This is an introduction to Proudhon’s economic ideas and their influence on revolutionary anarchism. It is a chapter from the new book The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics (AK Press [US/UK], 2012) and its blurb (in part) states: “The only crisis of capitalism is capitalism itself...
The revolutionary union the Industrial Workers of the World marked its 100th anniversary in 2005. To mark this event a conference was held at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, hosted by the editors (Fred Lee and Jon Bekken) of this useful selection of talks from it. As well as an introduction, this book has ten chapters on a wide range of subjects on something often not much discussed in radical circles, political economy.
“In drawing up theses for the international workers’ movement we must not begin with theoretical, preconceived assumptions… If we forsake the empirical road and take one that is doctrinaire, we cannot create an International of struggle.”
Augustin Souchy at the Second Congress of the Communist International
As we prepare to enter the 3rd month of the Occupy movement a commonly heard criticism targets both the lack of clear demands and the related complex and often drawn out decision making processes being used at Occupy General Assemblies. These criticisms however miss the point, against the traditional left with its package of pre-set answers (best before 1917) what makes Occupy different is that process of decision making through assembly. The assembly form is not just a way of making decisions but also a different form of doing politics. The Assembly is in embryo the different world we seek to create.
As with any book, some errors were not spotted before publication. This page lists these few minor mistakes as well as the appropriate corrections. The errors are few and far between and not that significant.
In science, the validity of a theory is generally proven by its predictive abilities. A theory suggests certain outcomes and if those predictions come to be then it becomes accepted as valid. Strangely, while proclaiming itself "scientific socialism" (something, like so much else, appropriated from Proudhon), Marxists refuse to apply that criteria to the socialist movement.
This is an impressive addition to anarchist history. The reports, debates and motions of the International Anarchist Congress held between August 24th and 31st 1907 are available for the first time in English. This meeting, held in Amsterdam, attracted the leading lights of the international libertarian movement – Errico Malatesta, Emma Goldman, Pierre Ramus, Christiaan Cornelissen and a host of others (Peter Kropotkin being an notable absentee).
The ConDem’s are continuing the grand tradition of all governments in proving anarchists right. Our so-called representatives are able to ignore their manifestos, are free to break their solemn pre-election pledges and vote as they like – all in the interests of capital.
As discussed in “The Symbols of Anarchy” in An Anarchist FAQ [AK Press, 2008] anarchists at first used the red flag as their symbol of choice, with the Black Flag slowly replacing it over a period of many decades from the 1880s. Both flags, however, had their roots in working class struggle and protest, both were anti-capitalist symbols raised by working class people in revolt against exploitation and oppression.
Editor of The Voice of the People, and senior editor of The People.
The Voice of the People, October 29, 1849
Translator: Shawn Wilbur
Editor: Iain McKay
QUESTION. What is Socialism?
ANSWER. It is the doctrine of universal conciliation.