It was also a pleasant surprise because Ward and Kropotkin are two of among several anarchist thinkers I’m writing a series of appreciations on for C4SS. Both Kropotkin and Ward were libertarian communists of sorts, but there was so much sheer muchness to their thought it’s impossible to encapsulate with any such ideological label. Compared to their love for the irreducible particularity of all the near-infinity of local examples of human-scale self-organization and cooperation, labels like “communist,” “individualist” or “syndicalist” are like stale bread crusts.
It’s no secret that economists and libertarians have developed a bad habit of assuming things about history and other societies on first principle without actually checking archaeological or anthropological findings. On occasion the divide can be quite stark. David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5000 Years gets a lot of momentum by attacking a widely circulated economic fable purporting to explain the origin of currency wherein coinage precedes credit. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the “I need a blanket and all I have to barter with are five chickens but everyone in my village likes cowry shells” dilemma at the start of elementary economics textbooks has no clear historical basis; there’s little evidence small tribes or villages needed to invent physical currency to facilitate market exchange internally because reputation and credit are far more natural and flexible.
As a volunteer organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), I am proud to announce that a supermajority of the 11 "as needed" beach maintenance workers in Santa Monica just signed Industrial Workers of the World petitions to collectively bargain with the city of Santa Monica for permanent employment. This is a big deal, considering the degree of past exploitation of "as needed" which is a term for "temporary" employment, even when the employment is not temporary. In essence these workers are fighting for rights long denied in a city with a reputation for progressive policies.
Earlier this year, Raoul Vaneigem turned 80 years old. To celebrate this event, Editions Allia in France will bring about "Rien n'est fini, tout commence" (Nothing Has Ended, Everything Begins), a huge book of interviews with the ex-situationist conducted by Gerard Berreby.
On September 29th Insomnia Cookies fired union organizer Colin James for his union activity under the guise of company theft. Colin has been a model employee without a single write-up and has been organizing at Insomnia Cookies for over 6 months. This is the same union busting tactic this company used late last year, firing union organizer Tommy Mendez in Nov. of 2013.
For many months now, we’ve been hard at work on a new anarchist outreach project that picks up where Fighting for Our Lives left off—drawing on everything we’ve learned since then and updating the contents and format. Now that work is completed—we just need your help to get it into the world.
Unfortunately, “sharing” is often too narrowly conceived as being primarily about economic transactions. The poster-children of the sharing economy are being co-opted by the interests of venture capital and its insatiable demands for rapid growth and high-value exit strategies. Taskrabbit, started to make it easier for neighbors to help each other out with errands and chores, is becoming a glorified temping agency, leaving its participants in the same precarious boat as those on zero-hour contracts.
Capitalism is changing the weather. More fundamentally, it is changing the climate. This is the byproduct of an economic system that relies primarily on burning oil and coal to fuel production and enable the transportation of people and goods. In looking at capitalists’ responsibility for the climate crisis, a central question is whether capitalism must impact the environment in this way, or if it is capable of changing its mode of production so its continued operation does not change the climate.
In the interviews you hold with Chomsky and Hardt in Grabbing Back, both thinkers point out the irony whereby the so-called “socialist” governments that have been elected throughout much of Latin America in recent years—Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay, for example—notoriously have in fact been engaged in a significant intensification of the extractivist trends which their neoliberal precedecessors oversaw. This developmentalism has inexorably brought these “Pink Tide” governments into conflict with indigenous peoples, and it certainly has not been auspicious for nature, however much posturing Rafael Correa and Evo Morales like to advance in terms of the “rights of nature.”
We're starting a print shop in Hamilton, Ontario and we need your support. The print shop will not be a business where people come to buy copies, but a community-based project that will provide the resources to produce antagonist posters, art, pamphlets and propaganda.
A culture of security is one which enhances an organization's capacity to determine its interests and act on them in spite of another organization's opposed interests. Corporate workforces and law enforcement agencies both cultivate cultures of security, as do management teams, investment rings, smugglers, unions, militia men, and academic researchers. All of these cultures are supposed to control flows of information (trade secrets, exclusive suppliers, price indexes, strategic plans, etc.) and restrict communication in furtherance of an organization's interests.
Itinerant shoppers pose for selfies as the skyline of the finance district across the bay bursts into a kaleidoscope of green and yellow lights. Below them, the waters of Victoria Harbor stir quietly, foreboding a typhoon. Despite the churning water, the nearby cruise ship hardly seems to move. It is docked to the pier at Tsim Sha Tsui, its gangplank descending into one of the most luxurious shopping malls in East Asia, a convenience allowing wealthy visitors from all across the world the ability to disembark from one climate-controlled environment to another without ever leaving the safety of AC and well-trained security. Once off the ship, they can spend money tax-free at the city’s most fashionable restaurants and retail outlets, eating Japanese BBQ and then gliding over polished floors to browse retro British outfits at a boutique marketing 20s-style colonial chic.
The Anarchist Library has been updated! As the library unfolds and develops into its current iteration, we would like to share with you some of new and exciting things happening and remind you of some old ones.
When communities attempt to police the police, they often get, well... policed. In several states, organized groups that use police scanners and knowledge of checkpoints to collectively monitor police activities by legally and peacefully filming cops on duty have said they've experienced retaliation, including unjustified detainment and arrests as well as police intimidation.
On August 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind. The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.
Hi my name is Jen Wallis, and I’m a founding member of Railroad Workers United. We are a rank-and-file caucus of the various national and international railroad unions. A few of us started this organization to respond to the decades of infighting created by the carriers to keep us divided.