International

Who was Emiliano Zapata

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ON THE FIRST day of 1994 a group calling itself the Zapatista National Liberation Army [EZLN] launched an uprising in the Chiapas State of Mexico. They are fighting the dictatorship of Carlos Salinas de Gortari and are calling for "free democratic government". The first of January was the date upon which the North American Free Trade Agreement was to come into operation and their is a widespread belief amongst the mainly Indian EZLN that this will only lead to further poverty.

Smash the state! - thinking about anarchism

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ONE OF THE best known catch phrases of Anarchism has got to be "Smash the State". It's also one that's easily open to misunderstanding. Particularly in Ireland, where the 26 counties once had the rather humorous title of "Free State", many see state as meaning the geographical area of a country. This slogan has also been misrepresented by anarchism's opponents as meaning opposition to all forms of organisation and decision making. Obviously neither of these is what anarchists mean, but what exactly is the state and how do we smash it?

Direct Action Movement becomes Solidarity Federation

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THE BRITISH section of the International Workers Association, the Direct Action Movement, is no more. In its place stands the Solidarity Federation. This is far more than just a change of name, they see it as the second step on the road to becoming a revolutionary union.

Did Bakunin advocate secret dictatorship?

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Bakunin is sometimes accused of being in favour of dictatorship. Indeed he often talks about secret dictatorships. However if you read what he actually said in detail it is quite obvious that what he was talking about was the classic anarchist position of a leadership of ideas.

The left ... Time to be constructive

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The left to-day, demoralised by its collapse is without focus or direction. Anarchism given its anti-authoritarian tradition should be able to offer a way forward. But many are reluctant to take up anarchism, Andrew Flood looks at some of the reasons why this is so and suggests the key organisational ideas needed for a new anarchist movement.

The development of capitalism in Japan

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In 1869 feudalism was abolished and the clans surrendered their fiefs to the government. All classes were declared equal before the law and barriers on local movement and internal trade removed. Individuals were allowed acquire land and all the professions and trades were thrown open.

Introduction to Emma Goldman

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Emma Goldman was born in 1869 in a Jewish ghetto in Russia where her family ran a small inn. When she was 13 the family moved to St Petersburg. It was just after the assassination of Alexander II and so was a time of political repression. The Jewish community suffered a wave of pogroms. The severe economic hardship of the time meant that Emma Goldman had to leave school after six months in St Petersburg and work in a factory.

The changing nature of the working class

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What we strive for is a classless society, one where as well as there being no ruling class there is no working class. Why then the obsession with the working class for anarchists rather then with just people? To this audience perhaps a strange question to start with but one that is key when we come to talk about the nature of the working class.

The Paris Commune

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The commune was formally installed in the Hotel de Ville two days later in the glorious spring sunshine of Tuesday, 28 March. The national Guard battalions assembled, the names of the newly elected members were read out , as, wearing red, they lined up on the steps of the Hotel de Ville under a canopy surmounted by a bust to the republic. On high the red flag was flying as it had done ever since 18 March and guns saluted the proclamation of the Paris Commune...

This is the notes for a talk given to a WSM meeting in October 1993 that was heavily based on The Communards of Paris, 1871: edited by Stewart Edwards, and published by Cornell Paperbacks; CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS

As its in note form it includes sections copied from this book.

Leninism and the failure of the Russian revolution

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The Russian revolutions of 1917 demonstrate that a revolution is possible but they also warn against authoritarian methods of introducing socialism.

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