Archive for the ‘9. Especifismo Anarquista’ Category

Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro

by Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro

English translation of “Anarquismo Social e Organização”, by the Anarchist Federation of Rio de Janeiro (Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro – FARJ)

This document, first published in Portuguese under the title Anarquismo Social e Organização and adopted at the first Congress of the Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro in August 2008, seeks to map out the FARJ’s theoretical conception of an organised, class struggle anarchism and, “More than a purely theoretical document, […] reflects the conclusions realised after five years of practical application of anarchism in the social struggles of our people”.


The Forum of Organized Anarchism: a Process in the Making. Statement of the Aims and Principles of the Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado (FAO), approved at the 2010 National Meeting, held recently in Porto Alegre. The Fórum do Anarquismo Organizado (Forum of Organized Anarchism – FAO) has existed since 2002 and up to 2010 was a space for networking among individuals, groups and anarchist organizations who agree with two main themes: organization and “social insertion” (work within mass movements). These two bases provided us with theoretical and practical foundations over these past eight years; struggling to organize and organizing to struggle were the slogans used to gather together militants and guide our groups and organizations.

Struggle to Organize!

“We repeat: without organization, free or imposed, there can be no society, no conscious and desired organization, there can be no freedom nor guarantee that the interests of those in society are respected. And whoever is not organized, whoever does not seek the cooperation of others and does not offer his own, in conditions of reciprocity and solidarity, puts themselves necessarily in a state of inferiority and remains an unconscious cog in the social mechanism that others establish in their own way, and to their advantage.”

Errico Malatesta

The question of organization is very old in the anarchist milieu. Over one hundred years ago Malatesta was already addressing the issue. However much it may seem to us to be a simple matter, there is still much confusion about it and many people who sincerely think that anarchism is against any form of organization, that organization would mean bureaucracy, authoritarianism, etc. This is understandable, after all, as the concrete examples of organization that people know (like authoritarian, centralized, electoral parties) do not encourage anyone to think about it. But it is necessary to break with this, to realize that this is just “a” form of organization and not “the” form.


by Internal Education Secretary – Organização Socialista Libertária
São Paulo, Brazil

This is a quick English translation of a text which was produced as a result of theoretical debate by the OSL-SP together with other organizations in the Forum of Organized Anarchism (FAO). It deals with what theory and ideology are and what we understand as materialism.

Theory and Ideology

1. “Theory aims at the elaboration of conceptual instruments that enable us to think rigorously about and obtain profound knowledge of the concrete reality. It is in this sense that we can speak of theory as being a science.” (Huerta Grande)

2. “Theory is an instrument, a tool, it serves a purpose, it is required if we are to produce the knowledge that we must produce.” (Huerta Grande)

3. Praxis, understood as an objective transformation of the social process, that is to say a transformation of the relations between man and nature (productive praxis) and man and man (revolutionary praxis), is the basis of knowledge, the criterion of the truth and the final goal of theory. This does not mean to say that theory only serves for practice, as it believed by pragmatism with its utilitarian conception, because the relationship between theory and practice is a relationship of dialectic unity where theory is not reduced to practice, but complements it and also allows it to advance, limited only in its accomplishment by human action. (Filosofia da Práxis)


by Federação Anarquista do Rio de Janeiro – FARJ

We opted for the specific model of organisation – known by other names as “especifismo” or organisationalist anarchism – largely inspired by the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU). Through the discussions that we had, we came to the conclusion that it would be essential to work with popular social movements, and that, for this, we should create an organisation with an emphasis on militant commitment. An organisation in this model defends some clear positions: the organisation as active minority, the emphasis on the need for organisation, theoretical unity and unity of action, the production of theory, the need for social work and social insertion; an understanding of anarchism as a tool for the class struggle in pursuit of a libertarian socialist project, the differentiation between the levels of political action (the anarchist organisation) and social action (the popular movements), and the defense of a strategically made militancy. Obviously, the organisation was not born functioning with all these concepts, but we have improved our work in this direction, over the years.


(Pro – Organized Anarchist Collective of Joinville)

“… true anarchy cannot exist outside of solidarity, outside of socialism.”
Errico Malatesta

“Idea and action are inseparable, if the idea has ascendancy over the individual; and without action the very idea atrophies.”
Piotr Kropotkin

“Sometimes it is better to fight and get beat up than to run away.”
George Orwell

“Equality before the law is a farce without social equality. We want opportunity for all, not to accumulate millions, but to have a perfectly human life, without inquietudes or freights concerning the future.”
Ricardo Flores Magón

The present document is the first public document of Pró-CAO (Pró – Coletivo Anarquista Organizado / Pro – Organized Anarchist Collective) of Joinville, Santa Catarina, in which we will try to present our project for the construction of an organized anarchist policy with an ideologically revolutionary program.


Thierry Libertad / FARJ

An interview with the Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation (FARJ), carried out by Thierry Libertad for the virtual journal Divergences, between December 2007 and February 2008.

Thierry Libertad: What is the FARJ and since when has it existed?

Rio de Janeiro Anarchist Federation (FARJ): The FARJ is a specific anarchist organisation, which was founded on the 30th of August 2003 as the result of a process of organisation and struggle in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that was initiated decades earlier. The objective, at the time of founding, was to consolidate an anarchist organisation that was seeking to contribute towards the resumption of the social vector, lost in Brazilian anarchism in the decade of the 1930s. At the time of founding we published our “Founding Manifesto” that already affirmed our will to struggle for organised anarchism, inspired by the history of anarchist resistance in Rio de Janeiro. We also published our “Statement of Principles”, in which we define the principles which orientate all of our actions: freedom; ethics and values; federalism; internationalism; self-management; direct action; classism; political practice and social insertion; and mutual aid.


Coletivo Comunista Anarquista (CCA)

Brazilian Anarcho-Communist Group’s Statement of Purpose

The Coletivo Comunista Anarquista (CCA – Anarchist Communist Collective) is an organizationalist especifist and federalist anarchist political grouping with a horizontal structure that seeks to act as an active minority inside the social movements – without transforming them into “puppet fronts” under the pretext of efficiency, but always seeking to instill into them a combative and revolutionary character.

We are faithful to the principles of direct democracy, self-management, federalism, mutual aid, direct action, revolutionary solidarity, class struggle and self-defence. Our objective is an anarchist communist society, in other words social and economic self-management and political federalism; anarchism therefore has the duty to interfere in the current reality, so as to alter people’s material lives and not only to limit itself to the level of ideas. In order to bring about change within the society in which we live, it is necessary for us to work as an integral part of the various popular struggles, in the neighborhoods, in the factories, in the fields, in the universities, and so on. Because for us “anarchism does not originate in abstract reflections of an intellectual or a philosopher, but in the workers’ direct struggle against capitalism, in the needs of the workers, in their aspirations of freedom and equality, aspirations that become particularly alive in the best heroic period of the life and struggles of the working masses” (the Platform).


by Federación Anarquista Uruguaya – FAU

“Huerta Grande” is a seminal text of South American Especifismo. It was written in 1972 as an internal discussion document of the Federación Anarquista Uruguaya, right before the brutal military coup was installed in 1973. This is the first English translation.

Federación Anarquista Uruguaya, commonly known as FAU or Uruguayan Anarchist Federation, is an Uruguayan anarchist organization founded in 1956. The FAU was created by anarchist militants to be a specifically anarchist organization. The FAU was the first organization to promote the organizational concept of Especifismo. The FAU has aided in the creation of several similar anarchist organizations including the Federação Anarquista Gaúcha (FAG).

Pedro Ribeiro

“Huerta Grande”
Federación Anarquista Uruguaya


Material for internal distribution about the theme of theory of 1972

To understand what is happening (the juncture), it is necessary to be able to think correctly. To think correctly is to be able to organize and treat accordingly the facts that are gathered in bulk from reality.

Without a theory one runs the risk of examining every problem individually, in isolation, starting from points of views that can be different in each case or examine them based on subjectivity, guesses or presentation, etc…

The party was able to avoid serious mistakes because we have been able to think based on concepts that have a important level of coherence. It has also made serious mistakes due to insufficient development of our theoretical thinking as an organization.

To propose a program we must know the economic, political and ideological reality of our country. The same is necessary in order to create a political line that is sufficiently clear and concrete. If we know badly or little, we will not have a program but only a very general line, very difficult to be made concrete in the different places we work at. If there is no clear line there is no efficient political practice. The political will of the party then runs the risk of getting diluted, “Voluntarism” in action ends up becoming just doing whatever comes up out of sheer good will. But we become incapable of acting in a pre-determined way on occurring events, based on an approximated prognosis. We are determined by the events and act on them spontaneously, without a plan.


by Felipe Corrêa

Definitions of “Especifismo” (Specifism) and “Synthesis/Synthesism”, written for a “Dictionary of Anarchism” that is being organised by some comrades [in Brazil].


Especifismo is a conception of anarchist organisation. The term is used and was first advocated by the Uruguayan Anarchist Federation (FAU), with which it refers to the anarchist current that historically defended the need for specific anarchist organisation. Thus, the specific organisation believes that the struggle must take place on two distinct levels: that of the anarchist organisation and that of the popular movements – which must form on the basis of need and not be restricted to a particular ideology as in the case of anarcho-syndicalism. This model of organisation has its foundations in classical anarchism, as has been advocated by Mikhail Bakunin, Errico Malatesta, the Dielo Truda Russian exiles, among others. Bakunin advocated such a model for the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, when in his role within the International Workers Association (IWA), Malatesta advocated similar positions in his formulation of the “anarchist party”, and, similarly, Dielo Truda in the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists. Similar positions were advocated at different times and in different places by anarchist-communists who held an “organisationalist” line of anarchism, based on the organisation and willingness of workers to promote social change through mass movements. Since the nineteenth century, other concepts have been incorporated into what today is considered to be the “especifismo” that is advocated by a number of anarchist organisations in Latin America: the understanding of anarchism as an ideology and, therefore, a necessary connection with a political practice with the goal of social transformation; organisation as an indispensable element in the struggle; the design of the specific anarchist organisation as an organisation of an active minority; the centrality of class struggle and the priority for social work with the popular movements (social movements, trade unions, etc.. ); theoretical and ideological unity; unified strategy and tactics; a decision-making process marked by the attempt at consensus, and failing that, by the vote; and the emphasis on the commitment of militants. Outside Latin America, the organisations that advocate similar positions to that of Especifismo define themselves as anarchist-communists – of Platformist inspiration.


by Michael Schmidt (ZACF)

The most crucial issue facing the global anarchist movement today is not only how to win the battle for the leadership of ideas among the anti-capitalist movement, but how to ensure that direct action, mutual aid, collective decision-making, horizontal networks, and other principles of anarchist organising become the living practices of the social movements. We will examine the examples of Latin American anarchist organisations to see how they ensured what they call “social insertion” – that they as militants and revolutionaries are at the heart of the social struggles and not mere (cheer)leaders in the margins. This is a core question not only because it demands a definition of the role of the revolutionary organisation, but also because it focuses on how revolutionary anarchists define their relationship with non-anarchist forces originating in the struggles of the working class, peasantry and the poor.

To put it another way, the key is how we approach the oppressed classes and how we contribute towards the advancement of their autonomy from political opportunism, towards the strengthening of their libertarian instincts and towards their revolutionary advance.

Globally, the working class has changed dramatically since 1917, an international revolutionary high-water mark, when South African anarcho-syndicalists (anarchist unionists) of all “races” like Thomas Thibedi, Bernard Sigamoney, Fred Pienaar and Andrew Dunbar founded the first black, coloured and Indian trade unions in South Africa. Today, trade unions, the old “shock battalions” of the working class are decimated, compromised or bogged down in red tape. The once-militant affiliates of Cosatu have been silenced, restructured, bought off with investment deals and enslaved to their “patriotic” duty to support the ANC elite.