History

Finding Hope on an A to B March

I haven’t been on many A to B marches over the last few years due to doubts about state sanctioned protest but I managed to get down to the anti-austerity demo on June 20th in London, and was glad I did.

The part of the march I was in was made up of a wide mix of people and groups; gay people (with a LGSM banner!), straight people, Unions -lots… Continue reading

Rescuing Galbraith from the conventional wisdom

Rescuing Galbraith from the conventional wisdom

Colin Ward

John Kenneth Galbraith’s The Affluent Society is the only modern book on economics to become a best-seller. Comparisons have been made with Tawney’s Acquisitive Society and with Keynes’s General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, and praise has been lavished on the book from the political right, left and centre. The Financial Times found it “a stringent and stimulating piece of social analysis”, the Daily Telegraph thought it might provide the ‘sixties with “the popular tools of thought for handling the unfamiliar problems of our already rich society”. Even the warring factions in the Labour Party were united in praise of it, from Mr. Crosland who declared that “I am wholeheartedly a Galbraith man” to Mr. Crossman, who believed it to be “the most entertaining and profound exposure of post-war Western society that has yet been published”, and Tribune which saw in it a “magnificently iconoclastic assault on economic illusions”. It even has its admirers on the other side of the iron curtain, where Galbraith himself is the only leading Western economist to have lectured on the economics of capitalism, and one of the only ones to seek an exchange of professional and personal views with his opposite numbers in Moscow, Warsaw and Belgrade. Continue reading

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Oliver Law & The Spanish Civil War

Oliver Law

On July 19 1936, General Franco, with the backing of Hitler and Mussolini, led a coup against the democratically elected Government of Spain. It kick started the Spanish civil war which saw a viscous fight between right wing and left wing ideologies. Of the many like minded individuals who went to Spain to fight against Franco’s fascists was a young man from Texas who would become the first… Continue reading

¡Digan revolución!

Joe Herbert on the role of photojournalism during the Spanish civil war Continue reading

The Bonnot Gang

(taken from Freedom, October 2012) It’s the 100th year anniversary of the Bonnot Gang, a group of anarchist bandits who operated in the Paris of the Belle Époque

The Bonnot Gang are famous for being the first to use automobiles as getaway cars and were well known in their day for high profile robbing sprees and violent antics. The group continue to divide opinion due to the… Continue reading

Hacking in the seventies

Hacking, phone taps and the anarchists

‘A Company of Bastards’ and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (this brief history of militant trade union phone hacking in the 70s was published in Freedom, 13th August 2011)

Recent comment on the ethics of phone hacking and the media reminded me of our practices in the 1970s, during the time of the alternative press and counter-cultural journalism in… Continue reading

Capitalism by design

Modern city planning serves the interests of the rich and powerful, not us, says Richard Griffin in this article from Freedom, 6th December 2003

Capitalism touches almost every aspect of our lives. Very little is unscathed even the space we live in. Architecture, design, building techniques, property use and access are all mediated by the social, cultural and economic forces generated by capitalism. The recently redeveloped Paternoster Square, immediately… Continue reading

Anarcho-syndicalism

Rudolf Rocker

Historically one of the most prominent forms of social anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism is a school of thought that views labour unions as a potential force for revolutionary social change, capable of replacing capitalism and the State with a new society democratically self-managed by the workers. The basic idea behind anarcho-syndicalism is to create an industrial workers’ union movement based on anarchist ideas, aiming eventually to abolish the wage system… Continue reading