Freedom News

Rebuilding the red and black in Germany

Anarcho-communist organiser Anna outlines the anarchismus project, aimed at creating a new hub for working class struggle.

Traditionally anarchism in Germany has had many faces – and the last decades in particular were often dominated by individualist tendencies focusing on autonomous structures that reject organisation and class consciousness.

However, in the last few years anarcho-communism has been on the rise again – with syndicalist union FAU (“Free Workers Union”), platformist organisation Die Plattform, Perspektive Selbstverwaltung (Perspective: self-governed), as well as smaller local groups gaining members and momentum. These groups, which hardly constitute a strong movement anchored in social struggles, try to navigate their way through German leftist circles that all-too-often do not recognise the importance of a materialist world view and the reality of class struggle.

To create a news, information and discussion hub for all those connected to class-struggle and social anarchism in its broadest sense, German-speaking media project was founded in early 2021 by a collective of anarcho-communists located in Germany, some of whom had already been working on the anarchist podcast “Übertage” (a mining term from the Ruhr area meaning “above ground”), and has grown rapidly.

With anarchism being a tradition that emerged from 19th and 20th century working class struggles, strives to connect working class groups and individuals that advocate organised anarchist communism – by sharing news and historical information, encouraging theory development and discussion, curating extensive reading lists (for anyone who would like to learn about anarcho-communism) and updating a map of active organisations and groups that are open to contact from fellow anarchists looking to get organised.

As a media collective, we want to make anarcho-communism visible and strengthen its formative power.

During recent major social conflicts in Germany there have usually been only two positions dominating public discourse: a ruling progressive neoliberalism and a right-wing populist “opposition.” The radical left often concentrates on fighting right-wing extremism and refrains from a consistent critique of liberalism – either out of fear of playing into the hands of the right, or because it has almost no larger ambitions itself.

We strongly believe we have to break these patterns. As anarcho-communists we need to establish ourselves as a reliable and consistent third position in debates on all current, relevant issues. As revolutionaries we have to openly question both the neoliberal mainstream and its populist pseudo-opposition.

Looking at the situation in Germany today, social anarchism does not advance its tactics often enough and rarely produces new theory to counter the two loudest public narratives and their talking points. We do however need a clear understanding of the world and what role we want to play in it in order to fundamentally change it. Historical anarchism combined with a Marxist analysis of capitalism (and including other radical theoretical traditions) have given us a good starting point – however, further development is needed on many levels to take account of current social problems and society’s reactions to them. We simply need more revolutionary organisations that help elaborate critical theory while being active in mass struggles, which strive to intensify and connect struggles and circulate ideas and strategies.

As a collective we also see strong media projects as a core requirement to reach people and open up spaces to encourage much needed analysis and debates. If we look at the political right, as well as neoliberals, we can see how they are unfortunately very successful in actively shaping the overall social discourse with a variety of projects. To keep up with a rapidly changing world we urgently need to engage, not only with updated anarcho-communist analysis, but with modern medias that have become prime information sources for the majority of people.

Within the limits of organised working class social anarchism, intends to be a cross-current medium. We do not exclusively represent syndicalism, platformism or anarcho-feminism, but aim to be a first point of contact for German-speaking anarcho-communists (to be). With a strong focus on movement building and working class anarchist visibility in a range of different media, everything published by aims to be equally informative and comprehensible. We neither want to publish overly complicated texts, nor do we want to insinuate that the working class is unable to analyse and understand complexities.

Hosting a news blog, archive and contact register, is however not only a website, but a community project. In order to facilitate low-threshold participation we accept submissions and run an active and open discord server to connect people and projects. Our close cooperation with other media projects, e.g. podcasts or social media channels, are another important aspect of working-class solidarity.

In addition to its online activities, the collective veers into the ‘real’ world by publishing a series of anarchist introduction pamphlets and printing new translations of classic texts as well as original material of contemporary interest. Let’s get organised!

~ Anna

This article first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Freedom anarchist journal.

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