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(en) NEA #6 - The Demise of Love & Rage: What Happened? - by WEB, Open City Collective (NEFAC-NYC)

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 5 Apr 2003 08:13:27 +0200 (CEST)

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

The following article is a revised version of an unpublished paper
originally written in November 1998. Although two of the three
groups mentioned are now defunct, the issues raised in the Love
and Rage factional struggle are still quite relevant to the anarchist
movement today.

The Love and Rage Revolutionary Anarchist Federation dissolved
into two groups at a brief final conference in May 1998. One group
became Fire by Night; it also dissolved sometime later. The other
group became the nucleus of The Utopian anarchist journal, which
continues to publish. The purpose of this article is to draw out the
lessons from the successes and failures of Love and Rage (L&R)
during its nine years of existence.

Despite its ultimate dissolution, Love and Rage did have
successes. The first is that it lasted as long as it did. Dozens of
other anarchist organizations, some rather large, had much shorter
lifespans. Second, L&R established a legitimate pole within the
anarchist movement for supporting national liberation struggles.
On this question L&R caused a lot of controversy in a movement
which had been traditionally hostile or abstentionist. Third, Love
and Rage re-established a pole within the movement for
participating in mass struggles and raising revolutionary politics.
This was in contrast to strategies which were popular at that time
like building "Temporary Autonomous Zones". Finally, L&R also
re-established the idea of building an international anarchist
organization, as opposed to the cultural and localistic orientations
of many groups of the 1980's. Here again L&R caused a lot of
controversy, with its opponents labeling the group 'crypto-Leninist'
and worse.

The members of Love and Rage agreed on the points listed above.
But this agreement obscured deep differences. These differences
were reflected in the fact that in its entire existence, Love and
Rage never drafted a comprehensive statement of aims and

The failures of Love and Rage were rooted in these differences. The
latter in fact represented a split between those who wanted to
address the problems of anarchism from within anarchism and
those who wanted to adopt the methods and outlook of
authoritarian ideologies; in particular, Marxism and Maoism.
Stripping away the 'isms', the split in L&R also represents the
difference between those who proceed from a vision of liberating
humanity through its self-organization, and those who would
re-enslave it in the name of freedom by building themselves into a
'scientific' and 'revolutionary' elite.

It is this difference, between authoritarian Marxism, Maoism and
Social Democracy on the one hand, and the self-organization of
people into a self-governing society on the other, that ran through
every aspect of the internal struggle in Love and Rage. The
questions in that debate revolved around the nature of capitalism
and its dynamics, the nature of the authoritarian oppression we
face, and the attitudes we should take toward the state and
reformism. They also revolved around national liberation, racism,
authoritarian Left ideologies and organizing methods. And finally,
it should be said that the debate over these topics was often murky
and tangential because of a disdain for theory which ran through
much of the membership of L&R. I shall take up each topic in turn.


Capitalism is the rule of capital and its agents over those who do
the actual work to produce its wealth. Traditionally it has been
organized through markets: Adam Smith's 'Invisible Hand'
allocated the goods and services produced (and made the holders
of capital wealthy). However, the allocation of the social product
also could be, and has been, organized by the state. This difference
is unimportant as to the nature of the system: a small number of
people still control the means of production while the vast
majority, who have no power, do the work.

Love and Rage had a tendency to identify capitalism with market
capitalism. It did this by equating capitalism with 'neo-liberalism'.
L&R newspaper ran numerous critiques of the latter. An article in
the internal bulletin flatly defined neo-liberalism as modern
capitalism. 'Neo-liberalism', however, is nothing more than
old-fashioned market capitalism, an idea which regained popularity
among capitalists as their statist economies stagnated in the
1970's. All of L&R's articles described how neo-liberal
privatization and cutbacks in social services have created twin
poles of misery for many and wealth for a few all over the world.
That is precisely what markets do.

The view that the ills of capitalism are represented by the market
has also been the view of Marxists and social democrats for
decades. Their remedy of state "planning" and control has been
their program to gain power for just as long. These measures might
sand off some rough edges from capitalism, even change its form,
but they do not alter its substance. The ultimate expression of this
program is state capitalism, in which the government owns all the
means of production.


State capitalism is a 20th century phenomenon. It has arisen in a
period of capitalist decay. Prior to this capitalism had gone through
a long epoch of expansion in which it raised the productive forces
and gave rise to democratic institutions, at least for a few in
Europe and North America. During this period capitalism
expanded by subjugating the non-capitalist sectors outside Europe
and the Europeanized parts of the Western Hemisphere.

By approximately the turn of the 20th century, however, capitalism
had the entire world divided up, and for the first time a new
dynamic became dominant. Now sectors of the capitalist world
could expand only at the expense of other sectors. This is not to say
that capitalism didn't continue growing by increasing the rate of
exploitation of its workers, as it had done before. What was new
was that it had no non-capitalist worlds to conquer. Thus, in the
20th century capitalist wars became world wars; and for those
periods when there was no war, capitalism for the first time
brought a permanent war economy with nuclear weapons. This
continues to waste vast resources today. And instead of democracy
in the Europeanized sectors, capitalism in the 20th century brought
fascism, state capitalism, and state-planned genocide. The
non-Europeanized sectors fared even worse.

This is also not to say that capitalism cannot ever raise the
productive forces and fulfill its democratic promises. What it does
mean is that capitalism can only do this on a limited and episodic
scale. For example, the market capitalist expansion of industry and
democratic institutions outside Western Europe and North
America in the last decade comes on the heels of the collapse of
the state capitalist sector.

The observation that capitalism has gone through periods of
expansion and decay caused controversy before Love and Rage
broke up. Wayne Price, a member of the future Utopian nucleus,
originally outlined the two epochs briefly in a response to a
muddled article in the L&R internal bulletin by Chris Day ('Stakes
is High'). Day was perhaps the principal theoretician and
maneuverer of the future Fire by Nighters. He jumped on this idea
in an internal bulletin article, 'Neither Trotsky nor Mao'. Day tried
to paint Price as a Marxist: that for him to hold the idea that
capitalism has epochs necessarily meant that he also had to
believe the Marxist notion that all of human history is driven by
class struggles; and that the capitalist class had a progressive
mission in its time to raise the productive forces and push forward
the idea of human freedom.

Day's argument, however, is false. Tracing the rise and fall of a
social system does not make one a Marxist. Nor does it mean that
capitalism had a 'mission' or played a progressive role in human
history. No matter what its positive accomplishments, a system
which was founded on slavery in the West and serfdom in the East
cannot necessarily be called 'progressive'.

Moreover, the denial of an epoch of decay also characterizes Social
Democracy. That is, if the social democrats are to sell their
program of reform, they must also convince people that the reforms
will last. Such a vision is increasingly illusory in this age when even
U.S. Social Security, civil service protections, and the right to see a
lawyer are under attack.


For anarchists oppression comes from a single, multifaceted
authoritarian system. Racism, sexism, class, agism and
ethnocentrism, oppression by the state, and the destruction of
nature are all inextricably tangled together. This does not mean,
however, that they are conceptually indistinct. Nor does it mean
that all the cracks in the system are the same size. But the idea of
a single authoritarian system is quite different from Marxism,
which views the class struggle as the primary one which also is the
driving force of human history.

It is also quite different from that of Chris Day. Again replying to
Wayne Price, he argued in the L&R internal bulletin ('More Than
Apparent Privileges') that the different subsystems of oppression
had their own 'semi-autonomous character and logic'. He conceded
that they were related, but made it clear that his starting point was
their independence.

This is also not a new idea for Day. It lay behind the argument in
his 1994 'Reprole Document', which held that Love and Rage
should abandon its outlook of speaking on behalf of all humanity
and become instead an organization representing
're-proletarianized youth'. That is, L&R should only base itself on
the oppression falling on this narrow and overwhelmingly white

The idea that oppressions are separate is also characteristic of
social democrats and Stalinists. They argue that 'socialism' can
only be won in distinct stages. First, there must be a
bourgeois-democratic (or 'advanced democracy') stage, and only
later (that is, never) a revolutionary and socialist leap. The
separation of oppressions is also a hallmark of nationalists. Many
will hold, for example, that Black people can win their freedom
while capitalism still stands. Or even that they can win their
liberation through capitalism. The conception is ready-made for
those who equate 'revolution' with maneuvering themselves into
state power.


The idea of separate oppressions emerges most clearly in the
future Fire by Nighters' attitude toward the state. For anarchists
the oppression of the state is tied up in the whole tangle of racist,
sexist and class chains which constitute the modern authoritarian

But if one holds to the idea of distinct oppressions, then the state
becomes an independent annoyance. For example, Day argued in
his 'Reprole Document' that the basic civil rights of women and gay
and lesbian people can be won under capitalism. Aside from being
nonsense in an epoch of decay, it implies that the state's
'semi-autonomous' oppression might somehow stand aside while
women and gays and lesbians achieved their liberation. It is
unknown what Day was thinking when he wrote this, but the idea
that the modern authoritarian state would tolerate the breakup of
the enforced nuclear family, free access to contraception and
abortion, full and open sexuality for all, and equal pay for all is
something that even most liberals wouldn't assert.

Moreover, if capitalism is equated with 'neo-liberalism' - that is,
market capitalism - then the state may not be oppressive at all!
That is the view of social democrats and liberals, who have argued
for decades that 'planning' and government regulation can soften
the doleful effects of markets gone wild. (This is true to some
extent, but only at a cost of causing still other and bigger problems;
nor will government regulation eliminate the problems of capitalist
markets altogether, let alone bring about human freedom). Future
FbNer Brad Sigel brought this out most clearly when he wrote in
'My Thoughts on the Debates in Love & Rage'.

And more so than other anarchists, Love & Rage members
acknowledged that there are serious deficiencies in anarchist ideas
on how to run a complex society like ours without having some sort
of bureaucratic structures that are to some degree separated from
or alienated from the people as a whole.

Sigel's statement represents an elitist point of view. Certainly
anarchists (and everybody else) will face enormous problems in
making a post-revolutionary society function. But Sigel -- together
with the others who went on to form Fire by Night -- did not start
from the point of promoting the self-organization of people. He
concedes the 'necessity' of having 'alienated' and 'bureaucratic'
structures from the beginning.

Day went one step further. In 'The Historical Failure of
Anarchism', he described a revolution which occurred in one
country and still faces the world market. In such a situation, Day
argued that the 'replacement of the old state apparatus with a new
ostensibly revolutionary state is necessary' to secure the
'accomplishments' of his vision of a revolution (emphasis added).
'Worse', Day elaborated, 'the administrative apparatus of the
revolutionary regime, whether it is called a 'workers state' or a
'federation of free collectives' is the body that must do the

Certainly an anarchist revolution in one country would face the
same world market which Day described. But the self-organized
people deciding for themselves to make sacrifices is an animal of a
wholly different species.

Moreover, as an addendum to his 'Historical Failure of Anarchism',
Day also called for the creation of a regular 'revolutionary army'
implicitly modeled on the Chinese People's Liberation Army. The
PLA, of course, had nothing to do with carrying out a directly
democratic revolution in China, but instead was the military
instrument establishing state capitalism.

In a revolutionary situation the capitalists and their allies will
promise anything in order to hang on to power. The pressures on
anarchists will be very great. In 1936 Spain, for example, the
capitalist People's Front promised to free the thousands of
anarchist prisoners who rotted in the old regime's jails. It is
precisely at such moments that anarchists must have supreme
confidence in the self-organization and power of the people and not
take responsibility for the repressive measures that the state and
the reformists inevitably will carry out.

Day gave a clear indication of where he and his co-thinkers will go
when he wrote about the Spanish Revolution. He devoted hundreds
of words over three separate articles to criticizing the Spanish
anarchists for failing to build an army like the PLA. But
coordinating the revolutionary militias was only a piece of the
Spanish anarchists' overall lack of a revolutionary strategy. The
central failure in that non-strategy was that in the midst of the
workers and peasants seizing the land and the factories and
forming their own militias to fight the fascists, the anarchists
joined the government. On this point Day is silent.

For Love and Rage this question of reform vs. revolution, the state
vs. the people, played itself out during the Detroit newspaper
strike. In the summer of 1996 hundreds of strikers and their
supporters fought cops, scabs and gun thugs in battles to shut down
the papers. The union bureaucracy, naturally, was uncomfortable
about this, preferring to rely for support on the courts, the National
Labor Relations Board, and the Democratic Party. In this context
Detroit Love and Rage issued a leaflet which, among other things,
called for a general strike in Detroit to defend the newspaper
strikers. Like the union bureaucrats, the future Fire by Nighters
didn't like this leaflet. They tried to keep it from being reprinted
in L&R newspaper, calling it 'sectarian', despite the fact that mass
meetings of hundreds of strikers and supporters in Detroit had
already voted for the same thing. As the song goes, 'Which Side
Are You On?'


National liberation is not only formal political independence from
imperialism, but also economic independence. Carried out
conscientiously, national liberation would raise the productive
forces in the country, free the peasantry, and promote a flowering
of democratic institutions. This is something which a traditional
market capitalist class, tied as it is to international imperialism, is
incapable of doing. Even in South Africa, which already had
well-developed productive forces, the government, which was born
out of a long struggle against imperialism and racism, has already
junked even the reform program of its own Freedom Charter.

Most Marxist-Leninists would agree with this analysis. They hold
that only the working class can carry through a program of national
liberation. In particular, they aver that only their Marxist-Leninist
party claiming to represent the working class can do the job.

This also is false. A Marxist-Leninist revolution may be able to win
national independence and raise the productive forces, but no one
is free. What the Marxist-Leninists really establish is a state
capitalist regime in which the new ruling class rearranges its
bargain with the people. Instead of the rule of the market and
formal democracy, instead of wealth for a few and misery for the
many, the state capitalists contract for a little less wealth (but no
less, and probably more, power) for the few, a little less misery for
the masses, and no freedom whatsoever.

This is not to say that anarchists should not support national
liberation. As stated, L&R's support for such struggles represented
a real advance in the anarchist movement. Only if oppressed
peoples can throw off their imperialist bindings can they see
clearly that they need to go on and do away with their own
home-grown rulers, too.

But it came as a surprise when Marxist-Leninist ideas bubbled up
like flatulence inside Love and Rage. Writing in 'Stakes is High'
and 'The Historical Failure of Anarchism', Day went to great
lengths to 'prove' that the Chinese Revolution of 1949 'of necessity'
had to be state capitalist. That is, because of the economic
backwardness of China, the huge numbers of peasants, the tiny size
and 'immaturity' of the working class (the same class which carried
out several years of general strikes and organized its own defense
squads twenty years earlier), the Chinese Revolution had to stop at
the capitalist stage. Or carrying the logic one step further: the
Chinese Communist Party and People's Liberation Army had to
stop the revolution at the state capitalist stage.


>From the beginning Love and Rage was influenced by an analysis of
racism and white supremacy based on the theory of white skin
privilege. Noel Ignatiev, one of the originators of the theory, even
joined the organization for a brief period in 1994. The final issue of
L&R newspaper cites differences around the theory as one of the
central reasons for the breakup of the group. In Day's words:

"Briefly stated, that analysis holds that a cornerstone of white
supremacy (and therefore the whole edifice of authoritarian social
relations) in the U.S. and elsewhere is the system of white racial
privileges that gives to even the poorest or most oppressed white
people certain concrete benefits or preferential treatment that tie
them to the system as a whole." ('Thoughts on Multi-Racial

On its face there is nothing wrong with the statement. The present
authoritarian system really does give all European-descended
people certain real privileges, given the structure of the system as
a whole. But the analysis is essentially ahistorical. Nowhere in any
of the L&R writings on white skin privilege is there even a hint
that the entire authoritarian system goes through periods of
breakdown crises in which the privileges of ordinary white people
are threatened also. The logic of this static analysis reached a
ludicrous low point just before L&R disintegrated. At that time
future FbN folks proposed that the standard of living of the white
workers in the imperialist countries would have to be lowered 'big
time'. That is, not only do the corporate bosses want to suck you
workers dry -- we do too! And nowhere do they mention their
attitude toward the standard of living of the enormous middle class
of the imperialist countries.

When the system does break down, white workers can (but
certainly not always) realize that their privileges are indeed
insignificant. They can join with everybody else in building a united
struggle for everyone's benefit. This happened in the '30's with the
building of the CIO -- a mass, mixed organization -- and earlier with
the United Mine Workers and the IWW. That those organizations
did not directly confront racism as a system in itself did not help
the struggle against it. The CIO's slogan was, in effect, 'Black and
White, Unite and Fight!', and it sanctioned segregated locals in
some of its unions. The IWW 'made no special demands'. The point
here, however, is that the privileges of white workers are both real
and insignificant when considered against the dynamics of the
entire authoritarian system. And when laid out against the
necessary alternative of a revolutionary, cooperative and
democratic system, those privileges are insignificant indeed.

One further point: the future FbNers never considered that while
all people of European descent may get certain privileges from the
present system, that white workers are worse off than they would
be without racism. If white workers can get the credit and buy the
house in the neighborhood that Black people are denied, they can
most certainly get more credit, and a better house in a better
neighborhood, without the existence of racism. Many scores of
years ago thousands of white workers and farmers in the U.S.
opposed slavery in part because it was a threat to their own
standard of living. There was a reason for that.

Day and others defend the theory of white skin privilege as central
to building a multi- racial organization. In fact, if anything, it is an
impediment to building such a group. This is not due to the fact
that white people in the present system don't have the privileges
that Day describes. Rather, it's the point of view of the theory, that
it's addressed only to white people; it has nothing to say to anyone

What it says to white people desiring to build a multi-racial
organization is that before you do anything else, you must first
acknowledge your privileges and renounce them. OK, then what?
Clearly, it implies that the next step is to try to get other white
people to do the same.

There is nothing wrong with this in itself, but it doesn't go very far.
As stated, it says nothing to anybody who isn't white. And carried
to its logical conclusion, you get existential acts of individual
resistance to white supremacy; or the 'whites organize only in the
white community (whatever that is)' line which Prairie Fire used to
advocate. Or it says nothing concrete at all. At the January 1995
demonstration to free Mumia Abu-Jamal in Harrisburg, a couple of
people brought by L&R carried signs reading "Abolish the White
Race!' Fine sentiment, but almost no one understood it.

There is also an unintentional elitism in the logic of the theory. As
Love and Rage disintegrated one of the foremost advocates of the
theory proposed that members of the organization 'not interfere';
that is, not publicly comment on, issues within the Black
community. But members of the community know that some of us
who were in L&R in fact do have opinions about all kinds of things
that interest them. If we remained silent, they would have rightly
thought that either we were hiding something or that we
considered them too ignorant to discuss such issues with them. Are
Black people incapable of considering our views together with
those of other forces in the community?


Both sides in the debate admitted that anarchism had problems
with its theory and practice. But the group which became the
nucleus of the Utopian believed that the problems could be solved
within the framework of anarchism. The other side thought
otherwise. They reached into Marxism, Leninism and Maoism for
answers, and the problems started there.

Marxism is inherently authoritarian. It is a total
philosophical-social-political-economic-historical system of
thought. For Marxism, in what it calls 'science', the class struggle
has been the driving force of human history. In its view, the
historical task of history's latest phase, capitalism, has been to
increase the productive forces and bring forth the idea of
democracy. But since capitalism also is a class system, the working
class would inevitably overthrow it and establish its own state, the
dictatorship of the proletariat. The leaders of this state; that is, in
modern times, the Leninist party, would rule armed with their
supposedly superior scientific knowledge in the name of the
workers. It is both this state-rule and the rulers' view that they
embody the next stage of human history which makes Marxism

On the other side, some future FbNers agreed that Marxism is
authoritarian. However, some were not sure, and others declared
themselves in fact to be Marxists. Most thought the whole question
to be irrelevant, but more on that later.

This jumble is not surprising because, despite Day's protestations,
his writing on the subject itself is a model of mud. Day's point of
view is clearly is outside anarchism. For example, in 'Stakes is
High' he wrote that he is interested in 'infusing the anarchist
movement with something like the standards of rigorous
investigation and argument that exist fairly broadly within
Marxism'. And later, 'Marxism is simply unrivaled in the depth and
variety of critical analysis it has produced'. Finally, Day's view that
the Chinese Revolution 'of necessity' had to be capitalist also
reflects not an anarchist view of history, but a Marxist
historical-deterministic one, and a crockeryheaded one at that.

In the European late Middle Ages those who argued that the earth
was the center of the universe were confronted with an increasing
array of evidence undermining their belief. In particular, those who
held that the sun was the center of the solar system could better
explain anomalies in the orbits of the planets and moons. But not
to give up, the earth-centrists countered that what was really
happening was that these heavenly bodies' orbits were going
through 'epicycles' and even 'epicycles within epicycles'.

While the ideology of Marxism has a penetrating critique of the
development of capitalism, it is wholly unable to come to grips
with those countries in which societies have been established in its
name. The anarchist critique of these state capitalist regimes is far
more lucid than what Marxism has produced. For example,
Trotskyism has for decades been driven by fights over which
countries represented 'degenerated', 'deformed' or 'healthy'
workers' states. Stalinism and Maoism have had years of struggles
over 'revisionism' and 'capitalist roaders'. All of these epicycles
obscure the real picture: in none of these societies do the organized
people have power; in all of them the state has established an
authoritarian capitalism under its control. (In many of the states
there weren't even revolutions; the Red Army marched in
establishing a 'workers' state' without the workers).

Anarchist theory too has problems. Its traditional wooden attitude
toward national liberation has already been mentioned. Anarchism
also has difficulty analyzing the development of capitalism (the
'epoch question'). And like the social democrats, Stalinists and
ossified Trotskyists, anarchism also has problems mapping a way
between its minimum and maximum programs. Marxism doesn't
distinguish itself on these questions, either. Therefore, it is the
turn of anarchism to establish a framework within which to analyze
these questions.


Different members of the FbN faction each at different times
advocated 'mass-line' organizing methods. Derived from Maoism,
'mass-line' attempts to mobilize large numbers of people behind
the leadership of an authoritarian vanguard party. While at the
time all the future FbNers disclaimed vanguardism, this is no
longer the case. Then and now the point of view which comes
through their mass-line articles is one of how can people who
consider themselves revolutionaries orient themselves to get
masses of people to follow them?

By itself this sounds innocuous enough. We are, after all,
revolutionaries. We want to build as big a base as possible among
people for our revolutionary democratic ideas. So naturally we
should build and participate in the mass struggle of the people. But
what we have to remember always is that our ideas come first.

There is nothing vanguardist or elitist about this. Since the
consciousness of the majority of the people in motion at this time
is reformist, we constitute a small minority telling the truth as
best we know it about the nature of the system and how to defend
against it. In meetings we will lose on a lot of votes. Still, we
patiently explain and continue to participate.

'Mass-line', however, is a different horse altogether. It is elitist in
the sense that it instructs revolutionaries to hide parts of their
program in order to lead (presumably) a larger number of people on
a reformist basis, because that's the level of present-day
consciousness. The fact that one FbNer once told me that Mao
always was out front in advocating the dictatorship of the
proletariat changes nothing. Aside that I don't believe that it's
true, even if it were, the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' really
hides the fact that the real dictatorship is and always has been that
of the Chinese Communist Party.

Day implicitly admits this deception in his 'Multi-Racial
Organization' article when he wrote that 'the development of
people's ability to think and act for themselves is more important
than the immediate triumph of our particular line on this or that
question'. This sounds very nice and democratic, but does it really
mean that 'our line' can be an obstacle to the development of
peoples' ability to think and act for themselves? There should be
no problem here: anarchists' 'line' should always foster the
development of self-organization.

My own view of 'mass-line' is that it is essentially the old
social-democratic minimum program of what is feasible within the
system (not what is necessary for the defense of working class
people). This in turn is tied to the Leninist notion of the vanguard
party being the leadership of the masses. Further, the Maoist
groups also have, on paper at least, the old social-democratic
maximum program -- socialism, or the dictatorship of the
proletariat (what Mao was supposedly upfront about). It is the lack
of a connection between the minimum and maximum, except
through the organizational form of the Maoist party itself, which
has resulted in their veering - like China -between wooden
sectarianism and outright reformism.

Rather than needing 'mass-line' to mobilize the masses, people will
mobilize themselves for their own defense as the system breaks
down and attacks them. At this stage they will likely follow
reformist (or worse) leaderships because this is where their
consciousness is. What anarchists need to do is participate in and
build the defense while patiently explaining our program. That
program must bridge the gap between the minimum and maximum
programs. I believe it needs to be an anarchist transitional


While people have pointed to anarchism's theoretical weaknesses,
another serious problem exists in the anarchist movement, as it
did in Love and Rage. This is a disdain for theory itself. In Love
and Rage each side had a small core of people who wrote and
argued about things. In the middle were a much larger number who
didn't see the point of it at all. This was also true in 1994 when Day
wrote his 'Reprole Document' and proposed to change the name of
the organization. Although these were confused pieces beginning
the move away from anarchism, only two people wrote replies

I believe anarchism's aversion to theory, however, is tied up with
its positive traits. The first of these is direct action and activism in
general. Anarchists frequently are on the front lines of struggles
against authority. Even the more passive anarchists, who may
prefer to build Temporary Autonomous Zones and such, are more
concerned with 'getting the work done' than with discussing theory.
The problem, which really is a good problem to have, is too much
desire to do something without enough thought about where it's

Second is a fixation on 'process' to the impediment of discussing
the underlying issues. But this also reflects something else positive
about anarchism. In particular, and unlike the historical
deterministic Marxists, anarchists see a direct relation between
means and ends. Both process and the underlying issues are

If anarchism is weak on theory, the answer is not to jump into the
seemingly inviting theoretical arms of Marxism. Rather it's to
build up the theoretical side of anarchism. Both theory and
practice are necessary.


The Northeastern Anarchist is the English-language theoretical
magazine of the Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists
(NEFAC), covering class struggle anarchist theory, history,
strategy, debate and analysis in an effort to further develop
anarcho-communist ideas and practice.


Current issue is $5ppd ($6 international) per copy, back issues are
$2ppd ($3 international) per copy. Subscriptions are $15ppd for
four issues ($18 international). For distribution, bundle orders are
$3 per copy for three or more copies, and $2.50 per copy for ten or

Checks or money orders can be made out to "Northeastern
Anarchist" and sent to:

Northeastern Anarchist PO Box 230685 Boston, MA 02123, USA

Link: http://www.nefac.net

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