Basic Anarchism

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Articles that form an introduction to the basic ideas of anarchism and how anarchists see the world

What Can a Strike Achieve?

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People often pose the question, what can a strike achieve? The WSM policy on trade unions states the following: “What is anarchism? When we get down to basics, it is workers collectively running a free society. Instead of taking orders from the boss and serving his/her mad rush for profit at any cost, it is about working together for the common good.

What is anarchism audio

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The 'What is anarchism' session from the 2009 Dublin anarchist bookfair.

This 'What is anarchism' session was recorded using my backup gear, this along with the fact that it happened in a cordened off area of the bar meant the audio is unclear at times and in editing I had to remove a couple of contributions which could not be understood above the background noise.

 

What is Anarchism - DABF 2009 by Workers Solidarity on Mixcloud

 

Mortgages - Are We Irresponsible?

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“People who got mortgages they can’t afford to pay back were greedy and foolish and should suffer the consequences…They signed a free contract, they’re adults and they have to take responsibility for their actions”. This is the kind of thing that gets thrown around a lot in recessions. It conveniently ignores a few things.

The Selfish Gene?

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Anarchists want to change the world. Instead of the present order – capitalism – with its focus on inequality and profits for a few, we want to build a new society based around the principles of participatory democracy, freedom and production for need not profit. For anarchists the type of society we want to build is best summed up by the slogan: ‘To each according to their needs, from each according to their ability’.

Capitalism and the exploitation of women

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When the Irish constitution was unveiled in 1937 it set out a special place for women within the home. In Ireland as elsewhere ‘women’s life within the home’ has to a large extent been characterized by long hours of thankless drudgery. While the struggles of Irish women for greater liberties during the last century have improved our lives in many ways, the drudgery of housework remains thankless and the workplace has not brought the liberation that certain feminists promised. As anarchists see it, this is because as long as we live in a capitalist society women (or men) can never be meaningfully liberated.

Thinking About Anarchism: Why class matters

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The concept of class is fundamental to the anarchist understanding of society. The goal of anarchist communism is to create a classless society where everyone is on an equal footing, where all have equal access to wealth and contribute to society as best they can.

Information flow and why Managers Mess Up

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The Paddington Rail crash in London in 1999 led to 31 deaths and well over 400 injuries. At fault was a simple set of rail signal lights which were difficult to see (from the train driver’s point of view). When the crash was investigated it quickly emerged that Network Rail (then called Railtrack), the company responsible for rail line maintenance, had been repeatedly warned about the danger. A number of drivers had been involved in near misses and reported this to management, yet nothing was done. Then two high-speed trains collided.

Freedom, Democracy and Republicanism

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For decades they sold the concept of ‘freedom’ and talked about a ‘socialist republic’ but now, with Martin McGuinness chuckling around the world with Ian Paisley, it’s clear that Sinn Fein’s concept of ‘freedom’ and their supposed vision of a ‘32-County Socialist Republic’ was at best an illusion.

Thinking about Anarchism: Religion

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Anarchism has traditionally been hostile to all religions because by their very nature they tend to be authoritarian. A supernatural creator who sets the rules is naturally considered to be the ultimate source of authority. And its authority means humanity’s obedience. If there is a god, it would, in the words of Bakunin, be necessary to abolish him. But a creator doesn’t exist, so we are left with the more mundane task of spreading the good news that values aren’t handed down from on high, but emerge from human society.

Anarchism and Nationalisation

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What should happen to the €51bn gasfield off Rossport? Let Shell keep it and let the fat cats get fatter? Try to make Bertie’s government nationalise it and use the wealth for our benefit?

 

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