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

Communism through the eyes of corpses

An image of Lenin beating a shackled worker with the words of Marx, by Clifford Harper, from http://radicalgraphics.org/

The somewhat poetic title to this post comes from a status update I put on Facebook last week; Best descriptor for Marxism and Leninism I’ve ever read has to be “analysing everything through the eyes of corpses.” Genius. This was a reference to the tendency of nearly all groups and currents (though far from all … 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

Fascism, fundamentalism, and the left

edlsharia

Originally published in issue 11 of Shift Magazine (Jan 11 – May 11) Since the May General Election, we have been witnessing the slow demise of British fascism as we know it. The British National Party’s spectacular failure tore open divisions and animosities that had been long brewing below the surface. Resignations, sackings, splits, and … Continue reading

Notes on sectarianism

This has been something I’ve been meaning to write for a long time. However, each time I have given up because I can’t find the words to articulate something which flowed brilliantly as a rant, but not so well as prose. So, you’ll have to forgive me if this post comes out more as a … 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

Where do the “middle class” fit into it all?

Many far-left organisations, such as the Socialist Workers' Party, are dominated by people of middle class backgrounds looking to be the "revolutionary leadership" of the workers, whilst working class people often see their actions as irrelevant to their situation and real life

It is, perhaps, the most vague and ill-defined term in sociopolitical discourse. At the same time, it’s one of the most commonly used. It can be everything from a badge of honour to the most callous insult. Something which defines your economic status or destroys your street cred. The term I’m talking about is “middle … Continue reading

What is anarcho-syndicalism?

cnt_march

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

On participation in mainstream trade unions

Anarchists, particularly anarcho-syndicalists, are often highly critical of both the form and function of mainstream trade unions. Perhaps the most incisive critique comes from a postal worker, reflecting on the sell-out by the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) for The Other Campaign; Because the leaders of the CWU are so remote from the daily lives of … Continue reading

Anarchism, ethnicity, and culture: building a global movement

The seventh and final part in a series of articles discussing the anarchist movement as it relates to non-European peoples and cultures. What lessons are to be learned from the examples of anarchism beyond the West? How can we build upon them to make a truly global resistance movement? Throughout this series, one of my major sources has … Continue reading