Feature

Mexico: 50 anarchist groups “at war” with State and capital

This translated article by investigative magazine Contralinea, originally submitted to US anarchist site It’s Going Down, looks at the rise of insurrectionist anarchism in Mexico over the last few years. All footnotes by the translator.

In Mexico there is an ongoing anarchist insurrection with 50 groups and cells at war with the State and capital. The seriousness of the “black threat” has caused the National Risk… Continue reading

Sowing seeds of hope

In this article written for the new issue of Peace News, peace activist Andrea Needham reflects on her experiences on the road this year talking to peace activists about Seeds of Hope, the group she was part of which in 1996 broke onto a military base and destroyed a Hawk Jet to stop it from being exported to commit atrocities in East Timor. The story of the action and… Continue reading

New guides to a smarter activism

Several new guides to help activists be safer, more effective (and just know your stuff) have been released recently, so below is a brief roundup:

Squatting (Britain)

The Advisory Service for Squatters’ new handbook, brought out over the weekend, which is the first new release since the government made squatting empty residential buildings illegal. The guide is already available from Freedom Bookshop (it will be more widely available soon)… Continue reading

Homeless fight back against criminalisaton

Bristol City Council recently attempted to criminalise rough sleeping, camping, and even parking in public areas, with a sloppily-worded injunction. We at the Resistance collective visited the people at the centre of the case to find out why, and discover how the Council’s injunction had been defeated.

The group that occupies a small encampment in central Bristol – known as Tent City, despite there only being ten such shelters –… Continue reading

Police and Mental Health: Tips for Dealing with Custody and Arrest

CN: Mental health and self harm discussed in article

There are downsides and upsides to informing the police of a mental health condition. Being in a cell is a shitty experience and if you feel unsafe you may have no choice but to tell someone. On the other hand it isn’t likely that your time in custody will be significantly shortened if you do inform the police. Some people find… Continue reading

Interview with the Catholic Worker Movement

Scott in a tent (credit indymedia)

As we head into autumn the thoughts of many anarchists in the south of England turn to the Anarchist Bookfair, being held this year at Central St Martin’s near Kings Cross Station, a highlight in the anarchist calendar for many. One of the regular stalls at the Bookfair intrigues some, confuses others and annoys a few so it seemed a good… Continue reading

From the Land of Proudhon, vol. 4

Karl Marx: Not Infallible

The French Marxist philosopher Étienne Balibar, a pupil of Louis Althuser, published in 1993 The Philosophy of Marx. This text is now, after twenty years, republished. In a new introduction, he asks”: what is the purpose of the re-published book? Balibar says ‘in order to understand Marx in the 21st century he should be read, not as a monument to the past, but like an actual author.’

 

Balibar assumes that the actuality corresponds to the fact, that the questions posed by Marx rest in fundamental value to the philosophy and concepts he develops. The importance of his philosophy is greater than ever, declares Balibar. I doubt that highly. Par example it is not surprising that one hears repeatedly, that a new Marx would have to stand up. This is not surprising because Karl Marx proved to be fallible in many ways.

 

The thing which disturbs me is that Balibar, in his text from 1993, highlights the discomfort of Marx on the anarchists like Stirner and Proudhon, without commenting on it (which I was not expecting him to do, but after twenty years reconsidering nothing is impossible…). Apparently Balibar still requires pushing Marx in that way to show his superiority. In his criticism, especially of anarchists, Marx has the self-styled aura of infallibility, while he worriedly sneered about them. He indeed called the individualist anarchist Max Stirner (1806-1856) ‘Saint Max’. Did he read him? Presumably. From this assumption, it can be concluded that he was in bad faith where he spoke about him as ‘Saint Max’. If there is somebody who has dismantled religion, it is Stirner. Continue reading

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The Militarisation of Israeli Society

In the second blog from Nikki Ray in our series about life under Israeli occupation, Nikki dicusses the many ways in which Israeli society has become militarised, and how this affects both the occupied and the occupiers.

Only 2 countries in the world have compulsory military service for both men and women[1]. Israel is one of them. Few countries in the world have military service so intertwined with a feeling of national identity as in Israel. As a student mentioned, whilst we were recently being hosted by a Reform Synagogue in Haifa, ‘without the army Israel would not exist’. Her statement is true. The Haganah, an underground Zionist military unit fought to maintain Jewish settlements by suppressing Arab revolts with force between 1920 and 1948[2]. This was during the British Mandate period of Palestine before an Israeli state existed. When Israel was granted statehood in 1948 the Haganah became the Israeli army (or the ‘Israeli Defence Force’). This militarisation filters through to many elements of daily life. For example when a young person is serving as a teacher for their national service they have to wear their green army uniform[3], normalising the military within schools from an early age. Teenagers in their military uniforms can be seen frequently in cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa, as wearing their uniforms entitles them to have free public transport, or entry into a museum or art gallery. As one of the Rabbis at the Reform Synagogue said, ‘I want peace, but I also want my children to do their military service’. To me, peace and the military are contradictory forces; peace cannot be gained through violence. The military is inherently violent.

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Green Anarchism: Towards the Abolition of Hierarchy

Freedom presents an essay by contributor Corin Bruce, intended as an  introduction to ‘green anarchism’ and the ways in which it can challenge hierarchies.

In the last few decades new forms of activism have begun to emerge that concerned not merely the fate of human society, but of the non-human world – including non-human animals and the environment – as well. In their most radical forms, these struggles culminated in what has been termed by some as ‘eco’ or ‘green’ anarchism. Green anarchism can be taken to consist in any political doctrine that takes some of the key components of anarchist thought – whatever these are deemed to be – and applies them towards critiquing the interaction of humans with the non-human world. This definition is a good start, but is perhaps like many definitions of anarchism unsatisfactorily vague. This essay will propose a more specific definition of green anarchism, which will later be explained as the political doctrine that strives for the abolition of hierarchy in general. Continue reading

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World War One and 100 Years of Counter-Revolution

Otto Dix, Stormtroopers Advance Under Cover of Gas, 1924

One hundred years on from the start of the First World War, Mark Kosman reflects on the nature of war and the class struggle throughout the last century and asks the question: can governments keep up this destructive, murderous fraud?In 1871, Karl Marx wrote that governments use war as a fraud, a ‘humbug, intended to defer the struggle of the classes’. In 1914, that fraud was so effective that not only most workers but also most Marxists supported their respective nation’s rush to war. Ever since then, governments have used war to defer class struggle and prevent revolution, but this strategy cannot last forever.

The Great Unrest and the Great War In all the commemorations for the start of World War One it is unlikely that there will be many references to the huge strike wave that preceded the war. But this strike wave, known as the Great Unrest, created considerable insecurity among Britain’s elites. This was especially the case as these strikes coincided with other disturbing social movements such as the nationalist upsurge in Ireland and the increasingly violent campaign for women’s suffrage. By the summer of 1914, workers were mobilising for what the left reformist commentators, Sydney and Beatrice Webb, called ‘an almost revolutionary outburst of gigantic industrial disputes.’ The future Prime Minister, Lloyd George, warned that if these industrial disputes coincided with the looming civil war in Ireland then Britain would face ‘the gravest [situation] with which any government has had to deal for centuries.’ Another reformist author, H.G.Wells, claimed that Britain’s wage-earners had ‘definitely decided not to remain wage-earners for very much longer’ and he warned of ‘a series of increasingly destructive outbreaks … culminating in revolution.’ Wells may have overstated what he called the ‘drift towards revolution’. But even Basil Thomson, the head of Britain’s political police, the Special Branch, seems to have shared Wells’ fears when he predicted that ‘unless there was a European war to divert the current [of unrest] we were heading for something very like revolution.’ Continue reading

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