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Reformist revolution?

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Reformists clash with the revolutionaries for years on the methods of struggle against capitalism. The first group is criticized for its strategy of building a new society step by step. Revolutionaries say that it will never happen because real liberation requires radical action and confrontation with the enemy. But reformists say that revolutionary methods are based on short-term changes that lead to violence and it is never possible to predict the outcome of the revolution.

So the conflict about the strategies already takes many years and we see no improvement here. Last week I attended a lecture on these two issues at the Anarchist Bookfair and I spotted that the movement is still in the stagnation in this field. I mean we all know the history: conflicts between Marxists and anarchists, reformism promoted by Edward Bernstein, Spanish revolution or insurrectionary campaigns run by urban guerillas in Germany, Chile or Greece and other countries. There’s more stuff here. It gives a framework for the analysis, but we are at a point in which global capitalism is very strong and dreadful, and all sorts of leftists are considered to be commies and fans of Stalin. This means that there is no time for further doubts and disagreements. We can share our analysis on blogs and Indymedia sites, but it only gives us a little. Mr. Th0rin said to me recently that one of the biggest victories of the current system may be the fact that we are able to write and publish wise essays and books, but we are unable to operate.

Thus, back to our conflicted reformists and revolutionaries, I think we get to the point where both groups are correct.

What’s good in reformism?

Well, if we want to be honest we have to recognize that the movement is weak. Although we have hundreds of organizations, social centres, campaigns, websites and activists involved in every field of struggle, as a WHOLE we are weak. We do not have strong foundations, we do not have a close international cooperation, we do not exist in the mass media (unless there are some riots), we lack the people and money. Capitalism has it all and this is why it is so strong.

If we think about real change we must have SOMETHING. We must have a base to support the change, something that will act as financial and logistical support. We need a global and local solutions, which allow us to organize, gain experience and get involve other people. For example, local activists have some great ideas, they want to meet and start working, but what if they do not have access to any place where they can actually do it? What if they need money, but do not have access to funds which will help them? What if there’s a threat of repression, but there is no one who will protect them? What if they lack skills and do not know anyone who could provide training?

It’s happening now, that’s why so many brilliant projects die before they even get started. Often it happens also that the campaigns which last a long time are simply harmless for the elites. It’s convenient for them. So it’s easy to set up a gardening group but try to reduce dependence on oil for your region. Or try to change the law so that animals were not defined as property. You’ll see how quickly you become a terrorist and public enemy. Therefore, before making big challenges we have to be prepared and have adequate resources (funds, community properties, legal teams, food suppliers, plans, skills, etc.). I know it takes a lot of time and it sounds really reformist but let’s be honest : this has to be built first. Otherwise, how can we even think about the revolution? That would be disaster. A small group of people against the tanks of NATO and the mercenaries from Blackwater? We can actually see a part of it in Greece currently. There are several urban guerillas groups operating in Greece which try to confront the government and wake up the people. However, they do not have the necessary capacity and despite the many actions Greece remains in a big trouble. So after a few years of fight instead of mass support of the population they get lessons of a state terror in prisons.

Anyway at this point the reformist approach is useful. To think about the revolution you must have a social and logistic background to make this possible. But I think that here the role of reformist thinking ends as well. Faith in the parallel construction of an alternative society with no reaction of rulers is simply naive. As soon as they see the threat they will try to fix this. So the entire reformist path leads to a confrontation anyway. At least I don’t see any other way.

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Revolution time

Politicians, capitalists, bankers, elites – or whatever you call them – will not go away just like that. Their wealth is based on power and control. I mean they have invested millions in corporations and they hold shares in businesses exploiting workers, destroying communities or causing the environment pollution. They own dozens of properties and banks, they support the wars, they kill millions of animals every year, they profit from unjust globalization in Third World. At same time they drive big SUVs, fly private jets, staying overnight in hotels $ 3000 per day. Does anyone really think that seeing a threat to their status, they will just give the power to the people in the name of freedom? No way!

Don’t get me wrong here, it doesn’t mean Let’s kill them all. I’m far from that and I’m far from saying that each of them is responsible for terrible crimes. But the fact is that these groups do control the economy and politics. And they do it wrong what affects everyone. Another fact is they do control police and military and in the face of threats to their power they will try to eliminate opposition. It means they will use the police and army if required. And alternative institutions, alternative economics, and finally an alternative society are such a threat. I mean we saw it in so many cases that it is hard to count (Argentine, Mexico, Peru, Greece, Italy, Libya) So if we have a base (tools) ready it will probably get tough now. Never mind whether you’re a hippie or black block member. As soon as the growth of independent projects (e.g. community financial institutions) reaches a certain level the authorities will feel threatened. Then they will react.

Anyway this is where revolutionary thought comes to place. I would like to believe that radical changes can be done peacefully, but it is difficult to imagine it when we are dealing with the violent opponent. The confrontation at some point is inevitable. The problem is, however, that the wrongly run revolution can bring more harm than good. Riots, violence on the streets are no fun, even if it is a part of the struggle for a better life. The revolutionary attitude demands great discipline too, because it is easy to cross the line of morality. I mean the revolution’s aim is to overthrow an unjust system and not to enjoy violence itself. However, we can be sure there would be people who just want to shoot other people. Also because of that the reformist part is important because building alternative places educates society at same time. You get educated earlier through doing things, not during insurection. Otherwise, instead of putting power into the hands of people we may have an explosion of mass killing, robbing, etc. I do not think that violence can be avoided. I mean if you look at history, large social movements always came through the fight to achieve what they wanted. So this is really bad news, but on the other hand is it so better to be oppressed by capitalism? And I know there are a lot of people that don’t feel oppressed. They usually split into two groups, the rich and the unconscious. The last ones need to switch off their TV first. Then they will see we don’t need to take 30 years mortgage to own a house if we don’t want to. And then many other things will get clear (Honey, how could we feed our kids with junk food for over 10 years???)

Redefine strategy

So finally reformists must realize that their method leads to a response of state anyway. It’s better to know that earlier than be surprised and then shocked by brutal response. And revolutionaries need to understand that the struggle is something more than just open and armed resistance. The revolution itself is the moment of climax but to defeat the system you need a broad perspective. Pre-revolution and post-revolution times are just as important. So these two views should be combined not separated.

At the end of day it’s all still theory. Nobody knows what will happen. It is certain that the movement must unite to join together different trends and work out an overall strategy. Resistance must be global as capitalism is global. Of course, these are just words like many others, but without the unification of the various groups we will continue to use corporate laptops to write anti-corporate notes. Without a new strategy, we will never progress. The evolution of the movement is very slow especially if you compare it with the flexibility of politicians and financiers.

And people still do not recognize the environmental pollution, surveillance, junk food, labor relations, economic system and many other issues as something that is destructive to themselves. And if even they do they do nothing about that . They simply lack faith, because no one can propose to them a credible plan for change. So they choose to believe in Obama instead of themselves.

A list of imprisoned animal rights activists

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Here’s an up to date list of imprisoned animal rights activists. You can find it here. Please support those who spend years behind the bars for liberating tortured animals.

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Please pick a person and write her/him a letter. You can’t imagine how important it is for them. For more information on how you can support animal rights prisoners log on to:

Written by Kruk

January 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

The bombs in embassies and scary anarchists!

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Last week we learned once again that in Europe, operate dangerous terrorists-anarchists sending bomb-letters to various embassies. These ruthless people desire to shed innocent blood and create chaos on the streets of the great capitalist cities of Europe, where governments and big business are trying so hard to fix the crisis for which taxpayers pay the bid. In fact, the image transmitted from the mainstream media puts everything in the whole: growing leftist terror in the streets, blood and more blood, and anarchists are becoming almost a European Al-Qaeda. Be careful when you open the fridge, you might find an anarchist with a bomb!

In all this turmoil no one will even think to ask anarchists, what do they think about it? Well, what for? We’ve got a comfortable excuse, a distraction from the real problems and a little sensationalism. A little more and it leads us to the scenario for an interesting political thriller. And that’s the point. Because those actions of this mysterious organization Unofficial Anarchist Federation, of which no one heard about, smell of fiction and provocation. Especially considering that in Italy it would not be the first time (eg, attack on the Piazza della Logia in Brescia in May 1974). Secondly, from an anarchist point of view attacks against random workers are pointless. Even the radicals from the Revolutionary Struggle cut them off from such actions. Similarly, the other anarchist organizations such as Swiss Libertäre Aktion Winterthur, are distancing themselves from these attacks and they have serious doubts about the authenticity of the Unofficial Anarchist Federation. However, obviously the media will not mention about it, it could introduce some confusion in black-and-white version of the neoliberal world. Thirdly, who would benefit from the killing the employees whether the Chilean or Swiss Embassy? I guess only people with mental problems could be thinking that after such attacks any anarchists would expect revolution or the destruction of capitalism. As for the anarchists, the only thing it may bring them is more repression. But it looks different the Italian Government’s point of view. There are ongoing violent and massive student protests in Italy, which the country hasn’t seen for many years. What does this mean? The rage of the people always mean the same thing, a threat to power and capital. So what can we do about that? Hmmm …. let us think. Frighten the public and divert their attention, creating an artificial enemy? Anarchist Flu Attacks! WHO warns of pandemic!

The thing is that anarchists do not sit at night, plotting in who is there to hit, thinking how to earn more money and have more power. They do not have blood on their hands of innocent victims in Iraq and Afghanistan, immigrants victimized in European prisons, the millions of victims of globalization and poverty in Third World countries, thousands of animals tormented on farms and laboratories. They are not intersted in bloodshed, they did not invent more and better weapons, they did not postulate moving billions of dollars on the war, when there is no money to feed millions of children. And even if you consider that they are sitting on their squats and are excited about murdering others, their targets are quite different than some innocent employees of the embassies. So who actually sent the letters, huh?

Written by Kruk

December 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

A non-utopian anarchism

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You can’t hide the fact that the general seems to see anarchism as an utopia, an invention of idealists that can’t be realized. These comments usually result from an erroneous conviction of the fact that anarchists call for chaos and lack of control, not agreeing with the creation of organizations or associations, and if that was not enough they place their naive belief in human morality. And doesn’t it look like a utopia?

Of course, yes! Except that it has nothing to do with anarchism. These are the myths that have arisen over the years from a variety of reasons. To be exact, unfortunately, some environmental and leftist factions let people believe in these stereotypes. However, to put an end to these allegations of being utopian we need to straight out a few things

Firstly, anarchism is not an antidepressant drug, it won’t cause that every person in the world will be happy and free of existential problems. Secondly, anarchism doesn’t mean chaos, and only calls for a radical change in the organization of society, one that will give control and power in the hands of people. I emphasize the word control. Indeed it is feasible not only in the writings of Bakunin and Kropotkin, but also in practice. Examples from history, which I often mention in previous posts indicate that the self-organized cooperatives, unions or associations existed and still exist, developing the best forms of self-governance and self-contol. The organization of social life and economic development doesn’t need to be based on the handover of power in the hands of politicians, bravely pursuing the interests of the corporation.

Thirdly – the question of ethics. So anarchism doesn’t penetrate specifically philosophical discourse on whether a human is born bad or good. I would say even that, in its assumptions anarchism is more reasonable than the current system, because in the so-called democracy people enrtust in the goodness of a handful of chosen ones, who often respond to themselves , and society has no real control over their actions. I don’t even try to list all examples of what the rulers are capable of as I would probably use the whole capacity of the server if I would be willing to present only the proven crimes. So who is utopian here? What for many is therefore associated with youthful rebellion is in fact a specific doctrine, offering concrete change. It is researched and developed from many years by thinkers and scientists such as Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Abramowski, Chomsky and Black or Thonar.

It is important to realize that the current social order exploits and discriminates masses of people daily, it degenerates them, it forces them into slave labor iincluding children and women, it tortures animals imprisoned in laboratories and destroys everything that is natural. It is therefore our duty to stand together in defense of those exploited as we all benefit from their work and existence. It is our duty to fight for the rights of humans, animals and the rescue of the environment. As we all benefit from their pain and suffering.

I recommend the full details – Anarchism. This is not utopia, but a solution.

Written by Kruk

September 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm