Malatesta

In the syndicates we must remain as anarchists, with all the force and breadth of the term. The workers’ movement is nothing more than a means – albeit obviously the best of all the means at our disposition. But I refuse to take this means as an end, and I would reject it if it were to make us lose sight of the other elements of our anarchist ideas, or more simply our other means of propaganda and action.

The syndicalists on the other hand teach us to make an end of the means, to take the partial for the whole. That is how in the minds of some of our comrades syndicalism is about to become a new doctrine, threatening the very existence of anarchism.

Now, even if it is reinforced by the pointless use of the adjective revolutionary, syndicalism is and always will be a legalitarian, conservative movement with no other possible goal – at best – than the improvement of working conditions. I need go no further for proof than the example offered by the great North American unions. Having presented themselves as radically revolutionary, at a time when they were still weak, once they grew in size and wealth these unions these unions became markedly conservative organizations, solely occupied with creating privileges for their members in the factory, workshop or mine, and are much less hostile to the bosses’ capitalism than the non-organized workers, that ragged proletariat so maligned by the social democrats! Now, this continually-growing proletariat of the unemployed, which counts for nothing with syndicalism, or rather which counts only as an obstacle, cannot be forgotten by us anarchists and we must defend it because it is subjected to the worst sufferings.

Let me repeat: anarchists must enter the workers’ syndicates. Firstly, in order to carry out anarchist propaganda; secondly, because it is the only means that can provide us with groups that will be in a position to take over the running of production come the day; furthermore, we must join in order to counteract to the best of our abilities that detestable state of mind that leads the unions to defend only particular interests. (…)

One can no longer deny that union action carries risks. The greatest of these risks certainly lies in militants accepting official positions in the unions, above all when they are paid positions. As a general rule, the anarchist who accepts permanent, paid office within a union is lost to propaganda, and lost to anarchism! He becomes indebted to those who pay him and, as they are not anarchists, the paid official who finds himself torn between his own conscience and his own interests will either follow his conscience and lose his position or else follow his interests and so, goodbye anarchism!

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Rosa Luxemburg, Junius Pamphlet, 1915

“Capitalist politicians, in whose eyes the rulers of the people and the ruling classes are the nation, can honestly speak of the “right of national self-determination” in connection with such colonial empire. To the socialist, no nation is free whose national existence is based upon the enslavement of another people, for to him colonial peoples, too, are human beings, and, as such, parts of the national state. International socialism recognizes the right of free independent nations, with equal rights. But socialism alone can create such nations, can bring self-determination of their peoples. This slogan of socialism is like all its others, not an apology for existing conditions, but a guidepost, a spur for the revolutionary, regenerative, active policy of the proletariat. So long as capitalist states exist, i.e., so long as imperialistic world policies determine and regulate the inner and the outer life of a nation, there can be no “national self-determination” either in war or in peace.

Vanguardism

No form of organisation is problem free – every organisation can be recuperated by state and capital, that’s a given as far as I’m concerned. We want to be consciously avoiding he stuff that leads down paths we don’t want to be on, building that into the way we organize,  etc…

But leaving aside the specific organisational forms, just the idea of vangaurdism and the way it frames class struggle, the way it imagines revolution, that in itself is a massive problem.

“Vanguard” is a military metaphor, it means the front line in a battle, the “advanced guard”. If you are at the vanguard of class struggle, you are on the front lines… but how does membership of a specific party put you at the front lines of class struggle? There is no single most important or defining battle front in the daily struggle between classes at which you can position an organisation.

If what you are doing is watching for the many different battle fronts opening up and then attempting to intervene on the side of the working class, then in what sense are you at the “vanguard”? You’re a rearguard party if anything, because you don’t start shit and you don’t lead shit. You’re the vanguard who turns up the next day…

The “vanguard” part becomes something you attribute to yourselves purely based on your contention that you have the best analysis, that you are “the most class conscious” – which, firstly is a matter of subjective opinion and is also completely circular, in that the benchmark of who’s “class conscious” and who isn’t is determined by how much they agree with your organisation…

Emma Goldman, Living My Life

“There is a mistaken notion in some quarters, we argued, that organization does not foster individual freedom; that, on the contrary, it means the decay of individuality. In reality, however, the true function of organization is to aid the development and growth of personality. Just as the animal cells, by mutual cooperation, express their latent powers in the formation of the complete organism, so does the individuality, by cooperative effort with other individualities, attain its highest form of development.  An organization, in the true sense , cannot result from the combination of mere non-entities. It must be composed of self-conscious, intelligent individualities. Indeed, the total of the possibilities and activities of an organization is represented in the expression of individual energies.

Anarchism asserts the possibility of an organization without discipline, fear, or punishment and without the pressure of poverty: a new social organism, which will make an end to the struggle for the means of existence- the savage struggle which undermines the finest qualities in man and ever widens the social abyss. In short, anarchism strives towards a social organization which will establish well-being for all.”

(Penguin edition, page 245).

KOREATOWN LA FIGHTS BACK ON 7-ELEVEN ICE RAIDS

With Trump planning a major wave of ICE raids targeting Northern California in the coming weeks, especially targeting sanctuary cities, organized community responses are essential to beating back these attacks. The goal, as always with immigration enforcement, is to strike fear in immigrant communities, reinforce their precarious status as workers and feed Trump’s base that supports his white nationalist agenda.

Community Response Halts 7-Eleven Raid

After raiding 7-Elevens across the country last week, ICE was planning to return to a particular 7-Eleven store on Tuesday, January 16 in Koreatown to collect documents. Unions and community organizations, including neighbors from the Koreatown Popular Assembly (KPA) mobilized to respond. KPA is a neighborhood based assembly that is independent of LA’s institutional left of non-profit organizations that normally dominate community organizing and which members of Los Angeles Black Rose/Rosa Negra participate in. The group took on the action as part of it’s recently launched Koreatown Rapid Response Network, a tool for defending neighborhoods through community direct action.

KPA and allies came out for the morning to show that ICE is not welcome in Koreatown and successfully prevented ICE from returning to the store and continuing to intimidate workers and immigrant communities in Koreatown. As one member of LA Black Rose/Rosa said, “This type of mass action from below by everyday people from the neighborhood has the power to stop these raids. This is where we need to be fighting Trump.”

Taking the Streets Against the Cancellation of TPS

Over the weekend on Saturday, January 13 immigrant rights groups, both community based and institutional NGO organizations, called for supporters to march in defense of communities threatened by Trump’s cancellation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows migrants from specific countries to remain in the US following war, natural disaster or other humanitarian circumstances. The move by Trump effects migrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, and possibly Honduras as well. At the march hundreds of Central American immigrants, families, and friends marched to the detention center in downtown LA, chanting “Shut Down ICE!” and “Let them out!” while detainees banged on the cell walls from the inside.

Black Rose members and others from KPA passed out information to marchers about the new Koreatown Rapid Response Network which asks people contact the Koreatown Rapid Response Network if they see or hear about ICE activity or raids in the area.

For more information about our perspective on fighting against Trump’s white supremacist immigration policy, see our statement “After DACA: An Offensive Struggle to Win Liberation for All Migrants

Anarchist Movement Building, IGD

http://www.soleone.org/solecast/2018/6/14/solecast-anarchist-movement-building-with-its-going-down

‘”Todays solecast is an in-depth discussion with an editor from Its Going Down.

IGD just launched a new anarchist news podcast called “This is America,” which is meant to be a short, every-other-day digest of anarchist analysis and activity.  Check it out.

In this episode have a wide ranging discussion about what anarchist & anti-authoritarian resistance has looked like under Trump and potential paths for the future.  We talk about lessons learned from J20, Standing Rock, Prison Strikes, Airport Shutdowns and more.  We talk about the things anarchists have done with disaster relief, anti-fascism and pipeline blockades.  We discuss certain modes of resistance that people might be interested in replicating, whether its anarchist student groups, unions (like the Burgerville union) or The Black Rose Federation in LA helping to organize resistance against ICE Deportations.  We also talk a little about media & ideology.   “

Bakunin

“No individual can recognize his own humanity, and consequently realize it in his lifetime, if not by recognizing it in others and cooperating in its realization for others. No man can achieve his own emancipation without at the same time working for the emancipation of all men around him. My freedom is the freedom of all since I am not truly free in thought and in fact, except when my freedom and my rights are confirmed and approved in the freedom and rights of all men who are my equals.”

Bakunin, 1872

“To whoever might claim that action so organised would be an assault on the freedom of the masses, an attempt to create a new authoritarian power, we would reply that he is nothing but a sophist and a fool. So much the worse for those who ignore the natural and social law of human solidarity, to the point of imagining that an absolute mutual independence of individuals and of the masses is something possible, or at least desirable. To wish it means to want the destruction of society, for the whole of social life is no other than this unceasing mutual dependence of individuals and masses. All individuals, even the most intelligent and the strongest, indeed above all the intelligent and strong, each at every moment in his life is at the same time its producer and its product. The very freedom of each individual is no other than the resultant, continually reproduced, of this mass of material, intellectual and moral influences exerted on him by all who surround him, by the society in the midst of which he is born, develops, and dies. To want to escape from this influence in the name of a transcendental, divine, freedom that is absolutely egoistic and sufficient unto itself, is the tendency of non-being. This much vaunted independence of the idealists and metaphysicians, and individual freedom thus conceived, are therefore nothingness.

“In nature, as in human society, which is no other than this same nature, all that lives, only lives on the supreme condition of intervening in the most positive manner, and as powerfully as its nature allows, in the lives of others. The abolition of this mutual influence would be death. And when we vindicate the freedom of the masses, we are by no means suggesting the abolition of any of the natural influences that individuals or groups of individuals exert on them; what we want is the abolition of influences which are artificial, privileged, legal, official.”