Anarcho

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Articles by anarcho

Review: An anarcho-syndicalist alternative to capitalism

The economics of freedom

This is an excellent, if flawed, little pamphlet. Written by a group of people in the Solidarity Federation, the UK section of the International Workers Association, it is an attempt to explain how a libertarian communist society could work. The aim of such a society is "to guarantee liberty and equality" for all and, unsurprisingly, these principles are at the heart of both their model and their criticism of capitalism.

Happy in the ghetto?

I attended the last of the student demos against the tuition fees increase on the 9th of December. It was a well attended march, with students and workers across the country protesting their anger. Many of the student marchers came straight from their occupations. These were people protesting against austerity using direct action, something every anarchist advocates.

Economic Democracy: The new mutualism?

Allan Engler is a lifelong trade unionist and social activist. Some may recognise his name from his 1995 book Apostles of Greed when he first presented his critique of capitalism and his alternative. His new booklet Economic Democracy: The Working-Class Alternative to Capitalism expands on this vision, which he terms “Economic Democracy” but which others would call market socialism.

Mutualism: Fake and Real

A vision of a co-operative commonwealth has always been at the heart of socialism. The earliest socialists suggested co-operative villages, workplaces and consumer societies. This was echoed by libertarian socialists.

Review: Proudhon's “What is Property?”

Proudhon’s work is a classic for many reasons. Not only did it put a name to a tendency within socialism (“I am an Anarchist”) and raise a battle-cry against inequality (“Property is Theft!”), it also sketched a new, free, society: anarchy.

Review of Proudhon's "System of Economic Contradictions"

System of Economic Contradictions

or, The Philosophy of Poverty

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon made his name with his first Memoir on property, 1840’s “What is Property?” After two more Memoirs in 1841 and 1842, his next major work was 1846’s “System of Economic Contradictions” in which he first used “mutualism” to describe his libertarian socialism (inspired by the workers in Lyons where he stayed in 1843).

“I am an Anarchist”: 170 years of anarchism

In 1840, two short expressions, a mere seven words, transformed socialist politics forever. One put a name to a tendency within the working class movement: “I am an Anarchist.”  The other presented a critique and a protest against inequality which still rings: “Property is Theft!”

Co-operatives, conflicts and revolution

A few years back, I published a few articles in Freedom on raising the demand for co-operatives in response to the economic crisis. These were ‘Bailouts or co-operatives?’ and ‘Co-operatives and conflicts!’ (although they appeared in Freedom slightly edited). The last was in reply to another article on this subject, which was replied to on-line.

"The Coming Insurrection" Review

This is the English translation of the principle piece of evidence in an anti-terrorism case in France. Nine people were arrested in 2008, mostly in the village of Tarnac, under the charge of sabotaging overhead electrical lines on the French railways. With only little circumstantial evidence available, the French Interior Minister has associated them with a ultra-left insurrectionary movement and singled out this book as a “manual for terrorism.” It is not that, but is it a manual for revolution?

Syndicalism, Anarchism and Marxism

Instead of trying to squeeze Marxism into syndicalism, it would be better to ask why so many “Marxists” rejected the legacy of Marx and embraced positions (revolutionary unionism, primacy of economic struggle, the general strike, unions as the structure of a socialist society, etc.) which were expounded by Bakunin and attacked by the founders of their ideology. Looking at what the syndicalists themselves said, the ideas of Bakunin and what Marx and Engels advocated, it quickly becomes apparently that Marxism was not one of the “core ideological elements” of syndicalism. In reality, syndicalism was simply, as so many syndicalists and others stressed, a new name for the ideas raised in the IWMA and for which Bakunin was a leading advocate.Syndicalism, Anarchism and Marxism

  


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