Anarchist movement

Direct Action Movement becomes Solidarity Federation

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THE BRITISH section of the International Workers Association, the Direct Action Movement, is no more. In its place stands the Solidarity Federation. This is far more than just a change of name, they see it as the second step on the road to becoming a revolutionary union.

Did Bakunin advocate secret dictatorship?

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Bakunin is sometimes accused of being in favour of dictatorship. Indeed he often talks about secret dictatorships. However if you read what he actually said in detail it is quite obvious that what he was talking about was the classic anarchist position of a leadership of ideas.

1968 - When France Rebelled

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Paris 1968

 


THESE DAYS you are more likely to hear the word 'revolution' on the soundtrack of a film or on the latest pop release than you are to hear someone talking about bringing one about. It is partly for this reason that people think of revolutions as buried deep in history. Yet, as little as 25 years ago France was on the verge of a total revolt with 12 million workers on strike, 122 factories occupied, and students fighting against the old moribund system in which they found themselves.

In the late sixties in France real wages were on the rise, but large sections of the working class were still suffering from low pay. This was despite foreign trade having tripled. 25% of all workers were receiving less than 500 francs (£46) per month. Some unskilled workers were only getting 400 francs per month. Unemployment was at half a million, in a period which was considered a post-war boom. Trade union membership had dropped to around 3 million, as opposed to 7 million in 1945. Not many victories had been won in the preceding years. Michelin boasted that they had only talked to trade unions three times in thirty years. So how did everything change so quickly in the France of 1968?

 

Review of ANARCHISM AND ANARCHISTS by George Woodcock. (Quarry Press)

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THE YEAR 1992 saw a lot of changes. There was the dissappearance of Czechoslovakia into two separate countries, the infamous Maastricht treaty, the war in Yugoslavia, the limited victory for women's rights in Ireland and our gold medal for boxing in the Olympics. However an event which you may have missed was the eightieth birthday of George Woodcock. To celebrate this, a book was published of Mr Woodcock's collected essays, entitled "Anarchism and Anarchists".

Everything you wanted to know.....(Review of Anarchism by Daniel Guerin)

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Alternatively this book could be called "All you ever wanted to know about Anarchism but were afraid to ask".

After reading Guerin's "Anarchism" you'll be a convinced anarchist, armed with lots of arguments and examples to throw at the Leninists. This book is an easy reading introduction to the main ideas in anarchist thought and the events that have helped to form them. It is divided into three sections, Anarchist theory, Anarchist economy and Anarchists in revolutionary practice.

Anarchism Today

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AT THE MOMENT the "Socialist Movement" has all but collapsed. Despite the fact that high unemployment, war and mass starvation would point to the need for a coherent anti-capitalist alternative most socialists are confused and demoralised. The reason is simple, both the reformist and Leninist parties are paying for their legacy of betrayal of socialism in this century. What they conceived socialism to be has been totally discredited. As anarchists it is important to realise that their are both advantages and drawbacks to these developments.

The Friends of Durruti in the Spanish Civil War

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THE WAR in Spain (1936-1939) has often been portrayed as a simple struggle between Fascism and democracy. In fact it was anything but. A military coup launched in July 1936 was defeated by worker's action in most parts of Spain. There then followed a wide ranging social revolution (see Worker's Solidarity 33). As many as 5-7 million were involved in the collectivisation of agriculture and thousands in worker's control of industry. About 2 million of these were also members of the oldest union in Spain the anarcho-syndicalist; CNT.

The Tasks Facing Anarchists in Ireland

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I want to start off by thanking the organisers for providing the Workers Solidarity Movement with this opportunity to put forward our assessment of the tasks facing anarchists in Ireland.

Daniel Guerin: Towards a libertarian communism

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Of all the reading which I did, in 1930, on the boat which took me to Indochina and back, of books which ranged from Marx to Proudhon, to Georges Sorel, to Hubert Lagardelle, to Fernand Pelloutier, to Lenin and Trotsky, those of Marx had without any doubt the greatest impact. These (books) opened my eyes, uncovered the mysteries of capitalist surplus-value, taught me about historical materialism and the dialectic.

Daniel Guerin obituary

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DANIEL GUERIN DIED on the night of April 13th last (1988). He was 84 years of age. The news reached us when the summer issue of Workers Solidarity was already in preparation, hence this belated obituary. One of France's best revolutionary activists and thinkers, he was best known in Ireland as the author of books such as Fascism and Big Business, 100 Years of Labour in the USA and Anarchism.

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