The Idea is the Thing . How to Make Revolution ..Alexander Berkman (read,Download)

Alexander Berkman: The Idea is the Thing

Here is a thoughtful piece on social change by Alexander Berkman. A version of this essay formed part of Berkman’s classic introduction to anarchism, Now and After: The ABC of Anarchist Communism. Informed by a lifetime of struggle and involvement in the international anarchist movement, and having witnessed the triumph of the Marxist dictatorship in Russia and the rise of fascism in Italy, Berkman was well situated to comment on the problem of achieving far-reaching social transformation in the face of reaction.

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Anarchist Reading group #1 .. review and download

Anarchist Reading group #1

London Anarchist Federation held their first reading group looking at two chapters in volume 1 of ‘Anarchism, a documentary history of libertarian ideas’, edited by Robert Graham. We read chapters 8 ‘Anarchist Communism’ and 9 ‘Anarchy and anarchism’.Below we present some of the talking points during the discussion, hastily jotted down as notes by one of our members.

A pdf of the texts (vol.1) can be found over at libcom: click Anarchism – A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas .

Parts of the texts are strikingly modern (particularly Kropotkin) and seem readily applicable to situation the working class finds itself in today. Has anything really changed, then? The texts speak of the coming automation of labour and the need, therefore, to make sure workers are in control so this can be a post-scarcity utopia rather than a high unemployment, high exploitation dystopia (hello Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work 2016).

Within this Cafiero acknowledges that many jobs could already be automated but it’s cheaper for capital to exploit labour, so we are condemned to drudgery (hello Bullshit Jobs, A Theory 2018). Although the texts on anarchist communism mainly focus on work and production, there is also an acknowledgement of the impossibility of valuing work and the need to consider mental health, social work and other functions of society which fall outside capitalism. Continue reading “Anarchist Reading group #1 .. review and download”