A Few Words: On the Aims and Methods of Critique
The development of a coherent anarchist practice based on our desire to take back our lives requires the ongoing use of critical analysis on all levels. But, as with the totality of anarchist practice, critique is only useful when one is clear about the aims of the practice and develops methods consistent with those aims. Here as in all other areas of practice, our means need to embody our ends.
For the sake of simplicity and clarity, we can speak of three general areas in which critical analysis is necessary: 1) the critique of the present society, of the institutions, systems and relationships that produce and maintain domination and exploitation; 2) historical critique, the critical ex... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Don’t ask for the formula for opening up worlds
to you in some syllable like a bent dry branch.
Today we can only tell you what we are not,
what we don’t want. — E. Montale
Life cannot simply be something to cling to. This thought skims through everyone at least once. We have a possibility that makes us freer than the gods: we can quit. This is an idea to be savored to the end. Nothing and no one is obliging us to live. Not even death. For that reason our life is a tabula rasa, a slate on which nothing has been written, so contains all the words possible. With such freedom, we cannot live as slaves. Slavery is for those who are condemned to live, those constrained to eternity, not for us. For us there is the unk... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
The increasing contrast between the real workers’ movement and the ‘official’ spokesmen (parties of the left, trades unions, etc.) is a direct consequence of the latters’ failure to fulfill their professed task of freeing the workers from exploitation. Every day that passes demonstrates to whoever wants to see it that these organs have no intention of challenging the basic structure of capitalism, and are now making quite unashamed appeals to the workers to make sacrifices, accept unemployment, wage cuts, increased prices, and so on, in order to save the economy for their employers.
Strangely, those who seem most reluctant to see things as they are, are the conscious minority where even anarchists ar... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The conditions surrounding what remains of the human being are far more bewildering for the young, those still looking towards the future not having on their back the abyss waiting to open and swallow up an old man.
I am well aware that the following considerations might move some to laughter, and I’d like to see young readers do such. What to do with an old man’s words? What can they mean to those looking wide-eyed at the wonders that await them far from cataloging a life that has seen everything?
After all, youthful hopes and strength are precisely there, almost made to be deliberately squandered when confronted with others’ advice and experience.
That is the way of the world, and as I am now playing the role of talki... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)