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(en) Black Flag #222 - editorial

From anarcho@geocities.com
Date Sun, 8 Dec 2002 02:21:05 -0500 (EST)

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

In his seminal "Modern Science and Anarchism," Kropotkin argued that
anarchism as we know it today geminated in the First International. Its
"main idea," he continued, was "a direct struggle of Labour against
Capital in the economic field - i.e. the emancipation of Labour, not by
middle-class legislation, but by the working men themselves."
    These are the basics we need to get back to. Direct action is much
more than just demonstrating (however vigorously), necessary though
that is. It is about working class people fighting back where we are
directly oppressed and exploited by capital and the state, in our
communities and workplaces. It is about resisting the powerful by
building our own power, the power of solidarity, self-organisation and
self-management. It means fighting for reforms, both minor and major by
our own efforts and own organisations. It means prefiguring the new
society while fighting this one.
    It is time to get "back to basics," remember where anarchism comes
from (social struggle) and apply our ideas where they matter, in the
mundane everyday issues that matter to people. Unless we do that, a
great opportunity will be missed. Hence our front page.
    We at Black Flag know that this is not easy. We know how atomised
many communities and workplaces are. We know we have argued this before
(and will do so again). We also know that many anarchists are doing
exactly this. What we need to do now is to start working together in
order to aid these tendencies, to concentrate on the basics we all
share rather than the minor points which divide us (particularly if
these points concern hypothetical future events or developments!). We
need to start working out how we can apply the basic ideas and ideals
our politics are based on - working class direct action, solidarity and
self-management. As Argentina shows, they can change the world!
    We have made a few changes in this issue of Black Flag. The news
section is much smaller, reflecting the fact that we have been less
regular in coming out recently. We have limited the news sections to
that of interest to anarchists and/or not that well known. Instead, we
have concentrated on more in depth articles which will provoke thought
and action.
    Lastly, there is the usual call for people to get involved. Any
anarchist magazine is dependent on members of our movement contributing
articles. If you expect others to do this for you, then you are missing
the whole point of our politics. Back to basics is equally applicable
within our movement as it is within the class struggle. Unless you get
off your arse and contribute (news reports, articles, book reviews,
pictures, etc.) then no anarchist journal can survive for long. If you
want Black Flag to keep going then it is a case of showing solidarity
(i.e. fund raising, selling it) and practising direct action (i.e.
helping out).
    We hope to produce Black Flag more frequently next year. Reflecting
this, the deadline for the next issue is February the 14th.

Collective nouns for anarchists...
>From the latest batch of Nixon tapes, as reported by Paul Slansky
in New Yorker.  Nixon refers to the anti-war movement as:
"A wild orgasm of anarchists sweeping across the country
like a prairie fire."

1. Which famous anarchist is featured in the Warren Beatty film "Reds"?
2. The Polish Syndicalists (ZSP) who fought in the Warsaw Rising of
1944 stubbornly refused to replace their black and red armbands with
nationalist white and red ones. Despite total animosity from the
nationalist leadership of the underground army they became the
best-armed unit (and probably the best fed) in the Rising. How?
3. On whose life is the action film "Behold a Pale Horse" loosely based?
4. What year did the Spanish CNT join the reconstituted First
International, the International Workers Association?
5. How did American imperialism towards Japan help Bakunin?

Anarcho-Quiz Answers
1. Emma Goldman
2. They'd got hold of a stock of vodka and traded it with Russians
and Germans for arms. The building where they had their HQ was the
only one in Warsaw not taken back by German soldiers.
3. The anarchist guerrilla Sabate.
4. 1923. The founding congress of the IWA was in 1922, but
repression from the dictatorship prevented the CNT delegates
from attending.
5. In February 1857 Bakunin had been exiled to Tomsk in Siberia.
In 1853 Admiral Perry had sailed into Edo harbour with his 4
steamships, causing shockwaves in Japanese society that
eventually opened it slightly to the west. Bakunin heard
of the opening of Japanese ports to Russian ships and that
American ships visited Yokohama often twice a week. Escape
to the west was impossible, and until then, so had been escape
to the east. In 1861 he travelled to Irkutsk and caught a
ship to Japan.

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