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(en) Declaration of the Coordination of union activists of the French Anarchist Federation

Date Wed, 27 Nov 2013 09:06:14 +0200

To understand in order to act ---- We are organized in the French Anarchist Federation because we want our ideas and our practice to be useful in class struggle through federalism, the appointment and permanent control of mandates and the direct control of struggles. ---- But to be useful and efficient, we must also understand as well as possible the economic, social and political situation. What are the leverages, the obstacles ? With whom can we possibly work ? What is possible on short and medium terms ? ---- Very briefly, we can consider that one of the main assets of the capitalist system is its ability to evolve and adapt. After the Second World War it has followed a Keynesian model : strong intervention of the State, mass consumption facilitated by high wages. This model has fueled the famous economic growth and contributed to the myth of the Welfare State.

From the mid-1970s, the model has reached its limits and was replaced by a much more financially rooted capitalism. The production was partly relocated in countries where the rate of exploitation of human labor is maximum and where the plundering of natural resources is limitless.

Besides, capitalism appears as producing mass unemployment, lower wages and increased job insecurity, which makes well-being impossible. It is reasonable and necessary to free ourselves from it if we want to become emancipated.

We are now in the third stage of the process. In order to face the drop in consumption, subsidiary States (which sometimes are the armed wings of the market), facilitate the credit, support the banks and get indebted so as to try and prevent the collapse of the stock exchange system. This is the debt crisis, which implies austerity measures of an extreme brutality, privatization and liquidation of public and health services leading to the fall of life expectancy.

At the same time, as a result of globalization, these States are deprived of part of their "sovereignty" and of their leeway. Europe and international institutions (IMF, World Bank, OECD, WTO) take major strategic decisions and impose a new territorial pyramiding : in France, the traditional territorial delimitations are replaced by delimitations chosen by the European institutions.

This is exactly the opposite of true federalism as defined Proudhon : "The real social contract is a contract of federation the essential condition of which is that the contractors always keep a fraction of sovereignty and of action greater than what they relinquish."

In the current context of social crisis and general confusion, false solutions, conscious or unconscious diversionary tactics flourish and it is important for anarchist militants to bring clarifications on the one hand and perspectives on the other.

To counter any temptation of retreat into nationalism, anarchists encourage international solidarity, especially in social struggles.

Against the fool's bargain of participatory democracy and social dialogue, anarchist militants propose direct management of public affairs, the building up of a balance of forces to confront the employers and the State.

Confronted with interclassist diversions such as societal questions, anarchist militants must concentrate on the refusal of capitalism and State.

Finally, without intending to limit the struggle to companies or administrations, they consider that the trade union struggle remains decisive. Firstly because it is located on the field of class-struggle. And because it induces the possibility of a fundamental questioning of capitalist exploitation through the general strike, which aims not only at blocking the production, but also at bringing down the State and handing over the whole economic system to the community. We can act collectively, with all those who agree on this point, without compromise, but without sectarianism either.

We are perfectly aware of the current drift of unionism, which is in disarray, which tosses and turns in the void : the syndicalist militants of the French Anarchist Federation, think and act to the extent of their means in order to put some sense back into it and give it a new impact force. They insist on the urgent need to develop and organize on the social field.

The Coordination of union activists of the French Anarchist Federation, May 2013.
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