber) The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber became nationally known in 2013 for his role in organizing massive demonstrations of African-American and white working class and poor people in North Carolina. “Tens of thousands of people came for thirteen consecutive Moral Mondays” to rally at the statehouse. “By the end of the legislative session, nearly a thousand people had been arrested in the largest wave of mass civil disobedience since the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960.” (x) Now he is the co-chair of the effort to re-build Dr. King’s Poor People&... (From:
The BRING THE RUCKUS (BTR) position paper proposes that the “priority” of its organization be the destruction of white supremacy. This is supposedly based on a “strategic argument.” It points out that white people have “special privileges... such as preferred access to the best schools, neighborhoods, jobs, and health care...and better treatment by the police,” among other advantages. This leads to white workers “agree[ing] to police the rest of the population,” and to politically “unit[ing]” with the ruling class against the rest of the working class. Unlike many, the Ruckusites do not deny the strategic importance of the working class, as the social force capable of stopping and ... (From:
Marvin Mandell, coeditor of New Politics, has written a review of my book, The Abolition of the State: Anarchist and Marxist Perspectives. He described it as “well considered, well researched, and well written,” and says, “Price has given us much to chew on.” He concluded, “Marxists and anarchists can learn from each other, and, in fact, need each other.” I agree with this thought, and regard Mandell as a fellow believer in socialism-from-below. But limitations of space cause me to focus on our differences. What is the State? In my book, I define the state as a socially-alienated bureaucratic-military machine, with specialized layers of officials, police, and soldiers, which stands over and against th... (From:
The Utopian Vision Anarchism is the end of all forms of domination, hierarchy, and oppression. It opposes capitalism, white supremacy, male supremacy, homophobia, imperialism, militarism, environmental destruction, and so on. Anarchism is the most extreme form of democracy, freedom, and self-management, applied throughout society. Time and again, revolutions have resulted in popular assemblies, neighborhood gatherings, workplace committees, etc. These have sent elected individuals to associated councils, individuals who were immediately recallable and controllable by the grassroots assemblies. These decentralized assemblies expressed the need of human beings for face-to-face association, going back to the small “tribes” and v... (From:
Books about the worldwide capitalist crisis have been rolling off the presses and pouring into bookstores. They cover the political range from conservative to liberal, and somewhat further left. So it is worthwhile to review a book on the topic by radicals from the Marxist tradition of the Monthly Review magazine. The authors (Foster is the current editor of MR) root their theorizing in the 1966 work, Monopoly Capital by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, from 1966. The Great Financial Crisis is composed of essays written for MR over two years, just before and during the full crisis in Fall 2008, sandwiched between two new essays. The book is short (156 pages) and, for a book on economics, clearly and nontechnically written. The authors raise key... (From:
To understand the importance of this work, it is necessary to put it in some context. In the United States, there are two major parties, one of which completely denies the reality of climate change, and therefore the need to do anything about it. (The other party officially recognizes the reality of climate change, but denies the need to do anything drastic; it does little to change anything.) The historian Timothy Snyder comments, “…The United States…is the only country where climate science is still resisted by certain political and business elites. These deniers tend to present the empirical findings of scientists as a conspiracy….The full consequences of climate change may reach America only decades after warm... (From:
In “An Anarchist FAQ,” Iain McKay writes, “…anarchists have, traditionally, been weak on…economics (which is ironic, as Proudhon made his name by his economic critiques)” (2008; p. 13). This is why David Graeber, the anarchist anthropologist, deserves praise for writing a major work on political economy. He has written, he says, a “book [on] the history of money, debt, and credit” (2011; p. 212). “My own aims are…to understand the moral grounds of economic life, and by extension, human life…” (p. 89). The book was influenced by the Great Recession of 2008 and following, which should have been “…the beginning of an actual public conversation about the na... (From:
The Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation lasted from 1989 to 1998. It was a long-lasting and serious effort to form a North American revolutionary anarchist federation. It would certainly be very useful to have a selection of the wide range of writings produced by the Federation, from its newspaper (also called Love & Rage) and its internal bulletins, together with a solid and informative introduction. This is not that book. Instead, it is a short volume with a highly personal selection of written work, reflecting the current politics of the editor. The editor does not choose to select writings on many aspects of the period in which Love and Rage existed. Anti-patriarchal struggles, for example. Struggles of African-America... (From:
Editors’ Note: The following article responds to Gustavo Rodriguez’s “Leninism Without Lenin” / “Aproximaciones al Leninismo sin Lenin” in Utopian #7, which may be found on our website, In reading Gustavo’s article, “Leninism Without Lenin,” I find it hard to get a handle on where he is going. Gustavo alludes to a number of real questions concerning Platformism/Specificism. In particular, he appears to regard it as equivalent to Leninism, i.e., the idea that a centralist party, the members of which consider themselves to be the vanguard of the working class and operating under laws of history, has as its self-appointed mission the supposed liberation of humanity whil... (From:
A response to Crimethinc's statement, "Why We Don't Make Demands." Wayne argues that revolutionary anarchists should propose to movements which they are part of to raise militant, radical, demands. Done in dialogue with the people, it moves the struggle forward and challenges the state and the capitalist class. Recently Crimethinc (the “Ex-Workers’ Collective”) published a statement, “Why We Don’t Make Demands.” (Crimethinc 2015) I had previously written an article, “Should Anarchists Raise a Program of Demands?” (my answer being “yes”). (Price 2015) So it seems appropriate for me to respond to Crimethinc’s article, which is a serious presentation by anarchist revolution... (From:
Anarchism vs. Trotskyism An ISOer describes why he went from being an anarchist to being a Trotskyist. He expands on his experiences to make general criticisms of anarchism. I explain why his views are mistaken. Recently a prominent member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) of the US published a criticism of anarchism in the ISO’s newpaper, the Socialist Worker (D’Amato, 2009). It was particularly interesting because it was based on his own life experience. (The ISO is in the wing of Trotskyism which rejects Trotsky’s theory that the Soviet Union under Stalin remained a “degenerated workers’ state.” Instead the ISO regarded the USSR, more-or-less correctly, as “state capit... (From:
The Standing Rock Sioux in the U.S. have been fighting against the construction of a major gas pipeline which would threaten their water supply and violate their sacred sites. They have organized popular direct action against the construction company and the state and inspired people throughout the country and the world. For months, thousands of Native Americans and others have attempted to stop the construction of a monster gas pipeline. They have filed legal claims and lobbied politicians, but what has been especially impressive has been the attempted blockade of construction. Throughout the world, indigenous peoples have played an important role in fighting pipelines, oil drilling, fracking, and the overall destruction of the environmen... (From:
Author’s Note: While I personally do not belive in God, I am against any “militant atheist” anti-religious campaigns. It is our practical political opinions which are important on whether anarchists can work together (abortion, GLBT liberation, sex, pacifism), not our views on God. So long as there are states, we raise the old bourgeois-democratic demand of “separation of church and state.” The church is free to say anything it wishes about abortion rights and to try to persuade its followers. But it must not be able to impose its views by the power of the police and the courts. Separation of church and state also means that there must be no government-imposed atheism as under the so-called Communist states. ... (From:
A key question for any political theory is its conception of the state. This includes the view of the state by the trend calling itself “post-anarchism.” This name does not refer to being “after” or “beyond” anarchism. Mainly it refers to attempted integrations of anarchism with the philosophical views of post-structuralism and postmodernism, as developed by certain French philosophers (May 1994; Russell & Evren 2011). According to Ruth Kinna,“Anarchism’s third, post-anarchist, wave [is] usually dated to the rise of the alter-globalization movement in the late 1990s….” (Kinna 2017; 25) It was not so much a change in organizing strategies as a new theoretical approach. “P... (From:
There is a 2011 documentary (directed by Jonathan Lee) titled, “Paul Goodman Changed My Life.” This was true for me and many others in the “sixties.” Paul Goodman (1911-1972) was the most well-known anarchist of the period (much better known at the time than was Murray Bookchin). He was widely influential in the student and anti-war movements. His books were extensively read. After his death, George Woodcock, the historian of anarchism, called him possibly “the only truly seminal libertarian thinker in our generation.” (quoted by editor in Goodman 2010; 13) From my current perspective of revolutionary anarchism, I have come to see limitations and flaws in his views. But there remains a great deal of valu... (From:
During this wretched election season of 2016, I have been looking for a nonacademic and readable book which gives a reasonable explanation of the current political situation. Thomas Frank is a left-liberal—he describes himself as “a person of vivid pink sentiments.” (29) In this book, however, he does not provide another report of the horrors of the right-wing movement which has culminated in the crazed, ignorant, candidacy of Donald J. Trump (which he had previously written). Instead, in this work he focuses on the weaknesses of the Democratic Party. “Our current situation represents a failure of the Democratic Party as well.” (8) He was the author of the popular book What’s the Matter with Kansas? which... (From:
Where We Agree and Where We Disagree On what do our two tendencies agree? Quite a lot. While supporting struggles for reforms, we agree that our goal should be a revolution which gets rid of capitalism and all forms of oppression (gender, national, race, sexual orientation, etc.) as well as the state. This should be done by a movement of all the oppressed, including, but not limited to, the working class. In place of both the state and the capitalist economy should be a federation, rooted in directly-democratic councils of communities and workplaces. Organized neither by the market nor by centralized planning, the economy should be democratically planned-from-the-bottom-up by these councils. A stateless, self-managed, polity should consi... (From:
The second most important problem for anticapitalist radicals is how to get from here to there; that is, how to get from a capitalist society to a good society. The first problem is where do we want to go—what we mean by a good, noncapitalist, society. Working together with Michael Albert, Robin Hahnel has spent years on this first problem, developing a model of what a good society might be like, or at least how its economy might work. In a series of books and essays (e.g., Albert 2000, 2005; Albert & Hahnel 1983, 1991), they have thought out how an economy might function which is managed by its people rather than by either private capitalists or bureaucrats—an economy managed through bottom-up democratic cooperation, rather... (From:
Comments on Gordon’s Anarchy Alive! There has been very little written on the relation between anarchism and the Palestinian struggle against Isreali oppression. Therefore it is interesting to read the discussion of this topic by an Israeli anarchist, Uri Gordon, in his recent book, Anarchy Alive! Chapter 6 is titled, “HomeLand: Anarchy and Joint Struggle in Palestine/Israel.” (pp. 139 — 162) Unfortunately, the chapter is marred by an intemperate and gratuitous attack on my views. Before getting to this, I will review his discussion. Gordon confronts “the apparent contradiction between anarchists’ commitment to support oppressed groups on the latter’s own terms, and those terms being — in ... (From:
William J. Barber with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear. Boston: Beacon Press, 2016. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness [mercy], and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah (Quoted frequently by Rev. Barber) The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber became nationally known in 2013 for his role in organizing massive demonstrations of African-American and white working class and poor people in North Carolina. “Tens of thousands of people came for thirteen consecutive Moral Mondays” to rally at the statehouse. “By the end of the legislative session, nearly a thousand people had been arrested... (From:
Perspectives for Revolutionary Anarchism Discusses the meaning of “revolution” and whether it is possible. Should revolutionaries support reforms? Should we make demands on the state? Must a revolution be violent? Around the time of Jesus, a gentile is said to have gone to the famous Rabbi Hillel and offered to convert to Judaism, if Hillel could explain his religion in the time the seeker could stay standing on one leg. Instead of throwing the man out, Hillel said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to others [a version of the Golden Rule]. That is the Law (Torah); all the rest is Commentary.” If someone were to challenge me to explain the political theory held by my comrades and me, while he or she stood on on... (From:
In 1938, the Marxist revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, wrote an essay, Their Morals and Ours—usually reprinted with a sequel from a year later, “The Moralists and Sycophants against Marxism.” (Trotsky, Dewey, & Novack 1966) His subject was the relation between means and ends in politics. In particular he sought to counter the claim that the methods of Marxism, as carried out by Lenin and himself during the Russian Revolution, led to the horrors of Stalin’s mass-murdering totalitarianism. His follower, George Novack, believed, “This treatment of the problem of means and ends in collective action and individual conduct is one of Trotsky’s most valuable contributions to Marxist theory.” (6) Some months... (From:
“The people without its monarch and without that whole organization necessarily and directly connected with him is a formless mass, which is no longer a State. In a people, not conceived in a lawless and unorganized condition, but as a self-developed and truly organic totality—in such a people, sovereignty is the personality of the whole, and this is represented in reality by the person of the monarch.” So wrote Hegel in The Philosophy of Law.[1] The opposite of Hegel’s view is anarchism, which rejects the state and any rule by a “monarch” (whether an actual king, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a “democratically” elected president and congress). Anarchism is not only against the state but oppose... (From:
Paul Goodman, 1962: “...The main thing I have to teach my young friends is...the perhaps encouraging, and certainly painful, factual demonstration that a man [Note] can hold such a doctrine and more or less live it during years of vicissitudes, and be still pitching. It is not impossible to ‘make it,’ to be somewhat accepted by the great world; but if you are still conscious, you will be stricken with the same dismay....The hope in face-to-face community that I have expressed in this book is still the only truth I know.” (“Preface”, Drawing the Line; A Pamphlet. NY: Random House; p. ix) This is now the end of 2006. It has been a year and a half since I have begun writing monthly essays for the Anarki... (From:
Naomi Klein’s new book has been widely reviewed and widely read, not only on the left, but by many people concerned with looming ecological catastrophe. It deserves its popularity. Clearly written, it lays out the dangers of humanly caused climate change. It proposes alternatives by which we could still save the world. She cites a 2012 report by the World Bank (not exactly a nest of radical eco-socialists) that a rise of the average global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius “would further add to 21st century global warming and impact entire continents.” (13). The bank’s report also warns that by century’s end, “we’re on track for a 4 degree C [7.2 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer world marked by extreme he... (From:
The expansion of the US attack on Afghanistan and Pakistan is not due to the personal qualities of Obama but to the social system he serves: the national state and the capitalist economy. The nature of the situation guarantees that the system will act irrationally. Anarchists should participate in building a broad movement against the war, while raising our political program. In discussing President Obama’s expansion of the US attack on Afghanistan and Pakistan, it is important not to focus on Obama as a personality but on the social system to which he is commited, specifically to the war-waging capitalist national state. “War is the health of the state,” as Randolph Bourne declared during World War I. It is what the nati... (From:
In demonstrations across the United States, protesters have raised signs saying, “Not My President!” Obviously they are not denying that state machinery has given Donald J. Trump the position of head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, ruler of the mightiest and wealthiest state in the world. What they are denying is Trump’s legitimacy for the position, his moral right to claim the presidency. Under the capitalist system, electoral democracy serves several purposes. One is that it permits factions of the ruling capitalist elite to struggle over their different programs (based on differing interests) and to make final decisions—without civil wars or establishing a dictatorship (both of which can be c... (From:
The economy is dismal and this is called the “recovery.” Millions are jobless or underemployed or are losing or have lost their homes or are deeply in debt. Meanwhile the U.S. is waging at least two wars, killing our soldiers and local people. The world rolls on toward ecological catastrophe, global warming, and energy shortages. Oppression and discrimination continues against African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and Arabs, and LGBT people. In desperation, many people turn to the Republicans and the Tea Party. These claim to be against bailouts of the rich, but their call for tax cuts for the rich is the biggest form of a bailout. They claim to be against big government, but they advocate a big military and police, with increase... (From:
Against Nuclear Apocalypse The crisis over North Korea has only reminded us of the worldwide danger of nuclear war. Anarchists must oppose all development of nuclear bombs, by the US but also by an oppressed nation (such as North Korea) and even by a Federation of Anarchist Communes. The Stalinist kingdom of North Korea has recently had an underground nuclear bomb test. This has been condemned by what is called “the international community,” most vociferously by the United States’ government. They pressure the North Korean dictatorship by, among other means, withholding food, starving its powerless people. The United States rulers are also leading the effort to stop the Iranian state from building nuclear bombs (which ... (From:
Historically, anarchists and other anti-authoritarians have rejected participation in elections. We neither run candidates nor vote for those who do run. There have been exceptions to this tradition, but the mainstream of revolutionary anarchism has been against participation in elections or in elected government bodies. This position may seem odd to most people on the Left since, overwhelmingly, U.S. liberals and reformists are in favor of voting for the Democratic Party against the Republicans. Particularly in this presidential election year (2004) there is an almost hysterical desire among liberals to elect some Democrat (any Democrat!) to unseat the appalling George W. Bush. The AFL-CIO, under the Sweeny administration, has made a majo... (From:
A new wave of radicalization is spreading around the world. Federations of anarchists are being organized in the U.S and Canada, and in other countries. The ‘platformist’ current within international anarchism, with its emphasis on the need for anarchists to organize themselves, is having worldwide effects. In these conditions, it is not surprising that there should be an interest in the last major attempt to build an anarchist federation in North America: the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (L&R). Founded in 1989, it lasted to 1998, almost ten years, with branches in Mexico (Amor y Rabia) and in English-speaking Canada. It came out of a very amorphous anarchist movement, whose main continental organization... (From:
The most important reason for studying the nature of the Soviet Union and similar states is the light it sheds on what we mean by anti-capitalism and socialism.. Whether we regard these states as socialist determines what we think is the alternative to capitalism. There are a great many radicals who are attracted to the model of the old Soviet Union or of Maoist China, who are impressed by Cuba today or by the Nepalese Maoists. Conversely, the establishments of Western capitalism have been glad to agree that the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc. are/were “socialist” and “communist.” They say, capitalism may have faults, but this is the only “anti-capitalist” alternative which ever was or ever could be. The... (From:
There are few subjects of greater disagreement among libertarian socialists than “national liberation” and “national self-determination.” By “libertarian socialists” I include anarchists of all sorts, also libertarian-autonomous Marxists and others with similar politics. By “national liberation/self-determination,” I mean the idea that some nations are oppressed and deserve to be liberated from that oppression, and to be able to decide for themselves what social, economic, and political systems they wish to live under. This is a major issue in the world today. In the Middle East, the Kurds and the Palestinians are denied their own independent political existence. Meanwhile the U.S. and other ... (From:
At the 2008 New York City Annual Anarchist Bookfair, I was on a panel with a spokesperson for “Parecon” (“participatory economics”; Albert, 2003). Discussing the work of Michael Albert, co-inventer of the Parecon program, I stated that his strategy for getting from capitalism to Parecon was reformist, or at least non-revolutionary. This was vigorously denied by the Parecon spokesperson. This is the topic I want to cover here. I am not discussing Parecon itself, which is a vision of a post-capitalist economy managed neither by the market nor by central planning. Instead there would be planning from below by repeated negotiations among workers’ and consumers’ councils. Without going into it, I believe that ... (From:
When I worked for the New York City school system as a school psychologist, I occasionally sat on panels to interview people applying for various positions. Someone commented to me, “You know who does the best in interviews? Psychopaths. They are not nervous. They figure out what interviewers want to hear and give it to them. They are charming and make good impressions—when they want to. This hides their weaknesses from others.” So it has been with Donald J. Trump, in the opinion of his niece, Mary Trump. She has intimate knowledge of Donald and his family, based on many years of experience, and is a clinical psychologist. While various other psychologists and psychiatrists have speculated (in and out of print) about the ... (From:
“The transcripts of the 2006 meetings [of the governors of the Federal Reserve Board and the presidents of the 19 regional banks]… clearly show some of the nation’s preeminent economic minds did not fully understand the basic mechanics of the economy that they were charged with sheparding. The problem was not a lack of information; it was a lack of comprehension, born in part of their deep confidence in economic forecasting models that turned out to be broken.” NY Times (January 13, 2012); p. A3. Chapter 1: Introduction The world is facing upsetting upheavals, with aspects which are political, military, ecological, cultural, and even spiritual. Clearly this includes a deep economic crisis, overlapping with a... (From:
An Anarchist Response to Bob Avakian, MLM vs. Anarchism In the 60s and 70s, Maoism was a major current on the Left internationally. Today it is much shrunken in influence. To a great extent, its far-left niche has been taken by anarchism. I only know of one theoretical response to this situation, which is the pamphlet MLM [Marxism-Leninism-Maoism] vs. Anarchism, written by the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party (U.S.), Bob Avakian. (The pamphlet itself is undated; it is composed of articles which Avakian wrote for the Revolutionary Worker paper in 1997.) The RCP is the largest Maoist group still existing in the U.S. and has international associations. It has a cult around Avakian, who is not merely its Chairman. He is The LEAD... (From:
This small book is about the ideology of Maoism and its development out of the Chinese Revolution. As the author says, that revolution shook the world. The world is living with its aftermath today. And it is possible, as there is a regrowth of U.S. radicalism, that Maoism may have an influence on a revived U.S. Left. So it is important to understand Mao’s legacy. Most works on this topic are either academic (and implicitly pro-capitalist) or pro-Maoist (or sometimes Trotskyist). Unusually, Elliot Liu claims to “offer a critical analysis of the Chinese Revolution and Maoist politics from an anarchist and communist perspective.” (2) It may not be entirely clear what that means,. The term “communist” includes ev... (From:
“There will Ultimately be a Clash between the Oppressed and Those Who do the Oppressing” In the U.S., February is Black History Month. This is a good time to review the life of Malcolm X, one of the great leaders of the Black Liberation movement of the 60s. Anarchism, as an overall theory, is well-known to be rather loose and eclectic. Therefore anarchists have taken a great deal from other schools of thought, such as Marxism, feminism, Queer theory, ecology, radical psychoanalysis, post-modernism, etc. In my opinion, revolutionary anarchists also have much to learn from the life and thinking of Malcolm X. One weekend in the 70s, during a demonstration in New York’s Central Park, I sat at a literature table for my ra... (From:
The Anarchist Method One of the most prominent attempts to present a model for a post-capitalist society has been the theory of Parecon (“participatory economics”). One of its two founders, Michael Albert, has written a new book (2006) with the subtitle of “Life Beyond Capitalism.” Among other topics, he criticizes anarchists for their lack of a vision of what institutions a new society would have. Anarchism “...often dismisses the idea of vision, much less of providing a new political vision, as irrelevant or worse.” (p. 175) He makes the same charge against the Marxists, even the “libertarian Marxists or anarcho marxists...[who are] the best Marxism has to offer.” (p. 159) In my opinion, ... (From:
There has been a flood of books about the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and the limping "recovery" which we are now living through - which the liberal economist Paul Krugman has called a "depression". Of the many works, one of the more interesting is by Foster & McChesney (2012). Among its several virtues are its clarity of style, rare among economists of any orientation. The chapters began as separate articles in the left magazine, "Monthly Review", of which Foster is the editor. (This causes some repetition.) It is a continuation of the previous book, The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (Foster & Magdoff, 2009; reviewed by me: Price, 2010). Monthly Review has its own historical theoretical tendency, which Foster &a... (From:
You Trotskyists of the International Socialist Organization claim to have the same goal as we class-struggle social anarchists: a worldwide revolution by the working class and all oppressed, against the capitalists and their states (including the remnants of the “Communist” state capitalist regimes)—and to replace these states with associations of councils. But you ruin it because of your methods: your attempt to recreate the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and Trotsky, and to do what Lenin and Trotsky did in Russia. When you deviate from this attempt, it is only to use social democratic methods. We will demonstrate this. You seek to create a “workers’ state.” But there is no such thing as a “workers&rsqu... (From:
...I found, again and again, that the conclusions I slowly and imperfectly arrived at were already fully and demonstrably (and I may say, beautifully) expressed by Karl Marx. So I too was a Marxist! I decided with pleasure, for it is excellent to belong to a tradition and have wise friends. This was Marx as a social psychologist. But as regards political never seemed to me that the slogans of the Marxians, nor even of Marx, led to fraternal socialism (that... requires the absence of state or other coercive power); rather they led away from it. Bakunin was better. Kropotkin I agree with. (Paul Goodman, 1962; p. 34) The current world-wide revival of anarchism is premised on the decline of Marxism. Yet there remains a strand o... (From:
The Nation may be the leading U.S. liberal journal of opinion. I read it regularly, because I like some of the columnists, because it sometimes has informative articles, and because I find it useful for following the trends in liberal opinion. Recently it has been interesting for judging the reaction of liberals to Barack Obama’s incoming administration. Their reaction to Obama is in the context of the previous eight years, the Republican administration of the vile George W. Bush. To a degree, this had been a coup by the far-right wing of the bourgeoisie, with electoral support from a deluded minority of the population composed of religioius fanatics. Bush had actually lost the popular vote (by a whisker). He had run as a moderate bu... (From:
Facing the Trump regime, there are several different liberal delusions (although these views are also held by many who regard themselves as radicals). One is to see Trump as leading pretty directly to fascism and another believes that Trumpism does not really represent a major change in U.S. politics.The view that the U.S. is approaching fascism is based on an unrealistic expectation that the U.S. government is—or at least ought to be—a fair and open democracy, as portrayed in high school civics classes. Instead, many people are shocked—shocked!—when the state acts in an undemocratic, unjust, and authoritarian manner (I am not thinking of young people, new to politics, but to older people who should know better). Wh... (From:
Revolutionaries study revolutions. Many lessons might be learned from looking at the 1917 Russian Revolution and its aftermath. It began with such promise, bringing hope of a world without war, oppression, capitalism, imperialism, and states. How did it result in Stalinist mass murder and state capitalism, finally to collapse back into traditional capitalism? Possibly the most important lesson of the Russian Revolution is the difference between capitalist revolutions and working class revolutions. By “capitalist revolutions,” I mean the upheavals which replaced medieval-feudal societies with bourgeois-democratic societies, including the English Revolution of Cromwell, the American Revolution, the great French Revolution, and th... (From:
Author’s Note: The war between Israel and Hezballah is temporarily over. The left has taken a range of positions on the Israeli-Lebanese war. Anarchists have opposed the U.S.-Israeli aggression, pointing out the reactionary nature of both sides in the war. However, many have tended to equate the two sides, to treat them as equally bad, and to call for opposing the war on both sides. While there is a good deal of confusion on this issue among anarchists, it is my impression that most have failed to support the oppressed against the oppressor in this war. * * * * * The Anarchist Debate About National Liberation The war between Israel (with full backing by the U.S.) and Hezballah (and the rest of Lebanon) is over — temp... (From:
In the United States and around the world, there has been a rise of right-wing authoritarianism, including fascist and semi-fascist forces. This has caused many to consider the history of European fascism and the fight against it in the ‘twenties and ‘thirties. Unfortunately, the lessons taken from that history are often dangerously wrong. I will look at that history and what I think are the conclusions we should draw. But first I will discuss what “fascism” is. By “fascism” I do not mean just any sort of authoritarianism, any kind of political repression, or any politics I do not like. Bourgeois representative democracy (or “liberal democracy”) may be quite repressive by itself. For example,... (From:
Anarchists are often interested in a minority trend in Marxism (or set of trends) which was neither social-democratic (reformist) nor Marxist-Leninist. These views have been called “libertarian Marxist,” “autonomist Marxist,” “ultra-leftist,” “libertarian communist,” and “left communist.” Lenin wrote a famous pamphlet against these views, “Left-wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder.” While such views go back to William Morris, the Britisher who knew both Engels and Kropotkin, the people I am writing about were active in the left of the social democratic parties before World War I. Unlike the social democrats, they opposed the imperialist war. They were thrilled by the ... (From:
Reading contemporary anarchist literature, I repeatedly come across some version of a quotation from the German anarchist Gustav Landauer (1870—1919). A book on anarchism and education cites “Gustav Landauer’s famous remark” (Suissa, 2010; p. 136), “The state is not something which can be destroyed by a revolution, but is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of human behavior; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently.” (quoted in above) The writer on education actually took this quotation from a work by the well-known anarchist writer, Colin Ward. Another version of this “famous statement by Gustav Landauer” (Gordon, 2008; ... (From:
Kevin Carson is attempting to resurrect anarchist economic theory. This is interesting because most current anarchist political economy is speculation about a post-capitalist, post-revolutionary, economy—what it would look like and how it might work. There is little or nothing of an analysis of how present-day capitalism functions. For that, most anarchists either rely on some variety of conventional (pro-capitalist) economics or they look to aspects of Marxism. The latter is the strategy I used in my book (Price 2013)—with the subtitle, “an anarchist introduction to Marx’s critique of political economy.” There have been anarchists using Karl Marx’s economic views—while rejecting his statist politic... (From:
Anarchist review of Meszaros concept of "Withering Away of the State" Istvan Meszaros, a well-known Marxist theorist, has material which can be interesting to anarchists. He has an insightful analysis of the current stage of capitalism and the state. He makes Marx's "withering away of the state" central to his program, and he rejects electoral party politics. But paradoxically, he also supports the late Hugo Chavez's attempted use of the Venezuelan state to move to socialism. How can we understand this and respond to it? Istvan Meszaros is an internationally known Marxist theorist, whose work may also interest anarchists. In this book’s Foreword, John Bellamy Foster (editor of Monthly Review magazine) claims, “Istvan ... (From:
Whether Donald J. Trump wins or (more likely) loses the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the movement which he has stirred up will continue in one form or another. A question which is widely asked is, whether this movement—call it Trumpism—is fascist, semi-fascist, or a forerunner of fascism? Unquestionably, he has been supported by out-and-out fascists, U.S. Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klan members, and others of the “alternative right” or “alt right,” as they call themselves. He has repeatedly re-tweeted posts from Nazis and Klanspeople, he has quoted Mussolini, and he adopted the slogan “America First” from the pro-fascist-dominated America First movement of the pre-World War II era... (From:
The “Unabomber” claims to be an anarchist. For 17 years, the person who has been called the Unabomber has been attacking people with bombs, without making an explanation. The bomb targets have included some rich and powerful individuals, such as the April killing of a lobbyist for a logging association. But the main targets have been college professors (of genetics and computer science) and owners of computer stores. “Unintended” injuries have happened to others, including students, a secretary, and passengers on an airplane. In six bombings, there have been three deaths and 22 injuries. Now he has written a letter declaring his politics to be “anarchist and radical environmentalist.” (Although the Unabo... (From:
Noam Chomsky writes somewhere, “The Republican Party is the most dangerous organization in the world.” (I am quoting from memory.) Is this true? If it is, does it mean that the Democratic Party is the last, best, hope for the world? In my opinion, it is mostly true, but the Democrats are not the answer. This view of the Republicans as an especial danger is developed by the liberal economist, Paul Krugman, in his latest book, Arguing with Zombies. “The modern Republican Party…is…just one part of a highly organized movement that includes the Murdoch media empire, a dizzying array of think tanks and advocacy groups that are mostly financed by the same group of billionaires, and more….[This is] ’mov... (From:
Marxists argue that anarchists really do advocate a state, or something indistinguishable from one, but do not admit it. But what anarchists advocate is the overturning of the existing state and the creation of a new, nonstate, association of councils, assemblies, and a popular mililtia. There is no such thing as a “workers’ state.” Most people believe that a society without a state, as advocated by anarchists, would be chaos (“anarchy”). Many think that anarchists want a society essentially as it is, but without police (which is, in fact, advocated by pro-capitalist anti-statists who miscall themselves “libertarians”). This would indeed result in chaos, until either the Mafia or the security g... (From:
There has been a spurt of interest in a small radical book titled “The Coming Insurrection” (“TCI”), with authorship attributed to the “Invisible Committee” (IC). It was originally published in France in 2007. That country’s police cited it as evidence in a trial of “the Tarnaq 9,” radicals who were accused of planning sabotage. The French Interior Minister called it a “manual for terrorism” (quoted on p. 5). A U.S. edition got an unlikely boost by the far-right tv talk show clown Glen Beck. He has repeatedly identified it as a manual for a take-over of the U.S. by the left, by which he means everyone from the mildest liberal Democrats leftward. “This [is a] dangerous l... (From:
There has recently appeared a new on-line journal, Insurgent Notes: Journal of Communist Theory and Practice (June 2010). Produced by “less than a dozen [U.S.] intellectuals and militants,” it is committed to what has been called “libertarian” or “autonomous Marxism " This is also often called “libertarian communism” (a term which does not distinguish between libertarian Marxism and anarchist-communism). Anarchists may see this journal as a sign of the increased interest in this Marxist trend (or rather, set of trends). The majority trend in world Marxism has been Marxist-Leninism (including Trotskyism and Maoism). It has been greatly discredited by the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellit... (From:
Wayne Price has defended Marx's critique of political economy as useful for revolutionary anarchists. In the past many anarchists have agreed. But some have not, such as Kropotkin. Several topics in Marx's economic theory are discussed, criticisms reviewed, and responses given. World capitalism is faced with deep and lengthy problems—economic stagnation and inequality, endless wars, and ecological catastrophe, not to mention oppressions involving gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and so on. In response, many radicals have shown interest in Karl Marx’s economic analysis of capitalism. This includes anarchists who are looking for a theoretical basis for their opposition to the system, even while they reject the a... (From:
The Marxist journal, “Platypus Review”, published an article by Herb Gamberg which attacked anarchism by focusing on Bakunin. wayne price wrote a response and Gamberg replied, in PR. The following is wayne’s original response plus his new reply to Gamberg’s latest comments. The Marxist journal, Platypus Review, published an attack on anarchism (focusing on Michael Bakunin) by Herb Gamberg (PR 64/March 2014): “Anarchism through Bakunin: A Marxist Assessment” I wrote a response (PR 65/ April 2014): “In Defense of Anarchism: A Response to Herb Gamberg” Gamber... (From:
Nine Years of the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation A new wave of radicalization is spreading around the world. Federations of anarchists are being organized in the U.S and Canada, and in other countries. The ‘platformist’ current within international anarchism, with its emphasis on the need for anarchists to organize themselves, is having worldwide effects. In these conditions, it is not surprising that there should be an interest in the last major attempt to build an anarchist federation in North America: the Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation (L&R). Founded in 1989, it lasted to 1998, almost ten years, with branches in Mexico (Amor y Rabia) and in English-speaking Canada. It came out of a ... (From:
Now that the 2020 U.S. national elections are past, I think it may be time to go over a fundamental thesis which all varieties of revolutionary socialists and anarchists once generally accepted: this state cannot be used to create socialism (communism or anarchism). But first a comment on the presidential election. As I wrote before the votes, “While it will be good to see the back of the vile Donald Trump, electing Joe Biden will not really solve ‘the problem.’ “ (Price 2020.) Not any of the problems of capitalist-industrial society, which led to Trump in the first place. Assume that we think that a new, post-capitalist, society is desired, that we are not satisfied with just trying to improve the current social s... (From:
A significant number of revolutionaries have gone from Trotskyism to some type of libertarian socialism. Why were they been attracted to Trotskyism in the first place? Why did they come to reject it? Did they get anything of value from Trotskyism? These are my questions. There is a noticeable overlap between the broad tradition of class-struggle anarchism and the minority tradition within Marxism which is anti-authoritarian, anti-statist, and humanistic (Schmidt & van der Walt, 2009). This last trend is often referred to as “libertarian Marxism” or “autonomist Marxism” (Cleaver,1999). Together with some similar schools, such as guild social-ism (Cole, 1920/1980) or pareconism (Albert, 2003), these have all been ... (From:
Feminist historians, as well as specialists in religious and medieval history, have studied the persecution of “witches” in Europe and North and South America. This was concentrated in the 16th and 17th cenuries, and somewhat before and after. Led by the church, but including state authorities, a hue and cry was raised against women who were accused of following a heretical sect, composed almost only of women, which supposedly worshiped the devil. Special tribunals were set up, methods of torture were standardized, and witch hunting manuals were published. The numbers of women so persecuted is unknown. Some estimates run into the millions, but the best estimate is that, over three centuries, about 200 thousand were accused of w... (From:
In recent years there has been an increase in articles, books, and special journal issues on the relationship between anarchism and Marxism. (For example, Pittman, Dale, & Holt 2015; Prichard & Worth 2016.) One difficulty with such discussions is that both “anarchism” and “Marxism” are rather broad terms, similar to discussing “Christianity” or “democracy.” Anarchism stretches from, say, gradualist individualist anarchism to revolutionary syndicalism. Marxism, in turn, stretches from versions that are almost anarchist to mass-murdering totalitarianism. One way to get around the problem with Marxism is to focus on the original Marxism of Marx and Engels. I have tended to do this when c... (From:
There has been, recently, controversy on the Left over “free speech.” Should radical leftists and anti-fascists disrupt speeches by right-wingers? Should leftists break up such meetings, charge the stage, and smash windows? Or should the leftists limit themselves to counter-demonstrations, boycotts, protest leaflets, and, perhaps, heckling? The controversy is not so much over public events by fascists—U.S. Nazis or Klan members, for example—but over right wingers who claim to not be fascists but “conservatives” who value free speech. In working out an approach to this issue, a number of leftist thinkers—anarchists and Marxists—have revived interest in the ideas of Herbert Marcuse (1969). In 1... (From:
A review of David Graeber (2004), Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology A collection of scattered thoughts about anarchism, anthropology, and academic studies is reviewed. David Graeber argues against the need for a revolutionary confrontation with the state or its eventual overthrow. Instead, he favors a gradualist approach which leaves the state alone. In attempts to build an anarchist theory, there has been a natural interest in anthropology. Anthropology demonstrates that, for most of human existence, people have lived in stateless, non-market, societies. Rather than there being one kind of “human nature,” people have been very flexible about how they interact and organize themselves. Anarchists have examined this anthr... (From:
If not the best book on the crazed Trump administration, this is certainly the most popular. Perhaps because it focuses on Donald Trump’s personal peculiarities rather than the political context, it has become a top best seller. It has been criticized because the author, Michael Wolff, says that he sometimes listened to contradictory reports of various events, given by the unreliable members of the administration, and then used his own judgment in integrating these reports into unified accounts. While this may lead us to wonder how accurate his reportage of specific White House events may be, there is no doubt that his overall account is accurate. It fits very well with what we have seen of Trump and his agents as they have acted out ... (From:
The United States is moving toward a national election in the midst of a collapse of world civilization. It is a disaster of an unknown duration, consisting of the covid-19 plague and the economic collapse it has triggered. Meanwhile the catastrophe of climate change continues to loom over everything. Whatever issues were previously important, the overwhelming concern now is how President Trump and his Republican Party have been dealing with the crisis. As any fair-minded observer will agree, their response has been disastrous. The reaction of people on the Left has varied. Liberals take it for granted that they will vote for Democrat Joseph Biden for president to defeat the vile Donald Trump. Many, perhaps most, former supporters of Berni... (From:
From conservatives and liberals to Marxists, there is faith in big machines, big industries, big corporations, big cities, big countries, big buildings, and big government—a belief in the necessity of centralized, bureaucratic, top-down, socially-alienated, institutions. This is not to say that most people like giant cities, big business, or big government; but they do not see any alternative. Instead, anarchists have advocated localism, face-to-face direct democracy, self-governing agricultural-industrial communes, workers’ self-management of industry, consumer cooperatives, appropriate technology, and federations and networks of such radically-democratic institutions. Many people reject anarchism because they believe such dec... (From:
The post-WWII boom was based on cheap oil. But oil is nonrenewable, polluting, and causes global warming. It was “cheap” because the capitalists did not pay to prepare for the day when it would be harder to access oil. We have reached that day, which is one aspect of the worldwide crisis of the return to the epoch of capitalist decay. The world crisis is economic, ecological, and energy-based. Liberals want the state to regulate business and have a “new New Deal” to rebuild the economy and ecology. It won’t work. Revolutionary anarchists want a new, ecological, economy which is democratically planned, produces for need not for profit, and is a decentralized federalism. PART I: How Capitalism has created an Eco... (From:
Central to anarchism is the belief that people can organize themselves to efficiently meet their needs, without top-down hierarchies, coercion, or rewards and punishments. People will make mistakes, because we are imperfect, but we can learn from our mistakes and improve over time. This is the belief in freedom. Anarchism is usually presented as the most extreme form of a belief in freedom. It has often been said that anarchism is a synthesis of classical liberalism — carried to its extreme — and socialism. Another historical name for anarchism (and antistatist Marxism) is “libertarian socialism.” Yet there is a certain amount of ambiguity among anarchists about freedom. There are topics on which some — many &... (From:
Among Democrats, liberals and more “moderate” types, there has been a huge sense of relief—even in spite of Trump’s post-election shenanigans. Whatever Joseph Biden’s imperfections they say, the crazed, corrupt, vicious, and incompetent Donald Trump has been thrown out of office. He lost both the popular and Electoral College votes by significant margins. And despite his post-election campaign to overturn the results (with court cases, pressure on state officials, and even threats of martial law), he has failed miserably to change the outcome. So the system worked. Thank God for “democracy”! I cannot see it that way. To some extent this view is like being blinded by the fact that covid-19 vaccines ... (From:
The late David Graeber was an influential anarchist and anthropologist, a theorist, a writer, and an activist. He died in September 2020, at the untimely age of 59. As far as I know, this may be his last published book. This little volume is a transcript of his discussion with three interviewers. They are artists of various sorts (two are actors), philosophers, and writers. Nika Dubrovsky was also Graeber’s wife. The book is interesting because it covers a wide range of topics which concerned Graeber, although its briefness limited the extent he could go into any issue. Modestly, Graeber begins by saying, “I don’t actually know all that much about the history of anarchist political theory….I’m not a scholar o... (From:
While it is conventional to regard “democracy” as supremely good, there is a great deal of unclarity over what it actually means, in theory and in practice. This little book by Markus Lundstrom addresses that topic. it begins with a discussion of “radical democracy.” It ends with a review of “democracy” from the viewpoint of various anarchists. In between it applies radical democratic theory to a 2013 rebellion (“riot”) in a multi-national town in Sweden. I will call the existing state form in the U.S. and Europe “bourgeois democracy.” (It is also called “representative democracy,” “liberal democracy,” “parliamentary democracy,” and so on.) It f... (From:
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” —Abraham Lincoln “Democracy” and “anarchism” are broad, vague, and hotly contested terms. Even if we stick to specific definitions, there are still arguments about what these definitions mean in practice. (Lincoln’s quotation, above, seems to be about the preconditions for democracy.) This is not just a linguistic dispute. The argument is not just over “democracy” but over democracy, not just over “anarchism” but over anarchism. Still more controversial is the relationship between these two broa... (From:
The Problem of Marxist Centralism There is a paradox about Marxism. Its goals are similar to anarchism: a classless, cooperative, society, self-managed by the freely associated producers, with the replacement of alienated labor by craft-like creativity, and the replacement of the state by the democratic self-organization of the people. Yet in practice Marxism has resulted in the Social Democratic support of Western imperialism and in the creation of “Communist” totalitarian state capitalisms. Why is this? One reason is Marxism’s commitment to “centralism” from its very beginning in the work of Marx and Engels. In the programmatic part of the Manifesto of the Communist Party (the end of Section II), they wro... (From:
Classical socialists, both anarchists and Marxists, have written of the eventual end of capitalism--either through a popular revolution creating a new society or through the self-destruction of capitalism. Global warming raises the question of whether humanity is now facing such a possible total crisis, of choosing between socialism or social ruin. Recently a friend sent me an article by Simon Lewis, a professor of global change science at the University College of London. Its title (Lewis 2021) was, “Canada is a warning: more and more of the world will soon be too hot for humans” and its subtitle was, “Without an immediate global effort to combat the climate emergency, the Earth’s uninhabitable areas will keep grow... (From:
When I discuss politics with liberal friends and relatives, they usually argue that people with decent values must support the Democrats. (I do not try to persuade them not to spend 15 minutes a year voting for Democrats. Rather, I am arguing against their continuing support for the Democratic Party. I am also arguing against the strategy of big progressive forces, such as unions and communities of color, which provide major resources to the Democrats.) They say that, whatever the failings of the Democratic Party and its politicians (and liberals admit many), surely they are much better than the Republlicans, who are cruel and ignorant. I answer than we are using different criteria to judge political groupings. These liberals are asking wh... (From:
Throughout the USA there is discontent. Under the apparently placid political surface there is bubbling dissatisfaction. Yet there has been only limited rebellion, all kept within the limits of Democratic-Republican politics as usual. Certainly, to most people, the possibility of a revolution — an uprising against capitalism and its state — seems distant, if not absurd. I want to argue that a revolution is quite possible (but not inevitable). And I want to clarify what revolution means. Most political theorists ask why there are occasional rebellions and revolutions. I think it is more fruitful to ask why there are not more rebellions — popular struggles leading up to revolutions. Consider the unfairness of a tiny minorit... (From:
Should the Oppressed Take Power? Many antiauthoritarians oppose the aim of “taking power.” They advocate a gradual replacement of capitalism by alternate institutions. Alternately, Marxist-Leninists propose replacing the state by a new “workers’ state.” Instead revolutionary anarchists should advocate the goal of replacing the state by a federation of councils, but not by a new state. Key questions of politics revolve around the issue of power. Shall the working class and all oppressed people accept the existing power of the state? Or should they consider themselves in opposition to it and aim to eventually overthrow it? Should they aim to establish their own power in some form? If so, should they aim to es... (From:
On January 2015, the left-wing Syriza party was elected to the government of Greece, with a 36% plurality. This demonstrated that the Greek working class, and much of its “middle class,” are reacting against the vicious effects of the “austerity” which has been imposed on them by European capital. They are fed up with the Greek mainstream political parties. These parties (including Pasok, the long-time Socialist party) had gone along with the imposed austerity. The election victory has inspired workers throughout Europe, at least. Whether Syriza’s coalition government (Syriza is allied with with right-wing ultra-nationalist party) has a program which can adequately deal with the economic and political crises in... (From:
Commentary on a recent draft document on the strategy and vision of the Democratic Socialists of America, from the viewpoint of revolutionary libertarian socialism (anarchism). Sen. Bernie Sanders, currently running in the Democratic Party primary for its presidential nomination, has identified himself as a “democratic socialist.” Even though “socialism” was once a vile insult (and still is for many), this has not prevented him from gaining a popular following. If nothing else, this has increased interest in “democratic socialism.” Meanwhile the collapse of the Soviet Union has made it possible to raise “socialism” as something other than a totalitarian horror. (Sanders says his model of ... (From:
Colin Ward was one of the most influential British anarchists for sixty years, from the end of the Second World War on. He affected the anarchist movement around the world. His many books continue to be reprinted and widely read. For thirty years he was one of the editors of Freedom newspaper and also the editor of the theoretical magazine Anarchy. Since his death, at 85, in 2010, there has been published a “Colin Ward reader” (Wilbert & White) and a collection of essays by others about his “life, times, and thought” (Levy). The reader begins, “Colin Ward…was Britain’s most persistent and articulate defender of the libertarian Left in the second half of the twentieth century.” (Wilbert &... (From:
Introduction Wayne Price is a longtime anti-authoritarian political activist. He was drawn toward pacifism and anarchism as a teenager in the 1950s, and he participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement during the 1960s and early 1970s. At the end of the sixties he became a teacher in the New York City public school system, and he remained active in teacher union politics from the seventies through his retirement. In recent years he has helped educate some members of a new generation of radicals through his articles, lectures, and books. He is currently a member of Bronx Climate Justice North, a grassroots climate justice group based in the north Bronx, and the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council in New York City. Although Wayne ... (From:
It was going to be different this time, they said. Unlike other U.S. wars, there would not be any mass denials of free speech nor would any national minorities be singled out for discrimination. (I am using civil liberties to mean free speech and association and civil rights to mean the rights of national or ethnic populations.) The errors of other wars would not be repeated. And it is in times of war and trouble that society most needs open discussion and democratic decision-making. But the bourgeois politicians did not keep these libertarian promises. They never have. In World War I, it was made illegal to discourage young men from joining the military, and this was interpreted as any public opposition to the war. About 2000 people were ... (From:
The End of Reformism World capitalism is facing a series of major crises, economic, military, and ecological. They imply the end of the possibilities of the reformist program and the need for a revolutionary program and organization. At a talk I gave in New York about my new book, one questioner from the floor said that all my talk about crises and revolution sounded like religious talk about armageddon and the end of days. In other words, we should dismiss disasters and crises as myths and legends. However, World War I did happen and so did World War II. Inbetween, the worldwide Great Depression happened, as did the rise of Nazism and of Stalinism. The image of a peaceful and stable world is itself a myth, based on the boom years which... (From:
Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents explores the roots of U.S. racism in an underlying caste system. She compares U.S. white supremacy to South Asian caste and to the Nazis’ anti-Jewish laws. However, she says little or nothing about caste’s relation to class and exploitation. This undermines her analysis and program. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson has been a highly praised and best-selling book. Reviewers have acclaimed her insights into U.S. racism. These are made by comparing U.S. white supremacy to the South Asian (Asian Indian) caste system as well as to the German Nazis’ anti-Semitic laws. In general, readers have responded to her clear, smooth, and warm writing. She uses anecdotes from her own life a... (From:
Reading your symposium on Western Values and Total War, I am astounded that ...there is no discussion of national sovereignty as the bottleneck preventing a solution to the dilemma, and in fact creating and aggravating the dilemma.....The symposiasts are discussing absolute dangers...and therefore it would be worthwhile to consider such merely relative ‘losses’ as renouncing sovereignty in various combinations and degrees.... Naturally such proposals are literally subversive; they involve lowering the flag.... The entire history of Western culture has to do with the motion among tribal, city, imperial, feudal, and national organization, and the dialectic of state-power and freedom. One is not giving up Western Values if one sugg... (From:
This is a remarkable book, a wonderful book. I wish I had had it years ago when I was developing my politics. Everyone interested in anarchism should read this book. Although not without some quirky judgments, it is clearly committed to anarchism and is carefully and deeply based on scholarly research. It is not a history of anarchism (apparently that will be volume 2), but a thematic discussion of various aspects (although frequently going into the historical background of the topic under discussion). Instead of the usual Eurocentric presentation, Schmidt and van der Walt place the movement in a world context. Of course the authors know that the anarchist movement began in Europe. Capitalism and the industrial revolution began in Europe a... (From:
There has recently been a lot of publicity around Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. The authors claim that IQ tests prove that African-Americans are dumber than whites, lower class whites are dumber than middle- and upper-class whites, and immigrants are dumber than native-born whites. Along with a number of related books, The Bell Curve has been widely reviewed and discussed in the mass-circulation newsmagazines (Time, Newsweek, and US News), the political publications of liberalism and conservatism (New Republic, Nation, Commentary, etc.), and on the opinion pages and columns of the influential newspapers. The reception has mostly been critical but respectful.... (From:
The U.S. has done evil deeds abroad and now an evil deed was done to the U.S. Asa New Yorker I am deeply affected by the attacks on the World Trade Towers (I am more ambivalent about the Pentagon attack, although opposing it). Like most people, I feel deep sympathy for the thousands dead, most of them working class, “white collar” and “blue collar,” many of them poor workers, often people of color. And I fear the right-wing turn which the attackers have facilitated, the spread of super-patriotism and anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, sentiments. The mighty technology of capitalist industrialism was used against us. Gigantic buildings, made in an effort to create the“world’s tallest buildings,” were turned i... (From:
A statement on the nature of the period and the economic crisis was published by US-NEFAC (US-Northeastern Federation of Anarchist-Communists) [1]. It resulted in a lot of discussion on at least one site (e.g., Anarchist Black Cat). While the majority of those who accessed that` site checked that they agreed with the statement mostly or somewhat, most of those who bothered to write a comment expressed varying degrees of disagreement. I am going to summarize the discussion, as I understand it, and make some remarks. The basic view of the US-NEFAC statement is that capitalism as a world system is not doing too well and will be doing worse in the not-too-distant future. It does not deny the possibilities of short-term improvements, such as a ... (From:
Democratic Party politicians have denounced right-wing Republicans as “anarchists.” Why? Are they “anarchists”? What about rightwingers who call themselves “libertarians”? Are “anarcho-capitalists” really anarchists? Are they consistent with the tradition of “individualist anarchism”? Historically this is very unusual. Far-rightists have usually been called “conservatives.” (They are rarely called the more accurate term, “reactionaries” — those who want to go backward.) Those in the center or the left may call them other names, such as “nuts” or “fascists.” (They are mostly not “fascists” in the sense of wanting to ... (From:
Many U.S. anarchists, or radicals interested in anarchism, are surprised to hear of “anarchism” as being “socialist.” Like most U.S. people they have learned to think of “socialism” as meaning state-owned industry—which would be the opposite of anarchism. (Similarly “communism” is usually thought of as Stalinist totalitarianism.) Also “the Left” is often interpreted as support for such state-oriented economic programs. This was the view of socialism propagated by the U.S. ruling class as well as by its opponents in the Soviet Union and similar states. And yet, what sort of economy have anarchists advocated? They are anti-capitalist and want to take away the wealth and power ... (From:
Summary: Crimethinc has initiated a discussion about the relationship between anarchism and democracy. Their opinion is that anarchism must be opposed to democracy—not only to bourgeois representative democracy but also to direct, participatory, libertarian-socialist, democracy. I argue, instead, that there is a struggle over the meaning of “democracy,” and that anarchism can and should be interpreted as the most radical, decentralized, and participatory extension of democracy. *** Crimethinc, the “Ex-Workers’ Collective,” is organizing a discussion of the relationship between anarchism and democracy. They have published a series of essays, including “the flagship text in the series, From Democrac... (From:
The explosion of rage and sorrow across the cities and towns of the United States is about more than the police murder of George Floyd. It is about the series of Black and Brown people murdered by cops recently and going back to the days of slavery. It is about men and women assaulted by armed police or vigilantes as they sat in their homes, walked or jogged on the street, drove their cars, birdwatched, stood in their building’s vestibule, shopped, or hung around at a street corner. It is both about completely innocent and respectable citizens or people who had committed very minor "crimes" (George Floyd was accused of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit bill) for which they got the death penalty. It is about millions of young men in... (From:
“Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the socialists and communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class.” --Karl Marx (1847/1935; p.106) Paul Krugman is one of the most popular writers on economics in the U.S. He has the credentials of being a professor of economics at Princeton University and of having received the 2008 “Nobel Prize in Economics.” He has the national platform of a twice weekly column on the “op-ed” page of the New York Times. He has written a series of popular books as well as a textbook and maintains a blog. The book under review displays his felicity with language, his wit and humor, and a clarity which is remarkable for a... (From:
There is an interesting development in the anti-climate change/ecological movement. Most environmentalist leaders and theorists have been liberals or moderates. They have seen capitalism and its state as the necessary framework for preventing ecological catastrophe. But after decades of failure, some of these environmentalists have come to accept the analysis of radical ecologists, that the cause of climate warming (and other ecological problems) is the capitalist system, its drive to accumulate and grow indefinitely, its market, its inequality, poverty, and exploitation, and its national states. Yet these same environmentalists reject the radicals’ conclusion that capitalism must be replaced by socialism—meaning some kind of co... (From:
A new approach has been developing on the U.S. Left. It is neither liberal nor socialist as conventionally understood. It reacts against the failures of capitalism and wants to do away with capitalism as it currently exists. But it is also aware of the terrible failings of state socialism, either of social democratic governments or of the “Communist” totalitarian regimes (which were really state capitalist). Variants of this new approach bear some resemblance to historical anarchism, as well as differences. Conferences have been held, such as a series organized by The Next System Project. (I attended one such conference on March 10—12, 2016, in New York City.) Already counter-responses have been generated, such as by Gindi... (From:
For anarchists and other radicals to really understand the Trump administration, and what is generally happening in U.S. politics, requires an analysis of the U.S. government. This, in turn, requires a theoretical understanding of the state, the basic framework of government. Yet, as Kristian Williams writes, in Whither Anarchism? “For a group so fixated on countering…the state, it is surprising how rarely today’s anarchists have bothered to put forward a theory about [it]….The inability or unwillingness to develop a theory of the state (or more modestly, an analysis of states)…has repeatedly steered the anarchist movement into blind alleys.” (Williams 2018; 26–7) Of the theories which place the... (From:
How did French anarchists deal with the Algerian revolution? How did anarchists in an imperialist country react to a war for national liberation? What does this tell us about how anarchists today should relate to current struggles for self-determination of oppressed peoples? From 1954 to 1962, a vicious, war raged between the people of Algeria and the French state. Anarchists in France played a small but significant role in opposing their government’s colonial war. Their activities and views are covered in this exceptional book, along with anarchists’ attitudes toward postwar Algeria. The ways French anarchists opposed the war, and the varying views they held about it, may help today’s antiauthoritarians (in the US and el... (From:
Change the World Through Stateless Empowerment Holloway is right in saying that the oppressed should not build a new state, but wrong in denying that the workers should use revolutionary power to get rid of the old state and the capitalist system. We need a stateless federation of communes and councils. An Anarchist Review of Change the World without Taking Power; The Meaning of Revolution for Today (New Ed.), by John Holloway. 2005. London/Ann Arbor MI: Pluto Press. Early in this book, the author asks, “How can the world be changed without taking power? The answer is obvious: we do not know.” (p. 22) On the last page of the original edition, he writes, “How then do we change the world without taking power? At the end... (From:
Firmness in Principles, Flexibility in Tactics What should revolutionary anarchists do when an elected government is overturned by a right-wing coup? I am thinking, for example, of the 2002 coup in Venezuela against President Hugo Chavez. This was carried out by a section of the military forces together with most of the capitalist class. It was backed by the U.S. government and other U.S. institutions. Some of the U.S. support was overt (immediate recognition of the new regime) and some covert (channeling money to the plotters beforehand). However the coup was soon reversed due to several factors: pressure from Venezuelan workers and the poor, support for Chavez by many lower-level military, and international pressure by other South Amer... (From:
Today there is a general unrest and anger among working people, even though most workers continue to hold usual “American” views (support of capitalism, the two parties, racism at some level, patriotism, etc.). This unorganized discontent has resulted in a change in the heirarachy of the unions, a move toward a more liberal, more active group of bureaucrats, under John Sweeney. The new leaders are worried about their loss of membership (bureaucrats who cannot even keep their dues base are pretty pathetic). They have managed to link up with college activists (especially on the more affluent campuses) to oppose sweatshop labor, in the U.S. and abroad, and to include environmentalism. But a conscious movement of worker radicals wi... (From:
Why an Anarchist Organization is Needed... But Not a “Vanguard Party” Right now only a few people are revolutionary anarchists. The big majority of people reject anarchism and any kind of radicalism (if they think about it at all). For those of us who are anarchists, a key question concerns the relationship between the revolutionary minority (us) and the moderate and (as-yet) nonrevolutionary majority. Shall the revolutionary minority wait for the laws of the Historical Process to cause the majority (at least of the working class) to become revolutionary, as some propose? In that case, the minority really does not have to do anything. Or does the minority of radicals have to organize itself in order to spread its liberatory i... (From:
There are various opinions on the question of what a libertarian socialist economy would look like. By “libertarian socialism,” I include anarchism and libertarian Marxism, as well as related tendencies such as guild socialism and parecon—views that advocate a free, cooperative, self-managed, non-statist economy once capitalism has been overthrown. Before directly discussing these programs, alternate visions of communal commonwealths, it is important to decide on the appropriate method. Historically, two methods have predominated, which I will call the utopian-moral approach and the Marxist-determinist approach (neither of these terms is meant to be pejorative). I will propose a third approach, which has been called the &l... (From:
When discussing radical economics, really two different, if related, topics are meant. (1) The nature of the economy which might be created after the overthrow of capitalism (whether called socialism, communism, or anarchism). And (2) the nature of the existing, capitalist, economy—how it works and what its future development will be. This leads to my two part proposition: (1) The best theoretical approach to proposing post-capitalist, post revolutionary, economies comes from the anarchist tradition, as well as other, non-Marxist, varieties of libertarian socialism (guild socialism, Parecon, distributionism, etc.). But (2) the best approach to understanding capitalism is Marxist economics (more precisely, Marx’s critique of pol... (From:
Together with the revival of anarchism in the last decades, there has been an increased interest in Utopia. This is largely due to the crisis in Marxism, long the dominant set of ideas among the radical left. After the Soviet Union imploded and China turned to an openly market-based capitalism, Marxism became discredited for many. This resulted in a revived interest in Utopia from two apparently contradictory directions, for and against. What these views have in common is that they take utopianism seriously. Utopianism must be taken seriously if socialism is to get out of the dead end it has reached through established Marxism, but what revolutionary socialists need is much more than simply a return to Utopia. On one side, there has been a... (From:
There are almost no books on anarchism and African-American liberation, which makes this an exceptional work. In the last period of radicalization (the “sixties”), very few radicals, African-American or white, were anarchists or other types of libertarian socialist. Almost all radicals were attracted by the apparent anti-imperialism of Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Castro, and the leaders of liberation struggles in Africa. Therefore those who organized and theorized about revolutionary African-American liberation were overwhelmingly Marxist-Leninists and/or statist nationalists. If I had to think of someone who did not fit this category, I would have to go back to the Black revolutionary, C.L.R. James, who was a libertarian (autonomist)... (From:
Although he died in 2006, Murray Bookchin is recently in the news. Staid bourgeois newspapers report, with apparent shock, that part of the Kurdish revolutionary national movement has been influenced by the ideas of Murray Bookchin, a U.S. anarchist (Enzinna 2015). However, I am not going to discuss this development here. My topic is not how Bookchin’s political philosophy may apply to the Kurds in Rojava (important as this is), but how it might apply to the U.S.A. and other industrialized and industrializing countries. Nor will I review the whole range of Bookchin’s life and work (see White 2008). Bookchin made enormous contributions to anarchism, especially—but not only—his integration of ecology with anarchism. A... (From:
Over the last few years there has been an increase in the influence of anarchism on the left. Anarchism is attractive for a new layer of radicalizing activists, especially those working within the global justice movement. Many young activists are attracted to the anti-authoritarian and grassroots inspirations they identify with anarchist theory and practice. Many of these activists have, in turn, injected these same inspirations back into their movement work. The growth of contemporary anarchism is related to the growing anti-capitalist sentiment among activists and their commitment to using more effective means of struggle. For example, a growing layer of global justice activists no longer identifies the enemy simply as “globalizati... (From:
It is widely believed on the radical left that anarchism has been solely a movement of Europe and North America. Marxists and liberals state that anarchism has never had anything to offer the majority of humanity in the oppressed and impoverished nations (the so-called “Third World”)—unlike Marxism or pro-Western liberalism. This is not just a historical argument. Today there is a great expansion of international anarchism. The assertion of anarchism’s supposed irrelevance to the exploited nations in the past is an assertion that anarchism cannot be relevant to most of the world today. The contrary claim that anarchism as a movement was once significant for colonized peoples is a claim that it may be significant now ... (From:
As Marxism, and state-socialism in general, have increasingly been discredited, there has been a tendency for leftists to turn to another tradition, that of the democratic revolution.Democracy can be seen as a ground for opposition to the authoritarianisms of capitalist society (Morrison, 1995; Mouffe, 1992; Trend, 1996; Wood, 1995). One influential work concludes, “The task of the Left, therefore, cannot be to renounce liberal democratic ideology, but, on the contrary, to deepen and expand it in the direction of a radical and plural democracy.... [S]ocialism is one of the components of a project for radical democracy, not vice versa” (Laclau and Mouffe, 1985, pp. 176, 178). “Democracy” has two contradictory meaning... (From:
Unlike Marxism, anarchism does not have an official, orthodox, philosophy. For Marxism, this is “dialectical materialism.” (By now there are so many different interpretations of dialectical materi- alism--as there are of Marxism--that it may be inappropriate to regard it as one philosophy.) Of course, anarchists, like everyone else, have opinions on the major issues of philosophy: What is reality? What is truth? How do we know anything? What is ethically good? What is esthetically beautiful? What is a good society? And so on. Most people have inconsistent, un-worked-out, sets of answers. People committed to socialist-anarchism are likely to also adopt one of the thought-out philosophical systems. In Modern Science and Anarchism... (From:
“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”—Words of an Aboriginal Australian Woman Approaches to Black liberation start from many perspectives: that racial oppression is the basic issue, that class oppression is the basic issue, that national oppression is basic, or gender oppression, and so on. My starting point is that it is oppression itself which is the essential problem. It is the existence of a hierarchical society in which some dominate others which frames and reinforces racial oppression. Historically the dominant programs in the Black liberation movement have been varieties of “integration&rdqu... (From:
It it important for anarchism to have a theory of the state, the fundamentals of government, its origins and development. This is my third essay on this topic, the first being a presentation of the class theory of the state, as held by both anarchists and Marxists (Price 2018a). The second was a review of a “post-anarchist” analysis of the state, proposed by Saul Newman (Price 2018b). This is a review of Peter Gelderloos’ analysis of the nature of the state and its origins. Gelderloos defines the state as “a bureaucratic, territorial, coercive organization with multiple levels of administration, in which power is institutional rather than personal, and power-holders monopolize (…) the legitimate use of force&... (From:
Review of work by international Trotskyist leader The leader of the International Marxist Tendency has written an attack on anarchism from his Trotskyist perspective. He makes some correct criticisms of some versions of anarchism, in relation to those who reject revolution or political organization. But he attempts to defend the idea of a “workers’ state” by limited quotes from Lenin and by mistating the history of the Russian revolution. [Italiano] Why should anarchists read about a Trotskyist attack on anarchism? For that matter, why should anyone learn about a point of view with which they know they disagree? There are at least two reasons. First, we anarchists will have to work with Trotskyists, discuss with ... (From:
In my last book, I provided an anarchist introduction to Marx’s economic thought, from the viewpoint of a “Marxist-informed anarchist.” Peter Hudis’ volume (2013) is written as if to disprove part of the dual assertion I make in my book’s opening. I had claimed: “When it comes to an analysis of capitalist economy, Marx’s economic theories are superior to others, including what there is of anarchist economic thinking….However, when it comes to presenting a post-capitalist vision, a socialist goal, then anarchism…is superior to Marxism” (price, 2013; p. 2). Instead of my second assertion, Hudis declares the virtues of Marx’s vision of a post-capitalist, post-revolutionary, ec... (From:
The idea of a "Green New Deal" has been raised in response to the threat of climate and ecological catastrophe. Two such proposals are analyzed here and counterposed to the program of revolutionary libertarian ecosocialism. According to the climate scientists, industrial civilization has at most a dozen years until global warming is irreversible. This will cause (and is already causing) extremes of weather, accelerating extermination of species, droughts and floods, loss of usable water, vast storms, rising sea levels which will destroy islands and coastal cities, raging wildfires, loss of crops, and, overall, environmental conditions in which neither humans nor other organisms evolved to exist. The economic, political, and social results ... (From:
As I write this, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump—by its Democratic Party majority. Unless an asteroid hits the earth, Trump will be acquitted, by the Senate’s Republican majority. This is in spite of the way in which the personally vile Trump has repeatedly abused his power, broken laws, violated the Constitution, truckled to foreign governments for his own interests, and acted in a generally incompetent manner against both human decency and the interests of the U.S. imperial state. His actions include the caging of children at the U.S./Mexican border, the betrayal of the Kurds, a war on the environment, making money off the presidency, and, most recently, al... (From:
You ask who these people are, sending me an account of an international gathering of the “National Anarchist Movement” in Spain this year. The short answer is that they are fascists, and no more “anarchist” than the National Socialists were “socialist.” However, they deny being fascist, and the article repeatedly says that they are not fascist, let alone Nazi. The article is written by one Keith Preston, who has claimed to be trying to pull together left and right libertarianism, anarchist-communism and national-anarchism. The Nazis denounced capitalism and big business (especially their “left wing” which stupidly believed this rhetoric, until Hitler got into power and had “left Nazis&r... (From:
Recently I was contacted by someone who identified himself as a U.S. journalist, writing about the anarchist movement in Thessaloniki, Greece. He asked me to help him to understand the underlying philosophy and program of anarchism. (I certainly could not have helped him on Thessaloniki, about which I know nothing.) He wrote me: Here are a couple basic questions: If you had to describe anarchism to someone who didn’t know about it, how would you describe it? What is the goal of anarchism? The methods for achieving that goal? How do most anarchists define themselves? (I understand this is a generalization) Are there divisions within anarchism? If so, what are they? Do these groups act in solidarity or in oppositi... (From:
The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics Acknowledgments We would of course like to thank everyone at AK Press—especially Zach, Charles, Lorna, Jessica, and Kate—the contributors, and the many people who have written in support of the book. Without all of you this book would not be possible. Deric Shannon Since this book is about anarchist criticisms and alternatives to capitalism, I would like to take the time to thank people who have helped me along in the spirit of mutual aid. Without many of these people I would have gone without food and shelter, without others I would have gone without needed kindness and friendship, and without them all my life would certainly be emptier. First and foremost, th... (From:
PART I: Instead of the State Chapter 1. Putting the State into the Museum of Antiquities Anarchists advocate the abolition of the state — the basic structures of government — and its replacement by a stateless society. Marxists advocate the abolition of the existing, capitalist, state, and its replacement by a temporary workers state which would “wither away” into a stateless society. Both would agree with the statement of Marx’s co-thinker, Frederick Engels, in The Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State, “The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong — into th... (From:
“Today, we repeat: OUR STRUGGLE IS NATIONAL” (EZLN, Third Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle, January 1995). Given its identification with the project of reforming the Mexican nation, why did anyone think the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) might be something more? The answer is what it has done. The EZLN liberated prisoners, attacked police stations, burned down town halls, and has thrown out some of the big landholders. Many of its demands for material improvements in living conditions are fair enough. It claims to combine clandestinity with participatory decision making, which we assumed were incompatible. If they really do carry on discussions until they all agree, as they have told journalists, this mu... (From:
Introduction by the Angry Workers of the World We want to use the opportunity to say a few words about Maoism from our perspective, primarily on an anecdotal level. First of all we feel it is necessary to explain why we are still talking about Maoism today. Here are some examples of initiatives within ‘our milieu’ where Maoism has a problematic influence. A few groups within the ‘base building tendency’ in the US and perhaps in the UK use Maoist vocabulary and aspects of its ideology. From the actual idea of ‘base building’ (who is the base and for what?) to the call to ‘serve the people’ (who are the people and why serving them?). We understand the impetus of the comrades: instead of re-h... (From:
The article which follows this introduction views the Russian revolution of October 1917 from the viewpoint of the inhabitants of Kronstadt, a strategic island in the Gulf of Finland, which was universally regarded as the most radical part of Russia, until it was militarily suppressed by the Bolshevik government in March 1921. It measures theories of what happened in 1917 against the events of February to October, to see what relevance, if any, these events and theories have for the communist project today... “No-one can belittle the huge importance of the October revolution and its influence on the course of world history and the progress of mankind”, announced the chairman of the Soviet parliament in November 1990. Neverthele... (From:
Nearly three years ago, in November 2011, news of a double suicide after a failed bank robbery developed into one of the biggest scandals in postwar German history.[1] Even now, it remains unresolved. For thirteen years the two dead men, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, had lived underground, together with a woman, Beate Zschäpe. The three were part of the National-Sozialistischer Untergrund (NSU), a fascist terror organization which is supposed to have murdered nine migrant small entrepreneurs in various German towns and a female police officer, and to have been responsible for three bomb attacks and around fifteen bank holdups. Although the NSU did not issue a public declaration, the connection between the nine murders committed b... (From:
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, which began in July 1936 when General Franco led a fascist coup to replace the left-wing republican government. It was no coincidence that this happened at a time of intense class struggle in Spain. Limited concessions granted by the left-wing of the ruling class — the Popular Front government elected in February 1936 — had not succeeded in in restoring the economic and social stability needed by capitalism. Strikes, demonstrations and political assassinations by the working class continued, as did land seizures and local insurrections in the countryside. The right-wing of the ruling class recognized that strong-arm measures were needed and acted accordingly. Initiall... (From:
Introduction This pamphlet is written in response to the pamphlet “Refracted Perspective” (available from: 121 Bookshop, 121 Railton Road, Brixton, London SE24). As you may have guessed, this is mostly a flimsy excuse to make a general critique of the trade unions — something we in Wildcat haven’t done for quite a while. It focuses on the situation in Britain in recent years, particularly the 1984–85 miners’ strike. This is not because of some nationalistic obsession with what goes on in these islands but because we want to make our analysis as concrete as possible — this means writing about things we know from reliable sources or were actually involved in. We also want to refute Mr. Douglass&rsq... (From:
The year 1842 was a very significant one for the proletariat of the British Isles. On the positive side it was the occasion of a great struggle against wage cutting and on the negative side it marked the formation of the first modern national trade union. This was the Miners’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland, an organization every bit as anti-working class as the trade unions today, which used almost identical methods to undermine the workers’ struggle for their interests. This was an event of significance for the proletariat of the whole world since the trade union form (once perfected) was one which was to be exported across the globe. Unionization was not the only important event in the “domestication” of ... (From:
A Brief History of the APCF When the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation (APCF) was formed in 1921 it was hardly the most auspicious moment to launch a new revolutionary organization. The defeat of the Italian factory occupation movement in September 1920, the introduction of the New Economic Policy in Russia, and the failure of the 1921 March Action in Germany, were all regarded at the time as signs that the postwar revolutionary wave had begun to ebb. In Britain, unemployment leaped from 1.5% in the autumn of 1920 to 18% by the end of 1921, providing ideal conditions for an “employers offensive”: militant shopfloor activists were sacked, and there was a general attack on wages, hours, and working conditions. The miners,... (From:
Malatesta This is why we are neither for a majority nor for a minority government; neither for democracy not for dictatorship. We are for the abolition of the gendarme. We are for the freedom of all and for free agreement, which will be there for all when no one has the means to force others, and all are involved in the good running of society. We are for anarchy. — Neither Dictators, nor Democrats: Anarchists We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in whi... (From:
[This is the text of a introductory talk which was given to two discussion meetings held in London and Brighton in 1993. It’s been typed up and made available to the communist public due to massive popular demand...] The purpose of this little talk is to convince you that revolutionaries should oppose democracy in it all its forms. Before we go any further, I want to get the argument about the use of words out of the way. A lot of people will agree with a lot of what I’m saying (or will think that they do!) but will say “Ah, Yes, but what you’re talking about is bourgeois democracy. What I mean by democracy is something quite different.” I want to suggest that when people talk about “real” or &ldq... (From:
OWN and State paupers are persons notoriously incapable of supporting themselves, because demonstrably devoid of the faculties demanded for a successful administration of their own private affairs. Being incompetent to acquit themselves with credit in matters with which they are presumably conversant, they cannot be trusted to exercise sovereignty in matters pertaining to the general welfare. Paupers are persons and people; but they are not voting people. Insane persons and idiots are notorious for their incapacity for self-government, and have, by law, and on account of their incapacity, guardians appointed over them to prevent them from injuring themselves and others. It is with a view to the public good, that the privilege of voting is ... (From:
Mr. Editor:—In former times, when the people supposed that their kings reigned by diving right, men were bound in conscience to obey the laws with alacrity. But it happened, in the progress of events, that the people rose against their rulers, as in England during the reign of Charles Stuart; as in France during the reign of Louis XVIII, Charles X, and Louis Philippe; as in America at the time of the Revolution. The kings that reigned by divine right were deprived of their authority, and new authorities were raised up for the government of the nations—upon what were these new authorities founded? upon a new divine right? Not at all. They were founded upon the force of arms, upon violence, upon the law of the strongest. It is tru... (From:
“Ours is no “plutocracy” but a Constitution of Grecian model.”—Whig State Address. It was authoritatively determined, at the Council of the Whig Church recently held at Worcester, that the government of Massachusetts is, not plutocratic, but constructed on a Grecian model. One would suppose that plutocracy and Grecian forms of government, are anti-pathetic, like oil and water: for the whig logic seems to convey the idea that a constitution of Grecian model can never by any possibility be plutocratic, and that for the very reason that it is of Grecian model. What should we think of a man, wo, being asked if a house were painted yellow, should answer: No, for it is light colored, and therefore can not be yel... (From:
Bayouk-Dere, (on the Bosphorus,), March 26th, 1854 The weather is bad enough, but the aspect of the political heavens is still more cloudy. To give you some idea of the weather I will state that the hills of Corsica, Southern Greece, and Asia Minor, are still covered with snow, and that it snows now, every other day, at Constantinople. Even in Smyrna, where we should have a right to expect better things, the gutters are often frozen over at 10 o’clock in the morning. The Tartars (government couriers, say, however, that the winter has been less severe in the northern provinces of Turkey and military men are confident that the country near the Danube is fit for immediate operations. Political matters are in a most beautiful state of... (From:
Brookline, Mass., Oct. 21st, 1868. Dear Sir: — In our debate, last Saturday evening, we came, at the end, to a distinct issue, which was the precise issue I wished to have brought forward; but I desired that it should be put into clear light (as it was) by yourself and not by me. You maintain, and I deny, 1st. That the legal-tender notes of the United States, now in circulation, represent a debt due on demand, that they are “legal-tender demand notes,” and 2dly. That these notes ought to be funded in interest-bearing bonds. When it devolved on me to close the debate with a general summary of the arguments adduced on both sides, I declined to do so, and left the question still open, giving you the last word. The reason... (From:
Publisher's Preface A Short Sketch of the Author of this Essay on Mutual Banking. WILLIAM B. Greene (1797-1877) was a prominent figure among the Massachusetts idealists during the middle of the nineteenth century. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and defiantly self-assertive. "Greene became a Unitarian preacher and retired to a small country parish. He was a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, of 1853; later he left the ministry and went to Paris until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to ... (From:
The law of the late session, authorizing the formation of banking associations, is of so much importance that we give it a place in the first page of the paper. It meets with the decided approval of some of the democratic presses; and may have all the excellences claimed for it. This paper has not discussed its merits, because we have not felt inclined to oppose a measure which many of our friends have been disposed to adopt; and especially because we have doubted the expediency of any considerable enlargement of the paper currency. The object of the law is, of course, an augmentation of the paper currency; otherwise it would not have become a law. If the field were clear of all banks, and this matter came up as an original question, we mig... (From:
to the editor of the courier: Dear Sir,—The frequent conventions held by the Associationists, in this city and in New-York, have attracted the attention of the public. to their doctrine. But the technology in which these disciples of Fourier generally express their principles, being itself very difficult, renders the understanding of their system almost impossible. Hence the common question, What are the Fourierists trying to do? I think the lecture of Mr. Charles A. Dana, before the New-England Fourier Society, on “the connection of Association with Religion,” will answer the question. Mr.-Dana is one of the best of the Fourierist writers, and his productions have the merit of being perfectly intelligible. Thinking that... (From:
LOVE. THE stream flows between its banks, according to Love. The planets sustain and restrain themselves, in their courses, by this same principle. All nature governs itself by Love. By this I understand that each created thing, is gifted to act, as though it knew the properties, and ends to be attained which belong to each of the others; and that each one so guides itself as not to interfere with, or restrain, the workings of another; except when a clashing of properties takes place, and then, a just and equitable compromise is immediately effected. This regard to the peculiarities, and constructions of each other, appears to be an application of the principle of justice. The sentence, “All nature governs itself by Love,”... (From:
For the Palladium. 1. Equality. What particularly characterized Sparta? Sparta was the city of the equals: the social name of the citizens of Sparta was this—the equals. Sparta was composed of ten thousand citizens, organized upon the principle of equality; and these citizens ruled over thirty thousand Laconians who were not possessed of this title of equals; over a multitude of Helots; and over a multitude of Slaves. Sparta was thus an embodiment of the most horrible inequality, if we consider it according to the totality of men who composed the empire of Lacedæmon, and lived on its territory. But Sparta was a model fraternity, a model equality, a model community, if we consider the true Lacedemonians only, that is to say, ... (From:
I. Capital and Labor Let us suppose a man to own a gold watch. Let us listen to him while he endeavors to justify himself in retaining possession of it. He says:— The gold in this watch was dug out of the ground by the miners of Peru—those miners have labored for me: the gold was carried on mules across the mountains to the sea shore—the muleteers have labored for me: it was carried to Liverpool in a ship—the captain and sailors have labored for me: the watch-maker bought the gold, and made the watch—the watchmaker has labored for me.—Again, the miners of Peru could not have labored without tools: therefore the tool maker in Birmingham, the English miner who produced the iron for the tools, the carpen... (From:
“I don’t think I’m cut out to be an employee.” It was a bitter joke. My friend had just finished venting about one of her two jobs. She was typing to me just after getting bossed around on the smallest details of her job at a small nonprofit. After that, she had an evening as a temp to look forward to, grading middle-school standardized tests. She had said that working so much was starting to mess with her head. She hadn’t played music in too long. Too much of her life went to satisfying somebody else. I had to laugh at the idea there was something wrong with her. I typed back, “Yeah, me neither.” I work at a low-level healthcare job. In some ways it’s worse than my friend’s jobs, and ... (From:
Wild Rose Collective is an anarchist organization based in Iowa City, IA. We are workers, students, parents, organizers and activists in and around this eastern Iowa university town. We are influenced by currents of Anarcho-Syndicalism, Anarchist Communism, and aspects of Marxism. Anarchism, as we understand it, is a political theory based in establishing a society that is free from political, social and economic hierarchies. It will be brought about by the struggle between the vast, diverse working class majority of society and the tiny minority that currently rules. We see this struggle as being waged primarily through social movements, and advocate for anti-oppressive and directly democratic forms of organizing within them. We oppose c... (From:
What is a specific anarchist group? The term ‘specific anarchist group’ could be defined as a formal anarchist organization that seeks unity in their theory, outlook, tactics and action. It strives to be heavily involved in larger social movements, pushing their militancy and advocating their independence from co-opting forces, such as the state, capital and the authoritarian/reformist left. How is it different from other contemporary anarchist groups? Differing from many contemporary North American anarchist groups, it sees clearly defined, explained and agreed upon structure as necessary for effective action and equitable power distribution. Rather than individuals within the group having little shared outlook, working... (From:
Wild Rose Collective of eastern Iowa joins others in declaring our solidarity with the striking canvass workers of Sisters’ Camelot in Minneapolis. As many of us have been workers in nonprofit organizations, we know well that wage labor under some other name than profit enterprise is wage labor nonetheless. Further, the socially positive mission and work of an organization does not exempt it from its need to also treat its workers with respect and provide decent wages and working conditions. We reject the attempts by Sisters’ Camelot managing collective, and others, to attack these workers’ efforts by firing a workplace organizer, reducing grievances and demands to petty personal grudges, declaring that said workers have ... (From:
WRC operates in the moderately sized Iowa City, home to the state’s largest university — the University of Iowa. Like many university towns the student population, perhaps the most present in Iowa City, remain relatively silent as political actors. Either unaware of or apathetic to their power to resist the privatization of the University and the laundry list of issues that comes along with that neoliberalization: the perpetually escalating tuition and fees, the bankruptcy of education as a training ground for workers in the capitalist system, and as a little salt in the wound we get to pay for the privilege with an initiation into finance capitalism acquiring a pile of debt to go with our shared not-so-hopeful future. Of course... (From:
The Wild Rose Collective is an anarchist organization based in Iowa City, Iowa. We are open to those who agree to the requirements of membership, as outlined in our constitution. These are our principles, which should be understood as a quick overview of where we stand: Anarchism, as we understand it, is a social system based around attaining the maximum possible liberty and equality for all by the elimination of institutional hierarchy. It will be brought about by the struggle between the vast, diverse working class majority of society and the tiny minority that currently rules. We believe in combating all forms of oppression such as those based on race, ethnicity, sex, gender, immigration status, and sexuality, among others. Th... (From:
It would seem the division is clear. There is the “1%,” and there is the “99%.” We know what, and a lot of time we even know who this “1%” is, although for some reason no one seems to be talking about it. Instead, we tend to speak to the inverse—the “99%”. It is a created concept really, an imagined unity that says somewhat clearly: “those who have been fucked by the 1%.” We might do well to call the 1% what they are—the ruling class. Today’s ruling class are capitalists gone wild, heralding capitalism to its logical neo-liberal conclusion. Yes, the 1% has all of the money, they also have all control of the supposedly democratic system which we are all, whether ... (From:
A short history of May Day The first of May is a moment for us to remember the Chicago Haymarket Martyrs of 127 years ago. These Chicago anarchists helped to lead the major battle of the day, not only for the 8 Hour Day, but also for social liberation. The origins of May Day go back to May 4, 1886, marking the Haymarket Massacre. This memorable day began as a rally of striking workers who were demanding an eight-hour work day, climaxing with a bomb produced by an unknown individual while the police dispersed the peaceful rally. The blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy during the legal proceeding... (From:
On Wednesday, April 10, Wild Rose Collective co-hosted an event in Iowa City, Iowa with Pavlos speaking as part of a continental speaking tour about resistance in Greece to both fascism and austerity measures. This event was well attended by about 30 people, and raised over $300 to send to Greek social movement activity. Pavlos spoke on many important issues and movement work in Greece. This also included a very relevant accounting of the 20th century history of occupation, dictatorship and repression in that country. We heard how these experiences have informed the Greek people’s attitudes toward the police and government, and what resistance looks like and is thought of there. He talked about how the police are remembered as collab... (From:
Article 1: Name The name of the organization is the Wild Rose Collective Article 2: Membership Membership is open to individuals who: agree with the Principles and Purpose of the organization abide by the Constitution agree to work and argue for the organization’s policies in their public political activity attend at least two meetings every two months pay dues No one may become a member or remain a member who is an employee or agent of a law enforcement agency. Members must be approved by a 75% majority vote of all members in an official meeting of the organization. A member who violates the constitution or acts contrary to the interests of the organization may be expelled... (From:
Wild Rose Collective endorses the July 31 Day of Action against Fascism and Racism. The recent membership leak of the neo-Nazi group the National Socialist Movement and other similar leaks demonstrate that across the country fascists are living in our neighborhoods. Here in Iowa City, like many other places across the world, we too have seen murmurings of white supremacist activity. First was a Ku Klux Klan flier in a nearby town and more recently the infamous Holocaust denier, neo-Nazi sympathizer and revisionist historian David Irving visited the Iowa City area to give a lecture and meet with local white supremacists. With others, we helped to organize a protest to disrupt his lecture and to make it known that Nazis were not welcome in o... (From:
“The friendly and flowing savage, who is he? Is he waiting for civilization, or is he past it and mastering it?” — Walt Whitman Early in 1905, Leo Tolstoy wrote to a close friend in England: “Yesterday and today I have been reading Edward Carpenter’s book, Civilization: Its Cause and Cure, and am enraptured by it…. Please inform me of what you know about Carpenter himself. I consider him a worthy successor to Carlyle and Ruskin.” The query as to Carpenter’s identity may well be repeated a hundred years later; his striking originality, which at one time inspired poets and anarchists alike, has since been virtually forgotten. As a young man, Carpenter (1844-1929) abruptly abandoned a pla... (From:
As techno-urbanism extends its dominion, imposing mechanized regimentation on all modes of experience, human nature with-ers for want of living sustenance. Deprived of the life-enhancing conditions for expressive self- development, humans in the megamachine become self-alienated rather than self-actualized. The world as mechanized market-place: calculable “market-values” almost entirely replace experiential values (revering, loving, wonder-ing, feeling). The individual increasingly perceives herself as a commodity to be trained and sold to the highest bidder. The dehumanized “cheerful robot,” whose stunted sensibility is an adaptive advantage in competi-tive commerce, may thrive — but the unique, all-round, de... (From:
"...since expropriation is a way of getting away from slavery individually, the risks have to be borne individually, as well, and comrades who practice expropriation for themselves lose every right - if such a right even exists for anarchists, and I don't believe it - to claim the solidarity of the movement when they fall into misfortune." -Brand (Enrico Arrigoni) I took this quotation of Enrico Arrigoni (aka Frank Brand) from an article he wrote called "The Right[1] to Idleness and Individual Reappropriation" that appeared in his publication Eresia di oggi e di domani (Heresies of Today and Tomorrow - published in the mid to late 1920s). In the article, he didn't only attack the doctrine of the "dignity of labor" then popular in r... (From:
What is the point of asking questions if we are not free to answer? What is the point of answering if the questions are always false? Editor's Note After this issue, I will stop publishing Willful Disobedience in order to work on a number of other projects. I have several translations in the works, as well as a few major writing projects. I am also working on compiling a selection of my writings from about 1995 to 2005 to put together as a book in order to better clarify the development of my ideas as well as the common threads that run through them. So for now I want to put my time and energy into these projects without having to think about publishing a semi-regular publication. I originally intended to make this last issue a single... (From:
We are at war, even if the images of spectacular daily life try to make us believe the contrary. We have not chosen these social conditions ourselves, we can only choose from what position to fight. In order to do so, it is necessary to look at what is happening in our camp and in that of the ruling order at the same time, what forces move below the empire of names and official declarations, beyond the eternal present of the media. Not at all a careful investigation by cold analysts. Rather a social reconnaissance, if you will, of those who have the urgent need to live, a breach in both sides of the barricades for perceiving and practicing a different concept of force. A Few Words: On the Degradation of Language and the Art of Listening ... (From:
Life is Elsewhere Deprived of all freedom except for that of consuming commodities, soaked in blood, to the extent granted, we are ourselves reduced to commodities exchanged at discount prices for an intolerable survival. Spending our existence in forced and alienating activity that is mostly useless and harmful, measured by a time that doesn’t belong to us, we scrape together just about enough to fool ourselves into thinking we are living. Every decision is already made by those who have taken the direct determination of our lives away from us and use it against us to safeguard their power through control and repression. In the domination of the state and capital, order and peace are nothing but a systematic attack against joy.... (From:
Willful Disobedience In this section of the site I am bringing together the theoretical articles that I wrote for Willful Disobedience, an anarchist zine that I published from 1996 until 2005 with some minor revisions that I have made to clarify my meaning where I felt it was necessary. Though, inevitably, my ideas developed and went through changes during the nine years that I published this zine (as they continue to do now, since I am still alive), I did have specific aims in publishing Willing Disobedience, and these are reflected in the common threads that run through it from the beginning to the end: an anarchism based in Stirner-influenced egoism; an insurrectionary approach that sees individual insurrection in the present as bein... (From:
What was Killing King Abacus? There are some who would answer this question with one or another banality. One such banality would be that it was a “product of its time.” But for rebels against a world without measure, this is a meaningless phrase. It says nothing more than that in a measured world—the world that three friends (among others) wanted to destroy—the physical expression of a creative process these three friends shared in took place coincidentally with certain other events. This is a fact of no significance except to those who, due to a religious belief, give history a purpose—christians, muslims, marxists, “post-marxists”, etc.—and so have to assume that every activity or event mus... (From:
Introduction One would think that a political doctrine and system that was propagated by the bourgeoisie in their rise to power, that is promoted world-wide by the Western ruling class and that has only existed in its so-called “pure” form on the backs of slaves, would at least be suspect in the eyes of those who oppose the present social order. But such is not the case. The “new movement” of opposition to the global order that is said to have been born on January 1, 1994 with the Zapatista uprising and had its coming out party in Seattle at the demonstration against the WTO has taken as its slogan: “This is what democracy looks like.” And that without a hint of irony. But this is fitting for a movemen... (From:
Introduction “…we are alone, with an entire world ranged against us.” -Andrea Dorea I have been an anarchist for well over thirty years now. For me this has never been an identity to which to cling, a label to give me a sense of belonging. It has rather been an ongoing challenge to face my life in a particular way, constantly raising the question of what it means to reject every form of domination and exploitation in my life on a practical level. This is not a simple question with easy answers, but a problem that I have to wrestle with constantly, because I am facing a world here and now in which domination and exploitation define social relationships, in which most individuals are dispossessed of every possibility o... (From:
Notes: The following essays are not yet present from the original document. Wild Sensuality - Rediscovering the Super-Abundance of Wild Nature Child Molestation vs Child Love Rants: Essays and Polemics “This book is dedicated to all Pansexual Pirates, Anarchic Adventurers, Mischievous Magicians, Chaotic Creators, Heroic Hermaphrodites, Delirious Deities, Prophetic Perverts, Orgasmic Outlaws, Androgynous Avatars, Beautiful Bandits, Erotic Elves, Demented Dreamers, Mad Moorish Mystics, Devine Dilinquents and Reveling Ranters. May your health, love and pleasure be yours always, grand creators of paradise.” Feral Faun Introduction Here I am, a free spirit, a divine wild being wishing to make love to all that l... (From:
When I first encountered anarchist ideas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was quite common to talk about play and the subversive game, thanks to the influence of the Situationist International and better aspects of the counterculture. There is a lot to be drawn from thinking of our practice on these terms. In particular, I think that looking at anarchist revolutionary practice as a subversive game is a fruitful way of understanding anarchist aims, principles and methodologies as a basis for developing our strategies and tactics. The thing that has distinguished anarchism from other conceptions of radical transformation is that anarchists have generally considered their ideas to be something to live here and now as much as possible ... (From:
acknowledgments Most of the material in this book has been written by anonymous anarchists and posted to the Internet. Anarchists write anonymously because they don't believe in singular authorship. They write anonymously because in many contexts what they are saying is illegal. We write anonymously because we are conspiring to take apart everything in this world. Occupy has been as energizing of a moment for anarchists in North America as we have had since the events in Quebec City in 2001 and Seattle in 1999. This book is about this moment in the context of past anarchist occupations and of future anarchist actions. It is an expression of anarchist hope, anger and energy. This book would not have been possible without the great effo... (From:
Introduction The following essays examine several of the various institutions, structures, systems and relationships of domination and exploitation which define our current existence. These essays are not intended to be comprehensive nor to be final answers, but rather to be part of a discussion that I hope will go on in anarchist circles aimed at developing a specifically anarchist theoretical exploration of the reality we are facing. A great deal of the analysis that currently goes on in anarchist circles is dependent on marxist or postmodernist categories and concepts. These may indeed be useful, but to simply accept them a priori, without examining social reality in terms of our own specifically anarchist revolutionary project indica... (From:
An uprising began in Algeria in April, 2001. Riots began after police murdered a high school boy on April 18 in Beni-Douala, an area of Tizi Ouzou in the region of Kabylia about 70 miles east of Algiers. Riots and demonstrations quickly spread to other villages in the region. Rioters attacked police stations and troop detachments with stones, molotov cocktails and burning tires, and set fire to police vehicles, government offices and courts. Government attempts to quell the uprising failed. From the beginning, the rebels showed an unwillingness to negotiate and refused all representation. By the end of April, targets of collective rage broadened to include tax offices, all sorts of government offices and the offices of political parties. Re... (From:
Stirner's Demolition of the Sacred “In crime the egoist has hitherto asserted himself and mocked at the sacred; the break with the sacred, or rather of the sacred, may become general. A revolution never returns, but an immense, reckless, shameless, conscienceless, proud—crime, doesn't it rumble in the distant thunder, and don’t you see how the sky grows ominously silent and gloomy?”—Max Stirner I am speaking in words of things that words can only point to. This is true, of course, whenever anyone talks about anything, but there are circumstances when the limits of language become more evident and explanation becomes more necessary, though it adds more words to the mix. Stirner used words in a sharp, pointed... (From:
From the time anarchism was first defined as a distinct radical movement it has been associated with the left, but the association has always been uneasy. Leftists who were in a position of authority (including those who called themselves anarchists, like the leaders of the CNT and the FAI in Spain in 1936–37) found the anarchist aim of the total transformation of life and the consequent principle that the ends should already exist in the means of struggle to be a hindrance to their political programs. Real insurgence always burst far beyond any political program, and the most coherent anarchists saw the realization of their dreams precisely in this unknown place beyond. Yet, time after time, when the fires of insurrection cooled (and... (From:
Introduction by Alfredo M. Bonanno This book has a lot to say, far more than it might seem at first sight. But it requires a particular disposition on the part of the reader, a disposition to understand rather than to simply inform oneself. In fact, there is not merely ‘information’ here, there are ‘ideas’, something that rarely happens in American (even ‘radical’) culture, and this is somewhat disturbing. How many of us are prepared to consider ideas? I don’t know. Those who do not want to question their certainties will find confirmation of their beliefs in this book in another guise, ruining the author’s solicitations to look at reality differently. Anyone can spend years ‘in the... (From:
Issue 1 Welcome to Feral: a journal towards wildness Fer-al adj : wild, or existing in a state of nature, as freely occurring animals or plants; having reverted to the wild state from domestication. There you are, that’s the definition. But what’s does that have to do with environmentalism, anarchy, or activism? When James and I decided to put this magazine together we felt there were fundamental things missing from the larger picture of environmental as well as anarchist activism. In general, the environmental movement seeks to save (as an example) wilderness in pockets such as parks or wilderness areas. Asking for parcels large enough to “survive” but small enough to be allocated by government agencies. In ... (From:
The Paltry Ideal of Democracy In recent years, the ideal of democracy has achieved global dominance. Organizations from the U.S. government to the EZLN to the United Nations call for more democracy on both the local and the global scale, and many revolutionaries let themselves be drawn into this chorus of bleating sheep and calling shepherds. A mythology develops in which the goddess Democracy is flanked on the one side by Liberty and on the other by Justice and together, it is said they will bring peace and prosperity to the world. Reality, of course, never lives up to the myths by which it justifies itself. The ideas, perspectives and social systems promoted by the rulers of the present society are those that serve to maintain and exp... (From:
A review of Max Stirner’s Dialectical Egoism: A New Interpretation by John F. Welsh. Lexington Books. 293 pages. Since its publication in 1844, Max Stirner’s book Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum (entitled The Ego and Its (or His) Own in the currently available English editions[1]) has rarely been dealt with on its own terms. When not simply suppressed, it has been misrepresented or used as a foil to promote agendas foreign to it. Alfredo Bonanno described it well in his book Max Stirner when he says, “The first duty toward Stirner: incomprehension.” Certainly, the few books written about Stirner and his ideas in English in the past century have reflect this lack of even a minimal understanding of what Stirner was ... (From:
Thaddeus Russell A Renegade History of the United States Free Press, 2010 For Thaddeus Russell freedom doesn’t come from a political system, a social order, a station in life or any other such institutionalized relationship. It is the practical ability I have to do what I want in my daily life. To the extent that such freedom exists, it is not because of “our free democratic system,” nor because of political protests against those who rule that system, but because selfish, non-conforming, flagrantly hedonistic and egoistic renegades[1] insisted on living as they wanted against all the odds. The book is a good contrast not only to mainstream history, but also to the various leftist histories that tend to make activists ... (From:
Creativity is essential to anarchist practice. This is a banality that should go without saying. But when an endless rehashing of old ideas and practices, repeated demands for models and, perhaps worst of all, a turn toward marxist and academic leftist ideas as sources for intellectual stimulation indicate a withering of practical imagination within anarchist circles at least in the US, perhaps it is time to explore the question of creativity more deeply. Certainly it would be a more pleasant task than going through all the failings of present-day anarchists in this regard. So I would like to share a few ideas about creativity, imagination and desire that I have been mulling over for years, exploring and experimenting with ways to apply the... (From:
So the anarchist individualist as I mean it has nothing to wait for [...] I already considered myself an anarchist and could not wait for the collective revolution to rebel myself or for communism to obtain my freedom. — Renzo Novatore I conceive of anarchism from the side of destruction. This is what its aristocratic logic consists of. Destruction! here is the real beauty of anarchism. I want to destroy all the things that enthralled me, enervate me, and repress my desires, I want to leave them all behind me as corpses. Remorse, scruples, conscience are things that my iconoclastic spirit destroyed [...] Yes, iconoclastic negation is most practical. — Armando Diluvi First of all, there is nothing inherently primit... (From:
Introduction The development of an anarchist practice that can act intelligently requires a capacity to analyze the situation in which we are struggling in terms of our desires and our principles. In other words it requires the practice of theory. In order to avoid the transformation of our theoretical endeavors into ideology — the reification of ideas into dominating concepts that control and direct our thinking — it is necessary to grasp certain tools, particularly those that allow us to think critically. Critical thinking is the practice of examining a situation or an argument, assessing its strengths and weaknesses in order to be able to grasp it and turn it to one’s own ends. This involves the capacity for recogni... (From:
“Verein von Egoisten” — I’ve chosen to translate this as “association of egoists” in my translation of Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum (The Unique and Its Own). But aware egoists, that is willful self-creators, associate not by forming permanent groups, but through an ongoing interweaving of activities, a ceaseless coming together and separating, each participating as suits her own project of self-creation. So to clarify this idea, I will here call the association of egoists the coming together of willful self-creators. [1] Many have the misconception that all egoists are loners (and that loners avoid relating). As if only those willing to submit themselves to a group actually relate or interact. I would a... (From:
I do not accept the concept of an essential “human nature” — of any essential feature that unifies all humans and separates “us” from other creatures. However, I do think that for humans, the full enjoyment of life depends upon creative activity and experimentation by which we transform our environment. We lack speed innate weapons like claws, fangs and horns, etc., but we have a brain capable of imagining amazing things. Clearly the greatest enjoyment in life for the human individual can be found in the least restricted, most open experimentation with one’s creative urges. Unfortunately, much of the anti-technology, anti-civilization tendency has gotten itself entangled in an environmentalist/radical ec... (From:
As long as the present social order exists, it will be impossible to avoid interaction with the various facets of the power structure. Those of us who call ourselves anarchists need to choose to make these interactions clearly adversarial and conflictual, reflecting our desire to destroy the power structure completely. Such a choice requires knowledge of the enemy. Almost every anarchist recognizes that the state and capital are facets of the power structure and has some minimal understanding of how these function as such. Increasing numbers of anarchists are recognizing that technology and ideology are also part of the network of power. One would think that from this they would draw the due conclusion that the technological system for the ... (From:
A while ago, while sifting through some individualist anarchist ephemera, I came upon an article that talked about a debate between two egoists. The topic on which they were debating is not relevant to what I want to say here. What is relevant is the way the debaters chose to support their viewpoints. Neither of these allegedly egoistic individuals took the time to develop and present their own arguments based on their own lived experience of willful self-creation...No, instead they quoted chapter and verse from the writing of Max Stirner, as if it were sacred scripture. I would expect creed-ridden christian cretins or mass-minded marxist morons to search their sacred scriptures to support the beliefs of their faith. After all they have fa... (From:
In recent years, I've heard a lot of anarchists talking about the need for boundaries. It's pretty tiresome: "Abolish all borders, but don't you dare challenge my sacred boundaries!" I was attracted to godless anarchy those many years ago, not just because it was sexy, but also because it challenged boundaries of every sort. Freedom for me is the endless expansion of myself and my possibilities. And such expansion requires this challenge. Besides, you really don't need boundaries. All of us already have them in abundance. They seem to be a part of existing in a world with others. So the question I ask myself is: how do I view these boundaries? Those who say "we all need boundaries" seem to see them as rigid borders between themselves and ... (From:
I am convinced that a revolutionary challenge to the current social order must necessarily be a challenge to the last ten thousand years of institutional development that have created it. In short, revolutionary critique must aim at civilization itself. But what precisely does this mean? On all sides of the so-called debate over civilization among anarchists, misunderstanding seems to be the only constant. This is not surprising. These concepts are difficult, especially in terms of their practical application in social struggle. In order to gain some clarity, I think that it is necessary to examine a few questions: What is revolutionary critique? What is civilization? What does a revolutionary critique of civilization mean in the realm of ... (From:
The origin of modern science in the 16th and 17th centuries corresponds with the origins of modern capitalism and the industrial system. From the beginning, the worldview and methods of science have fit in perfectly with the need of the capitalist social system to dominate nature and the vast majority of human beings. Francis Bacon made it clear that science was not an attempt to understand nature as it is, but to dominate it in order to twist it to the ends of humanity — in this case meaning the current rulers of the social order. In this light, science must necessarily be subjected to social analysis by anyone claiming to call the present social reality into question. Science is not simply a matter of observing the world, experimen... (From:
Introduction: a few definitions and explanations Any potentially liberatory struggle among the exploited and dispossessed must be based on autonomous self-organization. As anarchists, who are also usually among the exploited, we have every reason to participate in and encourage these struggles. But since we have specific ideas of how we want to go about our struggles and a specifically revolutionary aim, our participation takes the form of an intervention seeking to move the struggles in a specific direction. Having no desire to be any sort of vanguard or leadership or to be caught up in the joyless game of politicking, we find ourselves in a tension of trying to live our conception of struggle and freedom within the context of an unfree... (From:
“the same sales assistants adjusting their discourse according to the findings of the latest surveys” It would be easy enough to go through The Coming Insurrection phrase by phrase showing how bad the book is, but it really isn’t worth the effort. Still, since Semiotext(e) published it in English (with MIT Press as its distributor), it has gained popularity, not only among the fans of right-wing idiot Glenn Beck, who gave it free advertising when he denounced it as a dangerous communist book on his show, but also among anarchists. I am not sure why, because Glenn Beck was right about one thing: this book is not anarchist; it is communist.[1] In addition, despite what the French Interior Minister and the prosecutor in... (From:
Malatesta This is why we are neither for a majority nor for a minority government; neither for democracy not for dictatorship. We are for the abolition of the gendarme. We are for the freedom of all and for free agreement, which will be there for all when no one has the means to force others, and all are involved in the good running of society. We are for anarchy. — Neither Dictators, nor Democrats: Anarchists We are not democrats for, among other reasons, democracy sooner or later leads to war and dictatorship. Just as we are not supporters of dictatorships, among other things, because dictatorship arouses a desire for democracy, provokes a return to democracy, and thus tends to perpetuate a vicious circle in whi... (From:
Introduction Submission to domination is enforced not solely, nor even most significantly, through blatant repression, but rather through subtle manipulations worked into the fabric of everyday social relationships. These manipulations — ingrained in the social fabric not because domination is everywhere and nowhere, but because the institutions of domination create rules, laws, mores and customs that enforce such manipulations — create a logic of submission, an often unconscious tendency to justify resignation and subservience in one’s everyday relations in the world. For this reason, it is necessary for those who are serious about developing an anarchist insurrectional project to confront this tendency wherever it app... (From:
Translator’s Introduction The text translated here first appeared in 1995 as a pamphlet addressed to the occupied spaces and social centers in Italy by two anarchist occupied spaces. In the few years previous to this, a movement aimed at the legalization of certain occupied spaces sprang up, largely centered around the Milanese social center Leoncavallo (now well-known as one of the places from which Ya Basta! And the Tute Blanche originated). From the start, this movement for legalization involved not merely negotiation with the state institutions, but the formation of alliances with specific parties of the official left. That the first social centers to involve themselves in this movement were part of the Autonomia reveals the pu... (From:
Sadly, in recent years, too much of the writing coming out of social conflict is wrought with stiff, wooden language, a tired, dead language that seems to contradict the energy of the rebellions of which they speak. It is the language of militancy, not of freedom, not of individuality creating itself against all odds. Perhaps this is, in part, because many of the present-day conflicts spring from the harshness of the times; they are responses to the hardness of current social, political and economic realities. But how can a response in kind counter these realities? Shouldn’t the very method of our response reflect our rejection of these imposed realities? Militancy is mistaken for passion and intensity, when in fact it is just an arm... (From:
On December 1, 2009, President Barack Obama announced that he will send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan, escalating the war in central Asia. Obama claims to want peace while he orders more war and death for poor and working people. He claims that the US fights for freedom and democracy, but he allies himself with tyrannical Afghani warlords. He does this with the backing of both Democrats and Republicans and the corporate interests they serve. None of this is new or unusual for the United States Government and its NATO allies. The only thing “new” is the person issuing the orders today: Obama, the “Candidate of Hope” was elected promising “Change.” Now in office, he delivers more of ... (From:
Part of the old Eastern European legend says that a vampire must be willingly invited into the house of its victim, and once invited in has its victim in its power. Members of the Teamsters Union (America’s largest general trade union) might well ponder this legend. The Teamsters invited government intervention in the 1980s to help ensure free elections and oust corrupt Mafia controlled officials who had held power for decades. In 1989 a “mutual consent decree” was put in place creating an Independent Review Board to facilitate the democratization process. The Board was made up of one union representative, one government representative and one ‘impartial’ outside person, who was to be agreed by both sides. The... (From:
Transfeminism developed out of a critique of the mainstream and radical feminist movements. The feminist movement has a history of internal hierarchies. There are many examples of women of color, working class women, lesbians and others speaking out against the tendency of the white, affluent- dominated women’s movement to silence them and overlook their needs. Instead of honoring these marginalized voices, the mainstream feminist movement has prioritized struggling for rights primarily in the interests of white affluent women. While the feminist movement as a whole has not resolved these hierarchal tendencies, various groups have continued to speak up regarding their own marginalization – in particular, transgender women. The ... (From:
“The principal problem of national liberation struggle for the anti-statist anarcho-syndicalist form of organization is that it is inherently statist. Advocating a more local form of state, the national liberation movement bows to the idea that the state is a desirable institution – just not in the current form. As such, it has the fundamental flaw that, if successful, it will generate a new state – which may or may not be ‘worse’ than the current oppressor, but it will nevertheless be an oppressive mechanism.” – Solidarity Federation “Anarchists refuse to participate in national liberation fronts; they participate in class fronts which may or may not be involved in national liberation... (From:
A short history of May Day The first of May is a moment for us to remember the Chicago Haymarket Martyrs of 127 years ago. These Chicago anarchists helped to lead the major battle of the day, not only for the 8 Hour Day, but also for social liberation. The origins of May Day go back to May 4, 1886, marking the Haymarket Massacre. This memorable day began as a rally of striking workers who were demanding an eight-hour work day, climaxing with a bomb produced by an unknown individual while the police dispersed the peaceful rally. The blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy during the legal proceeding... (From:
For far too long major segments of the working class have been dormant under the illusion that change can be delegated to exterior organizations or parties. When our struggles are bureaucratized and delegated to others, we lose ownership over them and in turn lose many benefits gained through them. A victory for the working class can only be established if our class is active in the struggle leading to victory. From the battle for the 8 hour day, to the struggles witnessed this past year, these examples cry out for the need to organize the fight back against the war that is being waged on workers at home and abroad. Through these examples we can begin to see an alternate future and experiment towards it. This new workers’ movement mu... (From:
Anarşi Kolektifi Ankara (Anarchy Collective Ankara) is a synthesist organization of anarchists that has been active in the Turkish capital for several years. The Workers Solidarity Alliance decided to conduct a short interview with our Turkish comrades so that we can enhance the global connections of solidarity, learn about their struggles, and apply what we learn to our own struggles here in North America. The interview here presents a very concise introduction to anarchist organizing in Turkey. In response to the broad selection of questions, the members of AKA address the social struggles that anarchists in Turkey are engaged in, particularly the queer and anti-militarist movements, as well as the deeper context of libertarian stru... (From:
With its barriers, islands, peninsulas, marshes and inlets, the Gulf Coast of the United States is known for its rich ecosystem and vast wildlife inhabiting the Gulf Coastal Plain. The region attracts many tourists who sightsee and fish along the marshlands in Louisiana, and enjoy the white sands spending their summers across the Panhandle of Florida and the barrier islands called the Emerald Coast. While experiencing the natural surroundings of the Gulf Coast, tourists can see the historical significance of the cultural heritage of the Creek Indians, French and Spanish influences that coalesced to create a unique southern gulf culture along the five states that make up the southern coast of the U.S. Indeed, tourism is a major factor in the... (From:
We believe in the right of women to control their own fertility. Women must be free to decide to have children or not, how many and when. Thus we believe in the right to free contraception. Thus we support abortion on demand. We also believe that all consenting adults should have the right to engage in the sexual practices and relationships that make them happy, and we therefore oppose the oppression of gays and lesbians. We do not accept the argument that gay and lesbian activity is “unnatural”, because such behavior has always existed in all societies. This includes Africa, contrary to the claims of bourgeois nationalists who pretend otherwise. The oppression of gays and lesbians, just like the oppression of women, is rooted... (From:
We believe that women are oppressed as a sex. They are denied equal rights, such as the right to control their own fertility and the right to equal pay for equal work. They have been assigned the role of cooks and child minders, their place is said to be in the home. Women’s freedom and the class struggle We believe that the root of women’s oppression lies in the division of society into classes, and the economic and social relationships that this created. By giving women the worst work, with no job security, the bosses create a super-cheap workforce which they can hire or fire at will. Cheap women workers can be used as a threat against men workers, and as a way for bosses to increase their profits by cutting down the wage ... (From:
In April, Winnie Mandela, Deputy Minister of Arts, Technology and Culture was dismissed from the Government of National Unity. Winnie was one of the so- called “populists” in the ANC. She is well- known for her criticisms of the gravy train and of the ANC’s failure to deliver on its promises. This was why she was freed, and not because she was “undisciplined” or “corrupt”. But who was behind the attack? The capitalist press had a field day trying Winnie, just as it had when similar charges were placed against Peter Mokaba. The racist NP also jumped on the band wagon. Because of this, some believe that the bosses want to attack and discredit Winnie (and the ANC) before the local elections. It has ... (From:
Gear is the government’s strategy to increase bosses profits, or economic growth, as they call it. We aren’t interested in the bosses profits. We want better living conditions. Gear says that schools’ and hospitals’ funds should be cut. This will mean more job losses, worse service and less teachers. Gear also calls for cuts in tertiary education, building houses, and general social spending. This means less houses for the homeless, unaffordable university rates, low pensions and general misery. Gear says that government owned property and companies should be privatized. This will increase prices as the new owners try to raise their profits by raising their prices. This will make transportation, sanitation, runnin... (From:
The black flag is the symbol of anarchism. It evokes reactions ranging from horror to delight. Find out what it means and prepare to see it at more and more public gatherings. Why is our flag black? Black is a shade of rejection. The black flag is the rejection of all flags. It is a rejection of nationhood which puts the human race against itself and denies the unity of all humankind. Black is the mood of anger and outrage at all the hideous crimes against humanity done in the name of allegiance to one state or another. It is anger and outrage at the insult to human intelligence implied in the pretenses, hypocrisies and cheap tricks of governments... Black is also a color of mourning, the black flag which cancels out the nation also mourns ... (From:
Why Class Struggle and Revolution From Below? Capitalism and the State are based on the exploitation of the many by the few — the ruling class. These structures are also the main cause of special oppressions like racism. Capitalism, the State and all forms of oppression must be fought and ultimately replaced by a democratic stateless socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) system. This task can only be successfully accomplished by the working class, the poor and the working peasantry. What are Classes? Society is divided into different classes. By “class”, we mean a group of people with a common relationship to the structures of political and economic power. The biggest class in South Africa is the working class. It consis... (From:
AGAINST CAPITALISM AND THE BOSSES The struggle of the Black working class in South Africa is a struggle against the slave bondage of capitalism. Capitalism is based on the ruling class minority (capitalists, generals, top officials, professional politicians) exploiting and oppressing the working class majority (workers of all grades, their families, rank and file soldiers, the unemployed, and the rural poor). The two classes have totally different interests- they are locked in class struggle. APARTHEID BUILT CAPITALISM Capitalism in South Africa was built through apartheid oppression- land dispossession, the compound system, migrant labor, the pass laws, and denial of basic worker and human rights to Black workers. THE STRUGGLE CON... (From:
Comrades, the starting point of this talk today is that we need an alternative to capitalism. We need an alternative to capitalism. CAPITALISM: A DISASTER FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION Capitalism has repeatedly failed the majority of the world’s population. According to recent reports: 358 billionaires have more assets than the combined incomes of countries home to 45% of the world’s people. the richest 20% of the world’s population gets 85% of the world’s income. 30 years ago, the richest 20% only got 70% of the world’s income, Capitalism has failed the majority of our people too: 50,000 mainly White commercial farmers own nearly 99% of all private farming land in Sout... (From:
This pamphlet provides a short introduction to the politics of the Workers Solidarity Federation (South Africa) [1]. We are an Anarcho-Syndicalist organization. Part 1: What is Anarcho-Syndicalism? INTRODUCTION: ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM OUTLINED What does this mean? Briefly stated, Anarcho-Syndicalism is a working-class political ideology that opposes all forms of exploitation and domination. We think that all people are fundamentally equal, and should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the freedom of other people. We oppose capitalism because it is a vicious profit system that is based on the exploitation of the workers and the poor to the benefit of a small class of bosses and top governme... (From:
Anarchist-Syndicalists stand for a revolution by the working class and the poor to smash all oppression and create a free stateless socialist society. The trade unions will play a leading role in this process. It is also vital to organize in the community. Why Class Struggle? Class struggle is the key to changing this rotten society. We working and poor people create all social wealth but we do not get the benefits. Our work is controlled and exploited by the capitalists and top state officials — the ruling class. We are not powerless. We can hit the bosses and rulers with mass actions, particularly at the workplace. Only we workers and poor people can create a free society because only we do not need to exploit. The bosses and ... (From:
Unemployment is always a direct effect of living under capitalism, it is used by the bosses to depress wages “there are plenty of people out there who work for less money than you” is a common threat as is “behave yourselves or I’ll close down” as we saw above, the chaotic nature of capitalism also leads to regular crises and attacks on workers which cause massive unemployment. This is especially true of South Africa where the crisis of the racist capitalist system has caused massive job losses. Elsewhere in Africa, the economic crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, which was caused by recession in the imperialist world capitalist system and by the mismanagement of the economy by the ruling class, has led to ESAPs and... (From:
Every worker has the human right to a job. Yet under the Capitalist system, workers are dismissed from employment in times of crisis, over-production or depression, or just to save labor costs through cutting workers and speed-ups. And then some workers just cannot find jobs in the Capitalist Labor market, either because of discrimination, lack of skills or job training, a “criminal” record, or other reasons. In the early 1990’s, the Ministry of Finance said that unemployment stood 19,3%, a SALDRU survey put it at about 30% in 1993, the 1994 October Household Survey found it to be 32,6%, while some analysts believe it is closer to 50%.[1] With the growth, since 1994, in the level of retrenchments, we are obviously facing... (From:
In February and March this year Technikons and Universities exploded with protest actions. Black students, sometimes supported by workers, have been FIGHTING to change tertiary institutions. They are fighting the legacy of apartheid. The protests were organized by the South African Students Congress (SASCO) and other student bodies EXPLODE Protests were country wide. Students at the 7 Vista campuses called for the resignation of their Broederbond controlled University Council. They marched on the government calling on it to support their demands. The Vista students were also calling for an end to financial and academic exclusions. At University of the Western Cape students forced the management to allow 57 students to continue with t... (From:
Although we argue that only the working class, working peasants and the poor can make the revolution, we do support the struggle of the students to transform the institutions of higher learning (the universities and technikons) despite the fact that such institutions typically train people for middle class jobs. We do so because we believe that the student struggle is progressive, because we are anti-racist, because working class and poor students are the main victims of the problems that exist in higher education, because we stand for the principle of free, democratic and open education for all, and because we want to recruit student militants to Anarcho-Syndicalist politics. Historically, the universities and technikons have been charact... (From:
The Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa (WSF) has been dissolved by unanimous mutual agreement of all its active membership in its Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town branches. The former WSF comrades will, however, be involved in several new projects including Bikisha Media Collective and Zabalaza Books (formerly Land and Liberty). Both of these organizations are primarily concerned with the production and distribution of revolutionary media. Publications to follow include a southern African edition of Sam Mbah & IE Igariwey’s African Anarchism, and Breaking the Chains, a history of anarcho-syndicalism from the 1870s-1980s. Our former Durban branch is currently involved in talks with the Industrial Workers of the World... (From:
TELL “fat cat” CLINTON TO GET OUT!! CLINTON — THE IMPERIALIST! CLINTON — THE RICH MAN’S FRIEND! THEY SAY: The politicians and the bosses’ newspapers are praising US president Bill Clinton’s visit to South Africa. They say that Clinton will bring “aid” and “trade”. They say that closer links with the US government and capitalists will help “fight poverty” in Africa. WE SAY... LIES! Clinton is the leader of the US capitalist class. This tiny layer of rich FAT CATS is the ENEMY of ordinary working and poor people. In Africa and every where else. Clinton is responsible for ATTACKING the poor in the USA, Africa, and the Middle East * IN THE USA The Clinton go... (From:
Workers Solidarity Federation, South Africa July 1995 Don’t Let Him Die 1. Who is Mumia Abu-Jamal? Jamal is the victim of a racist frame-up in teh USA. As a tireless ally of teh poor, Black and dispossessed, he won the hatred of the bosses and politicians in Philadelphia. They are determined to silence him. Jamal is an ex-Black Panther spokesman and a courageous journalist. 2. Why is he facing exceution? In December 1981, Jamal and his brother BillY were attacked by police. Shot in the chest and savagely beaten, Jamal was then arrested for killing a cop. Jamal’s trial was a classic case of Southern-style racist “justice”. Critical evidence was covered up. Jamal’s political history was used as evid... (From:
Defend Lesbian and Gay Rights We in Workers Solidarity Federation say that gay and lesbian rights are human rights. People should be free to live their lives as they choose, so long as this does not harm other people’s freedom. This must include people’s right to choose the emotional and sexual relationships that make them happy. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Love between consenting people is not “immoral” or “repulsive”. Homosexuality has always been part of human society, including in Africa. What is wrong is the oppression which gays and lesbians suffer: job discrimination, violence, police raids and so on. We must see that this is one more way that the bosses divide the workers and the p... (From:
To Minister John O’Donogue On behalf of the Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa I would like to convey our organization’s anger at the attempts of Irish government to scapegoat harrass and deport asylum seekers. I would further like to express our organization’s solidarity with the day of action called for the 25 April in opposition to these government policies. Asylum seekers are fleeing economic social and political oppression. To visit further persecution upon them is unjust. To deport them back to the horrors from which they are seeking to escape is unjustifiable. That almost all deportees are drawn from working and poor social groups further underlines the bias in such actions. All people should have equ... (From:
CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS: Knowing which side you’re on. CLASS ANALYSIS: Knowing who’s there with you. For those people who don’t understand what we mean by “class”, and for those who have been misled by people who want you to think that they are on your side, to get you to trust and follow them, we give this basic outline of what we mean by “class”. This analysis does not include the privileged offspring of the Middle and Ruling class, who still have more power than an average working class person. This power includes security and access to money or work and being able to gain respect from those in authority by knowing the values, attitudes, self-confidence and assertiveness that goes with a middle cla... (From:
Sisters and brothers, When there is no place for us, no economic exploitation for us, they call us scroungers. When they have a use for us, we are degraded into useless work, crushing our spirit so we accept our endless orders unquestioningly. We must work constantly to earn pitiful wages to consume useless products. When we take our rightful share, they call us thieves — though they deny us any other choice except conform, obey and subsist on what they choose to give us or resist and starve. When we stand up for our humanity, rejecting their right to give orders, they call us ungrateful, wild and extreme, yet they have offered us nothing but the chance to be exploited in a gray, dead world where we have no say, no power, for this we... (From:
INTRODUCTION The trade unions are the combat organizations of the working class. They were built to defend and advance workers interests against the bosses. BUT the unions can MUCH more. The unions must not only fight the bosses in the here and now. They must organize the workers for a revolutionary general strike in which we the workers take the land and factories from the bosses, and run them ourselves in the interests of the workers and the poor. Socialism and freedom will never come through parliament. They can only come through workers struggle and workers organizations defeating the bosses. They can only come though revolutionary industrial unionism (anarcho-syndicalism). This booklet was written by the Workers Solidarity Feder... (From:
Anarchism has always carried the banner of revolutionary anti authoritarian socialism. Socialists need to identify with the anarchist tradition, no easy task as many have been weaned on a diet of slander that said they were not real socialists at all and wanted a return to feudalism. THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL Within the First Intentional, the Intentional Working Men’s Association, in the last century the anarchists, such as Bakunin, consistently argued against a turn to reformism and parliament. They argued against the view that the state apparatus could be seized and used to introduce socialism. The introduction of socialism could only be carried out by the working class itself, not by a minority of revolutionaries acting through ... (From:
Racial oppression remains a defining feature of the modern capitalist world. It is manifest most spectacularly in violent attacks on immigrants and minorities by fascist gangs. More important to the fate of these communities has been the systematic and increasing discrimination by capitalist states, manifest in attacks on the rights of immigrants, cuts in welfare services, and racist police and court systems. How can racism be defeated? An answer to this question requires an examination of the forces which gave rise to, and continue to reproduce, racism. It also requires a careful analysis of which social forces benefit from racial oppression. By racism is meant either an attitude denying the equality of all human beings, or economic, ... (From:
INTRODUCTION BY BLACK FLAG We recently observed a very fruitful discussion on race and class on the internet, particularly around “black” anarchism, special oppressions and the desirability of separate organization. One of the best and most comprehensive posts came from a member of the Workers Solidarity Federation of South Africa, an anarchist/syndicalist group which while in a personal capacity reflects their politics and positions on these matters. Interest in anarchism is growing throughout the world. There are active groups in most parts of the world, with the exception of the Indian subcontinent, Antarctica and as far as we know the Chinese dictatorship. This process will no doubt accelerate and there is a challenge fo... (From:
Zimbabwean head of state Robert Mugabe has established himself over the past few years as a strident, near-hysterical voice of bigotry and irrationality in his campaign against the human dignity of his gay, lesbian and bisexual compatriots. First his government’s goons clamped down on intellectual and cultural freedom by ordering Gays And Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) kicked out of the 1995 Zimbabwe International Book Fair. Then he further sullied his image by calling homosexuals “sodomists and sexual perverts” who had no human rights at all. Well, GALZ won the right to be reinstated at the book fair, but Mugabe’s stream of foul-mouthed abuse continued and incited fellow politician Michael Mawema to call for a public ... (From:
PREFACE The Position Papers and Constitution of the WSF were developed by mandated activists in the Workers Solidarity Federation in the period between early 1995 and late 1996. These documents were adopted as official policy by the WSF in December 1996. These documents represent a systematic effort to apply anarchist theory to the specific conditions of South Africa in the current period. Although anarchism has a proud history as a fighting tradition among workers and peasants across the world, it has not had an organized presence in South Africa (as far as we know) since the 1910s and early 1920s. We hope, now, to lay the basis for a new movement. Marxism, nationalism, liberalism- the history of these ideologies is a history of broke... (From:
Men! Comrades! Brothers! YOU are in the Army. So are WE. YOU in the Army of Destruction. WE in the Industrial, or army of Construction. WE work at mine, mill, forge, factory, or dock, producing and transporting all the goods, clothing, stuffs, etc., which make it possible for people to live. YOU ARE WORKING PEOPLE’S SONS. When WE Fight to better OUR lot, which is the lot also or YOUR FATHERS, MOTHERS, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS, YOU are called upon by your officers to MURDER US. DON’T DO IT! YOU know how it happens always has happened. We stand out as long as we can. Then one of our (and your) irresponsible Brothers or Sisters, angered by the sight and thought of their loved ones’ misery and hunger, commits a crime on p... (From:
PART 1: THE POLITICS OF THE WSF WORKERS STRUGGLE AGAINST BOSSES The WSF believes that at the moment we live in a capitalist society in which there are two major classes : the ruling class: bosses/capitalists, generals, top Sate officials, professional politicians the working-class: blue collar workers, white collar workers, workers in the service sector, the poor, the unemployed, the marginalized youth, rank-and-file soldiers. There is also a middle class of professionals, small business, and middle management. Overall the middle class tends to stand with the bosses, although a minority supports the workers struggle. The bosses own the factories, banks, mines, shops, etc. Workers don’t. All that the workers have... (From:
In early December 1995, the government announced that it was going to privatize many State assets. It wants to sell off part of SAA, Telkom and Airports Company, and all of Autonet, Sun Air and Transkei Airways. This was met by opposition by the unions, spearheaded by the 1,6 million strong COSATU federation (Congress of South African Trade Unions). Mass actions were organized in the postal and public transport sectors. COSATU also called a general strike for January 16 1996. This strike was called off at the last minute when the government agreed to halt its privatization plans and enter into negotiations with the unions over economic restructuring. Privatization Means Job Cuts! The government says privatization will “create new... (From:
Police unrest made news in the first quarter of 1995. Many of the protests were organized by the South African Police Union (SAPU), which was established in 1993. SAPU demanded a 40% pay rise across the board, and a R350 allowance for all police members (and not just shift workers and detectives). To back up its demands SAPU organized police go slows and work to rule. By early April, for instance, at least 5 stations in Soweto were barely functional. SAPU also marched on government buildings At Tuynhuys Thabo Mbeki promised SAPU delegates that he would discuss police grievances with the Ministers of Police (Sydney Mufamadi) and Finance (Chris Liebenberg). So far the SAPU members have had a relatively sympathetic reception from governmen... (From:
In the Last Issue of UNREST we reported on the situation in Nigeria shortly after the termination of the results of the first civilian election since 1985 by the military dictatorship of General Babangida. Much of this update comes directly from our comrades in Nigeria, the Anarcho Syndicalist Awareness League (AL). After the annulment of the June 12 Presidential election, waves of strikes and violence erupted in Nigeria’s principal cities. The military stepped up the repression, with mass arrests and the banning of publications. Babangida promised to hand over power to a civilian government on August 27th and then appointed a wealthy businessman and friend, Ernest Shonekan. Babangida also arrested the winner of the June elections... (From:
ONLY THE WORKERS CAN FREE THE WORKERS! MAY DAY IS OURS 110 years ago workers started May Day- the international workers day. Today, across the world billions of workers, of every race and nation, are celebrating May Day. We are one class of people, with a common struggle for freedom and equality. May Day is ours. We have fought and bled and died for a day when we as workers can come together in our millions and say NO! to the bosses, NO! to the fat cats who bleed us dry, NO! to the low wages and the misery of our existence. THE BOSS — THE ENEMY We workers build everything. Every building, every road, every farm, every factory, every factory. We make the wealth, yet everywhere we have nothing. Workers build cars, but never o... (From:
“The Emancipation of the toilers can be the work only of the toilers themselves.” Declaration of the International Working Mens Association. Marx and Bakunin were both members of “The International”, but how far apart do they stand? This declaration is a central claim which Anarchists make, and a major difference separating us from the Marxists. Bakunin argued that the Marxist idea of a leadership of the proletariat, through a vanguard is counter-revolutionary. The basis of this idea is the Marxist notion that the workers and poor can never free themselves, or create revolution by themselves. Marxists believe that the workers are necessary for revolution, but need a vanguard to force them to do what they be... (From:
The State budget will be passed on Wednesday, 12 March. At present, the budget cuts spending on universities and technikons. This means retrenchments of workers less educational resources exclusion of Black working class people from higher education a halt in transformation of higher education TO FIGHT THE BUDGET CUTS WE MUST MOBILIZE NOW Support The Actions On Monday And Wednesday TRANSFORMATION NEEDS MORE MONEY, NOT LESS. (Source: Retrieved on 29th October 2021 from (From:
AGAINST CAPITALISM AND THE BOSSES The struggle of the Black working class in South Africa is a struggle against the slave bondage of Capitalism. Capitalism is based on the ruling class minority (Capitalists, Generals, top officials, professional politicians) exploiting and oppressing the working class majority (workers of all grades, their families, rank-and-file soldiers, the unemployed, and the rural poor). The two classes have totally different interests — they are locked in class struggle. APARTHEID BUILT CAPITALISM Capitalism in South Africa was built through apartheid oppression — land dispossession, the compound system, migrant labor, the pass laws, and denial of basic worker and human rights to Black workers. THE... (From:
Greetings to our fellow workers, We have heard of your struggle against the attacks by Metro. We send solidarity greetings. We wholeheatedly support your struggle. Across the world, workers are under a concerted and brutal attack. Union-bashing, casualization, wage cuts and longer hours- these are the hallmarks of capitalism in the 1990s. Against the “globalization” of business, and the economic rationalism of capitalism and the governments, workers must fight for the “globalization” of resistance, and international solidarity in defense of basic rights. All workers, in all countries, have the same needs and the same interests. Evry time the bosses and rulers defeat a single workers struggle, we all lose out. W... (From:
The housing crisis in South Africa is massive. About a fifth of the population live in squatter camps. Millions more live in broken down hostels, or in overcrowded formal housing . By contrast, the rich live it up in houses which are far too large for their needs. The housing crisis also reflects the effects of capitalism and the State, particularly in their brutal Apartheid form. Low-cost urban housing was deliberately neglected by the State in the 1960s and 1970s. The aim was to prevent African people from settling in the cities, the idea was that African workers’ “real” homes were in the homelands and that they were thus just temporary visitors to the towns and did not “need” proper housing. Secondly, the c... (From:
We Anarchist-Syndicalists believe trade unions are a mighty weapon in the struggle for improved conditions, and against racism and oppression. We also believe that unions can organize workers to destroy capitalism and the State, by organizing the revolutionary seizure and democratic control of the factories, land, and offices. However, we also see the importance of organizing other sections of the working class such as women, youth, unemployed and the community. Our ideas on unions have had a massive impact on the international struggles of the working class and poor. This fact is conveniently ignored by most history books. First International These ideas were developed by the powerful Anarchist faction in the First International Worke... (From:
We workers must support the struggle organized by COSATU against the bosses. Only mass action will make Mr FAT CAT boss listen to our demands. In the end, socialism remains the only road. The workers solution is revolutionary industrial unionism- implement workers control over the land and factories through trade union action. COSATU calls for double pay for Sunday work, six months paid maternity leave, four months of which must be paid, a 40 hour work week, and an end to workplace apartheid. COSATU calls for reconstruction and development. The BOSSES call for lower pay, less paid maternity leave, low wages, less safety regulations, and other forms of so-called “flexibility”. The bosses stand for exploitation and continued pov... (From:
“What do we mean by respect for humanity? We mean the recognition of human right and human dignity in every man, of whatever race [or] color ...” Mikhail Bakunin, 1867, Federalism, Socialism, Anti-Theologism, reprinted in S. Dolgoff (ed) Bakunin on Anarchism, 1971, Allen and Unwin, p147 “...Equal rights for all without distinction of sex or race...” From the Pittsburg Manifesto, 1883, founding charter of the International Working Peoples Association, historic mass U.S. anarcho-syndicalist organization. quoted in P. Avrich, 1984, The Haymarket Tragedy. Princeton University Press. Princteton, N.J. p. 75. “Your revolutionary duty is to stifle all nationalist persecution by dealing ruthless with t... (From:
Anarcho-Syndicalists fight all domination and exploitation. The fight against racism is a central part of our program. We believe that all human beings are fundamentally equal and alike. We do not think that racism is a natural or inevitable part of society. Instead, racism is rooted in the class system, capitalism and the State. The roots of racism Racism developed alongside capitalism and the modern State since these emerged 500 years ago. It justified the conquest, slaughter and enslavement of indigenous people in the Americas, Asia and Africa. Later racism was used to divide and rule the working class majority, and to super-exploit and repress sections of the working-class. Racist arguments said colonialism, slavery and Black worker... (From:
The world is facing a very serious environmental crisis. Key environmental problems include air pollution, the destruction of the ozone layer, vast quantities of toxic waste, massive levels of soil erosion, the possible exhaustion of key natural resources such as oil and coal, and the extinction of plants and animals on a scale not seen since the death of the dinosaurs 60 million years ago. We think that this crisis is likely to have catastrophic effects in the future. Even today, the negative effects of the crisis are evident in the form of growing deserts, increased rates of cancer, and the loss of plant species which could hold out cures for diseases for diseases such as AIDS etc. What caused the crisis? We disagree with those enviro... (From:
Anarchism ... has always fostered an intense interest in the proper ecological management of the Earth, and its history, theory and practice contains valuble clues and suggestions as to how we might overcome the ecological crisis that presently confronts the human species. Graham Purchase, Anarchism and Ecology: the Historical Relationship of Anarchism to Ecological Thought, Black Swan, 1992. 1. General Introduction 1. The Earth is facing an environmental crisis on a scale unprecedented in human history. This environmental crisis is already responsible for high levels of human suffering. If the crisis continues to develop at its current rate, the ultimate result wil be the extinction of human life on the planet. 2. We call for act... (From:
Last year students from universities and technicon protested against racism on campus, fee hikes and financial and academic exclusions. But if the government goes ahead with its plans to cut funds for higher education, students will be facing even worse problem in 1997 NO MONEY? OR NO COMMITMENT TO CHANGE? The government says it has very little money for education in general. The government says that if they give any more funds to higher education the government will have to take money away from the other levels of education (primary and secondary education) The argument that there is no money for education is a lie! We know that this country does have wealth. Every year we see the bosses make record profits. Telkom made R6 billion pr... (From:
I would like to thank the Socialist Caucus for extending an invitation to a speaker from the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF) in South Africa. I would also like to thank the University of Zambia for hosting me this evening. I am a member of the Workers Solidarity Federation. Let me start by saying what the WSF is not. We are not a political party that runs in elections. Nor are we a trade union. We are a libertarian socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) political organization. We believe that socialism must come from below through the direct action of workers and peasants. We support all forms of struggle against privilege and oppression. However our main focus is on the trade unions, which we see as a crucial mechanism for bringing about rad... (From:
THE VICTORY OF a seemingly militant ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) in Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence elections, following a long guerrilla war (the Chimurenga”) against White colonialism, was greeted with jubilation. Today, the hopes raised have dissipated; modern Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is marked by continuity with colonial social and economic structures. This article examines, from a radical perspective, why the national liberation struggle failed to achieve its basic goals, and the lessons this holds for struggle today. FAILURE OF THE GUERRILLA WAR Land, central to the war, remains in the hands of White commercial farmers and a Black elite, whilst most Zimbabweans are condemned to a life of poverty. Independen... (From:
By imperialism we mean a situation of external domination where the ruling class of one country dominates the people and territory of another country. The key imperialist powers are the Western States (USA, West Europe, Japan) and their ruling classes, and the dominant States of the former Soviet bloc (Russia and China). Roots of imperialism Imperialism has been a central part of capitalism and the modern State since these structures of oppression emerged 500 years ago. Two factors account for this. Firstly, the imperialist ruling classes wanted to obtain cheap labor and raw materials and new markets for manufactured goods in the Third World (Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Middle East, East Europe). Secondly, the Western States and ... (From:
Because so few people bothered to register for the upcoming local elections, the deadline has been extended to the beginning of June. But its not surprising that there is so much apathy. The government has not delivered. Only 800 houses have been built so far! Meanwhile the police have been used against strikers (at Pick n’ Pay, truckers Blockade, Spar etc.), squatters (Johannesburg, Zevenfontein), and students (Cape Town, OFS Technikon). NO ACCIDENT The State is not some neutral tool at the disposal of voters. The State always serves the bosses. Look at the South African State: this was built in the course of 350 years of genocide and capitalist colonialism. It won’t change just because we put some ballot papers in a box... (From:
Bakunin Mikhail Bakunin, the founder of Anarcho-syndicalism, entered politics partly as an activist in East European anti-colonial struggles. As a result he was imprisonment and internally exiled within Russia. After escaping in 1861, he abandoned nationalism for Anarcho-syndicalism but maintained his anti-imperialism. For Bakunin Third World revolt was inevitable and desirable, but a successful struggle required an internationalist anti-authoritarian social revolution against the State and the class system. Cuba The Anarchist/Syndicalist movement took up the challenge. In Cuba, the Anarcho-syndicalists, who had a massive working class base, took part in the struggle for independence from Spain. They were active in the Ten Year War (... (From:
Remember the Revolution The 19th of July 2005 marked the 69th Anniversary of the Spanish Revolution. For a brief time, capitalism and the State was replaced by solidarity, mutual aid, and respect for others. Workers and peasants, who were deeply influenced by anarcho-syndicalist ideas, ran society collectively and gained control over their lives, industry and land. A central part of the revolution was the struggle against a fascist attempt to take over Spain. We must remember both the magnificent triumphs and tragedies of the Spanish revolution and attempt to learn from our comrades' mistakes. Workers and Peasants Organize Libertarian socialist (anarcho-syndicalist) ideas had deep roots among Spanish peasants and workers. In 1911, a ... (From:
Briefly stated, Anarcho-Syndicalism is a working-class political ideology that opposes all forms of exploitation and domination. We think that all people are fundamentally equal, and should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not harm the freedom of other people. We oppose capitalism because it is a vicious profit system that is based on the exploitation of the workers and the poor to the benefit of a small class of bosses and top government figures. We do not think that the government (courts, army, bureaucracy) is there to look after everyone, instead its role is to keep the ruling class in power. Racism and other forms of special oppression are primarily the product of capitalism and the State. In Sou... (From:
At the present moment socialism is in crisis both in the West and the East. This is despite the need for a real alternative to capitalism. After all racism, — mass unemployment ,homelessness and poverty show that capitalism has failed to provide for the majority. This crisis of socialism affects the Western reformist Social Democrat or Labor Parties. It also affects the various groups of Marxists/ Leninists/ Trotskyists. They are paying for their betrayal of socialism in this century. What they conceived socialism to be has been- totally discredited. What we need to do is to reclaim the revolutionary and anti authoritarian socialism represented by anarchism. LABOR PARTY BLUES The large ‘socialist’ tradition of Social... (From:
Q. Most readers of Red and Black Revolution will be familiar with the main organizations on the left in South Africa, such as the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP). Can you tell us something about the tradition of libertarian ideas and struggle? A. Anarchism and Syndicalism do (or at least did) have an important place in South African history, although this is typically hidden or obscured by official and “radical” versions of the past. Before the founding of the SACP in 1921, libertarian ideas were common on the revolutionary left. A section of the US syndicalist union, the Industrial Workers of the World, was established here in 1911, growing out of an organization called the Industrial Workers Union . The Indus... (From:
Opposition to capitalism and all states as structures of domination and exploitation by the ruling class of capitalists and rulers. Opposition to all forms of oppression: racism, sexism, homophobia, imperialism, environmental destruction etc. The State and capitalism are the primary causes of these special oppressions. Opposition to coercive authority. Support for individual freedom so long as this does not limit the freedom of others. Mass action and revolution by us the workers and the poor is the way to defeat capitalism and the state and all forms of oppression. Only the working class, the working peasants and the poor can create a free society because only we do not exploit. The trade unions and democratic... (From:
Capitalism and the State continue to fail the masses. Yet at the same time, key elements of the socialist tradition are in irrevocable crisis. What we need to do is to reclaim and identify with the tradition of anti-authoritarian, anti-State, socialism from below: anarcho-syndicalism. Exploiters Capitalism and the State have failed the majority of the world’s population: the workers, poor and peasants. According to recent reports 358 billionaires have more assets than the combined incomes of countries home to 45% of the world’s people. the richest 20% of the world’s population gets 85% of the world’s income. Capitalism and the State are based on the rich exploiting the poor. They cause poverty, une... (From:
Legalized apartheid is finally dead for the first time in 350 years Black South Africans are not ruled by a racist dictatorship but by a democratic parliament. Along with this capitalist democracy came a whole series of rights we never had before. We have guaranteed freedom of association and speech. We have the right to strike and protest. We have some protection from racist and sexist practices. These changes did not come from the benevolent hand of the National Party. They are the result of decades of struggle. We broke the pass laws. We broke the ban on African trade unions. We broke the racist education system. We broke the Land Act of 1913. BUT FREE AT LAST? However, the legacy of apartheid is still with us. 2.3 million South Af... (From:
This interview with a Zapatista Educational Promote was carried out in the autonomous and rebel Zapatista community of Morelia, Mexico. This area of Chiapas have been in rebellion since the 1st of January 1994 and during this time the rebel movement has constructed a new education system. The interviewer is a WSM member who lives outside of Ireland. What is most important to us as promoters of education is that the children are conscious of their situation and free. Their own style and ways of expression are also respected. We don’t make distinctions between pupils who know more and those who know less, nor between the clever and those less so. Neither does there exist individualism, it is a collective education. We don’t look... (From:
THE ANNUAL report of the 26 county Employment Appeals Tribunal states that of the the 391 cases before it, 199 claims of unfair dismissal were upheld. However the Tribunal only ordered that 29 people get their jobs back, and 16 of those had to lose their years of service. In the other cases an average of £4,993 compensation was awarded. Not a lot if you are facing years, or even a lifetime, on the dole. And this is when the Tribunal has decided that the sacking was illegal. (Source: Retrieved on 7th December 2021 from (From:
We don’t understand words as simply words on their own, entirely dependent on their definition, as one word can have many different meanings. Context plays a big part in our understanding of words. There are some words that leave context with the responsibility of our understanding of what has just been said. The word “buckle”, for example, can either mean “to connect” or “to collapse”, two meanings opposite to each other, leaving us in need of context in order to understand the usage of the word. The mainstream voices in our society would lead you to believe that last May we voted for equality. Going by the definition of “equality” alone, without any context, one would believe that we ... (From:
1994 HAS BEEN declared the UN Year of the Family. The Irish Committee for the International Year includes state bodies like the Combat Poverty Agency & the Council for the Status of Women and the Catholic ones like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Family Solidarity were also members but walked out in protest at token places being given to two groups working with single parents. This committee has received £400,000 from Leinster House. The increased violence in society and fears social decay have even liberal commentators calling for a to return to family values. Yet what does this really mean? What are those values? In this article Aileen O’Carroll will examine the role of the family and the reasoning behind the Back to ... (From:
The Workers Solidarity Movement has taken the decision to disband the organization some 37 years after it formed. While we recognize the WSM’s many achievements over the years and while we are each committed to continuing the cause of anarchism in some capacity, we have collectively agreed that the WSM is no longer the best vehicle to achieve that aim. We intend to maintain existing WSM material on and offline as an archive. We also intend to develop discussions around what the legacy of the organization is, its achievements and lessons to be drawn for the future. Each of us expects to remain active in anarchist politics and indeed to often find ourselves working together, including potentially as members of future organizations. We... (From:
LIVERPOOL DOCKERS take their trade unionism seriously. On 28th September 1995 the Mersey Docks and Harbor Company (MDHC) locked out 500 workers for refusing to cross a picket line mounted by dockers employed by Torside Limited, who were in dispute over sackings and attempts at casualization. The subsequent fight by the Liverpool dockers has turned into a massive international display of solidarity against casualization of labor and against the “rationality” of a so-called free market economy which dictates that workers’ rights should be sacrificed on the high altar of profit and uninhibited capital flow. The Liverpool dockers’ plight has echoes in Ireland in the Dunnes Stores’ workers fight against zero-hour c... (From:
German anarchists on the march A major strike wave in France last December forced the government to withdraw many of their attacks on living standards. Now in Germany similar attacks are meeting a mass response. On June 15th some 350,000 German workers gathered in Bonn. The demonstration had been originally organized by an umbrella group which included the anarcho-syndicalist FAU-IWA. It was taken over by the German Trade Union federation, the DGB, which then excluded the original organizers from the platform for being too radical. The government’s plans included attacks on sick pay, pensions, unfair dismissal laws and the unemployed as part of an international pattern that many have termed “neo-liberalism”. The DGB ch... (From:
Anarchism in France The following piece is taken from a report sent by an American member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) to their public mailing list on the internet recently ( It provides a personal snapshot of part of the French anarchist movement. The main 2 groups I encountered were the Federation Anarchist Francaise (FAF) which is the oldest and largest French anarchist group, and operates a beautiful bookstore in the Bastille district, as well as a real FM radio station (Radio Libertaire, 89.4 fm), and a popular newspaper (Le Monde Libertaire); and I also spent a lot of time with the French CNT,[1] which is the second largest French anarchist group (even though it’s only really been around for... (From:
CGT Doubles vote in Union Elections The anarcho-syndicalist union in Spain, (Confederacion General de Trabajadores (CGT) has doubled its vote in the latest elections for union representatives to RENFE, the State rail company. The way representatives are elected in Spain is to allow the workers to vote for which union they would like to support them, and the union then gets that proportion of representatives. CGT is now the second largest union with 31% of the vote, after CCOO (Comissiones Obreres), the communist-dominated union. The rise of the anarchist vote is due to its more militant stand compared to other unions, in its fight to stop the privatization of RENFE and its demand to keep it as a single company. The CGT has also increa... (From:
Brazil: Landless use anarchist methods to improve their living standards BRAZIL is the world’s fourth largest food exporter. Yet 40 million of its 155 million people go hungry, even in good times. Millions of peasants are landless; while American, Japanese and European multinationals control 36 million hectares of prime farmland. The Movement of Landless of Brazil (MST) has been organizing landless rural workers to seize large estates and work them themselves. One such occupation lasted for more than two years and involved 600 families. Some 1,400 families are camping on lands in the state Rio Grand do Sul, while there are another 30 encampments in the state of Parama. The landless share the work necessary to run these camps. Hyg... (From:
THE KILLING of the seven building workers in January marks the most bloody episode in an IRA campaign against those who work for the ‘security forces’, a campaign which has been going on since 1985. There has been a massive wave of condemnation from bishops, politicians and media figures. Most of it is hypocritical cant. In all wars people who assist or work for the enemy are targetted. During the War of Independence the ‘old IRA’ shot people it suspected of collaboration. Today it is a criminal offense to collaborate with the IRA. Anyone allowing them to use their house or car, anyone minding weapons or giving information can be sentenced to long terms in jail. In the North their name may be leaked to a loyalist de... (From:
Work and the Workplace The workplace remains the location where many of us are likely to spend much of our adult lives. We are dependent on the wage we earn for food, housing and all our basic and complex needs. The workplace is anywhere where we do work. For many people this means turning up to work shifts for a business, i.e the capitalist workplace However, for many people the home is their workplace, and for others it is one of their main workplaces. This domestic work, such as cooking, cleaning, and care work such as tending to infirm relatives and child rearing, is mostly done by women and goes unpaid and unrecognized as ‘real work’ in capitalist patriarchal society. However, it is fundamental to sustainin... (From:
The issue of gay marriage has come to the fore again recently with both Canada and Spain approving bills to make it legal. In this interview we talk to Judy Walsh, from the Equality Studies department in UCD about how marriage and partnership rights are currently constructed in Ireland. WSM: Can you explain how marriage and partnership rights stand at the moment in Ireland? JW: There is a very clear hierarchy in the Irish legal system. Marriage is the very privileged family form and that is confined to straight people. At the moment it excludes people who have a different gender identity that hasn’t been recognized. In terms of what this contract involves, once you sign up for marriage you take on fairly extensive obligations toward... (From:
The terrible murder of Veronica Guerin has given rise to a lot of concern about crime. Politicians are using this to promote a climate of near hysteria and attack long established civil liberties. Seven day detention, restricting the right to silence, refusing bail and even torture (the call on Joe Duffy’s radio show for a return to the tactics of the 1970s) have been put forward as solutions. There are vicious gangland bosses. Their nicknames may sound like something from a Batman film (the Coach, the Boxer, even the Penguin). Their activities are more like something from a horror film: heroin dealing, contract killings and a threat of extreme violence to anyone who gets in their way. They don’t exist because Ireland’s ... (From:
The Irish Left is very small. However history has shown that it is possible to have influence far out of proportion to your numbers. So what strategy did these highly organized groups committed to fighting for womens’ liberation adopt. Militant Socialist placed all its efforts in electioneering for one of their members, Joe Higgins, who was standing in a Dublin West (a General Election being called for the same day as the referendum). Their only presence in the pro-choice movement was to turn up in mass to a Repeal the Eighth Amendment Conference (REAC) in order to get of of their members elected onto committee and try (but fail!) to get other left groups off. The Socialist Workers Movement concentrated on their age old policy of sho... (From:
The Ulster Workers Council (UWC) strike of May 1974 was just one of the incidents that showed, far from being “impartial”, the RUC and the British army did their best to prop up loyalism. This strike was a response to the Sunningdale agreement signed in the Autumn of 1973. This allowed for a “power-sharing” government made up of the Unionists, Alliance and SDLP parties. The agreement also bought into existence, in the spring 1974, the so-called “Council of Ireland”. This was somewhat like the existing Anglo-Irish Secretariat, i.e. a talkshop mainly concerned with cross-border security cooperation. However loyalists reacted angrily to what they saw as Southern Irish “taigs” being given a righ... (From:
What ever happened with the European Union? Privatization of services, introduction of charges for needed services, massive congestion on the roads and the collapse of the health services. These things don’t happen by accident. There is a motor that is driving these policies and you’ll find it in Europe. This is why the European summits, which bring together the heads of all the EU member states, are accompanied by massive demonstrations against the Europe of the Bosses. Meeting behind closed doors, a tiny number of those who rule Europe are making decisions that will effect the lives of every one of the hundreds of millions of people living in the European Union as well as the countries to the east and North Africa. The worke... (From:
“Weaning Northern Ireland off the breast of Britannia could be a painful process, one which cannot be rushed most commentators insist” (Business and Finance, September 1994) Last Autumn the speed at which events in Northern Ireland were moving wrong-footed pundits across the political spectrum. British soldiers shouldered arms and swaped hard hats for natty berets, loyalists attacked police stations, Gerry Adams was “Mandelifeid” (to coin a phrase) into a serious statesman with a cute North Belfast brogue. Conor Mc Loughlin examines the possibilities and limitations of the “peace process” The first thing to say is that the IRA cease-fire is a positive step. The armed campaign was incapable of de... (From:
Like almost any political term, ‘anarchism’ is very broad in scope and covers a huge range of ideas and practice. Instead of trying to give an exhaustive description, or detail everything that is and isn’t anarchism, this article will attempt to get to the heart of it, and capture the essence, as far as possible, at the core of anarchism. Giving a complete definition of such a broad term would take many more words than will fit here and has been done well in other places (e.g. An Anarchist FAQ). Any short, simple statement trying to define anarchism will necessarily fall short: it will lack nuance, depth, and be open to misinterpretation. However, if a concise defining phrase is what we’re seeking then, “favor... (From:
The explosion and fire at the Hickson chemical plant in Ringaskiddy, Cork, last August, has gone down as one of the most serious industrial accidents in Ireland to date. Though no fatalities resulted, it is now clear that this outcome was only a matter of luck. One worker, the first to notice that something was wrong, left the site of the explosion minutes before it blew up. And the explosion itself, occured shortly before shifts were due to change on that morning of August 6th. Just as serious, for a period of time, a number of chemicals — carbon disulfide and the cancer causing dimethyl sulfate — were in danger of being drawn into the fire which swept the production facility and, had this occured, there is no doubt that a muc... (From:
LAURENCE DORAN, a retired Guinness worker from Greenhills, was taken to Rathfarnham Court in February. South Dublin County Council want to cut off his water supply. Laurence is among tens of thousands refusing to pay the water charges. The tables were quickly turned on Judge Smithwick and the County Council. Instead of being meek and shy, as you are supposed to be in court, Laurence gave them a lecture about justice. “The PAYE taxpayer is paying for everything in this country while the big farmers, wealthy self-employed and super rich in this country get away with tax evasion. During the last eight years PAYE taxes collected from farmers and from the wealthy self-employed have fallen. If the wealthy paid their due taxes, PAYE tax... (From:
DO YOU REMEMBER Democratic Left’s election promises? The party who contested the last election on an anti-service charges platform have convinced their Fine Gael and Labor partners to drag non-payers through the courts instead of immediately cutting off their water. Hurrah! Like all professional politicians, DL see no reason to stand by their election promises. According to their way of doing things, voters are merely sheep who can be told anything to get their votes and then promptly forgotten about. Before the Act was even passed householders in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown and Fingal got letters threatening them with instant court action if they didn’t pay up without delay. This scare tactic was intended to frighten people ... (From:
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