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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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
“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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)

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