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(en) Anarchism and the struggle for Freedom

From Workers Solidarity Movement <wsm@newmail.net>
Date Fri, 26 Jan 2001 07:44:02 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

    Front page of Workers Solidarity No62
    Anarchism and the struggle for Freedom

We're told we live in a free society. We have 
freedom of speech, we can work where we like, 
travel where we like, and can vote in elections. 
But how free are we?

Speech isn't 'free' - for your voice to be heard 
you need the money to print newspapers or hire 
billboards, or the power to have your opinions 
reported. Tony O'Reilly and Bertie Ahern can 
drown out our voices at will.

We can work where we like, but in every job 
there is a boss making his profit from your work 
- the only alternative is to try living on =A375 a 
week. We can travel where we like - as long as 
we have white skin or plenty of money - people 
are even sometimes stopped travelling to 
protests (see Nice article). And we can vote for 
one set of crooks or another, but we can't vote 
to throw them all out. Some freedom.


But what's the alternative? A 'socialist' state 
like the USSR, China, or Cuba? A Party running 
the state and ruling our workplaces, telling us 
to take pride in our poverty while they enjoy 
the trappings of power? Executions and 
psychiatric wards for political dissidents, and 
glorified slavery for the rest of us? Some 

But there is a real alternative - anarchism. 
Anarchism means a society run from the bottom 
up, a society without rulers, a society where 
all are equal. A society based on the equal 
freedom of all people, without a boss in the 
workplace or a politician in the Dail telling us 
what to do but doing nothing useful themselves, 
a society where we decide ourselves how we are 
going to live and work together.

That's anarchism, the only alternative worth 
fighting for.


            That's capitalism

The 26 county prison population has increased by 
50% since 1993. One out of every 1,500 people is 
currently serving a prison sentence. In the USA 
the comparable statistic is one in every 160 
people, a grim figure that rivals the most 
notorious of the world's totalitarian 


According to the International Confederation of 
Free Trade Unions, at least 140 trade union 
activists were assassinated, disappeared or 
driven to suicide after threats and torture 
during 1999. Nearly 3,000 were arrested, more 
than 1,500 beaten or tortured, and 700 received 
death threats. At least 80 countries make 
strikes illegal. So much for the all the United 
Nations conventions on trade union rights!


Every twenty minutes someone falls victim to a 
landmine. 90% of them have no access to medical 


1,270 children die every hour from preventable 
diseases like malaria and measles. A single 
capsule of vitamin A helps boost the immune 
system of one child for six months but there is 
no profit in giving free assistance to poor 


Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. 75% of 
them are children.

This article is from the print version of the Irish 
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity No 62'. 

If you want to print out a fully laid out version we
provide a PDF file on our web page.  You can make 
extra copies of this to give out if you like

Get this and see more articles on the web at


>From Irelands's Workers Solidarity Movement

Read the International Anarchist Platform
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