In this article Paul Bowman draws a line between revolutionary class analysis and universalist utopianism and goes on to explore the history of different ideas of class and the elusive revolutionary subject. After exploring the intersecting lines of class and identity, he poses the challenge that we as libertarian communists face as we strive to create “cultural and organisational forms of class power [that] do not unconsciously recreate the... hierarchies of identity and exclusion” that are the hallmark of the present society.
Against universalism, against utopianism
The term class divides people into two camps. One which seems to uphold its validity with an almost cult-like intensity, and a much larger camp that is at best undecided, but mostly turned off entirely by it – and especially so by the apparently religious fervour of the small minority in the first camp.
A chapter on the economic of libertarian communism that argues that distribution is one of the key aspects defining communist economics, and exploring the different approaches to communist distribution across the broad libertarian communist current.
(From a chapter published in the AK Press book the Accumulation of Freedom)
Libertarian Communism, the Aspiration of Classes in Struggle
An article about transit, it's relationship to work and capitalism, and an exploration of a revolutionary anti-capitalist orientation towards transit struggles.
The film Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a surreal comedy-fantasy depiction of a city run on entertainment in which a corrupt judge, who runs a company that took over a trolley car line, attempts to take over and buy the city. The fantasy is based in some reality.
Using the concept of the intermediate level, an exploration of what a new workers movement in the US might entail.
It’s a tired truism that the workers movement in the US is floundering without a real base or path forward. A new generation of experimentation, struggle, and militants emerged from the ashes of the union’s most recent collaborationist strategy of labor-management partnership, contractualism, and labor’s historical parochialism of our-jobs-for-us.
This piece looks at Malatesta's anti-syndicalist arguments, and critiques them for not having a perspective that looks at workers struggle across time. Looking at the role of struggle in cognition, it argues for seeing workplace struggle as a shifting plane of social action and the construction of proletarian subjectivities.
There is an old argument amongst anarchists. The argument starts with the nature of unions, and ends with the conclusion that revolutionaries shouldn't attempt to build libertarian alternatives outside the unions, and instead should enter into the established unions and agitate for anarchism there.
A look into revolutionary cognition that argues for the necessity of cultivating radical subjectivities. Arguments for automatic consciousness are critiqued, and the role of struggles, ruptures, and breaks is explored.
How is liberation possible? Or alternatively how can it be brought about? It was likely the Russian Revolution or perhaps the failures of the Paris Commune that stimulated the left’s appetite for strategizing on these issues. Faced with possibilities laid in front of revolutionaries, and without a clear path ahead, the appeal of a coherent move, revolutionary judo, is enticing.
Bring Fire to the Castle: crisis, militant social democracy, insurrection, and existing means of settling disputes
An exploration of the 2008 global crisis and responses. This article looks at militant reformism and the role of existing means and channels of settling disputes in society. Equilibrium and social forces of stability are identified for their central role in determining the depth and potential of crises, and distinguish simple crisis from situations with more radical potential.
“Es siempre la descomposición del viejo régimen, del Viejo sistema de Estado, acentuado por el impulso de las masas escalavas hacia la libertad, lo que hace surgir y desarrolla esos elementos”. Peter Arshinov, Historia del Movimiento Maknovista
A critique of belief in the inherent radical nature of forms such as direct democracy in the context of the anti-austerity movements, and an appeal to politics based on a process of struggle across time deepening breaks with capitalist normalcy.
Today society is in transition. Workers in the capitalist core are seeing the stability and benefits that many enjoyed slip away. The relationships that defined the capitalist periphery nations are fundamentally being transformed by deeper integration into the world economic system.
An essay on the form and content of struggles, and the fetishization of militant forms of action. Moving away from believing tactics to have inherent potential, it argues for the central role of the social relationships and process of protagonists in struggle.
Militancy is revered on the left. Whether insurrectionary violence or mass militancy of social movements, the form and level of militancy serves as a marker of the relative power and progressive nature of a movement. Insurrectionists fetishize either mere acts alone (independently of who does them, groups or individuals) or fetishize violent acts as signs of collective will.