After a bit of a break, I’m continuing with the installments from the “Anarchist Current,” the Afterword to Volume Three of my anthology of anarchist writings from ancient China to the present day, Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas. This section discusses different anarchist approaches to economic organization.
In the 1880s, U.S. anarchists, socialists, and unions sidestepped the stale reform-versus-revolution debate by fighting for the eight-hour workday. Their agitation and actions targeted both employers and the state. They declared on May 1st, 1886, the eight-hour day would be enacted, or they would shut down the country with a general strike. And on the day of, half a million people went out on strike.
If Ralf Hoffrogge were writing within an American context rather than a German one, he would be situated between two important developments in the United States. A new cohort of social movement historians is addressing the gaps in anarchist, anti-authoritarian, and left-communist historiography. Neighboring this is a resurgence of interest in workers' councils historically and in the contemporary period.
Review & Response: Unruly Equality: U.S. Anarchism in the Twentieth Century, By Andrew Cornell, University of California Press, 2016, 300 pages.
No matter how one feels about it, the current state of anarchism has represented something of a mystery: What was once a mass movement based mainly in working class immigrant communities is now an archipelago of subcultural scenes inhabited largely by disaffected young people from the white middle class.
We have focused a lot of energy, as anarchists and as human beings, in the past year and a half on the history of oppression that we call racism in this country. Those conversations have looked like reflections on the impact that slavery, segregation, and jim crow laws have had on today. What we haven't done, and should, is plan for the future. What would we like to see the future of race relations look like?
By Jennifer Wilson from The New Yorker
There was a rumor, among professors who came on board later, that the founders of Tolstoy College originally wanted to name their school after Leon Czolgosz, the Polish-American anarchist who assassinated President William McKinley. Tolstoy, being a pacifist, gave them better cover with the administration of the State University of New York at Buffalo, under which the school operated, or so the story goes.
Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on December 14th, 2015 through December 20th, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM.
From Atlas Obscura
A sea of red and white coats rancorously swarm down thousands of streets. Hundreds of people, dressed as Santa Claus, scream and sing as they drink heavily, form impromptu dance parties, and crowd public transportation.