One of the major confusions in the anarchist movement in the USA and parts of Europe arises out of primitivism and its claim to be part of the anarchist movement. But primitivism is not a realistic strategy for social revolution and it opposes the basic purpose of anarchism - the creation of a free mass society. Primitivists have attempted to reply to these criticisms but these replies are easily exposed as more to do with faith then reality.
Over the last decade a generalized critique of civilization has been made by a number of authors, mostly based in the USA. Some of these have chosen to identify as anarchists although the more general self-identification is primitivist. There overall argument is that 'civilisation' itself is the problem that results in our failure to live rewarding lives. The struggle for change is thus a struggle against civilization and for an earth where technology has been eliminated. [PDF]
We are used to being promised the sun, moon and stars in elections only to receive cuts, cuts and cuts. Is this just because all politicians are liars or are there deeper reasons? Abstention from elections has been an anarchist tactic from the time of Bakunin. In this article we look at some of the reasons anarchists advocate abstention/spoilt votes. The right to the vote was part of the hard won struggles of workers (and suffragettes!) over the last couple of hundred years. Obviously it is preferable to live in a parliamentary democracy rather than a dictatorship. Even the most flawed democracies are forced to concede rights that dictatorships do not, such as relative independence for trade unions, the right to limited demonstrations, a certain amount of free speech, etc.
The emergence of the Anarchist Workers Group at the start of the 1990's was something the WSM welcomed. Most of the people involved initially with the AWG came from the South London branch of the Direct Action Movement. At least one founder member of the Anarchist Communist Federation (ACF) was also involved initially in the AWG. This meant they also had a branch in the North of England made up of people from Manchester and Liverpool.
A group of Irish anarchists travelled to the June 2002 demonstrations in Seville Spain against the European summit. This is an account of the demonstration and our journey there. Its based on reports sent to the Ainriail list during the demonstrations but a lot of new material has been added and some corrections made.
The second grassroots gathering was held over the Easter weekend (March 2002) in Cork. It was quite a success with nearly twice as many libertarian activists turning up as had been hoped for. Some seventy people from all over Ireland took part. Areas represented included Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Belfast as well as a scattering of other counties including Kildare, Kerry and Sligo. Some visiting international activists also dropped in, including people from Canada and Norway.
Sundays (Sept 22nd 2002) Reclaim the Streets was a great success. Over 1,000 people took part in the four-hour party. Despite attempts by the Gardai to whip up a panic because the organisers refused to meet with them in advance of the party the day was trouble free and very good humoured.
Saturday March 31st 2001 saw the third Irish anarchist gathering to be held under the title of 'Ideas and Action', this time in the North Star Hotel, Dublin. In terms of numbers this was the most successful gathering to date with around 70 people attending at least one of the three sessions.
On Tuesday morning (March 2004) the second best kept secret of the Dublin libertarian scene came to an end when the council turned up to evict 16 Leeson street. Squatted in the aftermath of the violent eviction of the Disco Disco building at 42 Parnell square last summer No16 has been the focal point for lots of activity ranging from theoretical discussions to organic gardening. Today the eviction attempt was defeated.