One hundred years ago in Russia, thousands of workers were on strike in the city of Astrakhan and at the Putilov factory in Petrograd, the capital of the revolution. Strikes at the Putilov factory had been one of the principal sparks that set off the February Revolution in 1917, ending the czarist regime. Now, the bosses were party bureaucrats, and the workers were striking against a socialist government. How would the dictatorship of the proletariat respond?
In March 1919, the Bolsheviks had uncontested power over the Russian state, but the revolution was slipping from their grasp. As self-styled pragmatists and realists, they believed that revolution had to be dictated from above by experts. Who can better unde... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The new year breaks on a turbulent world. Increasingly superfluous, we pour into the service industry—greasing the wheels for consumption rather than producing anything of lasting value—or scavenge at the margins. Forced to be ever more flexible and mobile, competing against ever-broadening swaths of the population for ever more precarious jobs, we aren’t just atomized, we’ve become plasma—a shapeless, reactive mass in which even the most elementary bonds have been broken.
This doesn’t signify the triumph of capitalism, but a new phase of uncertainty for the system as well as its subjects. Today, even liberals acknowledge that 99% of the population has little stake in perpetuating the status quo. Y... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Following up our coverage of resistance to the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg, we present the conclusion to our coverage of the 2018 G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the demonstrations against it. For two decades, we have studied global political and economic summits as sites for protest and intervention. For this purpose, it is just as important to study the summits at which the state has succeeded in imposing social peace, however artificial, as the summits at which they have completely lost control of the situation. A complete analysis of the summit in Buenos Aires would have to begin with the ¡Que se vayan todos! uprising of 2001 and trace the subsequent cooptation of Argentine social movements to account for the difference b... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On November 30 and December 1, the 2018 G20 summit will bring together the rulers of the 20 most powerful nations for a meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina to strategize about how to maintain world domination. Following the courageous disruption and mass unrest during last year’s G20 summit in Hamburg, the whole world is watching to see what will happen in Buenos Aires. Organizers have planned a global week of action expressing opposition to the concentration of power in the hands of politicians and capitalists and conveying a vision of a more egalitarian world. Our international correspondents in Buenos Aires will be reporting to us daily. Below, you can read the reports from the last few days before the mobilization and review our co... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Sexual assault and abuse continue to plague anarchist circles and spaces. In response, we’ve developed processes to hold each other accountable outside of the state. But why can’t we seem to get them right? This essay examines the context in which these community accountability models emerged and analyzes the pitfalls we’ve encountered in trying to apply them. To move beyond the impasse around sexual violence within our scenes, we need to challenge the idea of community itself and take our resistance in new directions.
“I don’t believe in accountability anymore… my anger and hopelessness about the current model are proportional to how invested I’ve been in the past. Accou... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) As the effects of the toppling of the Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continue to ripple out, we’ve obtained two narratives of the night’s events. The first statement is from Maya Little, the Black graduate student who helped catalyze the revolt against the statue by participating in a sit-in against it and then, when that did not succeed, dousing it in paint and her own blood. The second is from another anonymous anarchist, who connects the victory in Chapel Hill with the events of “All Out August,” a month of resistance to fascism, prisons, police, and other manifestations of white supremacy and oppression.
Whose Streets? A Statement from Maya Little
On Monday night, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) A specter is haunting the Western world: the specter of Adultery.
If the two-party relationship system is the pinnacle achievement of a hundred thousand years of human loving, why is adultery so common that it’s practically counted on as material for bourgeois drawing room humor … and employment for a whole army of marriage counselors? If all any of us truly desire is our “one true love,” why can’t we keep our hands off everyone else?
If you really want to know, you should cut straight to the source and ask the adulterer himself. Or maybe you don’t have to go that far—maybe you’ve had adulterous affairs or inclinations of your own, as the statistics suggest.
“Good Marri... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) You and your friends already compose an informal organizational structure capable of tremendous achievements. Here’s the theory to go with that practice.
You will need ( tools or supplies ):
A circle of friends
A good idea
Plans for different scenarios
Structures to respond to unexpected scenarios
A little courage (may be optional, but should be at hand just in case)
Chances are, even if you have never been involved in direct action before, even if this is the first radical website you have ever encountered, that you are already part of an affini... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The speed with which the Taliban have recaptured Afghanistan ahead of the United States pullout illustrates how fragile the hegemony of the US empire is: how much force it takes to maintain it and how quickly everything can change when that force is withdrawn. It offers a glimpse into a possible post-imperial future—though hardly a promising one. How did the occupation impact the people of Afghanistan? Why were the Taliban able to regain so much territory so quickly? What do the US withdrawal and its consequences tell us about the future and how we might prepare for it?
The War on Terror, like the Cold War before it, has forced whole populations to choose between mutually undesirable binaries, making it difficult to imagine any... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) What to Do While the Dust is Settling
At the high point, it seems like it will go on forever. You feel invincible, unstoppable. Then the crash comes: court cases, disintegration, depression.
Once you go through this several times, the rhythm becomes familiar. It becomes possible to recognize these upheavals as the heartbeat of something greater than any single movement.
Over the past six years, cities around the world have seen peaks of struggle: Athens, London, Barcelona, Cairo, Oakland, Montréal, Istanbul. A decade ago, anarchists would converge from around the world to participate in a single summit protest. Now many have participated in months-long upheavals in their own cities, and more surel... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Trump le Monde
The final Presidential debate of 2016 was a gala event in Las Vegas pitting a reality TV star against the latest representative of a political dynasty. It was set up as a symbolic clash between business and politics, with the roles cast so convincingly that it was really possible to imagine the two categories to be at odds. The antagonism of the candidates was still more believable because everyone shares it: these are the most unpopular Presidential candidates in history, at a time when both business and politics have lost their credibility. But these are our choices—right?
“Just remember, you are not a participant here,” the Fox News anchor reminded us. “At the end of the debate, you ca... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The CrimethInc Ex-Workers Ex-Collective Revolutionary Task Force on Terrorism:
A New Morning Breaks…
When I laid down my weary head to rest on Monday, September 10, 2001, I felt that I had a fairly clear idea of where the anarchist project was heading in the next few years and of what my part in that project was to be. We were picking up momentum, patiently building the infrastructure that we hoped would ultimately facilitate the system’s demise and occasionally confronting it, overtly by day and covertly by night. We did the quiet work, built quiet armies, and went largely unnoticed while the powers that be largely slept — so fat, lazy, senile and over-confident that it really did seem like maybe we could just ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) From notes prepared for a panel discussion at the 2010 Babylonia festival in Athens, Greece, at which a CrimethInc. agent was invited to speak about “The End of Ideology and the Future Events”
While religious fundamentalism is still a powerful force, ideology seems to be on the wane as a motor of secular revolutionary activity. The days are long past when groups like the Communist Party could command millions of adherents worldwide. Should anarchists celebrate this decline, positioning ourselves atop the crashing wave of history? Is ideology itself the problem?
But what would it mean to be against ideology? To get to the bottom of this, we have to understand precisely what we mean by the term.
These w... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
From one side, our lives are threatened by a new virus; from the other side, our freedom is menaced by nationalists and authoritarians intent on using this opportunity to set new precedents for state intervention and control. If we accept this dichotomy—between life and freedom—we will continue paying the price long after this particular pandemic has passed. In fact, each is bound up in the other, dependent upon the other. In the following report, our comrades in Italy describe the conditions prevailing there, the causes of the escalating crisis, and the ways that the Italian government has taken advantage of the situation to consolidate power in ways that will only exacerbate future crises.
At this po... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) 148 years ago this week, on April 6, 1871, armed participants in the revolutionary Paris Commune seized the guillotine that was stored near the prison in Paris. They brought it to the foot of the statue of Voltaire, where they smashed it into pieces and burned it in a bonfire, to the applause of an immense crowd. This was a popular action arising from the grassroots, not a spectacle coordinated by politicians. At the time, the Commune controlled Paris, which was still inhabited by people of all classes; the French and Prussian armies surrounded the city and were preparing to invade it in order to impose the conservative Republican government of Adolphe Thiers. In these conditions, burning the guillotine was a brave gesture repudiating th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Looking back over the past decade, it appears that North American law enforcement agencies are increasingly utilizing conspiracy charges to target anarchists and others involved in radical communities. We’ve composed a review of recent conspiracy cases in hopes of analyzing what we can do to discourage the state from pursuing this strategy of repression. Meanwhile, our comrades are embarking on a nationwide tour to address this same issue.
If conspiracy charges are becoming central to the state’s strategy against anarchists, it is imperative that we develop a strategy of our own to respond to this and seize the initiative rather than simply reacting over and over to individual cases. This text is a humble effort in that directi... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) After several recent disappointing and hurtful experiences—and to be clear, a lifetime of related minor and major run-ins with friends, comrades, and activists—my need is unrelenting for us to rethink how we engage with the question of otherness and our organizing. How do we integrate a genuine approach to oppression and anti-oppression? This writing takes apart the concept of “ally” in political work with a focus on race, though clearly there are parallels across other experiences of identity.
Charity Is to Solidarity What Ally Is to Affinity
Thanks to experience working with indigenous and other international solidarity movements, anarchists and antiauthoritarians draw a clear line between charity and solidarity ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In the modern world, control is exerted over us automatically by the spaces we live and move in. We go through certain rituals in our lives — work, “leisure,” consumption, submission — because the world we live in is designed for these alone. We all know malls are for shopping, offices are for working, ironically-named “living” rooms are for watching television, and schools are for obeying teachers. All the spaces we travel in have pre-set meanings, and all it takes to keep us going through the same motions is to keep us moving along the same paths. It’s hard to find anything to do in Walmart but look at and purchase merchandise; and, accustomed to doing this as we are, it’s hard to conceive t... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The 20th Century has marked the end of the millennium that saw the world become colonized by and organized under Western civilization, that saw the industrial revolution and overpopulation restructure both humanity and the very surface of the earth itself. This century began with fifty years of alternating slaughter, starvation, and rabid nationalism such as the human race had never seen before. It is concluding with an ominous silence among young people in the United States and much of Europe, for with the end of the “Cold War” the idea that there really is any alternative at all to our modern living conditions and society is becoming hard to conceive of; and in the meantime, we are becoming more and more organized and arranged... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On January 1, 2019, Jair Bolsonaro will assume the presidency of Brazil. His candidacy, his government, and his allies represent the worst in any society: authoritarianism, sexism, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Capitalism combined with strong fascist tendencies! We are calling on everyone to resist.
The new president has already shown that his government sees political minorities as their primary targets. He will attack the rights of workers, of women, of the poor, the black and suburban populations, the entire LGBTTIQ community, indigenous peoples, and immigrants, putting their lives put at risk.
Using fake news, rumors, and distortions of the facts, Bolsonaro and his supporters have influenced millions of people, evading debate ab... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Quitting your job was about having more time to do what needs doing, not just isolating yourself from the rest of humanity — wasn’t it?
If one makes propaganda extolling what is revolutionary about shoplifting, one is not necessarily trying to get would-be revolutionaries to shoplift so they can be “more revolutionary” [obviously a stupid approach if there ever was one — although exploring the tactical benefits of shoplifting for a class of people looking to do less buying might make sense] — one might instead be trying to identify for shoplifters what is already insurrectionary in their actions, so they can broaden their analysis of their own lives.
Crimethought is not any ideology or value system or l... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchism and the English Language
George Orwell, in his classic essay, “Politics and the English Language,” makes the case that “the English language… becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”
The vices Orwell cataloged—vague phrases, dying metaphors, jargon, and general pseudoscientific pretentiousness—all help to sustain our boring prose. But worse, they also produce a stagnant and stifling mental atmosphere in which thought is commonly replaced with the automatic recitation of certain prescribed words or phrases “tacked together,” as Orwell memorably put it... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) This year, several major films from South Korea depict rebels or outright anarchists. Okja portrays the Animal Liberation Front; Anarchist from Colony tells the story of Park Yeol and Fumiko Kaneko, two anarchist nihilists who have become national heroes in Korea; A Taxi Driver dramatizes the Gwanju uprising of 1980. Why are anarchists suddenly appearing in Korean cinema? What’s the context behind these films? And how can they inform how we frame our own narratives in a time of resurgent nationalism and unrest?
South Korea, 2017. The new year arrived with a surge of demonstrations expressing disgust at the state of the nation. “Is this a/our country?” went a popular slogan. The state apparatus played for time by starting... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Two years have passed since the demonstrations against Donald Trump’s inauguration. Thanks to an epic legal struggle, all the charges have been resolved or dropped. Now we can discuss what there is to learn from the events of January 20 and the ensuing court cases. This article focuses on the march that took place on the day itself, utilizing a wealth of information that came to light during the subsequent investigation. We will follow it with an analysis of the J20 legal battle and solidarity efforts, as well as additional perspectives from participants.
On January 20, anarchists took on the most powerful empire in the history of the solar system at the heart of the spectacle intended to legitimize its rule—at precisely the mo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) 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... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The past two weeks have seen a fierce new protest movement in Bosnia, commencing with the destruction of government buildings and continuing with the establishment of popular assemblies. Unlike the recent conflicts in Ukraine, this movement has eschewed nationalistic strife to focus on class issues. In a region infamous for ethnic bloodshed, this offers a more promising direction for the Eastern European uprisings to come.
To gain more insight into the protests, we conducted two interviews. The first is with a participant in Mostar, Bosnia, who describes the events firsthand. The second is with a comrade in a nearby part of the Balkans, who explains the larger context of the movement, evaluating its potential to spread to other parts of th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Since 1997, when it ceased to be the last major colonial holding of Great Britain, Hong Kong has been a part of the People’s Republic of China, while maintaining a distinct political and legal system. In February, an unpopular bill was introduced that would make it possible to extradite fugitives in Hong Kong to countries that the Hong Kong government has no existing extradition agreements with—including mainland China. On June 9, over a million people took the streets in protest; on June 12, protesters engaged in pitched confrontations with police; on June 16, two million people participated in one of the biggest marches in the city’s history. The following interview with an anarchist collective in Hong Kong explores the ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) January 20, 2018 marked the conclusion of the first year of the Trump era—a string of back-to-back crises that made unprecedented demands on US anarchists. Despite limited numbers and resources, we rose admirably to those challenges. Congratulations on a roller coaster of a year! Now it’s time to analyze how we succeeded, identify the opportunities we missed, and—above all—prepare for what comes next.
Over the past year, we’ve disrupted the far-right attempt to legitimize a more totalitarian strategy of governance and pushed back the threat of a street-level fascist movement. Neither of these victories are complete, but we achieved them against incredible odds. In 2018, we’ll have to continue fighting th... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) On Sunday, October 1, the Catalan government held a referendum about Catalan independence from Spain in flagrant defiance of the Spanish government. Massive open clashes between Catalan voters and Spanish police took place throughout the region. A general strike is called for October 3 as a showdown looms between rival politicians and, perhaps, rival states. This situation poses complex challenges: how do anarchists show solidarity to partisans of Catalan independence against police repression without legitimizing nationalism, democracy, or a new Catalan state and its police? We spoke with several anarchists throughout the region and translated these three reports to offer insight into how Catalan anarchists are approaching these questions.... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In 1884, cholera tore through Italy, claiming thousands of lives. Despite a three-year prison sentence hanging over his head, Errico Malatesta joined other revolutionary anarchists on a daring mission to Naples—the heart of the epidemic—to treat those suffering from the disease. In so doing, he and his comrades demonstrated an alternative to coercive state policies that remains relevant today in the age of COVID-19.
The following text recounts the story of the outbreak and Malatesta’s intervention, including all the available primary materials about the Italian anarchists’ participation, some of which have not previously appeared in English. Much of the historical background is drawn from Frank M. Snowden’s ex... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)