Author: Zabalaza Books
Author: Tom Brown | File size: 321 KB
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
Author: Dónal O Driscoll | File size: 282 KB
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
Author: Aidan Rowe | File size: 886 KB
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
Author: Thomas (MAS) | File size: 279 KB
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….
Author: Scott Rittenhouse | File size: 517 KB
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….
Author: Scott Nappalos | File size: 379 KB
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….
Author: Adam Weaver | File size: 303 KB
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.
Author: Marcus Graham | File size: 288 KB
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.
Author: James Connolly | File size: 235 KB
“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
Author: Sam Dolgoff | File size: 892 KB
“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
Author: Unknown | File size: 193 KB
“Now we all know – the last fifty years’ experience has proved it –that nothing will be done unless the working men … show their teeth to the richer classes. Talk, talk and again talk – and nothing else will be done unless the rich feel menaced in their fortunes and their senseless, lazy existence. Talk in the churches, talk in Parliament, talk in the drawing rooms amidst small “Society talk,” talk in the Boards of Guardians; and – damnably true it is! – as much talk and no action – in the Socialist’ and Labour meetings….”
Reprinted from Freedom: A Journal of Anarchist Communism, October, 1908
Author: Carlo Cafiero | File size: 256 KB
“At the Congress … a speaker who was distinguished by his bitterness against anarchists said: ‘Communism and anarchy howl to find themselves together!’
Another speaker who also spoke against anarchists … cried when speaking of economic liberty: ‘How can liberty be violated when there is equality?’
Well, I think that these two speakers were wrong….”
First published as a pamphlet by Emile Darnaud in Foix (southern France) in 1890
Author: Emile Pouget | File size: 850 KB
“Direct Action is the symbol of revolutionary unionism in action. This formula is representative of the twofold battle against exploitation and oppression. It proclaims, with inherent clarity, the direction and orientation of the working class’s endeavours in its relentless attack upon capitalism.
Direct Action is a notion of such clarity, of such self-evident transparency, that merely to speak the words defines and explains them. It means that the working class, in constant rebellion against the existing state of affairs, expects nothing from outside people, powers or forces, but rather creates its own conditions of struggle and looks to itself for its means of action…”
First published by the Fresnes-Antony Group of the French Anarchist Federation, 1994
ZB: we repost this obituary from the WSA’s Ideas and Action site to pay our respects to Scott Rittenhouse.
We first had contact with Scott a number of years back when he got into contact with us about republishing some of the texts he had written [See the pamphlet Why You Should Not Trust the Church and the 'Fundamentals of Anarchism' leaflets What is Free Association?, Anarchism and Immigration, What is Mutual Aid?, Anarchism and Freedom and What is Anti-Authoritarianism?]. We did not have contact again for a numbers of years until about a month ago when he wrote us an email about publishing some more works of his. Not having the time then, we were not able to do so and now it is with a heavy heart that we read this.
If any of Scott’s comrades have access to his texts that are as yet unpublished, please can they send them to us so that we may show our respects for our comrade by publishing them. You can contact us via the Contact page above.
We send our condolences to all the friends, family and comrades of Scott… his loss was a great loss to us all.
Mourn… and Organise!