A discussion of the rise and fall of the revolutionary institutions that were the foundation of the Spanish Revolution in the anarchosyndicalist stronghold of Barcelona, the social and organizational context of the anarchosyndicalist movement during the Civil War at the neighborhood level, the conflict between the rank and file militants and the collaborationist “superior committees” of the anarcho-syndicalist union the CNT, the meaning of the “spontaneity” of that movement and the process that led to its destruction at the hands of the republicans and Stalinists.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Revolution, our friend and collaborator Agustín Guillamón was interviewed by the editors of the website alasbarricadas.org about his latest book, Los Comités de Defensa de la CNT en Barcelona (1933-1938).
Alasbarricadas—An obligatory question: What were the Defense Committees?
A Belfast comrade writes about the "Peace Gathering", called in response to Loyalist protests about the removal of the Union Flag from Belfast City Hall.
On 16th December 2012 about 1000 people gathered at Belfast City Hall in the wake of 2 weeks of demonstrations, some of them violent, by Loyalist protesters angered by the City Councils' decision to fly the Union Flag only on 'designated days' rather than the full 365 days a year as it has done up until now.Rather than hope that we can just all get along, we need to state that Unionism/Loyalism and Nationalism/Republicanism are reactionary ideologies all the time not just when they 'turn violent'.
A short account of little known episodes in the history of anarchist opposition to World War One
There have now been a reasonable number of publications on British anarchist opposition to World War One- the trailblazing and well-documented book on opposition in North London by Ken Weller, the relevant chapter in John Quail’s book on British anarchism, etc. However, much wore investigation needs to be done.
Transphobic feminism makes no sense, argues Laurie Penny.
For decades, the feminist movement has been split over the status of trans people, and of trans women in particular. High-profile feminists such as Germaine Greer, Jan Raymond and Julie Bindel have spoken out against what Greer terms "people who think they are women, have women's names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody".At the very heart of sexist thought is the assumption that the bodies we are born with ought to dictate our character, our behaviour, our appearance, our choices, the nature of our relationships and the work of our lives Laurie Penny
How best to describe the colonization of the body at this particular juncture of capitalist life? Much recent theorizing has focused on a kind of war of affects where depression, euphoria and other states of being are read not merely as signs or symptoms, but as directly produced by (and productive of) particular economic relations.If parts of the text read like a theoretically inflected revenge manual for male nerds, one assumes that this effect is – on one level – intentional. Nina Power
WE are so very sad for Cameron Minshull, who was only 16 years old when he was killed at an engineering company in Bury, where he had worked as an apprentice for only a matter of weeks. We would like to send our condolences to his family who are naturally devastated.No-one should die simply for going to work to earn a living, and especially not a 16 year old with his whole life ahead of him. Hilda Palmer, Greater Manchester Hazards Centre & Facilitator of Families Against Corporate Killers
This essay is the second in a series articulating a methodological framework for developing Wobbly organizers and identifying key features of workplace committee building at the micro level.
Much of the content of the Industrial Worker, as well as the Organizer Training 101, discuss the nuts and bolts of workplace struggle including how to conduct a successful 1-on-1 and form a workplace committee. What is often left unspoken is the path by which Wobblies go from the unemployment line to worker-organizers fully engaged in the social fabric of their job site.
A demystifying review essay and analysis summarizing the events of May-June 1968 in France with an almost exclusive focus on the strikes of the workers, based on reports and testimonies garnered from a voluminous bibliography, providing a sobering reassessment of the largest nationwide strike in French history, which the author defines as a “generalized non-insurrectional work stoppage”.
Translation into English completed January 2013
Libcom.org's reading guide on anarcho-syndicalism, a tradition of anarchist-inspired workers' unions.Key texts
- Anarcho-syndicalism - an introduction - Short, accessible introduction written by the libcom.org group.
Lucasville tells the story of one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history. At the maximum-security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio, prisoners seized a major area of the prison on Easter Sunday, 1993. More than 400 prisoners held L block for eleven days. Nine prisoners alleged to have been informants, or "snitches," and one hostage correctional officer, were murdered. There was a negotiated surrender. Thereafter, almost wholly on the basis of testimony by prisoner informants who received deals in exchange, five spokespersons or leaders were tried and sentenced to death, and more than a dozen others received long sentences.
Lucasville examines the causes of the disturbance, what happened during the eleven days, and the fairness of the trials.They rose above their status as prisoners, and became, for a few days in April 1993, what rebels in Attica had demanded a generation before them: men. As such, they did not betray each other; they did not dishonor each other; they reached beyond their prison 'tribes' to reach commonality."
Libcom.org's reading guide on feminism, women and women's struggles against patriarchy and capital.Key texts
- Socialism, anarchism and feminism - Carol Ehrlich - Essay arguing that to be effective, feminism must not simply be socialist (opposed to capitalism), but also anarchist - opposed to all forms of domination.
Barry Burke's account of the UK general strike of 1926 in the East London borough of Hackney.
When the strike was declared in May 1926, the Hackney Council of Action took over a local boxing hall, the Manor Hall in Kenmure Road [I think at number 16], as the headquarters and ran the strike from there. Throughout the duration of the strike the Council of Action was in continuous session organising the strike locally.
Silvia Walby's 1990 book sets out a dual-systems approach to theorizing capitalism and patriarchy, synthesising Marxist and radical feminist perspectives.
Sylvia Walby provides an overview of feminist theoretical debates – Marxism, radical and liberal feminism, post–structuralism and dual systems theory. She shows how each can be applied to six key social structures: wage labour, housework, culture, sexuality, violence and the state. Her arguments are backed by drawing on empirical findings.Patriarchy comes in more than one form, and each form can be found to different degrees. The form of patriarchy in contemporary Britain is public not private. Women are no longer restricted to the domestic hearth, but have the whole of society in which to roam and be exploited. Silvia Walby
In The Problem with Work, Kathi Weeks boldly challenges the presupposition that work, or waged labor, is inherently a social and political good. While progressive political movements, including the Marxist and feminist movements, have fought for equal pay, better work conditions, and the recognition of unpaid work as a valued form of labor, even they have tended to accept work as a naturalized or inevitable activity. Weeks argues that in taking work as a given, we have “depoliticized” it, or removed it from the realm of political critique.
Employment is now largely privatized, and work-based activism in the United States has atrophied. We have accepted waged work as the primary mechanism for income distribution, as an ethical obligation, and as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects.
An overview of the way in which with increasing autonomisation of finance capital, models come to shape the real economy and influence its restructuring.
Arbitrage is defined as any technique to profit from differences in price between identical assets in different markets. At its simplest, if an asset is priced at £1000 in one country and at £1200 in another, I can buy in the cheaper market and sell in the more expensive and profit from the difference.
A delivery driver's account of, well, punching his boss in the face after being threatened with a pay cut. Which strangely enough got his boss to reverse the cut!
“You just punch the clock / Too scared to punch your boss!” - Dead Kennedys
An account of working at a daycare center, reflecting on how gender relations evolved with the privatization of childcare, how capitalism uses childhood to indoctrinate us - and what the hell the structural function was of all the damn creepy propaganda romanticizing this low-wage nonsense.
This past summer, I was a cook at a daycare center in the northeast US. Ultimately, it wasn't viable to stay, and I became homeless, quit, and relocated south, where I found a better housing situation. But for several months, I had the chance to observe the industry of reproductive and caring labor.
Junge Linke discuss the government's mobilisation of benefits envy as part of its assault on living standards.
The government is undertaking a massive impoverishment programme, part of which is to cut housing benefits.
Werner Bonefeld argues that the prominent role of the state since the financial crisis of 2008 is not a break with 'neoliberalism', because a free market and a strong state require one another.Abstract Whether one refers to it as neoliberal, post-neoliberal, Keynesian, Fordist or post-Fordist, the state’s purpose, which is intrinsic to its bourgeois character, is to ‘govern over the labour force’ Werner Bonefeld