Magazine

Articles from one of the WSM magazines

An anarchist look at the ideas of James Connolly - the single most important figure in the history of the Irish left

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James Connolly is probably the single most important figure in the history of the Irish left. He was an organiser in the IWW in the USA but in Ireland is best known for his role in building the syndicalist phase of Irish union movement and for involving the armed defence body of that union, the Irish Citizens' Army in the 1916 nationalist insurrection. This left a legacy claimed at one time or another not only by all the Irish left parties but also by the nationalists of Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. In this article I will attempt to look at the long neglected anarchistic aspects of Connolly's thought and ask the question was Connolly a libertarian?

Anarchists Playing the Media Game

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The Dublin Grassroots Network put a number of structures in place to avoid some of the pitfalls of dealing with the media. Perhaps the two biggest problems in dealing with the media are firstly that the media can, through the questions they ask and the pressures they bring, begin to set the political agenda of the group. Secondly servicing the media machine can take up all a group's time and energy (to the detriment of the other activity).

Media Mayhem - Anarchists and the Mass Media

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On one level the phrase "the media" simply refers to the various modern technologies for transmitting ideas to large populations, such as newspapers, television, magazines, radio and the new kid on the block, the Internet. These are extremely useful tools. They allow people to know what's happening in the world and hence share some common understanding with strangers. A fundamental precondition for achieving the type of revolutionary change that anarchists seek is that a large number of people actively desire it, or at the very least are open to it. Indeed, communicating "our beloved propaganda" to the masses has always played a major part in anarchist activity and hence we require the media. However, today, when we talk about the media, we also implicitly refer to the corporate machine that comes very close to operating monopoly control over mass communication.

Summit Protests and Networks

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With the emergence of the summit protest movement into the public eye after J18 and Seattle, anarchism gained an influence way beyond what the numbers of anarchists and the level of anarchist organisation might have led you to predict. Quite quickly in the English speaking world, anarchism emerged from being a fairly obscure and historical critique of the left to become one of the main poles in the globalisation movement.It was not the long-existing anarchist organisations that achieved this. For the most part it was a new generation of activists using much more informal methods of organisation and communication. Rather than seeking to build one powerful and united organisation, they built thousands of small, informal and often quite short-lived ones. In fact 'built' is probably too strong a word for a process that in many cases consisted of a few friends coming together to travel to a protest and act together during it.

Lessons from the Summit Protests - Prague, Quebec, Genoa

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In recent years anarchism has had a re-emergence in the popular consciousness. For many people what was a piece of social history, a slogan used by cartoon terrorists or a word associated with punk rock is now a form of political struggle no matter how hazily understood. One of the reasons for this has been the role anarchists have played in the anti-globalisation movements and especially in the large anti-globalisation demonstrations in the recent years.Despite the very real problems associated with the idea of 'summit hopping' and spectacular protest these manifestations have provided a public face of anarchism and at least as importantly have given anarchists an opportunity to work together and with likeminded groups in relatively large numbers. The impact of these demonstrations has been global, showing many that despite the end of the Cold War and the subsequent much heralded 'end of history' that there is resistance to the neo-liberal project and that social struggle has not gone away. The rise in radical activity in Ireland, amongst other places, shows that events in far off lands can also influence and promote resistance at home.

Where to Now? Anti-capitalist protest - global and local

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It is certainly hard to avoid the conclusion that anti-globalisation protests that avoid direct action will kill off the movement, or at least greatly reduce participation in it.

Debate on the effectiveness of the Black Bloc tactic could well go on forever. At the end of the day, in relation to the question of why its effectiveness has waned somewhat, it is probably true to say that both the original article by Ray Cunningham and the article in this magazine by Severino have some of the answers.

Direct Action against the Iraq war in Ireland

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Across the globe millions of people mobilised against the war in Iraq. On February 15th 100,000 people marched through the streets of Dublin in the biggest political protest in Southern Ireland for over 20 years. Around 15,000 demonstrated in Belfast on the same day.

The turnout on these demonstrations showed that the battle for public opinion had been won. Massive numbers of people opposed Bush and Blair's drive to war and the Irish government's role in it. But they seem to have had very little effect on the war. The governments concerned simply ignored them. In every country the anti-war movement was thus faced with the question of what to do next. After February 15th we should have expected to see the various movements internationally working on ways to stop the war despite the fact that their respective governments were ignoring them.

The IAWM's dismal leadership" A critique of the politics of Trotskyism

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After months of regularly attending the Irish Anti-War Movement's marches and particularly after months of listening to the speeches of the leading lights of the IAWM my head is buzzing with cant and rhetoric and I have that dejected feeling you get when you know you have just lost a chance that won't be coming around again for a long time.

If you want to create Socialism - it must be based on Freedom

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Freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice...Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality

Anarchists also seek to create communism. But for us freedom plays a central role, not only in the future society, but in how we try to get there. That is why, when we talk of communism, we talk of libertarian communism

Industrial Collectivisation during the Spanish Revolution

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Within hours of the start of the Spanish revolution workers had seized control of 3000 enterprises. This included all public transportation services, shipping, electric and power companies, gas and water works, engineering and automobile assembly plants, mines, cement works, textile mills and paper factories, electrical and chemical concerns, glass bottle factories and perfumeries, food processing plants and breweries. (Image: Public transport was one of the first industries to be collectivised)

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