Britain

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Anarchism and the Big Society

In the Independent (16/02/11), Brian Lincoln from Edinburgh wrote a letter discussing David Cameron’s “Big Society” and anarchism:

Snow way to run an economy

Surprise! Austerity is kicking in and, as predicted, the economy is continuing its downward trend. If anything, the speed is increasing with growth in 2010 falling from 1.2% in the second quarter, to 0.8% in the third quarter until, finally, negative 0.5% in the last quarter. Rest assured, though, there is a culprit at hand to explain the last set-back. To paraphrase Michael Jackson:

Scottish Federation of Anarchists Aims and Principles

The Scottish Federation of Anarchists (SFA) was a class struggle anarchist grouping of the early 1990s. It produced Scottish Anarchist magazine, a regular newsheet of the same name and had groups in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and elsewhere. It lasted a few years. Here is the draft of its Aims and Principles, which I wrote. The idea was to produce a basic statement of what we stood for to explain our ideas to others. It was accepted by the SFA, but with a different, and shorter, preamble.

Letters to Socialist Resistance: Anarchism or Marxism?

Two letters to a Leninist newspaper, Socialist Resistance, refuting their claims about anarchism. It covers the usual Leninist distortions about anarchism. The second letter was turned into a pdf file (included) which was handed out at their subsequent meeting on anarchism. For more discussion of these issues, section H of An Anarchist FAQ is recommended.

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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.

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.

When the middle is the top

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!

50 per cent is no solution

When Labour announced a 50% tax rate on those earning more than £150,000 there was a whole spate of gnashing of teeth from the right-wing media.

Let us put this in context: less that 2% of the British population earn more than £100,000, a mere 10% over £40,000. Britain is an extremely unequal society, with a few owning the bulk of income and wealth.

There is power in a union!

An article on anarchism and unions, written in an attempt to build support for the Anarchist Workers Network (AWN). The AWN aimed to create a libertarian presence in the trade unions, but after a period of interest it disappeared. An article written to learn some lessons from the AWN is attached at the end.

Reports on Bradford MayDay '98

These are some of the thoughts that have been mulling around in my mind since the Bradford conference. I am very aware that it is so much easier to criticise than to offer solutions, so bearing this in mind I would like to throw out five things

  


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