Anarchist Organisation

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Terry
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Oct 21 2007 21:52
Anarchist Organisation

So I have been reading Durruti in the Spanish Revolution, by Abel Paz. Talks about how when militia columns advanced into Aragon the villages in the anarchist occupied areas held assemblies to decide upon this and that and delegate folk and so on, the anarchist method of organising, right, while in the areas occupied by militia of other parties - Catalanist, Socialist, it was more apoint the local party hack to a position of authority.
However it is also the case that when plotting one of the insurrections they had in the run up to 1936, maybe one in '33 or '34, three guys were apointed to command it in the Barcelona area. Probably Durruti, Ascaso, and Garcia Oliver, but can't remember for sure. Now that was clearly a position of authority rather than one of delegation - for sure they were delegated to the task, but the ins and outs of the task who involve them commanding folk, and as far as I can see the overall planning for the specific task was vested in their hands. Yeah like obviously they were not gonna have open mass meetings for such a thing.

So it is pretty much always the case when talking about 'anarchist organisation' something like the first model is discussed, ie the villages in Aragon, something that is actually consistently prefigurative, but there doesn't seem to be any theorising about instances and situations where this cannot be applied, as with say the planned insurrection in Barcelona.

In addition an anaylsis of Bolshevism as something like the ring in Lord of the Rings seems to be perpetual. That is they adopted this method with the best of intentions but were corrupted by its power. I think parts of Malatesta on the platform is a bit like that. So in the Paz book Garcia Oliver seems to be regularly on the receiving end of 'anarcho-Bolshevik' jibes whenever he wants to get this or that organised a bit better (for instance establishing a national paramilitary wing) - not from Paz, but from Garcia Oliver's contemporaries.

Just using these instances as examples. Isn't the combination of sometimes having to employ top down organising, and the idea that a little more coherent organisation (not necessarily on top down lines) is a slippery slope leading people turning into some class of Gollum - Lenin combination,
a little crippling?

On another note, in someways the CNT-FAI seems quite top down, the same names keep croping up in various positions, and they seemed to hold an awful lot of rallies with big name speakers on the stage. This is perhaps a different issue.

Also has anyone else read 'We the Anarchists: A History of the FAI', any opinions on it?