An Anarchist FAQ version 13.1

AFAQ is now at release 13.1. So What's New at the FAQ?

Mostly, it is the revision of the first three sub-sections, plus introduction, of section I. This is the first of three revisions, with sections I.4 to I.6 next, followed by I.7 and I.8. This revision took longer than I thought, mostly due to the new sub-sections and the work they required.

Talking of which, section I.3.3 has been renamed and totally rewritten. It is now a discussion of what socialisation means, clarifying exactly why anarchists have supported it since Proudhon proclaimed himself an anarchist in 1840. It flows from our opposition to authority and, of course, private property and is the basis for self-management and the end of exploitation.

The other new section is a proper new section, namely section I.1.5. This is a discussion on why capitalism hinders the efficient allocation of resources and complements claims that socialism or communism is "impossible" (as refuted in sections I.1.1 and I.1.2, respectively). It covers things like how prices and profits add to uncertainty, how market forces ignore needs and how crisis brings the contradictions between use value and exchange value into focus.

As well as this, the rest of the revised sections have new quotes and arguments in them, plus the removal of bits and pieces which were out of place or were repeating material elsewhere.

Finally, there are slight changes in an appendix, namely the Reply to errors and distortions in David McNally's pamphlet "Socialism from Below". This involves adding a preface, indicating that McNally has changed his position on anarchism (as discussed in a previous AFAQ blog: AFAQ critique of a Marxist vindicated) as well as expanding on the discussion of how Trotsky did not express any form of "democratic essence" during the 1920s and 1930s. In other words, more quotes by Trotsky advocating and defending party dictatorship have been added. As this is sadly an all too common Leninist myth, refuting it seems worthwhile.

As well as the usual updates to the bibliography, a few more quotes from comrades have been added to What Anarchists Say about An Anarchist FAQ. It is useful for visitors to see that this work is appreciated by other anarchists... Feel free to email us if you want to have your comments added.

There should be an AFAQ meeting organised for this year's London anarchist bookfair (24th of October). Details will be posted nearer the time.

It should also be noted that Yahoo has announced that it closing GeoCities by the end of 2009. The original site of AFAQ is hosted there and will disappear with the rest of it, so if you have not done so already please link to this site (or use the four short aliases AFAQ has, as listed on the index page).


Like what you are reading?  Get a notification whenever we post a new article to

Anarchist Writers via Facebook or Twitter

where you can also like and comment on our articles