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[l] at 8/6/20 12:33am
Author: Various Authors
Title: Is Black and Red Dead?
Date: 2009
Notes: An academic conference organised and supported by the PSA Anarchist Studies Network, the PSA Marxism Specialist Group, Anarchist Studies, Capital & Class, Historical Materialism, Critique—Journal of Socialist Theory (Political Studies Association—PSA). The conference was hosted by the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, the University of Nottingham. It was held on September 7th and 8th, 2009. Please note that these papers are in draft form, some remain extended presenations, and they are not to be cited without the express permission of the author(s). (Not all papers were made available online.)
Source: Retrieved 2020-07-01 from aaaaarg.fail and anarchist-studies-network.org.uk
.’ ,” Call for Papers

“Crowned heads, wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!”

—Otto Von Bismark, upon hearing of the split in the First International

What is the political relevance of the ideological labels “anarchist” and “Marxist” in the contemporary geo-political climate? Despite recurrent crisis, the costs typically borne by the people, neoliberal capitalism continues to colonize the globe in a never ending quest for profit and new enclosures. Meanwhile, an effective political response from the left to the wars, ecological destruction, financial collapse and social problems created by capital and state has so far failed to garner the widespread support and influence it needs. Indeed, the sectarianism of the left may well have contributed to this failure. Still, despite fracture, there have always been borrowings across the left. Most recently, post-’68 radicalisms have contributed to a blurring of the divisions between the anarchist and Marxist traditions. Traditionally regarded as hostile and irreconcilable, many of these ideas find expression in the “newest social movements,” taking inspiration from the Situationists, left communists, and social anarchist traditions. The anti-statist, libertarian currents within the socialist movement have repeatedly emerged during periods of acute political and economic crisis, from the council communists to revolutionary anarchism. Is this one such historical juncture in which dynamic reconciliation is not only welcomed but vital? To rephrase the question, what can we learn from 150 years of anti-statist, anti-capitalist social movements, and how might this history inform the formulation of a new social and political current, consciously combining the insights of plural currents of anarchism and Marxism in novel historical junctures? Indeed, to what extent have these traditional fault lines been constitutive of the political imagination? The modern feminist, queer, ecological, anti-racist and postcolonial struggles have all been inspired by and developed out of critiques of the traditional parameters of the old debates, and many preceded them. So, to what extent do capital and the state remain the key sites of struggle?

We welcome papers that engage critically with both the anarchist and the Marxist traditions in a spirit of reconciliation. We welcome historical papers that deal with themes and concepts, movements or individuals. We also welcome theoretical papers with demonstrable historical or political importance. Our criteria for the acceptance of papers will be mutual respect, the usual critical scholarly standards and demonstrable engagement with both traditions of thought. Please send 350 word abstracts (as word documents), including full contact details, to: Dr Alex Prichard (ESML, University of Bath): a.prichard@bath.ac.uk

Conference Report

Compiled by Alex Prichard

Since its foundation the ASN has had as its primary aim to foster institutional and interpersonal links between those working in the broad area of anarchist studies. The success of our first conference at Loughborough University in September 2008 was the product of three years of hard work to build this area of research. At the meeting that followed this first conference, it was suggested that a conference be held on the intersections between Marxism and anarchism. One year later, this conference is the idea made real. Our primary aim as a research network was to reach out to Marxist scholars and begin a new dialogue between the two traditions of thought. The secondary aim was to provide a space for people who felt they crossed the boundaries between Marxism and anarchism to present their work and discuss their ideas in a supportive and convivial environment.

The result was the first conference in living memory on the intersections between Marxism and anarchism. It was hosted by the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice at the University of Nottingham. The conference convenor was Dr Alex Prichard, co-founder of the Anarchist Studies Network. Saku Pinta drafted the initial call for papers and Dr Dave Berry worked to ensure the radical book stalls were part of the conference. The conference was convened in conjunction with the PSA Marxism Specialist Group. Special thanks to Professor Marc Cowling for his support with our bid to the PSA for funding. The event was also supported by four academic journals: Anarchist Studies, Capital and Class, Critique-Journal of Socialist Theory, Historical Materialism and Studies in Marxism. Special thanks also go to Sue Simpson at Nottingham University for her extensive administrative work, to Dr Tony Burns, co-director of the CSSGJ, for his coordination and for the financial assistance provided through the Centre, and to the Political Studies Association for a generous grant of £2000 to support the event.

The conference attracted 42 papers and a further 20 participants. It was a truly international conference with participants from the US, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Finland, and the UK. The range of topics reflected the geographic spread of the presenters and the spread of the case studies and movements analysed. The experiences of key individuals, such as Antonio Gramsci, Cornelius Castoriadis, C. L R. James and a number of others encapsulated the controversies, trade-offs and developments in socialist thinking by refusing doctrinaire positions on ideology. The historical papers each in their own way illustrated that there are multiple anarchisms and multiple Marxisms; their form changing according to the heritage of the traditions crossed, fused or transcended and the demands of the contexts in which these ideologies morphed and met. Each paper also illustrated how different contexts have created different forms of political agency over the past 150 years.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Morpheus
Title: A Brief History of Popular Assemblies and Worker Councils
Date: 15th August 2003
Source: Retrieved on 2nd August 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20070707071654fw_/http://question-everything.mahost.org/History/Assemblies.html

The phenomenon of popular assemblies and workers’ councils has appeared many times throughout history. These organs of self-management usually spring up spontaneously during a crisis or revolution when ordinary people begin to organize their own lives. Popular assemblies are meetings of ordinary people which organize against the dominant hierarchical institutions (states, corporations, etc). Assemblies are non-hierarchical, with everyone having a equal power instead of dividing the group into order takers and order givers. Direct democracy is usually used to make decisions in the assemblies. These assemblies can be formed in the neighborhoods, factories, schools, villages and elsewhere. They typically use mandated & recallable delegates to coordinate their activities. Mandated delegates simply implement the decisions of their assemblies, where decision making power stays, unlike representatives who can implement any decision they want. The most famous systems of mandated & recallable delegates are the workers councils, which are confederations of worker assemblies. This system of decentralized direct democracy is the embryo of an anarchist society. An anarchist society would be organized by voluntary non-hierarchical associations, such as these assemblies & councils, rather than through authoritarian institutions like corporations and the state. Most of the time these organizations have appeared the majority of participants were not anarchists and did not see this organizations as the embryo of the future society. As a result they are usually short lived and disband within a few years. However, they provide a glimpse of how a free society could organize itself and are obviously important to anyone seeking to change society in an anarchistic direction, which is why I’ve put together this index. This index of periods when these assemblies & councils have appeared focuses mainly on the 20th century and is most certainly not comprehensive. Only those times when these assemblies have challenged the dominant institutions have been included; these types of organizations are often present in many societies but do not challenge the status quo.

French Revolution, 1790–93

During the French Revolution poor people called sans-culottes formed neighborhood assemblies called sections. They used a system of mandated and recallable delegates to coordinate their activities and were partly responsible for overthrowing the King. The Jacobins, advocates of representative government, shut down the sections and launched a reign of terror to eliminate their enemies.

Russia, 1905

At the end of the Russo-Japanese war Russian workers, peasants and capitalists rebelled against the Tsar. Peasants took over land from the landlords; village assemblies started to run the villages. Workers went on strike and began taking over the factories, where they formed worker assemblies. They used mandated and recallable delegates, who met in meetings called Soviets, to coordinate their actions. The Tsar granted concessions, including the creation of an elected parliament, the Duma, and repressed those who continued to rebel.

Mexican Revolution, 1910–19

During the Mexican Revolution there were numerous peasant rebellions in favor of land redistribution. Peasant-based armies and partisans were formed to fight in the civil war, such as the army lead by Emiliano Zapata. In many villages where government forces had been driven out land was expropriated from the landlords and decentralized direct democracy practiced. Village assemblies and councils were formed to run the villages. In the process of the revolution and civil war Mexican nationalists came to power. They successfully played the workers and the peasants against each other, eventually defeating the peasant armies and shutting down the popular assemblies.

Russian Revolution, 1917–21

In February 1917 a spontaneous rebellion overthrew the Tsar and created a Republican government. Afterwords, worker assemblies and the Soviets reappeared. Peasant assemblies began taking over the land and workers the factories. In October 1917 the Bolshevik party led an insurrection which overthrew the government and established a one party dictatorship. By mid-1918 the Soviets had gone from being directly democratic forms of coordination to representative institutions to finally simply rubber-stamping the decisions of the Bolshevik party with no real power at all. The Bolsheviks attempted to forcibly dispersed the popular assemblies and were eventually successful. There were numerous rebellions against their rule through 1921 which sought to reestablish the popular assemblies and directly democratic soviets. The Russian Revolution was the start of a wave of unrest that would spread across the globe over the next several years.

Ukrainian Revolution, 1918–21

In the Spring of 1918 the new Bolshevik government made peace with Germany and agreed to allow them to take over Ukraine and other areas formerly part of the Russian Empire. The people in the Ukraine had no say in this and revolted against the Germans. After the February revolution in Russia peasant village assemblies had begun taking over the land. They formed Free Soviets which, unlike the Russian versions subordinated to the Bolsheviks, were free of political parties and were controlled by the peasants & workers. In some places resources were pooled and communes formed. They formed decentralized democratic militias that fought against reactionaries and foreign invaders. Anarchists played an important role in organizing all of this, especially the Anarcho-Communist Nestor Makhno. These partisan groups were able to defeat the Germans, Austrians, Ukrainian Nationalists and two white armies (the whites were Russian reactionaries). In 1921 the Bolsheviks invaded Ukraine and used their superior resources to conquer it, violently suppressing the communes, free Soviets and popular assemblies.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Morpheus
Title: Basic Principles of Anarchism
Date: 25th June 2003
Source: Retrieved on 2nd August 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20070303054259fw_/http://question-everything.mahost.org/Socio-Politics/BasicAnarchy.html
Common Myths About Anarchism: Anarchists advocate complete chaos

This is a complete myth with no basis in reality. Anarchists do not advocate chaos and anarchy does not mean chaos. Similar slander used to be said about the ideas of democracy and republics. In places where a Monarchy was thought necessary the idea of elected governments was often equated with complete chaos. This association is the result of slander by the powerful (the state, corporations, etc.) that control the media and is, unfortunately, not a surprise. Since anarchists seek to overthrow them it is not surprising that they would slander anarchism with all sorts of absurd nonsense.

Anarchists believe in mindless violence

Another common stereotype is that of the mad bomb-throwing anarchist who advocates carnage and destruction for the sake of it. This too is a myth. Anarchists do not normally go around throwing bombs at everyone nor do we consider beating up old ladies a virtue. It is true that there have been anarchists who have used violence to advance their cause but this is true of every political philosophy. Republicans and democrats have used much more violence throughout history then anarchists, yet they are never demonized as crazed bomb throwers. Indeed, the state is not only inherently violent but the most violent organization in human history. It uses violence on a systemic level (in the form of police & militaries) and is responsible for numerous genocides. The state is vastly more violent than the most violent of anarchists.

Anarchists, by definition, are opposed to organization

The vast majority of anarchists are not opposed to organization. What anarchists are opposed to is hierarchical organization — organizations in which one group of people tells the other members what to do. Instead anarchists advocate organization without authority, where all members have an equal say in group decisions.

What Anarchism Really Stands For

Anarchy comes from the Greek and literally means “no rulers.” Anarchists are anti-authoritarians who seek to abolish domination. It is important to differentiate between different two types of authority: legitimate (or rational) authority and illegitimate (or irrational) authority. In other words, there’s a difference between being an authority and having authority. Being an authority means that a person is recognized as competent for any particular task based on her or his knowledge and individual skills. It is socially acknowledged expertise. Legitimate authorities are experts who are particularly knowledgeable, skillful or wise in any particular area. It may be in our best interests to follow their recommendations, but they have no power to force us to do so, nor should they. Legitimate authority is this kind of authority, the authority of an expert.

Having authority is a social relationship based on status and power derived from a hierarchical position within a group. It means dividing society/the group into the order givers and the order takers. The order givers, the authorities, tell the order takers what to do and they must obey. This is illegitimate authority. A boss, for example, is an illegitimate authority because employees must obey his orders. When something is described as “authoritarian” it usually means that it uses illegitimate authority.

Hierarchy is essentially institutionalized authority. It is a pyramidally structured organization consisting of a series of grades, ranks or offices of increasing power, prestige, and/or remuneration. Those with lower ranks must obey those with higher ranks. Hierarchies maintain control by coercion — the threat of negative sanctions (physical, economic, social, etc.) against those who don’t obey. Hierarchical organizations are, by definition, organizations that are run by elites. Those on the top, the elite, have more power then those on the bottom. Hierarchical authority is the authority that is inherent in any hierarchy. This is the same thing as illegitimate (or irrational) authority — that is, relations of command and obedience. Another name for this is domination.

Anarchism is extreme skepticism of authority. The basic idea is to abolish domination in favor of a society based on voluntary cooperation. As the anarchist Noam Chomsky said:

“I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. That includes political power, ownership and management, relations among men and women, parents and children, our control over the fate of future generations (the basic moral imperative behind the environmental movement, in my view), and much else. Naturally this means a challenge to the huge institutions of coercion and control: the state, the unaccountable private tyrannies that control most of the domestic and international economy, and so on. But not only these. That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Sometimes the burden can be met. If I’m taking a walk with my grandchildren and they dart out into a busy street, I will use not only authority but also physical coercion to stop them. The act should be challenged, but I think it can readily meet the challenge. And there are other cases; life is a complex affair, we understand very little about humans and society, and grand pronouncements are generally more a source of harm than of benefit. But the perspective is a valid one, I think, and can lead us quite a long way.” [1]


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Tommy Curry
Title: Black Anarchism — Has its time come?
Date: April 24, 2002
Source: Retrieved on 2005-05-03 from https://web.archive.org/web/20050503220902/http://newshound.de.siu.edu/online/stories/storyReader%243796

In recent months, the surge of debate about terrorism and the ethics of this type of warfare against the United States has gained momentum. From the academic to the political sphere, the question about the appropriate use of violence against oppression is being discussed with a level of trepidation. If one uses this forum to ask a question that many waiting for the revolution will inevitably have to encounter, what will come of race relations in America? But you all know me, so I generally wonder “if violence is an appropriate and justifiable response against racism?”

Civil war happens in almost every country in the world — why not here? Many multi-culturalists and romantic humanists seem to believe diversity and cultural interaction is the most effective way to combat the racial bigotry and oppression in this society. However, we can see the impetus that large-scale revolts provide in immediately seeking to change social structure. Of course, we will always have the Civil Rights movement as an alleged demonstration of “peace and patience” and the “appeal to the humanity of all,” but it raises two important questions.

First, how many of our people have to die in a peaceful demonstration for the natural rights Americans claim are protected by the constitution? In other words, “how long do we have to wait to be human?” Second, do we really think that Europeans changed overnight and gave in to the wishes of oppressed Africans in America because they decided that Africans were just as human as they are? Or was it because they faced a political movement so great in ideology that it threatened regional and eventually national stability?

Remember, the Black Panthers and other radical organizations and their members were forcibly eliminated — better yet, murdered — at the hands of Europeans, while the integration of Africans into “American” society began. We are all familiar with the daily murder of Africans by the hands of radical white supremacist groups such as the police, the CIA and the local white communities who ostracize Africans, etc, etc. Like A.J. William-Myers says, “ in America’s democracy, it is always open season on Blacks.”

In fact, the mistake that Africans and other non-Europeans make is in assuming that the violence and murder of our people is abnormal — an anomaly in our rich democratic tradition — instead of recognizing violence against minorities and the marginalization of oppressed people as an integral part of the structure. “Tommy, what are you saying?” “Are you actually advocating the murder of racist individuals in an effort to remedy racism,” you ask? Absolutely not.

First, murder is such a harsh word — I prefer armed resistance. Secondly, I am talking about social organizations that are loyal to the experience of oppression, those who seek resistance as a possible and strategic solution to the intervention of police, government agents and Europeans loyal to the idea of furthering white supremacy by killing non-Europeans. Africans and non-Europeans must take a stand. The recent onslaught against civil rights by President Bush and the rise in conservatism against the progress of minorities, economically and socially, demand a type of local segregationism that supports the cultural and economic empowerment of oppressed groups. This among other things demand security.

Our people die every day in a war that no one is willing to acknowledge is going on. Arab-Americans are being stereotyped and assaulted. Are we really going to keep our faith in a democratic system that targets a perceived threat and justifies their silence by excluding them from democratic procedures and due process? Just remember, it could be us. Then what? It just so happens that Africans have a choice, for once, to be part of the lynch mob. However, it does not mean that another one won’t come for us.

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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Friends of Aron Baron
Title: Bloodstained
Subtitle: One Hundred Years Of Leninist Counterrevolution
Date: November 10, 2017
Source: Retrieved on 4th August 2020 from https://archive.org/details/BloodstainedOneHundredYearsOfLeninistCounterrevolution

Aron Baron was born into a poor Jewish family in the Kiev province of the Ukraine in July, 1891. He was sent to Siberia following the 1905 Revolution and eventually made it to the United States in 1912. In Chicago he met his first wife, Fanya, and was active with the Russian Workers Union and the Industrial Workers of the World. They returned to the Ukraine in 1917.

Baron was an editor of the Nabat journal and participant in the movement of the same name. He was an active speaker and organizer. The arrests and imprisonment by the Cheka for Baron’s revolutionary agitation began in 1919, and never seemed to end. In September of 1921 Fanya Baron was shot by the Cheka.

Years of exile and imprisonment followed but Baron never stopped organizing against the Bolshevik state and for the true selfemancipation of workers and peasants. He was executed with over a dozen fellow anarchists in August of 1937.

This volume is dedicated to Baron and all the anarchists murdered by Bolshevik tyranny—and those who fought to save them.


Soon the younger generation will be consigning us to the archives, will they not?

No, it’s too soon to put us in the archives—right, my fine, young friend?

—Aron Baron, 1925, in a letter to Mark Mrachny

Introduction by The Friends of Aron Baron

History may not have ended, but it certainly has gotten strange. The social contract neoliberalism once imposed—a patchwork of economic shell games and the political rituals needed to foist them on people—has shredded with surprising speed in recent years. The result has been a rapid universalization of precarity. Unpredictability and groundlessness are ubiquitous parts of our lives, which unfold in a supposedly “post-truth” world where the basic prerequisites for understanding almost anything seem lacking—or at least seem to change with each news cycle.

This new reality was both cause and effect of Donald Trump’s election as forty-fifth president of the United States. His campaign successfully harnessed the fear and desperation of our social unraveling, and he rose to power with promises to end it. He would, he said, stop the erosion of our dwindling sense of security and restore the certainty of clear borders (national and racial) and steady jobs. The trains would run on time.

Trump’s success-from-the-fringe took US liberals by surprise. Anything other than the staid electoral ping-pong between managerial representatives of this or that political party had been unthinkable to them. Further along the left spectrum, there was surprise among many radicals, but perhaps less shock: they at least had the theoretical arsenal with which to explain the situation—after the fact.

The left is no less subject to historical uncertainty, nor really any more prepared to meet it or predict what’s next. Lately, many radicals have been engaged in the same grasping at straws that motivated Trump voters. When the way forward is unclear, they seem to think, it’s safest to go backward, into the past. They search for answers in the tried and true—even when that truth is one of massive historical failure. Thus we’ve seen a return to social democratic strategies, first with the tepid “socialism” of Bernie Sanders, more recently with the resuscitation of the Democratic Socialists of America. Voters in Europe figured out long ago the pointlessness of electing so-called socialists to oversee a capitalist economy. The US, as usual, has failed to learn from others’ mistakes.

The hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the occasion for this book, has put an even more bizarre spin on these developments. Many see the centennial as an opportunity to rehabilitate, even celebrate, outdated forms of authoritarian state socialism. It’s a tricky celebration, though, one that must either carefully ignore the human devastation that the Bolsheviks set in motion in 1917 or push it past an imaginary border beyond which, the story goes, communist possibility was hijacked by evil men, and marched off to a land of gulags and forced collectivization. Judging from their lists of recent and forthcoming titles, leftist publishers around the world will repeat these elisions and fairy tales in scores of books that praise Lenin, reframe the Bolsheviks, and attempt to rescue the Marxist jewel buried beneath a mountain of corpses.

If it was just the old guard and zealous party officials spinning these fictions, this book would be unnecessary. Their influence has steadily declined and they will eventually all die off. In these strange, unsettled times, though, a number of young people have become enamored with the ghosts of dictatorships past, sharing “Hot Young Joseph Stalin” memes on social media and sporting hammer-and-sickle baseball caps and jeweled necklaces. There’s often an ironic edge to the new Bolshevik bling, like the punks of a previous generation wearing Nazi symbols. But the punks at least had a raw nihilistic honesty: they were referencing the horror behind their regalia to make a point. Today’s new, young communists are either much more oblivious to the history behind their gestures or are slyly hedging their bets by pretending there’s no substance to their style, and thus no accountability. All this suggests a more pressing need for this book.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Morpheus
Title: Elections Are A Scam
Date: 31st October 2004
Source: Retrieved on 2nd August 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20070705083131/http://question-everything.mahost.org/

As in every election we’re now being bombarded with propaganda about how “your vote makes a difference” and associated nonsense. According to the official version ordinary citizens control the state by voting for candidates in elections. The President and other politicians are supposedly servants of “the people” and the government an instrument of the general populace. This version is a myth. It does not matter who is elected because the way the system is set up all elected representatives must do what big business and the state bureaucracy want, not what “the people” want. Elected representatives are figureheads. Politicians’ rhetoric may change depending on who is elected, but they all have to implement the same policies given the same situation. Elections are a scam whose function is to create the illusion that “the people” control the government, not the elite, and to neutralize resistance movements. All voting does is strengthen the state & ruling class, it is not an effective means to change government policy.

If a party wins the elections but implements policies that go against the interests of big business then profits will go down and businesses & investors will withdraw their investments. This capital flight will cause the economy to crash. If the ruling party does not change its policies to appease big business then they’ll lose the next elections due to the bad economy. In practice most parties change their policies to appease the corporate elite in order to avoid losing power.

This is not merely theoretical, it has happened repeatedly. It happened in India a few months ago. The left, lead by the Congress party, won the elections, leading to a coalition government with the Congress party and the Communist party. This caused the stock market to crash because investors feared a change in economic policy that would hurt their profits. Sonia Ghandi, who was originally going to be the next Prime Minister, chose not to take the position and the new government was forced to adopt policies virtually identical to the previous government. Their rhetoric is different, but policy is basically the same.

Usually the mere threat of capital flight is enough to keep potentially recalcitrant politicians in line (although most politicians never even consider policies that conflict with the corporate elite/state bureaucracy). For example, Bill Clinton won election on a mildly liberal reformist platform. Once in office he was forced to abandon his campaign promises because if he continued them the bond market wouldn’t react well and the economy would go down the tubes. Clinton’s famous statement to his advisers upon realizing this was, “You mean to tell me that the success of my program and my reelection hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of fucking bond traders?” He was thus forced to abandon his program before it even started, instead implementing one virtually identical to Republican proposals. He complained to his aides:

“I hope you’re all aware we’re all Eisenhower Republicans. We’re Eisenhower Republicans here, and we are fighting the Reagan Republicans. We stand for lower deficits and free trade and the bond market. Isn’t that great?”

In theory the government might be able to combat this by nationalizing industry but neither the Democrats nor Republicans (or most prominent third parties) are willing to do this. Even if they were, the Supreme Court would strike it down. If some way were found to get around this then the CIA and/or Pentagon would overthrow the government in a coup (or through less dramatic means). The CIA has overthrown many governments for nationalizing industry, or even just implementing policies not sufficiently favorable to US corporations, including Chile, Iran, Guatemala, Brazil, Greece, the Congo and many others. Doing the same on their home turf would be a piece of cake.

Once elected representatives are isolated from the general public but surrounded by bureaucrats and other politicians. They therefore have a tendency to see things from the perspective of politicians and bureaucrats, rather than from the perspective of the general public from which they are isolated, and are much more susceptible to pressure from government bureaucracies.

Elected representatives’ dependency on the state bureaucracy for information makes them very susceptible to manipulation by the bureaucracies they are officially in charge of. For example, in the late ‘50s the CIA secured approval to launch an uprising in Indonesia by feeding a series of increasingly alarmist reports to their superiors in the National Security Council, who otherwise might have shot the proposed uprising down. This shows how government agencies (especially secretive ones) can pressure politicians and influence policy in preferred directions. This is enhanced by the fact that individual politicians come and go but the bureaucrats are permanent, which makes it easier for bureaucrats to manipulate information and ensures that politicians have less experience with such manipulation. Because the state bureaucracy is permanent while politicians are transitory state bureaucracies tend to accrue more power than elected representatives.


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Author: Victor Garcia
Title: A history of Spanish libertarian youth paper ‘Ruta’
Date: 1978
Notes: Translated by Paul Sharkey published in ‘The Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review’ Number 4, 1978 as ‘Contributions to the history of anarchism “Ruta”’
Source: Retrieved on 2006-05-25 from https://web.archive.org/web/20060525061948/http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/spain/ruta.html

Inside Spain the Libertarian Youth had always had a number of mouthpieces, outstanding among them the peninsular organ ‘Juventud Libre’ (Free Youth) and the organ of the Catalan region ‘Ruta’. Among the youth, we find the same mushrooming growth of libertarian papers as among adults. In his ‘La Ciudad de la Niebla’ that great observer of the Spanish character, Pio Baroja, pointed out that wherever there were three anarchists together, they would found a paper.

‘Juventud Libre’ which adopted the title Ruta in October 1936, was founded well before the July revolution of 1936 when the Libertarian Youth of Catalonia were the “Cultural and Propaganda Section of the FAI” something which was to bring them into conflict with the rest of the Libertarian Youth of Spain until the revolution was already a few months old. The latter had grouped themselves into the FIJL (Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth) completely independent of the Libertarian movement’s other two branches, the CNT (National Confederation of Labour) and the FAI (Iberian Anarchist Federation) in 1932.

The Libertarian Youth of Catalonia (JJ.LL) were reluctant to break away from the FAR, whereby they appeared to refuse to leave the nest, though they were exceptionally well equipped in terms of experience in struggle and propaganda to do so. Unity of the youth wing was finally achieved by rallying around the FIJL and its supreme body, the Peninsular Committee in Madrid. Until this unity became a fact, of course, the pages of ‘Ruta’ devoted many a column to defending the stand of the Catalan youth. It is possible that, but for the war and the unitarian spirit it brought, the Catalan JJ.LL would have stuck to their guns and their original positron which was, remember, one of dependence on the FAI.

Although the bond between the three branches was steely and unbreakable, the decision to break away on their own proved to be a good one, for throughout the three crucial years of the civil war between 1936 and 1939 the Libertarian Youth were able to steer clear of the shameful collaborationist blunders committed by the CNT and the FAI. In this way the FIJL weathered the problem years when other organisations of anarchists jettisoned principles for parliamentary seats, ministerial appointments or state government or municipal secretary ships, and did so without compromising its anarchist principles.

Ruta played a leading role in accomplishing a task fraught with such difficulty, and, coercion and threats from the two “sister” organisations notwithstanding, her columns never failed to proclaim the orthodox position of all anarchists: war on the state, authority, privilege, religion, right up to militarism, something which was always very risky, given the wartime conditions Spain was then experiencing. One must add that when it came to the last mentioned campaign, militarism was assailed not on any defeatist grounds, but rather by agitating on behalf of guerrilla warfare, the century (groups of 100 militiamen) and the column, the first organs of defence and attack set up in July to offer resistance to the mercenary army of Moors, Germans and Italians.

Had the Libertarian Youth of Catalonia gone on as the “Cultural and Propaganda Section of the FAI” they would have had less freedom of expression, which would have, had a detrimental effect on the loyalty they always showed to anarchist principles.

[This article is from the 1970’s and here a section is deleted on the 70’s Japanese and Italian anarchist movements]

Until the Spanish civil war ended, ‘Ruta’s’ management was successively in the hands of Fidel Miro, Jose Peirats, Manuel Peres, Santana Calero, Benito Milla, and Benjamin Cano Ruiz. Gifted writers all of them, who, as we noted earlier, were able to ensure that the youth movement’s paper was uncompromising in the orthodoxy of its approach. Oddly enough, with the passing years Fidel Miro has inclined towards a more lax approach, joining the “Zero” group which is outstanding for its revisionist and even collaborationist overtones. Given that Peirats took over the management of ‘Ruta’ in the early months of the war and his attitude then, as ever, being staunch in its orthodoxy (he is, as the saying then was a ‘piel roja’ (red skin)[1] ‘Ruta’ was set along an uncompromising course from the very outset — a course it has yet to waver from, either inside Spain or in exile.

Manuel Peres took over the management of ‘Ruta’ shortly after his near miraculous escape from the Canaries which had been occupied by Franco’s hordes. Born in the nineteenth century he was the oldest of all those who, at one time or another managed ‘Ruta’.

Santana Calero’s stay at Ruta was exceedingly brief and it took a backseat to meetings, organising groups and the front, until after the war had ended, he met a hero’s death at the hands of the fascist rabble, one of the most outstanding members of the Resistance in Andalusia. A loss sorely felt on account of the promise shown by this lad from Andalusia, especially in terms of oratorical gifts.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation
Title: Indigenous Autonomy and Revolutionary Resistance
Date: July 1997
Notes: [The following speech was delivered to the March 1997 Love & Rage Continental Conference by Jorge on behalf of Amor y Rabia-Mexico City. It was translated into English by Matt Black.]
Source: Retrieved on 4th August 2020 from http://struggle.ws/mexico/reports/lr_indig_auton.html

On the eve of a new millennium, we meet once again, to look for the correct paths in the endless struggle to transform this society into a world of justice, of freedom, and of hope. Today, more than ever, in the presence of the possibility and the conditions for participating in a revolutionary process in Mexico, in the presence of the idea of changing the current forms of human community into new forms, more aware and therefore more egalitarian, and in the presence of the challenge of being ourselves part of this transformation, once again, for these reasons and many more, we allow ourselves to dream that utopia can be realized.

As a collective, Amor y Rabia has wanted to address the theme of Indigenous Autonomy, because we understand that in this time, as in other eras of history, it is the best model for organizing a movement of resistance and struggle that includes not only indigenous people, but also everyone who is convinced of the need to live in a different world.

Indigenous struggle and resistance is the daily and permanent will of the people to systematically preserve the unique aspects of the cultures with which they identify. This concept includes the refusal of domination and a refusal to conform to its imposition, in an attitude of creative defense of themselves, facing the invaders, and, of course, in the desire to be able to live freely themselves.

Indigenous Resistance

The indigenous people have developed a profound analysis of how to resolve the great problems that oppress them. The strategy of the Mexican state, to create economic and social programs, has clearly shown us over five centuries that their plans have never included indigenous participation. Rather, the indigenous people are misled by those same authorities into believing that the programs are in their best interests.

The innumerable discussions, reflections, and exchanges that have occurred around the country have concluded that the solution of these problems requires the establishment in Mexico of a regime of autonomy.

The current model of the state-centralized, exclusive, authoritarian, homogeneous and opposed to pluralismó shows us its inability to transcend its own contradictions (racism, repression, corruption, and drug trafficking, among others). Consequently the process of autonomy irreversibly becomes the strongest option for organizing a new society.

Since the National Indigenous Convention, suggested by the EZLN, one of the most important forums in which there is discussion about autonomy is the Plural National Indigenous Assembly for Autonomy (Asamblea Nacional Indigena Plural por la Autonomia (ANIPA)). The indigenous prospect is not a new project of exclusion, nor does it put itself on the margins of the great hopes of the non-indigenous people who desire freedom. On the contrary, their proposition is to enter for the first time into a truly dynamic relationship with all of non-indigenous society, resulting in a new society, more just and more humane. This is to say that we should examine the regions or zones composed of diverse socio-cultural groups and the possibility of living together in unity and diversity, under principles of equality and respect, which we can point to as instances of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic life. In this sense, the indigenous demand fully identifies with the aspirations we have as libertarians: a commitment to an integration of struggle and collective effort that includes the greatest possible ethnic diversity.

Elements of Autonomy

Now then, with respect to what form the indigenous autonomies should adopt, as well as considering the ethnic aspect, to try autonomy from the territorial point of view is perhaps the most recurring demand we are aware of. Nearly 100 years ago, Ricardo Flores Magon used to say that communalism: ‘is the organized manifestation of the indigenous way of life; in other worlds, the basis of the survival and the struggle of the people to preserve their identity’ and that it was composed of four fundamental elements: (1) land; (2) representation; (3) work; (4) and communal benefit or welfare.

Basically the idea of this Mexican anarchist at the beginning of this century is the same as that held by indigenous representatives of our time, concerning the communal character that the territories must have and that is the foundation of the feeling that they belong to a place that is theirs collectively, but that can benefit each individual community member without fracturing its collective character. Further, that there are things used by the whole community, such as natural resources and public works (schools, hospitals, common stores, etc.).

The existence of a truly autonomous community would imply, to our understanding as a collective, a full recognition and exercise of the following faculties by the communities:

In the economic sphere:

  • Control and determination of the use of communal land and natural resources.

  • Planning and carrying out communal development projects.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Organización Socialista Libertaria
Title: The Need of Our Own Project
Subtitle: On the Importance of a Program in the Libertarian Political Organization
Date: September 2008
Notes: Translated by a member of the Furious Five Revolutionary Collective, San Jose, CA.
The original article appeared in En La Calle, the newspaper of the OSL from Argentina.
Source: Retrieved on 2020-07-15 from https://anarchistplatform.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/the-need-of-our-own-project/

We that believe in the construction of a libertarian political organization, of an anarchism that as a revolutionary project have real impact in the class struggle, see the need of adopting a clear program of action that is the fruit of collective discussion and express our principles and revolutionary objectives and that determine the tasks to be realized in each step taken. The importance of anarchists having such a program is expressed by Bakunin when he stated that “one should never renounce the clear established revolutionary program, not in what concerns to its form, not in what concerns its substance.”[1] In our understanding, its fundamental importance comes from the fact that the said program expresses the ideological, theoretical and practical unity of the revolutionary organization.

Just like our militant action adjusts itself to the collectively discussed and agreed upon program, there are groups, organizations and collectives that reject both in theory and in practice the necessity of a program. There are many reasons for that attitude. On one side, the belief that the creation of a program would nullify the freedom of action of the militants; on the other side, the exacerbated search for the needed unity of anarchists to the point in which unity is preferred at any cost, in the fear of risking positions, ideas and proposals sometimes irreconcilable. The result of these types of union are libertarian collectives without much more in common than considering themselves anarchists. About this, Malatesta stated that: “in every case an organization lives as long as the reasons of union are superior to the ones of separation; if that’s not the case it dissolves and it leaves behind more homogeneous groupings.” Later he adds that “we certainly would feel happy if we could all be in agreement and unite all forces of anarchism in one movement. (…) It is better that we are disunited than badly united.”[2]

In accordance with those words we say that the reasons for union must be formed into a program, or else “the only cooperation that could happen would be based in sentimental desires, vague and confused, and there would be no real unity of perspectives. There would be then only a marching under the same banner, with ideas that are not only different but even in opposition to one another.”[3] We say that because we understand the existence of a program as the result of the profound discussion of all that makes the revolutionary objectives, ideas and practices, leaving behind the “idea of creating a program of patches, by the collection of small points of communality” that “think that all points of view are correct.” “It is in this sense that the program is not the collection of secondary aspects that bring together (or often, that do not divide) the people that think similarly, but it is the analysis and proposals that are only adopted by those that believe in it and decided to spread this work and make it a reality.”[4]

It must be clear that the correct program, the one that is able to insert itself successfully into the revolutionary process, the program that the oppressed make their own, cannot and should not be the creation of a group of “intellectuals” that want to spread and impose their ideas and whims at the world. The program must come from a rigorous analysis of society and the correlation of the forces that are part of it, it must have as foundation the experience of the struggle of the oppressed and their aspirations, and from those elements it must set the goals and the tasks to be followed by the revolutionary organization in order to succeed not only in the final objective but also in the immediate ones.

We said earlier that the program should express clearly the ideological principles and revolutionary objectives of the organization. In the same way there should be set those objectives that should be won in the short term in a specific step of the struggle: the immediate goals. There should be understood that just like the ideological principles are inalterable and the revolutionary preposition is irrenunciable, the short-term goals of the organization will change according to the changes that come its way, be it that the goals were fulfilled, be that circumstance requires new goals to be set.

The militant action around the program of the organization implies “not just deal with things when they happen, neither deal with each situation isolated from the other nor lose enthusiasm because the advance is not immediately visible. It is about setting goals and move towards them. It is about choosing actions and establishing priorities based in these objectives. This implies, of course, that there are activities that we will not do, actions in which we shall not be. They might be important or even spectacular, however, they do not count if they do not fit with the purposes of the step of our program. In other cases, in activities that are in harmony with our goals, we will be in the absolute minority or with great complications. To choose what is more pleasing or with less complications is not a correct policy.”[5]


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Peter Gelderloos
Title: The Other White Vigilante
Date: July 25, 2020
Source: Retrieved on 2020-07-26 from https://itsgoingdown.org/the-other-white-vigilante/

White vigilantes play a vital paramilitary role in the functioning of any settler state. The violence of such vigilantes was the driving force in the US’s westward expansion, and at the same time the paramilitary culture they developed became central to the official military, as documented by John Grenier and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. The vigilantes of the KKK were the vanguard of the terrorist reaction against Reconstruction, bolstering racial capitalism. Vigilantes like James Earl Ray can assassinate problematic rebels, allowing the official branches of law enforcement to keep their hands ostensibly clean. White vigilantes patrol a border designed to kill, and they have assassinated and injured numerous people participating in the George Floyd uprising.

More recently, another kind of white vigilante has carved out a niche. This kind comes from the Left, and they claim to be critical of the police and the white supremacist structures with which they work hand in hand.

Meet Kristina Beverlin. Kristina was a participant in the CHOP in Seattle who frequently used her social media (@krisbeverlin on Twitter and @mindfulexplorer on Instagram) to share #BLM posts and criticisms of the police.

On June 12, however, she shared photos of a Black man she claims to have seen start a fire at the East Precinct. “I need everyone in Seattle to retweet the photo of this man”, she writes. On July 14, Isaiah Thomas Willoughby was arrested on federal charges of arson, which carry a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years. He was identified thanks to Beverlin’s photograph.

This is not the first time Beverlin has worked as a volunteer snitch under cover of her “journalistic” activities. On June 4, she tweeted a video of a Seattle protester who she claims was “the first, to break Nike’s windows. He had no fear of being arrested. Never tried to run.” Multiple other tweets recycle conspiracy theories of police trying to start riots, with large speculative leaps or rumors in the crowd as her only evidence. She frequently extols the virtue of “100% peaceful” protests and claims, also based on rumor, that the SPD wanted protesters to burn the East Precinct down.

The marriage of pacifism and conspiratorial thinking is a key component of the left-wing white vigilante. Brought up on Mel Gibson and Joss Whedon movies, they believe that revolution is simply the revelation of some nefarious conspiracy of power, that once people have the truth, power will fall. The role of conspiracy theories in political thought has anti-Semitic and anti-Black origins, and the 9–11 Truther movement has already shown us that conspiratorial thinking aids the far Right and weakens actual movements for liberation.

But in the cheap maneuvers of a snitch like Beverlin, we can also see how conspiracy theories serve as an alibi for white people. Though governments have their morbid secrets, NONE OF THE KEY ASPECTS OF WHITE SUPREMACY AND CAPITALISM HAVE EVER BEEN HIDDEN. The intertwined brutality of capitalism and colonialism—with the race regimes they brought to life—has always existed in plain view. The “truth” that should supposedly bring this system crumbling down has never been more than one neighborhood away from even the most sheltered of white people. If there are white people who did not join the fight against the police before police murders were regularly caught on video, it is because they chose not to listen to people of color.

Those whose hypocritical ethics force them into the streets only once #BLM becomes the top trending hashtag are in desperate need of another conspiracy to preserve their white privilege even as they take up an oppositional pose.

OBVIOUSLY, people who are getting systematically murdered by the cops need to be able to fight back, to defend themselves. Obviously their expressions of rage are both legitimate and intelligent, and obviously other people should fight alongside them, also exposing themselves to bodily injury and the risk of imprisonment. Unless. Unless…

Unless that’s what the cops actually want us to do, and we’ll really show them by being completely peaceful, not destroying anything, not disrupting anything.

This infantile logic is so self-serving, it’s astounding. But some people will do anything to preserve their power and privilege. That’s why we have police murders in the first place.

Kristina Beverlin’s profile image shows a person, presumably her, wearing a Batman mask, which, frankly, couldn’t have been scripted better, as Batman validates the white imaginary of the ultra-punitive vigilante upholding an unequal social order, the No Holds Barred terrorism that is necessary for polite company to speak of rights and due process, just as every District Attorney must be accompanied by its KKK or extrajudicial assassinations to keep the system running.

Her justifications for her snitching are also telling. In the initial thread about the precinct fire, she repeatedly uses law and order language to delegitimize this Black man who allegedly lit the match. She describes the behavior of a street person with all the pathology a Karen can muster.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Tom Nomad
Title: Pacifism
Date: 7/15/2020 (written in 2009)
Notes: Published in an edition of 50 physical copies by Seith Communiti multimedia imprint. seithcommuniti.noblogs.org Free dissemination and reproduction of this text is encouraged.
Source: Seith Communiti Imprint

“Put quite plainly, nonviolence ensures a state monopoly on violence. States- the centralized bureaucracies that protect capitalism; preserve a white supremacist, patriarchal order; and implement imperialist expansion- survive by assuming the role of sole legitimate purveyor of violent force within a territory. Any struggle against oppression necessitates a conflict with the state. Pacifists do the state’s work by pacifying the opposition in advance. States, for their part, discourage militancy within the opposition, and encourage passivity”

Peter Gelderloos. How Nonviolence Protects the State (2007, South End Press)


Perhaps one of the most exhausting debates within “activist” movements is the discourse concerning the effectiveness of “violent” vs “nonviolent” tactical sets. For numerous reasons, and for quite some time, this debate has gone nowhere. In many instances, both sides of this debate make sweeping generalizations about the other, which engages tactics on the level of effectiveness without examining the very constructed abstractions inherent in either approach. This debate has gained some energy once again with the success of insurrectionary anarchist tactics at the IMF/World Bank demonstrations in the Fall of 2007, the Republican National Convention in 2008, and the recent uprising in Greece; all at a time when the mainstream pacifist antiwar movement has been relegated to the dustbin of ineffective social movements, and one that sees many in the “official” Left defecting in droves to join the “Obamanation” (as many anarchists have come to call the recent cult of personality around the election campaign of Barack Obama). Many involved in social movements have to come to grips with one stunning fact that many of us seem to forget: none of the tactical sets that we have employed have resulted in a substantial victory over the moves of capital and state. Despite this, I cannot count how many times I have been subjected to a lecture from an old pacifist claiming “Well, these are the tactics that we have always used, and they have worked so far.” If the current social and political condition is what results from nonviolence working, I would hate to see what happens when it fails! What this all comes down to is the reality that nonviolence has not worked as a force of social change, and that historical precedence of a tactic does not guarantee its legitimacy. This historical precedent is just another glaring example of the near-total inability of pacifists to make sweeping social upheaval a possibility – for this reason we must deal a critical blow to the legitimacy of nonviolence as an organizing tactic that hopes to threaten the order of things as they exist.

Nonviolence has become accepted by the state as a generally harmless form of action, a classic example being the action done in front of the White House on September 26, 2005. Over 150 people — including the activist celebrity Cindy Sheehan — sat down in front of the gate of the White House to wait to be arrested. Outside of the utter pointlessness of this action (as if the state cares if people get locked up for political action in an age of vast prison expansion and privatization), there were details that many of the observers of this action were unaware of. The organizers had told the police that they were planning an action, and entered into a process of negotiation with them a month prior. They came to agree that people would be arrested and not cuffed, walked over to a processing van which would be on site, and asked to pay $50, then they would be released. In essence, organizers negotiated with the police an agreement to make the action the least disruptive that it possibly could be. This is where the nonviolent paradigm has led us — the question is why? I suggest that this is not an unintended consequence, but rather a mentality which is inherent to the nonviolent perspective.

We need to first examine the ontological assumptions that structure the kernel of nonviolence. Two pieces of writing stand out in particular in how well they represent the two most common arguments for nonviolence outside of those offered religious / new ageism (which are based on the mass-authoritarian imposition of religious norms over movements rather than a ground-up tendency toward nonviolence upon which this piece intends to focus). The first piece is “The Politics of Nonviolent Action” by Gene Sharp, a tactician on a series of “nonviolent” campaigns, well-known and often cited (and often challenged) theorist and historian of nonviolence. In this piece, Sharp puts forward the common belief that nonviolent struggle is necessary to create a nonviolent world. He bases this theory around an articulation of a networked idea of political power; that the state persists in its actions because of structuring of social consent, and that nonviolent action presents a mechanism to hinder undesirable actions by the state while constructing the basis for a new political paradigm through the exercise of popular or constituent power. The second piece worth examining is the anarchist pamphlet “You Can’t Blow Up A Social Relationship”, which presents an argument uniquely suited to the framework of anti-authoritarian movements. The central argument made in the pamphlet is that revolutionary violence is a “strategy of impatience,” (12) and a characteristically vanguardist tactical set that presents nothing but authoritarian possibilities. The arguments within these two pieces mutually reinforce each other in several interesting ways (which we examine later) — but perhaps most fundamentally they share the common the assumption of the legitimacy of mass politics and the pure ideality of the state. This assumption of the nature of the state and our ability to withhold consent from its perpetuation forms the crux of their arguments and would have to be the case in order for nonviolence to be more than an individual aesthetic morality in one’s self-discovery quest. The very contradictory nature of reality illustrations that this assumption is also the basis of their collective failure — and thus, the pivot-point that leads to the latent authoritarianism of nonviolence.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Morpheus
Title: The Moderate as Extremist
Subtitle: A critique of the idea that the “middle of the road” is always the superior position.
Date: 3rd August 2003
Source: Retrieved on 2nd August 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20070707071622fw_/http://question-everything.mahost.org/Philosophy/Moderate.html

Of all the extremists, the worst are the moderates. Moderate ideology is contradictory, irrational and just plain wrong. Ideas should not be judged on the basis of whether they are “extremist” or “moderate” but on the evidence and arguments used to support them. There is no reason to believe “middle of the road” positions are inherently better than “extremist” ones. In some cases the “extremist” position is vastly superior to the “moderate” one.

The usual argument in favor of the “moderate” position is to take a situation, argue that moderation is best in that situation and then pretend that this applies universally to all situations. For example, one old argument is the bravery argument. Supposedly, you don’t want to be too brave because that would lead to you getting into dangerous situations where you could get yourself hurt. A little fear can be a good thing since it can help you avoid hurting yourself. On the other hand, you don’t want to go too far in the other direction. A complete lack of bravery would lead to cowardice and running away when it would be a good idea not to, even from things that couldn’t possibly hurt you. Thus, moderation is supposedly a good idea. This may be true in the case of bravery, but it is a non-sequitur to apply this universally. The moderate’s logic implies support for slavery. The “middle of the road” position on slavery would be to have a moderate amount of slavery — not too much and not too little. The “extremist” positions would be to either have lots of slavery or no slavery at all. On this issue an “extremist” position is undoubtedly correct — we should have no slavery at all. Slavery is immoral; its abolition was a good thing despite what the moderates claimed.

Not everything should be in moderation. We should not have rape in moderation. We should not have genocide in moderation. We should not have slavery or concentration camps or war crimes or sexism or racism in moderation. These things should be completely abolished; to have them in moderation — as the “middle of the road” position would have it — is unethical.

Moderates are actually extremists, and far worse than many of the “extremists” they denounce. The idea that one should ALWAYS take the “middle of the road” position on ALL issues is itself quite extreme. One could alternatively always take the extremist position, which would be the opposite form of extremism as the moderate. The middle position would be to sometimes take a “middle of the road” position and sometimes take an “extremist” position. By demanding a “middle of the road” position on everything the “moderate” is actually practicing a form of extremism. Moderate ideology is thus is self-refuting. If everything should be practiced in moderation than moderation should also be practiced in moderation. If moderation is practiced in moderation than you are not practicing everything in moderation — a self-contradictory circle.

A further problem with moderate ideology is that with the proper manipulation of the political spectrum one can make almost any political position the moderate one. For example, define one end of the spectrum as being Democratic Socialism and the other being Anarchism. The “middle of the road” position in this spectrum would be Marxist-Leninism. This manipulation of the spectrum is implicit in “moderate ideology.” For example, most contemporary moderates would denounce the belief that we should have a moderate amount of slavery as “extremist,” even though it was the position defended by moderates prior to the outlawing of slavery and is logically the middle of the road position. Most contemporary moderates position themselves between (left-)liberals and (neo)conservatives, which are viewed as the extremes. But a few centuries ago most of the things advocated by both liberals and conservatives would have been viewed as extreme leftist. The spectrum has shifted, most people today are somewhere on the liberal-conservative spectrum — there is almost no one advocating absolute monarchy or feudalism anymore. The positioning of the moderate between liberals and conservatives is arbitrary; they could just as easily position themselves between constitutional monarchists and absolute monarchists, which would be a position far to the right of most conservatives. In practice the moderate believes whatever happens to be the mainstream position(s) of the time. They simply sum the dominant philosophies together. Rational analysis is thrown aside and instead whatever is most popular is believed regardless of how wrong it may be. Anyone who does not go with the most popular ideas is denounced as “extremist.” “Extremist” is essentially a derogatory term for any idea that is unpopular. Someone who believes in a moderate amount of slavery would be labeled an “extremist” even though his or her position is technically moderate because that idea is extremely unpopular in contemporary society.

Most moderates rely as much on stereotypes and anti-“extremist” prejudice as on rational arguments. This is not surprising, since their arguments in favor of “moderate” ideology are usually very weak. One common stereotype is that of the “violent extremist” who uses atrocities and terror to impose his/her way. While there have been “extremists” (people with unpopular views) who have used force, this stereotype is simply wrong. There are also “extremists” who are (theoretically) opposed to all use of violence under all circumstances. They are called pacifists. Moderates, on the other hand, have historically used extreme amounts of violence. Moderates have supported wars, terrorism and other uses of force when it was the “middle of the road” position. The “middle of the road” position moderates claim to advocate implies support for a moderate amount of violence, war, terrorism and atrocities. Moderates support the state, the most violent organization in human history. They are thus far more violent than two forms of “extremism” — (true) pacifism and anarchism. How “extremist” (popular or unpopular) a position is has little to do with how violent its’ adherents are.


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[l] at 8/5/20 6:00pm
Author: Morpheus
Title: Trouble in the Garden of Eden
Subtitle: A critique of creation “science.”
Source: Retrieved on 2nd August 2020 from https://web.archive.org/web/20070707071600fw_/http://question-everything.mahost.org/Philosophy/eden.html

In 1615 the Inquisition summoned Galileo to Rome. They threatened to execute him unless he retracted his belief that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa. As silly as it seems, believers of medieval theology similar to the Inquisition still exist today. These people, known as creationists, have tried to gain credibility in recent years by attempting to portray their religious beliefs as a scientific theory. However, creationism is not a valid theory. It conflicts with established scientific theories, which are supported by mountains of evidence, and one of the keys to their beliefs, that the Bible be interpreted literally, is nonsense.

Creationist claims conflict with many modern scientific theories. They believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago (Morris), that dinosaurs and humans lived together(Nelkin 76), that there was a giant worldwide flood which brought many species to the brink of extinction and that anything stated in the bible is true when interpreted literally (Dorman et. al). Such beliefs are in direct contradiction with biology, geology, cosmology and several other branches of science.

In order to show the fallacy of creationism we must first understand exactly what they are claiming. There claims are more or less the following: Six thousand years ago a sentient being created Earth, the universe and all life on Earth, including humans. All life, whether it exists now or went extinct several years ago was created within a week of Earth’s creation. Life did not evolve into its present form but was created that way. A thousand years after the Earth was created there was a world wide flood that some claim caused many species to become extinct. A man named Noah was warned by the being that created Earth about the flood and told to build a giant ark and place seven or fourteen of each kind of animal on board. After the flood these species were supposed to repopulate the Earth. They further claim that there is scientific evidence supporting these claims.

The Earth and the universe are several billions of years old, not several thousand. There is a variety of evidence supporting this. For one, if the universe was only 6,000 years old then we should only be receiving light from stars 6,000 light years away. The light we are seeing from stars does not arrive instantaneously; it takes time for the light to get here. While in a vacuum, light travels at approximately 300,000 kilometers a second. Thus, if you are standing 300,000 kilometers away from someone and you shine a light at them it will take one second for them to see the light (it will take longer if there are gasses such as air in the way as it will slow the light down). If you are standing 600,000 kilometers away it will take two seconds, etc. A light year is how far light will travel in a year (in a vacuum). So, when we look at the star Alpha Centauri, which is about 4 light years away, we actually see what Alpha Centauri looked like 4 years ago because that’s how long it took the light from it to get here.

There are quite literally millions of celestial objects well over 6,000 light years away. The Adromeda galaxy, for example, is two million light years away. If the universe was only 6,000 years old then we should only be able to see 6,000 light years away. The light from anything farther away then 6,000 light years would not have had time to reach us. Yet, we can see more than 6,000 light years away indicating that the universe is more than 6,000 years old (Godfrey, et al. 42).

We can determine the age of many rocks by using radiometric dating. There are many radioactive materials, all of which decay. They are unstable, and their nuclei often spontaneously convert to different nuclei (Futuyma 70). In order to change into a different atom they have to change the number of sub-atomic particles they contain and as such emit particles when transforming. These particles are known as radiation. While we cannot predict with accuracy when any particular radioactive atom will decay we can predict the approximate amount of time it will take for a large amount of it to decay. The amount of time it takes for half of any amount of a radioactive material to decay into another material is called its half-life. We can determine the half-life of any material by measuring how much of it decays in any time period. We do not need to stand and watch the whole thing decay. We can extrapolate from how much it decays in a smaller amount of time. This process does not occur for most elements, but only for those with large nuclei. In general, the larger the nucleus of the element is the shorter its half-life (Godfrey, et al. 37).

Most radioactive material with nuclei larger than uranium has long since decayed away, their half-life being very small. We have found many radioactive materials and used radiometric dating to determine their age. We simply determine how much of the material has decayed away and from that we can extrapolate backwards (Godfrey, et al. 38). The oldest rocks found on Earth have been dated between 3.8 and 3.9 billion years ago by using several radiometric methods. Some of these rocks contain materials that themselves are 4.1 to 4.2 billion years old. Rocks this old are relatively rare, but rocks on many different continents have been found and dated over 3.5 billion years old. Although these rock ages cannot directly establish the age of the Earth, they do establish that it must be at least 4.1 billion years old (Dorman, et al.).


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[l] at 7/23/20 6:02pm

Announcing a new anarchist library project in the Polish language, Anarcho-Biblioteka.

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theanarchistlibrary.org is (despite its name) an archive focusing on anarchism, anarchist texts, and texts of interest for anarchists.

Within the scope of our use of the term “anarchism” we have been quite broad, but broad does not mean infinite, and basically shrinks down to a set of ideas against the State and the capital. This immediately rules out the so-called “anarcho-capitalism”, “anarcho-nationalism” and similar crap.

What is so special about this site?

Often, you may find the texts hosted here on other sites that also aim to be digital libraries, and often the texts are taken from them (the source is always listed). But this library provides (together with the on-line version of each text) one or more high quality PDFs in various sizes and and formats, as well as its plain text sources, and an EPUB version for mobile platforms. We actively encourage the DIY printing and the distribution of the texts, so you have the “imposed” version for Letter paper (USA) and A4 (rest of the world): just print double side, fold and clip, and the booklet is ready.

The site provides a way for distributors and friends to change the layout of the PDFs and to create collections of an arbitrary number of texts (1 or more). See the bookbuilder page.

The site also provides an advanced search engine.

All these features come with some responsibility for the people who want to contribute to the library. We ask that uploaders contribute a logical representation of the text, with headings, emphasis, quotation blocks, etc. marked up appropriately. The site provides some tools (inside the web interface) to make this process easy, but some attention and some care is still required. Please be sure to read the manual if you plan to join the project for the mid- to long-term.

I have a text I’d like to see in the library. May I submit it?

Yes, you may! You don’t need an account. Just click Add to Library and read the instructions.

I uploaded something, but you censored me!

When we choose not to publish something, usually we contact the uploader, providing a explanation. Problematic texts are always discussed.

What about my zine?

If you want to publish your zine here, keep in mind that we can’t accept PDFs or raw scans. The texts here are processed to produce various formats, including but not limited to PDF.

Even if inserting images in the text is fully supported, this archive may not be the best solution for graphically heavy texts.

So, if you think your text makes sense only together with its specific layout, the place to publish it is zinelibrary, not the library.

What about my scans?

Texts freshly scanned are welcome, but you have to OCR and format them first. Broken, unreadable texts are rejected. We prefer quality over quantity. Work on your text and make it shine, don’t throw it up as shit on the grass.

Hey, you started without me. Can I join you?

Sure, you can join the crew. We have a mailing list (library@angrylists.com) and a IRC channel.

What about support for other languages?

It’s a reality. There are already sections in Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Macedonian, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian, to various degrees of development. So please don’t mail us telling “Would be great if...”. The support is there. If you are seriously up for it (and you want to work on it), please let us know.

Tell us about your technology.

All the various components use free software and the code is freely available at http://amusewiki.org.

Why don’t you do X

Perhaps because we haven’t got around to it. Perhaps we have other reasons for not doing X. If you want X to happen at the Anarchist Library, feel free to log onto the IRC channel and talk to us about how X will rock our world, and how to make X happen. We are probably open to do it.

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The Anarchist Library on torrent as of February 17, 2020

1.6 gb 7zip, English library website mirror - PDF, MUSE, TEX, HTML, and EPUB

Torrent & Magnet link:


Magnet Link

Please seed if you can.

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webchat : https://irc.anarchyplanet.org/#library

or point your preferred IRC client towards the server || port (regular, SSL, and via Tor):

server: irc.anarchyplanet.org

channel: #library

matrix: matrix bridge 2 IRC #library: #theanarchistlibrary:riot.anarchyplanet.org

irc.anarchyplanet.org || port 6667
irc.anarchyplanet.org || port 6697 (for SSL)
iofdnzyvag7ncw63.onion || port 6667 || (and) 6697

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[l] at 11/5/17 6:38am

October 6th, 2015

An update from the Anarchist Library: Fall 2015 Getting old? or just the weather...

Greetings from the labyrinths of the library. The anarchist library project has been aging slowly with time and brushing the dust off of its pages by forking out into new and exciting paths. The project now provides texts in eight different languages. The German and Swedish language libraries are the most recent additions. The project also offers libraries in the Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian, Finnish, Russian, Spanish, and the English languages. As always, your participation in this project by helping upload and edit texts of interest to you is what helps make the archives wonderful.


If you are interested in starting a new library in your native language (or one that you are highly fluent in), please contact us via email or by dropping by the IRC chat. We are willing to provide full support to help get your library project up and running.

Email: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/about

IRC: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/special/webchat (IRC etiquette means that we are not always there and often AFK IRL, so please have patience)

Social Media:

The library has also recently made a Twitter robot that automatically tweets out the newest editions and edits to the world. It's still in the beta stages, so please bear with it as a small foray into the world of robots and social media.


In other social media news, some of you may know that the library started a Facebook page years ago as well. It seems that this page, while generally disdained and neglected (and even hated) for some years by the librarians – has somehow become really popular. It now has almost 6,000 members in the public group (is this something to celebrate?). The page is meant as a tool for discussion and sharing of anarchist texts and not as a place for posting memes or heating up sectarian issues.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/262856644014/ (it's behind a wall and you must be logged in to view + added to group by mods)


In place of having a torrent as we have done before in the past, friends have been kind enough to help provide a series of static website mirrors setup in case anything were to ever happen to the main servers. You can find them here:




http://tal.bolo-bolo.co/ (this mirror is beautiful, but not currently updated)

One is able to get the full batch of texts from the library a la the torrent by using tools for recursive downloading like wget for Linux, although we are unaware of any tools like this existing on Windoze.

How to help:

And on a closing note, the library is interested in searching out anarchist libraries IRL or AFK. While Infoshops are grand and play a vital role in the community, we are really looking for actual libraries or special collections that contain anarchist history. If you are aware of any anarchist special collections in the world please do let us know or help edit the wiki page on this subject (does a resource like this already exist?). It would be interesting information for those interested in research and finding lost gems in the anarchist canon on their travels.


Here is a 4 step crash course in how you can help the library as well-


The Libraries:

the Swedish library:

http://sv.theanarchistlibrary.org (93 texts)

the German library:

http://anarchistischebibliothek.org (268 texts)

the Spanish library:

http://es.theanarchistlibrary.org (403 texts) also on GNU Social:


the Serbo-Croatian library:

https://anarhisticka-biblioteka.net (400 texts)

the Macedonian library:

http://www.anarhisticka-biblioteka.org (119 texts)

the Finnish library:

http://fi.theanarchistlibrary.org (160 texts)

the Russian library:

http://ru.theanarchistlibrary.org (354 texts)

the English library:

https://theanarchistlibrary.org (2,436 texts)

October 4, 2014: a shiny new library

The library has been upgraded, with a couple of notable improvements:

  • new mobile-friendly layout

  • enhanced bookbuilder

  • improved PDF style

The old files have been archived in a torrent release, which you can grab here: anarchist-libraries-2014-10-04.torrent.

The torrent ships the usual collection of ISO files, meant to be extracted or burned on a CD (for smaller libraries) or DVD and includes all the libraries (English, Spanish, Finnish, Macedonian, Serbo-Croatian, Russian).

April 2014

A lightweight torrent (English only, HTML + sources) has been hacked together. You can grab it here: theanarchistlibrary-en-2014-04-25.torrent.

The torrent doesn’t come from the library, but from reti who wanted (and managed) to put it together. Thanks!

December 2013 update (2) The bright side
  • The libraries have got a new mobile-friendly adaptive layout. Feedback welcome.

  • A technical tutorial about PDF compilation has been published at /special/recompile


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The torrent

A torrent release is available here (January 22, 2016)

It ships the CD/DVD images with the full archive of this site and of its sister sites:

PDF of various size, plain and imposed, HTML, EPUB, TeX, source files are included.

Search plugin for [[http://calibre-ebook.com/][Calibre]]

Thanks to meskio, you can search and download the texts directly from Calibre.

See the Calibre store plugin wiki page for help.

You can download the plugin here: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/docs/theanarchistlibrary_store.zip (last updated August 24, 2012).


The code used to build, run and maintain the site is freely available. You can visit www.amusewiki.org to get it.

Documentation, credits, etc. is included.

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The texts stored on the libraries are formatted with a dialect of the Emacs Muse markup, which is described in deep details in the manual.

The files are pure plain text (with the popular and ubiquitous UTF-8 encoding), and you can edit them with any editor.

The following how-to explains how to install on your very own machine the needed code to generate the HTML, EPUB and PDF (imposed and not) formats, starting from a muse formatted plain text file. You can retrieve those files for any text on the library downloading the “plain text source” file from the list of available downloads.


The programs are written in Perl. Every GNU/Linux operating system comes with Perl installed. They are supposed to work on Mac and Windows too, but you have to find your way to get Perl installed (together with a way to install modules from CPAN, the repository of Perl code, usually the program called App::cpanminus, which is invoked with the command cpanm).

Given that Debian and Ubuntu are the most used distributions around, the following tutorial will assume that the user run one of them.


Install cpanm to retrieve the modules from CPAN and the template engine. Please become root before proceeding (Ubuntu: sudo su -, Debian: su -, please note the dash, it’s part of the command).

# apt-get install perl-modules perl-doc \
          cpanminus libtemplate-tiny-perl \
          libcam-pdf-perl libpdf-api2-perl

Then install the needed code from CPAN:

# cpanm Text::Amuse::Compile
Full-featured installation (PDF)

To produce PDFs you need TeXlive. In theory, only a subset is needed, but here for brevity we install the full version. Ok, it’s 1 gigabyte and half of download, about 3 as installed size, but nowadays disk space is cheap. [1] Keep in mind that you can still get EPUB and HTML without this.

# apt-get install texlive-full fonts-sil-charis

This will install the executable muse-compile.pl which by default will get you all the formats provided by the library.

$wget http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.muse
--2014-05-17 23:28:41--  http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.muse
Resolving theanarchistlibrary.org (theanarchistlibrary.org)...
 Connecting to theanarchistlibrary.org (theanarchistlibrary.org)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 49128 (48K) [text/plain]
Saving to: ‘john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.muse’

100%[=======================================>] 49,128       107K/s   in 0.4s

2014-05-17 23:28:42 (107 KB/s) — ‘john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.muse’ saved [49128/49128]

$ muse-compile.pl --pdf --epub --html --a4-pdf \
Using Text::Amuse 0.43, Text::Amuse::Compiler 0.43, PDF::Imposition 0.14
Working on john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.muse file in /tmp
* Created john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.html
* Created john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.epub
* Created john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.a4.pdf
* Created john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.tex
* Created john-zerzan-tonality-and-totality.pdf

Please see muse-compile.pl --help for more information.

-- Marco (marco -AT- theanarchistlibrary.org)

[1] If you manage to strip down the installation to the minimum, please let me know, and I’ll update the tutorial.

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