Friday, April 9, 2010

Meeting - Vote for a new society not a political party - Wednesday 5 May

At the North London Community House. 22 Moorefield Road, London N17 [The old Postal Sorting Office]. All welcome. 

Chartists on Kennington Common

Our five-minutes-every-five-years  worth of "democracy"  happens on 6 May. But is there anyone out there who still believes that the world, owned and run by a partnership of private property and state regulation, is in any way controlled by electing  members of parliament?   That the great dictatorship of modern society is supervised by the House of Commons?  That any social control exists over bankers running up massive debts to someone or other, or over police seen murdering and attacking people on television, or over judges finding them NOT GUILTY? Or any of the tin pots?  or  any MPs claiming expenses?  or any of the  "celebrities "?

Friday, April 2, 2010

All elections are a joke - a reply by Dale Evans

The refusal of anarchists to take part in elections stems from the ideas and criticisms of the classical thinkers of anarchism from the 19th century. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was himself deputy - representing the socialist party - in France's Chamber of Deputies. His views on social questions were ignored, leaving him with a disparaging attitude to parliamentary democaracy. For Proudhon 'universal suffrage is the counter-revolution', and Bakaunin argued that the  revolutionary party would become corrupted once it had gained power through universal suffrage. Indeed, uinversal suffrage only undermined the possibility of attaining socialism. These views have been reiterated by numerous anarchist theorists since, and they form one of the basic tenets of anarchist opposition to the state.

My criticism of Past Tense's leaflet on the upcoming general election arises from 2 areas. Firstly the attitude that elections are joke, all parliamentarians are corrupt and libertarians (anarchists and libertarian socialists) should not touch them with a barge pole; and secondly that their use of history to support their argument is misplaced.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Past Tense Election Leaflet

The text below contains what is the traditional anarchist position on elections, written and published by Past Tense. As a general election approaches it is important that all those of the libertarian left (anarchists and libertarian socialists) discuss this important issue, please feel free to add your comments.



Oh God it’s another General Erection!
We know – all elections are a waste of time. Politicians of all parties fill their pockets, you couldn’t tell their policies apart without a microscope, the power of the rich, the global corporations and financiers continues merrily whoever is elected; well-meaning do-gooders get elected, then become sucked in or ground down by the weight of the system. While the meaningless circus at Westminster rattles on, our lives are at the mercy of their economic upturns and downturns, grinding away at work just to survive. While the rich and their parliamentary puppets wine and dine, whoever gets in next time will slash the NHS and other services many of us need to get by, to balance the national debt – at our expense, again.

The question is, what do we DO? Sink into apathy and distrust, giving up even the controlled lack of interest our rulers hope to kindle in us...? or take back the power in our own lives, now, every day, at work, in the streets, in our relations with each other, not every five years on a bit of paper but for real? We could do away with all politicians, bosses, bureaucrats, and run the world ourselves for the pleasure of us all and love of each other…

Radical Reading Collective

The Radical Reading Collective a new orgainsation devoted to reading and discussing many of the classic texts of anarchism, marxism and libertarian socialism, and will be discussing 'Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists' at LARC* on Sunday 11 April at 2pm, for more information visit their blog

In 1926 a group of exiled Russian anarchists in France, the Dielo Trouda group (Workers' Cause), published the 'Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists' or The Platform as its often referred to. It arose not from some academic study but from their experiences in the 1917 Russian revolution. They had taken part in the overthrow of the old ruling class, had been part of the blossoming of workers' and peasants' self- management, had shared the widespread optimism about a new world of socialism and freedom . . . and had seen its bloody replacement by State Capitalism and a centralist party dictatorship. What should revolutionaries learn from the Russian Revolution, how should they organise....