Author: Colin O’Malley | File size: 384 KB
This article speaks on the failures of the anarchist movement to grow, despite numerous social movements, and how models of anarchist political organisation point the way forward to overcome these pitfalls.
Two recent events have thrown critical challenges at the anarchist movement in the United States: the financial crisis that began in 2008 and the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement that sprung from that crisis in 2011. If the current political and economic outlook in this country is any indication, we should expect more frequent moments like these to arise. “Movement Moments” such as these are critical opportunities for revolutionaries of any variety, left or right. Acceptance of the status quo seems impossible.
This piece originally appeared in Perspectives on Anarchist Theory, No. 27 (2014) published by the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
Author: Lucy Parsons | File size: 321 KB
A lecture by Lucy Parsons, in which she
outlines her views on anarchism.
It was during the great railroad strike of 1877 that I first became interested in what is known as the “Labour Question.” I then thought as many thousands of earnest, sincere people think, that the aggregate power, operating in human society, known as government, could be made an instrument in the hands of the oppressed to alleviate their sufferings. But a closer study of the origin, history and tendency of governments, convinced me that this was a mistake; I came to understand how organised governments used their concentrated power to retard progress by their ever-ready means of silencing the voice of discontent if raised in vigorous protest against the machinations of the scheming few, who always did, always will and always must rule in the councils of nations where majority rule is recognised as the only means of adjusting the affairs of the people. I came to understand that such concentrated power can be always wielded in the interest of the few and at the expense of the many. Government in its last analysis is this power reduced to a science. Governments never lead; they follow progress. When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then.
Author: Solidarity Federation | File size: 206 KB
Anarchists are repeatedly accused by our detractors of being idealist, utopian and impractical. One matter, on which the libertarian perspective is often seen as particularly weak, is the thorny topic of crime. It would be fair to say that the “all coppers are bastards”-type polemics trotted out with tiresome regularity do little to convince the potential convert that revolutionaries have anything of substance to offer as an alternative to the crime ridden status quo. Moreover, this continued failure to adequately address lay people’s basic questions with satisfactory answers surely goes a long way in explaining why contemporary anarchism has failed to gain a firm foothold in the collective psyche of the population. Here we offer one contribution towards addressing this perennial shortcoming.
From Direct Action, Issue #46, magazine of the Solidarity Federation
Author: Temma E. Kaplan | File size: 291 KB
One of the chief ideological disputes between the Spanish anarchists and communists during the Civil War was the anarchists’ insistence that social revolution should not be postponed until the war was won; without the social revolution (by which they meant the defeat of authoritarianism and the transformation of all social and economic relations and institutions to permit maximum individual freedom, self-expression, and spontaneity), the war would be just another changing of the guard, so familiar in Spanish history.
Source: Journal of Contemporary History,
Vol. 6, No. 2 (1971), pp. 101-110.
Originally found at: the Zine Library, http://zinelibrary.info/
(attempted access on 12 September 2015, showed the site to be down)
Author: John Flood | File size: 111 KB
Many people still associate anarchism with violence, destruction, and chaos. This concept of anarchism is reinforced by the corporate media, and those that have an interest in discrediting the anarchist movement. Needless to say this idea of anarchism bears no correlation with the society we are trying to create, or our struggle to achieve it.
From Workers Solidarity, the magazine of the Irish Workers Solidarity Movement
Author: Unknown | File size: 356 KB
Much of our time as revolutionaries is spent on the routine of organising in the here and now – building a campaign, organising for a demonstration, planning for a trade union meeting…. Too often we don’t manage to take time to step back from the here and now and imagine or envisage what it’s all about. But without dreaming, without imagining a future the daily humdrum can seem dispiriting.
To really build for a new society, we need to try to paint a picture of what that society might look like. And we need to be able to suspend reality and dream of the sort of future that might be out there. This article is the first of what we hope will be a series which will attempt to look into a post-revolutionary future and imagine what such a society might look like.
Read and dream….