Opinion

Mon
01
Feb

Myths About Anarchism

This is a write-up of my talk at the 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair. It is based on my notes and so will not be exactly the same as at the event but it will be close enough. The meeting summary initially submitted for the programme was:

Anarchists and anarchism have had a lot of nonsense written about them over the years. Whether it is proclaiming that we want chaos or see revolution as an easy process, the “conventional wisdom” is often at odds with reality. This applies to individual anarchists, with Proudhon painted as an advocate of “labour notes” or Kropotkin a gentle Prince of non-violence who had an idealistic vision of social revolution. This is not true. Anarchism and anarchists have a coherent and practical vision of both social change and a better (not perfect) society. Join Iain McKay (author of An Anarchist FAQ) as be explodes some of the common myths about anarchism and anarchists.

Thu
21
Jan

Noam Chomsky tells Al Jazeera “I’m not an absolute pacifist”

In an interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’, MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky a long-standing critic of US foreign policy and overseas interventions, said he supported U.S. air strikes against ISIL.

“I’m not an absolute pacifist,” he said. “I think there are times when the use of military force defensively is legitimate.“

"Defending the Kurds against the ISIL attacks, yes, that’s legitimate,” he added, explaining that the "Kurdish areas of Syria” constitute a “fairly decent society” which “certainly merit support” from the US air force.

Chomsky condemned the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in a public address criticised “so-called intellectuals” like Chomsky for supporting Kurdish separatists and invited the MIT professor to visit Turkey.

Wed
20
Jan

Noam Chomsky Interview: "Enormous Sense of Hopelessness and Anger" Reflected in Appeal of Trump And Sanders

Written by Melissa Parker
Smashing Interviews

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): We last spoke about a year ago, and there have been a few presidential debates since then.

Noam Chomsky: I never watch them (laughs). I read the transcripts later.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Well, tell me who the final two candidates will be when the dust settles.

Noam Chomsky: I assume that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination just because of the nature of our electoral system, which is basically now “bought” elections overwhelmingly, and the major funders will probably succeed at putting her across. What Bernie Sanders has achieved is pretty remarkable, but I doubt very much, in our existing system, he can make it beyond the primaries. So I think a fair guess is that Clinton will be nominated.

Tue
12
Jan

Eco-Socialism and Decentralism

by Wayne Price
January 11, 2016

Theorists of the climate-justice movement have been raising decentralist ideas as part of their programs for an ecologically-balanced society. This ecological program means more local democracy, workers’ management of industry, consumer coops, and federations of radically-democratic institutions. Such ideas revive the decentralist ideas of anarchism.

From conservatives and liberals to Marxists, there is faith in big machines, big industries, big corporations, big cities, big countries, big buildings, and big government—a belief in the necessity of centralized, bureaucratic, top-down, socially-alienated, institutions. This is not to say that most people like giant cities, big business, or big government; but they do not see any alternative.

Sat
09
Jan

Bookchin & Öcalan: Fruits On The Tree Of Mankind

9th January 2015
by Jihad Hammy and Eleanor Finley
Kurdish Question

“There seems to be a strong tendency to collect ideas rather than derive them, to disassemble and reassemble them as though we were dealing with an automobile engine, rather than explore them as aspects of a process.” – Murray Bookchin, 1986. The Modern Crisis.

“We must neither be enveloped in European civilization nor must we reject it categorically. We have to contribute to the development of humanity as a whole.” - Abdullah Öcalan.

Rojava is a small geographical area in the Middle East that is inspiring and giving hope to people all over the world. Although this revolution has been surprising to many, it is not at all strange that Rojava has captured so much attention, for the paradigm which fuels it retains the development of free and democratic ideas throughout history. This is the reason why so many people feel akin to this revolution and are a part of it.

Sun
13
Dec

Why the first female first minister of North of Ireland will not advance feminism

by Fionnghuala Nic Rioberaid - WSM

It is not coming as much of a surprise that some middle-class, career-focused feminists have made claims of this being some sort of an advance of feminism. Many are claiming that this represents a great change in northern Irish society, as a move away from the male dominated arena that we understands politics here to be (the same could be said throughout the World of course).

Those hailing Foster’s promotion as a feminist advancement will generally take the approach that having more women in politics is always a positive thing – regardless of their politics. Those who hold these opinions are usually those who can afford to hold them, or who are so privileged in every other avenue of their life that they don’t need to consider anything but the gender of those who implement policies.

Wed
02
Dec

The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It

by Bilal El-Amine
December 1, 2015
CounterPunch

Beirut, Lebanon.

Many factors combined to produce the nightmare that is Daesh (ISIS): the US invasion of Iraq, Gulf Arab sponsorship and financing, as well as Turkish complicity on many levels. To this list could be added the growing power of Iran, the sectarian reign of Iraq’s former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, the barrel bombs of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Hizballah’s intervention into Syria (a list that is de rigueur for the Gulf and Western media complex).

The roots of Daesh, however, go much deeper and are much older. To uproot them would take a great deal of time. But that does not mean that Daesh—easily one of the greatest dangers this region has ever faced—cannot be defeated. The fact that the group has decided to stake out a territory, a first among radical Islamist groups, is the key to its destruction.

Utopia by the Sword

Tue
24
Nov

ISIS murders in Paris - The route to freedom lies through love and solidarity

AndrewNFlood
Anarchist Writers
November 16, 2015

The 129 people killed in the attacks in Paris last night were murdered by Daesh, the self proclaimed ‘Islamic State’. On June 25th this year a much larger ISIS suicide force of about 80 attacked the city of Kobane using a similar mix of suicide bombs, guns and the taking and murdering of hostages. Some 223 civilians were murdered, many when ISIS broke into homes killing everyone inside. Around 40 Kurdish militia were killed in the process of stopping the slaughter. (1 - Read more)

Tue
24
Nov

A Few Thoughts on Anarchism

by Anarcho
Anarchist Writers
November 14, 2015

This year, 2015, marks the 175th anniversary of the publication of Proudhon’s seminal What is Property?. While opponents had hurled the label “anarchist” at those more radical than themselves during both the English and French revolutions, Proudhon was the first to embrace the name and proclaim themselves an anarchist. Anarchism, like any significant theory, has evolved as society has evolved and a great many since Proudhon have proclaimed themselves – or been proclaimed by their enemies – an anarchist.  What, then, does anarchism mean at the start of the 21st century?

Sun
22
Nov

Masterminds vs. Smart Bombs: Men Waging War

Mickey Z.
November 22, 2015
World News Trust

Since the Paris attacks, I’ve noticed a predictable proliferation of the word “mastermind” in corporate media reports.

I say predictable because whenever the “good guys” take a hit, it’s essential to the narrative that their opponent be presented as some kind of evil genius who has dealt them a temporary setback that will only serve to bring out the best in them. In this case, of course, the masterminds are ISIS in general and was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, in particular. 

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