Crime and community policing
The term 'community policing' has been much abused in recent times, most particularly in the North of Ireland where it has become shorthand for vicious punishment beatings and shootings. In this article Gregor Kerr takes a look at the issue of community policing - what it is and more importantly what it isn't. The question of what levels of real community policing would actually be possible or allowed under capitalism is looked at, and the debate about crime, anti-social behaviour and reactions to it in an anarchist society is touched on.
Bakunin's ideas on revolutionary organisation
The Russian revolutionary Michael Bakunin is often presented as the 'founding father' of anarchism. He was a larger than life figure whose disputes with Marx in the 1st international form an essential role in the clarification of the role of the vanguard and of the state in the revolutionary process. Yet his concrete ideas on anarchist organisation are not so well known. Andrew N. Flood takes a closer look at them.
Bashing the Black Bloc?
In the wake of the G8 protests in Genoa, Ray Cunningham, who took part in the demonstrations there, looks at the future for the Black Bloc and the 'anti-globalisation' movement.
Max Stirner was an obscure prophet of individualism living in nineteenth century Germany. many anarchists today including anarcho communists also consider themselves Stirnerists and a Stirnerist tradition lives on in places like Glasgow. Conor Mc Loughlin examines some of Stirner's ideas.
The media and the war
Terry Clancy, of the Free Earth website, examines the 'free' press to find out why we shouldn't expect them to provide neutral or impartial coverage, especially during a war.
Welcome to the sixth issue of Red and Black Revolution, the second to be produced since we switched to this shorter and more frequent format. Although the gaps between each issue are still substantial, we hope that one of the effects of more regular publication will be to encourage our readers to use this magazine as a forum for debate. Most of the articles will, of course, reflect the positions of the Workers Solidarity Movement, since we produce the magazine, but we continue to print articles from outside the organization, and would like to see other anarchists responding to some of the arguments made in these pages.
In this issue we look at two of the earliest anarchists, two men who represent very different traditions within the movement. Bakunin is perhaps the most famous of anarchists, a man who travelled Europe preaching revolution, clashed with Marx, and whose politics ranged from early Slav nationalism to anarchism. While Bakunin was a man of action, Stirner was an intellectual and an academic, known mainly for 'The Ego and its Own', reviewed here. Both have been controversial, and though often enough there are misquotations and deliberate misunderstandings at the roots of some of those controversies, the differences between the two men, and between the visions of anarchism they represent, are real enough.
Though Bakunin may have had the better arguments, Marx was always the more respectable revolutionary, and often since the 19th century it has seemed that anarchism was the poor relation of authoritarian socialism. In recent years anarchism has been making a comeback, partly because of the final collapse of the soviet union and the last vestiges of 'actually existing socialism', and partly because of the role non-hierarchical, directly democratic and essentially anarchist ideas have played in the anti-capitalist/anti-globalisation movement. Within that movement, the Black Bloc has been seen as the personification of anarchism, but what future does it have?
The Black Bloc, the summit protests, and many of the modern protest movements have often emphasized the role of the media, their part in creating images and in blocking or transmitting information. It's crucially important, then, to understand the make-up of the media, and to know how we can expect them to deal with political issues. This is all the more necessary in a time of war, when information is so important, and access to that information so controlled.
Our first article in this issue is also about conflict, and control. The question of community policing raises pressing human rights problems especially in Northern Ireland, a situation where poverty and sectarianism combine in a cycle of crime and punishment. When our ideas are tested, in our own communities, what solutions can anarchists propose?