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From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 8 Apr 2004 06:37:55 +0200 (CEST)

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(The following is a synthesis of documents of recent congresses, national
reunions, committees of work and groups of the Italian Anarchist Federation,
worked out by the CRIFA It. in view of the Besancon Congress)
Point 2 – Analysis of the development of the International Libertarian Movement.
In recent years, social and organized anarchism has been in the first
rank, inside movements for counter-globalisation from below, in the
opposition to war, racism, and securitarian policies of the states.
The decline of the authoritarian options within the movements of social
opposition, following the downfall of the East European regimes, on the
one hand opened the way to social-democratic options, but on the other
offered new chances of development and growth to the libertarian
An awareness cuts across all movements of opposition, and those not
specifically anarchist as well – namely, that only outside the
state’s forms of organization it is possible to think and practise a
path towards social emancipation, capable of giving equal access to
resources, know-how and liberties. For social and organized anarchism,
this is an opportunity that deserves attention, to be able to graft with
specifically anarchist themes and actions the workers’ movement,
the pacifist and antimilitarist ones, the anti-racist, anti-fascist,
environmental nets and all the self-managed archipelago, spanning
from house squatting to self-production chains.
Decisive, in this sense, was the emerging at world level of the no-global
movement that, although tangled in thousands of contradictions, has
given a powerful impulse to the libertarian option. Anarchists have
played major roles in the movements expanding from Seattle on. In
spite of a number of attempts to criminalize them brought about, on one
side by the states’ repressive machinery, on the other by moderate
parts; in spite of all attempts of para-institutional recuperation of the
movements; they still represent one of the most vital and constructive
sector of the anti-liberist and anti-capitalist movement.
By the way, the emerging on political and social scenery of extended
movements against globalisation, if in a way restores breath and width
of political visibility to the extra-systemic radical movements, on the
other puts before us the need to draw out the coordinates for a presence
that may root in everyday life, beyond major events.

The no-global movements
We have seen the birth of an unprecedented movement, able to
overcome both the inclination to fragmentation and towards the
“particular”, typical of the years ’80, and also the one of the
seventies, charged with universal inspirations but deprived of enough
caring for local matters and cultures. Nevertheless, a more accurate
screening of the movements developed in recent years – beyond the
fascinating statement of unity in variety, of plurality of struggles and
ways during mobilizations – reveals that many knots have not been
disentangled. And this is not a sheer matter of “style”. What is
in play is not so much the favourite tactics in the streets, but rather
struggles’ outlook. In other words, the item that catches attention
– action in the streets – in the end turns out to be the less
interesting question, because the “black bloc” or the non-violent
resistance are both parts of the show, while the subject matters quite
often lie in the background. We ask ourselves, for instance, which
future may have a movement that counts in its interior both
post-modern and anti-modern sectors, secular but also – alas –
religious, the internationalist and the nationalist ones.
Knots are beginning to become evident, and we doubt that they will be
easily undone, because they touch social items. The revolt against the
annihilating logics of commodities, the rage against environmental
destruction. the growing gap between those that have too much and
those that have nothing, are in the roots of these movements. But if, on
the one side, they seem to disclose the doors to a libertarian and secular
view, at the same time they make room to myths about origin or
mystical longings – all the more dangerous as they resemble to the
similar ones, voiced by the deep right.
On another side, the breaks between governmental or new-welfare
tendencies and the self-government ones appear all the more hard to
reassemble. For the first ones the only remedy to globalisation is the
strengthening of the national states and a revival of (new)
social-democratic policies; the practices of opposition of the second
ones aim at capitalist logics, backing the view that there is a radical
antithesis between self-management and the statal sphere. These are
items of weight, and the choice between one or the other views yet
brought about orientations, joining of forces on the brief or lengthy
term, tactics of intervention that – apart from confrontation in the
streets – opened different and diverging horizons.
The various souls of the movements against globalisation were able to
coexist in their downing phase but, from Genoa on, the clash between
reformist areas, supporting a “moralisation” of the globalisation
process, and radical areas, persuaded of the urgent need of an
anti-capitalist and anti-state policy, has become fiercer.
The no-global movements caused the re-emerging of the presence in
the street. Streets are once more becoming a public place, rooming
critics and revolt, a place where the direct and not delegated presence of
individuals, taking in their own hands their political faculty, outside and
against the petty tragicomic theatres of parliamentary democracies.
It’s a physical place, where one expresses rebellion and his being
against all institutional powers, and the virtual place where one can
speak to the entire world. It’s a place where different actors play:
those that express a radical but nihilistic revolt like the Black Bloc, or
those that maniacally pursue media’s visibility and – why not
– a stool in the Parliament. But it is also the place where social and
organized anarchism, avoiding the temptation to media visibility and
dodging the enormous show, was able to stake on contents, on social
rooting, on the connection between workers’ and territorial
struggles, on the continuous referring to the need to widen the social
conflict. And sometimes with good results.
To day’s no-global movements voice a disquiet, hard to be drawn
back into institutional reach, but unfortunately at the same inside them
a kind of re-institutionalisation is materializing, through mechanisms of
a mostly informal leadership, that precisely due to its informality
becomes ever more powerful, beyond dispute and unquestionable.
However, so far the no-global caravan circus from Porto Alegre to
Mumbay have been unable to reabsorb the richness and variety of a
movement largely escaping from lining-up to the new-democratic tunes
played by institutional areas. The birdcall to a municipal praxis,
although inspired to the experience on zapatist revolt in Chiapas, in
practice turns out into re-legitimisation from below of delegation
mechanisms, typical of democracy. Municipalism through elections, far
from overturning the institutional apparatus, in fact supports it. We
witness here a wicked utilization of themes and practices unfolded in the
libertarian areas, where the municipal course takes form in the
construction of the citizens’ “Commune”, as opposed to
institutional Commune, in other words the experimentation of direct
managing in the public range, outside all forms of state intrusion.
The libertarian thematic provide the instruments utilized for recovering
of virginity by the exhausted institutional lefts, deadly nailed between a
soft liberism and weak reformism, essentially resistential, alien from a
wide-ranging, projecting outlook.
It needs therefore to strengthen the connection nets among anarchists,
to be able to reach a broadening discussion and a better capacity of

As FAIt. we are working to the realization of an international anarchist
gathering, “Globalising Freedom”, centred on these themes,
possibly for late summer 2005 in Carrara (Toscany). In this view we
consider that IAF could take an essential role, both in the coordination
and in fostering of initiatives and we expect that the Bensancon’s
Congress will represent a moment of re-launching and growth of the

We consider highly positive that in recent years we assisted to the
widening of the membership of IAF, and that a number of contacts have
been tied with new realities that look with interest to IAF’ itinerary.
The rooting of social and organised anarchism was represented in the
streets by those that might be defined as a “red and black bloc”.
An anarchism “characterised for its tactical approach of
revolutionary gradualism, in the sense defined by Errico Malatesta, not
at all a reformist tactics but a mechanism of growth of the revolutionary
option – the cue of enhancing self-management skills through
everyday struggles against dominance.” (from the statement at our
last Congress). Also it is reasserted “the validity of the means of
analysis and struggle of communist and social anarchism against power
– self-management, refusal of hierarchical logics and practice, social
and workers’ self organisation, militant solidarity among all
exploited and oppressed of the world, and the foreshadowing, starting
from now, of a different society.” (statement at the Congress).
Also, as stated in the recent reunion in Reggio Emilia: “We launch a
strong an appeal to stick to criticism of the principle of majority, and the
ensuing electoral logics. Such criticism has been, and still is, a
founding-base of anarchism, since its birth in Saint Imier.
Applied inside anarchists’ organizations, the principle of majority
would upset their functioning; literally applied in struggles, it would
render active minorities hostages in the hands of reformist sectors;
historical experience shows that such principle favours the reformist
illusion to solve social problems through the polls.”
The boost in anarchism, due to the emerging of the no-global
movements, has with no doubt produced a growth both in numbers and
in political endeavours, but quite seldom responded to precision in
libertarian aims and practices. Indication of this is the enduring nihilist
areas, devoid of political and social planning, as much as the revival of
the neo-democratic conceptions of platformism.
Strengthening and weaving the tissue of IAF is nowadays a priority in
view of the construction of a path towards social emancipation, radically
libertarian in its organisational principles and in the establishing of
programs and actions.
More than ever today it is clear among minoritarian – but wide –
sectors of the exploited and the oppressed, that State and Capitalism
cannot be reformed, that recipes allowing a “sweetening” of the
mechanisms of exploitation, domination, plundering of the planet and
its inhabitants that go under the names of democracy or free market, are
non-existing. We know, by the way, that dominion and exploitation
have a trans-national dimension, grown sharper and harsher with the
ruthless permanent war in progress.
The chances of growth of social and organised anarchism rest on the
capacity to develop radical critics and practices, able to lend substance,
here and today, to the “possible other world” we look forward to.
But, in the mean time, it needs to weave communication nets on an
open range. Nets that might develop solidarity, counter-information and
actions on wide scale. Nets requiring a steady organisational support
such as the one now represented – insufficiently still – by the
International Anarchist Federation.
Capitalism has nowadays become invading to the point of turning into a
sort of second nature, corresponding to the fall into oblivion of its
character of historically given social construction; in a way, it affirms
itself not as the best, or the worst, but as the only possible world. We
know that other worlds, other chances, may exist.

CRIFA It. March 13, 2004

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