Kropotkin’s ideas and the international anarchist movement in the 1920s and 1930s - Vadim Damier

industrialism or rural utopia

After the bitter experience of World War I and the Russian Revolution, the global anarchist movement had to rethink its approach to revolutionary change. The application of science and technology to warfare, the "rationalization" of production, the rise of fascism, etc., created conditions not envisaged in Kropotkin's teachings, which were subjected to a thoroughgoing revision. But Kropotkin also had his defenders, who not only insisted on the relevance of his ideas, but also extended his critique of industrial society. Using a wide variety of sources, Vadim Damier examines these debates, which found their culmination in the CNT's 1936 resolution on libertarian communism.

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Karetelnik
Mar 7 2015 17:31

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  • In the 19th century science and technology had served as a synonym for liberation; now they began to be perceived as yet another, more refined, form of slavery and domination.

Comments

syndicalist
Mar 7 2015 18:16

This is an excellent pamphlet and gives an interesting take on "worker anarchism". I don't FORAista identify as the model, but there is something that rings true in a sense of building the core for libertarian workers to specifically organize around in the absence of a specifically anarcho-syndicalist union.

For those of us who identify with the anarchist tradition of syndicalism I can appreciate this:

Quote:
The basic approach of the Argentine worker-anarchists involved the
elaboration and revolutionary interpretation by Kropotkin of the notion of the French philosopher Alfred Fouillé about the transforming role of “idées- forces,” namely, “thought leading to action.” Anarchist ideas,Kropotkin assumed, stimulate “a multitude of acts of revolt: first, individual revolt
against capital and the state; then collective revolt: strikes and working class insurrections – both preparing, in people’s minds as in their actions, a revolt of the masses, a revolution.”

To this notion about the motive power of ideas (especially the ethical ideas of solidarity,
mutual aid and freedom), the theoreticians of the FORA added the conception (drawn from Bakunin) of “revolutionary gymnastics.” They assumed that in the course of struggling for everyday economic and moral demands, the workers could re-acquire a sociality forgotten or suppressed by capitalism, along with habits of solidarity and mutual aid. These habits, along with ideological and cultural work, could help the exploited overcome the disconnectedness intrinsic to existing society and the values imposed by it, thereby allowing them to break away from the usual assumptions upon which society is based, and develop within themselves an understanding of the “idées-forces” of social revolution and anarchist communism. The important thing was that this struggle be waged on the basis of self-organization, direct action and self-management, without political parties and bureaucrats.

Jared
Mar 14 2015 17:43

This a nice, succinct summary of the debates of that time. It would be great to have more FORA stuff online in full - anyone know Vadim? Maybe he could upload any translations?

I'm also interested in M. Acharya's 1931 defence of anarchist communism on page 16. He or she talks about the content of struggle much more than others, including value and exchange, which is very 'communisation-like'. It would be neat to have their article in full.

Thanks for the article!

Karetelnik
Mar 14 2015 20:09

There's not much by Lopez Arango, the chief FORA theoretician, available in English. Here are some online articles in the original Spanish:

Arango E. L. Dirección política u orientación ideológica del movimiento obrero. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Direcc...imiento_obrero

Arango E. L. Ideas y Ética. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/IDEAS_Y_ETICA

Arango E. L. La oposición al marxismo en el movimiento obrero. [url]http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/LA_OPO...IENTO_OBR ERO[/url]

Arango E. L. Medios de lucha. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Medios_de_lucha

Some of Lopez Arango's writings have been translated into Russian (by Vadim, I think) and posted on the KRAS-MAT website (http://aitrus.info).

syndicalist
Mar 14 2015 20:18

This may interest some and falls within the general "finalist" FORA perspective....

Lost Conversations: Questioning the legacy of anarchosyndicalism
By Scott Nappalos

- See more at: http://ideasandaction.info/2013/09/lost-conversations-questioning-the-legacy-of-anarchosyndicalism/#sthash.WO5uO8fF.dpuf

Jared
Mar 17 2015 05:56
Karetelnik wrote:
There's not much by Lopez Arango, the chief FORA theoretician, available in English. Here are some online articles in the original Spanish:

Arango E. L. Dirección política u orientación ideológica del movimiento obrero. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Direcc...imiento_obrero

Arango E. L. Ideas y Ética. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/IDEAS_Y_ETICA

Arango E. L. La oposición al marxismo en el movimiento obrero. [url]http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/LA_OPO...IENTO_OBR ERO[/url]

Arango E. L. Medios de lucha. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Medios_de_lucha

Some of Lopez Arango's writings have been translated into Russian (by Vadim, I think) and posted on the KRAS-MAT website (http://aitrus.info).

Thanks! Now who wants to put these into English?

Steven.
Mar 17 2015 11:18
Jared wrote:
Karetelnik wrote:
There's not much by Lopez Arango, the chief FORA theoretician, available in English. Here are some online articles in the original Spanish:

Arango E. L. Dirección política u orientación ideológica del movimiento obrero. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Direcc...imiento_obrero

Arango E. L. Ideas y Ética. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/IDEAS_Y_ETICA

Arango E. L. La oposición al marxismo en el movimiento obrero. [url]http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/LA_OPO...IENTO_OBR ERO[/url]

Arango E. L. Medios de lucha. http://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Medios_de_lucha

Some of Lopez Arango's writings have been translated into Russian (by Vadim, I think) and posted on the KRAS-MAT website (http://aitrus.info).

Thanks! Now who wants to put these into English?

You could drop Alias Recluse a message on here.