This article written in 1997 looked at the choices facing the left and the anarchist movement in terms of building a new anti-capitalist movement. Over ten years later the article remains much of its relevance, I wish it could be otherwise, both in terms of the argument it makes to the left in general and to anarchists in particular.
This collection of three articles examines the how and why of anarchist organization. The first is a look at the success of the network form of organization and why it came to the fore in the current period. It then looks at the limitations of that form or organization. The second articles looks at the organizational practise of the first anarchists and in particular Michael Bakunin and re-examines the different levels of organization he advocated in the light of the needs of anarchists today. The final article asks why anarchist organizations mostly failed to grow following the collapse of the left and identifies why large scale anarchist organizations are essential if we are to ever overthrow capitalism.
A PDF pamphlet is now available of my two published critiques of primitivism. You can now download, print out and distribute this pamphlet whose essays provoked some fury when first published.
I spent the last month Greyhounding around the USA speaking about anarchism in Ireland. Fourteen cities, 20+ meetings in thirty days in cities with populations from thirty thousand to over eight million. On my travels I used the opportunity to record interviews with many of the local anarchists who were organizing the meetings which I edited on the bus and posted to indymedia.ie once I hit my next wi-fi signal. I've collated these interviews below, over two hours of audio in all.
Cover story for WSM paper. The service charges that are being brought in north and south of the border are part of a process of further increasing the proportion of tax paid by workers. The trend in global capitalism is to replace 'progressive' taxes (like income tax) with flat-rate taxes (like VAT, service charges, etc) to further shift the taxation burden from rich to poor.
Does the end justify the means? Many on the left believe so. Aileen O'Carroll argues that the means used play a part in creating the end that is achieved. The best example of this is the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Peak Oil Theory has been around since the 1970s. Some think we have already reached 'peak oil', others think it will happen with the next twenty-five years. The theory argues that when we reach 'peak oil' the rate at which we extract oil from the earth (measured in millions of barrels per day) will reach a maximum and thereafter will start to drop.
The Russian revolutionary Micheal Bakunin is often presented as the 'founding father' of anarchism. He was a larger than life figure whose disputes with Marx in the 1st international form an essential role in the clarification of the role of the vanguard and of the state in the revolutionary process. Yet his concrete ideas on anarchist organisation are not so well known.
With the emergence of the summit protest movement into the public eye after J18 and Seattle, anarchism gained an influence way beyond what the numbers of anarchists and the level of anarchist organisation might have led you to predict. Quite quickly in the English speaking world, anarchism emerged from being a fairly obscure and historical critique of the left to become one of the main poles in the globalisation movement.
It is an old cliché that anarchists are against organisation - the media loves to point out an imagined contradiction between anarchism and organisation. The reality is that (among other things) anarchism is a theory of organisation. The circled A often seen sprayed on walls represents the A of anarchism within the O of organisation. [In Greek]