Various Topics

AgitProp #19 – Anarchism and Crime

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AgitProp #19 - Anarchism and Crime - SolFedAuthor: Solidarity Federation   |   File size: 206 KB

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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
www.direct-action.org.uk

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Bakunin for Anti-Imperialists

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Bakunin for Anti-Imperialists - Arthur LehningAuthor: Arthur Lehning  |  File size: 392 KB

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On imperialism itself, [Mikhail] Bakunin [1814-1876] has nothing specifically to say. That is not strange, because imperialism in its modern form had not yet appeared; besides, opposition to imperialism by a revolutionary is a rather obvious thing. But I think Bakunin’s writings can be useful to anti-imperialists in several ways. Firstly, on account of the general view held by Bakunin about the essence of the revolutionary struggle and his conceptions about federalism and the state. Secondly on account of his activities in the eighty forties.

As far as the last point is concerned, it is clear that I don’t wish to stress it too much. All historical parallels can be abusive. However, it is not abusive to point out the similarities between various kinds of Nineteenth Century nationalism and anti-imperialism in our time. This is not only because a great deal of today’s anti-imperialist fight is carried out on nationalist platforms, but also on account of the intensity with which the banner of then and that of today monopolise the attention of men with radical consciousness. In this respect, Bakunin has important things to say….

NOTES: Marked up by Leroy Maisiri, ZACF. Headings and explanatory notes added.
Author biography and Bakunin biography added by Lucien van der Walt.
SOURCE: Workers Solidarity Alliance (New York USA) pamphlet (undated).

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AgitProp #16 – Back to the Future: Imagining the Future in a Post-Revolutionary World

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AgitProp #16 - Back to the Future: Imagining the Future in a Post-Revolutionary WorldAuthor: Unknown | File size: 356 KB

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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….

This article is from Issue 3 of the Irish Anarchist Review – published May 2011

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Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege

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Creating an Anarchist Theory of Privilege - Dónal O’DriscollAuthor: Dónal O’Driscoll | File size: 298 KB

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Privilege and the theory around it is a significant topic of debate at the moment among those interested in radical social change. Touching on many issues dear to the hearts of anarchists, it is hard to avoid. Yet, the two are not fitting together as well as they should and there is a sense of unease about this. Much of this is because privilege theory has emerged from US academic circles rather than anarchist ones and, ironically, has been co-opted to protect middle- class privileges. This is a situation in need of repair if we are to maintain our links with feminist, anti- racist and other struggles against oppression. If we are to create a mass movement capable of social change then it has to be able to engage with everyone in the first place.

This article is from the Irish Anarchist Review, no. 8, Autumn 2013

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AgitProp #15 – Privilege Theory: The Politics of Defeat

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AgitProp #15 - Privilege Theory: The Politics of DefeatAuthor: Unknown | File size: 516 KB

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I’ve been blissfully ignorant of these ideas of privilege and the concept of checking it until very recently. It came across my radar after the fall out of a twitter row. A set of ideas were put forward, and argument was made. The response to this argument boiled down to the person was writing it from a perspective of “white male privilege”. The issues were side stepped.

I assumed that this was an abuse of a theory that I didn’t understand, that privilege theory wasn’t simply a handy tool to dismiss an argument because you don’t like the person making it. I asked on twitter for some links so I could find out what this theory was really about. The most interesting and by interesting I mean the most infuriating was A Class Struggle Anarchist Analysis of Privilege Theory – from the Women’s Caucus.

Found at the SabCat site

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AgitProp #14 – Identity Politics, Class and Autonomous Organising

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AgitProp-14-Identity-Politics-Class-and-Autonomous-Organising-TimothyAuthor: Timothy | File size: 200 KB

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This talk is at a midpoint between being an original work, and being an exegesis of Selma’s James justly famous “Sex, Race and Class.” This astonishingly brilliant work contains within itself the clear foundations of a historical materialist, or Marxist, conception of the relationship between capitalism and oppression. Because I have mixed in many of my own original points, both intentionally and no doubt by accidental misinterpretation, I would strongly suggest everyone here goes and reads the original.

This text is taken from an audio recording of a talk and discussion in the Black Rose anarchist social centre in Sydney on the theme of identity politics and its relevance today. The text is taken from the website of the Workers’ Solidarity Movement. Go to the WSM site here

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The Rise of the Post-New Left Political Vocabulary

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The Rise of the New Left Political Vocabulary by Stephen D’ArcyAuthor: Stephen D’Arcy | File size: 350 KB

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“If a handful of time-travelling activists from our own era were somehow transported into a leftist political meeting in 1970, would they even be able to make themselves understood? They might begin to talk, as present-day activists do, about challenging privilege, the importance of allyship, or the need for intersectional analysis. Or they might insist that the meeting itself should be treated as a safe space. But how would the other people at the meeting react? I’m quite sure that our displaced contemporaries would be met with uncomprehending stares…”

Found on the website of The Public Autonomy Project

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