international workers association

On This Day: June 11

International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and all Long-term Anarchist Prisoners

  • 1381: Peasants’ Revolt: Essex rebels begin their march on London.
  • 1832: Jules Vallès born in Le Puy-en-Velay, France. He was a journalist and author. He took part in the uprising against Napoleon III during the French coup of 1851.
  • 1888: Martyred Italian-American anarchist Bartolomeo Vanzetti born.
  • 1913: One striker is killed after police shoot at a IWW & maritime workers picket against United Fruit Company in New Orleans.
  • 1914: Emma Goldman finishes lectures in Los Angeles (May 15-June 11) delivering anarchist propaganda and modern drama lectures, which includes discussion of Irish playwright Seumas O'Kelly.
  • 1920: Bartolemo Vanzetti is indicted for the Bridgewater hold-up.
  • 1922: The anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) withdraws its provisional affiliation with the Third International in favor of the International Workers Association (IWA).
  • 1925: During mine workers’ strike against British Empire Steel Corp in Cape Breton, company police beat strikers, shooting one dead.
  • 1926: The first 5-day, 40-hour work week in the united States was won by New York furriers after a massive strike.
  • 1931: National Congress of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) held in Madrid.
  • 1944: Union Federation of Bolivian Mine Workers is founded.
  • 1953: José Bové born. He is famous for destroying a partly built McDonald’s in Millau, France, protesting food import practice & hormone-treated beef.
  • 1962: Students for a Democratic Society holds founding convention in Michigan.
  • 1963: “The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”: Alabama Governor George Wallace stands in front of a schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop desegregation by the enrollment of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood. Wallace stands aside after being confronted by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and the Alabama National Guard. Later in life he apologizes for his opposition to racial integration.
  • 1963: Thich Quang Duc self-immolates in Saigon protesting persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam government.
  • 1965: The International Poetry Incarnation attended by philosophical anarchists, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as other members of the Beat Generation.
  • 1968: Daniel Cohn-Bendit, key organizer of student & worker demos in France, arrives in Britain.
  • 1968: Henriette Maîtrejean dies in Limeil-Brévannes, France. She was an individualist anarchist and member of the Bonnot Gang. She wrote for many anarchist publications, such as La Revue Anarchiste, La défense de l'homme and La liberté, which was founded by Louis Lecoin in 1959.
  • 1968: Two workers killed by French riot police in the factories of Peugeot-Sochaux.
  • 1970: Stuart Christie’s home is raided with explosives warrant.
  • 1970: US Representative Martha Griffiths files petition to bring Equal Rights amendment to House floor for consideration after 22 years.
  • 1973: General strike begins in Pamplona, Spain.
  • 1990: Anarchists riot, forming barricades in the streets of Sofia against the election manipulations of the various political forces.
  • 2001: Jeff Luers sentenced to 22 years for burning 3 SUVs.
  • 2002: Earth First! & IWW activists Judi Bari & Darryl Cherney win false-arrest lawsuit against Oakland police.
  • 2015: Syrian Civil War: More than 400 volunteers from Europe, the Americas and Australia have joined the YPG as of this date.

Mikhail Bakunin (30th may 1814-July 1st 1876)

Mikhail Bakunin was one of the founders of anarchism as we see it today. His Ideas of social anarchism soon saw him as one of the most famous Philosophers of the 19th century . 

Mikhail Bakunin was born into a modestly wealthy family in the Tver region of Russia. His family owned 500 slaves. Despite this mikhails father was heavily involved in the Liberal social circles of Russia known as the decembrists.        At the age of 14 Mikhail travelled to st Petersburg to study at a strict millitary school but was expelled in 1834 for poor grades. He was assigned to the polish barracks as a junior officer and was disgusted at the treatment of the polish people by the Imperial army. Mikhail left the army at the age of 21 and travelled to moscow to study philosophy. 

When he studied at university he began to mix in democratic circles and was a supporter of the growing liberal movement. He travelled all around the world after leaving unviersity from Berlin to Dresden. Until eventually ending up in Paris where he met Karl Marx. Marx influenced his ideas and made Mikhail into an anti imperialist and a marxist. He was expelled from france after giving a speech on polish indpendence.

Mikhail became increasingly radical and when the european revolutions of 1848 sparked into life, Mikhail seized the oppurtunity to make a name for himself. He led the insurrection in dresden and spread political articles on anarchism. When the rebellion was put down Bakunin was arrested and sentenced to death. However the Austrian monarchy also wanted him after they found his articles denouncing the european monarchies as despots. However russia ordered for his extradition and he was exiled to Siberia. 

In 1861 Bakunin was smuggled out of Siberia on an American ship called the SS Vickery. They managed to sneak out of Siberia under the nose of the imperial navy and make his way to Europe. Joining the international workers association (IWA) where he was reunited with Karl Marx. 

 Karl Marx and Bakunin turned from good friends to bitter enemies         Bakunin argued that the state needed to be destroyed and the world should be divided into federations of free workers. Marx argued that the state should be overthrown but not destroyed. Bakunin also disagreed with the authoritarian structure of marxism, arguing that men should be free to rule themselves.    The supporters of Bakunins ideology became known as Anarchists and him and his followrs were expelled from the association in 1872 after being voted out by a marxist majority. 

Bakunin continued stirring shit throughout europe and was involved in the overthrow of the paris government. He wrote works and manifestos including god and state which was the basis of modern anarchy. He died in in 1876. 

“By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible”

anonymous asked:

What's the difference between Anarcho-Communism and Anarchosyndicalism?

The difference of views between Anarcho-Communism and Anarcho-syndicalism lies on the “organizational dualism” (revolutionary dualism) theory proposed by anarchist communists and opposed by the anarcho-syndicalists. 

Anarcho-syndicalists look at the union not only as a mean but as a revolutionary end (the first aim of the revolution is class struggle). In order to obtain the liberation of the working class, the anarchist trade unionists agree in some cases with some Marxist unions or organizations.
The International Workers’ Association (IWA; Spanish: AIT; German: IAA) is the international federation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions and initiatives.

Anarcho-communists split instead the incitement to revolution of the unions and workers groups (the mass organization) by the revolutionary action that should be done by a transversal organization of workers and dispossessed (the so called “specific anarchist organization”).

According to Anarchist Communists the revolutionary practice of organizational dualism is the way through which anarchism differs from Marxism that on the other hand looks at the working class (mainly industrial) to lead and win the revolution. The presence of unions (the mass movement) close by the specific organization would be an antibody to the authoritarian deviation and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

According to the Anarchist Communists this dualism would also allow a more cohesive revolutionary structure, and common shared objectives leading to the emancipation of the workers through autonomous social movements that would overcome the polarization of the union.

The International of Anarchist Federations (IAF; French: IFA) contains a large number of anarchist-communist federations and individuals. Founded in 1968 the IAF has since aimed to build and improve strong and active international anarchist’ structures. The federations associated with IAF believe that such an organization is necessary to co-ordinate their international work and efficiently co-operate towards their mutual aims. In order to further improve the quality of exchange and co-operation, IAF also keeps close contact with other anarchist organizations, such as the International Workers Association (IWA).

Anarcho-syndicalism primary purpose is class war: it seeks to abolish the wage system and private ownership of the means of production and its goal is workers’ self-management.
Anarcho-syndicalists militants have theorized different methods of class struggle: the general strike (considered the most effective means available to the working class to regain possession of the means of production), direct action (occupation, picket lines, etc.), the boycott and sabotage (refusal to produce certain goods and boycott by the proletariat of the products).
Anarcho-syndicalism focuses primarily on the labor movement, but it is also probably the one that has undergone a greater decline due to the disintegration of class consciousness.

Anarchist communism stresses egalitarianism and the abolition of social hierarchy and class distinctions that arise from unequal wealth distribution, the abolition of capitalism and money, and the collective production and distribution of wealth by means of voluntary associations.
In anarchist communism, the state and property would no longer exist. Each individual and group would be free to contribute to production and to satisfy their needs based on their own choice. Systems of production and distribution would be managed by their participants. The abolition of wage labor is central to anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude.

Basically Anarchist communism is a larger movement, and regards the self-management of workers and class war as much as the liberation of all the oppressed.
Anarcho-syndicalism is a revolutionary strategy which struggles for the emancipation of the workers gathered in revolutionary unions, and takes as its goal the establishment of anarchist communism (or collectivism) through class war.
The two movements are then not really opposed but complementary and both necessary for the revolutionary approach.

History gives us some examples on the anarchist communist revolutionary praxis. In the Spanish Civil War, an anarchist social revolution would have been impossible without the help of revolutionary trade unions such as CNT (Confederación Nacional del Trabajo) and FAI (Federación Anarquista Ibérica).
For a long time, until the Spanish Revolution, the two organizations acted according to the principles of organizational dualism: CNT represented the mass organization (union) and FAI the revolutionary specific (across the board political organization).
FAI acted as a kind of ancillary of the CNT, which was also the armed and illegal faction (in addition to self-defense actions, were frequent robberies of self-financing).

During the social revolution within the Spanish Civil war, the agrarian and industrial collectives instituted immediately economic equality in accordance with the essential principle of communism, ‘From each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.’ They coordinated their efforts through free association in whole regions, created new wealth, increased production (especially in agriculture), built more schools, bettered public services and founded popular defense committees.

They instituted not bourgeois formal democracy but genuine grass roots functional libertarian democracy, where each individual participated directly in the revolutionary reorganization of social life. They replaced the war between men, ‘survival of the fittest,’ by the universal practice of mutual aid, and replaced rivalry by the principle of solidarity.

The workers and peasants collectivized land and industry in Aragón and Catalonia and set up councils based on direct democracy. Factories were run through worker committees, agrarian areas became collectivized and run as libertarian communes. Even places like hotels, barber shops, and restaurants were collectivized and managed by their workers. Moreover they instituted new types of exchanges based on mutualism, the gift economy or barter, and adopted alternative currencies that were worth only to quantify the goods in their possession.

“The difference between communist-anarchism and syndicalism, I would argue, is rooted in different perspectives on the nature and role of the labour movement within anarchism. Let me be clear that the communist-anarchist and the syndicalist agree on the importance of working class self-organisation and direct action. 

So rather than being anti-syndicalism as some historians have suggested, the communist-anarchist position is actually syndicalism-plus. Syndicalism is a tactic, an important one, but it is not the be-all and end-all of anarchist activity. So, in effect, communist-anarchists would suggest that syndicalists turn a means into an end and fail to acknowledge the importance of anarchist groups working within the unions to keep them radical.

In the historical development of the anarchist movement, the revolutionary organizational dualism was neglected in diverse countries in detriment to a position that said that “syndicalism/ trade unionism” (that accumulated set of social movements) was enough. Not for us. We believe that the duty of the specific anarchist organization, what Malatesta called the anarchist “party”, is to articulate the force of the anarchists around a common proposal and to stimulate the social movements that they advance more and more beyond their demands, being able to forge the basis of a revolutionary transformation.

It is important to emphasize that organizational dualism does not presuppose a relation of subordination or hierarchy between the two instances mentioned. In our understanding of anarchism the specific anarchist organization and the social movements are complimentary. The relation of the specific anarchist organization presupposes ethical and horizontal relations, that imply the absence of relations of hierarchy or domination over the instances that participate.

The role of the specific anarchist organization is to act as a catalyst of social struggles. We don’t believe that political organizations must guide or direct the struggles, as the Marxist-Leninist primer says. Bakunin’s conception of active minority is very useful for us in this regard. The active minority does not impose, dominate, establish hierarchical relations or control within the social movements.”

Give a quick look at my previous posts here, and here.


veryblackskies  asked:

About that war question - okay, everything you say is very good in theory, but say we overthrow one government. There are still borders and there are still countries who can't wait to get rich on other's behalf..

That’s quite a clever question. Are you comfortable with the marxist concept of permanent revolution? According to Trotsky it is the idea that the dictatorship of the proletariat should be exported to other countries, and that the revolution will not be considered completed until socialism is common in all countries.

Anarchists have often criticized the imperialist and violent character of this concept (which is a state of permanent war), while acknowledging in the method a way of liberation that is not to be underestimated.

According to Daniel Guérin this pattern shatters the concept of revolution as “block”, and locates a plurality of revolutionary forces conflicting on the inside, providing a combined, polymorphic, multi-purpose, multi-class development of the revolutionary process.

Indeed, even before the formulation of the concept by Trotsky, anarchists recognized the principle of internationalist brotherhood of all the exploited. An example of this is the Bakunin perspective of insurrectionism, that led him to move around to incite revolutions, as happened in the Commune of Paris of 1848.
It is something that anticipates a century the courageous Che Guevara guerrilla in Bolivia and Congo.
The same thing happened in Spain during the Spanish Civil War with the International brigades, which counted 60,000 fighters that arrived in Spain from all around the world in the name of internationalism and antifascism.

It is precisely for this reason that have arisen as anarchist federations The International Workers’ Association (IWA; Spanish: AIT; German: IAA), the international federation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions and Initiatives, and The International of Anarchist Federations (IAF; French: IFA), confederation of a large number of anarchist-communist organizations and individuals.