The principle and practice of “violence” against property

For tactics which included property damage and direct action, the Suffragettes were labelled as "terrorists" by the state

The recent student protests – in particular the siege of Millbank Tower and the riots on the day of the tuition fees vote – have provoked an awful lot of debate. Among other things, it brought the boogeyman of anarchism back into the media spotlight and helped to reinvigorate the fight against the cuts. What … Continue reading

Communism and the state

The fundamental difference between anarchist communists and any other kind of communist (Leninst, Trotskyist, Titoist, whatever) can be boiled down, ultimately, to two sentences from Karl Marx; Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in … Continue reading

Killing and dying for “the old lie”

End the War!

Ninety one years ago today, at 11:00am, the guns fell silent on the Western Front. Not two minutes earlier, George Lawrence Price became the last Commonwealth casualty of the Great War after being shot in the heart by a German sniper. Up to 16 million people had fallen before him. The war was a case … Continue reading

An argument for the abolition of the prison system

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As with borders, the prison system is an element of state structure deemed to be beyond question. Debate rages on whether it is “too soft” or “too tough,” on whether it needs reform, and on how it can be made to work better. However, the idea of its abolition remains unspeakable, indeed unthinkable. There simply … Continue reading

The case against borders

Anarchy, by its very definition, requires that there be no borders. If there is no state, no unjust or illegitimate hierarchy imposing its will on a population, by what criteria do you even define a border? Clearly, in a truly free society, there is no justification for using some pre-determined criteria – be they racial … Continue reading

“Support our troops” – apologism for the crimes of war

In the wake of the more recent developments in the Afghanistan war, which I’ve commented on at length in Truth, Reason & Liberty, I received – for a second time – a spam email that has been circulating about the military and the supposed need to “support our troops.” It reads like this: You stay … Continue reading

The folly of patriotism

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In the essay Patriotism: Menace to Liberty, Emma Goldman tells us that “Patriotism … is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.” There is considerable weight to the truth of this statement. Those … Continue reading

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