Building a Revolutionary Anarchism

Building a Revolutionary Anarchism - Colin O’Malley

Author: Colin O’Malley

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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.

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“Only the Organised Survive”: A Rebel Worker Handbook

“Only the Organised Survive”: A Rebel Worker HandbookAuthor: Various | File size: 430 KB

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THE INDIGNITY OF WORKING FOR A LIVING is well known to anyone who ever has. Democracy, the great principle on which our society is supposedly founded, is thrown out the window as soon as we punch the time clock at work.

With no say over what we produce, or how that production is organised, and with only a small portion of that product’s value finding its way into our paycheques, we have every right to be pissed off at our bosses.

Ultimately, of course, we need to create a society in which working people make all the decisions about the production and distribution of goods and services. Harmful or useless industries, such as arms and chemical manufacturing, or the banking and insurance scams, would be eliminated….

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Charted and Uncharted Territories: Common Cause and the Role of the Anarchist Organization

Charted and Uncharted Territories: Common Cause and the Role of the Anarchist Organization - Common CauseAuthor: Common Cause  |  File Size: 415 KB

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These days, the phrase “anarchist organization” is widely seen as a contradiction of terms. For those whose opinions of anarchism are shaped by dominant society, this is perfectly understandable. In the crude caricature fashioned by capitalist media depictions and reinforced through popular culture, anarchy is synonymous with chaos, spontaneous violence, and a vicious, Hobbesian state of nature.

However, more pertinent to us is that even within anarchist circles, the idea of an anarchist organization is often seen either as an oxymoron, or more commonly, as an inherently authoritarian structure somewhat akin to a Leninist cult. And as anarchists who have derived considerable practical benefits from our participation in a formally structured organization, we feel that much of this confusion boils down to a misunderstanding of terms and history. …

This text is from Volume 2 of Mortar: Revolutionary Journal of
Common Cause Anarchist Organization | Linchpin.ca

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Race, Class and Organisation

Race, Class and Organisation by the Workers Solidarity FederationAuthor: Workers Solidarity Federation  |  File size: 244 KB

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It is falsely claimed by some that Anarchism, as currently constituted, is unable to attract Black people, and other specially oppressed minorities. It is therefore argued that we should thus endorse separate Black-only anarchist/community organisations that may in some (vague and unspecified) cases associate with “white” groups – “white” groups should “work among” “their own” people etc.)… but… “it was the ability of anarchism to provide alternatives and to pay special attention to the specific needs of … different sections of the working class in order to unite the whole class that made the success (of the Cuban anarchists and IWW) possible,” not “a revision of anarchism to accommodate nationalism”..

Originally published in Black Flag magazine, 1998
Text retrieved from LibCom.org
Online WSF archive

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Considerations about the Anarchist Programme

Considerations about the Anarchist ProgrammeAuthor: José Antonio Gutiérrez D.  |  File size: 729 KB

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It is not enough to have the “truth”…

This article discusses the anarchist programme from a revolutionary anarchist perspective. In it, the author analyses the need to make a qualitative shift from an anarchism which is restricted to propaganda circles, to an anarchism with the possibility of social transformation, putting forward a few basic considerations for the necessity of the development of revolutionary programmes in order to facilitate this shift.

Translation: Jonathan Payn (ZACF)
Found at:
www.anarkismo.net

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Anarchists and the Trade Unions: Be active! be involved!

Anarchists and the Trade Unions by Gregor KerrAuthor: Gregor Kerr  |  File size: 356 KB

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Trade Unions are important organs of the working-class. Gregor Kerr – a member of the Irish National Teachers Organisation who has been involved in campaigns against “social partnership” and in many strike support groups – argues that trade union involvement should form a central part of the political activity of all anarchists.

This article is from the WSM’s publication Red and Black Revolution, #3

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Expecto Patronum: Lessons from Harry Potter for Social Justice Organising

Expecto Patronum: Lessons from Harry Potter for Social Justice OrganisingAuthor: Chris Crass  |  File size: 350 KB

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Have you daydreamed about being a member of an inter-generational social justice organisation like the Order of Phoenix? Do you want Dumbledore to be your mentor? Have dementors ever burned you out to the point where you doubted your ability to take on the Voldemorts of our world? Do you find yourself analysing Dumbledore’s Army for lessons on developing liberatory vision, culture, leadership, and organisation? Me too. Let’s develop our magic, build our liberation movement, and defeat the Voldemorts in our world….

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

[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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Specifism Explained: The Social and Political Level, Organisational Dualism and the Anarchist Organisation

Specifism Explained - Collective ActionAuthor: Collective Action  |  File size: 275 KB

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In discussing the platform of Collective Action some individuals have expressed confusion at our use of the label “specifism” to describe the tradition of social anarchism we associate with. The following is a short introduction to what we consider to be the most essential concepts within the specifist model….

“The only way there can be a future for anarchist politics in the UK in the 21st Century is in making anarchist communist ideas and methods a practical and coherent tool for organising workplaces, intervening in social struggles and empowering working class communities.”

Collective Action

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Concentric Circles: The Especifsta Concept of Concentric Circles in Anarchist Organisation

Concentric Circles - FARJAuthor: Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro – FARJ  |  English Translation: Jonathan Payn of the ZACF  |  PDF file size: 295 KB

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The specific anarchist organisation uses, both for its internal and external functioning, the logic of what we call “concentric circles” – strongly inspired by the Bakuninist organisational model. The main reason that we adopt this logic of functioning is because, for us, the anarchist organisation needs topreserve different instances of action. These different instances should strengthen its work while at the same time allowing it to bring together prepared militants with a high level of commitment and approximating people sympathetic to the theory or practice of the organisation – who could be more or less prepared and more or less committed. In short, the concentric circles seek to resolve an important paradox: the anarchist organisation needs to be closed enough to have prepared, committed and politically aligned militants, and open enough to draw in new militants. …

Social Anarchism and Organisation

Author: Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro – FARJ  |  English Translation: Jonathan Payn of the ZACF  |  PDF file size: 849 KB

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English translation of “Anarquismo Social e Organização”, by the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro – FARJ), Brazil, approved at the 1st FARJ Congress, held on 30th and 31st of August 2008.

The first Congress of the FARJ was held with the principal objective of deepening our reflections on the question of organisation and formalising them into a programme. This debate has been happening within our organisation since 2003. We have produced theoretical materials, established our thinking, learned from the successes and mistakes of our political practice it was becoming increasingly necessary to further the debate and to formalise it, spreading this knowledge both internally and externally. The document “Social Anarchism and Organisation” formalises our positions after all these reflections. More than a purely theoretical document, it reflects the conclusions realised after five years of practical application of anarchism in the social struggles of our people. The document is divided into 16 parts. It has already been published in Portuguese in a book co-published between Faísca and the FARJ.