vrijdag 20 januari 2012

Reflections on Anarcho-Syndicalism

Anarcho-Syndicalism is not left wing

The terms "left", "right" and "centre" are, in the purest sense of the words, parliamentary concepts. These “directions” within the political spectrum are derived from the perspective of the representatives in parliament. On the right there were the Conservatives, on the left the Social Democrats or Communists and in the centre the Liberals.

These terms traditionally include some political associations, trade unions and (other) political alliances, who because of their Anarchist principles refrain from parliamentary participation. These can't actually be categorized within these terms because they are fundamentally distinct from the Social Democratic and Communist movements. They are not centralized and don’t promote statism, nor do they subscribe to the doctrine of historical materialism as the sole explanation for the history and for the future. They don't find their strength in submission, authority or personality cult, but in thinking for oneself, self awareness and a respect for individual emancipation. They represent a movement that begins at the base, without representatives, bureaucrats or leaders.

Anarcho-Syndicalism has as much in common with "Socialist" parties, as it has with the authoritarian Monarch or the Capitalist despots. Throughout history free and emancipatory never have been inspired by parliamentary activities, but rather strictly rejected it. Under both the "left", "right-" and "centre" governments freedom-loving ideas and activities are strongly suppressed. Under all of these regimes Anarcho-Syndicalists were oppressed, persecuted, put in prison or even killed. Both in Fascist and "Democratic" Italy and Germany, Tsarist and Communist Russia, Capitalist and Communist Cuba, monarchist and Fascist Spain. In each state with a centralized structure of police, secret services, bureaucracy and army, they were persecuted and oppressed. Anarcho-Syndicalism, both in theory and in practice, has little in common with Marxists, Capitalists, and Fascists or with terms such as "right", "left" or "centre".

These directions and terms are typically used to insinuate that there existed no difference between Marxists and other authoritarian movements on the one hand and Anarcho-Syndicalism on the other hand. But the boundaries don’t run between "left" and "right" but always between "under" and "above". Parliamentary representatives and governments of any kind, whether these are "rightwing" or "leftist" governments, are fundamentally rejected. Anarcho-Syndicalism takes a clear class position in its principles, socialism will be completely free or it won’t. There is no "left unity" within the class struggle. There is only the self-organization of the emancipatory movement against all forms of domination. Thinking in terms like "right" and "left" only leads to sectarism and an aversion away from the real front position. This thinking, which is based on fallacies, will only lead from bad to worse, from Capitalism and its prisons, the concentration camps of statecapitalism to the Gulags of the Marxists. "Left" and "right" are nothing more than divisive notions that are used by those in power to atomize our thinking and to send us in a fake direction. Moreover these meaningless concepts and substantial terms hamper a good description for the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement. Anarcho-Syndicalism is almost always classified in nearly every article or signature as "left wing" - in that manner they throw Anarchists, Marxists, Socialists and Fascists all over the same ridge. What a mockery of these principles! Anarcho-Syndicalism can't be "left" without emancipation, self-consciousness and grassroots, without being oriented on human needs. Nor can it deny being against the state, against parliamentarianism, against dogmatism and much more. One must therefore simply give content to Anarcho-Syndicalism and not blur the truth or juggle false similarities with meaningless and empty concepts.

If we want to take life in our own hands, we first must give meaning to concepts and categories, rather than let them be dictated to us. Self-organization, self-awareness and emancipatory action begins with oneself. If our opponents think they can dictate our thinking, then the battle is already lost.


"Totalitarianism"

That both "centre", "right" and "left" are drawn into "extremism" is well known; claiming that this isn’t the case is simply not true. The "right wing" and "left wing" extremes are considered as totalitarian by the "centre" - and rightly so. But we also know that every so-called "Democracy" from the "centre" can take a totalitarian form as well. Therefore "Totalitarian" is only a divisive term used by the "centre" to make a fundamental difference between "Democrats" and the other "extremists". In fact this difference is not entirely true. The transformation of the Netherlands into a "totalitarian state" may indeed be fully carried out legally. After all the legal means for this are already available (police laws, fundamental rights and claims for an emergency) and the means to implement it (police, secret services and military bureaucracy) are also present.

"Democrats" and "extremists" actually have much more in common than they want to admit. Both are centralized and hierarchical, statist, bureaucratic, authoritative, subversive for the free will, anti-emancipatory, patronizing and Capitalist. The distinction is therefore only found in small differences, whether one pursues a private economy (Capitalism) or a state economy (State capitalism). The class relationships are basically the same. In contrast Anarcho-Syndicalism is directed against any form of domination. It relies on the organization from below and on the Anarchist principles that all forms of oppression and exploitation should be abolished. This to establish a society of self-conscious, emancipated individuals, who are able to enter free agreements with each other and who are capable to solve problems among themselves. Personal responsibility and self-discipline have to replace paternalism and dependency. Self-government takes the place of hierarchy in all parts of life.

Just like Marxism the "Democratic centre" pushes Anarcho-syndicalism in the left wing and by that presents itself as the absolute bastion of reason, justice and civilization. But the global oppression and exploitation is not a result of Anarcho-Syndicalism. Anarcho-Syndicalists did not systematically destroy food and did not starve 7.000.000 children on an annual basis to keep the prices of the world market stable. Anarcho-Syndialists did not install puppet-regimes in other states to serve their global imperialist interests, nor did they supply them with weapons and torture gear to do so.


The term "Left wing"

First off, we have to get rid of meaningless definitions by truly free and undogmatic thought. The term "left wing" is nothing more than a meaningless indication of direction and can mean a multitude of things: a wing within the NSDAP, various Hegelian tendencies, authoritarian Jacobins, Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyists, Maoists, Castro, Republicans in the Fascist spectrum or Che Guevara. "Left wing" is an elastic concept that is very arbitrary and relative. Instead of setting up categories and concepts like "left wing" and "right wing, we must point out the real differences to people. Differences such as rich and poor, Capitalists and proletarians, bureaucracy and social assistance, Anarcho-Syndicalism and Parliamentarianism, state and free society, authoritarian and emancipatory, will for power and will for freedom and much, much more. Only then we won’t unnecessarily have to search in the dark and we can finally witness the truth. This offers a better start for the implementation of the idea for a truly free society. The term "left wing" we simply have to ignore.

Source:
Vrije Nationalisten Noord-Brabant / Netwerk Nationale Socialisten






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