Author: Zabalaza Books

[Leaflet] The Importance of a Liberatory Process: a Critique of Fetishized Militancy

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[Leaflet] The Importance of a Liberatory Process: a Critique of Fetishized MilitancyAuthor: Scott Nappalos  |  File size: 55 KB

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Militancy is revered on the left. Whether insurrectionary violence or mass militancy of social movements, the form and level of militancy serves as a marker of the relative power and progressive nature of a movement. Insurrectionists fetishize either mere acts alone (independently of who does them, groups or individuals) or fetishize violent acts as signs of collective will. Some social movement organizers take militancy to indicate a progressive or revolutionary nature of a movement. Looking at militancy and militant acts alone however is bound to be distorting and lead us down garden paths. A militant event occurs in a social context and through a social process, and these facts bare on the meaning of militancy as a historical phenomenon….

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The Fundamental Requirement for Organised Safer Space

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The Fundamental Requirement for Organised Safer SpaceAuthor: Anarchist Federation  |  File size: 236 KB

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This article will be a very basic introduction to the foundations of safer spaces, community accountability and transformational justice that arise from elements present from the very inception of anarchism as a political philosophy. These concepts are responses to verbal, physical and sexual abuse that have always been present within radical communities and continue to present a challenge to this day. As such this article will touch on all forms of abuse from problematic language through to rape and physical violence. An example of one such policy can be seen at http://bit.ly/1207uq8

This article was first published in the Anarchist Federation’s
Organise! magazine #80, Summer 2013.

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[Leaflet] Do you really want to overthrow capitalism?

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Do you really want to overthrow capitalism?Author: Nate Hawthorne  |  File size: 41.5 KB

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Some of us struggle to articulate our core values and our main ideas in a non-specialist vocabulary. There’s a place for specialized vocabulary, but we need to challenge ourselves to be able to make our points in other vocabularies as well. The following two documents attempt this. They were written shortly after the Jimmy John’s Workers Union campaign went public in Minneapolis. The first appeared in the newsletter of the Twin Cities branch of the IWW.

From: RECOMPOSITION: Notes for a New Workerism
http://recompositionblog.wordpress.com  |   http://recomposition.info/

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Short Circuit: Towards an Anarchist Approach to Gentrification

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Short Circuit: Towards an Anarchist Approach to GentrificationAuthor: Two Toronto Members of Common Cause  |  File size: 1.22 MB

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Gentrification, etymologically speaking, is a relatively new word, coined in 1964 by the English Marxist sociologist Ruth Glass. Conceptually, some would claim that it has been a feature of urban life for hundreds of years. Between 1853 and 1870, for instance, the Haussmannization of Paris forced thousands of poor people from the centre of the city, where rents had traditionally been cheaper, to the urban periphery; these migrations were the forced results of structural changes Baron Haussmann had proposed to the city’s urban geography, and rapidly increasing rents. We might anachronistically consider displacements such as these an example of gentrification, but, as we will explore below, the term has some specificity and nuance that such comparisons fail to capture.

From the first volume of Mortar, the theoretical journal of Common Cause

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Principles of Syndicalism

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Principles of Syndicalism by Tom BrownAuthor: Tom Brown  |  File size: 321 KB

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Written by the well-known activist and propagandist Tom Brown, this text explains clearly the principles according to which syndicalist unions organise, and the new society they aim to create “within the shell of the old”.

This simple introduction to syndicalism, workers control and libertarian communism originally appeared as a series of articles in War Commentary for Anarchism in 1943. Excerpted from Tom Brown’s Syndicalism, Phoenix Press, London, July 1990.
This text from: Anarcho-Syndicalism 101

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Towards an Anarchist Anti-Racism

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Towards an Anarchist Anti-Racism by Dónal O DriscollAuthor: Dónal O Driscoll  |  File size: 282 KB

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While there is a tradition of grassroots campaigning against racism in Ireland, there is less discussion of what it means to be an anti-racist from an anarchist perspective. Most material focuses on obvious forms such as hate-speech or supporting Travellers & migrants in practical terms. The issue this article seeks to raise is that in order to get it right we also need to look at ourselves on a personal level, recognise privilege and develop a wider critique that is truer to our own politics.

From the Workers Solidarity Movement’s Irish Anarchist Review, #5 – Summer 2012

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The Politics of Voices: Notes on Gender, Race & Class

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The Politics of Voices: Notes on Gender, Race & Class by Aidan RoweAuthor: Aidan Rowe  |  File size: 886 KB

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As class-struggle anarchists dealing with the relations between gender, race and class, we must, in theory and practice, pick a path between two pitfalls. On one side is economic reductionism – the reduction of all political questions to the social relations of production – which erases the perspectives and struggles of women, queers and people of colour; submerges their voices within an overly generalised class narrative, in which the idealised Worker is implicitly white heterosexual and male; or consigns their struggles to a secondary importance compared to the “real struggle” of (economic) class against class. On the other is a stultifying and inward-looking liberal-idealist identity politics, concerned fetishistically with the identification of privilege and the self-regulation of individual oppressive behaviour to the (near) exclusion of organised struggle, which, while amplifying the voices of the marginalised, consigns them to an echo chamber where they can resonate harmlessly….

This article is from the Workers Solidarity Movement’s Irish Anarchist Review, No. 7 – Spring 2013

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Building Power and Advancing: For Reforms, Not Reformism

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Building Power and Advancing: For Reforms, Not Reformism by Thomas / MASAuthor: Thomas (MAS)  |  File size: 279 KB

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As anarchist communists, we are against reformism. However, we are for reforms. We believe that fundamentally the entire system of capitalism, the state and all systems of hierarchy, domination, oppression and exploitation of humans over humans must be abolished and replaced with a direct democracy, egalitarian social relations and a classless economy that bases contribution according to ability and distribution according to need. However, such a social revolution can only occur through the power of the popular classes themselves from the bottom-up. In advancing towards such a social revolution and a free and equal society, we must build our power in preparation for this fundamental transformation of the world, building on struggles along the way….

From the website of Miami Autonomy & Solidarity  |  See also: www.anarkismo.net

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Anarcho-Syndicalism and Principles of Urban Planning

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Anarcho-Syndicalism and Principles of Urban Planning by Scott RittenhouseAuthor: Scott Rittenhouse  |  File size: 517 KB

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Urban Planning is neither boulevards for conquerors, nor a landscape for the palaces of the rich, nor an opportunity for land speculators, nor a design opportunity for artists, nor a conspiracy for social engineers.

Urban planning is conducted to promote the health, safety, and well-being of people living together in urbanized areas; to enable people in urbanized areas to use scarce resources efficiently (all natural resources are “scarce”: supply and demand equals scarcity); and to mitigate the impact of population growth on the health of the planet.

Under capitalism, planning has been used to service the interests of the rich who own property [real estate] and the means of production. Under Anarchism, these will be “socialized”: expropriated, collectively “owned” by the Free Commune / Community, used and self-managed by workers and residents, non-transferable, and non-saleable. People will be able to make the land use decisions which meet their needs and make their lives better. There will be no “property values” or land speculation….

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Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation

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Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation by Scott NappalosAuthor: Scott Nappalos  |  File size: 379 KB

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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 organisation. 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 anarchist political organisation, a friend once told me I in fact was practicing democratic centralism. This was perplexing, because the group had no resembling structures, practices, or the associated behaviours of democratic centralism….

Related Links: https://miamiautonomyandsolidarity.wordpress.com | http://anarkismo.net

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From Theory to Practice, Taking a Critical Look at Leninism

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From Theory to Practice, Taking a Critical Look at Leninism by Adam WeaverAuthor: Adam Weaver  |  File size: 303 KB

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Where can those looking for a critical understanding of Lenin turn? How can we better understand how the Russian Revolution began as the first modern anti-capitalist revolution from below with workers taking over and running their workplaces, peasants seizing the land, and the creation of democratic soviets (worker committees)? And then in less than a decade its devolution into the brutal dictatorship of Stalin? Is there a continuity between the ideas of Lenin and his particular brand of Marxism that reshaped the Marxist movement in the 1920’s and the number of revolutionary parties that would later achieve state power and claim the Bolshevik party and Lenin as their model and inspiration?

This is a piece that was originally posted to Machete 408 by Adam Weaver. It is a review/summation piece, which is released in conjunction with a piece by Scott Nappolas which presents an extensive discussion of Lenin’s concept of democratic centralism. See Democratic Centralism in Practice and Idea: A Critical Evaluation by Scott Nappalos, now published by Zabalaza Books.

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Marxism and a Free Society

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Marxism and a Free Society by Marcus GrahamAuthor: Marcus Graham  |  File size: 288 KB

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Isaac Deutscher’s lecture “On Socialist Man” was given to the second annual Socialist Scholars Conference held at the Hotel Commodore, New York, on September 9-11, 1966. Deutscher had come from London as the principal invited guest at the conference. This reply to Deutscher’s address by Romanian-American anarchist writer Marcus Graham deals, in particular, with the Minutes of the First International and the sabotaging of the Hague Congress by the Marx clique.

First published 1976 by Simian Publications (Cienfuegos Press), Over the Water, Sanday, Orkney, KW172BL.
See: www.christiebooks.com

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Industrial Unionism and Constructive Socialism

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Industrial Unionism and Constructive Socialism by James ConnollyAuthor: James Connolly  |  File size: 235 KB

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“There is not a Socialist in the world today who can indicate with any degree of clearness how we can bring about the co-operative commonwealth except along the lines suggested by industrial organisation of the workers.

Political institutions are not adapted to the administration of industry. Only industrial organisations are adapted to the administration of a co-operative commonwealth that we are working for. Only the industrial form of organisation offers us even a theoretical constructive Socialist programme. There is no constructive Socialism except in the industrial field.”

The above extracts from the speech of Delegate Stirton, editor of the Wage Slave, of Hancock, Michigan, so well embody my ideas upon this matter that I have thought well to take them as a text for an article in explanation of the structural form of Socialist society. In a previous chapter I have analysed the weakness of the craft or trade union form of organisation alike as a weapon of defence against the capitalist class in everyday conflict on the economic field, and as a generator of class consciousness on the political field, and pointed out the greater effectiveness for both purposes of an industrial form of organisation…

From Socialism Made Easy, 1908

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A Critique of Marxism

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A Critique of Marxism by Sam DolgoffAuthor: Sam Dolgoff  |  File size: 892 KB

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“This summation is written in response to young people seeking clarification of the main issues involved in the classic controversy between Marxists and anarchists. The subject matter is arranged in the form of extracts from relevant sources. The anarchists as well as the marxists speak for themselves in quotations culled from their works. Since the non-anarchist critique of Marxism has taken a libertarian direction, we have also included extracts from such writings….”

First published by Soil of Liberty, Minneapolis, 1983

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