Some thoughts on the People’s Assembly. Dissecting its claims to be the birth of a movement and looking at what is really required to take on austerity and, more broadly, capitalism.
On 22 June, thousands are set to attend the People’s Assembly Against Austerity in London’s Westminster Hall. The event has generated considerable excitement and support amongst “the left,” with sponsors ranging from trade unions to Trot groups such as Counterfire to the Green Party.
In this article Paul Bowman draws a line between revolutionary class analysis and universalist utopianism and goes on to explore the history of different ideas of class and the elusive revolutionary subject. After exploring the intersecting lines of class and identity, he poses the challenge that we as libertarian communists face as we strive to create “cultural and organisational forms of class power [that] do not unconsciously recreate the... hierarchies of identity and exclusion” that are the hallmark of the present society.
Against universalism, against utopianism
The term class divides people into two camps. One which seems to uphold its validity with an almost cult-like intensity, and a much larger camp that is at best undecided, but mostly turned off entirely by it – and especially so by the apparently religious fervour of the small minority in the first camp.
Fighting for the future: The necessity and possibility of national political organization for our time
This essay is an argument for moving towards national organization in the United States. It explores the limitations of political organization today, recent positive experiences, and possible ways to build on the present to push forward.
In the midst of the worst economic crisis in decades, the left stands at a crossroads. Despite widespread anxiety, restructuring, stirrings, and disruptions, the left has been unable to respond or develop bases for movements and revolutionary organization in any meaningful sense.
A response by Jocelyn Cohn, of Unity and Struggle, and James Frey to Advance the Struggle on the Union question.
[i]This piece represents one perspective in Unity and Struggle, and is intended to be part of the ongoing discussion on unions, particularly in response to Advance the Struggle. The authors are concerned with the role of revolutionaries in unions. A second piece will be released by two other Unity and Struggle members in the next week that may represent divergent views from this piece.
"I wouldn't want my anarchist friends to be in charge of a nuclear power station": David Harvey, anarchism, and tightly-coupled systems
An industry-specific response to David Harvey's popular claim that anarchists can neither run nor combat 'tightly-coupled systems', specifically nuclear power plants and air-traffic control. This paper is examines the the former and critiques Harvey's understanding of how such systems meet anarchist theory and practice, arguing that hierarchy does not make such systems safer or more efficient - quite the contrary.
The big problems arise, however, when you seek and try to ask yourself the question how can the international division of labour be so orchestrated so that all of us have enough to eat and reasonable material need are met and that - right now that is organized, of course, partially through command and control structures of corporate capital and partly through market engagements and when you
John Crump's resignation letter from the Socialist Party of Great Britain (SPGB) in 1973. Written as he left the UK for Japan, he describes and critiques the two main currents (economic determinists and utopians) that existed in the organisation and its failure to respond to events in society.
What is it that prevents the SPGB functioning as a revolutionary organisation?
The finest single volume history of European anarchism is finally available in English in Paul Sharkey's elegant translation. Drawing on decades of research, Alexandre Skirda traces anarchism as a major political movement and ideology across the 19th and 20th centuries.
Critical and engaged, he offers biting and incisive portraits of the major thinkers and, more crucially, the organizations they inspired, influenced, came out of, and were spurned by.
This excellent book by Solfed aims to recover some of the lost history of the workers' movement, in order to set out a revolutionary strategy for the present conditions. In clear and accessible prose, the book sets out the anarcho-syndicalist criticisms of political parties and trade unions, engages with other radical traditions such as anarchism, syndicalism and dissident Marxisms, explains what anarcho-syndicalism was in the twentieth century, and how it's relevant - indeed, vital - for workers today.
An explanation of the registry method used by the SAC to organise undocumented workers in Sweden. Originally posted on anarchistblackcat.org by “Altemark”.
The “registry method” is a form of struggle developed uniquely by revolutionary syndicalists in Sweden during the early 20th century, with the method maturing during the years until it’s heyday in during the 40-50′s. So, what is the registry method?
I will use my experience as a member of Bring the Ruckus to explain the role of a cadre organization in political struggle; and how being in a cadre informs my work in the Repeal Coalition, a grassroots, all-volunteer, organization that seeks the repeal of all anti-immigrant laws in Arizona, including the notorious, racist law known as SB 1070.
Global capital has weak spots. I want to hit them.