Anarchism and The State

  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4932\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:69:\"Stanley Aronowitz on Popular Education in a Time of Struggle\' - Audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.005500013945158584\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4162\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:44:\"The cause of the crisis in global capitalism\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.006348120054554306\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4863\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:31:\"Organising The Fightback- audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.00932590012375815\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"5010\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:73:\" A history of pro-choice struggles in Ireland from 1980\'s to 2009 - Audio\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.020567440446994677\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6175\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:59:\"Céad míle fáilte to the IMF - protest song audio & video\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.027135367530524142\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":3:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"5937\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:70:\"Focus on Catholic church in Ireland - Radio Solidarity 3 is now online\";s:7:\"_random\";s:20:\"0.036774294485127826\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:151;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'audio:block_1:results:ff0db4c55a037059c3695f66cdcd5d34' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8499\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:46:\"Elections: Shouldn\'t We \'Fight on All Fronts\'?\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1445:\"<div data-contents=\"true\">\r\n <div data-block=\"true\" data-editor=\"c9jab\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <div class=\"_1mf _1mj\" data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\">\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in electioneering. <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\"><em><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/strike.png\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 321px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" /></em></span></span>Some crticise this position, stating something along the lines of:<br />\r\n <br />\r\n &#39;<em>But what about social housing, free education, and an increased minimum wage? That&#39;s change which will make a big difference to people&#39;s lives. And electoralism and grassroots organising aren&#39;t mutually exclusive. We shouldn&#39;t concede that ground to the right, we should fight on all fronts&#39;.</em></span></span><br />\r\n <br />\r\n <span data-offset-key=\"cfk4-0-0\"><span data-text=\"true\">Social housing, free education, increased minimum wage - there are worthwhile reforms which might be achieved by a left wing government, or might not, but they&#39;re fairly beside the point. It&#39;s worth remarking though that the best way even to achieve reforms through the state is by having strong social movements which can apply pressure to politicians.</span></span></div>\r\n </div>\r\n</div>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1497286800\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8470\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:73:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:778:\"<p><em>&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of society (the working class) and the tiny minority that currently rule. A successful revolution will require that anarchist ideas become the leading ideas within the working class. This will not happen spontaneously. Our role is to make anarchist ideas the leading ideas or, as it is sometimes expressed, to become a &#39;&#39;leadership of ideas&#39;&#39;.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>We&#39;re usually told that class society is a thing of the past. After all, aren&#39;t we all middle class now? But this is false, and there still very much exists a severe division between people based on property and work, a hierarchy which is a basic fact of the economic system known as capitalism.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8471\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:51:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:560:\"<p><em>&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39; gaining control of the power structures. This means we reject both the electoral strategy of the social democratic and green parties and the &#39;revolutionary&#39; strategy of the various left groups.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM is working towards a free, equal, democratic society. We believe the only way to achieve this is by people taking their destinies into their own hands, forming grassroots mass movements, and creating new truly democratic institutions.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8472\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:495:\"<p><em>&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;, anarchist-communist or especifista tradition of anarchism. We broadly identify with the theoretical base of this tradition and the organisational practice it argues for, but not necessarily everything else it has done or said, so it is a starting point for our politics and not an end point.&rsquo;</em></p>\r\n<p>The WSM practices a form of anarchism which strives to be highly organised and coherent.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8473\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:50:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1238:\"<p>&#39;<em>4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for anarchist political organisations that seek to develop:</em></p>\r\n<ol>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Theoretical Unity</em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Tactical Unity&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Collective Action and Discipline&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </em></li>\r\n <li>\r\n <em>Federalism&rsquo;</em></li>\r\n</ol>\r\n<p>Federalism is an organisational structure based on &ldquo;the free agreement of individuals and organisations to work collectively towards a common objective&rdquo;. It is finding the best balance between independence and coherence. All decisions are made by those affected by them as opposed to centralism, where decisions are made by a central committee for those affected by them. This means, for example, that while all WSM branches are united under a common national policy, they are also autonomous, i.e they can make their own local decisions. It also means that we have no leaders or officials with higher authority than others. Rather, we have &#39;officers&#39; who are delegated temporary authority to perform certain tasks as mandated by the membership (for instance, to be treasurer).</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8474\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:57:\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1309:\"<p><em>&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and the workplace. These include struggles against particular oppressions, imperialism and indeed the struggles of the working class for a decent place and environment in which to live. Our general approach to these, like our approach to the unions, is to involve ourselves with mass movements and within these movements, in order to promote anarchist methods of organisation involving direct democracy and direct action.&#39;</em></p>\r\n<p>While the workplace is of course a critical site of political activity, there is a much broader terrain on which to strive for our liberty. Ultimately, we want a world where people are free and content. So, everywhere that we are ripped off, suppressed, attacked, sidelined, or degraded, is a place for us to fight back and band together with others. In a social order which thrives on us keeping our heads down and being passive, resistance in its many forms is to be encouraged and supported. Whether or not that resistance is as radical or as &#39;pure&#39; as we&#39;d like we should engage, of course with our anarchist heads screwed on. While being a purist sect on the sidelines can feel satisfying to the initiated, ultimately it is a redundant way to make change.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1491552000\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:1531;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:0;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:results:692e0a14e0b7ab966d18830fa49232e2' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:3309:\"<div class=\"view view-wsm-only view-id-wsm_only view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-4\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/elections-shouldnt-we-fight-all-fronts\" title=\"Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts&#039;?\">Elections: Shouldn&#039;t We &#039;Fight on All Fronts...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">\n\n\n Anarchists are in favour of grassroots organising rather than engaging in...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-1-class-struggle-leadership-ideas-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and Leadership of Ideas\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 1 - Class Struggle and...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;1. Anarchism will be created by the class struggle between the vast majority of...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-2-power-structures-state-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 2 - Power Structures</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;2. We reject the idea that society can be changed through &#39;good people&#39;...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-3-platformism-1-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 3 - Platformism (1)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;3. We identify ourselves as anarchists and with the &quot;platformist&quot;,...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-4-platformism-2-especifismo-anarchism\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 4 - Platformism (2)</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;4. The core ideas of this tradition that we identify with are the need for...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/wsm-point-unity-6-mass-movements-resistance-anarchism\" title=\"WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass Movements\">WSM Points of Unity Explained: 6 - (Other) Mass...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">&#39;6. We also see it as vital to work in struggles that happen outside the unions and...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/all\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'wsm_only:block_1:output:1b6bdc458dfffb7fd6fd165c992f4d81' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:6:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8414\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:108:\"Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:288:\"<p>You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon Coveney isn&rsquo;t so much worried about people sleeping on the streets at the moment. He is losing sleep about the thought that other people might fill their swimming pools with free water!</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1483808884\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8403\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:23:\"Class and Exploitation \";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:440:\"<p><strong>What this paper does... &nbsp;</strong><br />\r\n The left talks about class in ways that are often contradictory and confusing.&nbsp; This paper represented our collective use of class and how we understand exploitation. The scope of what we cover means that it necessarily makes sweeping generalisations but the goal is to sketch what our collective perspective is around these, not to be an educational resource in itself.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481573672\";}i:2;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8402\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:40:\"Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:891:\"<p><strong>What this paper is</strong>&nbsp;<br />\r\n What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed are the prospects for struggle in the short and medium term both in terms of global and local capitalism but more importantly of the existing movements and struggles and those we think are coming into existence.&nbsp; It should be read in conjunction with &lsquo;<a href=\"http://www.wsm.ie/c/role-anarchist-organisation-policy\">The Role of the Anarchist Organisation</a>&rsquo; which is the long term strategic view within which these short and medium terms considerations are shaped.&nbsp; Fundamentally we think &lsquo;kick it till it breaks&rsquo; leads to burnout and inactivity. Sustained organising over decades requires a collective understanding and identification of the moments of opportunity scattered through the periods of preparation and experimentation.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481573217\";}i:3;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8398\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:70:\"Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:819:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/SaoradhUnfinished.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 400px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project to have emerged but is it a fresh departure a break from past mistakes or just simply a re-packaged version of the pre ceasefire Provies?</p>\r\n<p>Since its inception, Saoradh has faced increasing state repression on both sides of the border as it has attempted to establish itself. Many will look upon this crackdown as evidence of a real threat to the status-quo and therefore acclaim the revolutionary potential of Saoradhs&rsquo; version of republicanism, confusing revolution with the reality that the state will always repress those who they perceive question their monopoly over violence.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1481125350\";}i:4;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8376\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:78:\"Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria” meeting (November 2016)\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:631:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/Rojava%20Solidarity%20meme.jpg\" style=\"width: 350px; height: 263px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />About 50 people gathered in the Teacher&rsquo;s Club on Monday evening for a public meeting organised by Rojava Calling.</p>\r\n<p>Speaking at the meeting were Faysal Sariyildiz, People&rsquo;s Democratic Party (HDP) MP in Turkey, and Calvin James, a Dublin born DJ and activist who spent 6 months as a volunteer medic in northern Syria in 2016. Faysal joined the meeting by Skype from Brussels as the Turkish state recently cancelled his passport.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1480328230\";}i:5;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"8359\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:82:\"Rojava revolution - Co-operatives & assemblies - video with commentary in the text\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:1445:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/DecisionMaking.jpg\" style=\"width: 400px; height: 300px; margin: 3px; float: right;\" />As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies in the SDF have won increasing visibility in western media. While such reports often mention the key role in this fight played by women in the YPJ, there is otherwise little examination of the revolution happening behind the front lines in Rojava. That revolution is why they stood and fought ISIS rather than fleeing. This can be true of a lot of alternative media coverage. In part this is due to the limited amount of information on what this revolution involves. but it&rsquo;s also in part because photographs of women with guns are judged to be more striking than women workers in a co-operative bakery or a community assembly.</p>\r\n<p>We&rsquo;ve tried to address this imbalance somewhat, both in our coverage and through bringing a number of Kurdish and other speakers over to talk at the Dublin Anarchist Bookfair. They spoke about what is happening behind the front lines. What is it that is being constructed that so many have judged is worth going to the front lines to defend against ISIS? Our speakers this year included Erjan Ayboga author of &lsquo;Revolution in Rojava&rsquo; and US academic Janet Biehl who has visited the region twice since the revolution to investigate what is happening on the ground.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:12:\"node_created\";s:10:\"1474896093\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:716;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:6;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:2;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:results:6f171fd0922b167e997398452392a596' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:4:{s:4:\"head\";s:0:\"\";s:3:\"css\";a:0:{}s:2:\"js\";a:0:{}s:6:\"output\";s:3422:\"<div class=\"view view-not-wsm view-id-not_wsm view-display-id-block_1 view-dom-id-5\">\n \n \n \n <div class=\"view-content\">\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/minister-homelessness-neighbours-filling-swimming-pools\" title=\"Minister for homelessness says beware of neighbours filling swimming pools in piss poor divide and rule move\">Minister for homelessness says beware of...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">You can tell a lot about someone from what they worry about. The Housing Minister Simon...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-2 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/class-and-exploitation\" title=\"Class and Exploitation \">Class and Exploitation</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">What this paper does... &nbsp;\n The left talks about class in ways that are often...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/perspectives-struggle-and-revolution\">Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">What this paper is&nbsp;\n What we summarise below is what the WSM has collectively agreed...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-4 views-row-even\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/saoradh-irish-republicanism-unfinished-revolution\" title=\"Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of Unfinished Revolution\">Saoradh, Irish republicanism and the politics of...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">The launch of Saoradh in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry is the latest republican project...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/kurdish-resistance-turkey-syria-meeting-nov2016\" title=\"Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria” meeting (November 2016)\">Report on “Kurdish Resistance in Turkey and Syria...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">About 50 people gathered in the Teacher&rsquo;s Club on Monday evening for a public...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"views-row views-row-6 views-row-even views-row-last\">\n \n <div class=\"views-field-title\">\n <span class=\"field-content\"><a href=\"/c/rojava-revolution-co-operatives-assemblies-video-commentary\" title=\"Rojava revolution - Co-operatives &amp; assemblies - video with commentary in the text\">Rojava revolution - Co-operatives &amp;...</a></span>\n </div>\n \n <div class=\"views-field-teaser\">\n <span class=\"field-content\">As they have driven ISIS back in northern Syria / Rojava the Kurdish YPG and their allies...</span>\n </div>\n </div>\n </div>\n \n \n \n \n<div class=\"more-link\">\n <a href=\"/all\">\n more </a>\n</div>\n \n \n \n</div> \";}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'not_wsm:block_1:output:0e62dee48a5034a26a4ce1b357473427' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Incorrect key file for table './external/cache_views_data.MYI'; try to repair it query: UPDATE cache_views_data SET data = 'a:3:{s:6:\"result\";a:2:{i:0;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"4331\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:40:\"Anti-education cuts leafet to distribute\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:657:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/images/educationcuts.gif\" style=\"width: 141px; height: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: left;\" />As part of the growing struggle against education cuts WSM branches have produced a leaflet that is being distributed by anarchists who study or work across the education sector. We&rsquo;re working together to build a democratic and open campaign that can fight education cuts, challenge the imposition of fees and push to improve access to, and quality of, education. You can help by downloading the leaflet and distributing it at education protests or at local schools and colleges.\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.04763772901858923\";}i:1;O:8:\"stdClass\":5:{s:3:\"nid\";s:4:\"6957\";s:10:\"node_title\";s:24:\"Irish Anarchist Review 4\";s:21:\"node_revisions_teaser\";s:847:\"<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"/sites/default/files/IAR4cover.gif\" style=\"margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px; margin-top: 3px; margin-bottom: 3px; float: right; width: 200px; height: 268px; \" />Welcome to issue 4 of the Irish Anarchist Review, produced by the Workers Solidarity Movement. This magazine aims to provide a forum for the exploration of theories, thoughts and ideas about political struggle, and where we would like to go and how to get there from the current situation. This magazine also seeks to be a place where people interested in revolutionary politics can read first-hand reports from people involved at the &lsquo;coal-face&rsquo; of working-class struggles and perhaps reply to it with an article of their own. We believe there can be no revolution worthy of the name without a genuine sharing of political ideas between people.</p>\r\n\";s:21:\"node_revisions_format\";s:1:\"2\";s:7:\"_random\";s:19:\"0.05358064924700246\";}}s:10:\"total_rows\";i:71;s:5:\"pager\";a:5:{s:9:\"use_pager\";s:1:\"0\";s:14:\"items_per_page\";i:2;s:7:\"element\";i:0;s:6:\"offset\";i:1;s:12:\"current_page\";i:0;}}', created = 1498219780, expire = 1498220080, headers = '', serialized = 1 WHERE cid = 'Random_PDF:block_1:results:d701b49486a84d4cd29efe1b1fbdd8e3' in /var/www/public/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
Date:

The state is a central concept in the political philosophy of Anarchism. Anarchism is often defined as being an anti-state ideology. While this is sometimes a useful way to distinguish anarchists from other state socialists it also leads to a fair bit of confusion. We will look at the source of this confusion with the aim of showing that anarchism is in its essence opposed to rulers and is not a naive or idealistic form of anti-statism.

What is the State

Anarchism emerges in Western Europe, in the dark times of the mid to late 1800s. The state is, at this time, of a quite brutal character. The welfare state is almost entirely absent. The institutions that exist are almost entirely either military in character (the police often not being distinguished from the military) or designed to adjudicate conflicts amongst the rich. While there were parliaments and courts, they served a function which is perhaps best described by James Madison:

Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.

Here we see expressed in no uncertain terms the role of the state as seen by the ruling class in this period. It is therefore not surprising that the content of anarchist writing in this period is preoccupied with the elimination of the state. In this context, anti-statism is clearly an opposition to an institution whose purpose is to stop the majority from having a fair share in society. The form of the state, has however, not stood still.

The massive wave of socialism that occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s had a transformative effect. The state found itself in a position where it had to change character in order to ensure its very survival against a revolution of the majority. Republics were made more democratic, institutions were made more egalitarian, and the welfare state was created. This transformation, which can perhaps be called the rise of Social Democracy has important implications as to how we conceive the state. The state of the early anarchists really is largely concerned with the coercive arm of the modern state. This view of the early socialists is summed up nicely by Friedrich Engels:

Further, in most historical states the rights conceded to citizens are graded on a property basis, whereby it is directly admitted that the state is an organization for the protection of the possessing class against the non-possessing class.

The state, as describe here, is nothing more than a "special coercive force" (also Engles) meant to keep the majority from power. Anarchists generally share Madison and Engles view of the state.

A Difference without a Distinction?

Anarchists want a radical restructuring of society along democratic lines, a democratisation of all organs of governance and importantly the productive forces of society. Because Anarchists speak favourably of democratic polity, or self governance, we are sometimes accused of playing linguistic games when we say we are opposed to the state. Yet the distinction between self-governance and the state is not arbitrary. It is a useful analytic tool that allows us to differentiate two very different states of affairs (if you'll excuse the pun).

Weber, famously described the state as a "monopoly of violence". In fact the monopoly on violence being held collectively by a population in order to protect themselves is not something that should be opposed. Indeed the Anarchists during the Spanish revolution were not willing to allow the fascists to run about with armed forces in Madrid and Catalonia. This is hardly surprising, but it has sometimes been used to show that anarchists are actually statists. Under this definition of statism, they in fact would have to be classified as such.

This description of the state, is however of almost no value at all. The types of situation that fit "statelessness" in this description of the state are places like Iceland in 1000 or recent Somalia. They tend to be enormously violent, and are not generally considered desirable by anyone (save some really strange Anarcho-Capitalist types).

Anarchists are not opposed to the wielding of power as long as it is done collectively, with an absence of a ruling class, and in an inclusive society. The definition of state as given by Engles lets us clearly distinguish a situation in which we [the working class] are collectively guiding the development of society, from a situation of tyranny, guided by a limited "opulent" minority.

The many forms of state socialism are without this analytic distinction, and to their great detriment. They find themselves unable to distinguish the seizure of the coercive arm of the state by a cadre of self described socialists who then declare a workers state, from the real development of a free inclusive and socialist self rule.

The anarchist definition of the state is therefore concerned with the functionality. If it is democratic, inclusive, accumulation has been abolished and the productive forces are wielded democratically, it is a system of self-governance. If it is not, it is still a state.

What Lies Beyond

The state in modern form is no longer merely a coercive force intent on guarding the accumulation of the wealthy, and the institutions that they hold. It is far more democratic now than it was in the past, and has all sorts of auxiliary institutions that serve the interests of the majority including everything from mass transit to the dole.

So when anarchists say they want to eliminate the state, what can they mean? Are they intent on destroying our social welfare programs? Is the military industrial complex and health care all in the same class, both being equally reprehensible? Such an analysis would rightly be viewed as absurd by most people.

The mechanism of transformation of the early republics towards social democracy in the 20th century was largely the result of the majority of people organising in unions and other mass organisations and forcing concessions from the state. They fought, through strike and other means, for the franchise, democracy, the 8 hour day, the 40 hour week, the social programs that we know today and many things besides.

It is this expression of our own power, a power of people when organised amongst themselves that we are able to build the institutions of the new society. The mass movement of people, in opposition to the ruling class, is both the means and the ends. It is not just the mechanism by which democracy will come into being, it is itself inchoate democracy. The softening of the state was a transformation wrought by this power.

The knowledge of self-organisation, of how to cooperate amongst ourselves, has been heavily eroded since the 1970s. Indeed, we face a situation where the state hopes to recede from the costly social welfare programs that were necessary concessions in former times. Times in which radical unions and a strong working class were present. It may succeed in doing so if the populace finds itself unable to muster forces.

What Might We Do?

It is imperative that we work to ensure that we don't lose further ground, but push forward until the state is truly laid to rest for good. Concretely, this should mean retaking or remaking organisations that represent us in such that they reflect the things that matter to us now. Democratic reforms were a big part of what socialists called for in the early part of last century. As those were given, the call for democracy receded into the background, while calls for wages remained.

While clearly many people among the working poor, which constitutes up to a 1/3 of the population, are concerned with wages, as they should be, many wage earners are fairly comfortable. Instead, they are worried about other issues, such as official corruption, education, the environment and human rights. Recognising this change is important if we are to find a way to cooperate with each other to move forward.

The most powerful tool that we as wage earners posses is our work. We are able to withdraw our labour. If we want to see a real impact on areas such as human rights and the environment, we should not look to the ruling class to do it for us. We should not focus our time on appeals to justice, to a ruling class which have shown themselves fixated on war and hardly lift a finger for the environment. Instead we should be using the power we have to ensure that it takes place. If a company is polluting, its employees could bring it to a halt. If a company is supplying arms or material assistance to those who violate rights, they can be brought to account. In other words, democratic assemblies of workers can help to bring about the changes we want to see, and in doing so, make the society itself more democratic.

It is up to ourselves to create these organs, or to transform what exists already into a form that this is possible. If we don't do it ourselves, it will not be done.

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