In the highly unequal society produced by 30 years of Thatcherism, earning over £50,000 does not make you “middle-class” or a “middle-income” family. It puts you squarely in the top 5% of the population in terms of income. Yes, really, according to the Daily Mail the bottom-end of the top 5% is the middle!
Pluto Press, 1989 (Translated by John Beverly Robinson (1923))
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Proudhon’s birth, the person who first used the word “anarchist” in a positive light. This was in his 1840 book What is Property? so making anarchism as a named socio-economic theory and movement 170 years old next year.
A series of letters sent to the Weekly Worker on anarchism and Marxism. Most were printed as they were sent, although letter one was cut in half (letter two, which aimed to include the material cut when the first one was published was not if I remember correctly). The letters end up, as usual, discussing the Russian revolution and the Makhnovists).
Bloody Brilliant! This pamphlet does a remarkable job in summarising the basic ideas of Bakunin, the founder of revolutionary anarchism. It covers his analysis of modern class society, the state, bourgeois democracy and Marxism. On every count, Bakunin has been vindicated.
May 1st is a day of special significance for the labour movement. While it has been hijacked in the past by the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the labour movement festival of May Day is a day of world-wide solidarity. A time to remember past struggles and demonstrate our hope for a better future. A day to remember that an injury to one is an injury to all.
Our account of past struggles is not simply a history lesson. Nor is it an attempt to mire the current struggle and movement in past controversies. Rather it is an attempt to contribute to a movement which must look to the future. To do so, we must understand the past in order to avoid repeating previous mistakes and dead-ends. To move forward we must reject those ideologies which failed in the past but which linger on like the undead in our midst.
Some will dismiss our leaflet by saying that it is "old news," that "lessons have been learned" and so on. This does not stop them praising the Bolshevik revolution and urging us to repeat it! Nor does it stop them justifying and rationalising Bolshevik actions, so creating the atmosphere in which such actions will be repeated. Nor does it stop them using the same slogans as before, such as "nationalisation under workers' control," a "workers' government" and so on.
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