Where has Workers Solidarity been - 1988

Date:

WE ARE BACK. It is almost a year since the last issue of Workers Solidarity and you want to know what happened. Ireland has little or no anarchist tradition so rather than just learning from those who went before us we had to make a fair few mistakes while we were developing our politics and building the Workers Solidarity Movement. The biggest mistake we made was putting too much emphasis on day-to-day activities at the expense of achieving a deeper and clearer understanding of the anarchist idea; it's libertarian values as well as its socialist goal.

Since our formation in 1984 we gained a measure of understanding and respect for anarchism in the trade union and left wing circles where our members were active. We made information about anarchism a bit easier to find by publishing pamphlets and a monthly paper. We took part in industrial and political struggles such as the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike, the Divorce Action Group, the UCD cleaners fight for trade union rights, and the pro-abortion rights "Defend the Clinics Campaign".

Unfortunately some members found it difficult to come to terms with the temporary lull in the momentum of the class struggle that we have seen in the last few years. Instead they started looking for short cuts to socialism and eventually rejected anarchism. When they resigned the remaining members decided to take a good look at what had happened and to learn from the mistakes we had made. After much discussion we identified much of what went wrong and now are in a position to step up our level of activity.

With our, temporarily, reduced numbers it would be quite a task to continue producing and selling a monthly paper. So Workers Solidarity has become a quarterly magazine. With the extra pages we hope to be able to go into issues in more depth. However we will not be able to cover current issues to anything like the same extent as before, what is a burning issue now may not be in three months time and some of the information would be pretty stale.

The main aim of the magazine remains the same. It is not to throw out the "correct line" and expect you to accept it unthinkingly. It is to explain things, to win a "battle of ideas". We know that genuine socialism can not be created unless thousands upon thousands of people understand how to change society and have a clear vision of the type of society they want to live in. There is no way a tiny handful of "experts" or leaders can substitute themselves for this.

We want Workers Solidarity to be part of the process of spreading anarchist/socialist ideas and methods of struggle. We hope it will serve as a "magnet" to attract readers to the WSM to join in the struggle for socialism, freedom and human dignity.


This is the For Starters column from Workers Solidarity 31 published in the Summer of 1988

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