Archive for anarcho-syndicalism

The Evolution of Revolution

Posted in Corporations, Direct Action & Civil Disobedience, Government, Police State, Revolution with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2010 by veteranarchist

By Bobby Whittenberg-James

Men (sic) make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem engaged in revolutionizing themselves and things, in creating something that has never yet existed, precisely in such periods of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them names, battle cries and costumes in order to present the new scene of world history in this time-honored disguise and this borrowed language.” – Ironically yours, Karl Marx

Proudhon was the first to call himself an anarchist, advocating a mix of socialism and capitalism called “mutualism.” Bakunin’s collectivist anarchism critiqued mutualism. Kropotkin’s anarchist communism critiqued collectivist anarchism. Are we really to believe that this is the apex of anarchist thought? Do we really want to adhere dogmatically to theories concocted over a century prior to neo-liberal globalization? Do we ignore everything that has happened since then and refuse to learn from it? If we are truly seeking anarchy, of course the answer is no.

We want an anarchy that is relevant in combating the existing economic and social order. We recognize that neo-liberal globalization has vastly changed economic and social relations from the time of the founders of what came to be known as social anarchism and we choose to adapt our resistance and our tactics as a result. This is not to say that proponents of social anarchism or market anarchism aren’t “real” anarchists (as those sectarian factions and others tend to say about anarchists who don’t bear their particular anarcho-prefix) but that those theories and ideologies and dogmas are not anarchistic and do not result in anarchy. Because of this, we, all anarchists, autonomists, and other anti-authoritarians, should continue to critique anarchist theory and practice to wrest anarchy from the hands of socialists or capitalists seeking to co-opt anarchist rhetoric and aesthetics to wage counter revolution and seize control.

We pay respect to anarchists of the past of all stripes and creeds, and seek to learn from their discoveries, successes, and failures. We also pay respect to past and present day stateless egalitarian hunter gatherer societies and look to them for inspiration as well, knowing that white men from the mid 19th century didn’t have all the answers.

Looking to the past, present, and future we strike what we don’t like or what does work and we keep the good stuff and create something that works for us in the here and now. Those who speak of revolution as some lofty dream, or future event to be hoped for, a single moment in the future, already wage counter revolution.

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