From BR/RN: It is often said that history is a weapon but it also serves as a reflection of the past through which we make better sense of the present. With this in mind we present Julia Tenenbaum’s narrative on anarchist feminism which emerged as a distinct current from the larger radicalization of the 1960s and 70s period. You can purchase a copy of Perspectives issue 29, which this article appeared in, from AK Press here!
Almost sixty years ago in 1962, Algeria broke free from French state control, after a seven year long militarised campaign of bombing, armed resistance, and workers struggle, largely organised by the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN). The campaign for political independence had escalated from bombings to assassinations to full scale insurgency, with the French state resorting to torture, civilian bombings, and military occupation to protect its colonial holding. The victory of the independence movement saw a massive re-organisation of the political system by a socialist leaning president Ben Bella who was tasked with constituting the new independent Algerian state, as well as managing an explosion of autogestion, a movement of workers’ self-management of industries and communities by workers collectives.
This text was found at the Red & Black Notes site. The author sends special thanks to Dan and Luke for editing drafts of this work.
This pamphlet introduces the concepts anarchists have used to frame collaboration with other tendencies during struggle. Including the United Front, Popular Front, Workers Alliance and the Combative Tendency
It is no exaggeration to say that we are at a turning point in history.
Our collective response to the global crises we are now facing will determine our success in not only the next few years, but the next few decades – perhaps even the next century. The coronavirus pandemic has, of course, become the dominant issue of 2020, but the climate crisis has not halted or even slowed its progress behind the scenes. Bushfires sweep the globe as summers come and go, and the tipping points beyond which recovery will become impossible are cascading one-by-one. Time is running out.
These 2 texts were found at the Red & Black Notes site. The first article, Towards a Radical Ecology: an Anarchist Response to the Climate Crisis was written by T. H. Livingstone and James Sherriff. The author of the second article, There is No Parliamentary Road to Climate Justice is unknown.
Capitalist society depends on class exploitation. It does not though depend on sexism and could in theory accommodate to a large extent a similar treatment of women and men. This is obvious if we look at what the fight for women’s liberation has achieved in many societies around the world over the last, say, 100 years, where there has been radical improvements in the situation of women and the underlying assumptions of what roles are natural and right for women. Capitalism, in the meantime, has adapted to women’s changing role and status in society.
Originally published in RAG, magazine of the Revolutionary Anarcha-Feminist Group, Dublin, Ireland, no. 2, Autumn 2007. From the author: Special thanks to Tamarack and José Antonio Gutiérrez for their feedback and suggestions. www.ragdublin.blogspot.com | Text from www.anarkismo.net
In an era of pandemic and mass protest we are witnessing an uptick in political militancy, from attacks on police stations and the seizure of space to wildcat strikes and rent strikes These are promising developments, but the balance of class forces remains lopsided, evidenced by the massive corporate bailout package, countless workers being exposed to unsafe working conditions, and mounting unemployment.
While COVID-19 has limited our ability to respond to the crisis, we need to discover creative ways to intervene in the current moment to meet the urgent needs that have arisen and think through how to prepare ourselves for the post-pandemic period — whenever that may be — to tip the balance of forces in our favour. We will have to defend ourselves against austerity and other attacks, but we can’t limit our activity to a defensive posture. In this piece, Spanish anarchist Lusbert Garcia offers a framework for orienting our organising efforts toward strategic sectors in society and makes the case for linking these sites of struggle over time into a broad-based, multisectoral movement that can put us on the offensive.
Lusbert Garcia is an anarchist communist writer based in Spain.This article is based on the merger of three articles previously with Regeneración. The text is from Black Rose/Rosa Negra. Translation by Enrique Guerrero-López and Leticia RZ
The anarchist critique of seizing state power is often caricatured as being based on an abstract moral opposition to the state that ignores the harsh realities we are currently facing. Upon carefully reading historical anarchist authors, however, one discovers that the real reason why they argued that revolutionaries should not seize existing state power was because it was impractical for achieving their goals.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, triggering an unprecedented global crisis, we need to take up the challenging task of both responding to the urgency of the moment and positioning ourselves for the post-pandemic period, which remains uncertain. This will require a critical engagement with strategy and tactics that are tied to a long-term vision
Written by Lusbert, a libertarian communist based in Spain, Strategy and Tactics for a Revolutionary Anarchism lays the foundation for exploring fundamental questions related to class struggle, building popular power, strategy, assessing the correlation of forces, building a revolutionary program and communications infrastructure — all of which we need to develop if we want to have a meaningful influence over this rapidly changing and disorienting political moment.
This paper is concerned with unpacking key aspects of the politics of the influential “workerist” current that emerged within the trade union movement, notably in the Federation of South African Trade Unions (Fosatu), the largest independent union federation in South Africa from 19179-1985. This current dominated the main black and non-racial trade unions, played a central role in the anti-apartheid struggle, and was notable for its scepticism about the ANC and SACP, preferring instead to build an independent working class movement. Examination of “workerism” is not a new area of focus within left and labour circles, since workerism was highly controversial and featured, most notably, centrally in the “workerist-populist” debate in the 1980s. Yet it remains strikingly under-examined, with its core project obscured in key accounts.
Paper presented at the Durban Movement Conference Rhodes University, 21 – 23 February 2013
We present this now classic piece written in July 2005 by Chilean anarchist José Antonio Gutiérrez Danton that is an early contribution to discussions of concepts around what are called the mass, intermediate and political levels that develop within social and political movements. Here, Danton uses the terms social, social-political and revolutionary political whereas in the US these are commonly discussed as the mass, intermediate and political. These concepts have been influential for helping revolutionaries think in more concrete and deeper way around organisations and movements.
We are excited to present “Horizontalism: Anarchism, Power and the State” by Mark Bray which appears as a chapter in the collection Anarchism: A Conceptual Approachfrom Routledge. In this piece Bray relates a range of global movements from mass neighbourhood assemblies in Argentina, to the squares movement in Europe and Occupy Wall Street to various political conceptions of power, movement building and electoral politics. He begins with drawing a distinction between horizontalism as a specific form of popular mobilization that has recently emerged and more broadly the practices of horizontal style organising. From this he points out that while anarchism is horizontal in its approach to organising and movement building, horizontalism is much more fluid, “non-ideological,” and lends itself to decidedly non-horizontal directions of electoral organising – politics which anarchists have traditionally contrasted their politics in opposition.
Power relations permeate all social relations and involve social agents in the most diverse disputes and attempts to influence situations. In societies divided into social classes there is a specific power relationship that can manifest itself in different social spheres (economic, political and ideological): dominance, domination.
Domination occurs when a class, group, or individual carries out the plan of another person, group, or class against their own interests, thereby damaging themselves, and reinforcing the dominator’s privileges.
The social classes mark the history of humanity since the appearance of the great civilizations up to the present, possessing a prominent and specific role in capitalism. Relations between social classes are relations of domination.
Anarchism, as a socialist current, struggles for the end of domination and, consequently, for the end of social classes, having the aim of building an egalitarian (socialist) and free (libertarian) system.
To achieve this goal, it is necessary for anarchists in general, and our political organisations in particular, to build a strategy and program that will guide the general path of this transformation.
The history of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU), formed in South Africa in 1919, is replete with lessons for today’s movements. The ICU, which also spread into neighbouring colonies like Basutoland (now Lesotho), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Southwest Africa (now Namibia) was by far the largest protest movement and organisation of black African and Coloured people of its time. Influenced by a range of ideas, including revolutionary syndicalism, the ICU had both amazing strengths and spectacular failings. This piece explains.
Presentation at the launch of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union of Africa (ICU) Centennial Exhibition, William Cullen Library, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 17 August 2019 Author’s note:the following is based on a 15 minute spoken presentation delivered by the author at the event. It was not meant and should not be read as an exhaustive historical or critical account of the ICU.