What We Believe - WSM Points of Unity Explained (Audio)

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Date:

This is a series explaining the 9 Points of Unity of the Workers Solidarity Movement - an anarchist organisation active on the island of Ireland. [Download PDF of these explanations]

The WSM regularly discusses, debates and decides on what our collective political approach is. The Points of Unity are the most basic political agreement necessary to be a WSM member or supporter. They are 9 short points which outline the anarchism the WSM stands for.

The headings are (links to text versions):

  1. Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas - (1:00)
  2. Power Structures - (7:40)
  3. Platformism 1 - (12:30)
  4. Platformism 2 - (17:30)
  5. Trade Unions - (21:00)
  6. Other Mass Movements - (27:00)
  7. Oppression and Intersectionality - (30:00)
  8. Imperialism - (36:30)
  9. Ecology and Technology

Points of Unity
 

  1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a ''leadership of ideas''.
  2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through 'good people' gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the 'revolutionary' strategy of the various left groups. Instead we advocate for direct, participatory, democratic institutions which will make the state obsolete.
  3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the "platformist", anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.
  4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop:
    1. Theoretical Unity
    2. Tactical Unity
    3. Collective Action and Discipline
    4. Federalism
  5. A major focus of our activity is our work within the economic organisations of the working class (labour organisations, trade unions, syndicates) where this is a possibility. We therefore reject views that dismiss activity in the unions because as members of the working class it is only natural that we should also be members of these mass organisations. Within them we fight for the democratic structures typical of anarcho-syndicalist unions like the 1930's CNT. However, the unions no matter how revolutionary cannot replace the need for anarchist political organisation(s).
  6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy and direct action.
  7. We actively oppose all manifestations of prejudice within the workers' movement and society in general and we work alongside those struggling against, for example, racism, sexism, religious sectarianism, queerphobia, intersexphobia, and ableism, as a priority. We see the success of a revolution and the successful elimination of these oppressions after the revolution being determined by the building of such struggles in the pre-revolutionary period. The methods of struggle that we promote are a preparation for the running of society along anarchist and communist lines after the revolution.
  8. We oppose imperialism but put forward anarchism as an alternative goal to nationalism. We defend grassroots anti-imperialist movements while arguing for an anarchist rather than nationalist strategy
  9. Revolution must aim to bring human society into harmony with the rest of nature, for our own basic quality of life and for the sake of other species. This aim is not fundamentally opposed to technological development or mass society, which are always expressions of the current social system. Rather, we strive for a libertarian, ecological, technology.
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