Over the weekend of February 5th the Workers Solidarity Movement sent delegates to Paris to take place in a European conference of the groups involved in Anarkismo.net. Anarkismo.net is a multi-lingual news and analysis site made up of 31 organisations around the world who agree with the Anarkismo.net editorial statement*. WSM members were involved in founding this project almost five years ago, this was the first formal meeting of some of the groups involved.
The mid 1990's status of the European far-right as a primarily racist rather than fascist movement does effect the way we fight it. It is the official racism of the governments and opposition parties that has made the far right acceptable. Before World War Two fascism did not arise to head off an imminent revolution in either Germany or Italy. It arose because the bosses needed to squeeze the working class a lot harder than the democratic capitalist state was capable of. Wage cuts were so savage under fascism that wages in Germany, for instance, did not reach the 1931 level until 1956.
In the period of the 1930's every western government saw fascism as a useful bulwark against 'communism'. From the early 1920's Italian anarchists had physically fought the fascists and even after World War II anarchists were being jailed for fighting the fascist Italian state in that period. Individual acts were just the tip of anarchist organisation against fascism.
One clear lesson that emerges from the pre-war period is that the fight against fascism cannot be won by the work of 'heroic militants' once fascism has received the backing of capitalism and the state. In Italy, Germany or Spain nothing short of a revolution would have defeated fascism. As in every other case, a successful revolution would have required that the working class as a whole mobilised against the state and the fascist gangs and collectively crushed them.
On Fire: The Battle of Genoa and the anti-capitalist movement (One-Off Press: ISBN 1 902593 54 5)
The Nice referendum is one of those odd occasions where anarchists are recommending the same vote as individuals and organisations we find odious. For instance some of those calling for a No vote are making racist panic arguments saying a Yes vote will result in 7.5 million Eastern Europeans moving to Ireland! It's rather obvious that anarchists who oppose all border controls have no time for such tripe.
This article was written at the time of the second Nice referendum in Ireland as part of 'Libertarians Against Nice', a WSM initiated campaign that distributed 15,000 leaflets as well as carrying our other activity. Because of right nationalist opposition to the treaty we were keen to publish material that put forward a distinct perspective, one that argues against the treaty from a class rather than nationalist perspective.
Restructuring and Resistance is an inspired book that succeeds in explaining why many people in western Europe are opposing capitalist globalisation. It does this by doing what the mainstream media will not, giving them a voice.
The EU is continuing the exploitation of the people of North Africa through creating a special trade zone of some of the North African countries similar to the free trades zones North America has created in Mexico. In Ireland this has been most visible with ‘Fruit of the Loom’ closing plants in the north west of Ireland and opening new plants in Morocco where workers are paid one seventh of what the (low paid) Irish workers were paid.
The arrival of the Euro in its 'real' form of notes and coins is a key step along the path towards European unification. In Ireland, at least, it was virtually unopposed save for a few nostalgic articles about missing the artistry of the old notes and coins.