What is anarcho-syndicalism: revolutionary unionism

The third part of a series exploring anarcho-syndicalism, its aims and principles, and the practicalities of enacting them in the real world. Although it isn’t limited to workplace struggles as traditional syndicalism is, industry remains an important battleground for anarcho-syndicalism. After all, it is here that the working class create the wealth of the world, … Continue reading

The revolutionary potential of “social scum”

Media pundits, politicians, and the outraged chattering classes often go on about the “underclass.” Faced with levels of crime, poverty, and social anger that they are neither willing nor able to understand, the term is one of blame and accusation. It’s a useful catch-all for the long-term unemployed, welfare recipients, the homeless, petty criminals, drug … 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

Where the sane fear to tread: anarcho-primitivism

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

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

Anarchist communism, public services, and the welfare state

Anarchists are against hierarchy and coercion, and as such oppose the structures of the state. From this simplistic premise, there are those who find it hard to comprehend anarchist support for public services and the public provision of welfare. Right-wing “libertarians” and “anarcho”-capitalists are the most vocal in their criticisms of such a stance. Murray … Continue reading

On property and the right of inheritance

In September 1869, Mikhail Bakunin delivered a Report on the question of Inheritance to the Basel Congress of the International Working-Men’s Association. In it, he posed the following question; But what separates property and capital from labour? What distinguishes the classes economically and politically from one another, what destroys equality and perpetuates inequality, the privilege … Continue reading