the power to make change for ourselves

David Broder was unconvinced by ‘Anarchism: a Marxist Critique’ by John Molyneux

There’s a bloke who sells the News Line at Broadway Market on Saturdays: Britain’s first-ever colour daily paper is still going strong, it seems. Only thing is, the News Line is the paper of a small Trotskyist group called the WRP, and it could only afford to go full-colour because Colonel Gaddafi was paying for it. So seeing the seller as I walked to the Anarchist Bookfair on the 22nd – two days after the Libyan dictator met his end – I was keen to debate the merits and demerits of this news. He stuck to his (pro-Gaddafi) guns, angrily telling me I “didn’t understand the Marxist theory of the state” and was an “anarchist”.

Some people don't make a great case for the school of thought they claim to uphold

After the bookfair us Communards went for some much-needed refreshments at the Wetherspoons. At the pub a slightly drunk ‘anarchist’ started chewing my ear off about how much he hated Marxism (“Marx was a totalitarian”) but also his sadness about the passing of Colonel Gaddafi, who had, at least, built lots of hospitals. I wondered whether either this anarchist or my Broadway Market Marxist were particularly good representatives of their schools of thought, or indeed honest in their criticisms of others. Continue reading “the power to make change for ourselves”

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revolutionary syndicalism in interwar europe, monday 29th

Following our successful series of talks on political organisation over the summer, where we looked at series of communist political organisations (Kamunist Kranti in India, Potere Operario in Italy and finally at Big Flame in England), The Commune is hosting a series of discussion forums on revolutionary syndicalism.

The second meeting of this series is: Monday, November 29, 7pm: Revolutionary Syndicalism and Anarcho-Syndicalism, the Interwar European Experience. Like the other meetings in the syndicalism series, Monday’s will be held in The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND. Continue reading “revolutionary syndicalism in interwar europe, monday 29th”

the earth is not flat: a review of ‘against nationalism’

by David Broder

Against Nationalism is a pamphlet produced by the Anarchist Federation. The introduction explains that the document has its origins in arguments around the time of the winter 2008-09 war in Gaza, at which time AF argued for a ‘no state’ solution to the conflict.

The pamphlet scores a number of easy points against Trotskyist cheerleaders for movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas and details such groups’ anti-working class credentials. However the far more interesting question posed by the pamphlet is the distinction between ‘nationalism’, ‘resisting imperialism’ and ‘class politics’. Continue reading “the earth is not flat: a review of ‘against nationalism’”

the spirit of utopia today: reminder

The Commune is holding a meeting on Saturday 12th September as part of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. The event takes place at The Island, Bridewell St, Bristol BS1 2PY, from 10.30am to 6pm, and our workshop is from 5pm in Room 2 (first floor).

bristolbookfair

The title of our session is ‘the spirit of utopia today’. With an environmental crisis, continuing poverty, recession & war, and the seeming collapse of alternatives to capitalism, we are living in dystopian times. This talk & discussion will explore the meaning of utopianism today and its importance for recovering our humanity in opposition to its systematic abuse for profit and power. What are ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ utopias; is there value in the utopian spirit, or is it just dreaming; and what critiques should we have of the idea of ‘scientific’ socialism? Continue reading “the spirit of utopia today: reminder”

12th september, bristol: ‘the spirit of utopia today’

The Commune is holding a meeting on Saturday 12th September as part of the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair. The event takes place at The Island, Bridewell St, Bristol BS1 2PY, from 10.30am to 6pm, and our workshop is from 5pm in Room 2 (first floor).

bristolbookfair

The title of our session is ‘the spirit of utopia today’. With an environmental crisis, continuing poverty, recession & war, and the seeming collapse of alternatives to capitalism, we are living in dystopian times. This talk & discussion will explore the meaning of utopianism today and its importance for recovering our humanity in opposition to its systematic abuse for profit and power. What are ‘concrete’ and ‘abstract’ utopias; is there value in the utopian spirit, or is it just dreaming; and what critiques should we have of the idea of ‘scientific’ socialism? Continue reading “12th september, bristol: ‘the spirit of utopia today’”

the greek uprising, six months on

By Nikos Sotirakopoulos

Saturday night, 6th of December 2008, in the Exarhia area of Athens: a countercultural and libertarian stronghold. A group of young people have a verbal altercation with two members of the police special forces. The policemen leave the scene only to return after several minutes. Suddenly, one of the officers, Epameinondas Korkoneas, removes his gun and fires into the group. The bullet strikes and fatally wounds 15 year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos, who falls to the ground dead.  It was the incident that triggered more than 20 days of rioting and unrest that would shock the country. They were “the days and nights of Alexis” as the participants have called them, in memory of the murdered boy. Continue reading “the greek uprising, six months on”

jan waclaw machajsky: a prophet unhonoured in his own time (and rightly so)

by Ernie Haberkern

The rise of a new bureaucratic rul­ing class in Russia in the thirties and forties of the twentieth cen­tury has artificially inflated the stock of several opponents of the social democratic movement who attacked it on the grounds that it was preparing a dictatorship of ‘intellec­tuals’ or men of ‘science’ over the untutored working class.

The subject of this study – Jan Waclaw Machajsky – is one such figure. Continue reading “jan waclaw machajsky: a prophet unhonoured in his own time (and rightly so)”