[Translation] Lucien van der Walt, 2012, “Internationalismus und Antiimperialismus von unten: Anarchismus und Syndikalismus in der kolonialen und postkolonialen Welt”

Internationalismus und Antiimperialismus von unten: Anarchismus und Syndikalismus in der kolonialen und postkolonialen Welt

Lucien van der Walt

Übersetzung: A. Förster

Erschienen in Direkte Aktion, 209 – Jan/Feb 2012


PDF online here.

b6b07d45de9fe14f9ef7e4b6e0301f40In den Weltregionen, die dem Kolonialismus und Imperialismus unterworfen sind, spielte die anarchistische Bewegung –einschließlich ihres gewerkschaftlichen Ablegers, des Syndikalismus – eine Schlüsselrolle. Die Rolle der Anarchisten und Syndikalisten in den nationalen Befreiungsbewegungen war zentral, manchmal führend. Die Bewegungen in Asien, Afrika, Lateinamerika und der Karibik – aber auch in Teilen von Europa, insbesondere in Osteuropa und Irland – müssen als integraler Bestandteil der Geschichte der Arbeiterklasse, der Linken und der Unabhängigkeitsbewegungen in diesen Regionen betrachtet werden.

Einige linke Autoren haben den Anarchismus mit Verweis darauf als „historischen Fehler“ verurteilt, dass er „fast nichts zu tun [hatte] mit den antikolonialen Kämpfen, die revolutionäre Politik [im 20. Jahrhundert] definierten“1. Weniger polemisch behauptete John Crump, ein mit dem japanischen Anarchismus sympathisierender Autor, der „Anarchismus hat in der ‚Dritten Welt’, in den Kolonialgebieten kaum Wurzeln geschlagen“2.

Solche Auslassungen sind in gewissem Sinne verständlich. Texte über die Geschichte des Anarchismus und Syndikalismus konzentrieren sich tendenziell auf die nordatlantischen Länder und ignorieren 80 Prozent der Menschheit Read more of this post

[Analysis in translation] Lucien van der Walt, 2013, “Ο Αναρχισμός και ο Συνδικαλισμός ως προοπτική, στρατηγική και εμπειρία της από τα κάτω σοσιαλιστικής δημοκρατίας: μια απάντηση στον Daryl Glaser”

Greek translation of Lucien van der Walt, 2013m “Anarchism/Syndicalism as a Vision, Strategy and Experience of Bottom-up Socialist Democracy: A Reply to Daryl Glaser,” Politikon: The South African Journal of Political Science, 2013, Vol. 40, No. 2, 339 – 349.

Ο Αναρχισμός και ο Συνδικαλισμός ως προοπτική, στρατηγική και εμπειρία της από τα κάτω σοσιαλιστικής δημοκρατίας: μια απάντηση στον Daryl Glaser

Του Lucien Van Der Walt

From here and here and here


2londonprotest.jpgΣτο παρόν κείμενο παρουσιάζεται μια ανάλυση του μαζικού αναρχισμού και συνδικαλισμού από θεωρητική και πρακτική πλευρά, ως απάντηση στις απόψεις του Daryl Glaser, που θέλουν τα εργατικά συμβούλια να μην πληρούν τις βασικές δημοκρατικές αρχές και να χρησιμοποιούνται μόνο ως ένα απλό εργαλείο κατά την διάρκεια των πρώιμων σταδίων μιας επανάστασης, τα οποία είναι πολύ πιθανό είτε να καταρρεύσουν είτε να οδηγήσουν σε ένα σταλινικού τύπου καθεστώς- ενώ αντιπροτείνει μια μορφή κοινοβουλευτισμού μέσω συμμετοχικών δομών. Αν και o Lucien Van Der Walt συμφωνεί με τον Glaser στην αναγκαιότητα ύπαρξης ενός “δημοκρατικού μίνιμουμ” που να εξασφαλίζει τον πλουραλισμό, τα ίσα δικαιώματα και τον ανοικτό διάλογο, καταδεικνύει πως τα προαναφερόμενα είναι εντελώς συμβατά με ένα σύστημα λήψης αποφάσεων που στηρίζεται στα από τα κάτω συμβούλια και την αυτοδιαχείριση, όπως αυτά υποδεικνύονται στην αναρχική και την συνδικαλιστική θεωρία και εφαρμόστηκαν στη Μαντζουρία, την Ισπανία και την Ουκρανία. Η συγκεκριμένη προσέγγιση επιτυγχάνει την μεγιστοποίηση της ατομικής ελευθερίας μέσω ισότιμων, δημοκρατικών

Read more of this post

JOURNAL [+ PDF]: Lucien van der Walt, 2013, “Anarchism/Syndicalism as a Vision, Strategy and Experience of Bottom-up Socialist Democracy: A Reply to Daryl Glaser”

Anarchism/Syndicalism as a Vision, Strategy and Experience of Bottom-up Socialist Democracy: A Reply to Daryl Glaser


Politikon, 2013, Vol. 40, No. 2, 339 – 349


PDF is here and here

ABSTRACT Examining the theory and practice of ‘mass’ anarchism and syndicalism, this paper argues against Daryl Glaser’s views that workers’ council democracy fails basic democratic benchmarks and that, envisaged as a simple instrument of a revolution imagined in utopian ‘year zero’ terms, it will probably collapse or end in ‘Stalinist’ authoritarianism—Glaser also argues instead for parliaments, supplemented by participatory experiments. While agreeing with Glaser on the necessity of a ‘democratic minimum’ of pluralism, rights, and open-ended outcomes, I demonstrate, in contrast, that this ‘minimum’ is perfectly compatible with bottom-up council democracy and self- management, as envisaged in anarchist/syndicalist theory, and as implemented by anarchist revolutions in Manchuria, Spain and Ukraine. This approach seeks to maximise individual freedom through an egalitarian, democratic, participatory order, developed as both means and outcome of revolution; it consistently insists that attempts to ‘save’ revolutions by suspending freedoms, instead destroy both.

Parliament, again in contrast to Glaser, from this perspective, meets no ‘democratic minimum’, being part of the state, a centralized, unaccountable institutional nexus essential to domination and exploitation by a ruling class of state managers and capitalists. Rather than participate in parliaments, ‘mass’ anarchism argues for popular class autonomy from, and struggle against, the existing order as a means of winning economic and political reforms while—avoiding ‘year zero’ thinking—also building the new society, within and against, the old, through a prefigurative project of revolutionary counter-power and counter-culture. Revolution here means the complete expansion of a bottom-up democracy, built through a class struggle for economic and social equality, and requiring the defeat of the ruling class, which is itself the outcome of widespread, free acceptance of anarchism, and of a pluralistic council democracy and self-management system.

It was with pleasure that I read in a recent edition of this journal Read more of this post

[PDF] van der Walt, 1997, Film review, Ken Loach’s “Land and Freedom” (“Anarchists-syndicalists sidelined”)

Lucien van der Walt, 1997, Film review: Land and Freedom, directed by Ken Loach, entitled “Anarchists-syndicalists sidelined,” from Debate: voices from the South African left, number 2 (first series), pp. 123-124.  Note: review was deeply influenced by the review in Scottish Anarchist, no. 3, 1997.

tyl5 cartelGet the PDF of the review here

“Land and Freedom,” the new film  [1995] by Ken Loach, provides a moving account of events in the Spanish Civil War. Loosely based on George Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia,” it is the story of a young British working class communist militant who goes to Spain to fight fascism. Once there, he finds comradeship and romance in the militia of the POUM [Workers' Party of Marxist Unification -- an independent Marxist group later repressed by the Communist Party] and discovers the revolution within the struggle against fascism.

The film is especially notable for its portrayal of the social revolution which swept Spain after the attempted fascist coup by General Franco in 1936. For example, when the POUM militia liberates a village in the film, the villagers organise a meeting to discuss what to do next. After a heated discussion, they decide to collectivise the land and work it in common, a process repeated countless times in those areas controlled by anti-fascist forces.

On the other hand,” Land and Freedom” does not clarify for its audience the distinction between nationalisation and collcctivisation. At the beginning of the film, a Spaniard showing films from the revolution explains that industry had been “nationalised” when in fact it had been collectivised through workers’ self-management.

Additionally, by choosing to focus on the activities of the POUM militia, Loach provides a misleading picture of the events and actors in the revolutionary struggle in Spain.  In particular, the film gives no sense of the central role played by the anarchist-syndicalist worker, women and youth organisations in making the revolution, despite the fact that they comprised the vast bulk of the revolutionary Left. Although anarchist-syndicalist colours appear throughout the film in red and black flags and neckties, and whilst the POUM militia sings the anthem of the giant anarchist-syndicalist union ["A Las Barricadas"], the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), no attempt is made to put across the Anarchists’ point of view. For example, the events sparked by the Communist Party’s attempts to commandeer the CNT-controlled telephone exchange in Barcelona [in 1937] are confusingly shown and leave the audience none the wiser.

However, notwithstanding these faults, “Land and Freedom” remains worth seeing. Fittingly, the film ends with a quote from libertarian socialist William Morris, reminiscent of the words of Nestor Makhno:

We will not conquer in order to repeat the errors of past years, the error of putting our fate into the hands of new masters; we will conquer in order to take our destinies into our own hands, to conduct our lives in accordance with our own will and our own conception of the truth.

Go see “Land  and Freedom,” a vivid celebration of the Spanish Revolution and the ideas that inspired it.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers

%d bloggers like this: