There is an old argument among anarchists. The argument starts with the nature of unions, and ends with the conclusion that revolutionaries shouldn’t attempt to build libertarian alternatives outside the unions, and instead should enter into the established unions and agitate for anarchism there. Though the argument doesn’t derive from Malatesta, he wrote it most succintly and is an inspiration for many. Looking at the argument we can see the missing pieces, and why this orientation towards unions is mistaken.
Malatesta’s argument goes as follows.
A union is set up to improve working conditions. In order for it to make good on their demands, the unions have to bring together large enough groups. If workers mu... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The rise of the right and the incapacity of the institutional left to offer an alternative is pressing the crucial question for our time: what is our strategy in pre-revolutionary times? The revolutionary left is fixated on the ruptures and revolutions of history, and this has done little to prepare us for the present. In the United States there are no nation-wide social movements to draw upon in forging a new social force. Resistance remains largely fragmented, and more often than not abstracted from the struggles of daily life and carried out by a semiprofessional activist subculture. The challenge then is where to begin, or more specifically how to move beyond the knowledge, experiences, and groups of the past two decades towards a broad... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
The terrain is changing beneath our feet. Since the collapse of the majority of the “official Communist” regimes, the world has witnessed both events and ideas that have undermined the former dominant thinking within the left. The Zapatistas, Argentina in 2001, South Korean workers movements, Oaxaca in 2006, the struggles around anti-globalization, and Greece’s series of insurrectionary moments have increasingly presented challenges to traditional left answers to movements and organization. In previous eras Marxist-Leninism was the nexus which all currents by default had to respond to either in agreement or critique. Today, increasingly anarchist practices and theory have come to play this role.
As a member of an an... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
This essay is an argument for moving towards national organization in the United States and was published in April 2013 during the opening of the process that led to the founding of what became Black Rose/Rosa Negra. It aims to explore the limitations of political organization today, recent positive experiences, and possible ways to build in the present moment.
In the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades, the left stands at a crossroads. Despite widespread anxiety, restructuring, stirrings, and disruptions, the left has been unable to respond or develop bases for movements and revolutionary organization in any meaningful sense. In many ways the eruption of the Occupy movement onto the center stage with all of its weaknesses ... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“Let there be as much class struggle as one wishes, if by class struggle one means the struggle of the exploited against the exploiters for the abolition of exploitation. That struggle is a way of moral and material elevation, and it is the main revolutionary force that can be relied on.”
Recently there have been various references to the ideas of the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta either in books and pamphlets or in blogs. For example the blog of Scott Nappalos has the following: ‘Anarchism and the unions: a critique of Malatesta’s ahistorical perspective’.
I quote in length from the article:
“There are three main errors in Malatesta’s argument that... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
Political organization is a collective answer to common problems. People organize based on a collective sense of need, and the perspectives and problems encountered in social groups crystallize into organizational forms and moments. This is a general historical trend; even without a theory, organization emerges to meet concrete needs that cannot be solved except by building social forms to address them.
Part I: Trajectories of Struggle, the Intermediate Level, and Political Rapprochement
Political organization is a collective answer to common problems. People organize based on a collective sense of need, and the perspectives and problems encountered in social groups crystallize into organizational forms and moments. This is a gene... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
January 22, 2021; 4:12:16 PM (America/Los_Angeles)