The story of Nestor Makhno through film

From paris-luttes.info

The Makhnovist movement was one of the rare anarchist-communist insurrections in history, if not the only one, capable of holding a territory for a number of years (from 1917 to 1921).  The film that follows returns to the traces of these revolutionary workers and peasants almost eighty years after their defeat.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Film | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tomás Ibáñez: The anarchism to come

Tomás Ibáñez is arguably one of the most important voices of spanish anarchism, and the resonance of his work extends beyond his country of origin.  Infrequently translated into english, we have tried in earlier posts to modestly fill that gap.

We share below a recent and perhaps polemical essay of his, an essay that was originally published in Libre Pensamiento nº 88, of the spanish CGT, and in electronic format at alasbarricadas, acracia and el libertario.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Murray Bookchin: The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism

In our series dedicated to anarcho-syndicalism, we share Murray Bookchin’s critical reflections on this tradition within anarchism, in the excellent essay, “The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism”.  Whatever reservations we have regarding the direction of Bookchin’s anarchism towards a radically democratic municipalism, his emphasis on the communalist traditions of anarchism is of great importance, not only in reading the history of the anarchist movement, but also for critically engaging with the more recent “occupy movements” and the “anarchist” response to them. …

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Errico Malatesta: On Syndicalism

Our recent series of testimonial posts in memory of the centenary of the russian february revolution of 1917, posts that we shared from (and by which we were inspired) Robert Graham’s Anarchist Weblog, with additional writings by the same authors, raise numerous questions, both historical and political.  Among the many is whether or not anarcho-syndicalism, one of the forms that russian anarchism took at the time, remains a a relevant or desirable means for radical anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian politics.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In solidarity with Ruymán Rodríguez and the FAGC

On the 30th of April 2015, in Santa María de Guía, Grand Canary, the anarchist activist Ruymán Rodríguez, member of the Federación de Anarquistas de Gran Canaria (FAGC)/Anarchist Federation of the Grand Canary, member of the recently created Sindicato de Inquilinos de Gran Canaria/Tenants Union of the Grand Canary, was arrested by the Guardia Civil, without any motive given, taken to the police station and subjected to torture (beatings and strangling).

Continue reading

Posted in News blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The russian february revolution of 1917: Grigori Petrovitch Maximov

We continue to share testimonials/reflections on the russian revolution, shared from and inspired by Robert Graham’s Anarchist Weblog

Gregory (“Grigori”) Maksimov (often written as “Maximov” and “Maximoff” in English language material) was one of the leading exponents of anarcho-syndicalism in Russia during the 1917 Revolution.  He was in St. Petersburg when the February 1917 Revolution broke out, participating in the strike wave that helped provoke the Revolution. He became active in the factory committee movement which sought to bring about genuine workers’ control in Russia. After he was forced into exile in 1921, he wrote an exposé of the Bolshevik tyranny in Russia, The Guillotine at Work, and edited the first major English language selection of Bakunin’s writings, The Political Philosophy of Bakunin (published from Maksimov’s manuscripts after his death in 1950). The following is Maksimov’s pamphlet, Syndicalists in the Russian Revolution, in which he describes the beginning of the Russian Revolution, before the return of the many political exiles who were to play such a fateful role in the Revolution’s ultimate outcome (including Bolsheviks like Lenin and Trotsky, and anarchists like Boris Yelensky), the role of revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists in the events and their subsequent repression by Bolshevik authority.

We also share below a second short text by Maximov, entitled My Social Credo.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Long Term Resistance: Fighting Trump and Liberal Co-option

From the Its Going Down media collective, an essay by Peter Gelderloos (20/02/2017) …

Long Term Resistance: Fighting Trump and Liberal Co-option

So far, the only thing that has mitigated the horrifying opening salvos of Trump’s presidency—of course the first president to follow through on his campaign promises had to be this one—has been the widespread popular resistance against his deportation orders, Muslim bans, pipeline projects, and misinformation campaigns. Resistance in and of itself is a beautiful thing because it shows that people are still alive, they still consider themselves a part of their environment; on the other hand, resistance is by no means a synonym for change. The State has long known how to manage resistance, and how to factor it in as one more cost of its policies. For that reason, rather than being self-congratulatory when we resist, we should encourage one another to understand just what it is we are fighting back against, what it would take to defeat it, and how our actions measure up to the requirements of the situation.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Struggles for autonomy

The question  “what is to be done?” for anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian politics often invites the suggestion that there must be a single, unequivocal answer to it, at multiple levels: ends or goals, tactics and strategies, organisations, all supposedly grounded in some deep social ontology and human anthropology.  Nothing of course could be farther from the “truth”.

If the oppressive social relations that characterise capitalism are changing, if the forms of accumulation, exploitation and domination that define it are constantly made and remade in and through the fabric of social life, then how to challenge it must also be constantly examined and re-thought.

It is not our pretension here then to propose any one answer to the question “what is to be done?”.  That there are answers, we have no doubt, but they are answers; answers which if worthy of being acted upon, and if understood to call for permanent critical review, themselves grow out of the many current struggles against capitalist forms of social re-production.

To speak of post-1968 radical politics is not to make a fetish of the year.  It is however to suggest that it serves as marker for changes in social relations, whose development began no doubt earlier, but the awareness of which only began to emerge in the 1960s.  To summarise no doubt far too quickly, I will simply repeat what others have tried to demonstrate, and I believe very effectively, that older forms of anti-capitalist politics that predate this period are no longer effective, or even relevant (e.g. revolutionary and/or anarcho-syndicalism, vanguard communist political parties – militarised or parliamentary – or similar type organisations, social-democratic political parties, etc.).  What follows on is what has proven to be a conundrum for many.  But perhaps what all of the radical political-social movements of the post-1968 marker share is the idea-reality of autonomy, and the desire to create it in social life, here and now.

Again, how this is to be done remains a question, and what in some sense we at Autonomies have been trying to map are the ways in which “autonomy” has been thought and practiced in our time (never of course divorcing ourselves from our past).

Therefore, as one more example of this mapping, we share below a reflection on the contemporary Zapatista and MST movements (from libcom.org 18/02/2017)  If we do so, it is not because we believe them to be the paths to follow, or that they are not without limitations, but because they are one more contribution to a debate from which we can learn and in which there will never be a last word …

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In praise of wise folly: Wendell Berry

Shared by a friend of Autonomies …

Continue reading

Posted in Poiesis | Tagged | Leave a comment

The russian february revolution of 1917: Boris Yelensky

We continue to share testimonials/reflections on the russian revolution, from Robert Graham’s Anarchist Weblog

Boris Yelensky (1889-1974) was a Russian anarchist from Kuban, a city in southern Russia just north of the Black Sea. In the 1890s, he moved with his family to Novorosisk, a port city on the Black Sea. At 16 years old, he participated in the Novorosisk Soviet during the 1905 Russian Revolution. With the defeat of that revolution, Yelensky was forced into exile, eventually making his way to the United States in 1907. He returned to Russia for about ten months in 1910, but was again forced to flee. Back in the United States, he became the secretary of the Anarchist Red Cross, an organization that provided relief and support for anarchist political prisoners, predominantly in Russia. He was in Chicago when news of the February Revolution arrived. In the following excerpt form his memoir,  In the Social Storm: Memoirs of the Russian Revolution, Yelensky describes the excitement this news generated among the Russian exiles in the US, and their return to Russia to participate in the Revolution. Even then, the Bolsheviks were trying to impose their control over the revolutionary struggle. Yelensky returned to Novorosisk in July 1917, where he became involved with a local anarcho-syndicalist group that worked toward the establishment of factory committees throughout the region.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment