The revolutionary general strike in an era of casualisation

The Spanish revolution of 1936 remains the most explicit example of the revolutionary potential of workers expropriating the means of production and using direct action to implement self-organised communism

In the present movement against government cuts, a lot of slogans (and from them leftist strategies) are invoking the idea of a general strike. As a tactic, there are a number of reasons this would not work. Chief amongst them being that a set-piece “one-day” strike is the limit of the left’s ambitions in this … Continue reading

The pros and cons of the black bloc

The black bloc formed at the TUC March for the Alternative was the largest ever seen in Britain

A black bloc, despite all the controversy around it, isn’t a complicated thing. It is simply the act whereby great numbers of people wear all-black clothing and cover their faces on demonstrations. They then come together as a unit, for both strength in numbers and anonymity. That’s it. It is not an organisation, as conspiracy … Continue reading

Defeating the cuts – an anarcho-syndicalist strategy

SF1

The following is a draft text which I hope to incorporate into a pamphlet in the near future. The intention is to draw together the different strands of discussion and theory regarding the fight against the cuts and to provide a broader argument for an anarcho-syndicalist strategy in this struggle. As with every blog I … Continue reading

Anarcho-syndicalism and the limits of trade unionism

Revolutionary unions, such as the German FAU, cannot be created from the reformation of traditional trade unions

One statement that I quite often make is that I’m not a trade unionist. This can confuse those who know me, because I am a member and active rep within the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS). However, though I believe in worker organisation as a part of class struggle and the challenge to capitalism, … Continue reading

Don’t vote, organise – the reasoning behind the slogan

It is a long-established truism that anarchists are opposed to electoralism. A myriad of slogans such as “whoever you vote for, government wins,” “don’t vote, it only encourages the bastards,” and “if voting changed anything they’d abolish it” have entered the public psyche. So much so, that they are taken up by cynics and the … Continue reading

Social network radicalism

As I write this, I’m on a train to Sheffield, playing with WordPress on my phone. Which, I think, shows how far we’ve moved from the days of bearded radicals hand-writing pamphlets in a candle-lit basement. (I exaggerate somewhat.) It also offers me the flimsiest of excuses to write about the use of social networks … Continue reading

Leninist front-groups and the problems of “tail-ending” the Left

Left-wing front organisations, such as the Socialist Party's "Youth Fight for Jobs," are organised around single-issues which many people are concerned about but are used as a recruiting tool and a way of selling papers whilst serious and radical action is demobilised from above in favour of passive, ineffective protests

There are innumerable hurdles in trying to build and maintain the momentum of a strong, libertarian, workers movement. From the fact that the first signs of success (or even visibility) with such a movement bring instant state attention and repression to the fact that there will always be far more people willing to sympathise with … Continue reading

Some further thoughts on anarcho-primitivism

My article on anarcho-primitivsm, written in May, has of late sparked some quite interesting debate. In particular, a commenter called Cecil Curry has posted a lengthy response which has also appeared on his blog, Mysidian Dreams. Especially as it claimed to put forward an argument I had failed to address, I thought that this deserved … Continue reading

Thoughts on “free markets” in an anarchist society

The terms “capitalism” and “the free market” carry a lot of historical weight and baggage. For the right, they are basic neccesities for freedom and prosperity. For the left, they are the root of social and class inequality, the primary source of misery and injustice in the name of human greed. For the vast majority … Continue reading

Where the sane fear to tread: anarcho-primitivism

In 1997, one of the editors of a magazine called "Green Anarchist" wrote, "The Oklahoma bombers had the right idea. The pity was that they did not blast any more government offices. Even so, they did all they could and now there are at least 200 government automatons that are no longer capable of oppression. The Tokyo sarin cult had the right idea. The pity was that in testing the gas a year prior to the attack, they gave themselves away. They were not secretive enough. They had the technology to produce the gas but the method of delivery was ineffective. One day the groups will be totally secretive and their methods of fumigation will be completely effective."

Anarcho-primitivism, according to advocate John Moore, is “a shorthand term for a radical current that critiques the totality of civilization from an anarchist perspective, and seeks to initiate a comprehensive transformation of human life.” In essence, it is a form of anarchism that is against the very foundations of civilisation itself. It is for this … Continue reading