Since the 1970s, capitalist economic policy has been rooted in “fighting inflation,” an euphemism for “crushing the workers.” This policy is rooted in the notion of the “Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment” (or NAIRU) and, like most of the silly and/or nasty ideas in modern economics, has its roots in the works of the late and unlamented Milton Friedman.
This is an excellent work. Wide ranging, both in terms of subjects covered and geography. The latter makes a welcome break from most accounts of anarchism which are sadly all-too Eurocentric. The former sees anarchist analysis expanded from the usual subjects of political authority and economic class into gender and imperialism (and national liberation struggles). It covers such perennial issues as anarchist organisation (including Platformism), the Spanish Revolution and a host of others.
To quote someone who sums up the intellectual times in which we live, Sarah Palin: “now is not the time to experiment with socialism” This, during the worse crisis since the 1930s! Anarchists would say that is precisely the time – but only as long as we are talking about libertarian socialism!
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).
Two letters sent to the RCG’s paper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! a few years back in response to a disgraceful review of an anarchist pamphlet and their lies on the Makhnovist movement. Neither was published, unsurprisingly.
Two letters on why class analysis is important for anarchism, as well as trying to dispel common misconceptions of what such an analysis means and implies.
David Goodway (editor), Five Leaves Publications, 2007 (£9.99)
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.