Building the rank-and-file

As we get closer to the possibility of coordinated public sector strikes on June 30th, debate continues to rage about how best to build for the event. In particular, on the libertarian left there has been much talk of the need to build a new rank-and-file. In a recent Truth, Reason & Liberty article on … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: building the new world within the shell of the old

The seventh and final part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. The basic foundation of anarcho-syndicalism is that ordinary people, through solidarity and direct action, have the power to improve our own lives. We do not need bosses, bureaucrats, or political parties … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: a radical vision of community organisation

The sixth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. In part five of this series, I examined how to rebuild the community consciousness and sense of solidarity that once defined the working class. Here, I want to look at building upon that … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism: forging community consciousness

The fifth part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. One of the first things that I pointed out in this series was that anarcho-syndicalism is more than just syndicalism. That is, it is not just concerned with the workplace and with class … Continue reading

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

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

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

What is anarcho-syndicalism?

It has been my intention, for some time, to write a series of articles exploring various issues and ideas within anarcho-syndicalism. This is not a purely academic exercise. I am a member of the Solidarity Federation (SolFed) – the British section of the International Workers’ Association (IWA) – and its Liverpool local. Now, anarcho-syndicalism is … Continue reading

Against religion?

Emma Goldman, writing Anarchism: what it really stands for, pointed out that there were three main strands of hierarchy that anarchists opposed. “Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man’s enslavement and all the horrors it entails.” In … Continue reading

Anarchism and the capital punishment debate

The subject of capital punishment evokes often ferocious debate. Each side, pro- and anti-, contends that the other lacks morality and/or reason because of their stance. Its existence and use has inspired a wide plethora of protests, songs, films, and writings, and it remains an emotive issue even where it is no longer carried out. … Continue reading