The principle and practice of “violence” against property

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

The role of unemployment in capitalism

Unemployment in Britain currently stands at roughly two and a half million. This is not far from the three million mark of the Thatcher era, which became a watermark for social discontent. With public sector job losses – and the private sector fallout – expected to claim another million people, it is unsurprising that people … Continue reading

Why there is no liberty on the “libertarian” right

Yesterday was Tax Freedom Day. That is, it was “the first day of the year that Britons work for themselves rather than the taxman,” at least according to the Adam Smith Institute. As such, it seems a rather apt time to discuss the right-wing libertarian notion of freedom. The basic goal of (right) libertarianism, according … 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