Active Revolution

Posted: June 28, 2010 in 7. Recent Writings

by James Mumm

Part I: Anarchist, Grassroots Dual Power

Dual Power Defined

The term “Dual Power” has been used in several ways since it was first coined. The following definition builds on the previous meanings of Dual Power, most importantly by articulating the equal and necessary relationship between counter-power and counter-institutions. In the original definition, dual power referred to the creation of an alternative, liberatory power to exist alongside and eventually overcome state/capitalist power.

Dual power theorizes a distinct and oppositional relationship between the forces of the state/capitalism and the revolutionary forces of oppressed people. The two can never be peacefully reconciled.

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by the Workers Solidarity Movement

The ‘Friends of Durruti’ appear in just about every book on the Spanish Civil War, especially in relation to the 1937 May Days in Barcelona. They get mentioned but we are told very little about their politics or activities. Some organisations, like the Workers Solidarity Movement, see their political stance as important to the tradition of revolutionary anarchism. Other anarchists, most notably sections of the syndicalist movement, condemn them for ‘flirting with Bolshevism/Leninism/Trotskyism’ or for ‘advocating an anarchist dictatorship’. So who were they, where did they come from, what did they say, and what did they do?

This book is probably the most detailed work about them in the English language. Unfortunately, it takes as its starting point that readers will be extremely knowledgeable about both anarchist ideas and the role of the anarchist movement in Spain. Without such knowledge the reader will find it impossible to understand what the author is writing about. Guillamón’s book reads as if it is a specialised academic paper, or a chapter which has been extracted from a much bigger work about Spain.

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Engaging with the Class

Posted: June 28, 2010 in 7. Recent Writings

by Jacobian (WSM)

One of the deep insights of anarchist theory is that means and ends are inseparable. The method of struggle will have important repercussions on the realisable ends. The development of Anarchist theory and practice has been a search for liberatory methods that are likely to create the society that we hope to see. The role of the organisation then has to fall in line with those tactics and strategies that are liable to bring about a libertarian society.

The Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists” [1] (Abbreviated: The Platform) was first written after the failure of the revolution in Russia and the Ukraine. An attempt was made to give solutions to those factors in the struggle which had lead to failure.

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by Asher

“We need more people!”

“If only there were more anarchists…”

These phrases and others like them are all too common amongst our anarchist communities across Aotearoa (and no doubt the rest of the world). But in themselves, they betray a fatal mistake in our goals, in how we see our role in moving towards a revolutionary situation.

An anarchist revolution will not come if we simply seek to convert more people to anarchism. Rather, more people adopting anarchist theory will be a by-product of successful anarchist organising and solidarity. There are a few issues we need to examine in order to best understand the role of anarchists in capitalist society. Who will make a revolution?

An anarchist revolution cannot be made by a vanguard, by an elite group of activists, politicos or anarchists. A truly libertarian revolution, which all anarchists seek, can only be made by the great mass of the working class, in a broad sense of the term. This revolution will not magically appear the day we manage to get 51% of the population to call themselves anarchists, but rather by constantly seeking to expand upon the consciousness and militancy of the working class.

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by Camille

In NEFAC’s `Aims and Principles’, it is said that the federation is “an organization of revolutionaries coming from different movements of resistance who identify with the communist tradition within anarchism”. [1] This may raise eyebrows when read by many people as they ask themselves what the hell we mean by that. Anarcho-communists, libertarian communists, communist-anarchists… Is this a contradiction? Was there a secret alliance between Marx and Bakunin, Lenin and Makhno, Mao and Pa kin? Are we Bolsheviks in disguise aiming to subvert anarchism and recruit little soldiers for `The Party’ (whichever it is)? Of course not! Let’s look at it closer.

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Principled Bakuninism

Posted: June 28, 2010 in 7. Recent Writings

by Larry Gambone

When looking for new Latin American Anarchist groups, I happened to find a document I think is of importance. “El Anarquismo Revolucionario: origen, evolucion y vigencia…” was written by a Mexican anarchist group called Organizacion Popular Anarquista Revolucionaria (OPAR) [1]. They subscribe to “Principled Bakuninism” (Bakuninismo Principista) The following is a brief examination of this tendency. (My Spanish is not the best, my apologies to OPAR if I am misrepresenting them in some way.)

Bakunin developed revolutionary anarchism from the proto-anarchism of Proudhon. Key elements of Bakunin’s anarchism were the need to implant oneself in the popular movements and the organization of the revolutionary minority. This latter entailed the formation of a tight, well-organized, international revolutionary organization. The goal of the revolution was to abolish capitalism and the state and introduce what we today call Popular Power. The goal of the revolutionary organization was to encourage the mass movements in that direction. Bakunin’s “vanguard” was not authoritarian. It did not boss the worker organizations. Nor was the vanguard to rule once the revolution was made. It was simply composed of the most advanced people and lead by example and persuasion, not coercion.

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About the Platform

Posted: June 28, 2010 in 7. Recent Writings

by Barikád Kollektíva

The text itself, as we have seen before, was written in a period when the counter-revolution (after the abolition of the 1917-23 revolutionary wave) was in the full flush of health. So the most emphasized point of the text was to point out the disorganisation and confusion of the movement, the complete lack of centralization and united practice. It is doubtless that against the powers of the extremely centralized and at least against the proletarians unified capital one has to use similar methods in order to win. But pseudo-anarchism was attacking the anti-democratic and dictatorial essence of the proletarian struggle with full force. So the desired unity only without them and against them could be achieved.

The Platform correctly states that anarchism is “not a beautiful utopia, nor an abstract philosophical idea, it is a social movement of the labouring masses”. Instead of the bourgeois duality of practice and theory, this is an organic unity, the process of the abolition of capital in its every manifestation. The Platform always proceeds from the active reality and tries to react in accordance with this; it does not concern itself with the theoretical “problems” constantly debated by the “anarchologists” (Did Kropotkin wear flowered underpants? Will there be weather forecast in the anarchist society? etc.).

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