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Anarchy and Covid-19

Anarchy and Covid-19

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

A standard reproach against anarchism is that it would not be able to withstand crises as well as hierarchies. This is often the underlying assumption of Marxist diatribes against Anarchism – although these usually invoke euphemisms to avoid admitting that what is really being suggested is that they and their party should be in power. Hence the assertions on the need for a centralised “workers’ State” to organise defence against the counter-revolution (i.e., anyone who disagrees with them), plan the economy, and so on – skilfully avoiding discussing the grim inefficiencies and tyrannies of the Bolshevik regime or the various counter-examples which show the opposite (most obviously, the response of the CNT-FAI to Franco’s coup).

Introduction to "Modern Science and Anarchy"

Introduction to "Modern Science and Anarchy"

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

This is my introduction to Modern Science and Anarchy by Peter Kropotkin (AK Press, 2018). This was the last book published by Kropotkin during his lifetime (La Science Moderne et L’Anarchie, 1913) and he explores themes he had been raising since his first joined the anarchist movement in the 1870s. It shows that he did not become a reformist, as some claim, but remained a revolutionary anarchist communist to his death. The book is available, so please consider buying it for AK Press.

Now and After

Now and After

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

This is a write up of a talk I gave in Glasgow in 2018 entitled Now and After: What would Anarchy be like and how we create the new world by fighting the current one. It summarises anarchist ideas of what a free society would be like and how we get there. As with my previous write-ups, this reflects more what I intended to say rather than what was said. Hopefully it will be close enough. For more details of the ideas raised here, see Section I of An Anarchist FAQ.

The Spanish Revolution: Anarchy in Action

The Spanish Revolution: Anarchy in Action

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

This is a write-up of a talk I gave in Nottingham in March 2019. It is an introduction to the 1936 Spanish Revolution as well as a general introduction to the anarchist theory which inspired it. After all, you cannot see how 1936 was anarchy in action if you do not know what anarchy is. The meeting was advertised as following:

“Iain McKay takes us back to Spain in the 1930s where anarchists occupied the factories and the land, to make a revolution at the same time as fighting Franco's fascists. And within that revolution, the women of Mujeres Libres fought also for the liberation of women.”

The Trotskyist School of Falsification

The Trotskyist School of Falsification

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

Most anarchists come across Victor Serge (1889-1947) at some stage, the elitist-individualist anarchist turned elitist-Bolshevik whom Leninists to this day like to invoke as “the best of the anarchists” to get libertarians to join their party (“Victor Serge: The Worst of the Anarchists,” ASR no. 61). This work by him and Natalia Sedova Trotsky, The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2016), is a biography of Leon Trotsky and is of note as a good example of what could be termed The Trotskyist School of Falsification, to invoke the title of Trotsky’s 1937 work The Stalin School of Falsification. (171)

Precursors of Syndicalism IV

Precursors of Syndicalism IV

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

In previous instalments of this series, we have discussed syndicalist ideas in the First International (Precursors of Syndicalism I), before turning to International Working People’s Association (Precursors of Syndicalism II) and communist-anarchism (Precursors of Syndicalism III). Here, we highlight anarchist-communist criticisms of revolutionary syndicalism.

Anarchism, Syndicalism and Workers Councils

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

This is a write-up of a talk I gave in Edinburgh in April 2019 on anarchist ideas on social change and organisation. I have used the slides I created for the talk as the basis of this write-up, although as usual I am sure this is not the same as what was said on the night but close enough. Hopefully this talk gives a useful summary of anarchist ideas on organisation and their development from the birth of anarchism to around 1920.

Review: Kropotkin: Reviewing the Classical Anarchist Tradition by Ruth Kinna

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

Anarchists from Proudhon onwards have met with misunderstanding and not a little deliberate distortion. Peter Kropotkin, despite being one of the most widely read anarchist thinkers, has also suffered this fate. This, perhaps, is due to him being so widely read for the most easily available works are those he wrote as general introductions to anarchism. The more numerous works he wrote for the anarchist press addressing the issues it was facing remain mostly buried in archives.

Precursors of Syndicalism II

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

The first instalment of Precursors of Syndicalism (ASR No. 75, Winter 2019) sketched the rise of syndicalist ideas within the First International. Championed by Bakunin, the idea of the International as a militant union for economic struggle was the majority trend within it and Marx preferred to destroy the organisation when it did not endorse his position of transforming it into parties pursuing political action.

Review: Rupturing the Dialectic by Harry Cleaver

From Anarchist Writers by anarcho

There is nothing worse than seeing a film labelled “inspired by true events” (or a TV series “inspired” by the stories of Philip K. Dick) for you know that any relation to actual events is purely accidental. This does not mean the film will be bad – indeed, it may be excellent (Blade Runner springs to mind as regards Dick adaptations). It just means that when you discover the source of the “inspiration” you realise the film does not reflect it very much, if at all.

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